Global EM Morning
Staying cautious on TRY: We remain cautious on TRY, though today’s CBTmeeting is unlikely to be much of a market event. As we have been discussing inrecent reports, a key risk for the currency is security, and the knock-on effect onforeign currency inflows on the tourism sector. Thomas Cook and TUI Group haveboth cut back already and over the weekend Mark Warner, one of the UK’s largesttour operators, has decided to pull out for the time being, amid the growing levels ofviolence. Morgan Stanley’s base case is for around a US$4-5bn decline in inflowsthis year, with risks to the upside. This will take the shine off the current account andremains a risk for the currency, in our view.
Don’t expect much from the CBT: The Central Bank of Turkey will meet today andannounce its policy decision at 7am EST. Morgan Stanley is expecting the CBT tokeep all rates on hold, and we doubt this decision will elicit much of a marketreaction. While global levels of volatility have been high, TRY performance has beenresilient, which perhaps leaves an outside chance that the CBT narrows the corridor.
The bigger monetary policy risk is what happens following the end of the currentgovernor’s term.
Colombia tries to ‘pull a Mexico’: Colombia tried to emulate Mexico’s triple policyannouncement with its own announcement on Friday. In a scheduled central bankmeeting, it hiked rates by 25bp (which was expected by markets), lowered thethreshold for intervention from 5% above the 20 DMA of the fix to 3%, andannounced spending cuts worth 0.7pp of GDP. The announcement helped toaddress what we highlighted as the biggest risk for Colombia, its fiscal picture (seeEM Strategy & Economics: Colombia: Fiscal Challenges Loom (09 Feb 2016)).
Indeed, S&P’s recent decision to put the country on negative outlook highlightsthis. While the announcement should help to address some of the fiscal concerns,reducing risk premia perhaps, it is also likely to weigh on growth (see Colombia:Something's Got to Give: Week Ahead in Latin America (05 Feb 2016)). As a result,we are cautious that the country is not out of the woods yet, and we are comfortablewith our bearish view on the currency and our market-weight stance on rates.
On the latter, while the lower threshold for intervention does increase the probabilityof such an event, we are cautious that the impact would still be limited for a fewreasons. First, intervention will be in options, rather than in spot markets. Second,Colombia’s reserves stand at 16% of GDP, which allows some intervention, but withlimits. In addition, we see upside risks to markets’ view that there will only be onemore hike in the next year, keeping us market-weight on rates despite the high carrycushion.
USD/SGD 3m forwards should head higher following MAS forecast revision:Following Singapore’s January CPI release today, the MAS has revised lower itsinflation forecast for 2016 to -1%-0%Y from -0.5%-0.5%Y, although it sees the keycause of disinflation arising externally, i.e., from lower commodity prices. On thedomestic front, declining housing prices and COE premiums are also contributing tothe deflation. Although our economists expect the MAS to maintain status quo at theupcoming April meeting, we think the forecast revision, along with the continueddisappointment in Singapore’s exports data and the risk of a further China growthslowdown, should lead to the FX markets pricing in a higher probability of an easingmove by the MAS in April. The SGD NEER is trading in the lower half of the band,according to our model estimates, but is not touching the bottom of the band,implying that there is scope for spot USD/SGD to adjust as well.