Sunday, September 30, 2012

Economic Summary for the week ended 29th Sep 2012

Global - Christine Lagarde has warned that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will probably cut its global growth forecast in the coming weeks.
Speaking at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, the IMF managing director warned that global growth is likely to be "a little weaker" than in its most recent forecast.
In July, the IMF's World Economic Outlook predict that global output will expand by 3.5% this year and by 3.9% in 2013. The group is due to publish its updated forecast in next couple of weeks.
Lagarde said: "We continue to project a gradual recovery, but global growth will likely be a bit weaker than we had anticipated even in July, and our forecast has trended downward over the last 12 months."
Spain/Europe - European stock markets fell on Wednesday amid concerns about Spain and as trade unions hold a general strike in Greece. Spain's Ibex index was down 3.5%, while markets in London, Paris and Frankfurt were down up to 2%.
The Bank of Spain said in a report that the Spanish economy had continued to shrink at a "significant rate" in the third quarter of the year.
Spain is currently in a deepening recession, with the unemployment rate at its highest level since the 1970s. Worries about Spain also caused the country's borrowing costs to rise, with the yield on 10-year Spanish bonds traded on international markets rising to 6.02% from 5.67%.
On Thursday, the government will unveil a new budget, its latest attempt to get its borrowing under control. Then on Friday, independent auditors will tell the world the extent of the country's banks problems.
China - Some of China's richest people have felt the effects of economic slowdown in the country, with their wealth reducing in the past year, according to the Hurun Rich List.
China has 251 people worth $1bn or more, 20 fewer than last year. However, the number is still a huge increase compared with 2006, when there were only 15.
It is the first time in seven years that the number of billionaires in China has fallen.
India - Foreign investors are showing renewed interest in India following reforms recently announced by the government, but further steps are needed to improve the environment for economic growth, experts say.
According to a research report by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, there has been a sea change in interest in India post the reforms announced last week that included allowing Foreign Direct Investment in multi-brand retail and the civil aviation sector.
"Clients sensed a change in the political environment in India and some investors who earlier were staying away from India were keen to meet and understand the shape of things to come," Bank of America - Merrill Lynch Research Analyst Jyotivardhan Jaipuria said.
China - The Chinese central bank has injected a record amount of money into the financial system this week to alleviate a cash crunch that had driven up borrowing costs.
The People's Bank of China has poured Rmb365bn ($58bn) into money markets over the past three days through reverse repurchase agreements, the largest weekly amount in history.
With the Chinese economy grinding to its slowest growth in three years, analysts and investors have been looking to the central bank to intensify its monetary easing by cutting the portion of deposits that commercial banks must hold in reserve.
Trends - Global mergers and acquisitions slumped this quarter to a level not seen since the aftermath of the financial crisis, amid increasing concern that the economic recovery is deteriorating.
Companies have announced $446bn of takeovers since June 30, the smallest amount since the third quarter of 2009, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Cross-border takeovers have accounted for about half of all announced deals this year, while chief executive officers worldwide are reluctant to spend an estimated $3.4tn in cash reserves Europe's sovereign-debt crisis drags on and some signs suggest that China's economy is slowing.
Commodities - Gold prices edged higher on Thursday, recovering from the previous day's two-week low in line with stock markets and other commodities, but uncertainty over when Spain would request a rescue program limited investors' confidence.
Spot gold was up 0.2% at $1,755.69 an ounce, while U.S. gold futures for December delivery were up $5.00 an ounce at $1,758.60.
Gold is on track to end September with its largest quarterly gain in more than two years, of nearly 10%, after the Federal Reserve unveiled a third round of 'bullion-friendly' monetary stimulus measures earlier this month.
Spotlight on: Investing with a social conscience
Sarah Mumford, marketing director at Alquity Investments, says the recent debacle at Barclays serves as a reminder that considering a company's corporate social responsibility principles is something investment providers should be doing as a matter of course.
Over the past few weeks, the goings on at Barclays (colluding in the fixing of the LIBOR rate) have illustrated perfectly how poor behaviour within a company towards the outside world (or how seriously it takes its corporate social responsibility (CSR) obligations), can have devastating consequences for both that organisation and its stakeholders, be they employees, suppliers, customers or indeed shareholders.
