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Law that recognizes citizenship to descendant of irregular migrants approved by Congress
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - In Brief 22 May 2014
After months of heated national debate and stiff pressure from the international community, last week President Medina submitted to Congress a bill aimed at recognizing citizenship to descendent of migrants born in the country who were properly registered in the Civil Registry and hold birth cert...

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two important milestones for the 4G infrastructure plan
COLOMBIA - In Brief 22 May 2014
1. The State Council, one of Colombia's high courts, lifted the freeze it had imposed on the process to sell the National Government's stake in Isagén. The new timeline to complete this process will be released by the Ministry of Finance in a very short period of time. The resources resulting fro...

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The Rise Of External Debt?
CHINA FINANCIAL - Report 22 May 2014
Executive Summary There have been cases in recent history in which a country experiencing “miracle” growth – driven by domestic investment that, in late stages, tends increasingly to misallocation – has reached domestic debt capacity constraints, only to replace domestic funding with external fun...

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I Am An Excellent, Excellent Driver
TURKEY - Report 22 May 2014
Contrary to our – and most analysts’ -- expectations, the Monetary Policy Committee cut the one-week repo rate by 50 bps today to 9.5%, while it kept the O/N lending and borrowing rates unchanged (see chart). This cut is significant because the one-week repo rate has regained its prevalence as th...

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No Hike in the Benchmark Interest Rate…For Now
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 22 May 2014
The South African Reserve Bank (SARB)’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has opted to leave the repo rate at 5.5% per year (see Graph 1). The Bank cited a challenging environment characterized by a weak domestic economy coupled with elevated price pressures as factors that informed its stance. Gra...

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El Salvador: Falling to Earth
CENTRAL AMERICA - Report 22 May 2014
Executive SummaryWith the June 1 Inauguration Day approaching, President-elect Salvador Sánchez is being forced to face financial realities. Though he’s built bridges with various sectors and laid the groundwork for a favorable domestic climate, recent data make clear that the budget lacks funds,...

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Medina Most Popular of All
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - Forecast 21 May 2014
Executive Summary Even two years before the 2016 presidential elections, prospective candidates for the two main political parties are beginning to place in the polls. As expected, former president Leonel Fernández is the most popular prospective PLD candidate so far, according to the most recent...

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Political Reform At Last
MEXICO - Report 20 May 2014
Executive Summary Last week Congress approved an overhaul of the country’s electoral laws to bring them in keeping with the relevant constitutional amendments passed last year, thereby eliminating the possibility that the 2015 midterm elections might be held in some kind of legal limbo. In the pr...

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Breaking Down the NIP
MEXICO - Report 20 May 2014
Executive Summary This week we continue our analysis of the National Infrastructure Plan (NIP) for 2014-2018. In aggregate terms, investment is projected to average 8% of annual GDP and 37% of total investment (gross fixed capital formation). Those numbers imply that the ratio of total investment...

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Yuan Won’t Be Down for Long
CHINA - Report 19 May 2014
Executive Summary China’s main economic indicators in April either held to their lows or declined further. Industrial output rose 8.7% y/y, turning in the same anemic performance as in Q1. Fixed asset investment rose16.8% y/y in real terms, down 0.8 pps. We expect general slowdown to persist i...

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South Africa’s Evolving Democracy: Beyond Elections May 2014
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 19 May 2014
SA national elections on May 7th 2014 marked the 20th anniversary of the country’s constitutional democracy. While the ANC maintained its control over the national government with a 62% majority, it had much to worry about when examining the details of voting patterns across the 9 provinces and t...

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Economic Activity: Recent Signs and Trend
BRAZIL ECONOMICS - Report 19 May 2014
There are clear signs that the economy remains weak. The numbers announced last week – the IBC-Br, which is a preview of GDP calculated by the Central Bank, and real retail sales, estimated by the IBGE – confirm this perception. In March the IBC-Br dipped by 0.1%, leading to first-quarter growth ...

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Political Insights: Week of July 19
BRAZIL POLITICS - Report 19 May 2014
A new Ibope presidential poll will be released this week.Mayors meet with Finance Minister Guido Mantega to request an increase in federal resources.In the House, the bill that corrects the income tax for individuals may be voted upon.The Petrobras CPIs continue on the agenda in the Senate and Co...

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Weekly Tracker: May 18-24
TURKEY - Report 18 May 2014
Executive Summary There is yet not enough evidence in the Soma mine disaster that either the owner of Soma Holding or AKP’s preferential treatment of the mine was directly responsible. Yet, AKP’s defensive manner and the very poor PR management of the disaster turned the public wrath against the ...

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Election 2014: An Unexpected Majority
INDIA - Report 16 May 2014
The election results, which give the BJP a clear majority, are the first time since 1984 that one party has had a majority. This opens up all sorts of exciting possibilities. An Unexpected Majority In 1984, the Congress won 414 seats compared with the 272 required for a majority. After that, no s...

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Santos could lose the election
COLOMBIA - In Brief 15 May 2014
Finally, all the major political polls published their latest results this week. All of them show Mr. Santos losing serious ground to his competitors, but even more worrisome is the fact that many of them show he might very well lose in the run-off too. Even Gallup, probably the most well-conduct...

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Very strong GDP figure out for Q1 2014
HUNGARY - In Brief 15 May 2014
Real GDP grew a preliminary 1.1% qoq / 3.2% yoy swda in Q1 2014, following a revised 0.7% qoq / 2.9% yoy swda in Q4 2013, as reported by the Central Statistical Office (KSH) this morning. This is a seven-year peak in the yoy number. As usual for preliminary GDP data releases, no details are avail...

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Mid-week review in Turkish politics
TURKEY - In Brief 14 May 2014
Turkish government declared three days of national mourning as the death toll in the Soma coal mine accident reached 205. I fear it may reach as high as 450. Was this a genuine “act of God”? Or the result of careless privatization and deregulation in the mining industry? While the debate is alrea...

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Colombian Treasury buying dollars to weaken the COP
COLOMBIA - In Brief 13 May 2014
The Minister of Finance posted a tweet announcing that the Treasury is going to buy USD to weaken the COP. The announcement had an important impact on the fx market today. However, the important question is the Treasury's capacity to intervene. For now, according to the Ministry, excess cash at h...

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Post-Election Fine Tuning
HUNGARY - Report 13 May 2014
Executive Summary Although the new cabinet is not expected to be up and running before early June, post-election policy shifts are discernable, in the new Central Bank and State Debt Management Agency measures to reshape government financing, and the update of Hungary’s convergence program. Herei...