In the aftermath of yesterday’s Developed Market rout, it may come as a surprise how – relatively – quiet the EM bourses were. Because while the now ongoing Argentina reserve depletion continues (the country has $28 billion left – a drain of over $2 billion in two weeks, the Turkish political instability is still there, and everyone from Hungary to South Africa to India are lamenting the Fed’s taper, for the most part traders were ignoring developments out of the emerging world. This may change today when just over an hour ago, Russia announced it would cancel a bond auction for the second consecutive week after an emerging-market rout sent yields on January 2028 bonds to record highs. The reason cite: market conditions.
The Finance Ministry scrapped the sale after “an analysis of market conditions,” it said in a website statement today. The government plans to offer 275 billion rubles ($7.8 billion) of securities this quarter, according to a timetable published at the end of last year.
Appetite for riskier developing-nation assets has soured amid signs of a slowdown in China as the Federal Reserve cut stimulus. The yield on the 2028 security fell one basis point, or 0.01 percentage point, to 8.44 percent today, compared with a record high of 8.58 percent on Jan. 30.
The ruble has weakened 6.9 percent this year, the worst-performing among 24 emerging-market currencies tracked by Bloomberg after Argentina’s peso.
Below is the rather unverbose statement posted on the Minfin.ru website:
On 5 February, 2014 OFZ auction cancellation
The Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation hereby informs on OFZ auction cancellation on 5 February, 2014. Decision to cancel the auction was taken with a view to the current market conditions.
It goes without saying that one particular group of investors hoping the history does not rhyme are those currently holding Russian assets: after all the last emerging market crisis which peaked in 1998 did not have a happy ending for anyone invested in Russia. Or LTCM’s Nobel-prize winning economists’ models for that matter.