ECR survey results Q2 2018: Global risk subsides but the US, South Africa and Asian EMs dive as anxiety returns
Global risk subsided in the first half of the year, according to Euromoney’s country risk survey, with confidence in Europe maintained and commodity producers benefiting from better terms of trade. Yet with US interest rates rising, and Brexit, Russia and protectionism risks prevailing, investor prospects have more recently become uncertain for the remainder of 2018.
Goldman signals Brazilian focus
Investment bank steps in as BNDES stops crowding out; an important first in local-denominated financing of large project puts down marker.
China fuels green bond take-off
Once one of the world’s worst offenders in terms of industrial pollution, China is changing its ways, not least by becoming a leader in issuing green bonds.
It's time for blue finance
As the oceans reach a crisis point, private capital must be deployed to fund sustainable solutions. Given that the seas are equivalent to the world’s seventh largest economy, finance is more aligned with the deep than has been previously recognized. A handful of bankers and investment managers are leading the way, but success will require a collective effort from across the financial industry.
Trade finance on blockchain moves to full commercial production
A soybean trade between two arms of Cargill using letters of credit from HSBC and ING shows the R3 Corda platform is finally set to scale up.
Southern Africa’s new leaders still have much to prove
The new presidents of Angola, South Africa and Zimbabwe could do better, but banks and investors will have plenty of due diligence to do when deciding whether or not and how to commit more resources to these countries.
Nigerian banks make a mint from a crisis
Oil prices and currency controls created opportunities for some banks, which reported bumper gains from FX and fixed income last year, but no one is expecting a repeat of that. Can lending keep them sweet?
FICC trading heads not celebrating yet
When banks get around to reporting first-quarter 2018 results in April (the US banks) and May (the Europeans), it is already safe to say that their fixed income, currencies and commodities numbers will look particularly good.
Baiduri Bank bemoans the burden of Brunei’s bounty
Financial markets are woefully underdeveloped in this oil- and gas-rich country. For Baiduri Bank, which is mulling a listing in Kuala Lumpur, that makes growing a tough proposition.
Resourceful Blankfein puts a positive spin on Goldman’s FICC fix
Asia’s ‘Goldilocks’ economies mitigate the risks
Several of the region’s emerging markets (EMs) were upgraded by analysts in 2017, and with economic growth predictions now being raised, 2018 could provide more of the same.
Goldman hopes to put grim FICC year behind it
Converting boardroom dialogue into a corporate FICC franchise is not as easy as it sounds – even for Goldman Sachs.
Bailed out, yet again – Mongolia stares at a brighter future
The conservation conversation after Bears Ears
It was a month of ups and downs for environmental issues in finance. The up was ExxonMobil agreeing to regularly disclose analyses of the impacts of its business on climate change and the policies meant to fight them. That was thanks to pressure from shareholders. But conservation took a blow.
Watch out FICC, the FCA has something in STOR for you
The UK regulator thinks that bond markets could step up their approach to reporting market abuse.
Botswana bounce-back puts in doubt rating downgrade
Zambia: Kalyalya looks beyond the copper crisis
New Forests: Path clears for ethical investors
China Retail Gold Survey 2017: China isn’t punching its weight in gold
Dana Gas puts Islamic finance to the test
Asked for an example of teamwork and entrepreneurialism, CEO Nicholas Moore points to the way the bank’s energy division has grown.
Environmental finance needs more jobs
Many voters now equate environmental protection with job losses, but investing in sustainability can boost employment.
Wealth management: Lombard Odier leads an impact revolution
Lombard Odier and Affirmative Investment Management launched the Global Climate Bond Fund, which identifies investments that provide positive climate-related outcomes in renewable energy, resource efficiency, land management, water resources, physical infrastructure and the marine environment.
Africa: Afreximbank pushes at history’s wheel
Asia: Singapore banks can’t shake oil services headache
Blighted by souring loans; boosted by wealth management.
Will ETF providers join the Church and save the planet?
Middle East: Iran’s banks struggle with expectations
Iran: Nothing cements treaties like money
Commerce could reverse Trump’s vow to dismantle the Iran nuclear deal.
Forest bond boosts conservation finance
IFC teams up for first carbon credit coupons; billions of dollars needed to stop deforestation.
Price pressures force change in oil and gas treasury strategy
The oil and gas sector has so far avoided making wholesale change to its treasury processes, but as the low price environment continues, firms are now being forced to explore cost cutting.
Africa: Mozambique runs on empty
Blockchain could revive gold’s role as a payments currency
The days of using gold for everyday transactions have long since passed, but could the blockchain change that?
