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News And Commentary

Emerging market trials persist

Last year's thrashing in all emerging market investment classes, with debt, equity and currencies in simultaneous decline for the first time in a decade, cast equal blame on internal and external forces and prompted reconsideration of allocation rationale into the next decade, writes Gary Kleiman.

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Data exaggerate impact of China slowdown

Although China's slowing growth and surging debt figures may appear alarming, onlookers should not be overly worried, writes James Carrick. Since 2005, China's share of the world economy has more than tripled to 16% from 5%. This larger share means 6% growth today is equivalent to 15% growth a decade ago.

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Proper perspective on emerging risks

There is plenty of room for unpleasant economic surprises in 2019. Still, it is important to keep the risks in proper perspective against a global economy that is slowing, but still very strong, and political tensions that are distracting, but unlikely to trigger recession, writes Christopher Smart.

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May's 'bluff' over Brexit

The UK is likely to enact a relative 'soft' European Union exit, slightly delayed beyond 29 March, OMFIF Chairman David Marsh told German TV. The UK is not prepared for a 'no-deal' Brexit, and British Prime Minister Theresa May's attempt to bluff other Europeans on this point too is unlikely to succeed.

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Swiss are collateral victim of Brexit

The EU cannot offer a special deal that allows Switzerland access to the single market but without respecting its rules, as this would set a precedent for the UK, writes Denis MacShane. Equally, the Swiss government and its MPs find it hard to agree a deal with Brussels that risks being repudiated in a referendum.

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Central banks heading for exit

In among concerns about economic growth rolling over, one must recognise that central banks are still heading to the exit, writes David Owen. In December the Riksbank raised rates for the first time in this cycle, while the end of QE brings with it the risk of a snap-back in capital flows globally.

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Fiscal money solution for Rome

In Italy, fiscal money could fund public investments and social spending, supplement employees' income and reduce businesses' tax-wedge on labour. These allocations would increase and sustain a higher level of domestic demand and improve business competitiveness, helping close Italy's output gap.

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Back to Brussels on Brexit

Theresa May, facing a crucial vote on 15 January on Brexit, is running down the clock until MPs feel they have no option but to back her deal over departure on 29 March. But the government will not be able to get the deal through parliament and so will have to go back to Brussels, writes Norman Lamont.

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Meeting CalendarView All Forthcoming Meetings

Promoted Meeting VIEW PHOTO GALLERY

The 2018 Absa Africa Financial Markets Index launched in Bali alongside the IMF-World Bank Group meetings. In its second year, the index is a premier indicator of the attractiveness of Africa’s capital markets, for use by investors and asset managers around the world.

Investment Clock – A pivotal October

OMFIF Chart

Investment Clock – A pivotal October

Stock market volatility tends to reach its peak in October, underlined by famous crashes in 1929, 1987 and 2008. Cross-currents in the world economy make this October particularly pivotal, especially in the light of the tug of war between good news out of the US and bad news out of China.

Threat of staglation

OMFIF Chart

Investment Clock: Threat of stagflation

Global growth and inflation figures, in addition to rising commodity prices and interest rates, point to the risk of staglation over the summer months. The geopolitical backdrop, and the threat of a US-China trade war, also has a whiff of stagflation about it.

Bull market has further to run

OMFIF Chart

Investment Clock: Bull market has further to run

The world is experiencing one of the longest economic expansions since records began and there's no end in sight, with muted inflationary pressures keeping interest rates low. Stock markets like this not too hot, not too cold 'Goldilocks' backdrop.

Global infrastructure finance falls

OMFIF Chart

Global infrastructure finance falls

Global infrastructure financing has fallen short of its potential.Private sector investment and institutional investor capital are often raised as possible solutions for filling the infrastructure funding gap.

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Trade war still likely to deepen, despite truce

Advisory Board

Trade war still likely to deepen, despite truce

This month’s poll focuses on the prospect of further trade antagonism between the US and China. Participants were asked: ‘Will China and US trade tensions alleviate or escalate in 2019?’