Although we were surprised by the National Bank of Romania (NBR)'s policy rate cut to 3.25% on August 4 (we expected rates to be held at 3.50%), this does not materially change our bullish Romanian leu versus bearish Hungarian forint view. Low inflation (just 0.7% y-o-y in June) is likely to have prompted the cut, even though domestic demand remains strong. Indeed, inflation is above the NBR's 2.5% ±1.0% target when food prices are excluded from inflation calculations and retail sales expanded by a robust 10.3% y-o-y in June.
We withhold from adjusting our interest rate forecasts until a detailed monetary policy statement is released by the bank, but do not expect further cuts or significant leu weakness over the coming months. Indeed, the currency remained unmoved on the back of the cut, and we are up 1.0% in our bullish RON vs bearish HUF view in our asset class strategy tables ( see chart below).
| Still Like RON vs HUF |
|Romania - HUF/RON Exchange Rate|
We still believe the RON will strengthen against the HUF over the coming months, due to Romania's more attractive growth outlook and the Hungarian central bank's implicit strategy of weakening the forint ( see 'HUF Won't Benefit From End Of Easing Cycle', July 28). Moreover, we believe the Hungarian government's plan to force the conversion of FX loans into forints at some point in early 2015 will also weigh on the HUF's attractiveness, given uncertainty over how this will be implemented. The plan looks likely to hit banking sector profits and will use up a significant chunk of the central bank's FX reserves.
The Poland Shipping Report has been researched at source and features latest-available data and Business Monitor International (BMI)'s independent forecasting, critically analysing international transport of dry bulk and containers. The report evaluates the global commodities and trade backdrop, alongside in-depth country-specific analysis of trade prospects. The report also contains company profiles covering leading multinational and national shipping companies and analysis of latest industry news, trends and regulatory developments in Poland.
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BMI Industry View
Summary of BMI's key industry forecasts, views and trend analysis covering shipping, major investments and projects and significant multinational and national company developments.
SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis of the state's shipping sector, which carefully evaluates the short- and medium-term issues facing the industry.
Analysis of the capacity, terminals and planned development of the major ports in each country, including data on throughput and total tonnage.
Industry Forecast Scenario
Historic data series (2008-2012) and forecasts to end-2018 for all key industry and macroeconomic indicators (see list below), supported by explicit assumptions, plus analysis of key downside risks to the main forecast, including:
Major port freight throughput (tonnes/teu); overall freight throughput (teu); total imports (US$bn) and exports (US$bn).
Company profiles include business activities, leading products and services, company strategy, trends and developments and economic performance analysis.