While Argentina's economy has faced some challenges of late, some good news came this month for investors when index provider MSCI announced the country would be upgraded to emerging-market status. Franklin Templeton Emerging Markets Equity's Santiago Petri—who is based in Argentina—weighs in on the situation there.
Inclusion of Argentina into MSCI's Emerging Markets (EM) Index came as a bit of a surprise to some market observers given its recent struggles—including a sharp selloff in its currency and a US$50 billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
此时将阿根廷纳入 MSCI 新兴市场指数，这对一些市场观察者来说有点出人意料，阿根廷近期麻烦不断——其货币遭大幅抛售，国际货币基金组织（IMF）提供 500 亿美元贷款。
MSCI stated that the decision came on the heels of international institutional investor confidence in the country's ability to maintain current equity market accessibility conditions, which is an important factor of MSCI's classification framework. However, MSCI noted that in light of recent events impacting Argentina's foreign exchange situation, it would review its reclassification decision should authorities there introduce any sort of market accessibility restrictions, such as capital or foreign exchange controls.
MSCI 表示，此决定基于国际机构投资者对该国维持当前股市准入条件能力的信心，而这是 MSCI 分类框架的重要因素。然而，MSCI 指出，鉴于近期影响阿根廷外汇形势的事件，它将复核此次重新分类的决定，以确定政府是否会引入任何市场准入限制，例如资本或外汇管制。
Notwithstanding any changes, the emerging-market upgrade is set to become effective beginning in mid-2019. Accordingly, Argentinian stocks will be added to MSCI's Emerging Markets Index.
尽管可能会有变化，但此次新兴市场升级将在二零一九年中期开始生效。相应地，阿根廷股票将被纳入 MSCI 新兴市场指数中。
This isn't Argentina's first foray into the emerging-market universe—the country had been downgraded from emerging-market to frontier-market status in 2009.
The decision is likely to attract capital flows from both active and passive investors that follow not only the MSCI Emerging Markets benchmark, but also the MSCI Latin America benchmark. It is estimated that approximately US 1.5-$1.9 trillion in assets under management (AUM) are tracking the MSCI EM Index, representing a significant pool of potential foreign flows into the country.1
这一决定可能会吸引跟踪 MSCI 新兴市场基准与 MSCI 拉丁美洲基准的主动和被动投资者的资金流入。据估计，约 1.5 至1.9 万亿美元的管理资产正密切跟踪 MSCI 新兴市场指数，是该国一个潜在且规模可观的外资流入来源。
Depending on the country weighting assigned to Argentina, which some estimate would be between 0.4%-0.5% of the index, this could imply between US $1.5-$1.9 billion of passive inflows and up to US $1.6 billion of inflows from actively managed strategies.2
这取决于分配给阿根廷的国家权重，估计将在 0.4% 至 0.5% 间，这可能意味着 15-19 亿美元的被动资金流入和高达 16 亿美元的主动管理策略基金的流入。
However, if Argentina is assigned a weighting by MSCI in the lower range of estimates, there is also the potential that the current estimated exposure to Argentina from active managers of approximately 0.4% will not be increased significantly.
然而，如果阿根廷获 MSCI 分配的权重在较低的预计范围内，那么也可能现在预测的约0.4% 的主动投资管理人持仓水平将不会显著提升。
Reasons for Cautious Optimism
President Mauricio Macri's administration, which came to power in late 2015, had to deal with several complex issues, such as an oversized government sector, which at the national and sub-national level comprised 42% of gross domestic product (GDP)—almost double that of 26% of GDP in 2002—combined with a dual exchange rate regime supported by capital controls. At the same time, the federal government was still in default with some of its creditors, limiting its access to the international capital markets.
二零一五年底上台执政的毛里西奥·马克里政府必须处理好几个复杂的问题，如政府板块肿胀，在全国和亚国家层面上占国内生产总值（GDP）的 42%——与二零零二年的占比 26% 几乎翻了一倍——还有由资本管制支持的双重汇率制度。与此同时，联邦政府仍与部分债权人违约，限制了其进入国际资本市场的机会。
The Argentinian economy was seen as over-regulated and faced several constraints in key segments such as in the energy industry. The country, which was a net-exporter of oil and gas a decade ago, had to rely on expensive imports to supply its domestic needs. As a consequence of these impairments, per-capita income had barely grown since 2011 and the economy was in stagflation.
President Macri's team was able to swiftly solve many of these constraints, liberalizing capital controls, reestablishing the relationship with its creditors and implementing market-based rules to normalize over-regulated segments like the energy industry. At the same time, the government undertook an ambitious reconstruction program in infrastructure to support domestic economic activity until a proper market-based economy could recover by itself. It is worth mentioning that transparency would be one of the distinctive features of Macri´s government, enabling it to achieve sensible savings in public works when compared with previous governments.
Given other pending issues, such as the size of government and its fiscal deficit, Macri undertook a more gradual adjustment process. The delicate economic situation combined with a minority position in Congress made Macri opt on a strategy of relying on international capital markets to finance a transition that would reduce the relative size of government, with economic growth over time. This strategy was not exempt from risks.
After successful mid-term elections, the government launched a moderate package of reforms that sought to balance the fiscal needs with social tolerance. Still, the program relied on external financing.
