This year, the Christmas tale from beyondbrics takes us to the up-and-coming area of Brics-ton, where Roussolph the Brazilian reindeer has been unceremoniously dumped from Santa Capital’s portfolio.

Read on… Read more

Nobody thanks China, as one FT journalist found when he asked US shoppers whether they were grateful for cheap electrical goods. But BMW shareholders should make an exception. They will receive a record dividend this year, after the German carmaker’s profits benefited from – you guessed it – emerging Asian demand.

The number of BMWs sold in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan rose a whopping 86 per cent last year to 183,000. That means, over the last five years, nearly half a million BMWs have been sold in those markets – two for every three high-net worth individuals (HNWIs) there. Read more

Russian stocks fell on Monday, following China’s decision to raise interest rates. Data released earlier in the day showed Russia’s manufacturing industry is expanding at its fastest rate since March 2008. The Purchasing Managers’ Index, produced by HSBC and Markit Economics, registered 53.5 in December, where scores above 50 represents expansion. Read more

Chinese stocks fell nearly 2 per cent on Monday, after Saturday’s interest rate rise raised concerns of further tightening. The Shanghai Composite had gained earlier in the day, with analysts suggesting that lower liquidity had already been priced into the stocks, and that efforts to tackle inflation were welcome. Other Asian stock indices were broadly positive. Read more

Happy holidays from all of us at beyondbrics. Next week we’re running a series of guest posts on emerging markets in 2011, before returning to full service on January 4. In the meantime, here’s our contribution to the festive spirit:

After another triumphant year, China invites the global glitterati around for a Christmas party. The guests arrive, and Chinese prime minister Wen Jiabao calls them to attention.

Ladies and gentlemen, I see you’ve all brought stockings. The problem is that we Chinese have already given you so much over the years: gunpowder, pandas, a visionary economic model…
a stray boat captain
…the threat of invasion… Read more

Turkish stocks gained on Thursday, on a quiet day of trading in central and eastern Europe. In Budapest, OTP Bank fell 1.7 per cent, and the forint hit a one-week low against the euro, after Hungary’s credit rating was cut by Fitch. “The reversal of pension reforms and lack of a coherent medium-term fiscal strategy undermines confidence in the long-term sustainability of the public finances,” the rating agency said, which now rates Hungary the lowest investment grade. Read more

Asian stocks fell on Thursday, after China said it would seek to cool the property market with measures including the increased scrutiny of foreign companies’ purchases. Taiwanese and Philippine markets did rise, ahead of strong economic data, while South Korea’s SK Energy returned to a three-year high, after announcing it had sold Brazilian oil assets for $2.4bn.

Standard&Poor’s cut Vietnam’s long-term foreign-currency rating to three notches below investment grade; Moody’s made a similar downgrade last weekRead more

CEE markets largely rose on Wednesday, with Russia’s Micex extending its two year-high. Policy decisions yielded few surprises, with both Poland and the Czech Republic holding interest rates at record lows, while Romania’s parliament approved a budget intended to satisfy the conditions of an IMF loan. The Russian rouble rose to a 12-week high against its euro-dollar basket, helped by impending tax payments. Read more

Asian stocks slipped on Wednesday, after rallying in the previous session. In Mumbai, steelmaker Ispat gained almost 12 per cent, after JSW Steel bought a near-majority stake in the company for $476m, precipating an open offer for up to 20 per cent of the remaining shares. The deal, the biggest by an Indian steelmaker in over three years, will make JSW the country’s biggest player in the industry. With the holiday season approaching, trading volumes were around half their 90-day averages in most markets. Read more

Turkish stocks led gains in central and eastern Europe on Tuesday, with trading cheered by improved global sentiment. Russia’s Micex rose 0.6 per cent, approaching a two-year high.

Hungary said it will frontload its bond issues to the first half of 2011. The Czech government survived a no-confidence vote. Read more

Bored of using the same adjectives to describe the rise of emerging markets? Money-trackers Dealogic have provided some statistical shock-and-awe to back up those superlatives – publishing their reports on the year’s buy-outs, share sales and debt issues.

Here are the most eye-catching points: Read more

Few doubt the energy of Indians and their businesses. Can the country’s power supply gear up fast enough to support them? The good news is that a few hundred million of US dollars in foreign investment have just flowed into the energy sector. Unfortunately, that’s just one-thousandth of the figure that the government thinks is needed over the next five years.