Zambia’s crumbling commodity-led economy ‘must diversify’
China retail gold survey 2016: China steps towards gold dominance
Where are the US banks on green bonds?
China and India dominate market; US corporates begin to take note.
Awards for Excellence 2016: CSR – Amid the gloom, banks find their shining light
The world’s banks are doing more than pay lip service to corporate social responsibility. But they need to go further and make their commitment part of the fabric of each institution.
Procurement collaboration mitigates treasury commodity risk
The volatility of the commodities market is propelling treasurers to assume a greater involvement in monitoring price fluctuations while working more closely with procurement teams than ever before.
Country risk: Peru’s risks ease on copper surge and election prospects
Mexico: Pemex woes deepen amid oil rout
Country risk: Oil crisis sharpens Nigeria’s investor risks
Against the tide: Gold is back
Energy: PE weighs risks as banks shun oil and gas
Private equity firms quick to exploit oil sector distress; end investors remain cautious.
Regulation can't help oil patch banks
It is the wider impacts that could undo financial firms, whatever the regulators recommend.
Asia: Sovereign funds adapt to new environment
Oil economies give up hard-earned savings.
FX: Don’t be fooled by gold’s blistering 2016 start
CSR: Impact reporting colours green bonds
Leading green bond issuers are working together to find a solution to one of the problems holding back the growth of the market – how to report back to fund managers on the environmental impact of their investments. The determination to find a solution on both sides is clear. The path to finding that solution remains elusive.
Brazil: BTG fights for survival
Esteves’ exit fails to slow outflows; oil and gas exposure in spotlight.
Inside investment: Commodities – filtering signal from noise
The prospects for industrial metals is a weighty subject. Investors that blithely believe price corrections revert to mean may be looking at a false dawn.
Angola goes after diversification
The fall in the oil price and the de-dollarization of the economy has done even more to highlight Angola’s over-dependence on oil. As a result, the diversification of the economy is higher-up on the government’s agenda than ever before.
Latin America: Oil pours trouble on Venezuela’s economy
Parallel FX rate rockets; default more and more likely.
China retail gold survey 2015: China rings solid in gold
With unprecedented turbulence in the stock market shaking investor confidence, gold remains a strong focus in China. Confidence in the retail market is stubbornly high as talk of a yuan-denominated fix swells.
Mozambique warned on resource boom
Lessons to learn from rest of Africa; local banks may be left behind.
Nigeria’s investment banks feel the squeeze
Like everything else in Nigeria, investment banking will be hit by weak oil prices. Local players may struggle more than their global counterparts.
Nigeria's troubles hold lessons for corporate IB
Commodity price drop will drive NPLs; difficulties could help local capital markets.
Securitization: Commodities firms seek funding alternatives
RWE taps institutional funds for gas inventory; more deals in oil, metals and carbon trading.
Commodities: Precious metals lack lustre
Third-quarter gloom for gold; silver ‘a better bet’.
Nigeria: falling oil price, crumbling legitimacy?
Depressed oil prices mean that government revenue in Nigeria is sliding but raising revenue without alienating Nigeria’s most vulnerable will be a difficult feat.
Africa: Nigeria’s banks stare down the barrel
Inspired by the previous government’s agenda, Nigeria’s banks loaded up on loans to local oil and gas companies. The rapid decline in the price of oil has put many of the companies they lent to in distress. Can the banks cope with the potential fall-out?
Asia: Taxing times for Indonesia’s new finance minister
Technocrat Bambang Brodjonegoro has plans to turn the country’s state-owned enterprises into regional, if not global, leaders. But the fall in the oil price could quickly scupper his ambitions, unless he can improve Indonesia’s terrible record on tax collection.
Africa: Power shines bright despite Abil collapse
Investors and issuers think alternative energy might soothe the bruises left by the failure of African Bank.
Aussie dollar maintains strength despite consecutive rate cuts by RBA
The Australian dollar, which loosely tracks the price of iron ore, has remained strong – hovering in the A$0.79 to A$0.80 range to the US dollar – during the past six weeks.
Nigeria: Good luck, Buhari
Peaceful elections in Nigeria herald a new era for the country, but will the elation last while depressed oil prices hold back the country’s development?
Latin America: Oil drop prompts Mexico review
Growth rates revised downwards; investors still ‘cautiously’ optimistic.
US high yield pays a high oil price
Outflows of $2 billion in one week; investors seek shorter duration.
