Daily Archives: Jun 20, 2012

So much for that upgrade. MSCI on Wednesday held fire on South Korea and Taiwan, deciding not to upgrade them from emerging to developed market status in its annual review of country classifications.

But perhaps the bigger shocker (or not depending on your point of view) is news that Greece is being added to MSCI’s review list for potential reclassification from developed to EM status. Talk about a kick in the teeth. Read more

Costa Rica is the happiest country in the world and also the least corrupt in Latin America, according to two new surveys.

Venezuela is also one of the happiest but ranks as being one of the most corrupt. Surprised? So is beyondbrics. Read more

By Briony Mathieson of Olam

Forests and their contribution to mitigating climate change are an important issue in the context of sustainable development at Rio+20, whose themes include how to build an institutional framework for sustainable development. Read more

India’s competition watchdog is expected to fine some of the country’s biggest cement manufacturers for price collusion, in a move likely to dampen the industry’s recent profit-making spree.

The  Competition Commission of India (CCI) is expected to announce on Thursday a collective penalty of $536m on 11 companies for restricting production and inflating prices. If confirmed, it will be the largest penalty ever imposed on companies by the commission. Bad news for the shareholders but good news for the construction industry. Read more

That’s one step in the right direction. Turkey’s upgrade by Moody’s gives the country a rating that is more in line with market prices.

But overall, sovereign debt ratings and prices of credit default swaps, for example, are increasingly out of whack. That’s the conclusion of Nomura analyst Olgay Buyukkayali in a note entitled The Great Rating ConundrumRead more

Could Codelco and Anglo American yet kiss and make up in their bitter row over some of Anglo’s copper assets in Chile? If the rumour mill is to be believed – just maybe. Read more

Hungarian diplomatic successes are rather scarce on the ground these days – Budapest has contrived to upset neighbours to east and west of late.

But Tuesday’s announcement that Hungarian air traffic control (ATC) is to direct the upper air space of Kosovo appears a genuine achievement, even if the Magyar Nemzet headline “We occupy Kosovo airspace” might appear a little triumphalist. Read more

How to handle the slowdown in emerging markets? Procter & Gamble gave its answer on Wednesday: focus on the top 10, keep an eye on the rest and don’t go making any investments in new countries.

In a speech-cum-profits-warning Bob McDonald, chairman and chief executive, did not identify the priority EMs. But here is an educated guess from beyondbrics: Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, Nigeria, Poland, Turkey, Mexico and Indonesia. Read more

Some investors in the Saudi stock market breathed sigh of relief on Wednesday after the Capital Markets Authority lifted a suspension of trading on Saudi Integrated Telecom Company, known in Arabic as AlMutakamela.

The telecoms operator has been at the center of Riyadh market gossip for the past few months as bankers tried to piece together exactly why trading in its shares was halted on April 1, less than a year after its initial public offering. Read more

Africa is on the forefront of the battle between sustainable and unsustainable development, the FT writes in a special report on Wednesday. For its own sake, it should help the “green economy” side win.  Read more

Good news for the South African consumer, perhaps, and a surprise for analysts: inflation appears to be falling more quickly than expected. Data released on Wednesday show that consumer price inflation fell to 5.7 per cent a year in May from 6.1 per cent in April. Bloomberg’s consensus forecast was 5.9 per cent.

The faster than expected dip will fuel debate about whether the South African Reserve Bank will look to cut interest rates. Read more

Resilience. That’s what Moody’s Investors Service both sees and wants in the Turkish economy. And it’s the reason why, the ratings agency says, it has given Turkish sovereign debt an upgrade, to just a notch below investment grade.

And while Standard and Poor’s and Fitch describe the outlook for Turkish debt as “stable”, meaning that they don’t expect the country to attain investment grade in the next year or so, Moody’s says the outlook is positive. Read more

Is South Korea about to progress from emerging market status? It’s been on the cards for a while but Wednesday may be the day when MSCI moves the country from its EM index to the developed country list.

There are still some question marks over foreign exchange and stock market data, but ifs and buts aside, what would it mean for Korea? Read more

Fiddle away, Delhi, while the Indian economy burns. Just don’t expect the Reserve Bank of India to play fireman anymore.

If the RBI’s decision on Monday not to cut interest rates wasn’t indication enough that the bank is focused on fighting inflation even as GDP growth dwindles, the RBI’s governor made his priorities clear in a speech on Tuesday. Read more

* G20 bid to cut cost of euro borrowing

* Mubarak ‘on life support’ in hospital

* Turkey Upgraded To Level Below Investment Grade By Moody’s

* Iran nuclear talks close to collapse Read more

Well, this doesn’t bode well.

On Wednesday, the Business Standard reported advance tax payments for the top 100 Indian companies for the current quarter had grown just 5.33 per cent over last year, compared with a 34.16 per cent increase during the same period last year. For the corporate sector as a whole, growth fell to 4.9 per cent, compared to 18 per cent during the same period last year. Read more

South Korea has a developed economy in many respects but its cab fares are still comparable to China, not Japan. Perhaps that may change after a rare one-day strike by more than 200,000 taxi drivers demanding higher fares and cheaper fuel.

Nearly four fifths of the country’s licensed cabbies took part in Wednesday’s strike, demanding the government raise their starting fare of Won2,400 ($2) and cut prices of LPG on which most taxis run. Read more

Wednesday’s picks from the BB team: the Rio+20 conference, a last chance to save the rainforest? Mongolia’s many millionaires; and Gupta’s lesson for India’s business. Plus, no one is listening to Putin anymore, and have Brazil and China stopped being “developing” countries? Read more

Here’s another reminder that this is the Asian century. There are now more millionaires there than in North America, according to the latest World Wealth Report.

Given the size of China’s population and a 9.2 per cent growth in GDP last year, it is not surprising that many of the 3.4m Asian millionaires are found there. The number of people in China with more than $1m for investment rose 5.2 per cent from 2010 to 562,400 last year, according to the survey by CapGemini and RBC Wealth Management. Read more

Financial centres around the world falling over themselves for a piece of the rapidly growing market for dim sum bonds – renminbi currency bonds sold outside the Chinese mainland. Robin Wigglesworth looks at how London has positioned itself near the top of the queue.