Investors Not Crying for Argentina as Thomas Cook Grounded

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Monday, August 12: markets endured another day in the red as investors continue to flee risk assets both in developed and frontier markets. The largest moves could be found in Argentina as news hit the wires that President Mauricio Macri lost a primary vote against socialist candidate Alberto Fernández who secured 47.7% of the primary vote with the incumbent President winning only 32.1% of the vote. This has been largely received as a protest vote against austerity measures Macri instituted, and therefore a rebuttal of Macri’s market-friendly administration. As indices in London edged towards the close, the Argentine peso was down 18% against the US dollar, whilst Argentina’s MERVAL equity index was down 28.00% intraday as European markets closed for the session. Investors fear a return to power of Fernández’s running mate, ex-President Christina Fernández de Kirchner, who presided over a period which saw high degrees of  both state intervention in markets and protectionist policies.

Back on home soil, the FTSE 100(-0.37) gave up early gains following strong trading on the Chinese CSI as Asian-exposed equities on London’s primary index slipped lower on the back of mounting political tensions between Hong Kong and China, following anti-government protests.

FTSE 350 Thomas Cook Group was one of the larger fallers intraday as investors appraised recapitalisation plans for the world’s oldest travel company. Shares were 18.26% lower at the close as the Group informed existing investors that they would experience significant share dilution. Management informed the market that they are in talks to raise another £150m, on top of a previously announced £750m as part of a recapitalisation agreement with the company’s largest shareholder Fosun Tourism Group, its core lending bank, and noteholders.

European equities were lower at the close, with the FTSE 100 -0.37%, the CAC 40 -0.33% and the DAX 30 -0.12%.

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