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Politics: The geography of political violence
MEXICO - Report 15 Feb 2021
In the second installment of our analysis of how security conditions have evolved in the past three years and what we can expect from those trends in this crucial election year, we are turning our attention to the specific dynamics of politically related criminal violence at a time when the abili...

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Foreign investors were the dominant force in the FX market in 2020
ISRAEL - Report 15 Feb 2021
1. The main sector impacting the shekel in 2020 was “non-residents” (foreign investors), while the Israel private sector had little net impact. 2. The trade deficit expanded in January due to weak exports and strong import growth. 3. We expect inflation in January to reach -0.3% m/m an...

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Foreign investors were the dominant force in the FX market in 2020
ISRAEL - In Brief 14 Feb 2021
Highlights of the weekly macro report:In 2020, FX activity by foreigners was the main factor strengthening the shekel In 2020, foreigners (non-residents) sold 21bn USD in the FX market. The BoI purchased 21.5 bn USD in order to slow shekel appreciation. Israel savings institutions sold 10.2bn FX ...

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Playing for time?
TURKEY - Report 14 Feb 2021
There are no new developments on the S-400s front, which we predict will soon become the hottest issue in Turkish politics. President Erdogan is desperate to have an audience with Biden to market at home, but the White House is not biting. In the coming days, we expect more antics from the Erdoga...

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Lavrov: Russia is willing to sever ties with the EU
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 14 Feb 2021
On February 11 the Russian Foreign Minister said that if the EU introduces more sanctions then Moscow is prepared to reduce links with the EU. The EU will hold a meeting on February 22 to consider additional sanctions on Russia, such as travel, bank and asset freezes on Putin's coterie. The reaso...

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The IMF mission ends with "no result"
UKRAINE - In Brief 13 Feb 2021
The IMF virtual mission finished its work, reported the head of the IMF office in Ukraine Goesta Ljungman, according to Interfax Ukraine news agency. Predictably, no staff level agreement was reached. “The discussion was productive; however, more progress is needed towards completing the first re...

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Rosneft profits down 80% YoY
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 13 Feb 2021
On February 12 Rosneft announced a huge fall in 2020 profits. That is due to the drop in crude prices. The profit was USD 2 billion. Dividend payments are being made nonetheless. BP has a 19.8% stake in Rosneft. Shell and BP declared losses in 2020.In Q3 2020 Rosneft suffered a loss of USD 870 mi...

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Good news on credit ratings, less so on inflation
HUNGARY - In Brief 12 Feb 2021
Both S&P and Fitch Ratings have announced the affirmation of their BBB/Stable ratings on Hungary's long-term sovereign debt today. Both agencies expect a forceful bounce-back of the economy, with 4.6-4.9% recovery of real GDP, this year.CPI-inflation remained unchanged at 2.7% yoy in January. Thi...

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Belarus convenes a People's Assembly
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 12 Feb 2021
On February 11 Lukashenka declared that a People's Assembly shall be summoned. Its task will be to discuss development until 2026 and to propose constitutional amendments. The Assembly is effectively composed of people selected for their loyalty to the president. Lukashanka called the protests ag...

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We extend our inflation outlook to 2022 (1,600%)
VENEZUELA - Report 12 Feb 2021
We have extended our outlook for inflation, exchange rates, and dollar purchasing power to 2022. In our central scenario, inflation slows to 2,200 percent this year and 1,600 percent next year from 2,500 percent in 2020. We continue to forecast under one central and two alternative scenarios. ...

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GULF WEEKLY: Qatar commissions LNG expansion, Saudi activist freed, Khamenei digs in heels
GULF COUNTRIES - Report 12 Feb 2021
A skimmable summary of key developments, overlaid with our analysis and links to further information. Headlines include: * Khamenei and Biden reasserted “you first” positions, and Iran produced uranium metal. * Biden will reverse the terrorism designation of the Houthis in Yemen, although the...

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President Ramaphosa’s 2021 State of the Nation Address offers a mixed scorecard
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 12 Feb 2021
President Cyril Ramaphosa opened this year’s Parliament and delivered the 2021 State of the Nation Address (SONA) under an undoubtedly reshaped global and domestic economic environment. Usually a glamorous and expensive affair, the opening of Parliament in 2021 was scaled down to 30 Members of Pa...

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Rising inflation: King Canute´s new tide
ARGENTINA - Report 12 Feb 2021
The government’s attempt to stop inflation with price controls, export regulations and wage agreements, while simultaneously financing the fiscal deficit with expanding monetary aggregates and rising BCRA debt, reminds us of the legend of King Canute and his futile order to the sea, to stop the r...

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Russian family savings increase twofold in 12 months
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 12 Feb 2021
Data released by Rosstat on February 10 showed that savings are up dramatically despite incomes going down. Russian household savings are now USD 70 billion. People have saved more because they cannot spend on travel and entertainment as much. Working from home also helped. Household consumption ...

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Fitch downgraded key Panamanian banks following the Republic's recent assessment and negative valuation of the financial Operating Environment
PANAMA - In Brief 11 Feb 2021
As the result of the February 3 downgrade of Panama's Sovereign risk by Fitch Ratings from BBB to BBB-, the agency downgraded yesterday five important Panamanian banks - including the state-owned Banco Nacional de Panama (BNP). Banco General, the largest private bank in the country, dropped two n...