Central Illinois Business Magazine
NOT SO FAST          October 2013

Exporting Strength


It's becoming clear what separates winners from losers in emerging-market stocks.

On the winning side are exporting countries; on the losing, net importers. Although investors generally lump emerging-market stocks together as a high-risk investment with potentially higher rewards, the two groups have emerged since late June. That's when countries that export more than they import began to climb, while net importers continued to struggle. Both fell earlier this summer on worries about slowing economic growth and a pullback in stimulus by the Federal Reserve.

Stocks from export-heavy South Korea, for example, are down 1 percent this year in U.S. dollar terms, after being down 19 percent in late June. The country's big exporters like Samsung and Hyundai are benefiting from stronger demand from U.S. customers and from a recovering Europe. China, Russia and other big exporters have likewise seen their markets rise.

But net importers like India and Indonesia continue to struggle because their industries don't generate as much revenue from developed economies. They're also feeling more pain due to expectations that the Fed will slow its bond-buying stimulus program, says S&P Capital IQ strategist Alec Young, which is causing U.S. interest rates to rise. Higher U.S. rates would mean less foreign investment flowing in, which India and others have used to cover their trade gaps.



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Fresh edition of CIB

By John Foreman

No matter how long I live in East Central Illinois, I never cease to marvel at the innovative and diverse nature of its business community. Innovators seem to flourish in every corner.

Don Dodson, the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette's longtime business editor, was among those friends to whom we turned to put out this issue of Central Illinois' favorite business magazine while we continue our search for a top-notch editor. Many people pitched in to make this edition possible, and I won't try to name them all for fear of missing someone. My job is simply to look at the finished product and introduce it to you.

I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Where, for example, would you go to find a piggy bank in the form of a portable toilet or a box for a life-size Star Trek action figure? The answer is in Ogden and ShapeMaster Inc.

And would you like to try a brew that won a Silver Medal in the 2014 World Beer Cup?

You needn't venture farther than Savoy. You'll find that story on page 8.

All that, plus more and lots of fresh stats, are inside.

Best wishes for a 2015 as robust as that microbrewed ale.

John Foreman is the former publisher of Central Illinois Business magazine.