In This Week’s Issue…

by Alexander Kalis | Managing Partner & Head of Investments at Milltrust International 

US-North Korea Summit, Malaysian Election Surprise, India Currency Weakness, and Opportunities in Saudi Arabia.

Trump Test

The summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, confirmed for June 12 in Singapore, gives the president the opportunity to show he can make the kind of deal that has eluded U.S. administrations for decades. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that the tough sanctions regime means he is optimistic a deal can be reached.

Malaysia’s Surprise Election Result

Another national election has produced yet another unexpected outcome. This time it was Mohamad Mahathir’s stunning upset victory over Prime Minister Najib Razak—which ended 60 years of rule by the National Front party—and caught many observers of Asian politics off guard. Analysts expect the country’s stock index to drop and the ringgit to weaken when markets reopen on Monday.

Implications of a Weak Indian Rupee

The rupee has slid further to a fresh 15-months low, hitting 67.32 against a dollar on May 10. The Indian currency has been battered by the recent spike in crude oil prices, which pose a serious threat to the country’s finances. India imports 80% of the crude oil it needs. The rising trade deficit, the amount by which imports exceed exports, has taken a toll on the rupee, which has lost more colour than most emerging-market currencies this year.

Iran Sanctions a Bone for Saudi Arabia

As the oil price hits another three and a half year high after Donald Trump pulled the US out of the Iran nuclear deal, analysts predict that the sanctions on Iran will “create market opportunities” for countries such as Saudi Arabia, and any (oil) barrels lost out of Iran will likely go to Saudi Arabia.


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