On January 29, more than 100 people came to the National Club for the CCA’s annual Regional Economic Outlook Event. Our “Four Amigos” were
Vice President of Alternative Investments and Fixed Income Emerging Markets at the Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan, Jonathan is responsible for Teachers’ hedge fund portfolio and emerging markets fixed income assets. He joined Teachers’ in 2004 and was most recently director of Emerging Markets. Previously, he held positions managing sovereign risk and advising government clients at Goldman Sachs in its New York, London and Hong Kong offices.
Rob helped launch AIC Caribbean Fund and is one of the founding Managing Partners of Portland Private Equity which manages emerging market private equity funds for institutional and high net worth investors globally. AIC Global Holdings Inc. owns a portfolio of investments, primarily in the Caribbean region, including National Commercial Bank, the largest bank in Jamaica, and Columbus International Inc., a leading provider of wholesale and retail broadband services in Latin America and the Caribbean.
John has practiced market intelligence in emerging markets, most notably Latin America, for the last twenty years. He founded InfoMex in 1992 in Mexico City, which later became InfoAmericas with offices in Sao Paulo, Mexico City and Miami. In 2007, he sold InfoAmericas to Kroll Associates and founded their Market Intelligence practice. More recently, John launched Americas Market Intelligence, LLC with offices in Miami and Mexico and a global affiliation with GIA, the world’s leading competitive intelligence provider with 25 global offices.
Eduardo is a Director at Scotiabank, where he is the senior currency strategist in charge of Latin America. He has been an emerging markets strategist in different Canadian banks since 2007, with a primary focus on Latin America.
The questions asked were the following. Check out the answers on our video link!
1. Mexico has been enjoying great growth over the past few years. Some have referred the “the revenge of geography” whereby Mexico’s proximity to the US is once again giving it a big competitive advantage over China. There is a new President from and old party – the PRI. Is Enrique Peña Nieto a PRI reformer or a PRI dinosaur? Can he balance economic growth and social pressures? Will the energy sector open up? What can we expect from Mexico?
2. Brazil was everybody’s darling a few years ago. Growth is now down, and people are talking more about “custo Brasil” – the Brazil cost – than the growth pattern of the BRICS. At the same time, President Rousseff is opening up private sector investment in infrastructure like airports and highways, and there is talk of interest rates going down from a Prime Rate of some 7%. What will happen in Brazil in 2013?
3. Canadian investors and political leaders love the other Pacific Alliance Countries (Chile, Colombia, Peru). These are free trading nations with a Pacific focus and mining is a key industry, playing to Canada’s strengths. What do you expect for these Andean nations?
4. A lot of people forget the Caribbean, yet there are some important Canadian interests in that region. The larger countries, in particular, are much more than tourism. What is the outlook for Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic?
5. Let’s talk about countries that get investors nervous. Venezuela is a country of amazing potential, but almost no Canadians will touch it with Chavez in power. Argentina enjoys a deep mining relationship with Canada, but there is talk of currency controls and difficulties in getting capital out of the country. What will happen in Venezuela and Argentina this year?
6. Everybody’s favourite question – What are the three biggest opportunities in the region for 2013?