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Country Insights

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Russia switches to buying Yuan
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 19 Jan 2019
The Bank of Russia announced on 9 January that in June it dumped USD 101 Billion in holdings. Reserves have been shifted to USD 44 Billion worth of RMB, USD 44 Billion worth of EUR and USD 21 Billion worth of JPY. This reduces exposure to US sanctions.

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Essential CIS Politics: American withdrawal from Syria would be a mixed blessing for Russia
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - Report 18 Jan 2019
RUSSIA:US withdrawal from Syria presents opportunities and problems for RussiaTrump announced that the US is withdrawing troops from Syria. This is welcome news in Russia since the Americans sometimes bombed Russia's Syrian allies. On the other hand American help against ISIS was sometimes useful...

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Nearly excellent current performance, moderately positive medium-term prospects
HUNGARY - Forecast 18 Jan 2019
In our new quarterly forecast, we do not take into account the possible negative impacts of major international economic, financial or political debacles such as e.g. a potential no-deal Brexit on 29 March. Even though the British parliament’s NO vote to the government’s Brexit proposal a few day...

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A sustainable recovery that elections could upend
UKRAINE - Forecast 18 Jan 2019
Ukraine’s economy was clearly experiencing a healthy recovery in 2018. GDP sped up to +3.2% y/y, from +2.5% y/y in 2017. Inflation slowed to +9.8% ytd from +13.7%. The hryvnia remained largely stable, losing a negligible 2.2% on average through the year, and even strengthening in the last days of...

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The South African Reserve Bank starts 2019 on a more dovish note
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 17 Jan 2019
Today the South African Reserve Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee completed its first of six meetings to be held in 2019 to decide the country’s interest rate path. In line with market expectations, the MPC decided to leave the benchmark interest rate unchanged at 6.75%, hence the prime rate also ...

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Volatility and slowdown, as Piñera’s honeymoon ends
CHILE - Report 17 Jan 2019
Executive Summary Economic activity varied greatly from half to half in 2018, with H1 growth running at 5%, and signs of recovery in machinery and investment. But H2 saw deceleration, with activity and consumption growth slowing in Q3.Today the economy seems to be growing at 3%, and we expect 201...

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Russia plans to slash business regulations
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 17 Jan 2019
On 15 January Prime Minister Medvedev announced that the government will probably introduce a regulatory guillotine in Russia. In the next two years outdated business regulations will be repealed. Regulations found to be unnecessary will be scrapped and business is elated. Overregulation stymies ...

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Business cycle conditions, Oct-Dec 2018
INDIA - Report 17 Jan 2019
The best measure of business cycle conditions in India is the coincident indicator, which is a linear combination of well-measured underlying indicators. The coincident indicator deteriorated slightly in Oct-Dec 2018, to +2.68% above trend.The leading indicator gives us a sense of how the coincid...

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Mexico conference call: Mexico's economic outlook: Pragmatism or promises?
MEXICO - Report 16 Jan 2019
Can the recently-passed 2019 Budget deliver fiscal results consistent with public sector debt stability? How will AMLO's policies and outlook impact the country's oil industry and its potential to bolster government revenue and economic activity? How will AMLO fund his top priorities, and how wil...

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Important policy statement from the MNB
HUNGARY - In Brief 16 Jan 2019
Speaking at the Euromoney conference in Vienna, MNB vice governor Nagy said that in case their 'core inflation adjusted for the impact of changes in indirect taxes' indicator reaches or exceeds 3% yoy, the MNB will conclude that inflation has reached the Bank's medium-term target on a sustainable...

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The ANC 2019 election manifesto – new strategies or just more of the old promises?
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 16 Jan 2019
The African National Congress (ANC), the governing party in South Africa since the beginning of democracy in 1994, has delivered its election manifesto for the upcoming country’s general elections to be held during May of this year. By all accounts, these are likely to be the toughest elections t...

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MPC leaves rates unchanged, as expected
TURKEY - In Brief 16 Jan 2019 2 responses
In line with the consensus, the CBRT’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) kept the policy rate (one-week repo rate) at 24% (simple) today. Recall that this is the third consecutive meeting that the Bank left rates unchanged, since it had raised the policy rate by 625 bps on September 13th (see chart...

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Alrosa seeks new projects in Zimbabwe
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 16 Jan 2019
The President of Zimbabwe visited Moscow on 14 January. He met executives of Alrosa which controls 25% of the world's diamonds. Sergei Ivanov heads Alrosa and is Putin's former chief of staff. Finance Minister Siluanov is also on its board. Zimbabwe desperately needs trade due to its fuel shortag...

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​Towards a deal with US in Syria?
TURKEY - In Brief 15 Jan 2019 1 response
The ebb and tide of the bromance between presidents Erdogan and Trump ought to be subject of inquiry for Hollywood screen writers and psychologists, but as a humble political commentator, I’m compelled to focus only on the very boring angle of Syria, which is one of the most pressing points of te...

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Inflation dropped as expected, yet there is enough bad news
HUNGARY - In Brief 15 Jan 2019
The headline rate of CPI-inflation fell to 2.7% yoy in December from 3.1% yoy in the previous month, in line with consensus expectation. So far the good news...The bad one is that there was more in the total monthly drop of the CPI (by 0.3%) caused by fuel prices (-6.9%) than we expected, whereas...