GVK Energy, the power-focused branch of Krishna Reddy’s infrastructure group, announced earlier this month that it was selling a 21 per cent stake to UK private equity investors 3i for $177m. Now two more private equity players – Actis, and an arm of Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC – have signed into the same deal, taking the total investment to $331m. Read more

Turkish stocks fell again on Friday, after the central bank announced a widely-expected increase in bank reserve requirements. However, with German business confidence reaching its highest level since reunification, and Poland’s industrial output accelerating, Russian and Polish stocks rose.

In Moscow, fertiliser company Uralkali underperformed, after billionaire Suleiman Kerimov outlined a plan to merge the company with domestic counterpart Silvinit, in a move that would create the world’s second-biggest potash producer. Read more

Asian stocks saw only small changes on Friday, with South Korea’s Kospi returning to a three-year high, while Taiwan’s Taiex extended its two-year peak. India’s markets were closed.

In the Philippines, Cebu Air – the country’s biggest budget airline – fell 25 per cent in early trading, after a trader accidentally sold at 82 pesos. It closed back up at 106 pesos, down 3.7 per cent for the day. The stock remains 20 per cent below its debut closing price in late October, leading the airline’s president to call it “severely undervalued”. Read more

For the global economy, Christmas parties came early this year: stimulus spending boosted growth to possibly unsustainable rates. Next year, a mild hangover is likely to kick in – with slower growth in much of the world, including China, India and Brazil.

Yet, for those in need of some more festive cheer, there are three regions that are forecast to see faster growth in 2011: the Middle East and North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, and Russia and central Asia. All three will average at least 4.6 per cent growth, according to the IMF, overtaking Latin America as the world’s most dynamic regions after Developing Asia. Why are they accelerating? The common thread is oil. Read more

Turkish stocks fell on Thursday, ahead of an expected decision by the central bank to cut interest rates. Other indices also fell, but Russian potash miner Uralkali rose over 4 per cent, putting it up 27 per cent so far this month, on reports that it is close to sealing a deal for its largest domestic counterpart Silvinit. Bloomberg reported that the purchase has got government approval.

In Hungary, mortgage lender FHB hit a fifteen-month low, after the European Commission said it will investigate whether state support for the company’s 2009 restructuring breached EU rules. Read more

Turkish stocks jumped 2.5 per cent on Monday after the central bank hinted at an interest rate cut to stem capital inflows. With global sentiment cheered by the absence of a Chinese rate hike, markets in Russia, Poland and the Czech Republic also rose. However, Hungarian stocks fell after Magyar Telekom lowered its planned dividend.

Poland’s current account deficit was €1.4bn ($1.9bn) in October, surpassing $1bn euro for a fourth consecutive month. “The data confirms that we’re having an economic rebound which has already started to translate into external imbalances,” said Adam Antoniak of Bank BPH. Read more

Markets interpreted no news as good news on Monday, with the Shanghai Composite rising nearly 3 per cent after a rise in Chinese interest rates – rumoured for the weekend – failed to materialise. Indian stocks were also up, with JSW Steel, the country’s second-biggest private-sector steelmaker, gaining over 8 per cent after Goldman Sachs recommended buying the stock.

With continued concerns over inflation and excess lending, a narrow majority of analysts surveyed by Reuters said that China was likely to raise rates before the end of the year. “Any reluctance to avoid using more potent policy tools [than increased reserve requirements for banks] looks increasingly untenable given the speed with which price pressures are building,” commented RBC’s Brian Jackson. Read more

General Electric is paying $1.3bn for British pipeline-builder Wellstream, in a move to increase its exposure to Brazil’s oil industry. GE’s oil and gas arm already works alongside Brazil’s state-controlled giant Petrobras, the company that provides much of Wellstream’s revenues; now it can access Wellstream’s know-how and contracts, for a price moderately below what Wellstream was demanding.

The full FT story is here. But for investors, the deal holds three important lessons. Read more

An Asian bond yielding 7 per cent would be the Christmas present that keeps on giving. And, according to Morgan Stanley, the best debt that Santa Claus can bring are bonds issued by banks themselves.

That conclusion is based on two big assumptions (beyond the macro view that the global recovery will hold and any sovereign debt crises will be contained). First, that the debt of Asian lenders is mispriced compared to other corporates, given that the region’s financial system faces better circumstances and less regulatory risk than the west’s. Second, that Asian non-financials do not want to take on debt right now so aren’t competing for investors. Read more