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Policy & Government

IMF Warns Argentina Bond Holders That Haircuts May be "Unavoidable"

The Fund held a series of “productive” meetings with Argentine officials in Buenos Aires, commending the overall efforts to restore growth and reduce poverty, but signalled that write-offs will be inevitable.

20 Feb 2020

Argentina Bips & Pieces Americas

Kenya Announces Plans to Streamline Building Approval Processes

Kenya’s Principal Secretary for Housing & Urban Development, Charles Hinga, announced plans this week to harmonise building fees and approval processes for buildings throughout the country. The move is intended to cut costs for developers, spur the growth of affordable housing, and stimulate investor participation in the sector.

20 Feb 2020

Turkey Delays Structural Reforms in Favour of Credit Fuelled Recovery – Chatham House

Despite a strong recovery since the economic crisis of 2018, Turkey is not out of the woods yet. Binging on cheap credit may have pulled the economy out of recession for now, stimulating key sectors and driving consumption, but it leaves the lira vulnerable, according to a recent report by Fadi Hakura, Turkey Specialist and Manager of the Turkey Project at Chatham House.

20 Feb 2020

Russian Government Reshuffle Spreads to MinFin as Another Key Minister Set to Leave

Storchak, a veteran of the finance ministry is expected to resign in coming days, according to state media reports.

18 Feb 2020

Tension Between SDGs Raises Questions About the Growth of Sustainable Finance in South Africa

Given the size and depth of South Africa’s domestic capital markets, many see the country as the continent’s frontrunner for developing the sustainable finance segment. But the key to addressing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) is in a transition plan likely to be found in the narrow space between the precarious state of the economy, on the one hand, and the country’s worrying carbon…

18 Feb 2020

Russia Sovereign Wealth Fund to Buy Out Central Bank Stake in Sberbank

The move is expected to ease concerns about the potential conflict of interest (regarding the CBR’s partial ownership of Russia’s biggest bank) and should provide additional funds for the “January Revolution” of additional social spending announced by President Putin at the start of this year.

17 Feb 2020

Angola’s Minister of Finance on Privatisations, Following Through on Free Trade, and Managing the Tricky Balance between Economic Diversification and Oil Dependence

While João Lourenço’s government continues to dominate the headlines - for highly visible corruption indictments against his predecessor José Eduardo dos Santos, his family, and associates - Vera Daves de Sousa, Angola’s young and resolutely optimistic Minister of Finance, is working hard behind the scenes to chart a more financially sustainable path for the country following years of economic…

13 Feb 2020

Latin America 2020: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Take a good look at Latin America’s 21 countries today, and one quickly concludes that this is not a region moving in unison but rather a patchwork of divergent political and economic motors firing at different speeds, taking each in different directions. Rarely has it been this challenging to analyze Latin America as a whole, so it seems appropriate to showcase Latin America’s differences…

11 Feb 2020

Prospect of Early Romanian Election Sparks ‘Benevolent’ Market Reaction – ING

A successful no-confidence motion against Romania’s government has raised the prospect of early elections and may usher in a period of political instability, but the market has reacted relatively well according to ING emerging market strategist Trieu Pham.

7 Feb 2020

Countries Must Protect ‘Natural Capital’ to Lower Sovereign Credit Risk – Grantham Research Institute

The London School of Economics’ Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and Environment and think tank Planet Tracker have published a report exploring the link between a country’s sovereign bonds and its natural resources, outlining a new research framework intended to allow market participants to integrate these considerations into the credit analysis process.

7 Feb 2020

Ghana Raises USD3bn Across Three Tranches – Including SSA’s Longest-Dated Eurobond

Ghana raised USD3bn across 7, 15, and 41-year notes this week, the region’s longest-dated bond issuance to date and a major milestone for the country.

6 Feb 2020

Twin Deficits Leaves ZAR vulnerable – Standard Bank

Over the past week the rand has weakened as the global coronavirus outbreak causes markets to jitter. The rand is particularly vulnerable due to the country’s twin deficits – both current and fiscal – being run by the government, which “both compare poorly in the global context” according to a recent report by Standard Bank.

5 Feb 2020

India’s Budget Fails to Offer Expansionary Fiscal Stimulus

India’s Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, unveiled the 2020 Union Budget of India this week to a lukewarm reception, as it failed to offer the expansionary fiscal policy measures many believe necessary to kickstart the struggling economy.

5 Feb 2020

Lebanon to Pursue “Restructuring Without Restructuring”

While details of the government’s strategy to address the dire economic circumstances it faces are scant, analysts at Barclays believe Lebanon is likely to favour a bond swap with domestic banks over alternatives like issuing long-term FX certificates via the central bank, a move that could result in the sovereign entering Selective Default.

4 Feb 2020

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