Articles List

Articles List

TPP To Reshape Global Trade Flows

Over the coming decade, the passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact will reduce tariff and non-tariff barriers between the 12 member states, bolstering trade and investment flows across the Pacific. The deal also has significant implications for the agriculture, automotive, pharmaceutical, textile and shipping sectors of the member countries.

Tanzania Leads the Way with Mobile Financial Services Interoperability

Vodacom's decision to join Tigo, Airtel and Zantel's interoperable MFS platform is an important step towards unlocking greater long term value for the sector. Nevertheless, we expect all four operators to continue developing their individual MFS platforms, as these will remain key to their customer acquisition and retention strategies in the short to medium term.

Indonesia's Mobile Company Micromax Will Benefit Most from Selling

A partial or outright sale to a strategic investor would yield greater long-term benefits for Micromax relative to the short-term gains an IPO would have realised. New management with a wider international vision would help Micromax fulfil its potential far more effectively than hampering it with a diverse, profit-focused shareholder base.

Domestic Demand Driving Saudi Arabia's Oil Export Decline

Speculation that Saudi Arabia is losing ground in its key Asian export markets is overblown; the recent fall in exports is largely due to the significant rise in domestic consumption, and not to lower Asian demand for Saudi crudes.

No End to Belarus's Reliance on Russia

Belarus will continue to rely on Russian support and transfers from state-owned enterprises to fund its large footprint in the economy over the next few years. Indeed, with Belarus potentially priced out of international debt markets following a gaffe by President Alexander Lukashenka, Minsk's dependence on Moscow looks set to increase.

Syriza's Dramatic Climb Down Continues in Greece

Eurozone finance ministers approved reform proposals submitted by Greece in order to obtain a four month extension of its EUR240bn bailout, as we expected (see 'Syriza's Dramatic Climbdown Continues', February 23). The deal should be officially confirmed on February 27, after receiving parliamentary approval in several states. The deal should prevent Greece defaulting on its debts over the next few weeks, prevent a potential liquidity crisis emerging in the banking sector, and ultimately put the question of a 'Grexit' from the eurozone to bed (for now).

Implications of a Vastly Bigger South Korea Nuclear Arsenal

Independent US projections that North Korea could possess 100 nuclear warheads by 2020 imply a dramatic increase in geopolitical risks in East Asia, and this will prompt South Korea and Japan to rethink their non-nuclear status. Pyongyang will not give up its atomic arsenal, but it may eventually offer a reduction of its stockpile in exchange for economic rewards. The biggest risk would be an unauthorised nuclear launch, if central authority in the North breaks down amid regime collapse.

Poor Infrastructure Project Pipeline in US Hydropower

We expect slow growth in the US hydropower sector through 2024 due to strong competition from natural gas-fired and renewables power sources, coupled with a limited project pipeline. Policy initiatives to support the hydropower industry's long-term development represent the most significant upside risk to our downbeat outlook for the sector.

Central and Eastern European Infrastructure Markets Boosted by EU Funding

Central and Eastern Europe's infrastructure markets will continue to benefit from EU funding, as the first projects under the current spending tranche receive financing. However, we note that plans for a European fund to entice greater private investment into the EU's infrastructure sector risks taking focus and financing away from existing EU spending plans.