12 for 2012

Beyondbrics has just finished a series of opinion pieces, 12 for 2012, exploring some of the key themes for the year. Here’s a quick tour: Read more

This is the last in our series of guest posts – 12 for 2012 – looking at issues facing emerging markets in the new year.

By Chris Garman and Robert Johnston of Eurasia Group

After a spike driven by Middle East politics throughout most of 2011,  oil prices softened as the year came to an end.  Should this trend continue into 2012, several major oil-exporting countries that have gone on spending binges since the 2008/09 crisis will be put into a more vulnerable fiscal position. Read more

This is the penultimate guest post in our series 12 for 2012 on key emerging market topics for the new year.

By Rajeev Malik of CLSA

Under the pretext of helping the common person, India’s politicians are sucking life out of this vibrant economy.

India could soon lose its status of being the second-fastest growing Asian economy, thanks mainly to the self-inflicted wounds caused by the short-sighted bickering of her politicians. Read more

This is the 10th in a series - 12 for 2012 – on key emerging market topics for the new year.

By Jorge Zepeda Patterson

After losing power in 2000 there is a very real possibility that Mexico’s Institutional Revolutionary Party, the PRI, will return to the presidency in 2012’s elections. Opinion polls suggest that Enrique Peña Nieto, the candidate of the “old party”, commands a 20-point lead over his rivals and, with a little more than six months to go, there is no sign yet that his opponents are closing the gap.

Against that backdrop, the question on everyone’s minds is whether a return of the PRI would mean going back to the old regime following 12 years of a fragile and defective democracy. It is an important question – not least because the PRI has changed very little or not at all. Read more

This post is the ninth of a series – 12 for 2012 – that beyondbrics is running on key emerging markets topics for the new year.

By Michael Landesmann of the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies

Until quite recently the picture which forecasters painted of the likely business cycle dynamic in central and eastern Europe (CEE) was the following: 2009 saw a deep decline in economic activity; 2010 was in many countries an export-led recovery; in 2011 there was some shift towards domestic demand components (consumption, investment); and for 2012 one expected the recovery would remain relatively steady.

Those expectations have been substantially revised downwards over recent months and most forecasters now warn that the down-side risks are higher than the up-side risks. Read more

This post is the eighth of a series – 12 for 2012 – that beyondbrics is running on key emerging markets topics for the new year.

By David Gardner

A year that began fizzing with hope and pent-up yearning for change across despot-infested Arab lands ended on a note of foreboding.

Tahrir Square, a thrilling emblem of heroism across the world, is being reshaped into a snapshot of thuggery by generals long past their sell-by date. Syria is mired in a vicious stalemate. The triumph of Islamism at the polls has set nerves jangling in the west and in pockets of the Middle East. Ponderous metaphors proliferate about spring turning into winter. Read more

This post is the seventh of a series – 12 for 2012 – that beyondbrics is running on key emerging markets topics for the new year.

By Stanislaw Gomulka, chief economist at the Business Centre Club

The sharp declines in emerging currencies have generated bad headlines with fund managers complaining about the losses imposed on their emerging market investments. But currency depreciation will bring benefits next year, as these countries adjust to the coming global slow down, in the form of boosting export competitiveness. In Poland this is already happening. Read more

This post is the sixth of a series – 12 for 2012 – that beyondbrics is running on key emerging markets topics for the coming year.

By Milan Zavadjil of the International Monetary Fund

Despite the escalation of the eurozone crisis and gloomy global prospects, confidence remains high in Indonesia that strong growth can be sustained. But how is the country really positioned should the world economy face a downturn? Read more

This post is the fifth of a series – 12 for 2012 – that beyondbrics is running on key emerging markets topics for the coming year.

By Marcos Troyjo of Columbia University

As the third quarter of 2011 brought a pause to Brazil’s recent long stretch of growth, many have been asking: is this a temporary contraction or is Brazil facing a more troubling halt, in line with its historical pattern of boom and bust?

More than anything, Brazil’s slowdown is a sign that caution vis-à-vis the eurozone crisis is felt in all quarters. The country is taking a breather but it will continue its domestic, market-led growth. Given the reasons why Brazil is growing, however, this may not leave much to celebrate in the future. Read more

This post is the fourth of a series – 12 for 2012 – that beyondbrics is running on key emerging markets topics for the coming year.

By Dong Tao of Credit Suisse

I do not expect a hard landing in China. Despite a slowdown in exports and weaker fixed asset investment, private consumption is holding up too well at the moment for that to happen, because of salary increases, tax cuts and continued urbanisation.

But I do believe that China is going to grow more slowly than before – and for a longer period than was previously expected. Read more

This post is the third of a series – 12 for 2012 – that beyondbrics is running on key emerging markets topics for the coming year.

By Jonathan Garner, Morgan Stanley

Since the end of the Asian crisis in 1998, EM equities have been in a 13- year relative bull market compared to DM equities. Total outperformance including dividends has been 215 per cent in US dollar terms.

A year ago we were cautious on the outlook for EM equities in 2011. We warned of a setback as EM policymakers combated overheating and inflation with tighter policy in the context of a market that was slightly expensive to long run average valuations. In 2012 we expect the bull market to reassert itself. Read more

Murat UcerThis post is the second of a series – 12 for 2012 – that beyondbrics is running on key emerging markets topics for the coming year.

By Murat Üçer

Thanks to ample external financing and lots of government-backed economic stimulus over the past two years, Turkey’s output is some 10 per cent higher than pre-crisis levels. For sure, this is something to boast about.

But at the same time, the current account deficit has soared from around 6 per cent of GDP to 10 per cent and inflation is at 10 per cent. The authorities have tried to manage the boom with some controversial and complex tools over the last year, notably unorthodox monetary policy. But if Turkey is to avoid more trouble ahead , a stronger and more orthodox policy response is needed as soon as possible. Read more

Beyondbrics is running a series of guest posts – 12 for 2012 – on key emerging markets topics for the coming year. This is the first.

By Ivan Tchakarov of Renaissance Capital

Russia has always invited speculation. From the Kremlinologists of a bygone age to today’s pundits, experts have tried to work out the country’s political and economic course – and often failed to predict its sudden twists and turns.

The key question now is what will be the effects of the protests that Moscow and many other cities saw after the recent parliamentary elections? Will they influence next year’s crucial presidential poll? Will it all lead to a version of the Arab Spring or just fizzle out in the freezing northern winter? Read more