The people of Venezuela have been asked to pray for the life of President Hugo Chávez after Nicolas Maduro, vice president, revealed that the socialist leader was suffering fresh complications after undergoing cancer surgery in Cuba on December 11.
A New Year’s concert planned for Monday evening was cancelled by the government as speculation about Chávez’s health reached boiling point. “If you are happy with Chávez’s state of health, you are not my adversary, you are my enemy” was one typical comment on Twitter.
If 2012 for emerging markets could be summed up in a few words, they would probably be “the search for yield”.
That was a change from 2011, when the keynote was “the flight to safety”: market panic drove investors away from risky EM assets and into the safest possible developed market ones. But in 2012, as growth in developed economies continued to stagnate and real yields on some AAA sovereign debt turned negative, investors started looking further afield. With healthier public balance sheets and fast growing economies behind them, EM government bonds saw a surge of inflows.
After charts of the year and guest posts of the year, here is a list of the 15 most clicked on beyondbrics posts of 2012.
In reverse order…
By Jin-Yong Cai of the International Finance Corporation
Four years after the global financial crisis struck, the world still faces major economic challenges. Shocks from Europe, Asia or the US could undermine recoveries in many developing countries, hurting the poor the most.
* China’s economy ends year on high note
* Egypt’s Mursi sees pound stabilising “within days”
* Emerging stocks climb for sixth day on China output
* Chinese a step closer to Africa mine deal
The last day of the year seems rather late to be revising your forecasts for 2012 – but that is what economists surveyed by Brazil’s central bank have done. And it’s a dismal way to ring out the old and ring in the new: economic growth in 2012 was less than 1 per cent, they reckon.
Monday’s picks from the beyonbrics team: China’s economy ends the year on a high; Dubai has gone from bust to boom and wants you to know it; the growth of the Chinese and Indian middle classes presents massive opportunities for agricultural investors; the last line of defence for the Egyptian pound; and what’s Huawei up to in Iran?
A year in charts, as selected by you, the beyondbrics readers. The themes of the year are India, China, GDP and, above all, oil.
* Asian stocks slip
* China’s economy ends year on high note
* South Korean inflation slows despite recovery
* Peru raising reserve requirements
* Bolivia awards oil and gas concessions
* UAE to limit expat mortgages
* Hostages rescued after Brazil factory heist
* South Korea parliament to approve budget
* Piramal in talks for TPG’s Shriram stake
Lots of PMI indicators to kick off 2013, as well as Brazil and South Africa trade data; plus the WTO chief shortlist is announced. See the full list after the break.
Miss anything? Here’s the week in emerging markets as seen on beyondbrics, featuring our top stories, a few things we have learnt, and the week in a chart – this week, the Egyptian pound.
Welcome to the new hub
Start-up airlines have revolutionised air travel in Ghana over the past 18 months. Fares on domestic routes have fallen by up to 75 per cent. Passenger numbers on the main route from the capital Accra to the second city Kumasi have increased fivefold.
Now, two of the new domestic carriers are hoping to spread their wings throughout west Africa, where economies are growing fast but the aviation networks remain so poor that some experts call it “the last frontier” of air travel.
The Chinese government announced on Friday new laws which will require every internet user in China to register with service providers using their full name.
China already expends a great deal of effort restricting what its citizens can and cannot see while browsing online, but despite blocks on foreign websites and close monitoring of online activity, many websites, and in particular social media sites, have posed challenges to the authorities.
At first glance, Friday’s stock market launch of Czerwona Torebka – a Polish shopping centre operator – was good news, with the stock jumping by more than 50 per cent on the Warsaw Stock Exchange.
But a closer looks reveals a more troubling story which shows some of the problems that have been besetting the WSE this year.
Given the importance of manufactured exports to the Turkish economy and long term worries over the country’s trade imbalance and current account deficit, Turkey’s November trade figures released on Friday could be considered to be a something of a success.
After all a 24.8 per cent increase in exports and a 5.5 per cent narrowing of the trade gap from would be a welcome result for any European economy. For Turkey however, the devil is very much in the detail, with a number of seasonal and other factors making the rise in exports (from $11.08bn to $13.83bn) and the fall in the trade gap (from 7.57bn to $7.16bn) look more favourable than normal.