If Brexit does happen on March 29 this year, it will happen under the strangest possible presidency of the European Union: the Romanian presidency. While the role of president of the EU is all about openness, transparency and a love of democracy, the Romanian government seems to increase its preference for the opposites of these features.
A study about corruption published in December puts forth an interesting, and troubling, conclusion: some countries in the European Union perceive themselves as less corrupt than they actually are.
Emerging markets have been in the doldrums recently but one region, which had been hard hit by the eurozone crisis, seems to be getting ready for a brisk upturn now.
The residential property bubble continues in countries like the UK and Sweden, but it seems to have spread to some other countries as well, according to data from the Bank for International Settlements.
Emerging markets currencies will be one of the most affected asset classes when the Federal Reserve starts to hike interest rates, but actually some of them stand to benefit.
The European Central Bank had no choice but to launch its own quantitative easing programme in the end. The jury is still out on whether it will work – but judging by the first reactions, it could actually mark the return to some sort of normality for the eurozone.
The Swiss National Bank’s shocking decision last week to scrap the cap that was preventing the Swiss franc from appreciating to more than 1.20 to the euro continues to play out in the markets.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said it has applied for regulatory approval to raise its stake in Moldova’s third-largest bank, Victoriabank, “with the aim of restoring effective corporate governance at the bank and ensuring its continued sound financial performance.”
Romania is often dismissed by investors as too small, too corrupt or too complicated to bother with — sometimes all three. And yet, this little-understood country has, over time, delivered huge profits to those foreign investors who knew how to navigate the often complex issues that it is faced with.
A recent political phenomenon could present investors with new opportunities, this time for the longer term – if things play out right.