Middle East: Kuwait still cooking with falling oil
The country is vulnerable to a continuing low oil price, but that doesn’t seem to be stopping it from keeping up the pace of capital projects. And there are still plenty of reforms to make if the state is to develop the economy.
Latin America: Copper-bottomed Chile wrestles with risk
Tax reforms from Chile’s new, left-leaning government are having an unsettling effect on the economy, which is also suffering from a plummeting copper price. The country’s new president is looking next to tackle inequality with further reforms, but as a result the pressure will ratchet up its strong credit rating.
Trade finance: Citi grows global commodities as rivals exit
Buys trading portfolios from Credit Suisse, Deutsche; integration of commodities and banking paying off.
African Eurobonds suffer as commodity prices slump
African capital markets have been driven by a boom in Eurobond issue during the past two years, but supply and demand has come under fire after plummeting oil and commodity prices.
The year of energy-induced recession in Brazil?
Rationing increasingly possible; stagnant economy slowed consumption.
Eskom woes to be confronted by task force
South Africa’s irregular and failing electricity supply has become the target of a special task force as Eskom struggles to deliver enough electricity to power the economy.
Against the tide: A new era for energy
The US looks to benefit from a changing energy landscape, at the expense of Russia and the Middle East, while Europe will be happier to be less reliant on those producers.
Macaskill on markets: 50 ways to get your trade through
Allegations of commodity trading skullduggery have dominated headlines, after a US Senate committee report accused Goldman of manipulating metals supplies to increase costs for clients.
Macaskill on markets: Sideways – 'No comment' from Goldman and Metro
The main charge against Goldman Sachs by the US Senate committee investigating commodity market practices was that the bank effectively controlled actions by its metals warehouse subsidiary, Metro International, that created a bottleneck in aluminum supply, and that Goldman could have profited from associated trades in its securities arm.
Colombia faces oil price test
No short-term response to price shift; fiscal discipline key to economy.
Inside investment: Uranium – Metal of the mind and Tohoku
Investment is easy when you can immanentize the eschaton. But even radioactive assets such as uranium can be worth running a Geiger counter over.
Swiss franc volatility rises on gold vote
Implied volatility on the Swiss franc has risen sharply in recent days, amid speculation that a referendum at the end of this month might force the Swiss National Bank to greatly increase its gold holdings.
'Perfect storm' on the horizon for commodity FX
Commodities could be facing further weakness, amid falling demand in China and elsewhere. All eyes are again on the US, where strong growth could support prices and prevent a further sell-off of commodity currencies.
Brazil: Energy options running dry
Election campaign delays rationing; ‘pray for rain’ say analysts.
Mexican energy reforms: The test for Pemex
Long seen as a proxy for Mexico, oil company Pemex faces new challenges after the implementation of President Peña Nieto's landmark energy reforms. If senior management can meet them, it could be the start of a long road to the eventual IPO of one of the world's most powerful energy firms.
Power Africa receives $6 billion boost
Banks at the forefront of pledges; attempts to deepen US-Africa trade.
China retail gold survey 2014: China takes a dip
After a strong showing in 2013, this year looks like being less fruitful for China’s gold market. But the retail market continues to flourish. The prediction is for 25% growth in the next four years.
Against the tide: Energy – how will Europe fare?
Key energy suppliers are increasingly politically unstable and Europe faces a rise in prices, even though demand is falling.
Energy prices offer investment plays in Brazil
Short-term gains for some energy firms and industrials; longer-term energy strategy review needed.
Fixed income faces green-investing food fight
Renewable energy 'the focus for green bond proceeds at present'.
Brazil: Rousseff’s water torture
A lack of rain to fill the dams that power Brazil is becoming a potential crisis. But as experts call for action to protect dwindling reservoirs the government refuses to act, and running the hydrology risk is becoming increasingly dangerous for it.
Africa’s rising stars: The countries to watch in sub-Saharan Africa
An abundance of natural resources, a young work force and high growth from a low base has put certain African countries in a strong position to thrive within the next five to 10 years.
Mozambique seeks to come onstream
The country has new wealth thanks to some big natural resource discoveries. They spell opportunity for both foreign and local institutions. How does such a small economy cope with such big demands?
John Mahama carves a path for Ghana
Ghana’s president admits that only structural changes will solve deep-rooted difficulties in the economy. One way to do this would be to diversify, lessening dependence on commodity exports. But can this be successful in a country still finding its feet?
Ghana commodities-exchange plan revealed
The founder of the budding Ghana Commodities Exchange, having established the successful Ethiopian platform, reveals the commodity-rich west African country’s grand ambitions and the benefits of a consortium-led model for the new exchange, which is set to launch in 2015.
