Tomorrow's Monetary Council: Cautious optimism, no measure likely
HUNGARY · In Brief · 26 Aug 2019

The August rate-setting meeting of the Monetary Council is scheduled for tomorrow. Essentially, there are no analysts on the market who would expect any change of the base rate for now or indeed for the rest of 2019. Actually, no interest rate measure of any kind is expected for the rest of the y...

Politics: New cracks in the governing coalition
MEXICO · Report · 26 Aug 2019

It was just a matter of time before the ideologically and socially heterogeneous coalition held together by nothing aside from Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s leadership and political coattails would begin to feel the strain once in power, especially when it came time to concretize public policies ...

Interventions in the foreign exchange market
BRAZIL ECONOMICS · Report · 26 Aug 2019 · 2 responses

The Central Bank can intervene in the foreign exchange market by either buying and selling dollars in the spot market or through currency swap transactions. In all cases, these interventions have the aim of reducing the volatility of the real, not actions that prevent the exchange rate from chang...

BoI expected to move to a more dovish forward guidance
ISRAEL · Report · 26 Aug 2019

Recent economic indicators released last week point to steady growth: The BoI Composite index increased by 0.19% m/m in July, export services increased by 9.8% saar in Q2 2019, and total revenues of the economy increased by 4.1% saar in Q2. We expect a rate-hold decision on Wednesday, with a ...

Uzbek currency to float freely
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS · In Brief · 26 Aug 2019

On August 20 it was announced that the Uzbek currency (the UZS (pronounced 'Som')) will float freely. Up until now the Uzbek Government had a cap on the currency's daily fluctuations and the government limited a citizen's right to buy other currencies. This is part of the government's liberalizat...

President of Turkmenistan disproves rumors of death
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS · In Brief · 26 Aug 2019

After weeks of speculation that he is dead the President of Turkmenistan has made some public appearances. Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov hosted a conference in Turkmenistan on August 12. The Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was among those who attended. Berdymukhamedov appeared only slightly d...

​Gulf weekly: Kuwait's emir has a health scare
GULF COUNTRIES · Report · 25 Aug 2019

The Gulf has begun to wake up from the long summer and Eid holidays. Notable policy developments over the last week included an extension of customs duties in the UAE (a move other Gulf states are likely to emulate) and further moves towards the Aramco IPO. Tension with Iran and in Yemen continue...

Government evaluation
BRAZIL POLITICS · Report · 23 Aug 2019

VEJA/FSB Survey: Divided electorate and Bolsonaro's favoritism in 2022 The poll conducted by the FSB institute and published in Veja magazine shows that voters are divided over Jair Bolsonaro's government. While 48% of respondents disapprove of his governing style, 44% support it.

Tighter Iran sanctions should boost oil prices in 2020
GULF COUNTRIES · Forecast · 23 Aug 2019

Iran sanctions will take 1m b/d off the market in 2020 and its response will increase the geopolitical risk premium. The combination of these factors should boost oil prices to an average of $65-70 in 2020. This is a slightly out-of-consensus view, as most forecasters see prices as flat or fallin...

What can China lose in Hong Kong?
CHINA ADVISORY · Report · 23 Aug 2019

How important is Hong Kong to China? What will happen -- if and when the protests end -- to the “special” relationship in the financial sector between Hong Kong and the mainland? The argument is often made that China cannot afford to disrupt Hong Kong due to the important role it plays in providi...

South Africa is unlikely to need IMF funding – for now
SOUTH AFRICA · Report · 23 Aug 2019

There has been much speculations and political angst recently about whether or not South Africa will need to approach the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for financial assistance. This has come about due to South Africa’s mounting fiscal pressures, which in turn are mostly the result of the cou...

US oil imports from Russia highest since 2013
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS · In Brief · 22 Aug 2019

The US Energy Information Administration stated on August 20 that US oil and petroleum imports are the highest since 2013. The US bought almost 62 million barrels of crude or petroleum from Russia from January to May 2019. This is almost a 10% increase on the equivalent period in 2018. Russian oi...

Baselessly labeled a “Currency Manipulator”
CHINA · Report · 22 Aug 2019

Growth slowed in July. Industrial output was up 4.8% y/y, down 0.4 pps from both April and May, falling to a record low rate. The main causes were low investment and consumption, sentiment mostly driven by “trade war.” Investment was up 5.1% y/y, down 0.4 pps from Q2, and down 2.4 pps from Q4 201...

The President signs into law the new credit bill, pushing for consumer debt write-off
SOUTH AFRICA · Report · 21 Aug 2019

South African consumers have been hard hit by the effects of the country’s current tough economic environment, which is compounded by increasing living costs and rising unemployment. This has not only resulted in increasing total consumer debt, but has also led to total savings' being negatively ...

Essential CIS Politics: August 2019
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS · Report · 21 Aug 2019

More US sanctions on Russia are unlikely to have much impact. Large-scale demonstrations surprise Russia but peter out. The conflict in eastern Ukraine is largely calming down. Atambaev, the former President of Kyrgyzstan, has been arrested after violent clashes around his home.