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Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Argentina, Egypt, charting comparable economic reform paths, but Egypt enjoys more international support

Argentina, Egypt, charting comparable economic reform paths, but Egypt enjoys more international support: Argentina and Venezuela are two emerging markets that, in order to cope with the downturn in the commodity price cycle and the recession that followed, “are following two diametrically opposed macroeconomic management strategies,” according to a BNP Paribas report. “Argentina succeeded in clearing its external debt arrears while Venezuela is close to default,” the report notes. Youssef Beshay, senior banker at BNP Paribas, tells Enterprise that Argentina and Egypt are charting comparable economic paths. He says that while Argentina has much lower fiscal and current account deficits than Egypt, Argentina and Egypt have similar credit ratings and economic reform trajectories. They are also vulnerable to global commodity price shocks because of high export concentration on oil, in the case of Egypt, and soya beans in Argentina. But, “unlike Argentina, Egypt enjoys broad-based international support heralded by the IMF support programme as well as clean repayment track record because Egypt, unlike Argentina, never defaulted on any international debt in the past 30 years, which boosts investor confidence and facilitates access to international capital markets.” Beshay says the key internal indicators to watch are the m-o-m inflation figures, rather than the y-o-y ones. He says the Argentinian experience shows that inflation peaked at 46% y-o-y in 1H2016 after the peso as floated, but the m-o-m figures dropped from 4% in 1H2016 to 1.3% in 2H2016.

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