In October 2018, S&P Global Ratings issued a stark warning pertaining to China’s mounting debt problems. According to the ratings agency, the country’s local governments may be sitting on a pile of debt worth up to 40 trillion yuan ($6 trillion).
Experienced investors know that the most lucrative returns can come in the least attractive packages. Frontier markets, the world’s pre-emerging markets, could be the new frontier for high growth—at least for those investors who can look past the higher risks. Is the frontier market worth those risks? Many investors believe it is, which is why the market is only slightly less popular than its developed and emerging counterparts.
President Jair Bolsonaro assumed Brazil’s highest political office on January 1, 2019. From mid-2016 to the end of 2018, a team of experts worked diligently to improve Brazil’s integration with the global economy in such areas as relations with international organizations, domestic framework for officially supported export credits and trade policy. Their initiatives provide the new administration with a strong path to prosperity through reduction of lingering barriers to international inclusion.
Ecuador, on South America’s northwest coast, is known for its relatively high growth and income and appropriately competitive banking sector. Since 1972, Banco del Pacifico has risen above its peers by serving its customers through the most innovative means available. In our interview, CEO Efrain Vieira Herrera explains how Banco del Pacifico is continuing to break through the traditional boundaries of Ecuadorian banking to new frontiers, much to the delight of its customers.
The New Era of Globalization, propelled by the rapid technological advancements of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and widespread concern for sustainable development goals, would seem to be on a road undergirded by groundbreaking potential. Yet, there are potholes on the way, not the least arising from growing populist movements. What are some of the damaging risks to avoid and positive disruptive opportunities to foster along this uncharted path?
The Great Recession produced a number of aftershocks, including a tidal wave of regulations (with the?) intent on preventing the same event from ever happening again. A mismatch between increasingly complex and detailed international standards and ever more uneven implementation by national authorities ensued. Consistent, harmonized adoption of financial standards by all involved is necessary to ensure smooth global processes. Some suggestions are presented in this article.
For the 28 jurisdictions that are members of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, adopting Basel banking standards is a given. But why are some non-member developing countries embracing the reforms when they don’t have to? The answers vary by country, but the final lesson is that regulators should carefully evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of adopting Basel regulations in whole or in part for their nation’s unique situation.
In any economy, banks play the critical role of re-allocating capital, from surplus areas into deficit areas. It is a role that sees them take deposits from the public and use the same to issue loans to businesses, both large and small. But that process hasn’t been happening much in Sub-Saharan Africa. Instead, banks, motivated by risk-aversion, have been funneling liquidity into the coffers of governments through government-issued debt securities. SSA banks must get back to the business of lending to the private sector if they are to escalate shareholder returns.
Emerging markets are already looking forward to 2019, glad to see 2018 nearly behind them. It turned out not to be a good year for emerging markets as a whole, after being on top of the world in 2017. Factors beyond their control—such as the monetary-tightening regime in the United States and high-flying dollar, trade wars and market corrections in developed economies—are largely to blame, but recognizing this will not erase the pain.
At the end of August, leading ratings agency Moody’s downgraded 18 banks and two finance companies in Turkey. According to the agency, the downgrades “primarily reflect a substantial increase in the risk of a downside scenario, where a further negative shift in investor sentiment could lead to a curtailing of wholesale funding”.