The long-term impact on the bank's reputation, and in turn its share price, can only at this point be guessed at, but the outrage felt by many at the behaviour of members of the banking fraternity, will live on.
And for those of us involved in the marketing of investment funds, we can be sure that many more questions will start to be asked about what safeguards are taken to ensure that our investors' money is not going into companies whose actions could lead to reputational damage, and in turn, to a loss in company value.
Noted business strategist, Michael Porter, recently argued in the Harvard Business Review that ensuring genuine and strong CSR credentials is now something that should be a part of every business's long-term planning.
There has also been plenty of research done which shows consumers not only understand the importance of a genuine CSR policy, but are more and more frequently considering this as a part of their purchasing process.
Sustainable practices
Ethical or sustainable investing (which is really what the consideration of CSR policy amounts to) is becoming more and more important to the consumer.
Investment management marketing material generally focuses on either performance, the fund manager's skills or the size and strength of their businesses, and no doubt some of these factors are important to the end consumers.
But independent research, along with fund sales data, show this is not all the consumer care about.
An EIRIS survey recently showed that 44% of consumers want to look seriously at ethical financial products and that a massive 75% of them intended to act on this interest the next time they buy.
Combine this with the fact in the UK, the amount of money in ethical investment funds has trebled to over GBP11bn in the last ten years, and this demand has to be taken seriously.
So how does this consumer need for a good CSR agenda marry up with a widespread perception that sustainable or ethical funds perform poorly in comparison to those managed without screening? Well the answer is this perception is a false one. Investing sustainably does not detract from portfolio returns. In fact, quite the contrary.
Environmental, social and governance (ESG) screening as a part of an investment process considers the reality behind a company's CSR policy, including the impact that the business has on the local community, its employees, health and safety record, and its record/approach to corporate governance.
If ESG standards had been applied to British Petroleum (BP) prior to the April 2010 Gulf of Mexico disaster, they would have highlighted the fact that in the three years up to that point the company had been fined 760 times by U.S. Health and Safety Executives for safety violations, while Exxon had been fined once.
Over the three years to the end of June 2012, the share prices of BP and Exxon have fallen by 15% and risen by 22% respectively.
Boosting returns
So all of this points to one conclusion. Poor CSR standards are likely to hit the value of the company and consumers are becoming more and more aware of this.
There is a large market out there for 'ethical' funds, and as the consumer continues to increase its awareness of the impact of businesses' actions on their world, this market is likely to get bigger.
If we add into the mix the potential for increasing returns to investors by actually applying sustainable principles, then we can really start providing products for investors that tick a lot more than just the 'performance' box.
Alquity Investment Management offers a new model for investment management built around three core principles: attractive returns, sustainable investment and transforming lives.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Economic Summary for the week ended 14th Sep 2012

Europe - Germany's top court rejected calls to block the permanent eurozone rescue fund (the European Stability Mechanism (ESM)) and the European fiscal treaty, on Wednesday. European markets hit a 14 month high in reaction to the news.
But the Constitutional Court imposed conditions including a cap on Germany's contribution, which it said could only be overruled by the German parliament.
Critics had argued that the ESM commits Germany to potentially unlimited funding of debt-ridden eurozone states. Some 37,000 people had signed a petition to the court asking it to block the ESM, and make it subject to a referendum.
U.S. - The U.S. trade deficit grew slightly in July as exports fell at a faster pace than imports.
The Commerce Department said the trade deficit widened to $42bn, 0.2% more than June's gap of $41.9bn. However, the deficit was still lower than many analysts' forecasts of approximately $44bn.
U.S. exports fell 1% to $183.3bn, lowered by weaker sales to eurozone nations. Imports fell 0.8% to $225.3bn, with oil imports falling 6.5%.
But imports from China hit a record $37.9bn in July, pushing the trade gap with the country to a record $29.4bn.
U.S. - Moody's will strip the U.S. of its AAA rating if a deficit reduction deal is not agreed in Congress, it has warned.
The ratings agency made the threat ahead of the U.S. elections in November, where the national debt will be critical in negotiations and swaying votes.
Moody's said tax increases and spending cuts, due in early January, may not be enough to prevent a downgrade and an agreement on the debt over the medium term will need to be met.
