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Life with $30 oil
RUSSIA ENERGY / FINANCE - Report 12 Feb 2016
Another drop in oil prices in early 2016 has raised questions about the stability of the Russian economy. In this report we review the potential consequences of a $30/barrel scenario for the general economy, the public sector and the oil & gas industry. In such a scenario another year of reces...

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GDP growth was surprisingly robust in Q4 2015
HUNGARY - In Brief 12 Feb 2016
Another interesting data set came out of KSH this morning. Real GDP growth accelerated to 3.2% yoy, on unadjusted basis, in Q4 2015, sharply up from 2.4% yoy in the previous quarter. This beat the average analyst expectation of 2.6% by a substantial margin. On sda basis, growth in Q4 was reported...

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President Zuma’s 2016 State of the Nation Address: Maybe Too Little Too Late
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 12 Feb 2016
President Zuma’s State of Nation Addresses (SONA) during his second term in office have become synonymous with drama, chaos, insults and political entertainment inside and outside the Parliament. His personal conduct in office, his ruling political party’s support for him, and his government’s pe...

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Old Actors In New Roles
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - Report 11 Feb 2016
Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has become extremely vocal in demonstrating his support of President Putin and has even directly threatened his political opponents, in the midst of suspicions of his connection to the murder of former deputy prime minister Boris Nemtsov. Kadyrov’s active involvement...

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Economics: Trade Structure Poses Risks
MEXICO - Report 11 Feb 2016
The conditions prevailing in the international economy in recent months, which have translated into a severe contraction in the international price of oil as well as a drastic depreciation of the Mexican peso in relation to the dollar, have had and will continue to harbor diverse implications for...

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Politics: Mexico’s City State and Gatopardismo
MEXICO - Report 11 Feb 2016
President Enrique Peña signed a decree on January 29 to authorize implementation of the constitutional reform that brings to an end the existence of the Federal District as the seat of federal government and the capital of the Mexican Republic, replacing it with a new entity formally called Ciuda...

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Inflation below expectation in January, depressed by non-core factors
HUNGARY - In Brief 11 Feb 2016
CPI-inflation came out at -0.1% mom, 0.9% yoy in January. The yoy headline rate is unchanged from December, and is below the 1.1% yoy average expectation in Portfolio.hu's analyst poll. But this forms no basis for a base rate cut by the MNB, as inflation was depressed by two non-core factors. Fir...

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The IMF warns on support suspension amid political crisis mess
UKRAINE - In Brief 10 Feb 2016
Today Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the IMF, made it clear that Ukraine will not get money without resolving corruption issue. This statement will add fuel to the fire of political crisis which is unfolding at the country. Political elites are disoriented. They have never experienced th...

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​Will Turkey send her military to Syria?
TURKEY - In Brief 10 Feb 2016
I felt the need to revisit the question of a Turkish military intervention in Syria because in the last 24 hours the linked articles in Business Insider, Financial Times and WSJ mentioned the possibility in different contexts. While there are many reasons why Turkish markets were sinking until to...

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Lower But Stabilizing Growth
CHINA - Forecast 09 Feb 2016
Viewed in terms of quarterly data, the weakening growth trend is dissipating. True, real GDP was up just 6.9% in 2015, down 0.5 pps from 2014, and its lowest growth rate for 25 years. But GDP in Q4 was up 6.8% y/y, down only 0.2 pps from Q1, while H2 growth was stable. And the slowdown only began...

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Simian Flu
PHILIPPINES - Forecast 08 Feb 2016
The Year of the Monkey finds the world in poor spirits, one eye monitoring the vital signs of its weaker members, the other eye scanning for symptoms of compromised immune systems elsewhere. While the Philippines is not resistant to the malady’s spread, the economy has internal sources of growth ...

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​FPV desertion ahead of debt restructuring agreement
ARGENTINA - In Brief 07 Feb 2016
The recent desertion of 12 congressional representatives from the Kirchnerist party “Frente para la Victoria” (FPV) to form, together with other 3 dissident peronists, a 15 man strong non-K Peronist block (Bloque Justicialista - BJ), might not be very surprising. We anticipated such political shi...

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​Debt restructuring negotiations
ARGENTINA - In Brief 07 Feb 2016
Many expectations were set on this government’s debt restructuring proposal for Holdouts. As might have been expected, contrary to the former Kirchnerist proposals, Macri’s team did not refer to the 2005/2010 debt restructuring conditions, nor did it discuss the principal of the debt owed. With a...

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Week of February 7
TURKEY - Report 07 Feb 2016
After the collapse of Geneva peace talks, pro-Assad forces redoubled their efforts to lay siege to Aleppo, pushing 70K refugees towards Turkey. As another great human tragedy unfolds in the neighbor, the fall of Aleppo could trigger a series of events that could spell diplomatic disaster for Turk...

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2016 starts with strong inflation
VENEZUELA - Report 05 Feb 2016
On 15 January 2016, BCV published inflation data for the first three quarters of 2015. The Bank reported 108.7 percent in the year to September and 141.5 percent YOY. These results came out below our forecast (157.1 percent for January-September and 197.5 percent YOY.)