Miners in Africa dig deeper for cash
Mining has been central to Africa’s resurgence and an associated wave of international listings. But shareholders are now pressing the big mining companies to conserve cash. Amid talk of strikes and nationalism, can the sector handle a less voracious China?
Latin America FX: a tale of two currencies
Latin American commodity-linked exchange rates are showing greater divergence with FX direction, driven by individual domestic macro issues, especially inflation/deflation, than any particular external factor, say analysts.
JPMorgan commodities sale: Bambi, Godzilla and Blythe
Will Blythe join Bambi and Godzilla at Mercuria to create a new commodities trading dream team? The fate of Blythe Masters, head of commodities at JPMorgan, is in the spotlight now that the sale of the bank’s physical commodities business to Mercuria for $3.5 billion has been confirmed.
African Development Bank president warns new oil producers on resource curse
Kenya, Mozambique and Tanzania – new African producers – should not be complacent on Dutch-disease risks, warns Donald Kaberuka, president of the African Development Bank and respected economist.
Africa safe from China slowdown – for now
While China’s economic slowdown has had repercussions on global emerging markets, frontier markets – specifically China’s trade partners in Africa – have been relatively insulated from the storm, sheltered in part by their limited financial systems. And, perhaps surprisingly, analysts are sanguine about the outlook for commodity-intensive trade.
Mexico: Banks line up for energy push
Expected boom seems to be already priced in; private companies’ positions still uncertain.
Energy reform: Mexico waits on the details
Vital energy reforms could provide a welcome fiscal boost.
South Africa’s problems worsened by China slowdown
Sovereign slips six places in ECR rankings before rand sell-off.
Farmland: Yield-starved investors go back to the land
Plenty of room for growth in neglected asset class; good inflation hedge relatively uncorrelated to economic cycle.
Land rush on Brazil’s frontier
Transport costs have made the country’s agriculture industry uncompetitive. But new infrastructure projects should transform the opportunities some have seen in land values.
Brazil to reap bumper agribusiness harvest
The development of the cerrado into arable land will benefit Brazil far more than its oil discoveries.
Russians play commodities as US banks retreat
VTB builds paper trading, considers physical; Sberbank launches Zurich financing unit.
Brazilian equities: The OGX effect
If Petrobras is considering an equity transaction in 2014, the implosion of Eike Batista’s OGX group this year won’t be helpful for investors’ perceptions of the risk of Brazil’s oil exploration and production industry.
Capital markets: Ecuador builds steam for international re-entry
Fitch upgrade a propitious sign despite default history; Oil-field developments and hydro-power prospects.
Commodities: Adaro fuels Asia’s hunger for power
As China’s appetite for commodities appears to be fading, demand for Indonesian coal could also fall, putting the export economy under stress. Mining company Adaro explains why the future is still bright.
Battered gold shows resistance amid US weakness
There has been an inverse correlation between the US dollar and gold price, which, combined with the fact US equities are starting to look rich, suggests the commodity could rise to August highs.
Investment in sub-Saharan Africa on the rise as capital markets gather steam
Demand for sub-Saharan African (SSA) assets is increasing as anticipation continues to build towards the region’s future growth potential, in particular a nascent rebalancing away from resource-dependency towards a consumer market.
Africa: Fast finance for the new frontier of food
From informal retailers to supermarket chains, Africa’s baby boomers are fuelling a consumer boom that is spilling over to agribusiness.
Commodities: Lawmakers take aim at aluminium assets
Metals warehousing under threat; Goldman rejects criticism over delays.
Venezuela’s oil is as much bane as boon
The country’s new leadership has yet to find solutions to serious economic issues. Plagued by high inflation and dollar shortages, the nation is not making the most of its oil, much of which is unprofitably in hock to regional diplomacy.
Brazil oil and gas sector seeks to shake off Batista break-up
Capital-hungry borrowers seeking to plug the huge infrastructure deficit in Latin America’s largest economy through international capital markets are hoping Eike Batista’s OGX group will avoid default.
India continues battle on rupee volatility
Oil and gold imports problematic for reserves; the worst-performing EM currency this year.
Metal prices bring Rusal more challenges
In mid-2013, Rusal had its lowest net debt level since 2008: less than $10 billion, Oleg Mukhamedshin, deputy CEO, tells Euromoney. He says the firm hopes to reduce debt further – from six times ebitda – via internal cashflow, dividends from Norilsk Nickel, assets disposals and new equity issuance.
