Major Latam Stock Index & Exchange Rate Changes in Q1-2014

 

 

Advansa International follows exchange rates and stock market indexes for several emerging and frontier markets. Exchange rates and stock indexes are recorded on the last trading day of the week. The tables below show changes from the last trading day of the last full week of the quarter for several key markets in Latin America, and the Caribbean.

Table 1 

 STOCK MARKET INDEX TRACKER 1ST QUARTER 2014

LATIN AMERICA/CARIBBEAN

COUNTRY

1ST QUARTER PCT CHANGE

ARGENTINA MERVAL-Local Currency

16.22%

ARGENTINA MERVAL-US$

-2.65%

BRAZIL BOVESPA-Local Currency

-6.02%

BRAZIL BOVESPA-US$

-0.36%

COLUMBIA IGBC-Local Currency

5.11%

COLUMBIA IGBC-US$

2.59%

JAMAICA MAIN INDEX-Local Currency

-4.12%

JAMAICA MAIN INDEX-US$

-7.07%

MEXICO-Local Currency

-6.33%

MEXICO-US$

-6.56%

MSCI LATIN AMERICA-Local Currency

-1.61%

MSCI LATIN AMERICA-US$

-4.20%

MSCI EMERGING MARKETS-Local Currency

0.79%

MSCI EMERGING MARKETS-US$

-0.23%

Sources: Stock exchangewebsites, Financial Times, Advansa International data

 

Table 2

1ST QUARTER 2014 EXCHANGE RATE CHANGE

LATIN AMERICA/CARIBBEAN

COUNTRY

1ST QTR PCT CHG

YTD

MAR PCT CHANGE

ARGENTINA

-18.87%

-18.87%

BRAZIL

5.66%

5.66%

CHILE

-4.88%

-4.88%

COLOMBIA

-2.51%

-2.51%

COSTA RICA

-8.05%

-8.05%

JAMAICA

-2.95%

-2.95%

MEXICO

0.24%

0.24%

PERU

-0.91%

-0.91%

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO

0.47%

0.47%

Sources: Financial Times, Advansa International data

In the Americas as in Africa the correction in emerging markets has become clearly visible in the 1st quarter of 2014. The MSCI Latin America index lost 1.6% and several currencies lost value, with Argentina being the standout due to continued high inflation. Exports of commodities played a bigger role in Latin America’s growth story than in other regions. Consequently, declining exports to Asia have put pressure on the trade balances of the big exporters like Argentina and Peru. Rising interest rates have helped the Brazilian real recover from previous losses but slow growth has contributed to lower stock prices. The long term outlook among investors is optimistic, with the length and depth of China’s economic slowdown being a major risk factor. Long term growth can resume if the future brings:

  • Political reform or even change of governments in some of the more volatile countries.
  • Adopting policies that enhance the region’s human capital (i.e. promoting education and entrepreneurship) and position their societies to enter high value industries that are more inclusive, and less dependent on undependable commodity prices.

 

 

 

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Major African Stock Index and Exchange Rate Changes in Q1-2014

 

 

 

Advansa International follows exchange rates and stock market indexes for several emerging and frontier markets. Exchange rates and stock indexes are recorded on the last trading day of the week. The tables below show changes from the last trading day of the last full week of the quarter for several key markets in Africa.

Table 1 

 STOCK MARKET INDEX TRACKER 1ST QUARTER 2014

AFRICA

COUNTRY

1ST QUARTER PCT CHANGE

GHANA-Local Currency

11.37%

GHANA-US$

-0.80%

KENYA-Local Currency

1.76%

KENYA-US$

0.88%

NIGERIA-Local Currency

-4.72%

NIGERIA-US$

-7.45%

SOUTH AFRICA-Local Currency

0.48%

SOUTH AFRICA-US$

3.68%

WEST AFR. BOURSE-Local Currency

5.07%

WEST AFR. BOURSE-US$

4.88%

MSCI AFRICA-Local Currency

3.80%

MSCI AFRICA-US$

0.33%

MSCI EMERGING MARKETS-Local Currency

0.79%

MSCI EMERGING MARKETS-US$

-0.23%

Sources: Stock exchangewebsites, Financial Times, Advansa International data

 

