Author profile

Claudia Calich

Years in the bond markets: 26

Specialist subjects: Emerging markets, Sovereign bonds

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

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

Colombia: At risk of a rating downgrade to BBB-

Part of the ABC of Latin American debt series (see here for views on Argentina and here for Brazil)

During my recent trip to Latin America it was funny (but not surprising) to hear the locals worrying about Colombia becoming the next Brazil. In turn, Brazilians are worried about becoming Argentina (though I believe the Argentinean problems are much more solvable in the near term than Brazil’s) …

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Brazil: caught in a destructive trap between politics and economics

Part of the ABC of Latin American debt series

Brazil currently finds itself caught in a destructive trap between politics and economics.

On the political front, it is impossible to trade the daily noise and headline risk. The possible impeachment (45% probability as a guesstimate) of Rouseff would still be subject to various steps and legal challenges and could take a minimum of 6-9 months. Thr…

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The ABC of Latin American debt: Argentina trip report

I just spent two weeks traveling Latin America around the IMF meetings in Lima. The region is navigating through various shocks: lower commodity prices, deteriorating balance sheets, growth and fiscal deterioration, an urgent need for structural reforms and significant political challenges. There is plenty to write about, so in the next couple of days I will post a series of blogs focused on th…

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Will the thawing in US-Cuban relations bring havoc to the region’s bonds?

It is August and I should be enjoying a beach holiday, rather than being stuck in London under temperamental weather. To mitigate my despair, I decided to write some blogs on the topic of tourism. Given the ongoing normalisation of US-Cuba relations, I have been looking at the impact that this unprecedented shift in policy could have on the region. Although the embargo and travel restrictions r…

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A message to Brazilian tourists: stop travelling abroad and help your country

S&P placed Brazil’s foreign currency ratings (BBB-) on negative outlook yesterday, only one small step away from junk. S&P’s negative outlook implies that there is a probability higher than 33% that Brazil’s rating will be subject to a downward revision in the next 18 months. According to the statement, S&P “could lower the ratings if there were further deterioration in Brazil’s external and fi…

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Five reasons EM debt is attractive

The consensus view on the outlook for Emerging Market (EM) bonds is bearish. Many point to risks posed by a Fed rate hike, falling commodity prices, possible Grexit and a slowing China as reasons to reduce investment allocations to the asset class. However, there is a solid investment case for EM debt at this point in time for those willing to have a closer look.

Firstly, geopolitical events ap…

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The falling US unemployment rate could benefit some emerging markets

The declining unemployment rate in the US has renewed the debate on the timing and pace of monetary tightening by the Fed. While wage pressures have been muted thus far, the risk is rising that further declines of unemployment will lower the rate below non-inflationary (NAIRU) levels and prompt the Fed to start hiking.

For emerging markets, one of the main transmission mechanisms is through wea…

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Emerging market fixed income – 2014 performance

Emerging Market debt: 2014 returns post-mortem and 2015 outlook

2014 was quite an eventful year for Emerging market (EM) fixed income. After a period of strong performance which lasted all the way to September, markets corrected significantly in the latter part of the year as the escalation of the Russia crisis and the plunging oil prices triggered the most significant drawdown since the “taper tantrum” of June 2013. All in all, emerging markets still poste…

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Emerging market debt: notes from my recent trip to the IMF Annual Meetings

Last week I attended the IMF’s Annual Meetings in Washington D.C, where I had a series of very interesting meetings with government officials and other world financial leaders. The underlying theme behind most of the discussions was that emerging market countries continue their adjustment into a new phase characterized by less abundant liquidity and lower commodity prices. This adjustment proce…

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Playing Russian roulette

The Russia and Ukraine geopolitical tensions have driven their asset prices since February. As the below research courtesy of BofA Merrill Lynch shows, investors’ base case scenario is that a major escalation of the conflict, in the form of a direct Russian invasion of parts of Eastern Ukraine, is unlikely. The possibility of an invasion seems analogous to Russian roulette, a low probability bu…

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