Country Insights

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Will Kolomoyskiy derail the IMF deal?
UKRAINE - Report 26 Nov 2019
When we drafted this report, the IMF mission left Kyiv signaling that the deal was not there. Before that, things in Ukraine seemed to have been moving right along. The Verkhovna Rada had approved a package of very important bills that includes unbundling Naftogaz and reinstating the illegal enr...

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​Military tests S-400 radar and American resolve
TURKEY - In Brief 26 Nov 2019 1 response
First I must apologize for skipping my contribution to our hallowed Weekly Report on account of a writer’s cramp. Literally, my mind stopped, which happens to the best of us, and I ain’t one of them. Anyway, had I written my share, the first essay would have been the suddenly rising chatter about...

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Russia and Turkey agree more missile sales
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 26 Nov 2019
On November 26 Rosoborexport - the Russian State arms exporter - announced that it planned to sign a new contract with Turkey to sell S-400 missiles to that country. Turkey bought a batch of S-400 surface to air missiles earlier this year. The United States was incensed that a NATO country should...

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Perspective for the external accounts and exchange rate
BRAZIL ECONOMICS - Report 25 Nov 2019
With the decline of global growth and commodity prices, Brazil’s export performance has been weakening, reducing the trade surpluses. This portends a significant increase in the current account deficit in 2020. The decline in the terms of trade and increase of the accumulated current account defi...

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The first round of Constitutional reforms was a failure… but there is hope for a positive outcome next year
PANAMA - Report 25 Nov 2019
The economy is growing slowly but steadily (3.25% through September according to the Monthly Index of Economic Activity). The 2020 budget is consistent with this pattern and therefore will not be expansive, given the limitations of the Fiscal Responsibility Law (a 2.75% deficit ratio for 2020). T...

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Strikes, demonstrations on the radar and other weekly topics
BRAZIL POLITICS - Report 25 Nov 2019
The voting agenda in the Senate includes a bill that allows for arrests following a conviction by a higher court. On Tuesday, the TSE decides whether it will accept electronic signatures for the creation of political parties. On Wednesday, the STF resumes analysis on access to confidential data. ...

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Economics: Risks for 2020 public finance stability
MEXICO - Report 25 Nov 2019
The problems posed by the strict austerity the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador has pursued as it strives to sustain its deficit and public debt targets were on clear display not only in public finance results through the first nine months of the year, but also in the 2020 federal spendi...

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A way forward fraught with risk
VENEZUELA - Report 25 Nov 2019
With the Maduro regime learning to live with sanctions but needing some stability to endure and the Guaidó-led opposition unable to force Maduro to step down, there is space for both sides to negotiate a renewal of National Electoral Council (CNE) members and the organization of 2020 National Ass...

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Politics: AMLO sets his sights on the Electoral Authority
MEXICO - Report 25 Nov 2019
In a pattern that has become apparent to most observers of the recent rise of populist regimes and the manner in which they manage to dismantle democratic institutions and entrench themselves in power, during its first year in power the government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has been...

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EL SALVADOR: They still love him – weak economy and all
CENTRAL AMERICA - Report 25 Nov 2019
El Salvador experienced deflation in October, for the third month in a row, while core inflation has remained at virtually zero for the past 12 months. Economic activity continued to gradually slow, as merchandise exports fell, and foreign remittances and lending to the private sector were depres...

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QATAR: Gas reserve/expansion hike is strongly credit positive
GULF COUNTRIES - In Brief 25 Nov 2019
At a press conference in Doha today, the Minister of Energy, Saad al-Kaabi, made the unexpected and dramatic announcement that new appraisals have extended the range of North Field, including onshore. North Field was already scoped as the world's largest and wettest gasfield (with much higher lev...

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Russia tries to increase RUB transactions
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 25 Nov 2019
On November 25 major Russian business newspaper RBK reported that the Ministry of Economic Development is aiming to increase the % of foreign transactions done in RUB from 20% at present to 30% by 2024. In 2019 14% of exports are paid for in RUB and these are mostly to former Soviet countries. 30...

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Despite weak inflation, a strong shekel and soft underlying growth, rates remain on hold
ISRAEL - Report 25 Nov 2019
Despite weak inflation, a strong shekel and soft underlying growth, rates remain on hold. * Headline inflation is running at 0.4% y/y, and core at 0.5% in October. * The shekel has appreciated by 2.3% (against the basket) this month, and remained stable since the last rate decision. * Des...

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Potential convergence of external and domestic risks, steady economic and political deterioration
MEXICO - Presentation 25 Nov 2019
This presentation provides a thorough summary of the political and economic challenges facing Mexico in the medium term. In 2020, economic risks may converge, creating difficult conditions for Mexico. The biggest economic challenges for Mexico in 2020 are US growth and the government reaction fun...

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The government decides to limit NWF spending
RUSSIA ECONOMICS - In Brief 25 Nov 2019 1 response
According to Vedomosti business daily, it seems that the government has finally decided how to use the National Welfare Fund (NWF) next year. The conservative approach has won. There will be no flood of extra spending coming from the NWF. So it’s a win for the Ministry of Finance and CBR if there...