Table 2

1ST QUARTER 2014 EXCHANGE RATE TRACKER

AFRICA

COUNTRY

1ST QTR PCT CHG

YTD

MAR PCT CHANGE

CFA AREA*

-0.18%

-0.18%

GHANA

-12.16%

-12.16%

KENYA

-0.88%

-0.88%

NIGERIA

-2.73%

-2.73%

SOUTH AFRICA

-1.12%

-1.12%

TANZANIA

-3.30%

-3.30%

UGANDA

-1.88%

-1.88%

Sources: Financial Times, Advansa International data

*Includes most French speaking countries such as Benin, Cameroon, Cote D’ivoire, Guinea, Senegal, Togo and others

2014 marks a change in investor sentiment towards the emerging and frontier markets. We see a shift from the mad rush into EMs of the past 3-4 years to people wondering if all the emerging market hype is a bit overblown. The announcement of tapering by the US Fed in 2013 was the trigger. In Africa the new outlook is manifest in continued currency weakness and retrenchment in several key stock indexes.

Every currency in our table lost ground in the first quarter. This is in spite of monetary tightening and rising interest rates across the board. Indeed, monetary policy in most of these markets has been fairly rational. On the fiscal side, however governments are finding it difficult to control spending. These are countries with young populations climbing out of poverty. They are at a developmental stage that demands rapid growth and are under tremendous political pressure to deliver social services and better infrastructure, all of which leads to deficits in the trade and fiscal accounts.

Ghana is a conspicuous example among this group. We see from the tables that Ghanaian stocks performed quite well while the currency was the weakest among prominent African economies. Many companies are performing well and investors anticipate future growth so stock prices are rising. However the trade benefits of the nascent oil sector have not materialized and have in fact generated additional imports as production ramps up. Thus the trade balance deteriorates. The resulting inflation on top of politically driven spending increases puts downward pressure on the cedi.

Yet it is these same characteristics that make the emerging markets such as Ghana attractive to investors. Among the larger markets that attract most of the trading volume, the currency issue is not as urgent. If this is a short term correction and if governments and investors don’t panic, then the long term trends will continue to imply growth and favorable investment outcomes.

 

 

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Annual CERMES Study Tour Underway in Belize

Originally posted on caribbeanclimate:

(L-R) John Moody (5Cs), Neetha Selliah (CERMES), Dr. Adrian Cashman (CERMES), Renata Goodridge (CERMES), Dr. Nurse (5Cs and CERMES), and Earl Green (5Cs)

(L-R) John Moody (5Cs), Neetha Selliah (CERMES), Dr. Adrian Cashman (CERMES), Renata Goodridge (CERMES), Dr. Nurse (5Cs and CERMES), and Earl Green (5Cs)

A group of students, faculty and support staff from the Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES), which is located at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus in Barbados, arrived in Belize today (April 7 through to April 16) for an extensive field laboratory.

This marks the tenth year that the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre is funding a contingent of CERMES students and faculty to visit Belize, one of the region’s most diverse ecological settings, to put into action the range of tools they are learning, and observe the relationships between scientific theory and the measurement of critical variables and parameters.

The 9 students who hail from across the region were drawn from graduate studies in both climate change and water resources management.

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EMERGING MARKET INVESTING PART III – 5 KEY TAKEAWAYS FOR THE ENTERPRISE

For managers and entrepreneurs seeking private investment to fund an enterprise, the current environment is challenging, though still an improvement compared to prior decades. In Part III of our series, we offer 5 takeaways from 2013. These are concepts that are particularly appropriate to current market conditions and sensible in any period in the cycle.

1. Be mindful of the investing environment. We recall from Part I that private equity activity was down somewhat in 2013. Deals were down 7% and fundraising down 19% from the previous year. We know that the BRICS and other emerging economies have slowed down. So for the time being at least the emerging markets have lost some of their luster. All this has affected investor’s attitudes. Yet the long term outlook still looks good which is the message we stick to and the reason emerging economies still attract investor interest.

2. Owners and management should have a realistic understanding of the value of their enterprise, and where it fits into the spectrum of potential investments. They should also have thought through carefully their mission and objectives for the enterprise, for themselves, and for their communities.

3. Demonstrate the strength of the business model including evidence that the business or project can provide consistent cash flow. Examples include:

  • Signed contracts for current and future sales
  • For housing developments, a significant proportion of homes pre-sold either to residents or a large employer buying for its staff.
  • Offtake agreements for energy and power projects
  • Infrastructure projects that can collect tolls or user fees

4. Government support never hurts. Although most developing countries have improved business and political climates, they are still relatively difficult places to do business. It is therefore desirable to be on good terms with the relevant government bodies so. When everyone’s interests are aligned the red tape can be minimized.

