How Emerging Markets And Blockchain Can Bring An End To Poverty

Can blockchain and cryptocurrencies become the technology that truly levels the playing field for humanity and help continue the reduction of poverty? Yes. 

Financial inclusion is considered a key factor to poverty reduction. It gives people access to a formal financial system.  With over 2 million unbanked, mobile options can provide a more convenient choice. 

 Blockchain startup Everex, which launched its ICO recently and already raised over 6 million USD (Roughly 27,000 Ethereum), considers financial inclusion as part of its mission.

“The lesson learned from the previous decade, however, is that the real needs of the world’s unbanked population comprise inclusion, empowerment and easy access to the same financial instruments that allow industrial nations to provide their denizens with the social mobility they enjoy,” a recent Everex blog post said.

Read more at Forbes.

Stick With Emerging Markets To Beat U.S. Returns, Goldman Says

Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM) expects emerging markets to outperform developed markets even if the future is cloudy or bumpy. 

There is a risk that rising interest rates will slow global economies, but this is especially true for the United States. If rates rise more quickly than expected, things could be worse still.

GSAM presumes U.S. inflation will rise slowly with higher interest rates from the U.S. Federal Reserve. The consumer will likely be able to handle this, GSAM predicts, with U.S. real wage growth "at its highest since the 1950s, in recent years." 

Still, the emerging markets bounce is a promising signal of prolonged outperformance.

Read more at Barron's.

U.S. Asset Managers Under-allocated to Emerging Markets Despite Outperformance

U.S. stock investors pumped fresh funds into emerging markets after recent outperformance. However, they remain under-allocated by a key measure, as a combination of "home bias" and lingering concern about volatility have restrained client interest.

In 2017, they increased allocation by a near $52 billion in the first quarter. U.S. domiciled active managers have just 5 percent of assets under management allocated to emerging market equities, according to research data from eVestment. 

With global economic growth trends favoring the fast-growth asset class, investors will need to move into emerging markets to continue reaching gains above 5 percent in bond and equity portfolios, said Krishna Memani, chief investment officer at OppenheimerFunds. 

"In a growth-short world, emerging markets are going to be the primary source of growth for the forseeable future," Memani said. "That is decades." 

Read more at Reuters.

Brazil Stocks Edge Up Ahead of Labor Reform Vote

With lawmakers discussing and voting on President Michel Tener's plans to revamp labor regulations during an ongoing political crisis, traders hedged their bets on the outcome by edging up Brazilian stocks. 

Investors see the planned labor reform as critical to boosting long-term economic growth. It is expected to clear a final Senate vote later. The vote, according to traders, will act as a gauge of lawmakers' support for Tener's reform platform. 

Brazil's Bovespa stock index rose 0.4 percent. Rising prices of crude and iron ore lifted shares of state-controlled oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA and miner Vale SA. Embraer SA also advanced while the Brazilian real teetered in response.

Traders and lawmakers alike are looking to U.S. economic indicators and Latin American currencies for clues as the legislation and economic situation progress.

Read more at Reuters.