Author profile

Claudia Calich

Years in the bond markets: 25

Specialist subjects: Emerging markets, Sovereign bonds

Likes: travelling, hiking, foreign languages, Asian food, Latin music, yoga

Heroes: Henri (my father), Raoul Wallenberg, Gandhi

An update on Argentina

Argentinian assets have been under material pressure in recent days.  I thought it would be useful to write my thoughts on the recent moves and implications for markets going forward.

Over the past two months, the Argentinian peso had become overvalued in real terms following large inflows from foreign investors in 2017. These capital flows caused the nominal exchange rate to depreciate by much…

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The Venezuelan cash crunch: exporting passports as a palliative?

Venezuela’s cash flow crisis has been well covered. The recent default on its sovereign debt and likely default on the debt issued by its state-owned company, Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA), combined with collapsing imports attest to its ongoing cash crunch and humanitarian crisis. ¹

A change of economic policy however, would alleviate the crisis and improve the patient’s health. This could …

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Emerging markets debt: 2017 post-mortem and 2018 outlook

Emerging markets debt posted strong returns in 2017, driven by the stabilisation of fundamentals, ongoing global and EM economic recovery, a small rebound in commodity prices and a geopolitical environment in which the usual suspects (Trump, North Korea, China) have behaved in a more benign fashion thus far. One had to struggle to find an asset that produced negative returns and the only two th…

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Typical hurricane paths in the Caribbean

Caribbean bonds: forecasting the weather, tail risks and spreads

First of all, our thoughts are with those impacted by Hurricane Irma and other recent weather-related disasters.

Beyond the human tragedy and economic costs, these are typically low-probability, but potentially high-impact, events that can ultimately impact an issuer’s ability to service its debt obligations. As bond investors, we aim to assess the various risk factors related to the companies …

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Argentina’s century bond: much ado about nothing

Argentina’s recently issued century bond deal was unexpected in terms of timing and maturity. Century bonds in Emerging Markets (EM) are rare (we think the table below is pretty exhaustive) and they grab the headlines, especially when issued by a credit that has defaulted many (many) times, like Argentina.

Are century bonds that much risker?

  1. Duration: As we wrote previously, the duration of …

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The Israeli Shekel: Flying under the radar

Though the recent US Treasury report did not name any country as a currency manipulator (see more details on this in Mario’s blog), the monitoring list centres on larger economies that meet the following criteria:

  1. The country has a significant bilateral trade surplus with the United States defined as more than USD 20 billion.
  2. The country has a current account surplus of at least 3% of GDP and …

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China Renminbi: the USD $50,000 question

Last week, in line with expectations, China announced the renewal of the $50,000 limit of dollar purchases by individuals. What’s changed however is that the foreign exchange commission (SAFE) has tightened the scrutiny on the foreign exchange purchases. Applicants are now required to detail the purpose behind their transactions in order to ensure that the purchase is for “suitable purposes” (e…

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Emerging market debt: 2016 post-mortem and 2017 outlook

Despite a year of high political turmoil – which of course included the UK EU referendum and the US elections – emerging market assets proved surprisingly resilient to the various global events, even with rising core government yields in the second half of 2016.  Given that starting valuations at the beginning of the year, both with respect to credit spreads as well as currencies, were pricing …

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The US election result impact on emerging markets

Today’s US election result has several implications for emerging markets. At a first glance, the outcome is clearly negative, given the potential downside risks from increased trade protectionism, anti-immigration measures, large fiscal expansion and steepening of the US yield curve and uncertainty in terms of foreign policy.

These risks are already being reflected in asset prices. Since the re…

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Case study: Could Trump’s brand affect bond prices?

Earlier this year I gave a top-down macro assessment of Trump’s potential impact on Latin American remittances, should he become President. As the race continues, I now take a bottom-up micro view and assess Trump’s potential impact on an individual bond issue associated with the Trump Organization.

In 2007 the Panamanian real estate market was growing robustly, with prices experiencing double-…

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