Articles List

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.

Property Downturn To Intensify

Slowing the overheated housing market and reining in financial risks remain a key priority for the Chinese government, and the move by the Asset Management Association of China to ban private equity schemes from investing in 16 cities, starting from February 13, will reduce the funds available for property development. We believe that real estate fixed asset investment growth will therefore suffer over the coming months, and act as a significant drag on real GDP growth.

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.

Poor Retail Sales And Housing Decline To Weigh On Consumption

We expect Hong Kong's private consumption growth to face downside pressure due to still sluggish retail sales owing to weak mainland tourist arrivals and negative wealth effects stemming from the correction in the overvalued housing market. This will therefore keep the territory's economic performance muted over the coming months. We forecast the territory's real GDP growth to come in at 1.7% in 2017 (versus an average of 2.1% over the past three years).

PSA-GM Deal: Initial Thoughts

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.

Army Worms And Adverse Weather Will Pose Upside Risks To Inflation

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.

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