Country Insights

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​Trump Erdogan summit: A waste of plane tickets
TURKEY - In Brief 14 Nov 2019
It is noon time in Turkey and it seems I wasted half a day to write my traditional post-summit brief on the Trump and Erdogan summit which appeared to be a waste of plane tickets for Erdogan and his large retinue.So far, there is no tantalizing background tidbits in Turkish press and what I can g...

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South Africa’s unemployment rate keeps worsening – a threat to socio-economic and political stability
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 13 Nov 2019
It is common knowledge that South Africa’s economy has been struggling for some time now, and the country’s chronic unemployment problem has only worsened, with unemployment rates perpetually recording new highs. The unemployment rate currently stands at 29.1% (Q3 2019), registering the highest r...

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OMAN: The growth outlook brightens the further out you look
GULF COUNTRIES - Report 13 Nov 2019
Budget cuts and OPEC+ quotas will remain a drag on growth in 2020. 2021 looks brighter with new gas projects likely to come on stream, helping the economy and fiscal position, although oil production may remain capped by OPEC+. Further out, Oman has genuine long-term diversification potential tha...

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Parliament approves law on land reform in first reading
UKRAINE - In Brief 13 Nov 2019
Finally it happened! Verkhovna Rada has just approved law on land reform in first reading with 240 votes (226 needed). The draft law presumes free agri-land circulation. Land could be owned by individuals and legal entities. Foreigners are not allowed to own agri-land plots till 2024. There is a ...

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Russia restructuring its social fund
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 13 Nov 2019
On November 13 the Ministry of Finance announced that the National Wealth Fund (NWF) would be restructured. The Deputy Minister of Finance said that the time is ripe for this transition. Currently the NWF holds 45% of its funds in USD, 45% in EUR and the rest in GBP. The objective is to mitigate ...

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Manufacturing a political crisis
COLOMBIA - Report 12 Nov 2019 1 response
By Latin American standards, Colombia was doing well, led by a pro-market, pro-business leader, who, despite his lack of experience in everyday domestic politics, was known for trying to avoid confrontation and distancing his administration from pork-barrel politics; who intended forcefully to be...

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Brief and costly inflation slowdown
VENEZUELA - Report 12 Nov 2019
Inflation slowed down a little more sharply in October than we had expected, to 17 percent month-on-month from 63 percent in September. We had forecast 21 percent. Consumer prices rose by 4,916 percent in the first ten months of the year, for a year-on-year inflation rate of 38,906 percent in Oct...

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Economics: Pemex’s ever slippery slope
MEXICO - Report 11 Nov 2019
Pemex’s third quarter results confirmed some of our worst fears as the national oil company’s operational and financial health continues to deteriorate despite efforts by the Mexican government and Pemex management to stem the decline. Clearly the administration’s strategy is not up to the task a...

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Pension Reform will be promulgated
BRAZIL POLITICS - Report 11 Nov 2019 1 response
Pension Reform will be promulgated on Tuesday. The Senate should conclude the first round of the Parallel Pension Proposal the same day, including states and municipalities. The government should sent its Administrative Reform proposal to the Lower House. On Wednesday and Thursday, Brasília wi...

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Russia-Saudi Arabia relations: cold meets warm
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - Report 11 Nov 2019
Relations between Saudi Arabia and Russia are warmer now than at any time in the past. President Putin recently visited Saudi, where he was very well received. While the Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia are not natural friends, in the past couple of years they have developed a remarkably cordi...

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Politics: Mexico in a weak position to face US demands
MEXICO - Report 11 Nov 2019
It is still unclear why gunmen brutally murdered three women and six children in the northern border state of Sonora, but their deaths on November 4 have broad political and security implications, both domestically and on the level of Mexico-US relations. Beyond the tragic details of this cas...

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Transition: What to expect from AF?
ARGENTINA - Report 11 Nov 2019
Will Alberto Fernandez (AF) be able to lead the Peronist/Kirchnerist coalition with a certain degree of freedom, or will he struggle with requests from his political mentor, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, or her radicalized followers? Ever since Argentina’s return to democracy, in the early 80s,...

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The risks and rewards of index inclusion in China’s bond market
CHINA ADVISORY - Report 11 Nov 2019
Changes in the Bloomberg Barclays index of bonds will expand foreign participation in China’s domestic bond market by $120 - $150 billion by 2020. Foreign ownership of Chinese financial instruments will become a wider part of both the Chinese financial system and the retirement funds of western i...

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High CPI and robust growth likely to delay easing
ISRAEL - Report 11 Nov 2019
The adjusted fiscal deficit in October moved slightly lower to 3.6% GDP LTM. Wage growth has moderated, weakening inflationary pressure. We expect inflation to reach 0.5% m/m (0.5% y/y) in October, at the high end of consensus. In politics, Lieberman set conditions for forming a unity government,...

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More opening measures amid trade war
CHINA - Report 11 Nov 2019
The economy continues to weaken. GDP was up 6% y/y in Q3, down 0.2 pps from Q2, and down 0.5 pps from Q3 2018. Investment was up 4.7% y/y, down 0.8 pps from Q2. Imports were down -2.9% y/y in Q3, down 5.2 pps from Q2, and down 21.9 pps from Q3 2018. Exports were up 3.9% y/y, down 1.8 pps and ...