Analysis: Taliban gains give investors cause for concern beyond Afghanistan

  • Taliban forces are pushing closer to Afghan capital
  • Investors wary of impact on countries in the region
  • Worries over possibly years of violence, refugees

LONDON, Aug 14 (Reuters) – The Taliban’s rapid advance towards Kabul is not only causing concern about Afghanistan’s future but also about the impact on other countries in the region and their economies.

Iran and then Iraq lie to the west of Afghanistan. Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are to the north. But the immediate focus for financial markets and investors is Pakistan to the east.

Pakistan has a large public debt, a sizeable equity market (.KSE) and is dependent on a $6-billion IMF programme. The prospect of years of violence and waves of refugees will add pressure to its fiscal repair plans.

“It is a very troubling situation and unfortunately has set the region back many years,” said Shamaila Khan, head of emerging market debt at AllianceBernstein. “I think the neighbouring countries will…

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