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By Tassos Stassopoulos, Alliance Bernstein

Rapidly ageing societies in developing countries represent important markets for consumer companies. However, it should be understood that vast cohorts of elderly people heading into the sunny uplands of their lives does not necessarily imply a bright future for investors.

It’s easy to overlook the ageing trend in emerging markets. Countries like India and China are home to the world’s youngest populations in terms of size. Yet as birth rates decline and healthcare improves, older people will constitute a growing percentage of the population. In the top 12 emerging markets, the over-65 demographic is growing at an annual rate of approximately 3.7 per cent (see chart) — nearly double the rate in developed countries. Continue reading »

** FT News **

* Warning over Isis cyber threat | David De Walt, head of the technology security company FireEye, says terrorist groups are hoarding malicious software from underground markets

* Arrests signal new order in Russia | Charges against tycoon spur speculation of a shift in a Moscow rattled by tensions over Ukraine and the effect of western sanctions Continue reading »

** FT News **

* Somalia tackles donors’ corruption concerns | Somalia is cancelling or renegotiating contracts ranging from oil exploration to port operations over concerns about government corruption

* Arrests signal new order in Russia | Charges against tycoon spur speculation of a shift in a Moscow rattled by tensions over Ukraine and the effect of western sanctions Continue reading »

After taking a battering from Brazil’s president Dilma Rousseff in her effort to win back a lead in the polls, rival candidate Marina Silva has responded with an emotional advertisement calculated to win over low-income voters.

Emerging market stocks are suffering their longest slide in a decade. James Kynge, emerging markets editor, discusses with capital markets correspondent Elaine Moore the factors behind the falling popularity of EM assets and whether an end is in sight.

** FT News **

* China central bank in $81bn injection | The move is the latest attempt by the authorities to prop up flagging growth and is seen by many as a response to the economy slowing last month

* Yevtushenkov placed under house arrest | Russian oligarch, the chairman and largest holder of conglomerate AFK Sistema, held on money laundering charges relating to acquisition of Bashneft Continue reading »

** FT News **

* PBoC injects $81bn into banking system | China’s central bank has injected Rmb500bn into the banking system, according to local media reports, in the latest attempt by the authorities to prop up flagging growth

* US hints at ground troops for Isis fight | General Martin Dempsey says some of the 1,600 US military members already in Iraq could be asked to accompany Iraqi soldiers in attacks Continue reading »

The latest UN annual report on hunger and food security is a sobering reminder of the challenges that Africa faces in spite of a recent improvement in economic growth and governance.

The State of Food Insecurity in the World, published by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Food Programme, says that the reduction in global hunger continued with numbers of undernourished people falling from 840m in 2008-2010 to 805m in 2012-2014. Continue reading »

Is this month’s bear run in EM equities merely a correction or the start of something big? As fast FT reports, the FTSE Emerging Market index is heading for its longest sustained losing streak since September 2001.

Anyone looking for signs of a structural shift will be interested in the chart below from Fitch Ratings, showing an improvement in both ratings and outlooks in the developed world that is the opposite of a strongly negative trend in EM this year. Continue reading »

** FT News **

* Alibaba lifts IPO range to $66-$68 | If priced at the top of the range the company could raise $21.8bn, or as much as $24.3bn if bankers exercise their right for an over allotment of shares

* Russia’s challenge to an oil-hungry world | Consumers must be encouraged to use oil more thriftily – either through higher taxes or regulations enforcing fuel efficiency Continue reading »

** FT News **

* Alibaba lifts IPO range to $66-$68 | If priced at the top of the range the company could raise $21.8bn, or as much as $24.3bn if bankers exercise their right for an overallotment of shares

* Asia bourses await Fed policy update | Trading across the region was downbeat as investors awaited key events later this week, including a monetary policy update from the US Federal Reserve Continue reading »

By David Clark of the Russia Foundation

The tide of global democratic change, which at the start of the new millennium looked like an unstoppable force of nature, has been turned back over the last decade. How serious and prolonged this reversal turns out to be is open to question. What cannot be doubted is the direction of travel. In its most recent annual survey, the respected think tank Freedom House recorded a net decline in world freedom for the eighth year in a row. While political rights and civil liberties improved in 40 countries, they deteriorated in 54. Continue reading »

** FT News **

* Former BP chief warns on Russia | Restrictions imposed by the US and EU risk constraining global oil supply and pushing up prices in the coming years, says Tony Hayward

* China industrial output data hit markets | Stocks fall after Chinese data show slowing factory output, as markets also look ahead to Fed meeting and Scottish independence referendum Continue reading »

Emerging markets are heading for their longest uninterrupted slide in almost two years, as Chinese growth concerns add to fears over the impact of the US dollar’s resurgence and the possibility of US interest rate hikes on the horizon, fast FT reports.

The FTSE Emerging Index of developing stock markets has fallen another 0.7 per cent today, its eighth consecutive day of declines and the longest losing streak since November 2012. Not even in the depths of the global financial crisis did the gauge fall for eight straight days.

Source: FTSE

 Continue reading »

** FT News **

* Asian entrepreneurs race to US and Europe | Barclays Wealth survey finds that those who made their money in booming economies hope to move to the West for stability and better business prospects

* Former BP chief warns on Russia | Restrictions imposed by the US and EU risk constraining global oil supply and pushing up prices in the coming years, says Tony Hayward Continue reading »