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Friday, February 11, 2011

What makes a PIGS?

Much has been said about the PIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain).

One of the alleged characteristics is that these countries have high debt to GDP ratios. Indeed these countries sit high in ranking available in wikipedia. In fact Greece is N.5 with 144%, Ireland is ranked 11th with 98%, Portugal ranks 15th 83% and Spain ranks 27th in the world with a ratio of 63%. However, little is said about Japan, Belgium and Singapore which rank 2, 8 and 9 respectively. Brazil and India, shining stars of the BRIC are not too far ranking 31and 42

Another argument could be related to the 2008 financial crisis. If we look at the soundness of banks (as per the World Economic Forum in 2009) in different countries we can see that while is true that Irish banks rank at the bottom, Spanish banks are ranked 25th in the world with Greek and Portuguese banks coming in 45 and 62 respectively.

Another characteristic of PIGS is their high sovereign spreads or low ratings. An inspection of the sovereign ratings according to the Economist Intelligence Unit reveals that PIGS are no different from BRIC.

From these points of view, PIGS and BRIC are not so far apart...

There is however one difference between PIGS and BRICs...
Portugal 39.7                   Brazil 28.9
Ireland 35.4                     Russia 38.5
Greece 42.2                     India 25.9
Spain 41.5                       China 35.2

Which countries have more growth potential?

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