China - China's Premier, Wen Jiabao, has told the World Economic Forum in Tianjin that his country is on track to hit growth targets for this year. He also called on international leaders to strengthen co-ordination and oppose trade protectionism during the global economic slowdown.
His address comes amid signs that China's economy may be slowing faster than previously thought. Manufacturing and export growth have slowed, while imports have dipped.
This has raised concerns about a decline in both external and domestic demand, in turn sparking fears that Beijing may miss its growth target for 2012.
But Mr Wen said: "We are fully confident that we have the conditions and capability to overcome difficulties on the way ahead, maintain fast and stable economic growth and realise development at a higher level and with better quality.
India - Indian stocks rose to the highest level in more than six months on Wednesday, on speculation the central bank will cut interest rates next week and as German authorities cleared the way for a permanent euro-area rescue fund.
The BSE India Sensitive Index, or Sensex, increased 0.8%, the highest close since Feb. 23. The gauge climbed 4% in the previous six days, the longest streak since January.
South Korea - South Korea has unveiled a fresh stimulus plan, its second in four days, in an attempt to revive growth in its economy. Its central bank will inject 1.5tn won ($1.3bn) into banks, which will use it to provide low-interest rate loans to small businesses.
South Korea's growth has been hurt by slowing global demand for its exports.
Exports account for almost half of South Korea's economic output and the central bank warned the sector may remain sluggish amid economic uncertainty.
"The Committee considers the economic recovery in the U.S. to have weakened somewhat and the sluggishness of economic activities in the euro area to have deepened," the bank said in its monetary policy statement.
Commodities - Gold climbed for a second day on Wednesday, prior to a Federal Reserve policy meeting on Thursday that may introduce more stimulus to boost the world's largest economy.
Gold rose as much as 0.3% to $1,736.45 an ounce. Holdings in bullion-backed exchange-traded products expanded to a record 2,487.361 metric tons on Tuesday, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Spotlight on: The insatiable demand for luxury goods
The reporting season has demonstrated the luxury goods industry's resilience, according to Caroline Reyl, senior investment manager of the Pictet-Premium Brands fund.
On the surface, it would certainly seem like investors in premium brands should be concerned about a China slowdown. Luxury goods companies rely on Asia for 40% of their sales, with Chinese consumers accounting for around two thirds of that total. So, with China's growth rate having recently weakened to 7.6%, its slowest pace since 2009, luxury goods companies would understandably have cause for concern.
However, looking at the majority of the earnings reports released recently, such fears look overdone for now.
Although there is evidence of a moderation in demand for luxury goods, sales growth in emerging markets eased from an average of 21% in the first quarter to 16% in the second. We believe companies in the sector remain on track to post a healthy 15%-20% rise in revenue from developing economies this year.
Indeed, we have seen resilience across many sub-sectors in the luxury goods industry. The world's largest luxury goods company, LVMH, owner of brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moet & Chandon champagne and Tag Heuer watches, said expansion in Asia Pacific boosted sales by 13% in the second quarter, while Hermes, the most exclusive handbag maker, reported sales up 27% in the region over the same period.
Swiss watch group Swatch, meanwhile (owner of Omega and Breguet and Blancpain) said it was still seeing overall growth rates of more than 20% in China, and stood by its forecast for record worldwide annual sales of 8bn Swiss francs in 2012.
The reporting season also confirmed that luxury goods companies continue to enjoy strong earnings momentum. In 2011, margins on earnings before interest and tax stood at 22.6% for the luxury sector against 12.8% for the MSCI Consumer Discretionary segment, helped by strong pricing power and cost discipline.
This quarter, Swatch Group and PPR's luxury division were still able to report operating margins of nearly 25%, and 20.5% for LVMH. Although the sector's exceptional sales and margin growth of the past two years is normalising, margins for the full year look set to remain healthy.
Lust for exclusive brands
These encouraging developments in part reflect the fact that Asian consumers are not as sensitive to shifts in the economic climate as shoppers in other regions. They tend to be more selective, preferring very exclusive goods to "masstige" products (so-called mass-market prestige brands).
Another bright spot in the luxury goods earnings season was Asian consumers' strong propensity to shop while holidaying abroad. Asian shoppers accounted for half of luxury goods sales in Europe last year, and this trend continued through into the second quarter of 2012 as tourists from the region took advantage of favourable price differentials and a strong yuan.