The extent to which government backing is needed varies with the type of deal. For small startups it may not be necessary at all. In some cases the government is the customer then of course the company must be in a position to win a contract. In lieu of a contract, an MOU or government guarantee may be sufficient.

It should be noted that while government support is crucial, companies should avoid any activity that can be construed as corrupt as it will be an immediate turnoff to the investor. US investors are especially wary of running afoul of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Any investor not appropriately concerned is probably one to avoid.

5. Strength of the management team. Investors look for relevant experience, a level of professionalism and an understanding of international performance standards. Most important, management and founders/owners should be prepared to act in the interest of building the value of the enterprise.

Current market conditions in emerging market PE investing indicate a plateau in deal growth. In this environment founders/owners should pay special attention to those factors that attract good investors. We think this is a short term phenomenon—a sensible pullback from the emerging market fever of the past few years. However the broader demographic, economic and geopolitical trends will continue to favor emerging markets in the long run. We believe capital will flow towards companies that have strengthened their foundations during the current slowdown.

 

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EMERGING MARKET INVESTING PART II – 3 VALUE ENHANCEMENT STRATEGIES

 

This 2nd installment of our private equity series looks at how investors have succeeded this past year. While these tactics are well known by major private equity institutions we also consider the smaller investor and those investors new to emerging market investing. This investor could be a family office, or an accredited individual investor or investor group that prefers direct investing over the limited partner role. [We will use the term “small investor” to encompass all of thee groups realizing that they are not always small in dollar terms] The approach we advocate comes under the general heading of value enhancement or value creation.

Successful emerging market investors contribute more than money to the success of their portfolio companies. With their own resources and by marshaling expertise in their networks they can enhance the value of these companies leading to a more favorable outcome at exit. This is typical of the large PE firms whose senior staff often have operating as well as financial experience.

Although not all investors will have this kind of expertise on staff, those with strong networks can mimic the kind of value enhancement that is standard procedure at the large institutions. There are professionals with region or sector specific expertise that can deliver on an outsourced basis what they cannot do in house.

Here are three value enhancement strategies:

1. Upgrading business processes

 

The investors’ due diligence should include an assessment of the company’s strengths as well as any challenges that would impede its ability to implement its business strategy. Process improvements can occur in any of several areas:

 

  • Distribution

  • Strengthening the management team

  • accounting/finance/risk management

  • ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) upgrades such as social impact measurement using IRIS, implementing a diversity strategy, or improving environmental sustainability

 

Small investor’s approach: Engage advisors with background in: the portfolio company’s industry, accounting and/or finance, ESG reporting & measurement.

 

 

2. Help portfolio companies open new markets

 

Within their region – especially important in African countries where it makes sense to combine several small country markets into larger regional ones.

 

In investor’s home market. There are companies that assist international firms in entering and selling in the US.

 

Essential for companies with small domestic markets. Opening new markets is key for Caribbean companies who need to go outside their small markets in order to scale.

 

Small investor’s approach:

 

Use investor’s network to link portfolio company to export opportunities.

 

Engage business development & marketing firms that specialize in helping foreign firms enter the US market

 

 

3. Provide constructive influence to portfolio companies even with a minority share

 

Small investor’s approach:

 

Work with companies where entrepreneurs’ managers’ and investor’s interest are aligned. Use the due diligence period to assess the mindset and culture of management. Look for:

 

  • Management teams and shareholders with a long term outlook

  • Shareholders with skin in the game, cash or mortgageable real estate for example.

  • In some cases it is feasible and desirable to have a level of decision making authority written into the deal.

 

Create alliances with like minded shareholders.

 

These are some of the ways in which a small PE investor can be helpful to emerging market portfolio companies to the benefit of all stakeholders.

 

 

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Angel Fair West Africa 2014

 

 

In our last post on emerging market private equity we mentioned the African startup infrastructure and its potential to attract local and international venture capital. The startup community will be on full display in two weeks at Angel Fair West Africa, starting March 31 in Lagos, Nigeria.

 

Startups at the seed venture and growth stages will be featured. There will be two rounds of entrepreneurs pitching their businesses and panel discussions from founders and investors. In addition to the home country there will be startups from Cameroon, Ghana,Kenya and Senegal.

