December 5, 2020

Markets rally, but investors look beyond the Brics

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Jamie reading newsBy Jamie Robertson Presenter, BBC World News

It’s been quite a January: the best since 1989 for the FTSE, the Dow over 14,000, the S&P 500 over 1,500.

Even the poor old Nikkei has risen 7% this year on hopes that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s new administration will be pouring money into the system.

Investors continue to treat Spain and Italy with contempt – the bond market may have been rescued by the promises of the European Central Bank but the economy really shows no sign of going anywhere fast, and equity investors know that.

But there are several other economies which have also lagged in terms of their equity performance – namely the Brics – Brazil, Russia, India and China. They did not have a good 2012.

China has started 2013 well largely because of a set of good economic numbers on trade, which suggests domestic as well as export growth.

But in Brazil the Bovespa has had a terrible time, already falling some 4% this year.

Investors still need to be convinced the Indian economy is on track and January was an unimpressive month for the Sensex. The IMF has warned that India has to stop cutting interest rates and somehowJamie nice tie1 find a different way of generating growth.

Russia had a good January, making up for an underperformance last year, and there is some hope there will be a spate of privatisations in the wake of President Putin’s declaration that more state firms should be privatised.

The stock exchange is setting an example, planning to float itself on itself, so to speak, raising some $500m (£315m) to upgrade its facilities and so encourage others to follow suit.

New hubs

However, there is a growing feeling the Brics are yesterday’s story (or possibly the last decade’s).

For more exciting (and not necessarily risky) returns this year you have to look elsewhere – the Philippines, Thailand, Pakistan and Turkey have all outperformed, gaining between 4% and 11% in just the last five weeks.

Some of them (Pakistan is the most obvious case) are defying political scandals, terrorism and social unrest to post 4% gains in January on the back of outsize profits in the telecom and oil and gas exploration sectors.

In Thailand – up 7.5% since the New Year – the market has been helped by a raft of initial public offerings and a boom in cross-border takeovers by Thai companies.

_65807553_zkzrc4bmBut the Stock Exchange of Thailand is also becoming a hub, connecting its securities trading with that of Malaysia and Singapore, and helping Laos develop its fledgling equity and bond market.

It has also signed a memorandum of understanding to help Burma do the same. By the by, the Laos market, tiny and illiquid, is up 17% in the last five weeks.

The Philippines has for decades resolutely defied the expectations that have been heaped upon it since the end of the Marcos era, and underperformed with monotonous regularity.

However, the fundamentals really do look convincing now: low inflation of about 3-3.5%, growth estimated at above 6% through to 2016, strong consumption, election spending and rising foreign investor interest.

Dependent on Big Three

The economist Nouriel Roubini, who famously predicted the 2008 financial crisis and has continued to maintain a determinedly gloomy attitude to the world economy ever since, had unexpectedly cheerful comments for the Philippines earlier this month, predicting 7% growth and praising its economic success based on fiscal and governance reforms.

He even predicted the rating agencies would grant it an investment grade rating – a stamp of approval for foreign investors. At present, the country’s rating is a notch below investment grade.

Turkey was another star last year, with the equity index rising 28%, but there are increasing risks, not least of which is the situation on its southern borders

There is also an inflation risk: the rate jumped to 7.3% in January from 6.1% in December. And that may mean an ending of the loose monetary policy interest. Furthermore there is the uncertainty of elections in 2014.

In the end, though, many of these outperforming emerging markets are utterly dependent on the health of the three big economies: the United States, the European Union and China.

If, however, you are convinced that a recovery is under way, or at the very least, some stability has been achieved, the minnows swimming around the big economies may well be the best bet.

For more on this story go to:

Jamie Robertson is an experienced business presenter on the BBC World News channel – Cayman Islands WestStar Cable 26. He smiles and moves his hands a lot and this has irritated a viewer in such a rage she published a blog under the heading

“Hello, Jamie Robertson (or is it Robinson, sorry)”

Here we publish

BBC World News again.

