McDonald's has unveiled plans to ramp up investment in technology-related services across its major markets in 2017. The fast-food giant will roll-out mobile ordering and delivery offerings in an effort to arrest its multi-year decline in customer visits and bring the company in line with competitors.
Healthcare expenditure is set to expand significantly in Ukraine in 2017, which bodes positively for the companies operating in the healthcare sector as a whole. The approved 2017 budget outlines a significant increase in public spending driven by wage hikes which will increase tax revenues, and public healthcare services are set to benefit considerably. The wage hike and positive consumer environment will also have a positive impact on private healthcare spending. However, we note that the long-term outlook for healthcare services depends on much-needed proposed reforms.
China is at the centre of the green bond world and based on its climate change commitments and its ambitious renewable energy development agenda, we expect it to remain there for some time to come. In 2016, China lead the way in the global green bond growth story and continues to provide the example of 'what good looks like' (see 'China To Continue Leading By Example In Green Bond Space', July 27 2016). What is more, China's dominance comes at a time when issuance in the environmentally-friendly bond space is expanding out into new sectors; into to new corners of the globe, and lastly, into new structures (such as preferred stock and securitised transactions), as more capital is called for.
In February 2017, we hosted a webinar on Battery Storage and its potential impact across the power and transport sectors. The presentation covered the disruptive potential of battery technology, our outlook for various battery technologies, the manner through which policy will incentivise battery uptake and an overview of the potential for battery storage growth in the Asia-Pacific power sector.
YouTube TV, like similar services, will not become the Netflix of live TV. This is because of a lack of content and strong competition from legacy players that continue to dominate the broadband market, which is essential for streaming. However, with Alphabet having made moves in the wireless and broadband markets, it could provide strong disruption in the long term in the telecoms market with a converged service.
Fiscal consolidation in Ukraine will slow in 2017, and a high public debt load will keep sovereign risks elevated. In turn, fiscal stability and debt sustainability will remain dependent on its IMF bailout programme as a source of funding and anchor of investor confidence.
Bayer's Q416 and full-year 2016 performance emphasizes the importance of the company's pharmaceuticals division. Driven by bestselling products Xarelto, Eylea and Xofigo, record-high revenue growth from within the pharmaceuticals division continues to offset muted performances from the consumer healthcare and CropScience sectors - detrimentally impacted by competition and challenging market conditions in key markets. The key for Bayer in 2017 will be its ability to successfully reorganise its business structure and strategy going forward without threatening the sustainability of the company's traditional core growth drivers.
Mozambique's fiscal position will remain under severe constraint over the coming years, as an unsustainable debt burden forces a more austere approach to spending. The likelihood of the government entering into some form of IMF programme and renegotiating the terms of its outstanding commercial debt will largely direct fiscal policy until the country's vast gas reserves can be brought online after 2021.
Telefónica and VEON's moves into artificial intelligence and data analytics are necessary as the paradigm shifts towards services and greater personalisation, as part of a deepening strategy. While a nascent market, competition is already fierce with multiple online players, meaning operators will look to differentiate themselves by putting privacy first and gaining a competitive advantage.