 

African venture capitalists and other investors will also be in attendance including 32 members of the Lagos Angel Network.

 

 

For more on Angel Fair West Africa, click here.

 

 

 

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Emerging Market Investing – Lessons from 2013

 

 

 

Investors from large institutions to family offices are showing considerable interest in investing in emerging and frontier markets. The slowdown in emerging market growth is seen as a short term detour in a long run growth story. This post is the first of a three part discussion of private equity investing in today’s emerging markets.

 

As background we begin with highlights of private equity activity in 2013, culled from various reports from The Emerging Markets Private Equity Association, Alternative Emerging Investor, and Ernst & Young, with our particular focus on Latin America and Africa:

 

  • Total emerging market PE investing in 2013 was $224 billion in 883 deals, a 7% decrease in dollar volume from the prior year.

  • Most of the growth in capital deployed occurred outside the BRICS—on the so-called frontier. Several of these deals were in East Africa and Latin America (not including Brazil). These economies are growing during a time of relative sluggishness in the BRICS.

  • One non-BRIC, Mexico reached a five year high in capital deployed in 2013. Mexico was also the scene for Axis capital’s buyout of Oro Negro for $200 million, one of the ten largest emerging market deals of the year.

  • One fast growing sector within the private equity universe is venture capital. VC investing made up 43% of the deal activity in 2013 vs 17% in 2009. Many of these deals were in emerging Asia where the tech sector is more developed and more connected to the western tech ecosystem. Most of the major investors have been US based firms like Sequoia Capital and other familiar names from Boston and Silicon Valley. That said, one of the biggest emerging market VC deals was online language school Open English of Panama. A burgeoning tech sector is also developing in Africa with hubs in Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana. We discussed the growing African startup ecosystem in an earlier post. Many of the companies are of a type that can scale across borders and would be attractive to VC investors.

  • 2013 Deal volume in Africa reached its highest level in five years, up 43% to $1.6 billion according to EMPEA.

  • In Africa these industries saw the most deal activity in 2013:

  • Oil & gas
  • Electric power
  • Financial Services
  • Telecommunications

 

One sector where we do not see a large private equity presence is housing and property. Yet there are vast housing shortages in the most attractive countries. One possible reason could be the emphasis on affordability which requires holding prices down which would of course depress potential returns to investors. We have nevertheless seen that with the right mix of properties, a project can be structured in a way that satisfies investors and contributes to the availability of housing. Investors with a model oriented toward project financing should find attractive deals in the housing and property sector.

 

It has also been noted that African deals have tended to be smaller than those in other regions. It is possible that the bigger PE shops are passing on deals simply because they are too small or have less opportunity to scale or to grow a pan-African enterprise. For this reason we believe there is an opening for smaller PE firms, family offices and other direct investors.

 

In the next post we will explore the lessons from 2013 from the investor’s perspective, focusing on the smaller direct investor in a family office or small fund.

 

 

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Emerging Markets Exchange Rates & Interest Rates 14 March 2014

 

 

EXCHANGE RATES 3/7/2014 3/14/2014 %CHG
AMERICAS
 
ARGENTINA 7.8613 7.8945 -0.42%
BRAZIL 2.3407 2.3598 -0.81%
CHILE 565.3500 571.5900 -1.09%
COLUMBIA 2,038.3300 2,041.4800 -0.15%
COSTA RICA 559.6900 549.9650 1.77%
JAMAICA 108.2650 108.7450 -0.44%
MEXICO 13.1922 13.2290 -0.28%
PERU 2.8035 2.8040 -0.02%
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO 6.3820 6.3810 0.02%
VENEZUELA 6.2921 6.2921 0.00%
 
 
AFRICA
 
BOTSWANA 8.7873 8.8456 -0.66%
COTE D’IVOIRE (CFA) 473.2050 471.0640 0.45%
GHANA 2.5333 2.5520 -0.73%
KENYA 86.5500 86.5000 0.06%
NAMIBIA 10.7383 10.7215 0.16%
NIGERIA 164.6000 164.6500 -0.03%
SENEGAL (CFA) 473.2050 471.0640 0.45%
SOUTH AFRICA 10.7383 10.7215 0.16%
TANZANIA 1,633.0000 1,635.5000 -0.15%
UGANDA 2,515.0000 2,520.0000 -0.20%
ZAMBIA 5.9600 6.0500 -1.49%
ZAMBIA-Boz Bid 5.9401 6.0208 -1.34%
ZAMBIA-Boz Ask 5.9501 6.0308 -1.34%
ZIMBABWE 378.0000 378.0000 0.00%
 
