Emerging markets are in trouble, but there might be hope

emerging markets economy

Emerging markets and frontier markets, despite their huge potential, represent risk. That is particularly noticeable in times of crisis like today. The Institute of International Finance (IIF) reported that investors have taken $95b USD out of Emerging Market stocks and bonds since late January. Fiscal challenges Investors have every reason to be concerned. Most emerging market governments have large budget deficits and unsustainable public debt ratios. Both human and fiscal costs could eventually force distressed emerging markets to default on their debts. Capital Economics notes that 17 emerging market governments…

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How the coronavirus is impacting Egypt’s economic outlook

Egypt economic impact

Egypt has been identified as the origin of several coronavirus infections in other countries long before it confirmed its own cases. The country appears to have slowed down its initial response due to political necessity and in order to support the tourism sector, as well as its inadequate healthcare infrastructure. Regardless, the impact of the crisis on Egypt’s economy is inevitable. Political Instability So far, Egypt has imposed a nationwide overnight curfew and ban on public gatherings during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. In this period, Muslims traditionally come…

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How Covid-19 helped decrease the unbanked population in Brazil

The Brazilian government announced a financial support scheme aimed at self-employed and informal workers that had their incomes affected by the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis. Brazil has a large population of informal workers: those who work cash-in-hand jobs, with no formal work contract. They are mostly unskilled or semi-skilled workers eg. street vendors, service providers like cleaning and home repairs. The financial support will come from state owned bank Caixa Economica Federal. Individuals under the scheme criteria have to open an account with Caixa to receive its benefits. The process is…

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Coronavirus boosts use of e-doctor apps in Indonesia

E-doctor apps (also known as telemedicine) have benefited from structural problems in Indonesia’s healthcare sector and the country’s booming digital economy over the last decade. The coronavirus crisis turns out to be a further boost for the sector, possibly fueling the creation of a unique digitally native medical system. Start-up Culture Many telemedicine start-ups have emerged in Indonesia over the last years. Alodokter, Halodoc and GrabHealth are the most prominent and offer easily accessible digital consultations. Indonesians can even have medicines prescribed and delivered. It is not weird that telemedicine services…

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COVID-19 crisis showing shortfalls China’s Belt and Road

Investments flowing out of China’s $1.1. trillion USD ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ (BRI) have reached emerging markets all over the world. Especially Southeast Asia has become an important destination for BRI-related investments. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has delayed many BRI projects while showing serious shortfalls. The severe crisis, however, is not likely to undermine the infrastructure scheme nor China’s ambitions in Southeast Asia. Chinese materials and workers The COVID-19 crisis is having a deep economic impact, not the least on China’s BRI-partners. China has so far signed partnerships with 137…

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Digital First: ASEAN Countries Still Face Core Challenges

Children in indonesia studying with laptops

WASHINGTON DC– Homegrown Ride-Hailing APPS, intelligent traffic systems, advanced construction techniques, automated energy-consumption management all propel the innovation wave washing over the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Indonesia’s vibrant digital ecosystem, for example, boasts more than 1,700 start-ups—among the world’s largest clusters of new firms. GO-JEK, to name one, evolved from a ride-hailing app to a platform for mobile payments and other digital services. In Singapore, Sea, the most valuable start-up in the region—worth several billion dollars—began as an online gaming company and branched out into mobile money and…

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Opinion: will local brands dominate emerging markets?

local brand brazil fizzy drink

The global market of consumer packaged goods is US$ 1.2 trillion and global brands are facing strong competition from local brands in emerging markets. And what’s the global companies’ strategy to remain in relevant in emerging markets? They act fast to acquire these established and already much profitable local brands. In India, for example, the government policy from the invasion of foreign brands made local brand Thumbs Up cola the country’s market leader. In the early 90’s, when the Indian government opened the market to multinationals, Coca-Cola was more than quick…

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Bitcoin trading in emerging markets: going “crypto native”

handshake between 2 people in Lagos Nigeria

In one of my previous posts, I mentioned that emerging markets are more “bitcoin or crypto native“. And according to LocalBitcoins, 2018 was a great year for bitcoin trading especially in emerging economies – 4 out of the top 10 countries by bitcoin trading volume, were emerging markets. Here is a quick round-up of why Bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies) are going big: 4th Place Venezuela: Bitcoin and Dash go head-to-head Venezuela is not an emerging market but I wanted to highlight why this South American country embraced cryptocurrencies so well.…

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