Markets: Latest News
Tom Jackson, 12:35 pm AFKI Original
Despite the hype, profitability is still an unattainable ideal for Nigerian online shopping giants Konga and Jumia. Believers say e-commerce in Africa is “absolutely a long-term play.” They expect the short- and medium-term to be challenging. Players are still working on fast and easy payments and refunds, and trouble-free deliveries and returns. “It takes a long time for consumers to become comfortable shopping online, and it’s hard and expensive to accelerate this,” a stakeholder said. Investors aren’t all put off though. The potential prizes are too great.
Dana Sanchez, 2:34 pm
Supporters of the conflict minerals rule say it successfully held manufacturers accountable for the minerals they source from DRC. Its suspension would “enrich abusive thugs” and could lead to the complete repeal of Dodd-Frank regulations, implemented after the 2007-2009 financial crisis to limit risky practices that caused the U.S. banking crisis. However a U.S.association of manufacturers estimates the law costs U.S. businesses $9-to-$16 billion. This led to the suspension plan by Trump, who campaigned on a pro-business platform.
Dana Sanchez, 2:29 pm
Prices rose even faster than in December, when inflation was 24.3 percent — the highest since January 2011 when the Arab Spring uprising was at its height. Food prices have gone up more than other goods, rising by 38.6 percent year on year. Tourism, one the main sources of foreign currency, has been hit hard by jihadist insurgency. The number of tourists visiting Egypt in 2016 was 46 percent less than 2015. This decline is attributed to Russian and British flights being suspended following the Metrojet flight crash in the Sinai.
Kurt Davis Jr., 7:45 am AFKI Original
Everyone knows that Africa leapfrogged landlines to mobile phones, but without mobile, the continent is unconnected. Less than 20% are connected to the internet. Business and finance have become online activities globally. Africa needs to get up to speed to compete. Private investors are looking beyond the usual suspects. These are the African countries with the best opportunities for private investors to expand internet capacity in 2017.
Kurt Davis Jr., 9:32 am AFKI Original
Infrastructure in Africa is at the forefront of investors’ minds. Private equity investors see great opportunity, especially in power projects. The Ivorian president is a former IMF economist. The Ivorian budget minister is a former Goldman Sachs trader, and they’re on the same wavelength. The Côte d’Ivoire economy is expected to grow 8-9% in 2017 and 2018. Strengthening infrastructure will be key in the next phase of the Ivorian growth story. The government plans to spend $60 billion on infrastructure through 2020.
Dana Sanchez, 4:43 pm
The worst is over and commodities prices are climbing, World Bank says. But not everyone is ready to call it a trend. Despite some improvement, gold and platinum remain flat. The bouyant, even euphoric mood at this year’s Mining Indaba contrasts with recent years — 2016 was gloomy. Towards the end of the year, commodity prices rebounded. Investors want a stable political environment, regulatory certainty and labor stability. “In 2017, we are looking at expansion, local and international. Mergers and acquisitions are also starting to take place. There is consolidation,” a stakeholder said.
Dana Sanchez, 12:35 pm
Facebook beat Wall Street expectations for sales and user growth in the fourth quarter of 2016, and it credits Internet.org, its free basic version of the internet in developing countries, for helping make that happen. It added more users worldwide in the fourth quarter than any quarter since the company went public in 2012. Founder Mark Zuckerberg’s vision is to get more Africans online. “This isn’t a purely altruistic venture,” an analyst said. Internet.org, is available in 23 African countries through partnerships with mobile operators.
Staff, 12:15 pm
Netherlands-based Vitol has been one of the big winners of the oil price crash, as the glut in supply led to arbitrage and storage opportunities. The company enjoyed one of its most profitable years in 2015, with a 15% increase in net income to $1.6B. Independent oil traders typically avoid involvement in big oil exploration projects, focusing on moving oil and fuel from where it is produced to where it is most needed. But a few have made tentative steps as it can provide an alternative source of revenue and secure source supply.
Staff, 1:01 am
Overall, capital importation into Nigeria fell 47 percent in 2016. Foreign direct investment flows were way up but portfolio investments were way down, deterred by the recession and the currency. Nigeria in 2016 imported the bulk of its capital from Britain, the U.S. and Netherlands, with the telecoms, banking and oil sectors the main beneficiaries. Nigeria’s stock market fell 6.2 percent in 2016 while the naira lost a third of its official value against the dollar. In 2017, stocks continue to fall, down 3.1 percent so far.
Dana Sanchez, 3:22 pm AFKI Original
If Ant expands access to mobile money, it could mean that even more people will receive remittances on their mobile money accounts, and that will be good for Ismail Ahmed. Mobile money is disrupting remittances and making formal transactions easier, says Ahmed, a Somali entrepreneur and CEO of online money transfer service WorldRemit. Only 5% of remittances today are sent online. The rest is cash, paid over the counter or at agents. Online remittances are projected to grow six-fold to reach at least 40 percent in the next few years.
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