Monday, November 9, 2015

Goldman and the End of the BRICS Theme (EWD)

A couple weeks ago we mentioned the only non-U.S. portfolio investments we'd consider right now are Poland and the Baltics (maybe Ireland) with the admonition to stay the hell away from Sweden.
When asked what I had against's about no new highs in the country ETF since June 2014?*

From the Financial Times:
It was an acronym that spawned a host of summits, a development bank and a $100bn bailout fund. But Goldman Sachs, once the most energetic sponsor of the “Bric” investment theme, has quietly stepped away from it, merging its dedicated in-house fund into an all-purpose emerging markets vehicle.

The closure of the Bric fund — announced in a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission in September and spotted by Bloomberg on Sunday — came after poor performance and consistent lagging of benchmarks. Assets under management had dwindled to about $100m, from a peak of more than $800m at the end of 2010.

By shutting the fund, the Wall Street bank has signalled an end of an era in which the four developing economies — Brazil, Russia, India and China — appeared to be shaping a new world order. The acronym had been coined in 2001 by Lord O’Neill, the UK Treasury minister and former chief economist at Goldman, who noted that real GDP growth among the quartet had surpassed that of the G7 group of mature economies. Goldman’s Bric fund was born five years later, investing at least 80 per cent of its net assets in Bric equities.

However, stock markets have remained very volatile and the much-vaunted transfer of economic and political power is yet to come to pass. Brazil’s economy is set to shrink 3 per cent this year, according to the latest International Monetary Fund forecasts, while Russia — grappling with a collapse in resources prices and the effects of international sanctions — should contract by 3.8 per cent.

Meanwhile, although China is still reporting strong figures, many doubt the data, wondering how an economy that has experienced near-20 per cent falls in import volumes for the past couple of months can really be growing at an annual rate of about 7 per cent. India remains a relative safe haven, on course to match last year’s 7.3 per cent growth....MORE
*From FinViz:
EWD iShares MSCI Sweden weekly Stock Chart