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FX Insights: Five elections that matter in 2019


As we have learned over the last few years, geopolitical risks have become leading themes driving financial markets. This year there are nearly 100 elections around the world, but we believe that a few may impact markets more than others. Here are five upcoming elections that may matter most, and how their currencies may be affected.



Election Day

The Indian election will take place between April and May. With about 875 million people able to vote, this is the world’s largest election. Vote counting can take weeks.


The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is the favorite to win.


The Indian rupee weakened last year to a high of INR 74.39 to the dollar in October. Since then, it’s rallied, and is now trading near 69.00. The implications for the currency from the election are not clear, but the current strengthening trend of the rupee ahead of the election may indicate there’s more to come.

Bottom line

Two of the most significant issues on the campaign trail are India’s increasing unemployment and farmer distress. PM Modi of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has not been overly convincing in how he plans to solve these and other issues, but he has shown good leadership in de-escalating the conflict with Pakistan last month.



Election Day

The European parliamentary elections will take place May 23-26.


Anti-Europeans are on track to win more than one-third of seats, so the stakes are unusually high. The mainstream center-right, however, is set to remain the biggest group.


There should not be any impact to the euro.

Bottom line

There are 10 political groups that will form different coalitions. The latest poll released on March 18 indicates the right-wing parties will make strong election gains.



Election Day

The Israeli election will take place on April 9.


Prime Minister Netanyahu has fallen in the polls, but he is still ahead of the Blue and White, a political alliance representing all citizens on the political and religious spectrum. Netanyahu came out recently promising to spend billions on health, education and transportation.


Should the Blue and White party be elected, it could have a negative impact on the shekel, as government debt would increase significantly unless other measures like higher taxes, are brought in.

Bottom line

There are 14 different parties. How the promise of more spending will affect the polls it is too early to say. Saying that the rest of the picture is messy would be an understatement, as Netanyahu is under pressure from accusations of bribery and corruption.



Election Day

The Polish parliamentary election is scheduled to take place before November.


The center-right and incumbent Christian Democratic Party will most likely win.


Not much controversy here, so the election should minimal impact on the zloty.

Bottom line

Voters will choose the head of state in 2020. In the latest poll, the Law and Justice Party (conservative party) and the PiS (Christian Democrat) party should account for about 54 percent of the vote with rest split between the other 7 parties.



Election Day

Parliamentary elections will be held October.


Eight to ten parties could earn enough votes to get into the Ukraine Parliament. There will likely be a coalition formed by the parties that come out on top.


The hryvnia has been tracking sideways in a 4-hryvnia range either side of 27 since 2016. Unless there is a real upset, it should continue to stay in this range. After the civil unrest in 2014, the hryvnia jumped from about 10 to the dollar to 27.10 today.

Bottom line

Due to the annexation of Crimea by Russia in March 2014, the number of parliamentary seats will fall to 424 from 450. There are seven political parties vying for seats, the Petro Poroshenko Bloc being the largest.

Contact us

If you have questions about how the Indian rupee volatility may affect your global business, contact your FX Advisor directly, or email us at

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This content is intended for US audiences only.

This material, including without limitation the statistical information herein, is provided for informational purposes only. The material is based in part upon information from third-party sources that we believe to be reliable, but which has not been independently verified by us and, as such, we do not represent that the information is accurate or complete. The information should not be viewed as tax, investment, legal or other advice nor is it to be relied on in making an investment or other decisions. You should obtain relevant and specific professional advice before making any investment decision. Nothing relating to the material should be construed as a solicitation or offer, or recommendation, to acquire or dispose of any investment or to engage in any other transaction.

Foreign exchange transactions can be highly risky, and losses may occur in short periods of time if there is an adverse movement of exchange rates. Exchange rates can be highly volatile and are impacted by numerous economic, political and social factors, as well as supply and demand and governmental intervention, control and adjustments. Investments in financial instruments carry significant risk, including the possible loss of the principal amount invested. Before entering any foreign exchange transaction, you should obtain advice from your own tax, financial, legal and other advisors, and only make investment decisions on the basis of your own objectives, experience and resources.

Opinions expressed are our opinions as of the date of this content only. The material is based upon information which we consider reliable, but we do not represent that it is accurate or complete, and it should not be relied upon as such.


About the Author

Laurence Hayward is the Senior Advisor for International Markets and Risk for Silicon Valley Bank in its Central Region. He is responsible for helping clients mitigate foreign exchange risk, including trade finance and international cash management.

Hayward has over 40 years in the foreign exchange and interest rate markets, with experience as a banker, broker, trader and marketer / advisor. He has worked in London, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong, New York, Houston, Dallas, Santa Clara and Denver for Barclays International, First National Bank of Boston, Tullett and Tokyo Forex International, Gulf International Bank, NationsBank, Bank One, Cambridge Mercantile Corp. and Silicon Valley Bank. He has made presentations to the national AFP, the New Orleans AFP, the Houston TMA. Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, the University of Colorado at Boulder, the KPMG Global Enterprise Institute in Denver, and many bank presentations on the subjects of foreign exchange, international risk, FASB accounting rules and quant analysis. He has also been published in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and many periodicals.
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