The IIF covers 30-40 emerging and frontier markets, with a particular focus on economic and financing issues. Our reports feature topical analysis of macroeconomic fundamentals, policy developments, political economy dynamics and downside risks.
We expect growth in the MENA region to slow to 1.4% in 2019 from 1.8% in 2018, dragged down by the deep recession in Iran and the compliance with the OPEC + deal. This aggregate picture, however, hides considerable heterogeneity in economic paths across the region.
Pension reform has improved Brazil’s growth prospects amid an anemic recovery.
Investor interest in government bonds has picked up in recent months in the hope of a change in government and implementation of reforms. Macroeconomic imbalances, however, have risen to concerning levels, and a renewed EU Excessive Deficit Procedure is clearly on the horizon.
South Africa’s debt could reach as high as 95% of GDP in a pessimistic scenario. Low growth, high interest payments, and a decade of mismanagement are at fault. SOEs are a drain on public finances, and Eskom alone could add 6pp to debt. Mitigating factors are SARB independence, limited FX debt, and long maturities. Moody’s may put SA on negative watch but keep the IG rating for a little longer.
Following the change in political leadership, Uzbekistan embarked on a path of structural reforms and economic opening. Growth is expected to pick up driven by large public investments. Continued credit boom, slowing reform momentum and external shocks present key challenges to the outlook.
Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream will change gas transit in Europe, allowing Russian gas to reach Western Europe while bypassing Ukraine. Transit through Ukrainian pipelines could decrease as much as 80%, widening the current account deficit and increasing financing needs. Sanctions on both pipeline projects are being discussed in Congress.
Bank lending and accommodative policies helped output recover in 2019H1,but a continued fall in investment limits the pace of real GDP growth. TRY depreciation has led the current account to shift to a surplus, and FX reserves appear sufficiently large to cover external debt repayments.