Money in Motion

Why a Greek Austerity Budget Will Lift the Ringgit

Strong medicine for Greece will jumpstart aid plans and currency investors' fears will ease, one strategist says.

It's interesting watching emerging-market currencies sell off because people are demonstrating in Athens. Investors have been avoiding risk, and that's been denting the Malaysian ringgit, the Philippine peso, and more. 

But all that should change now that Greece has passed its austerity budget, according to Robin Brooks, a currency strategist at Goldman Sachs. In a research note, Brooks wrote that "If the budget votes pass in parliament by Thursday, which we think likely, we expect the July 3 Eurogroup meeting to authorize the next disbursement."

Brooks also expects the Eurogroup and the European Union/IMF to cover a big chunk of Greece's forward financing gap, which he says "should bring down elevated periphery risk, supportive of our EUR/$ 1.55 forecast in 12 months and risk assets more broadly."

Translation: this is a decent time to buy certain emerging-market currencies. Goldman recommends selling the dollar against both the Malaysian ringgit and the Philippine peso via 1- year non-deliverable forward contracts. And for investors who prefer more liquid trades, they recommend selling the Mexican peso against the Chilean peso.


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