Gabon

In-depth country-focused analysis on Gabon's economic, political and operational risk environment, complemented by detailed sector insight

Gabon

Our comprehensive assessment of Gabon's operating environment and the outlook for its leading sectors are formed by bringing together a wealth of data on global markets that affect Gabon, as well as the latest industry developments that could impact Gabon's industries. This unique integrated approach has given us an impeccable track-record for predicting important shifts in the markets, ensuring you’re aware of the latest market opportunities and risks in Gabon before your competitors.

Country Risk

Gabon Country Risk

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CORE VIEWS

  • Annual real GDP growth in Benin will average 5.0% between 2014 and 2023 as consumer spending increases and the country's political stability engenders elevated levels of fixed investment. Nevertheless, a sporadic electricity supply and reliance on cotton production will hold back the pace of economic development.

  • Benin's political landscape shows little sign of fragility, and will remain one of the most stable, open and accountable in West Africa in the years ahead, enjoined by a free press and a multitude of political parties. Nevertheless, the country faces challenges in the long term such as an overspill of violence from piracy and terrorist activity in the region, and the potential for tribal/ethnic schisms to open.

KEY RISKS TO OUTLK

  • There have...

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Gabon Country Risk

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Core Views

  • The debate over a possible change to the national constitution, which would allow President Denis Sassou-Nguesso to run for a third term, has polarised Congo-Brazzaville at the start of 2015 and will heighten political tensions in the run up to next year's elections.

  • The economic outlook for Congo-Brazzaville remains broadly positive, though the slump in oil and iron ore prices will have an impact on short-term macroeconomic fundamentals.

Long Term Views

  • President Denis Sassou-Nguesso will reform his country's constitution in order to run for another term in elections scheduled for 2016. The move will prove controversial, raising political tensions in Congo-Brazzaville. Even so, we see little threat to the current government's control over the...

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Gabon Industry Coverage (6)

Autos

Gabon Autos

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According to Renault, total industry auto sales in Gabon for June 2015 came in at 325 units, an increase of 0.6% y-o-y, bringing sales for H115 to 2,118 units, a decline of 3.5% y-o-y. The government spending audit, which first began in 2014, is evidently still impacting the market despite our initial expectation for its impact to dissipate in 2015. We have therefore revised our full-year sales forecast and now expect sales to contract 3.4% in 2015 versus 4.8% growth previously.

Besides the government audit, the fall in crude oil prices has also hurt Gabon's economy. As the value of Gabon's crude oil exports falls in line with lower crude prices, our Country Risk team expects slower economic growth of 4.5% in 2015 versus 5.4% previously. Furthermore, with our Oil & Gas team forecasting oil prices to remain subdued over the 2015-2019 period, we forecast moderate average auto sales growth over the...

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Food & Drink

Gabon Food & Drink

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The drop in oil prices has prompted us to revise down our forecast for economic growth in Gabon in 2015 to 4.9%, from a previous 5.5%. This is based on an expectation of lower government consumption and export income as a result of lower oil revenues. We have also revised our forecast for 2016 to 5.3%, from 5.6%, for the same reason. In addition to moderately lower growth, we expect the country's macroeconomic health to deteriorate sharply in 2015, and with risks remaining elevated over the medium term. We stress that government targets of transforming the country into a major economic centre by 2025 remain unreasonably optimistic. Gabon's small workforce, limited domestic market and opaque business environment will all pose obstacles to economic diversification.

Additionally, the country's small population, relative to its regional peers, will continue to weigh on food and drink industry prospects.

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Infrastructure

Gabon Infrastructure

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BMI View: Despite lower oil prices the government announced its intention to continue to invest in infrastructure development. While the issuance of a eurobond may help this goal, given the incompatibility of these ambitious spending commitments with the new reality of low oil prices, we expect a reduction in planned government expenditure in coming years. As such, we forecast growth to slow after 2016, although we remain positive over the 10-year horizon.

The small size of Gabon's construction industry, combined with a number of large projects, should sustain growth over our five-year forecast period. However, growth will remain far below potential. Numerous problems that need to be overcome to secure investment, including improving flows of capital...

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Oil & Gas

Gabon Oil & Gas

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BMI View: The outlook on Gabon's upstream sector is relatively bearish, as maturing oilfields and a lack of new production push output into terminal decline. New fiscal terms that increase the state's role in the oil and gas sector and levies imposed on the operators are also likely to add downside to the production profile. However, shallow water pre-salt developments offer substantial upside risk, in the second half of our forecast period. Deepwater pre-salt exploration remains highly prospective, although may feel strain in a lower oil price environment. We expect little growth in the upstream gas sector, due to the lack of export options and limited demand domestically.

Headline Forecasts (Gabon 2013-2019)
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Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare

Gabon Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare

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BMI View: Gabon will become one of the first Sub-Saharan African countries where the burden of non-communicable diseases will exceed that of communicable diseases. The country's oil revenues have resulted in high relative wealth levels, and a greater prevalence of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and cancer.

Headline Expenditure Forecasts

  • Pharmaceuticals: XAF46.20bn (USD94mn) in 2014 to XAF48.14bn (USD81mn) in 2015; +4.2% in local currency and -14.5% in US dollar terms. Forecast downgraded from Q315 following availability of new trade data.

  • Healthcare: XAF401.1bn (USD819mn) in 2014 to XAF444.8bn (USD746mn) in 2015; +10.9% in local currency and -9.0% in US dollar terms. Forecast revised downwards...

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Telecommunications

Gabon Telecommunications

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BMI View: Our Q315 West and Central Africa report analyses latest industry, regulatory and macroeconomic developments in the telecoms markets of seven countries: Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Gabon, Mali, Mauritania and Senegal. Strong growth over the last decade will lead to more saturated market conditions towards the end of our forecast and operators will increasingly shift their resources towards advanced data services to sustain revenue growth. Their efforts will be complemented by the proliferation of low-cost smartphones and tablets as well as cheaper and more reliable access to international bandwidth connectivity via submarine cables. Despite this, regionally 3G/4G shares of the mobile markets will remain lower than that of the more advanced peers in Europe and Middle-East.

Key Data

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