Markets: Latest News
Peter Pedroncelli, 1:25 am AFKI Original
The year 2016 was not an easy one for South Africa, but investor outlook for the year 2017 certainly looks more positive. Having survived a tough year, investors are now looking at South Africa to gauge whether or not to invest their funds in the emerging market, but there are a flurry of reasons to give the country a second glance in 2017. We take a look 12 things that are expected to improve investor outlook in South Africa during 2017.
Global Risk Insights, 12:51 pm
Wildlife tourism represents 80% of total annual travel sales to Africa. Environmental crime deprives countries of future revenue. After China announced last week that it plans to end all commerce in ivory by the end of 2017, illegal poaching is back in the spotlight. Corruption remains the key enabler of wildlife trafficking. High-level members of poaching syndicates, sometimes government officials, are rarely convicted. The fight against environmental crime has to be addressed as a political issue. It’s the world’s fourth largest crime sector after drug smuggling, counterfeiting and human trafficking.
Kevin Mwanza, 5:04 am
Nigeria, the second biggest oil producer in Africa, is likely to enjoy increased earnings from its exports by the end of 2017, when global prices are expected rise to $60 per barrel, an increase that will boost the nation’s struggling economy. Global oil prices fell from a peak of $115 per barrel in June 2014 to below $35 in February last year before recovering to $50 per barrel in December.
Dana Sanchez, 4:10 pm
Around 60% of all products in South African stores are halal certified. Despite Muslims forming 1.5% percent of the population, this huge percentage of halal products is due to the large quantity of exports sent north in the continent, much of which is Muslim. South African traders make up about half of Africa’s fast-moving consumer goods sector, and 35 percent of these traders are Muslim. SA has helped other African countries set up halal certification including Zambia, Namibia, Botswana and Mozambique.
Dana Sanchez, 11:28 am
Chevron South Africa assets include a refinery in Cape Town that produces 110,000 barrels a day, a lubricants plant in Durban and about 800 Caltex service stations. It’s one of South Africa’s top five petroleum brands and has done business in the country for more than 100 years. Low oil prices and uncertainty about future prices will make it difficult for potential buyers to fund an acquisition themselves or to raise capital externally, a stakeholder said.
Dana Sanchez, 1:45 pm
In the process of tapping into the sharing economy, Airbnb tapped into a relatively unfilled niche in Africa — the need for reliable, mid-range accommodation in African cities. Doing so helped Airbnb become the second most valuable U.S. startup in 2016. Valued at $68 billion, Uber is the most valuable startup in the U.S. and across the globe — proof that you can get rich by sharing.
Dana Sanchez, 4:40 pm
Local and international tourists flock to a centuries-old public circumcision ritual in Uganda and parts of Western Kenya. They watch teens and young men of the Bamasaaba tribe go under the knife without pain killers. If they show no pain, the “candidates” are rewarded with mobile phones, cash and cattle. More than 30,000 people attended the 2016 Imbalu festival. Ugandan tourism plans to build a cultural center celebrating and preserving the history of the Bamasaaba people. The goal is to attract international visitors.
Staff, 6:12 pm
Where there are challenges or deficits, business and investment opportunities often emerge in the informal sector. The East African informal sector contributes 30-40% of GDP. Operating off the grid (not paying taxes), informal-sector employers and employees run the risk of punishment, limited police protection, and lack of social support services. Consumers help keep the informal sector growing, and it’s not going away anytime soon. Formal companies are getting rich providing services to the millions of consumers who use informal services. Here are some of them.
Staff, 12:00 am
Throughout 2016, the perception of bitcoin as a new safe haven persisted. People thought that if the U.S. Federal Reserve hiked interest rates, bitcoin’s perceived use as protection against economic uncertainty might be diminished. Its price might then fall. But despite the dollar’s 2016 gains and year-end rate hike, bitcoin still outpaced. When the U.S. dollar surges, currencies in emerging markets are devalued, increasing demand and the price of bitcoin, says investor Vinny Lingham.
Kurt Davis Jr., 8:15 am AFKI Original
Mozambique had a tough 2016. The country is unable to pay its debt until gas revenues are available after 2021. Public debt is expected to be near 130 percent of GDP by the end of 2016. The IMF continues to help Mozambique negotiate with creditors – a bright spot considering the IMF suspended aid to the country in April after evidence of $2 billion in hidden loans came to light. This “hidden debt” by state-owned firms has destroyed creditors’ trust in Mozambique.
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