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The Romanian leu has been taking a battering in the past 24 hours.
Protests in Romania after the government passed measures on Tuesday night seen as soft on corruption are denting Romanian markets, with the leu trading close to annual lows at over 4.55 leu per euro.
Here’s a round up of what analysts have to say.
From economists at ING:
While there are still widespread uncertainties about the near-term, we would tend to believe that, given the ever increasing number of protesters in recent weeks, the socialist party will try to calm things down, maybe by giving in at least partially to street demands. We also note that the European Commission and several embassies (including the United States’ and Germany’s) expressed their deep concerns about recent developments. In all, it would take another batch of negative news (indicating a protracted institutional crisis or heightened tensions) for the EUR/RON to be chased higher; so, we look for some consolidation around 4.55.
From Win Thin at Brown Brothers Harriman:
Romanian assets are likely to underperform near-term.
Despite recent weakness, the leu has done better this year after weakness last year… Our emerging markets FX model shows the leu to have STRONG fundamentals, so this year’s “so so” performance might turn around. Much will depend on political developments, however.
Both USD/RON and EUR/RON are likely to move higher.
Romanian equities have been mixed. In 2016, MSCI Romania was up 7% while MSCI Frontier was -1%. So far in 2017, MSCI Romania is up 3.6% YTD and compares to 7.3% YTD for MSCI Frontier. This underperformance should continue due to the recent political developments.
Romanian bonds have underperformed. The yield on 10-year local currency government bonds is up 35 bp YTD, the worst performer in EM. With inflation likely to return and the central bank likely to hike rates late this year, we think Romanian bonds will continue underperforming.
From Citi’s Luis Costa:
We don’t think [the political developments] are in the price as yet.
We believe the credit curve in Romania has at least 30-40bp to steepen, as the markets realise the potential budget deterioration and the credit implications.
We are buying 12m EURRON outright at 4.5870. Target: 4.80.
The risk to both the trades is a firm back peddling from the current government on the fiscal measures, or a huge rally in core European fixed income markets.