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經濟學人:易受美國金融動盪影響的新"脆弱四國"(2)

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Indeed, judged by the criteria of 2013, emerging markets today look far less fragile than they once were. Inflation is lower (only 1.4% in Indonesia) and "exchange-rate valuations have cheapened up considerably", says Mr Lord. Their current accounts are also "much improved". Indonesia's is now in surplus, as are India's and South Africa's.

事實上,以2013年的標準衡量,如今的新興市場遠沒有過去那麼脆弱。通貨膨脹率較低(印度尼西亞只有1.4%),“匯率估值也大幅降低”,勞德先生説。它們的經常賬户也“大大改善”。印尼、印度和南非現在都處於盈餘狀態。

These past indicators of fragility, however, may not be appropriate for 2021. The pandemic has depressed demand and curtailed imports, which has temporarily narrowed current-account deficits around the world. But the fight against covid-19 has also dramatically widened another kind of deficit: the gap between government spending and revenues. Budget deficits averaged over 10% of GDP across the fragile five last year, according to the IMF. Fiscal sustainability "has become the key macro area of concern for some emerging markets", Mr Lord says.

然而,過去的這些脆弱性指標可能不適用於2021年。大流行抑制了需求,減少了進口,暫時縮小了世界各地的經常賬户赤字。但抗擊新冠也大幅擴大了另外一種赤字:政府支出與收入之間的差距。根據國際貨幣基金組織的數據,去年“脆弱五國”的平均預算赤字超過了GDP的10%。羅德表示,財政可持續性“已成為一些新興市場擔憂的關鍵宏觀領域”。

Bond strategists at HSBC, a bank, published an alternative ranking of vulnerable emerging economies on March 2nd. The least resilient, according to their scorecard, are Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico and South Africa. These economies have all been prone to current-account deficits in recent years, even if the pandemic has flattered the latest figures. And sizeable government debt in South Africa and especially Brazil leaves them exposed to any jump in interest rates, which are now unusually low.

3月2日,匯豐銀行(HSBC)的債券策略師發佈了另一份新興經濟體脆弱指數的排名。根據它們的記分卡,最不具彈性的國家是巴西、印度尼西亞、墨西哥和南非。這些經濟體近年來都很容易出現經常賬户赤字,即便大流行病誇大了最新數據。而南非,尤其是巴西的鉅額政府債務,使得它們隨時可能受到利率飆升的影響,而目前的利率水平低得異乎尋常。

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The fairweather four

晴天四國

These are not the only potential sources of vulnerability. When American yields rise and the dollar strengthens, countries that have borrowed heavily in hard currencies find their debts harder to bear. But the trouble need not end there, according to Valentina Bruno of the American University in Washington, DC, and Hyun Song Shin of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). Any deterioration in the creditworthiness of one borrower in an international lender's portfolio can limit the risks it is willing to take on other emerging markets, even those that mostly borrow in their own currency. Boris Hofmann and Taejin Park of the BIS have shown that a rising dollar is a particular danger to emerging markets that have sold a large share of their bonds to foreigners. One reason why Mexico is on HSBC's worry list and Turkey is not is that foreigners hold 46% of Mexico's local-currency government bonds and less than 7% of Turkey's.

這些並不是脆弱性的唯一潛在來源。當美國國債收益率上升,美元走強時,那些大量借入硬通貨的國家會發現它們的債務更難承受。但華盛頓美國大學的瓦倫蒂娜·布魯諾和國際清算銀行(BIS)的申鉉松認為,麻煩還不止於此。在國際銀行的投資組合中,一個借款方的信用狀況出現任何惡化,都會限制它願意承擔的其他新興市場風險,即使是那些主要以本幣借貸的市場。國際清算銀行的鮑里斯·霍夫曼和泰金·帕克的研究表明,美元不斷升值對已將很大一部分債券出售給外國人的新興市場尤其危險。墨西哥在匯豐銀行的擔憂名單上而土耳其不在,原因之一是外國人持有墨西哥46%的本幣政府債券,而土耳其的不到7%。

These findings create a headache for conscientious finance ministers in emerging markets. If they strive to reform their economies to make them less fragile, they will become more attractive to foreign investors, who will then snap up a greater share of their bonds. But that could make them more vulnerable to a sell-off whenever global financial conditions darken. Indonesia's reforms after the taper tantrum soon won praise from the IMF and attracted foreign buyers back to its bond market. But, Mr Basri admits, these inflows increased the vulnerability of Indonesia's economy to a reversal when global markets wobbled again in 2015. Emerging economies are not powerless victims of the Fed. But they can be hapless victims of their own success.

這些發現讓新興市場盡責的財政部長們感到頭疼。如果它們努力改革經濟,使其不那麼脆弱,它們將對外國投資者更具吸引力,然後外國投資者將搶購它們更多的債券。但這可能使它們在全球金融狀況惡化時更容易遭到拋售。在縮減恐慌之後,印尼的改革很快贏得了國際貨幣基金組織(IMF)的讚揚,並吸引了外國買家重返其債券市場。但巴斯里承認,這些資金流入加劇了印尼經濟在2015年全球市場再次動盪時遭遇逆轉的脆弱性。新興經濟體並非美聯儲手無縛雞之力的受害者,但他們也可能成為自己成功的不幸受害者。

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