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Emerging markets

Should investors care about GDP data revisions in emerging markets? A Benin case study

Statistical data represents only an approximation of reality, and sometimes not a very good one. Generally, the less economically developed a country is, the worse the quality of the data provided by the government authorities. This increases the likelihood of later revisions, as new facts are uncovered or the methodology adjusted to better reflect the changing reality. Investors in emerging ma…

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Bond indices are shifting their attention to China – so should you

It is widely recognized that China is globally well-integrated from a trade perspective (it accounted for 13% of total world exports in 2017 according to the WTO). Yet in comparison, its financial markets remain in relative isolation. Indeed, despite having the 2nd largest equity and 3rd largest bond markets in the world (currently around $13 trillion), foreign participation in these markets re…

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Bond Vigilantes Weekly: 2016 all over again?

Global bond markets rallied after the US Federal Reserve (Fed) signalled on Wednesday what financial markets had been pricing in for months: the central bank will most likely retract from its rate hiking plans this year, given the global economic slowdown, lower oil prices and generally muted domestic inflation. The Fed also indicated its balance sheet may not shrink as much as expected as it n…

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The Rise of Emerging Market Corporate Bonds

Few investors would have bet on emerging market (“EM”) corporate bonds fifteen years ago. In 2004 the EM external (also known as hard-currency) corporate bond universe was relatively small at approximately US$ 270bn. By 2009 the asset class had more than doubled to US$ 600bn driven by strong economic expansion across developing economies notably the BRIC countries. Since the global financial cr…

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Emerging Markets: 5 key issues to watch in 2019

Emerging Markets (EM) debt had a torrid 2018 as global macro risks (including general geopolitics and trade wars), softer EM growth and idiosyncratic stories (Argentina, Turkey), all repriced relatively expensive valuations at the beginning of the year. Are the new prices a better reflection of fundamentals? This will largely depend on the evolution of 5 key topics.

  1. China-US – upside surprise…

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Panoramic Weekly: Stars and Strikes

Global bond markets reacted sharply to Wednesday’s release of US Services data, which struck its best mark in 21 years: US 10-year yields spiked to 3.2%, the highest since 2011, while the dollar reversed a gloomy September to recover its August level. The usually less reactive 30-year Treasury yields surged, leading some investors such as M&G fund manager Richard Woolnough to argue that the mar…

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Letter from Washington DC. The IMF’s Sovereign Debt Conference.

The IMF recently held a two-day public conference on sovereign debt at its home in Washington DC. How do we measure it? How have governments reduced it in the past, for example in the periods after the two World Wars? How can Japan carry debts of over 200% of GDP while other sovereigns have defaulted with virtually no public debt? And when things do go wrong, how do we sort out the mess of a re…

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Brazil’s election: What’s at stake?

Global investors are paying special attention to the forthcoming general election in Brazil, not only because the country is the world’s eighth-largest economy, ahead of Italy and Canada, but also because in these turbulent times for Emerging Markets (EMs), an unexpected or market-unfriendly outcome could bring more volatility to the entire asset class. After the recent sell-offs in Turkey and …

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Panoramic Weekly – EMs: How many one-offs to call it a crisis?

Global bond markets sank over the past five trading days, as what started being idiosyncratic problems in specific Emerging Markets (EMs) spread throughout the bond universe: only 14 of the 100 Fixed Income asset classes tracked by Panoramic Weekly posted positive total returns. The rest tumbled, mostly dragged down by the risk-off scenario (such as High Yield debt) or by exposure to rising rat…

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