I switched BBC World News on and it was a special news report on prisoners of an uprising.  I don’t know if it was Libya or not, to show how little I was able to concentrate.  I remember one of the reporters said people were screaming and that it was one of the worst things he had ever seen, and that he had seen some pretty bad things.  I thought how often I react to reporters as if they are freshers with no relationship with people they interview and no understanding between themselves and the interviewee, even if they fight on screen like cat and dog.  I noticed the ears of one of the guys, they seemed to be translucent and letting through a red light from behind.  I’ve never seen ears like that.

But I was fagged out and tired.  I had just fought a battle with my neighbours for my legal right to not be harassed and felt I had made a positive step forward in asserting my right to live here in peace.  But I was tired and questioning myself and, while the television was on, I was working through the questions and how much of what I had said (ranted, thrown across the line) I had meant and was right and needed to be said, and I wasn’t really listening, it was just there, a relaxing, comforting hum in the background while I sorted my mind and feelings out.  I was calming down and feeling more settled and relaxed and happy with things (some people would say I shouldn’t have been, but that isn’t the point of this post) when Jamie’s [Jamie Robertson]tone started to take on significance and he emphasised ‘slow down’ or ‘slowing down’, and I looked up into his eyes feeling my attention had been forced onto him and away from my own thoughts and he had lifted up one of his fingers and was doing a hypnosis type movement with it, in front of the eyes, and because I was watching and because of everything else that has already gone, I thought he was doing it at me.  He was doing it at the camera anyway, obviously deliberately, I believe, with me watching, and I felt affected by it.  Whether it was real in intention or just a humorous or mocking caricature, it made me angry because it was deliberate, and I hadn’t wanted my attention forced onto him in that way, I needed the space I had to resolve my own thoughts in the situation I am in, 2000 miles away sitting on my sofa in a pain-filled violent harassment situation.  He was deliberately calling attention and short-circuited the process.

He said some other stuff, about someone not being welcome in the situation anymore, and because of the violent call on my attention I felt confused because I was still with my situation here and had been forcibly removed in my mind from it against my will and criminally, I believe, so I thought he was talking about here.  He put his hands up and opened them out like a book, which is another part of the gesture cluster, and I was just getting angrier, then he smiled as if he recognised a presence (whether it was an act or not I don’t know, it seemed real), held the camera with his eye then jerked away and hit the desk with his papers, which I always find really crude and violent as a form of command or territory marking, and called on his interviewee.  What is that about?  I thought it was a psychic thing.  He was using material from my Google Translate session and from my unpublished post.  I don’t understand the gesturing now, I thought it was a psychic thing, but maybe it is just bad handling of a transition into an interview, saying my stuff which he shouldn’t be accessing and defiantly holding the camera in a face off.  It’s still criminal.  It’s still a crime, using what I haven’t even published yet or never would have.  I’m not sure where he was getting the Google Translate stuff from, but the draft post must have been through WordPress or straight off of my computer.

I was so angry and outraged and afraid and offended and disturbed, I started to hear voices.  Ghosting voices, behind me, like the woman shouting hallelujah, but they seemed to be more in my ears.  I don’t know, it was just frightening and disturbing and horrible.  After a few minutes I shouted at her to shut up because it was 12.30 am here and there shouldn’t be any noise after 10 pm.  Then I thought, ‘is it her, it might not be’.  I thought about what was happening, how it seemed to be whispers insistent and crowding around my ear, and decided it was an occult manifestation brought on by the psychologically and spiritually violent and illegal thing which had just been done to me.  It just occurs to me now, as well, that it was my sister’s birthday yesterday, 9th March, and just like Jools Holland held a concert in my birth city on my birthday, Derek Acorah did a show on my sister’s birthday, so there might have been an occult connection there as well, as well as all the straight forward illegal stalking ones.  My sister has been harassed by satanists, who have told her so, if I remember it right.

But he just stayed there, Jamie, staring down the camera, just going on and on, and I was thinking ‘no, this isn’t OK, this is illegal and spiritualist stalking and you have just broken into my mind and life and home by your use of my material’, he laughingly talked about a ‘grievous and irreparable breakdown’, which was relevant to my post subject which is still in draft form, and went out on another laughed ‘grievously’, and apart from anything else I felt mocked and teased about something which, to me, is really serious.

Editor: He has that affect on me too. Someone else, though, said, “I like his tie”!

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