The potential for volatility has been everywhere this week. South Africa is holding presidential elections, there is a mounting threat of more sanctions against Russia, while the Istanbul mayoral election result has been torn up by the losing side and a rerun ordered. All of that has happened against the backdrop of a souring US/China trade war.
But in the CEMMEA bond market, the deals are coming in their droves.
Whether that is down to strong inflows of cash into EM assets, or battle-hardened investors developing a tolerance for disruption, or a mix of the two, is uncertain. Maybe issuers now consider this sort of market backdrop as benign and think worse is to come.
Whatever the reason, instead of pulling back, irritated by the prospect of having to pay a few basis points more for their debt, issuers are charging ahead.
Property developer Majid Al Futtaim printed its green bond this week, followed by South Africa mining firm Gold Fields on the day its country went to the polls. Even Development Bank of the Republic of Belarus made it back into the market to sell an international Belarusian rouble deal —EM local currency notes are a sure sign of a bullish market.
And the pipeline is swelling — Russian Railways, Kenya, and the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank are all on roadshows.
It is an approach to issuing debt that banks have advocated to their clients for years. It is, of course, in their economic interests to do so, but it is still gladdening to see issuers experiencing the benefits.