When the Justice and Development Party (AKP) swept elections in November, financial markets were focused neither on prime minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, nor on president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. All eyes were on new deputy prime minister Mehmet Şimşek, the former Finance minister, who may be the only reformer within the largely statist AKP.
There’s been big change in the small country of Burkina Faso. On November 29, the West African nation of 17 million held its first free elections in almost three decades.
Riding a wave of government spending, Kuwait’s financial institutions are thriving despite the drop in petroleum revenues—for now.
The opposition party in Venezuela won the majority of seats in the National Assembly (Venezuela’s parliament) in national elections early in December.
The appointment of Alfonso Prat-Gay as Argentina’s new Finance minister was a clear sign to international investors that president Mauricio Macri, sworn in December 10, was serious about unraveling the populist policies of the previous government.
The prospect of the lifting of economic sanctions against Iran has investors excited about the return of this market to the global economic community. But the message is: Proceed with caution.
In the wake of falling commodities prices, Africa’s largest and oil-rich economies are now in damage-repair mode.
Nations slash subsidies in the face of cheap oil and regional conflicts.
Grassroots anti-corruption movement promises new era of transparency.
An expanding middle class and strong long-term fundamentals suggest that pessimism over developing nations’ economic prospects may be overdone.
History was made in Myanmar, the country formerly called Burma, on November 8, when the National League for Democracy (NLD), headed by Noble Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, won a near-total sweep in the first democratic election in 25 years.
Capital Markets | Foreign Exchange Controls
In early November, Chinese Communist Party leaders announced plans to make the renminbi a “freely tradable and usable currency” by 2020—when the latest five-year development plan is set to finish—according to a statement by the party’s Xinhua News Agency.
In our annual special issue on emerging markets, we take a macro and regional view of the new realities (yes, more than one) that have developed over the past year. There are quite a few surprises.
Central Europe and the Southeast revive, while the CIS struggles with low oil prices and sanctions.
Capital Markets | Renminbi
The renminbi dropped a position in October, going from fourth to fifth, in terms of its use as a currency for international payments, according to the latest SWIFT Renminbi Tracker report.
Asia’s emerging economies fight to diversify from China and the US.
Trends | Taxation
Brazil is well known in the global business sector for its tax complexity, heavy tax burden (around 35% of GDP) and high use of technology for tax collection. Not for nothing do Brazilians call their tax authority—Receita Federal do Brasil—“the Lion.”
It is not even close: The 12 largest emerging markets banks in the world are Chinese.
Chinese banks receive high ratings, but many also fall below investment grade.