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SURVEYS

Country risk Sep 2002: Analysts take an optimistic view

Euromoney’s analysts have taken a measured view of such hyperbole as the “axis of evil” and resisted over-reacting to the situation in such regional crisis points as southern Africa. Latin America’s troubled economies suffer the severest downgrades.

For historical country risk data please visit the Euromoney Country risk website

Methodology

Country analysts were remarkably bullish when Euromoney quizzed them for our latest country risk survey. Even president George W Bush's "axis of evil" countries were not down-rated - although North Korea and Iraq were already ranked among the most risky countries. Iran actually rose by two places, from 76 to 74, although it was downgraded in the political risk rankings.

The one major exception to the mostly optimistic view shown by Euromoney's panel was the blow given to Latin America's three "axis of weakness" countries: Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. Argentina, whose long-standing troubles already ranked it 107 in March 2002, fell another 39 places to 146; Brazil fell 15 positions to 83; and Uruguay fell 28 spots to 81.

The down-rating makes complete sense for Argentina, which has fallen foul of the US government's erratic judgements about which are good countries and which are bad. But it is possibly overstated in the case of Brazil and Uruguay.

Argentina's Perónist government is understandably desperate to receive another aid package from the IMF and to that end will resist the demands for protectionist legislation until a deal is agreed.

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