• Chile – contemplating an interest rate cut;
  • India – the new CB head will start his job with a bang;
  • Nigeria – a challenge to the President from within his party;
  • Uganda – worries about inflation.

ARMENIA:  Having long attempted a tricky balancing act between East and West, the regime has now thrown in its lot with the Russians by joining the Moscow-led Customs Union with Kazakhstan and Belarus. The decision makes economic sense from a short-term perspective. Longer-term, the consequences are less clear.

AUSTRALIA:  It is now widely assumed that the Liberal/National opposition coalition will win the coming weekend’s elections, and that this will lead to some significant policy modifications. The room for such changes will prove to be quite limited, however, as growth continues to slow. This puts special emphasis on the development of natural gas projects.

COLOMBIA:  President Santos’ popularity has been taking a beating because many Colombians doubt that the peace-talks with the Left-wing guerrillas, which have been dragging on, will come to a conclusion they can accept. This will lead to a Cabinet reshuffle in the near future. The economic outlook remains generally quite positive, however, even though there are downside risks.

POLAND:  The economy gained a bit of momentum in the second quarter and the government will seek to reinforce this new trend. Investors have reason to worry, however, about a possible return to power of the nationalist Law and Justice party and some of the plans it has for the economy.

SOUTH AFRICA:  Growth picked up in the second quarter, but largely due to a one-off bounce in manufacturing. Hopes of substantial improvements in the second half are misplaced, given a still-weakening currency, mounting labor unrest and declining business confidence.

TUNISIA:  The outcome of the standoff between the Islamist-led government and an increasingly restive secular opposition is likely to be decisive for the success or failure of this country’s experiment in democracy. At this point, there is still a chance that the nation where the Arab Spring began can make this work.

TURKEY:  PM Erdogan seems to be becoming testier the closer he gets to next year’s elections. He has been tightening his grip on opposition forces wherever he can. Ultimately, though, it will be the economy that will decide whether he can fulfill his dream or not. And right now the prospects should give him reason for concern.

VIETNAM:  Economic growth picked up modestly in the second quarter, thanks to rising foreign investment and exports, but the country will still be hard put to reach official goals for the current year. The “bad bank” plan for cleaning up the financial system and boosting lending is unlikely to solve the bad-loan problem.

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