INDIA 61.0950 61.1650 -0.11%
 
 
INTEREST RATES 3/7/2014 3/14/2014
 
UNITED STATES
3 month T-Bill 0.06% 0.05%
6 Month T-Bill 0.09% 0.08%
10 Year T-Bond 2.80% 2.65%
30 Yr Fixed Mortgage-Bankrate.com 4.45% 4.50%
30 Yr Fixed Mortgage-MBA 4.52%
 
 
AMERICAS
 
BRAZIL
SELIC Rate-Daily 10.65% 10.65%
 
MEXICO
3 Month T-Bill 3.29% 3.30%
6 Month T-Bill 3.45% 3.44%
1 Year T-Bill 3.64% 3.62%
 
PERU
Central Bank Reference Rate 4.00% 4.00%
 
AFRICA
 
GHANA
3 Month T-Bill 21.23% 22.89%
6 Month T-Bill 20.99% 21.11%
1 Year T-Bill 17.00% 20.00%
2 Year T-Bill 17.50% 20.00%
3 Year T-Bill
5 Year T-Bill
 
KENYA
3 Month T-Bill 9.12% 8.95%
6 Month T-Bill 10.35% 10.05%
1 Year T-Bond 10.61% 10.41%
4 Year T-Bond
 
NAMIBIA
3 month T-Bill
6 Month T-Bill
1 Year T-Bill
 
NIGERIA
91 Day Gov’t Security-OMO
182 Day Gov’t Security-OMO
364 Day Gov’t Security-OMO
91 Day Gov’t Security-PMO 12.25% 12.25%
182 Day Gov’t Security-PMO 14.31% 14.31%
364 Day Gov’t Security-PMO 15.61% 15.61%
 
SOUTH AFRICA
3 Month T-Bill 5.76% 5.75%
6 Month T-Bill 6.21% 6.21%
1 Year T-Bill 6.63% 6.50%
10.5% (2026) 8.44% 8.54%
13.5% (2015) 6.94% 7.01%
 
UGANDA
3 month T-Bill 9.76% 9.76%
6 Month T-Bill
1 Year T-Bill
2 Year T-Bond 13.72% 13.72%
3 Year T-Bond 13.19% 13.19%
5 Year T-Bond 13.92% 13.92%
10 Year T-Bond 13.94% 13.94%
 
ZAMBIA
3 Month T-Bill 8.00% 8.00%
6 Month T-Bill 14.90% 15.00%
1 Year T-Bill 15.23% 15.45%
2 Year T-Bill 14.00% 14.00%
3 Year T-Bill 15.00% 15.00%
5 Year T-Bond 16.00% 16.00%
10 Year T-Bond 17.90% 17.90%
15 Year T-Bond 17.90% 17.90%
INDIA
3 Month T-Bill 9.19% 9.27%
6 Month T-Bill 9.10% 9.12%
1 Year T-Bill 9.03% 9.03%
Base Lending Rate 10.25% 10.25%
Policy Rate 9.00% 9.00%

 

 

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Emerging Markets Exchange Rates & Interest Rates – 7 March 2014

 

 

EXCHANGE RATES 2/28/2014 3/7/2014 %CHG
AMERICAS  
   
ARGENTINA 7.8725 7.8613 0.14%
BRAZIL 2.3360 2.3407 -0.20%
CHILE 557.9550 565.3500 -1.31%
COLUMBIA 2047.4500 2,038.3300 0.45%
COSTA RICA 546.0600 559.6900 -2.44%
JAMAICA 108.0050 108.2650 -0.24%
MEXICO 13.2443 13.1922 0.39%
PERU 2.7985 2.8035 -0.18%
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO 6.4100 6.4100 0.00%
VENEZUELA 6.2921 6.2921 0.00%
   