Long-term growth drivers
Longer term, while China will continue to be key in shaping the prospects of luxury goods companies, it will not be the only source of growth. A ramp-up of consumption from Brazil, Russia and India, the largest emerging markets after China, looks set to take place over the next decade: as duties are lowered and restrictive import regulations are relaxed, prestige brands can be expected to gain a firm foothold here too.
Whether it is luxury leather goods, fine cognacs or luxurious tourism, demand for luxury goods will remain strong throughout the emerging world for years to come. And with luxury goods stocks trading at levels equivalent to 14.6 times forward earnings, well below their historical average of 19.89 times, investors have the opportunity to capitalise on these trends at an attractive price.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Economic Summary for the week ended 8th Sep 2012

Europe - European stocks advanced on Thursday as investors waited for ECB President Mario Draghi to give details of his plan to stem the region's debt crisis. U.S. index futures and Asian shares also gained.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index advanced 0.3%. The measure has surged 14% from this year's low on June 4 as Draghi pledged to do everything possible to preserve the euro. Standard & Poor's 500 Index futures also climbed 0.3% on Thursday, as did the MSCI Asia Pacific Index.
It is thought likely that Draghi will propose a blueprint to lower borrowing costs in Spain and Italy which will involve unlimited buying of government debt, with maturities of up to three years.
Greece - Greece's international lenders have suggested measures which include increasing the maximum working week to six days.
This is thought to be one of several unofficial proposals to liberalise the labour market and increase government revenue, such proposals were not included in the original bailout agreement signed with the Greek government.
Greece needs the next payment of EUR31.5bn to allow it to continue servicing its debts.
Proposals in the document from the troika included:
  • Setting a single rate statutory minimum wage
  • Reducing regulatory burdens
  • Making work schedules more flexible
  • Setting a minimum daily rest of 11 hours
  • Eliminating restrictions on the minimum and maximum time between morning and afternoon shifts.
China - The China Development Bank will sell USD1.6bn in asset-backed securities this week, the country's biggest securitisation deal, and its first in three years.
China had barred the sale of asset-backed securities in 2009 when the global financial crisis dampened their reputation & popularity.
But after a boom in lending over the past few years, Chinese banks need to free up balance sheet space, and parcelling loans to investors via securitisation is likely to be an important part of this process.
Chinese regulators remain cautious, placing sharp limits on how banks can operate. They will be able to convert no more than Rmb50bn of assets into securities this year, less than 0.1% of outstanding loans in the banking system.
The resumption of securitisation, however small, is seen by analysts as an answer to many bottlenecks in China's financial system.
India - Indian equities are attracting the highest foreign flows in the emerging market regions, as investors speculate that the worst may be over for the nation's biggest companies after profitability slumped to an eight-year low.
Offshore funds have invested a net USD12.3bn into Indian shares this year, the most among 10 Asian markets outside China, tracked by Bloomberg. The average profit margin before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of the 30 companies in the BSE India Sensitive Index, or Sensex, narrowed to 19.5% in the June quarter, the lowest since December 2003, data compiled by Bloomberg shows.
"With China's growth slowing, India looks the best among BRIC countries year to date," Taina Erajuuri, a fund manager in Helsinki at FIM Asset Management overseeing about USD1.2bn of emerging-market assets, said. "India's economy is less dependent on exports to Europe than China and Russia." Erajuuri said she's been a buyer of Indian equities this year.
Brazil - Brazil sold USD1.25bn of bonds in the Latin American country's first international dollar debt sale since January, the government sold the 2.625% bonds due in January 2023, Brazil's Treasury announced.
Brazil returned to international markets as record low interest rates in Europe, Japan and the U.S. spur demand for higher-yielding assets.
"There's demand out there for higher-quality emerging- market paper," according to David Bessey, who helps manage about USD16bn of emerging-market debt including Brazilian bonds at Prudential Financial Inc.
Trends - Equities will be the most popular asset class for advisers in 2012/13, that's according to research from Neptune Investment Management.
60% of advisers interviewed believe equities will be the favoured asset class for investors, this is followed by 23.5% for fixed income, with commodities and property gaining 3.5% and 2.4% of the votes.
