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Country Risk Climates:  Trends to Keep an Eye On

  • Denmark – more controls on immigrants, more plebiscites;Country Risk1 300
  • Jamaica – the bond rating agencies are optimistic;
  • Moldova – a staggering level of graft and corruption;
  • Tanzania – borrowing to replace aid.

ANGOLA:  Now that the impact of the global fall in oil prices is being fully felt, dollars are scarce, which has led to remittance delays, and the government has run up payments arrears. The kwanza has been devalued, but so far not nearly enough. Economic growth has slowed.

CHINA: The authorities are continuing to work feverishly to widen the international use of the yuan and get the IMF to accept it as official reserve currency. The IMF has been hinting that this acceptance is a matter of when, not whether. Still, the PRC will lift capital controls only gradually, to prevent a destabilizing outrush of capital.

COLOMBIA:  The economy has slowed its growth substantially but should, thanks to mainly domestic factors, be able to cope with the drag-effect of sharply declined world market prices for oil. While the cease-fire between the FARC guerrillas and the government remains suspended, peace talks on which Juan Manuel Santos has staked his presidency are continuing.

ICELAND:  Reykjavik is lifting restrictions on capital flows in order to re-establish its position in the global financial markets, lower its borrowing costs and start on attracting new foreign investment. One key holdup now will be growing militancy by local labor unions. Other than that, the economy has picked up and prospects are not bad.

ISRAEL:  he World Bank has just published a dire but not unreasonable report on the Gaza economy, which, it says, will collapse unless its borders open up. This, in turn, will not happen until no more rockets are fired on Israel from the territory. Israel itself is increasingly concerned about a boycott movement threatening its economy.

KENYA:  Official growth expectations are still fairly high, but they are beginning to seem exaggerated in light of the CB’s interest rate hike, low oil prices and the negative impact Islamic terrorist attacks are having on investment and tourism. For now, an early turn for the better does not seem to be on the cards.

MEXICO: The outcome of the mid-term elections was not exactly a ringing endorsement for the President, but it was not the repudiation that many had predicted, either. Though there was a clear message of discontent, Pena Nieto remains far from being a lame-duck leader.

POLAND: The Premier has reshuffled the Cabinet to regain the initiative after the opposition’s victory in presidential elections and try to rebuild the voters’ trust ahead of the parliamentary poll. The financial markets are worried that the nation will be unseating one of Europe’s economically most successful administrations.

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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