None of the deals mooted for Sprint will help the company regain its relevance in the short-term. It has struggled because it has lacked a clear strategy since the Softbank acquisition, and increasing in size alone will not be enough without adding a clear direction as to what the operator wants to be.
A lasting peace deal remains off the cards in Libya over the near term, as rival eastern and western factions are unable to agree on the structure of a new unity government - specifically the role of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar (of the Libyan National Army) within it. Even if an agreement is eventually reached, security risks will remain elevated on the ground for years to come, given the highly localised nature of the conflict, and the weakness of Libya's state structures.
New FMCG startup Brandless is targeting a number of trends in the industry that will offer it strong growth potential over the next five years. In particular, low costs, direct-to-consumer subscription model, niche branding, appealing to 'millennial' preferences and limiting choice will all help to boost sales.
The launch of Swazi Mobile brings some much-needed competition to Swaziland's mobile market. However, incumbent MTN was quick to reduce its tariffs and will benefit financially from network sharing, demonstrating that it will not be easily displaced by the privately owned newcomer.
Venezuela's widely condemned election of a constituent assembly on July 30 will likely lead to escalating violence, heightened divisions within the ruling elite and more US sanctions against senior officials. Together, these dynamics increase the likelihood of a regime change in the coming months.
Bayer's lowered financial outlook for 2017 reflects a weaker-than-expected performance within the Consumer Healthcare business, which will remain a key concern among shareholders. As the US becomes increasingly saturated with consumer health products, further inroads into emerging markets and Europe will prove critical for Bayer towards securing long-term opportunities. This will be supported by strong growth from core products in Bayer's pharmaceuticals division, namely Xarelto, Eylea and Adempas, which partly offset the otherwise underwhelming performance in Q217.
Strong corporate profit momentum in Japan will be the main factor shaping our brighter outlook for the CV segment in 2017 as capital expenditure by businesses translates into spending on new LCV fleets in particular. Growth in heavy truck sales will remain subdued as weak construction sector activity tempers demand for these heavy duty vehicles.
Macroeconomic shifts, major corruption investigations and political uncertainty in the region have prompted us to revise our construction industry forecasts for six markets in Latin America. We expect the region will continue to lag other regions in growth over the coming years.
Three's purchase of Tele2 Austria will intensify competition in the converged services market. Its decision to focus on the enterprise and IoT market is sound, given the entrenched positions of A1 and UPC in the consumer space, but upselling converged services to Tele2 customers will likely meet with limited success in the crucial short to medium term. Cannibalisation means limited upside to our broadband forecasts.