Country Insights

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Cry Wolf
PHILIPPINES - Report 13 Mar 2014
In this slow news period, a recent analyst report caught our eye with the title "Artificial Strength in the Current Account?" The report compared Philippine trade figures against counterpart statistics reported by some of the country's major trading partners and noted huge discrepancies in the im...

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Stagflation But No Blow-out
VENEZUELA - Forecast 13 Mar 2014
Executive Summary Our 2014–2015 central scenarios assume that stagflation leads to social conflict. We expect episodes of turbulence but no widespread blow-out. Inflation accelerates, economic activity weakens, real consumption falls, and oil production is stagnant or slightly down. GDP falls by ...

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The Current Account Deficit Eases in Q4 2013
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 12 Mar 2014
According to the quarterly bulletin of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), the current account balance was -R179 bn in Q4 2013 compared to -R216 bn the previous quarter. This translated into a moderated current account deficit as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) in the last quarter...

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Dominican Rep to issue USD 1.5 bn in Sovereign Bonds and USD 776 millions in domestic bonds
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - In Brief 11 Mar 2014
The government sent to Congress a bill which, once approved, will give permission to the Ministry of Finance to issue Sovereign Bonds for up to USD 1.5 bn to be allocated in the international financial market. It also sent a second bill which would give permission to issue domestic bonds for up t...

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​Gezi victim’s death stokes Gezi II
TURKEY - In Brief 11 Mar 2014
Berkin Elvan was 14 years old when he was sent to buy a loaf of bread to the grocery store. He was hit in the head by a police gas canister who were raiding the neighbourhood to weed out Gezi protests in June, 2013. His death on Tuesday after more than 250 days in a coma stoked the biggest sponta...

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Industrial Production and Leading Indicator: Weak Growth in the Year
BRAZIL ECONOMICS - Report 11 Mar 2014
Part of the contraction of industrial output in December (-3.7%) was reversed with the rise of 2.9% in January, continuing the recent pattern of extreme volatility of the monthly data (Graph 1). The 12-month rate remained negative and virtually stable (-2.4%, versus -2.5% in December). Based on t...

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A Bit More to the Right, Please…
COLOMBIA - Report 11 Mar 2014
During the last four years, President Santos has been leaning towards the left, either in his support of center-left parties (Liberals and Cambio Radical), or in the peace negotiations with extreme leftist FARC. All this time, popular support for such political inclination was questionable, since...

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New Bills: A Source of Concern
MEXICO - Report 11 Mar 2014
Executive Summary Last week Mexico’s federal government announced a credit program designed to help revive the homebuilding industry. The federal agencies in charge of facilitating credit to the housing sector (such as Infonavit, Fovisste, and Fonhapo, among others), would expand by 18% the credi...

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PAN Prepares for Leadership Contest
MEXICO - Report 11 Mar 2014
Executive Summary On May 18, the 218,000 members of the National Action Party (PAN) will be entitled to cast ballots for the next party chairman, its general secretary and the organization’s 12-member National Executive Committee. Now that 2012 presidential nominee Josefina Vázquez Mota has decid...

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Fidesz-KDNP Holds The Steering Wheel Tight
HUNGARY - Report 11 Mar 2014
Executive Summary With the election coming up in early April, our first theme is politics, including campaign events and the voting outlook. Second, we are looking at the rationale behind the MNB’s continued rate cuts in the face of HUF weakening. Third, inflation prospects after the early-2014 C...

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The Exchange Rate and Domestic Fundamentals
BRAZIL ECONOMICS - Report 10 Mar 2014
The real has been appreciating since the middle of April, reaching nearly R$2.30/US$. But it was not the announcement of the primary surplus target that led to this temporary strengthening cycle, because in the same period a similar movement has occurred with the currencies of the great majority ...

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Political Insights: Week of March 10
BRAZIL POLITICS - Report 10 Mar 2014
In the House, leaders will attempt a vote on the Internet Framework Law. In the Senate, the Constitution and Justice Committee will vote on state and municipal debt with the federal government. President Dilma may announce changes to the ministerial team, and congressmen from the PMDB discuss the...

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Weekly Tracker: March 9-15
TURKEY - Report 09 Mar 2014
Executive Summary Erdogan’s admission of culpability to graft may be a calculated tactic to present the voter with a binary choice, but it raises post-local election risks significantly. February polls reveal a lot of confusion and no material change in party standings. We maintain that no matter...

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Sunday’s Race Matters Most
COLOMBIA - Report 07 Mar 2014
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY If you’re under 34, middle class and politically unaffiliated, you probably don’t know who to vote for. You belong to a group comprising half of Colombia’s would-be voters. The other half are split between President Juan Manuel Santos and the other candidates. That’s the remarka...

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Federation Council prepares a controversial bill on foreign assets freeze
RUSSIA ENERGY / FINANCE - In Brief 06 Mar 2014
Russia's upper house of the parliament (Federation Council) prepares a bill on foreign assets freeze in response to possible sanctions from the US and EU. The proposed bill would allow president and government to confiscate foreign owned property, including property of private companies, accordin...