Philippines listed by Nomura one of ‘troubled 10’ emerging markets

MANILA — The Philippines has been included in the Japan-based financial services group Nomura’s “troubled 10” list of emerging markets that are vulnerable to coming changes in monetary policy in the United States and slowing growth in China.

The other countries as reported by ABS-CBN  are Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Peru, Hungary, Romania, Turkey, South Africa, and Indonesia.

Nomura data shows that as of July, the Philippines has had 14 months of real negative rates from 2020 to 2021.

In his latest publication, Nomura Chief Economist Rob Subbaraman said the 10 economies are especially vulnerable to debt problems, capital flight, and large fiscal and current account deficits.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno said he disagrees with Nomura’s assessment.

“We have a different appreciation of the Philippines’ economic and political affairs and where we are right now in managing the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

Subbaraman said the ten countries have three vulnerabilities in common.

“One is a growing EM (emerging markets) bank-sovereign debt nexus that raises the risk of a so-called bank-sovereign doom feedback loop, the type of loop that was at the heart of the 2009-2010 European debt crisis. Two is how portfolio liabilities, as opposed to cumulative portfolio inflows, paint a different picture showing that several EM countries are susceptible to large capital flight if investors lose confidence in their economic fundamentals. And three is our analysis demonstrating how EM’s extraordinarily large fiscal deficits will likely leak into sizable current account deficits,” he said.

Subbaraman warned that “the prospect of the Fed normalizing monetary policy amid China’s slowing economy is a dreadful combination for EM, only to be made worse by the three EM vulnerabilities that we have found lurking in the shadows.”

Nomura equated its “troubled 10” to the so-called “fragile five” that includes Brazil, India, Indonesia, South Africa, and Turkey, who were viewed as high risk during the 2013 Fed Taper Tantrum, when the US Federal Reserve normalized accommodative monetary policies causing volatilities in global financial markets.