Articles List

Majors Getting Comfortable At USD50/bbl

The oil majors are looking more comfortable at lower oil prices posting strong quarterly results in Q2 despite weaker upstream revenues. Major project pipelines both under construction and pre-FID offer a solid growth outlook to 2020. LNG and sub-USD40/bbl breakeven oil projects remain the central focus of new investment.

SGD: Long-Term Appreciatory Trend Remains Intact

We remain neutral on the SGD in the near term as the currency approaches both technical resistance and the stronger end of its trading band. Over the longer term, we expect the currency to appreciate slightly as it remains supported by positive growth-inflation dynamics, a still-undervalued real effective exchange rate, and a strong external position.

New Fiscal Rule Will Aid Consolidation

The Russian government will remain committed to further fiscal consolidation over the coming years, supported by the implementation of a new fiscal rule which will curb the budget's dependence on oil, while supporting the replenishing of Russia's fiscal buffers. While this will bolster the country's sovereign profile, we note that Russian debt may lose its appeal due to rising political tensions.

No Easy Solution For Sprint

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.

No Breakthrough In Peace Process From Paris Meeting

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.

Brandless Taking Industry Cues From Successful FMCG Startups

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.

Mobile Competition Welcomed, But MTN Hard To Beat

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.

Constituent Assembly Makes Regime Change More Likely

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.

Subdued Outlook For Bayer In 2017 Will Remain A Concern For Investors

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.

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