Monthly Archives: April 2014

Climate, Economy, Finance- Everything you need to know about the IPCC 5th Assessment Report- Mitigation of Climate Change

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On April 15th the third and final volume of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report on Climate Change was presented. The report is the most comprehensive survey of scientific knowledge about climate change, updated after the 2007 edition. Working Group 3 of the Intergovenmental Panel on Climate Change focuses on actions and policies for mitigating climate change, that is on the possibility of reducing the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

The report makes clear why climate change cannot be dealt with solely from an environmental point of view, given its powerful financial and economic repercussions, on both the global and domestic levels. While the continuous rise in global emissions furthers us from the aim of maintaining temperature increase below 2° C at the end of the century, science is seeking ways to control climate change that also take into account economic efficiency and equity…

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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

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(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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