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News And Commentary

Merkel setback hurts EMU reform chances

The result of Sunday's state Bavarian elections has badly shaken the unsteady Berlin coalition of Angela Merkel's CDU and the SPD, toughening the chancellor's already difficult task of winning consensus for strengthening the structure of European economic and monetary union, writes David Marsh.

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Global momentum abating

The global economy is slowing, and headwinds are unlikely to disappear soon. But looking across small advanced economies – helpful indicators for the health of the world economy – suggests this is more a moderation in economic momentum than a marked slowdown, writes David Skilling.

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No 'competitive devaluation' in China

When the Trump administration asserts that China steals intellectual property, violates foreign investor rights and engages in wrongful wholesale subsidisation of the economy, it stands on solid ground. Its assertions about 'competitive devaluations' by China, however, do not stand up to scrutiny, writes Mark Sobel.

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Africa 'must deepen national savings'

African countries must deepen markets for national savings as a prerequisite for sustainable growth, Dondo Mogajane, director general of the South African Treasury, said in Bali, launching the second annual Absa-OMFIF Africa Financial Markets Index, this year in an interactive digital version.

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Central banks' balancing act

Independence is one of central banks' most important attributes, but the way they exercise this has evolved. To navigate the impact of globalised financial conditions, central banks will need to revisit their policy frameworks. Their narrow mandates could be under pressure, writes Veerathai Santiprabhob.

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Local currency models examined

Different development finance models using local currency instruments were analysed at a Singapore seminar led by KfW, the German state financing agency, DZ BANK and OMFIF. Delegates concluded that institutions needed to consider a variety of public and private finance initiatives.

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Countries 'share similar risks, rewards'

Emerging market countries and advanced economies face similar challenges and potential rewards from a complex pattern of risk and opportunity in the world economy. That was a principal theme of a symposium in Bangkok on 'Shaping the future of central banks' organised by the Bank of Thailand and OMFIF.

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Smart cities 'must learn from failures'

High-tech 'smart cities' using latest planning, construction and financing techniques to lower congestion, cut energy use and raise living quality will succeed by learning from others’ failures, according to speakers on developing cities of the future at a Singapore meeting convened by Barings and OMFIF.

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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.

Threat of staglation


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


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


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.

Regulatory freedom brings prosperity


Regulatory freedom brings prosperity

Productivity and economic growth continue to disappoint in most countries. Although analysts show a great deal of concern for the so-called 'productivity puzzle', little attention is paid to the real solution: freer markets and increased competition.

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Advisory Board

Protecting current auditing structure

This month’s poll focuses on the UK’s top accountancy firms. Participants were asked: ‘With many people attributing at least some of the blame for the collapse of services firm Carillion to the ‘big four’ UK accounting firms, should their oligopoly on the audit market be reviewed?’