By Sergio Trigo Paz and Gerardo Rodriguez, BlackRock
Periodic phases of market volatility this year have brought back painful memories of emerging markets (EM) crises. Some of these crises – particularly those associated with US monetary policy tightening in 1994 and 1999 – caused significant damage to emerging economies and their asset prices.
But those difficulties brought a hidden blessing. The crises taught countries that their misfortunes were caused not so much by the actions of the US Federal Reserve as by the lack of policy buffers and financial flexibility in their home markets. This realisation has helped foster an improvement in the overall framework of EM macroeconomic policies. Read more
By Paul McNamara of GAM
A rise in overall emerging market (EM) debt levels and an increase in US Treasury yields is causing many investors to look for a new crisis. The argument goes that developed market (DM) central banks cut rates to zero in response to the financial crisis, and capital flowed out of these economies in search for yield.
Corporate bonds issuance in EM increased, and because EM banks were in far better shape than their developed market counterparts, credit growth soared. A common concern among EM investors is the risk that when the US Federal Reserve tightens rates, capital inflows from DM to EM could reverse, causing GDP growth to collapse.
We believe that the risk of a collapse in EM growth prompted by capital outflows is much lower than is feared. EM fundamentals have adjusted substantially already: credit growth has slowed by 9 percentage points since its peak in mid-2011. Read more
A few months ago, fixed income investors couldn’t get out of Brazil, South Africa and Turkey quickly enough.
The rump trio of the so-called ‘fragile five’ emerging market economies were at the eye of a storm that roiled financial markets in January and pummelled their currencies as weaknesses in their economies were exposed.
Things have changed. Read more
In case you missed it, here’s a great chart from Robin Wigglesworth’s Local currency bond market given revamp story: it shows how investors are missing out on emerging market corporate local debt. Read the full story here; chart after the break. Read more
The distinction between emerging markets and developed markets is eroding as EM financial systems mature. Ewen Cameron Watt, chief investment strategist at BlackRock Investment Institute, tells Long View columnist John Authers how emerging markets are growing up.
Money managers seeking access to EM domestic debt have a new option from Thursday with the launch of what is claimed to be the world’s first exchange traded fund for emerging market inflation-linked bonds. Read more
When is a BBB- borrower actually a AA+? No, this isn’t financial trickery of the kind made famous in the US subprime fiasco (and perhaps repeated in China in 2012). It’s a new facility offered by the Asian Development Bank to promote cross-border borrowing within Asia.
Under the scheme, the ADB-backed fund guarantees the debt of a corporate issuer, and effectively lends out its rating, regardless of the company’s actual rating. It’s been a year in the making, but finally the scheme has broken the seal. Read more
In a monetary world dominated by QE and zero interest rates, investor appetite for local currency EM debt has gone from strength to strength in the last few years.
In fact, EM yields have fallen from 6.8 per cent in mid-2007 to 4.7 per cent now. The question is: have they gone too far? Read more
Poland’s banks are generally well financed and solid, but one of their biggest problems is a mismatch between short-term deposits and long-term loans, many of which are denominated in foreign currency – largely Swiss francs. The mismatch has been a concern for regulators, who have pushed banks to make their asset structure less vulnerable to sudden changes in sentiment and to any turmoil in the eurozone.
Now Getin Noble Bank, one of the most aggressive forex lenders during the real estate boom which ended in 2008, has taken a step towards better balancing its assets by securitising a 1bn zlotys ($325m) portfolio of 33,000 car loans last week. Read more
By Jan Dehn of Ashmore Investment Management
Emerging market bonds have performed well this year. Sovereign debt has returned nearly 16 per cent. Corporate high yield has returned nearly 17 per cent and local currency bonds about 14 per cent. So is it time to run for the hills?
The answer is emphatically ‘no’. Read more
Among the warnings sounded by the International Monetary Fund last week was one over the dramatic surge of foreign investment into emerging market local bond markets.
As the IMF pointed out, quick inflows of capital can be followed by even faster outflows if another crisis strikes global markets. It focused on nine countries where foreign investors have been prominent since the 2008 fall of Lehman Brothers. Chart of the week picks up the trail. Read more
Hint, hint: the markets gave South Africa’s monetary policy committee a rather strong signal on Wednesday as three-year bond yields fell to a record low. The reason? Retail sales grew in April at the slowest pace for two years, at just 1 per cent year-on-year.
Yields on South Africa’s debt due in 2015 fell six basis points to 6.18 per cent, the lowest closing figure on record according to Bloomberg. Yields on the 1, 2 and 10-year benchmark bonds all fell too, as did 3-month forward rates. Read more
Good news for South Africa and it’s bond holders. On Tuesday Citigroup announced it may become the 23rd country in its World Government Bond Index later this year.
South Africa’s share of the index will be small – but its inclusion is significant. Read more
By Bernd Braasch of the Bundesbank
Reducing global real imbalances and a reform of the international financial system are still top of the international political agenda. But while a co-ordinated approach and a more market-led exchange rate system are often publicly discussed, the problem of “missing financial markets” is less prominent. Read more