In 2001, Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’Neill coined the term BRIC. The now-familiar acronym grouping together Brazil, Russia, India and China was meant to be the ultimate guide for international investors; these were the countries expected to see huge growth rates.
In short, they were the countries everyone should have firmly on their radar. Then, last year the bank quietly closed its dedicated BRIC fund – which had lost 88% of its asset value since 2010 – and folded the investments into its larger emerging markets funds.
Hardly a ringing endorsement. But it is not difficult to see why. Now, 15 years on, the BRIC countries are all facing very different, but significant problems.
And it is a similar story for Mexico. Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey – the MINT countries that became the second grouping, announced by Fidelity Investments in 2011, and popularised by O’Neill three years later.
So what went wrong? How, out of a group of eight expertly selected economies to watch, could so many have ended up in such dire straits? Is it simply down to the passage of time, changing market conditions and unforeseeable external events? Or is there more at play?
The eight countries…