Articles List

The State Of Play In 2017

As we move headlong into 2017, we are bracing ourselves for another tumultuous year, with ongoing political shifts set to send tremors through economies and financial markets globally. Among other things, we expect a trade skirmish rather than a trade war; a slow and painful recovery for emerging markets; a beleaguered Chinese yuan; and a weak euro.

Prices Attractive, But Content Key To Boost Revenues

Movistar's greater focus on its cable operations as well as a competitive pricing strategy is yielding subscriber growth dividends for the operator. However, to translate subscriber growth into robust revenue and ARPU growth, the operator will have to more extensively leverage content in its pay-TV business, as it is doing in its mobile and fixed businesses

China Set To Expand MENA Market Share

Chinese investment in the infrastructure markets of the Middle East and North African (MENA) countries will continue to gather pace in the coming years, driven by growth opportunities across MENA, China's 'Going Global' economic policy, and increasing trade links.

Cocoa: Trading Sideways Over 2017 Before Long-Term Uptrend

We have revised our cocoa price forecasts downwards and now expect prices to bottom and trade sideways over H117 before strengthening from Q417 onwards as fundamentals tighten. Beyond 2017, cocoa prices will trend gradually higher as the market will remain balanced until recording a larger deficit in 2021, which will keep prices supported. West Africa will outperform in terms of output growth to 2021, albeit due to base effects, while Russia and Indonesia are bright spots for consumption.

Chinese Investment Adds Diversity, Upside To CEE Transport

Chinese investment in a cross-border rail project between Serbia and Hungary highlights the pivotal role of railway infrastructure in driving regional construction growth and aligns with our longstanding view on the Chinese ambition of establishing a foothold in the European infrastructure market. The increased engagement by state-owned Chinese companies in Hungary in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) in general will threaten entrenched incumbents and facilitate a continued diversification of the region's competitive landscape.

CCCC's IDE Bid Reflects Global Acquisition Ambitions

The Chinese offer to purchase Israeli desalination company IDE Technologies reflects the former's strategy to bolster its technological expertise by acquiring foreign firms, as it seeks to simultaneously compete in the global desalination infrastructure sector and address a growing domestic water shortfall.

Virgin Gets Ready For Mobile Disruption

The new mobile wholesale agreement between BT and Virgin Media will allow the latter more flexibility to be both proactive and reactive against market disruptions in 2017. However, as Virgin has been offering mobile services since 1999, we do not expect it will have much impact on the converged market, or that it prevents owner Liberty Global from making a bigger move in that sphere.

Regional Instability Foremost Risk

Regional pressures will remain the most pressing concern for Serbia's government going into 2017. The delay by the Serbian Progressive Party to announce a candidate for the presidential election scheduled for April 9 is elevating domestic political tensions in Serbia, although with the party on course to win regardless of the delay, the overall risks to policy continuity posed by the election are limited.

Competition Within Biologics Market To Intensify

The Chinese medicine market will be a top priority for biologic and biosimilar products. Industry sentiment towards the sub-sector is positive, as the expansion of private health insurance eases affordability constraints while reforms to the country's universal healthcare system see a greater scope of medicines reimbursed. This will incentivise continued investment by multinational drugmakers into the sub-sector, and will accentuate the competitive dynamics in the country. Notably, multinational pharmaceutical firms will face significant competition from domestic firms that have invested in developing biosimilars.

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