Emerging markets appeal to investors because of their unrealized potential. As a group, they have performed well, even during crises. The pandemic has influenced this investment opportunity by rendering some EM countries more promising than others. Careful examination and cautious selection of the likely best performers are recommended.
COVID-19 has strained every part of India’s society, including its financial sector. Small businesses are suffering, but banks (many owned by the government) are hesitant to lend. For India to get back on the road to recovery, institutional finance is crucial. Policy steps in the right direction are being made, but more needs to be done.
Infrastructure is the skeleton that holds an economy together, but in many regions of the world, it has much room for improvement. Investors seeking growth sectors should consider infrastructure investment, which not only improves infrastructure but also stimulates economic recovery and is increasingly gaining government financial support.
The United States has been devastated by COVID-19, enduring more deaths from the virus than any other country. Domestic markets have suffered sporadically, but surprisingly, not all of them. After a brief pause in early spring 2020, the real-estate market has soared and broken 15-year sales records. The main factors propelling these high home prices are low interest rates and short supply, creating a sellers’ market even during a pandemic.
Crises bring out the best in humans, and that has certainly been evident during the COVID-crisis, especially with banking, which has risen to the challenge more successfully than many expected. Sustaining the momentum post-pandemic will be critical, as economies struggle to recover. To remain robust and profitable, banks will need to pay particular attention to key areas such as transforming costs and reimagining customer relations, aided by talent and innovations.
As calamitous as the pandemic’s effect has been on economies worldwide, in many cases, it has only fueled concerning issues that pre-dated it. COVID-19 will eventually be consigned to our past, but its effects will linger on for decades. What are the four questions we need to ask ourselves now to shape the best plan of action toward economic healing, sustained recovery, innovation, cooperation and prosperity while avoiding potential landmines?
2020 wasn’t a good year for shareholders scheduled to receive bank dividends. Regulators swiftly put a halt to dividend payments from banks to ward off a pandemic-induced crisis, requiring lenders to conserve capital and distribute it as needed to consumers and businesses. The dividend pipeline is slowly reopening as confidence grows in the banks’ stability, but it may be a while before shareholders receive their fair shares of the profits.
“For the first time since the pandemic began, there is now hope for a brighter future.” That was the assessment given by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) on December 1 following the news of progress being made with coronavirus vaccines.
Is the current cure, in the form of lockdowns, for the COVID-19 plague worse than the pernicious virus itself? This hotly debated question has vocal supporters on both sides, as the pandemic continues to attack lives and livelihoods worldwide. Many believe that preserving human health and economic health need not be at odds but can both be achieved in the short term until a permanent solution for the virus arrives.
The COVID-19 crisis has engulfed all continents, but Latin America and the Caribbean has suffered more than most, coping with the high toll of lost human life and bankrupt businesses that once thrived. Banks cannot escape the inevitable collateral damage to their balance sheets, especially when government supports end. To avoid a financial crisis and ensure a return to economic health, good policies are needed to promote financial stability and recovery.