In our view, two politically driven events began to undermine market's confidence on the sustainability of policies: a) the central bank was suggested to re-calibrate its restrictive monetary policy at a time when the economy was having a very acceptable rate of growth; and b) members of the ruling governmental coalition had objections on the pace of utility rates adjustments, which was one of the most clear fiscal adjustment policies the Macri administration undertook. This, combined with a more negative international environment and a tightening of 10-year interest rates, in addition to the implementation of a new tax on financial income, triggered a run on the Argentinian peso. There was also a flight from both fixed income and equities. The end result was an IMF request for a financial assistance package.
The meaningful assistance package under a Stand-by Agreement for US $50 billion (1,100% the quota of Argentina) revealed the international support to the normalization of the Macri government's market-oriented policies. Nevertheless, the Argentine government has also committed to an ambitious fiscal normalization path, which is not exempt of implementation challenges, particularly in an electoral year. Argentina holds presidential elections in 2019.
根据两方达成的待用资金安排协议，国际货币基金组织将为阿根廷提供 500 亿美元（1,100%阿根廷配额）援助，这一重大援助计划揭示了马克里政府市场化政策正常化获得了国际支持。尽管如此，阿根廷政府也进行了大刀阔斧的财政正常化改革，这在实施上，尤其是在选举年，绝非易事。阿根廷将在二零一九年举行总统选举。
The government's committed policies reinforce and accelerate what the Macri administration has been implementing since it took office. The government has pledged a balanced budget by 2020. We are confident that President Macri will be successful in striking agreements with the more constructive opposition parties, since it is also in their interest that rational policies prevail, at risk of losing themselves ground to more radical opposition alternatives.
The financial stress resulted in the revision of some of the normalization policies, such as the liberalization of energy generation prices, which were deregulated late last year. We believe that this is consistent with the extraordinary event that afflicted the financial variables, but we are confident that the government will resume its market-oriented approach, as soon as the variables are contained.
Argentina has also committed to allow its central bank to focus primarily on the management of its monetary policy. It has appointed valuable talent who will likely continue to build upon the policies their also proficient outgoing staff have implemented.
We think Argentina has significant potential to capitalize on both its physical and human capital, which will allow it to regain a leading regional role the country enjoyed in the past.
Argentina's equity market is still small compared to its emerging-market peers, so there has been some concern about a potential large increase in investor flows.
It is true that the Argentine market could be considered as having lower turnover than other countries currently classified as emerging markets. However, this can be explained in part by the fact that the market has been inaccessible to international investors for a considerable period of time.
At first, MSCI will include only NYSE-listed American depositary receipts (ADRs) of Argentinian companies in its emerging-markets index. MSCI stated it will be constantly monitoring daily turnover to incorporate locally listed Argentine names into the index when liquidity improves.
首先，MSCI 此次将阿根廷纳入新兴市场指数，对象仅限于在纽交所上市的阿根廷企业，如美国存托凭证。MSCI 表示，它将不断监测每日换手率，如果流动性提高，将考虑是否将本地上市企业纳入指数。
As the market is integrated into the emerging-market universe, we expect this situation to likely be reversed. The market's liquidity profile should improve and align with other emerging market countries. At the same time, pursuant to the recently enacted Amendments to the Capital Markets Act, Argentina's government has been actively working to foster the development of capital markets, which will allow companies to seek financing in the equity markets and should increase the number of listed companies, providing additional depth to the market.
Given the expected assigned weighting to Argentina in the Emerging Markets Index of between 0.4%–0.5%, we do not believe the amount of potential foreign flows will likely be disruptive to the market. So, liquidity is not a concern to us at this time.
新兴市场指数中给阿根廷的预期分配权重将在 0.4% 至 0.5% 之间，因此我们认为，潜在的外资流入不会是井喷式的。因而，流动性问题并非我们的燃眉之急。
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1. Source: MSCI, as of December 31, 2017, as reported on March 31, 2018 by eVestment, Morningstar and Bloomberg. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index captures large- and mid-cap representation across 24 emerging-markets countries. Indexes are unmanaged and one cannot directly invest in them. They do not reflect any fees, expenses or sales charges. There is no assurance that any estimate, forecast or projection will be realized. MSCI makes no warranties and shall have no liability with respect to any MSCI data reproduced herein. No further redistribution or use is permitted. This report is not prepared or endorsed by MSCI. Important data provider notices and terms available at www.franklintempletondatasources.com.
资料来源：MSCI，截至二零一七年十二月三十一日，由 eVestment、晨星与彭博资讯报告于二零一八年三月三十一日。MSCI 新兴市场指数采集了 24 个新兴市场国家中的大中型股票代表。指数未经管理，也不能直接投资于指数。指数不反映任何费用、支出或销售费用。无法保证任何估计、预测或预计将会实现。MSCI 不会就此处转载的任何 MSCI 数据作任何保证或承担任何责任。不可二次传播或使用。MSCI并未准备或认可此报告。重要数据提供商的通知和条款，请查阅 www.franklintempletondatasources.com。
2. Sources J.P. Morgan, Merrill Lynch. There is no assurance that any estimate, forecast or projection will be realized.