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Emerging markets

This recession, banks are the good guys

The Covid-19 crisis has been a very different recession in a number of ways. One that I think is particularly interesting is the role of banks. While it is a vast oversimplification, ask ten people what caused the great financial crisis, and nine will answer “the banks!”.

This time round, it has been the commercial banks that have helped many economies to remain functioning. Nowhere is that…

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Egypt’s maiden green bond – a first for the Middle East and Africa

Egypt has just entered the green bond market, pricing a debut $750 million five-year issue. The bonds join a small but growing asset class of emerging market sovereign green bonds. Since Poland issued a green bond in 2016, there’s been growing green emerging sovereign issuance including by Fiji, Nigeria, Indonesia, Hungary and Chile. These have been joined by broader social, sustainable and pa…

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Sustainability-Linked Bond – Look beneath the surface

Last week saw the first ever issuance of a Sustainability-Linked Bond (SLB) from an emerging market issuer. Brazilian pulp & paper producer Suzano issued US$750 million of Jan-2031 bonds at a yield of 3.95%. The bond coupon (3.75%) is subject to a sustainability performance target and shall increase by 25bps per annum from July 2026, if the issuer does not meet its target in 2025. It is differ…

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Is market pricing of African eurobonds unfair?

When Ken Ofori-Att – the Ghanaian finance minister – presented mid-year budget revisions, he highlighted the huge challenges of the pandemic. The Ghanaian response to COVID-19 has been quick, well organised and aimed at stopping economic weakness becoming a depression. But the rescue is coming at a large financial cost to the country. The fiscal deficit is forecast to be around 11% of GDP in 2…

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QE goes global: the case of Indonesia

The COVID-19-induced slowdown of the past few months has been different from past crises for a number of reasons. One of the most significant differences has been the greater ability of emerging market central banks to provide support to their economies, as we wrote about a few weeks ago. An interesting example is that of Indonesia. Last week, Indonesia’s central bank (Bank Indonesia – “BI”) c…

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Tourism drop in CEE and CIS – many losers but also some beneficiaries?

Summer has arrived, and so should the main tourist season in Europe in a normal year. However, as we know, this year has been anything but normal. With lockdown endings in sight across the majority of countries in the region, most are preparing to welcome tourists back. Some have already opened their borders for EU visitors, while many prepare to open them for everyone from late June or early …

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Navigating the crisis in frontier Asia: does a debt suspension make sense?

Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Mongolia have each been severely impacted by COVID-19, albeit in different ways. These frontier economies each straddle two worlds. They’re emerging markets in the sense they’ve had access to global debt markets, with their eurobonds included in JP Morgan’s emerging market bond index. But their credit ratings are far below those of investment grade sovereigns, such as I…

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Africa’s Covid-19 response: official financing and calls for debt relief

To date, there have been several packages announced by multilateral financiers that will support African countries with their Covid-19 responses. These packages are urgently needed: first, to finance the health response and, second, to cushion the economic impact.

The IMF has announced $1 trillion of firepower to help the global response to the health, humanitarian and economic impacts of …

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Emerging market bonds in the time of coronavirus

Emerging markets have recently seen other impacts than the tragic ones of COVID-19 outbreaks on their societies and economies, with spreads widening considerably. Three factors have been at play. First, was a rapid sell-off in global stock markets that followed the realisation that the global economy is heading for a recession. Second, investors shifted to intense risk aversion and the demand …

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Lower oil prices for longer? The impact on emerging market oil producers

By Claudia Calich, Gregory Smith and Eldar Vakhitov

Market expectations of global oil prices have shifted several times already in 2020. The year started with short-lived scenarios of potentially higher prices, as tensions between the USA and Iran dominated the headlines. However, as COVID-19 tragically spread, the virus put a clear dent into expectations about global growth. Curfews and ef…

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