Author: Felix Dornaus, Senior Fund Manager Emerging Markets Bonds
Brazil tactically overweighted at the moment
Most of the fundamental economic data are currently not good. In 2016, the country is in recession; for 2017, a minor growth rate of +0.7% is expected. The nominal budget deficit of 2016 is about -10%, with a primary deficit of -2.7%. This comes as a surprise, given that investors had been used to primary surpluses from Brazil. The current account is also slightly in deficit. The only silver lining is the low foreign government debt of less than 20% of GDP, accompanied by high foreign exchange reserves. We therefore do not expect any issues for bondholders with regard to the payments they are due.
Brazil is locked into a severe recession in 2016, the year of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. After negative growth of 2.5% last year, the economy will be shrinking by more than 3% in 2016. Political crises and corruption scandals in connection with the oil company Petrobras have badly affected the country. But still, the country, shaken by crisis, is in strong demand from investors.
The importance of Brazil has declined
Especially in the equity segment, the relevance of Brazil has declined in recent years. A few years ago the BRIC economies (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) were hugely popular among investors. Mismanagement and the unfavourable development of international commodity exchanges have eaten into the weighting of Brazil in the global …
In Brazil, or more specifically, in Rio de Janeiro, the 31st Summer Olympics will be held in August of 2016. After Mexico City (1968), Moscow (1980), Seoul (1988), and Beijing (2008), this is only the fifth outing in the city of an emerging economy. The holding of the Games reflects the increasing economic importance of Brazil. After all, the 208 million citizens of Brazil generated goods and services worth USD 1,700bn last year. In terms of GDP, Brazil is already the world’s ninth-biggest economy.