Mexico’s proposed energy reforms enthuse bankers
Sector opened to private participation; expected to add 1.5 points to annual GDP growth.
Banks look to turn out the lights on commodities
US regulators are dedicating increasing levels of scrutiny to the physical commodities interests of investment banks just as a law allowing Wall Street banks to maintain a presence in the product area comes up for review.
Macaskilll on markets: Towards a lower-octane commodities business
The end of the commodities super-cycle of rising prices is being accompanied by a series of humiliating reverses for some of the biggest bank traders in the energy and metals markets.
China Retail Gold Survey 2013: China’s gold market takes its own path
Activity and prices remain buoyant in China’s gold markets despite the slip in prices in the west.
Debt market for Brazilian oil and gas thaws, but outlook icy
Brazilian capital markets are showing signs of life again after a particularly torrid summer as industrial conglomerate Odebrecht priced a $1.7 billion nine-year bond. But investor wariness towards Latin America’s largest economy persists.
Gold’s hangover from hell
A cyclical correction or a structural shift? Gold’s aggressive recent sell-off has revived the debate about whether the commodity is a legitimate hedge against Armageddon financial forces, while the jury is out on whether fundamental or technical forces are driving the bullion’s price.
Escrow services take off amid insurance and counterparty risk demands
"The increasing complexity and sophistication of the processes used to extract energy resources from remote spots, such as ultra-deep underwater exploration, Arctic drilling and shale gas extraction, increases the environmental risks, as well as the clean-up costs at the end of the resource life."
Awards for Excellence 2013: Best Commodities house
Taking the tough decisions early has benefited the Deutsche Bank and kept it ahead of the competition.
Mongolia banks on mining project
With fresh signs of political and legislative progress, there is a renewed sense of optimism around the country after more than a year of political posturing that cast a pall over the nation and put the brakes on foreign direct investment that sent asset prices tumbling.
Russia: Stagnant oil price dampens economic outlook
Corruption and institutional risk constrain ability to revive growth.
Dollar the winner in a commodities anti-super cycle
The breakdown in the correlation between equity and commodity prices suggests the dollar could find support.
Bank reform key to boosting Russia economy as commodity cycle shifts
Russia’s largely state-owned banking sector needs greater competition to help catalyze private sector investment as the economy enters a new era of permanently weaker growth and lower oil prices, say analysts.
Mongolia might face 'major macroeconomic instability', says top analyst
Against the backdrop of a more friendly posture towards international investors, Mongolia’s commodity-reliant economy is poised for more cyclical volatility, warns a top central Asian investor.
Nigeria risk outlook improves on expectation of $1 billion Eurobond issuance
Commodity price shock poses largest threat to Nigerian risk profile.
Commodities currency demand slows as cycle turns
South Sudan: Government tries to break its dependency on oil
Oil price slide spells danger for euro
Market tears up golden rule book; bullion faces further pressure
Gold bombs as Korean nuclear crisis shows dollar true safe haven
Indonesian local banks come of age for Delta Dunia
Foreign investors flock into the Philippines
Investors stick with commodities
Miners in Africa dig deeper for cash
Commodities boom triggers belated nationalism debate
Venezuela: don’t bank on a shift to more orthodox economic policies
Ecuador to test high-yield access
ECM: Chinalco IPO misses the mark
Mozambique’s ascent in ECR rankings improves after natural resource discoveries
Fears about the health of the Australian dollar overblown
Doesn't Ghana deserve a higher rating than B+?
Nigeria: Market boom, policy bust
Davos: We are not perma-bulls
Investment in infrastructure: Solar-park securitization breaks new ground
Space: the next frontier for investing
Angola’s rulers mull over their options
Mongolia bond sets off EM bond bubble concerns
Power reform puts Nigeria at crossroads
Country Risk: China’s economic slowdown hangs over Andean economies
Greece's $600bn gas reserves to fuel recovery?
South Africa: Mining tragedy weighs on corporate finance
South Africa’s mining risk increase traced to June 2011
Renewable energy not a priority for London, says deputy mayor
North Korea 'surrenders' economic sovereignty to encourage Chinese investment
ECR Forum: How will South Africa’s mining dispute affect the sovereign’s risk profile?
Infrastructure: Energy finance runs out of steam
Cleantech caught up in a vicious circle
Bicycles and the contra-cycle
Russia: Third time lucky?
Chinese M&A activity is still in its infancy
Markets lag Mongolia’s mining rise
Is China stockpiling oil? Get ready for the real currency wars