Articles List

Economic Resilience Beginning To Fade

Turkey's economy shrank in Q316 for the first time since 2009, as heightened political and economic uncertainty weighed on investment. The government will attempt to counter slowing growth through increased spending, although this will lead to a deteriorating fiscal position and sovereign risk profile.

'Dubai Of Africa' Facing Multiple Threats To Long-Term Stability

Djibouti faces multiple threats to its stability over the long term, including the risk of upheaval against authoritarian rule, population pressures, regional refugee flows, terrorism, and rising 'great power' competition. However, Djibouti's geopolitical importance suggests that major powers will do their utmost to maintain stability, and this will benefit the regime.

O2 UK Next For Telefónica's Debt Reduction

The main aim of Telefónica selling a stake of Telxius is to reduce its debt, the highest amongst the five major European operators. Even if the fee received is small, it will increase confidence in the operator's plan to gain a healthier financial footing. O2 UK is likely to be next, as Telefónica continues to transform itself into a company focusing primarily on digital services.

Social Unrest No Threat To Construction Outlook

Ethiopia will maintain its status as regional construction growth outperformer in SSA owing to the substantial opportunities presented by the market. An escalation in social unrest presents a downside risk as foreign firms are targeted, necessitating increased security costs, but foreign commitment to infrastructure projects will preclude any downturn.

Strong Competition For Lucrative Smart Home Market

Alongside telecoms operators and online players, retailers will provide the third area of competition in the smart home market. All stakeholders prioritise having the direct relationship with end-users, to create more recurrent revenue streams, and the increased innovation will eventually benefit consumers, even if the market will remain niche in the short-term.

CRISPR Patent Fight Just Beginning

The patent fight between two different sets of CRISPR/Cas9 licensees will be drawn out, but will likely end in a cross-licensing agreement. 2017 will be a big year for the CRISPR technology as it enters clinical trials, with Editas Medicine aiming to have the first therapy in the clinic, which will bolster the company's potential. However, its competitors will not be far behind, and there is still significant scope for failure.

Long-Term LNG Outlook Positive, Despite Higher Taxes

Higher taxes on LNG at the state level will negatively impact LNG imports in the short term, though we expect implementation of anti-pollution policies and robust import capacity additions to drive appetite for LNG in the longer term.

Keeping Spending In Check Will Cost Government Popularity

The new NPP government in Ghana will fail to implement its election promises in full owing to the fiscal constraints of a greater-than-excepted budget deficit and an ongoing IMF programme. In the short term it will be able to shift the blame for this to the previous government, but further down the line its popularity will wane.

Obesity Rates Will Ensure High Demand For Chronic Disease Treatments

Unmet health needs for patients with obesity and its associated chronic disease will continue to remain a theme in the MENA region. The simultaneous rise of non-communicable diseases highlights the need to improve awareness and preventative strategies at the national level. This will provide opportunities for multinational drugmakers to partner with authorities with the goal of meeting the large underlying demand for chronic disease treatments in the region. Critically, multinational pharmaceutical firms will have to adopt country-specific strategies given the differences in healthcare access and epidemiological profiles between each country.

Value Over Volume In Declining Beer Market

Intense competition and changing consumer preferences are hurting a number of China's major beer companies. Despite it being the world's largest market in terms of beer consumption volumes, Asahi is looking to exit its stake in Tsingtao as these tough market conditions weigh on sales. Carlsberg looks to be the likely buyer and having turned around its own Chinese operations, would be well-placed to help Tsingtao. Whether Carlsberg can gain a greater voice in Tsingtao's strategic direction may make or break this deal.

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