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Rob Minto

Rob Minto is a writer / editor on the FT's emerging markets desk in London. He was previously Head of Interactive, in charge of the multimedia output of He has also been Technology correspondent, as well as a news editor, and joined the FT in 2004.

If recent examples of revolution and politcal transition are anything to go by, Ukraine is in for a nasty shock in terms of economic growth.

Following a year of upheaval, GDP growth rates can weaken by between 4 to 8 percentage points the following year, according to a Capital Economics note on Thursday. Read more

While the focus in Ukraine has turned to government formation, Russia’s response, and chase-the-president, it’s worth keeping an eye on some of the economic charts.

Here’s a run down. Read more

There are so many scenarios playing out in Ukraine right now, that for most observers it is quite bewildering. Who’s in charge? Will the EU/IMF stump up? What will Russia do?

This flow chart from Nomura may help clarify things. Or perhaps it serves to show just how complicated things are getting. Either way, start from the top and work down. SPOILER ALERT: it seems that all options lead to “political uncertainty”. Read more

If Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria’s president, showed his ruthless side by removing central bank governor Lamido Sanusi on Thursday, ostensibly for “financial recklessness” (most observers think it was for blowing the whistle on misplaced oil funds), he showed a cannier side by subsequently nominating Godwin Emefiele (left) of Zenith Bank as the new governor.

Emefiele may be unable to do much in the interim about the fall in the naira, but his reputation for prudent financial management may well prove to be an asset. Read more

Yup, default.

Credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s raised the spectre of Ukraine not paying back its debt in a downgrade early on Friday. With protesters being killed and the country descending further into chaos, the question is now not whether Ukraine will default, but if it can possibly avoid it. Read more

Nigeria’s president Goodluck Jonathan showed his teeth on Thursday, suspended central bank governor Lamido Sanusi with immediate effect, with his spokesman citing “various acts of financial recklessness and misconduct”.

Sanusi, a well-respected central banker internationally, had clashed with the government in recent days over oil subsidies, exposing huge shortfalls in oil revenues. And while the governor was due to leave office later this year, that’s clearly too long for Jonathan to have a government critic running the central bank. Read more

As the country plunges deeper into crisis, you need a strong heart to bet on Ukraine at the moment.

Here’s what investors are requiring in terms of yield to hold Ukrainian bonds and other assets. Read more

Predicting what the Hungarian central bank is going to do is becoming something of a fools game. Last month, the bank cut rates for the 18th time in a row. So far, so predictable – except the bank changed from 20 basis point cuts (as it had used five times previously) to 15bp.

On Tuesday, the bank cut again – a 19th consecutive cut – but confounded most analysts who had predicted that the weakened currency would give the MPC reason to reduce by a smaller margin. No chance – the bank stuck to its new 15bp reduction, dropping rates from 2.85 per cent to 2.7 per cent. Where will it end? Read more

Source: Bloomberg

Who says military rule is bad for stock markets? The EGX30, Egypt’s main stock index, is now over 7,700 – a level not seen since mid-2008.

The index has surpassed the previous post-Lehman high before the removal of president Mubarak, which was just over 7,600 in April 2010. Read more

If the recent recovery in emerging markets has calmed your nerves somewhat, then steel yourself: EM crises are here to stay. That’s according to Joseph Capurso, currency strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

The good news? EM crises don’t always mean a regional or global recession. In fact, they are rather common, and their impact can be limited. So here are the five facts you need to remember in the next EM crisis (which should be rather soon, in fact). Read more

It’s worth remembering when the markets headlines are all doom and gloom: there’s (almost) always someone winning.

It all depends on your position: short sellers are pretty happy when markets fall. Carry traders may be delighted that a particular currency is tanking. And wild swings in the market may well be music to the ears for any investor in a volatility index. Read more

You’ve heard of the fragile five – well here’s the desperate duo: Argentina, and Ukraine.

Very different circumstances, but both countries are jumping at desperate measures to keep their currencies afloat. But meddling in the FX market doesn’t always work. Read more

Indonesian GDP came in higher than expected in Q4, up 5.7 per cent year-on-year in the quarter, above the average forecast of 5.3 per cent, as improving exports reduced the impact of slowing growth in domestic consumption and investment.

The full FT story is here. Beyondbrics presents a rundown of the analysts’ viewpoints (with our emphasis in bold). Read more

Ouch. This isn’t any old deficit – Brazil has just registered its worst month ever, in terms of trade. Imports outweighed exports by $4.06bn in January, despite a weaker real that should, in theory, be giving a boost to exports.

But how bad is it really? Beyondbrics had a quick dig into the numbers. Read more

Source: HSBC / Markit

The monthly temperature-taking of Asian manufacturing, aka the purchasing managers index, is out for some of Asia’s bigger economies – and at first glance, things look good.

China may have seen its HSBC/Markit (in contrast to the official government) index fall below the 50 mark that separates contraction from expansion, but India, Indonesia and South Korea all look in good shape.

Or do they? Read more