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Malaysia, Mexico and Namibia Country Risk Report Q1 2016 Market Report; Launched via

Market Research Reports, Inc. has announced the addition of “Malaysia, Mexico and Namibia Country Risk Report Q1 2016” research report to their website


Lewes, DE -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/29/2015 -- Malaysia's H115 real GDP figures surprised to the upside, reflecting y-o-y growth of 5.3%, suggesting that the effects of lower oil prices, weakening exports, as well as the implementation of a 6.0% goods and services tax (GST) have yet to trickle through the economy. As such, we have upgraded our 2015 real GDP forecast for Malaysia to 4.7%, from 4.2% previously to reflect this.

While the 11th Malaysia Plan (11MP) will most likely reach its growth and fiscal targets, the overly ambitious nature of the plan suggests that results will be mixed. Hampered by a weak education system and a skills shortage, we believe that the 11MP will fail to reach its soft targets namely increasing productivity and raising the level of skills in the Malaysian economy.

In line with our expectations, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) held its Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) steady at 3.25% during its monetary policy meeting on September 11. We forecast interest rates to remain on hold throughout 2015 as BNM focuses on providing financial stability as internal and external events continue to undermine investor confidence.

Despite a weak technical picture, an undervalued real effective exchange rate, modest current account surplus, and positive real interest rates should provide support to the ringgit following its aggressive sell-off. We therefore remain largely neutral on the MYR against the US dollar with a slightly appreciatory bias over the coming years, and expect the currency to end 2015 at MYR4.2000/USD before appreciating further to MYR4.0000/USD by end-2016.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has succeeded in convincing UMNO of his leadership abilities, with the party's Supreme Council reaffirming their support for him and presenting a united front despite the deep differences within the party. However, this newfound unity is unlikely to last, with various divisive issues having yet to be addressed.

Major Forecast Changes
We have upgraded our 2015 real GDP forecast for Malaysia to 4.7%, from 4.2% previously, to reflect strong H115 growth. With Malaysia facing internal and external headwinds that are unlikely to abate over the coming quarters, we have revised our forecast for the ringgit to end 2015 at MYR4.2000/USD and average MYR4.000/USD in 2015.

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We remain optimistic toward Mexico's long-term growth outlook on the back of a booming manufacturing sector, an increasingly strong private consumer and favourable demographics. The passage of energy sector reform will bolster sentiment towards Mexican assets and contribute to stronger real GDP growth in the coming years.

Major Forecast Changes
We have revised down our 2015 real GDP growth estimate from 2.8% to 2.4%, as weak oil exports weigh on trade dynamics and currency depreciation undermines investor confidence. Rising interest rates in Mexico will result in a widening of the primary income deficit, with early indications suggesting the outflows will be even greater than we initially anticipated. We are now forecasting Mexico's current account deficit to widen from 1.9% of GDP in 2014 to 2.6% and 2.9% of GDP in 2015 and 2016 respectively. This marks a downward revision from our previous deficit forecasts of 2.3% of GDP in 2015 and 1.8% of GDP in 2016.

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Namibia's economy will face dual headwinds of low global demand and prices for its key commodities exports. This will have knock-on implications for investment in the mining sector. We forecast growth to slow from 6.4% in 2014 to 3.9% in 2015 and 4.1% in 2016.

The landslide victory for president-elect Hage Geingob and the ruling SWAPO in Namibia's general elections on November 28 2014 augurs well for broad political stability and a pro-business economic agenda. The result means that SWAPO will expand on its two-thirds majority in the national assembly. Hopes for a shift towards a more inclusive electoral landscape continue to prove elusive.

Namibia's fiscal position will deteriorate further in the next two years as a contraction in the mining sector – which accounts for around 58% of export value – will slash tax income. We see little scope for a near-term pull back in spending given the government's medium term inclusive growth plans and therefore forecast a deeper fiscal deficit in FY2015/16, of 10.3% of GDP from a deficit of 4.1% of GDP in FY2014/15.

Major Forecast Changes
We have revised down our real GDP growth forecast for 2015 and 2016, from 5.3% in 2015 and 5.5% in 2016 to 3.9% and 4.1% respectively.

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