Morocco: Latest News
Kurt Davis Jr., 2:00 am AFKI Original
Short-term volatility and uncertainty in the African growth story create opportunities for hedge funds. Hedge funds generally operate more flexibly than private equity, and they have the creativity to generate bond-like returns that outpace inflation. Critics say hedge funds have limited liquidity in an opaque world. The riskiest play — but with big returns — is in agriculture and land. Where land is for sale in Africa, investors are making a play for a limited resource, especially when it’s arable, ripe for production or ideal for commercial and residential construction.
Dana Sanchez, 4:53 pm
An IPO today on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange introduced a new option for investors who want to add African exposure to their portfolios. The AMI Big 50 ex-SA ETF offers 50 African blue-chip companies outside South Africa. The IPO is a world first – an ETF offering exposure to a pan-African index that excludes South Africa. “A lot of people do worry about the liquidity risk, but being an ETF means that there is a secondary market on the JSE which allows investors in smaller quantities to trade exposure in and out of Africa,” a stakeholder said. The ETF is managed by Cloud Atlas, which plans to launch two more Africa-focused ETFs by July.
Staff, 12:01 am
The fall in African private equity investment in 2016 could be a short-term blip. Among the losers was US-based Carlyle, one of the world’s winningest investment firms. Carlyle invested $147m in Nigeria’s Diamond Bank in 2014. The bank’s market cap fell by 90% over the subsequent two years. Bob Geldof’s PE firm 8 Miles just invested in Blue Skies, a British fruit firm that operates in Africa. Utilities including telecoms were the most popular target for private equity investment in 2016. West Africa was the most active region.
Peter Pedroncelli, 5:25 am
The Confederation of African Football’s (CAF) new president Ahmad has thrown his weight behind Morocco’s bid to host the 2026 World Cup. The North African nation is keen to follow in the footsteps of South Africa, which successfully hosted the 2010 World Cup, the first held on the African continent. In an outcome that has surprised many in Africa, Issa Hayatou’s reign at CAF ended this month as Madagascan government minister Ahmad was elected as the new president of the Confederation of African Football.
Global Risk Insights, 3:31 pm
Lacking substantial oil reserves, Morocco took a backseat to Angola and Algeria during China’s resource binge in the 2000s. That has changed as China seeks to diversify investments. Morocco now has three Confucius Institutes and is becoming the default investment destination in North Africa as instability continues in the region. Anti-Chinese sentiment in more established China-Africa relationships is also leading China to diversify its investment portfolio. Casablanca is scheduled to play host to the China-Morocco Trade Week in December 2017.
Staff, 1:01 am
Halima Aliko Dangote, daughter of Nigerian cement magnate Aliko Dangote, is trying to raise money in Africa to open an African art and policy institute in New York. She hoped to raise up to $5 million at a recent fundraiser in Nigeria, and said she planned similar events in Morocco and Kenya. The building that houses the Africa Center was completed several years ago but the center itself hasn’t opened yet for lack of funds.
Dana Sanchez, 3:40 pm
Passengers flying nonstop to the U.S. on 9 carriers from airports in Egypt, Morocco, and six other Middle Eastern countries will not be allowed to bring electronics larger than cell phones in carry-on baggage. This is in response to unspecified terror threats and will be effective indefinitely, senior Trump administration officials said. Would-be terrorists “are aggressively pursuing innovative methods to undertake their attacks, to include smuggling explosive devices in various consumer items,” the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said Tuesday.
Dana Sanchez, 3:22 pm AFKI Original
Despite declining oil prices, oil-rich Norway is the happiest country in the world — proof that it’s about more than income. The people who live in the happiest countries in the world also value good governance, freedom, generosity, honesty, and health, according to World Happiness Report. There’s a deficit of happiness in Africa. African youth are essentially optimisitic and resilient in the face of poor infrastructure, but they are disappointed with development under democracy, say the authors of the report.
Reuters, 1:01 am
Airbnb, a US-based online marketplace to list or rent short-term lodgings, expects to double its customer numbers in Africa this year to 1.5 million. Company CEO Brian Chesky was in Cape Town’s oldest township Friday to surprise graduates from an Airbnb training program. He described Africa as “an incredibly exciting emerging market for travel.” The top five Airbnb cities in Africa are Cape Town, Marrakesh, Johannesburg, Nairobi and Casablanca, although listings are found from St. Helena island in the South Atlantic Ocean to Freetown, Sierra Leone, and Somalia.
The Conversation, 9:16 am
Disruptive competition through technology can benefit consumers, but it also raises socioeconomic issues. Africa is no exception. There are concerns that Uber, with its first-mover advantage in the ride-sharing market, is growing into a monopoly despite the benefits to consumers. Traditional metered taxis are seeing red. In South Africa, new entrants into the ride-sharing app market have made little progress. The picture is very different in Kenya. Safaricom appears to have overcome the seemingly insurmountable first-mover position enjoyed by Uber.
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