Argentina’s newly elected Mauricio Macri could mean big changes in the economy and support for country-specific exchange traded fund after years of tepid growth.
While the election rally in the Global X MSCI Argentina ETF (NYSEArca: ARGT) faded on Monday, ARGT has surged almost 20% since October on hopes that the presidential election will bring about reforms. Meanwhile, Argentina’s benchmark stock index jumped more than 30% in the past three months in anticipation of a Macri victory. [Argentina ETF Receives An Unexpected Political Tailwind]
The pro-market Macri has pledged to quickly reverse much of the previous heavy-handed economic policies and open up the economy that has been posting back-to-back years of near stagnate growth, Bloomberg reports.
In the 14 years after Argentina carried out the world’s largest default, the Nestor Kirchner and Cristina Kirchner implemented a number of outdated policies, including a heavily regulated foreign-exchange system, seizure of privately-owned assets and under-reported inflation.
“We are optimistic,” Jody LaNasa, the founder of hedge fund Serengeti Asset Management, told Bloomberg. “The question is whether this is going to be something like the rebirth of Argentina or another failed dream that people get excited about, but then they can’t overcome the challenges.”
However, Macri has his work cut out for him. Foreign reserves are at nine-year lows. Prices on the country’s commodity exports are down. The budget deficit is at its widest in three decades. Inflation is running at an annual pace of over 20%.
With the multitude of problems still plaguing the economy, the reality of the situation may have weighed on the initial market enthusiasm. ARGT ended 2.7% lower Monday after moving up as high as 6% above the Friday close in early morning trading.
Analysts are warning that things could initially grow worse as the new president implements tough measures, such as cuts to the budget and devaluation of the peso, that could further weigh on consumers. Marci has stated that settling old debts will be a top priority after he is sworn in.
Oxford Economics projects gross domestic product could contract over the next two years before returning to growth of more than 5% by 2019.
Global X MSCI Argentina ETF
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Max Chen contributed to this article.
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