Spirits will enjoy strong growth in Nigeria's alcoholic drinks market over our five year forecast period, outperforming other alcoholic beverage categories. Rising incomes and favourable demographics will help drive this trend, as well as a crackdown on premium alternatives such as champagne. Companies such as Guinness Nigeria stand to benefit.
US President Donald Trump’s executive order banning the citizens of seven Muslim-majority nations from entering the United States is likely to have the biggest external impact on Iran, politically and economically. In addition, the domestic backlash generated will lead to concerns within the US about the nature of policy formation under the Trump administration.
While we project Russia's budget deficit to narrow on the back of higher oil revenues and a slowdown in expenditure growth, the government will fall short of its announced austerity targets given the still-weak economy and upcoming presidential elections in 2018. Consolidation efforts have so far failed to address demographic challenges that threaten the country's long-term fiscal sustainability.
Johnson & Johnson's USD30bn acquisition of Actelion highlights the firm's need to offset the impending revenue loss through competition to key product Remicade. The deal, which will add a number of high-growth potential products to the firm's portfolio, highlights a greater trend within the pharmaceutical industry of overcoming greater biosimilar and generic competition as well as an increasing likelihood of M&A activity given the impending tax repatriation.
Vodafone India and IDEA Cellular have confirmed reports that they are discussing a potential merger of their mobile network operator businesses. Vodafone would acquire newly-issued IDEA shares, resulting in Vodafone India being deconsolidated from the Vodafone Group. The proposed deal would exclude Vodafone's 42% stake in Indus Towers, the passive infrastructure unit owned by the two companies' shareholders and Bharti Infratel.
The acquisition of Demand Energy, a start-up specialised in optimising the management of battery storage systems via software, will support Enel's strategy of increasing its focus on providing energy services.
A failure to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will be a negative for multinational drugmakers operating in the Asia Pacific. With seven of the 12 participating members in the APAC region, collectively accounting for 42% of the region's medicine sales in 2016, the trade deal would have altered the landscape by introducing stronger intellectual property protection among other measures. We now expect improvements to member regulatory regimes to be more gradual, with alternatives to the TPP unlikely to result in a similarly significant improvement. This creates an environment that will be beneficial for generic drugmakers, allowing firms to tap on the rising demand for low-cost drugs among participating countries in Asia.
In the midst of rapid-fire executive orders issued by President Donald Trump and ongoing confirmation Senate cabinet confirmation hearings, we reiterate that the potential for disagreement within the ranks of the Republican Party is being underappreciated, in our view. As we have emphasised since the election, one of the key flashpoints will be over fiscal policy, which is why we are more sceptical than consensus over the scale of economic stimulus to come under the new administration.
Botswana will experience an uptick in economic growth over 2017 as output in the extractive sector returns to positive growth. Stable inflation and low interest rates, compared to recent years, will provide a boost to private consumption over the year ahead.