The news contrasts strongly with figures from the U.K.'s Investment Management Association (IMA), which show fixed income funds continue to dominate sales. The latest figures from the IMA show fixed-income funds witnessed GBP480m of net retail sales in July, which is the 11th month running fixed-income has been the bestselling asset class.
Commodities - Gold topped USD1,700 an ounce for the first time since March on Thursday, as speculation that the European Central Bank (ECB) will announce unlimited purchases of government bonds to defuse the region's debt crisis boosted the euro.
"The ECB action today is going to be beneficial for gold," said Walter de Wet, the head of commodities research at Standard Bank Plc.
Meanwhile, it has been suggested that gold will be at USD1,840 an ounce by the end of 2012, Jeffrey Currie, head of commodities research at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. told Bloomberg.
Spotlight on: Being best-placed for the next equity bull run
Pessimistic investors are overlooking signs that the global recovery is already underway and should increase their exposure to equities now if they don't want to miss out on the next bull run, according to Bob Doll, senior adviser to BlackRock.
Doll claims that policymakers have upped their game and are providing reflationary support to the world's markets, meaning that stocks should continue to grind unevenly higher.
"On balance, we believe that the cyclical outlook is improving and that the near-term dangers may be receding instead of intensifying," he said.
"If our outlook is correct, global financial markets may currently be discounting an overly pessimistic economic outlook, suggesting that risk assets may have more room to run.
BlackRock predicts growth of 2% in the U.S. economy and says the market is in reasonable shape. "Given better relative economic and earnings growth levels as well as highly accommodative monetary policies, we continue to favour U.S. stocks vs global benchmarks," he commented.
He also claimed that a third round of quantitative easing (QE3) would be positive for the country and said he was unconcerned about the threat of a "fiscal cliff" as he believes policy makers will once again reach an agreement at the last minute to prevent this.
"Although the sides remain far apart and statesmanship is sorely lacking in Washington DC, we still think there is a better-than 50% chance that we'll see an eleventh- or twelfth-hour agreement to enact a temporary extension of the Bush-era tax cuts and a delay in scheduled spending cuts with real and hopefully long-term action being taken in early 2013," he explained.
Although the U.S. unemployment rate isn't coming down, Doll says there are signs of a recovery.
"We have been seeing signs of improved business investment levels, increases in consumer spending and a recovery in the housing market, but the labour market remains troubled and the recent rise in energy prices will weigh on sentiment and spending levels."
On the prospects for the eurozone Doll is also cautiously optimistic.
"This Thursday, the ECB will meet and expectations are high that president Mario Draghi will clarify plans to purchase distressed bonds and help repair Europe's financial markets."
"The outlook for Europe remains murky, but we expect that policy-makers' pro-growth policies should help the region's economy to recover (although peripheral European countries will likely remain in recession into next year)," he said.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Economic Summary for the week ended 31st Aug 2012

U.S. - U.S. shoppers spent a little more in July compared with June, according to the U.S. Commerce Department, raising hopes that the country's economy is continuing to recover.
Consumer spending rose 0.4% in July, the largest increase for five months and following no change in June.
On Wednesday, figures showed that the U.S. economy grew at an annualised pace of 1.7% in the April-to-June period.
Brazil - Brazil's central bank has cut its benchmark interest rate to a record low of 7.5% in an attempt to reignite a stalled economic recovery.
The cut, from the previous level of 8%, in the main Selic rate follows recently unveiled government stimulus measures.
The central bank move is the ninth cut in a row since August last year, as the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate has fallen dramatically from the 7.5% recorded in 2012.
Trends - Japanese equities have seen huge inflows over the past year as money has been sucked out of Europe, the U.K. and the U.S., according to U.K.'s Investment Management Association (IMA) figures.
Money has also been flowing into emerging market, Asian and globally focused funds, but Japan is the surprising addition to that list, as a developed market with well-known demographic and debt-related issues.
Richard Troue, investment analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: "The country has been hit by everything that has been going on in Europe, but it is sheltered to some extent because a lot of Japanese companies are managing to capture growth in Asia."
"Approximately 60% of Japanese exports are going to Asia and emerging markets rather than Europe or the U.S."
India - India's economy grew faster than expected in the three months to the end of June, easing some fears about a sharp slowdown in Asia's third-largest economy.
Annualised growth was 5.5% in the April to June period, most analysts had forecast a rate of 5.2%.
