Articles List

Smooth Path Towards Greater Exchange Rate Flexibility

A strong fiscal position, low inflation, a sound banking system and the broad alignment of the dirham with macro fundamentals underpin our view for a gradual and smooth transition towards a free float in Morocco over the coming years. Greater exchange rate flexibility will be consistent with the kingdom's strategy to attract foreign investment and to become a manufacturing and exporting hub between Europe and Africa.

Tough Times Ahead For Coal-Power Utilities

Chinese companies with a heavy exposure to domestic coal power capacity will face growing operational and financial headwinds over the coming decade as China's power mix shifts away from coal.

Macron's Main Impact On TMT Sector To Be On The European Front

For the TMT sector, the election of Emmanuel Macron to the French Presidency would have most impact at the European level. His vision aligns with Germany's, with the removal of the UK providing another positive for further integration. His manifesto is less ambitious domestically, adhering closely to existing initiatives that have already been factored into our forecasts, regardless of whether he takes a more open-minded approach to consolidation.

Belt & Road: 10 Hotspot Countries

We have selected 10 hotspots which we believe will see the greatest activity and focus surrounding B&R. The countries have been selected based on level of and openness to Chinese investment and the strategic important of those countries based on geography or politics. The majority of these countries are in Asia but we also highlight several key markets in Europe and the Middle East and Africa.

Rouhani To Win Re-Election In Presidential Vote

Incumbent Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will win re-election on May 19 2017 given relatively strong support for his foreign and economic policies and a divided hardline opposition.

Bullish Brent On Demand, Cautious WTI On Supply

We hold to our 2017 annual average forecast for Brent of USD57.00/bbl as we expect seasonally firming demand for crude and fuels in Q2 and Q3 to drive down inventories and offer support to prices. Price upside will however be capped by the recovering US shale sector and softer OPEC compliance over Q3.

IRR - Modest Depreciation Ahead

The Iranian rial will undergo renewed depreciation in the coming quarters after a period of relative stability following the unification of exchange rates. We forecast depreciation of between 5-10% against the US dollar over the coming years, which is broadly in line with the inflation differential. This contrasts starkly with the rapid depreciation seen over the past five years, with the nuclear deal, much lower inflation, and an improving economy mitigating some of the forces to the downside.

Reshuffle Suggests Rising Risks Of Fiscal Slippage

The March 30 cabinet reshuffle, which saw Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan replaced with Zuma-ally Malusi Gigaba, suggests substantial risks to fiscal consolidation in South Africa. While not yet part of our core view, the reshuffle suggests increased risks of a significant ramp-up on recurrent and capital spending, we all as potential for a deterioration in fiscal management at the country's numerous state-owned enterprises.

Trade And Security Issues To Dominate Xi-Trump Meeting

Trade and security issues will dominate the agenda when US President Donald Trump hosts Chinese President Xi Jinping on April 6-7. Amid growing protectionism by the US and rising tensions in the Korean Peninsula, we believe that the meeting presents a test to both Trump’s geopolitical assertiveness in Asia and Xi’s need to be viewed as capable of standing up for China’s national interests.

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