Monthly Archives: December 2014

When Nationalization Works

McKinsey’s interview with YPF CEO provokes interesting questions about the ability of state owned companies to function in a challenging global industry and the significance of nationalization in the relationship between multinational companies and governments of their home countries.

YPF is a large Argentine oil and gas company that was acquired by Repsol in 1999 and nationalized by the government shortly thereafter. Shortly after the nationalization, President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner tapped Miguel Galuccio to run the company. In hiring Galuccio, President Kirchner went for management capability rather than political allegiance. Galuccio worked for Schlumberger and (then independent) YPF.

In the interview, Galuccio describes how he and his team created a “company DNA” which includes professionalism and integrity, a sense of national purpose, and value for the shareholders.

That McKinsey describes this as a success story and an example of strong corporate leadership suggests that nationalization does not have to mean management by political cronies, and that the public and private sectors can work together to create value for both the nation and investors.

That does not mean the company is immune to the recent drop in oil prices or that they will succeed in developing Argentina’s shale assets. However YPF’s performance stands in contrast to the apparent debacle at PDVSA in Venezuela.

Stakeholders in the new oil industries in Africa should take note.

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Major Latam Stock Index & Exchange Rate Changes in Q3-2014

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 3RD QUARTER 2014

LATIN AMERICA/CARIBBEAN

COUNTRY

3RD QUARTER PCT CHANGE

ARGENTINA MERVAL-Local Currency

62.64%

ARGENTINA MERVAL-US$

59.06%

BRAZIL BOVESPA-Local Currency

7.63%

BRAZIL BOVESPA-US$

-2.07%

COLUMBIA IGBC-Local Currency

-2.76%

COLUMBIA IGBC-US$

-9.96%

JAMAICA MAIN INDEX-Local Currency

3.44%

JAMAICA MAIN INDEX-US$

2.74%

MEXICO-Local Currency

4.71%

MEXICO-US$

1.33%

MSCI LATIN AMERICA-Local Currency

5.29%

MSCI LATIN AMERICA-US$

-2.62%

MSCI EMERGING MARKETS-Local Currency

1.44%

MSCI EMERGING MARKETS-US$

-2.13%

Sources: Stock exchange websites, Financial Times, Advansa International data

Table 2

3RD QUARTER 2014 EXCHANGE RATE CHANGE

LATIN AMERICA/CARIBBEAN

COUNTRY

3RD QTR PCT CHG

YTD

SEP PCT CHANGE

ARGENTINA

-3.57%

-22.99%

BRAZIL

9.70%

-3.27%

CHILE

-8.30%

-12.69%

COLOMBIA

-7.20%

-5.31%

COSTA RICA

1.30%

-6.98%

JAMAICA

-0.69%

-5.82%

MEXICO

-3.38%

-2.95%

PERU

-3.24%

-3.87%

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO

1.19%

-0.81%

Sources: Financial Times, Advansa International data

Emerging and frontier market stocks showed mixed results as the MSCI Emerging Markets Index rose 1.44%, Latin American stocks however mostly outperformed the broader emerging markets. The MSCI Latin America Index was up 5.29%. Argentina is obviously an outlier. One school of thought says that in Argentina investors are shifting to equities and away from fixed income which has driven the stock market to an unusually high level.

On Currency front, the US Dollar index rose from 99.316 in Q2 to 100.342 in Q3. The recent strength of the US dollar makes the region’s currencies appear weaker than they actually are. Still the real rose nearly 10% as Brazilian authorities raised interest rates.

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Major African Stock Market and Exchange Rate Changes in Q3-2014

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 3RD QUARTER 2014

AFRICA

COUNTRY

3RD QUARTER PCT CHANGE

GHANA-Local Currency

-4.18%

GHANA-US$

-3.87%

KENYA-Local Currency

7.92%

KENYA-US$

6.18%

NIGERIA-Local Currency

-3.24%

NIGERIA-US$

-3.86%

SOUTH AFRICA-Local Currency

-1.90%

SOUTH AFRICA-US$

-7.28%

WEST AFR. BOURSE-Local Currency

9.21%

WEST AFR. BOURSE-US$

2.28%

MSCI AFRICA-Local Currency

0.52%

MSCI AFRICA-US$

-4.41%

MSCI EMERGING MARKETS-Local Currency

1.44%

MSCI EMERGING MARKETS-US$

-2.13%

Sources: Stock exchange websites, Financial Times, Advansa International data

Table 2

3RD QUARTER 2014 EXCHANGE RATE TRACKER

AFRICA

COUNTRY

3RD QTR PCT CHG

YTD

SEP PCT CHANGE

CFA AREA*

-6.92%

-7.85%

GHANA

0.31%

-26.89%

KENYA

-1.74%

-3.64%

NIGERIA

-0.62%

-2.10%

SOUTH AFRICA

-5.38%

-6.72%

TANZANIA

-1.16%

-5.46%

UGANDA

-1.89%

-5.51%

Sources: Financial Times, Advansa International data

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

Emerging and frontier market stocks showed mixed results as the MSCI Emerging Markets Index rose 1.44%, and the MSCI Africa Index was up 0.52%. Choppy commodities prices, and mixed economic performance lead to losses in some countries like South Africa and gains in others. The Nairobi Exchange in Kenya and the West Africa Bourse were the strong performers in Q3.

Currencies that were weak in the first half of the year—notably Ghana—have largely stabilized. Though most currencies are lower against the dollar, this is due more to a strong dollar than weakness elsewhere. The US Dollar index rose from 99.316 in Q2 to 100.342 in Q3.

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Reflections on the UN Climate Talks (Guest Post)

The pledges are a good sign if followed up with action. Meanwhile there is a role for the private sector in promoting and implementing renewable energy, as well as energy saving and monitoring products and services. This is a huge opportunity for impact investors to achieve measurable, tangible results.

caribbeanclimate

Indi Mclymont-Lafayette (L), Journalist and the Regional Director of Panos Caribbean Indi Mclymont-Lafayette (L), Journalist and the Regional Director of Panos Caribbean

COP 20 wrapped up in Lima, Peru last week and many attendees are reflecting on the negotiations. Today Caribbean Climate features a review by Indi Mclymont-Lafayette, a Journalist and the Regional Director of Panos Caribbean – a non-government organisation that focuses on development communication.

Soo… what has been achieved after two weeks of talks?

That was the question one of my friends whatsapped me – knowing that I was attending the 20th United Nations Climate Talks in Lima, Peru from December 1-12.

I hesitated before answering.

Truth to tell, if you followed the achievements highlighted by the United Nations – then a lot had been done. The achievements included:

  • Country pledges to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) pushing it past a US$10 billion start up target.
  • Germany pledging and giving 55 million Euros (roughly US$68 million) to the Adaptation…

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