• Country Risk 200Argentina – a harsh liquidity squeeze to salvage the peso;
  • Nigeria – FX trading is still in the doldrums;
  • Russia – following the FX debacle, a bank crisis;
  • Ukraine – a steep drop in gold holdings.

AUSTRALIA: The Australian dollar has regained some of its footing in the FX markets, but its underlying tone is likely remain weak as analysts deem it to be still undervalued and the economy is facing increasing headwinds.

BELARUS: Minsk has imposed drastic capital controls in response to Russia’s and the ruble’s travails. What the country really needs, though, are more fundamental, structural reforms and for these the outlook remains bleak. The authorities need to worry about continued aid from Russia.

GREECE: As the decisive third vote on a new president is approaching, Syriza is trying hard to calm spooked investors. Greece’s financial markets have been shaken by the political uncertainties and warnings by key Europeans. In fact, long-term structural reforms are the main challenge for Greece, not the debt.

HAITI:  An interim Premier has been named, following the resignation of Laurent Lamothe, but as yet there is no indication when critical and long-delayed elections will be held. The economy is growing, but has yet to overcome the setbacks it suffered because of the 2010 earthquake.

IRAN:  While the government likes to boast about its economic accomplishments, most Iranians feel little or no benefit. The oil price drop is more painful than the sanctions, but military spending is being raised nonetheless. The White House remains far too interested in striking a deal with Tehran to be able to negotiate a good one.

SOUTH SUDAN:  This country is receiving what is arguably the lowest price for crude in the world. An end of the fighting is not in sight and South Sudan, having gained its independence only three years ago, is headed for a human tragedy.

TUNISIA:  The victory of Essebsi in the presidential run-off elections set a milestone. Governing effectively will not be altogether easy for the new man at the helm. He is likely, though, to mean what he says when he calls for unity and vows to govern for all Tunisians.

ZIMBABWE:  The regime has expressed pride in a surge in tobacco sales and a grain surplus. The economy is not doing well, however, and external-account risks are rising. China’s backing has limits and the IMF wants arrears paid off first.

This page is provided by S.J. Rundt & Associates, Inc., specialists in country risk assessment, consultants to multinational companies & banks, and publishers of Rundt’s World Business Intelligence and The Financial Executive’s Country Risk Alert. To order a subscription or individual issues of these reports, in print or by e-mail, contact S.J. Rundt & Associates, P.O. Box 1572, Montclair, NJ 07042; Telephone: (973) 731-7502, Fax: (973) 731-7503; E-mail: [email protected];  Web site: www.rundtsintelligence.com.