"Whilst an upside surprise at 5.5%, the pace of growth is undeniably below potential and validates the need for the government to address sluggishness in investment and external sector activity," said Radhika Rao an economist at Forecast Pte.
China - China's top banks are stepping up their lending activities in the U.S. as large U.S. companies diversify their funding sources and seek to penetrate more deeply into the world's second-largest economy.
Chinese banks' share of U.S. syndicated lending has risen to 6.1% of the total market so far in 2012, up from 5.1% last year, according to data from Dealogic. So far this year, the total value of syndicated loans from Chinese banks into the U.S. has reached $51bn.
Liao Qiang, Chinese banking analyst at Standard & Poor's, said: "Many global banks have been deleveraging as a result of the 2008 global financial crisis and the debt crisis in Europe. Their retreat in lending markets provides opportunities for Chinese banks to deepen relationships with the multinational companies and steadily increase their international presence."
Philippines - A hefty rise in government spending on infrastructure and private investment in durable equipment helped the Philippine economy continue to grow in the second quarter, albeit at a slower pace, despite slowing exports and weak farm output.
GDP grew 5.9% in the second quarter year on year, the National Statistical Co-ordination Board said on Thursday. This was above analysts' average forecasts of 5.3% but below the first quarter's surprising 6.3%.
Euben Paracuelles, south-east Asia analyst at Nomura in Singapore, downplayed the fears. "While the Philippines, like many export-dependent countries, was affected by the global slowdown" he said "it had strong domestic drivers of growth such as government spending and private investment."
"There is no question that the export sector is going to be a drag, but it's a question of what happens to domestic demand. Domestic demand is the bigger offset in the Philippines," said Mr Paracuelles. He recently upgraded his forecast for the country's 2012 growth from 5.1% to 6%.
Commodities - Global food prices have leapt by 10% in the month of July, raising fears of soaring prices for the planet's poorest, the World Bank has warned.
The bank said that a U.S. heatwave and drought in parts of Eastern Europe were partly to blame for the rising costs.
The price of key grains such as corn, wheat and soybean saw the most dramatic increases, described by the World Bank president as "historic".
Spotlight on: A key development for Russian equity funds
Russia's entry into the World Trade Organisation (WTO) is likely to result in a significant boost for economic growth and direct foreign investment, according to BlackRock's David Reid.
Reid, head analyst of the BlackRock Eastern European Investment Trust, believes this "historical reform" will be a big help to fund managers focused on the region, who are already encouraged by strong fundamentals and cheap valuations across a number of sectors.
"Almost all the countries that have joined the WTO in the past have experienced sustained improvements in foreign direct investment and economic growth," he explained.
"China's entry in 2001 is often held up as one of the big success stories, but the eastern European region can also boast a record of success including countries like Poland, Hungary and the Baltic states."
"Many sectors stand to benefit from this accession. For example, many export industries where Russia has a competitive advantage, such as steel and chemicals, will have easier access to foreign markets."
"The consumer sector will also benefit from higher employment and wages as foreign investment in the economy takes effect."
"Greater competition and lower tariffs will improve the quality and cost of goods and services, freeing up resources across the whole economy for additional investment and consumption."
"Perhaps the most important point to note is that Russia's accession comes after 18 years of talks, which could easily have dragged on for longer."
"Russia's leadership has decided now is the time to send a signal to the world that it is finally serious about engaging with global commerce, a key message to take away from these events."
While Reid believes this is a long-term trend, he says historically cheap valuations in the Russian market imply a good entry point.
According to Financial Express data, the MSCI Russia index is down 14.09% over six months, compared with a gain of 0.74% from MSCI World.
"This is a historic development, but we are not anticipating miracle results in the short term," Reid said. "Only a certain proportion of reforms are immediate, with the rest being phased in over a period of several years. Ongoing work by the government is required, but the WTO accession agreement is a powerful 'anchor' for policy that should ensure the direction of travel is firmly positive."
"The Russian equity market is very close to historic lows in its valuation, both compared to its own history and to other emerging markets. This is in spite of the fact that the economy has been growing steadily since the crisis and has achieved record low inflation and unemployment levels this year."
"WTO accession will help to highlight the country's strong investment fundamentals and the market deserves renewed consideration from investors," he finished.