   
AFRICA  
   
BOTSWANA 8.8339 8.7873 0.53%
COTE D’IVOIRE (CFA) 474.9350 473.2050 0.37%
GHANA 2.5800 2.5333 1.84%
KENYA 86.4500 86.5500 -0.12%
NAMIBIA 10.7418 10.7383 0.03%
NIGERIA 164.9500 164.6000 0.21%
SENEGAL (CFA) 474.9350 473.2050 0.37%
SOUTH AFRICA 10.7418 10.7383 0.03%
TANZANIA 1625.0000 1,633.0000 -0.49%
UGANDA 2535.0000 2,515.0000 0.80%
ZAMBIA 5.8250 5.9600 -2.27%
ZAMBIA-Boz Bid 5.8012 5.9401 -2.34%
ZAMBIA-Boz Ask 5.8112 5.9501 -2.33%
ZIMBABWE 378.0000 378.0000 0.00%
   
INDIA 61.9800 61.0950 1.45%
 
 
INTEREST RATES 2/28/2014 3/7/2014
 
UNITED STATES
3 month T-Bill 0.05% 0.06%
6 Month T-Bill 0.08% 0.09%
10 Year T-Bond 2.56% 2.80%
30 Yr Fixed Mortgage-Bankrate.com 4.48% 4.45%
30 Yr Fixed Mortgage-MBA
 
 
AMERICAS
 
BRAZIL
SELIC Rate-Daily 10.65% 10.65%
 
MEXICO
3 Month T-Bill 3.30% 3.29%
6 Month T-Bill 3.49% 3.45%
1 Year T-Bill 3.66% 3.64%
 
PERU
Central Bank Reference Rate 4.00% 4.00%
 
AFRICA
 
GHANA
3 Month T-Bill 21.08% 21.23%
6 Month T-Bill 20.94% 20.99%
1 Year T-Bill 17.00% 17.00%
2 Year T-Bill 17.50% 17.50%
3 Year T-Bill
5 Year T-Bill
 
KENYA
3 Month T-Bill 9.15% 9.12%
6 Month T-Bill 10.36% 10.35%
1 Year T-Bond 10.67% 10.61%
4 Year T-Bond
 
NAMIBIA
3 month T-Bill
6 Month T-Bill
1 Year T-Bill
 
NIGERIA
91 Day Gov’t Security-OMO
182 Day Gov’t Security-OMO
364 Day Gov’t Security-OMO
91 Day Gov’t Security-PMO 12.26% 12.25%
182 Day Gov’t Security-PMO 14.06% 14.31%
364 Day Gov’t Security-PMO 15.20% 15.61%
 
SOUTH AFRICA
3 Month T-Bill 5.59% 5.76%
6 Month T-Bill 6.16% 6.21%
1 Year T-Bill 6.67% 6.63%
10.5% (2026) 8.56% 8.44%
13.5% (2015) 7.13% 6.94%
 
UGANDA
3 month T-Bill 9.56% 9.76%
6 Month T-Bill
1 Year T-Bill
2 Year T-Bond 13.72% 13.72%
3 Year T-Bond 13.19% 13.19%
5 Year T-Bond 13.92% 13.92%
10 Year T-Bond 13.94% 13.94%
 
ZAMBIA
3 Month T-Bill 8.00% 8.00%
6 Month T-Bill 14.90% 14.90%
1 Year T-Bill 15.23% 15.23%
2 Year T-Bill 14.00% 14.00%
3 Year T-Bill 15.00% 15.00%
5 Year T-Bond 16.00% 16.00%
10 Year T-Bond 17.90% 17.90%
15 Year T-Bond 17.90% 17.90%
INDIA
3 Month T-Bill 9.15% 9.19%
6 Month T-Bill 9.10% 9.10%
1 Year T-Bill 9.00% 9.03%
Base Lending Rate 10.25% 10.25%
Policy Rate 9.00% 9.00%

 

 

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UN Launches International Year of SIDS

Originally posted on caribbeanclimate:

Credit: The 5Cs

Credit: The 5Cs

At the recently concluded  global launch of the International Year of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), to be celebrated throughout 2014, Ronald Jumeau, Ambassador of Climate Change and SIDS, Seychelles, who served as Master of Ceremonies, noted that the occasion marks the first time the UN has dedicated an International Year to a particular category of countries. The launch ceremony took place at UN Headquarters in New York, US, on 24 February 2014.

John Ashe, President of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), said that while SIDS are seen as exotic, tropical paradises, they face limited human resources and institutional capacity, and extreme vulnerability to exogenous shocks and natural disasters. The Year provides opportunities to: celebrate SIDS’ contributions to the global family; address their environmental degradation, social and economic marginalization; and harness fresh commitments and energy for the tasks ahead. Recalling the Barbados Programme of Action (BPOA) and…

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