Articles List

Asia, Africa and MENA To Lead Global Growth

The global construction industry will grow at a robust rate over the next five years, largely driven by massive infrastructure investment plans in emerging markets and a renewed focus on infrastructure development in some developed markets. The global projects pipeline is also progressing, though implementation remains slow in less-developed markets where major projects are susceptible to financing, bureaucratic or construction delays.

Cost-Containment To Repress Drugmaker Opportunities

Despite being one of the most advanced pharmaceutical markets in the region, Slovakia presents limited opportunities for innovative drugmakers, reflected in its score of 59.0, above the regional average of 50.5, but ranking it 8th in the region. The market represents a stable and transparent operating environment for drugmakers; however, opportunities for revenue growth will be restricted by cost-containment measures and unfavourable demographic trends.

Iranian Dietary Shift A Health Worry

Iranian consumers' dietary shift raises health concerns, as consumers sharply decrease their spending on perceived healthier foods, while increasing their spending on sugar and confectionary products. We also note the growing popularity of fast food in the country.

Recovery Under Way Following Nadir

The recovery in the container shipping sector will continue in 2018. While there was an understandable level of hand-wringing in the wake of South Korean shipping firm Hanjin Shipping's bankruptcy in 2016, the industry predictably rallied in 2017, with a rush of merger and acquisition activity and an increase in freight rates as overcapacity fears dissipated to some degree. Fears do persist, however, over a new rate war that could create more instability as global shippers jostle for market share.

Portuguese Consumer Confidence Returns, Homeware To Benefit

Portugal's improving economic outlook will lead to an increase in consumer spending, as unemployment falls and disposable incomes rise. However the country's consumer, while becoming more confident will remain cautious. The consumer base is dominated by middle-aged consumers which will support the trading up on price points, focusing on fewer purchases but on products that are perceived to offer quality, particularly when it comes to spending on small-ticket premium homeware items

Strong Foreign Reserves and FDI To Help Sustain Trade Deficit

We expect India's current account deficit as a share of GDP to widen slightly to 0.9% in FY2017/18 (April-March) and 1.1% in FY2018/19 from 0.7% in FY2016/17 due to a growing trade deficit, but robust foreign reserves bolstered by steady foreign investment inflows will help to sustain the trade gap, and allow the central bank to prevent excessive currency weakness.

GlaxoSmithKline's Business Will Continue To Thrive Through Research Partnerships

GlaxoSmithKline's support of research into chronic diseases in Singapore will enhance its already established presence in the country's pharmaceutical market. The increasing burden of chronic respiratory diseases in Singapore, in particular the demand for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma treatments, coupled with the company's focus on optimising care plans, will allow it to strengthen its status within the country and the wider region.

The Incoming Vietnamese IPO Wave

Vietnam's IPO market has recorded its largest ever domestic float, a USD708mn offering from the country's largest mall operator, Vincom, which is more than twice the size of the previous record listing on the local Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange (HOSE). In BMI's view, the significance of the float is more than just a quantitative domestic record; rather, it looks set to mark the start of a deluge of deals which are expected to come to market in Vietnam over the coming months as the national government embarks upon the next stage of a deep-reaching privatisation drive.

Pension Reform Defeat Highlights Long-Term Challenges

Difficulties in passing key legislation and the risk of sudden shifts in economic policy stemming from Switzerland's system of direct democracy, as well as ongoing tensions stemming from immigration and an increasingly multi-cultural society, have led us to downgrade Switzerland's short and long-term political risk index scores. That said, the country continues to rank among the highest globally in both metrics.

Current Account Surpluses Bolster Sovereign Profile

While we forecast Bulgaria's current account surplus to narrow over the next two years, the accumulation of surpluses will continue to narrow the country's net international investment position deficit and thus reduce external vulnerability. That said, faltering foreign direct investment inflows highlight the need for structural reforms.

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