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Country Risk Climates: Trends to Keep an Eye On

  • Risk iStock_000016809464SmallAustria – The abrupt departure of Finance Minister, Vice Chancellor and party chief Spindelegger will not topple the government;
  • Israel – an interest rate cut to practically zero;
  • Peru – the government of Pres. Ollanta Humala barely scraped through the latest confidence vote.

ARGENTINA: The government’s attempts to get around Judge Griesa’s orders are getting messier and messier. While to date they have strengthened rather than weakened Pres. Fernandez’ position at home, this could easily change as the economic situation goes from bad to worse.

FRANCE: President Hollande moved to end a Cabinet revolt over spending cuts. Given stalled economic growth, he has promised to announce a set of new stimulatory measures, but the prospects remain quite bleak and the Elysee is forced to demand still more leniency from Brussels and Berlin on its austerity program.

KENYA:  With sharply increased attacks on innocent civilians it is not always easy to determine who, exactly, the culprits are. What is certain is that the economy is suffering, with the most obvious victim being the tourist industry. The violence may force planners to gear back drastically their ambitions for the transport hub Lapsset.

LIBYA: There are many elements trying desperately to prevent Libya from becoming a failed state, but there are now two parliaments and two governments, militia battles for control, and outside interference making this difficult to avoid. Oil exports have been restarted, but the question is whether and how long they can be sustained.

SINGAPORE: The economy did better in the second quarter than initial estimates had suggested. Official international monetary reserves are more than ample, yet the Singapore dollar has emerged as Asia’s most vulnerable currency to any prospect of higher US interest rates.

SOUTH AFRICA: The country has narrowly avoided dipping into a recession, but the government will struggle trying to deliver on its promise to revitalize the economy. Persistent labor unrest, weak investor confidence and nagging power constraints are hobbling activity. Moody’s has lowered the credit risk ratings of local banks.

THAILAND: The economy is not as unambiguously upward bound as the spin of the military regime would have it, but it has avoided a recession. The government will do what it can to keep it moving, seeking to promote, in particular, investment. Promises of an eventual return to democratic rule are vague and hedged.

TURKEY: As new Premier, Ahmed Davutoglu has a host of challenging tasks awaiting him, but in the near term the most important will be securing for the ruling AKP in the June 2015 elections a greater parliamentary majority. Tayyip Erdogan, inaugurated as President, is likely to change his tone a bit, but not his autocratic ambitions.

This page is provided by S.J. Rundt & Associates, Inc., specialists in country risk assessment, consultants to multinational companies & banks, and publishers of Rundt’s World Business Intelligence and The Financial Executive’s Country Risk Alert. To order a subscription or individual issues of these reports, in print or by e-mail, contact S.J. Rundt & Associates, P.O. Box 1572, Montclair, NJ 07042; Telephone: (973) 731-7502, Fax: (973) 731-7503; E-mail: [email protected];  Web site: www.rundtsintelligence.com.

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