If finalised, a mooted deal for France's PSA Group to acquire the European Opel and Vauxhall division of General Motors Company (GM) would create the second-largest autos group in Europe by market share. Here we give our initial thoughts on the potential tie-up.
While our core view remains that inflationary pressures in Southern Africa will gradually abate over 2017, renewed food insecurity could pose upside risks. The outbreak of army worms within the region and the potential for heavy rainfall could reduce agricultural production which would result in a resurgence of food price growth, monetary tightening and slower economic activity across the region.
President Donald Trump's increasingly tense relationship with the US intelligence community is likely to lead to a degree of foreign policy paralysis in the near term, and confusion abroad about Washington's overseas intentions. Trump’s desired rapprochement with Russia will thus be subject to greater scrutiny and delays. Overall, this backdrop could later prompt Trump to carry out some ‘over-compensatory’ actions abroad, leading to more geopolitical instability.
As rivals are already deploying fibre, Vodafone's FTTH initiative will not fundamentally alter Ghana's broadband competitive landscape. However, it will help the company's revenue-diversification strategy as well as dilute the threat posed by MTN's 4G service.
The assassination of Kim Jong Nam will raise stresses within the North Korean regime, as senior officials increasingly fear for their own wellbeing. No changes to foreign policy are likely, but the growing climate of fear is likely to increase the chances of an eventual internal move to remove leader Kim Jong Un.
Bahrain is one of our favourite luxury goods markets in the Middle East, with the segment set for strong growth on the back of high household incomes and a growing reputation as a retail tourism destination. The development of modern retail spaces and strong consumer demand for Western labels will attract new market players and encourage the expansion of existing chains, particularly in the clothing and footwear sector.
AT&T is doubling down on its convergence and content strategy with its acquisition of Time Warner (pending approval) and the launch of its streaming service DirecTV NOW. The aim is to be able to offer premium and exclusive content to its consumers, as a retaining tool as there is little organic growth left in the US market, and to do so across multiple platforms and devices, giving consumers a seamless experience. Streaming and the use of wireless technology as a broadband alternative are part of becoming fully convergent nationwide, but AT&T will continue to face strong competition across all segments, especially in terms of pricing as it positions itself as a premium provider.
The acquisition of the Actavis Generics continues to have a pronounced impact on Teva Pharmaceutical Industries' financial performance. Teva has returned to be a primarily generics-led company; its generics segment sales for Q416 and the full-year 2016 will bode well for the company's leadership position in the generics business, underscoring the Actavis impact. Despite positive top-line results, a series of missteps surrounding best-seller Copaxone's protection will create considerable near-term uncertainty for investors. The threat of further generic competition, combined with escalating debt in an ever-challenging pricing environment, will seriously challenge Teva's performance in 2017- all whilst transitioning to a new CEO.