Emerging markets

Investors Gear Up for Little Bang in Saudi Arabia

03 March 2015
Saudi's new king wants to open a stock market the size of Russia's to foreigners at last. But fine print will muffle the bang.
Tadawul Poised for Take-Off?

Investors Gear Up for Opening of Saudi Stock Market

(Institutional Investor – March 2015)


The price of oil may be depressed, but investor spirits in Riyadh are anything but. Anticipation is growing that a long-­awaited opening of the Tadawul, the Saudi stock market, to foreign investors will come as early as next month. Analysts believe the move will provide fresh momentum for the $500 billion market, which has risen by nearly 30 percent since mid­-December. “This will be the event of the year in emerging markets,” says John Sfakianakis, a veteran economist and investment strategist in Riyadh who opened an office there in September for the London-­based emerging markets specialist Ashmore Group.


Where is the Emerging Market Oil Dividend?

26 February 2015
Markets of oil importers like Thailand or Turkey should be booming, only they aren't

Oil Dividend Proves Elusive for Emerging Markets

Shares of importers such as South Korea, Turkey, and Thailand haven’t enjoyed the expected boost from lower prices. What happened?.



Feb. 27, 2015 11:34 p.m. ET

Emerging Markets

It’s a common, and seemingly commonsensical, assumption these days that if oil-exporting emerging markets like Russia and Brazil have been hammered by sinking crude prices, oil-importing countries must be sailing. The hot performance of the two oil-buying BRICs, China and India, since the crash started last summer seems to cement the theory—except it doesn’t.

Ukraine's Oligarchs at War, With Each Other

10 February 2015
Billionaire Ukrainian governor Ihor Kolomoiskyis a two-edged sword for Kiev.
Will Kolomoisky Get the Last Laugh?

FEBRUARY 11, 2015

Ukraine’s Oligarchs Take to Economic Warfare

Despite his reclusive tendencies, businessman and politician Ihor Kolomoisky is trying to tip economics and diplomacy in his holdings’ favor.


By Craig Mellow (Institutional Investor)




The Evil Twins of Emerging Market Debt

25 January 2015
Russia's Gazprom and Brazil's Petrobras are rattling their bond investors, but will probably pay in the end.

Emerging Markets: Sizing Up Debt’s Evil Twins — Barron’s

   By Craig Mellow (Jan. 26, 2015)


Petroleo Brasilieiro, better known as Petrobras, and Gazprom are terribly managed companies at the heart of the less-than-brilliantly-run economies of Brazil and Russia, respectively. Both have huge debts, which have become tougher to repay, thanks to diving energy prices and internal factors — a corruption scandal that is paralyzing Petrobras, and international sanctions that are keeping Gazprom out of bond markets.

But could either of these national champions actually default? Not likely, and that may spell opportunity for fixed-income investors who can hold their governance noses. “These credits are priced at distressed levels, while we foresee that they will repay,” says Max Wolman, senior investment manager at Aberdeen Asset Management in Scotland. “We are buying selectively.”

The Price Tag for Saving Ukraine

12 January 2015
A year after Maidan, will the West pay to keep Kiev afloat?
Poroshenko Passes the Hat

What It Will Take to Save Ukraine

A year after Maidan, Ukraine is on the brink of default. Will the West stump up the billions it will take to bail out Kiev?


By Craig Mellow





JANUARY 09, 2015 (Institutional Investor)

What It Will Take to Save Ukraine

12 January 2015
A year after Maidan, Ukraine is on the brink of default. Will the West stump up the billions it will take to bail out Kiev?

Western capital fought Russian arms to a draw over Ukraine last year in a conflict that was more expensive than had been envisioned for all sides. A new phase of the battle began quietly yesterday when a delegation from the International Monetary Fund arrived in Kiev for weeks of scheduled talks with Ukraine’s fledgling government.

Kremlin Cracks Oligarch Heads to Salvage Ruble

21 December 2014
Russia moves to currency controls lite to stop the ruble slide
Catch a Falling Currency. Photo by Andrei Rudakov, Bloomberg


Dedc. 22, 2014


On December 15 the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) seized the world’s attention with a dead-of-night 650-basis-point hike in its key interest rate, to 17 percent. The shock measure was aimed at stemming panic selling of the ruble, which had fallen by as much as 11 percent against the U.S. dollar in the previous day’s trading. A no less important — though less publicized — move came the next day, when Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev summoned chiefs of a dozen principal Russian exporting companies to his office to lay down the law on the ruble.

Bargain Hunting in Emergng Market Oil Stocks

12 December 2014
Emerging market oil shares have fallen hardest during the recent price collapse. Some could bounce back fast when crude recovers



Dec. 13, 2014

It’s a decent bet that the price of oil will rebound sooner or later from its current five-year low, and oil company stocks with it. Emerging-market petro-shares have been beaten down hardest over the past five months of crude free fall, and might be expected to bounce back accordingly — some of them anyway.

Emerging-market oil probably conjures visions of Russia and its sanctions-afflicted state behemoths Gazprom and Rosneft. But the developing world is full of big, liquid oil names, from China to Brazil. Their shares have been more volatile than those of U.S. or European peers. ExxonMobil (ticker: XOM) has lost 10% of its value since crude oil began its swoon on Sept. 1. Petrochina (PTR), China’s biggest energy company, has shed 30%.

Why Polish Stocks Can't Win

07 November 2014
Poland is an easy country to like, a hard one to make money in.


   (FROM BARRON'S 11/10/14)


Poland is an easy country for investors to like. The most populous by far of the ex-Soviet satellites, it has admirably anchored Eastern Europe's smooth transition to freedom and relative prosperity. Poland's gross domestic product has grown sixfold since 1990. Sticking to balanced budgets and conservative consumer lending, it was the only state in the European Union to avoid recession after 2008. Following a lackluster 2012-2013, growth is accelerating again to near 3% this year, positively tigerish by European standards. "Poles work hard, save a lot, and move forward cautiously but steadily," summarizes Timothy Ash, head of emerging market research at Standard Bank in London.