Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Frontier markets update

The MSCI World Index of advanced -nation equities has surged 65% from this year's low on March 9, while the MSCI Emerging Markets Index has leaped 96%. The Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index of 19 commodities has added 33%.

Emerging markets have outperformed and have seen massive amounts of inflow. But when your main stream markets like Brazil (Bovespa +68%), China (Shangahai +64%), Russia (RTS +83%), South Africa ( Top 40 +24%), start to mature and look top heavy, investors will start looking towards 2nd tier and 3rd tier frontier markets that have been on the back burner. These frontier markets such as Ghana ( GSE -46%), Nigeria (NSE All Share -30%), Kenya (NSE -14%), Morocco (Madex -3.3%), should attract some fund interest and more inflow.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Ukraine - over the worst

Ukraine's economy is now recovering from a very low bottom, and real economic growth is likely by November. Ukraine's international reserves are at around $29 billion, one quarter of GDP. Ukraine runs no risk of default for the next year, even without IMF money. Its budget deficit is below the limit of 6% of GDP for this year. The bank country's restructuring is proceeding.

The only concern is that without a November IMF disbursement, financing the deficit will present a challenge.

Ukraine is approaching presidential elections. The two dominant presidential candidates are Yanukovych and Tymoshenko, while the voters have given up on the erratic Yushchenko, who regularly vetoes almost all government decisions even when they correspond to his own policies. The conventional wisdom is that Yanukovych will win the first round with a large but not absolute majority, while Tymoshenko is best placed to win the second round.