With each country responding differently to the commodities crash, Africa showcases a range of mitigating efforts, with varying success.
While Latin American economies are expected to shrink by roughly 1% this year, Mexico is slated to grow 2.2%.
Zambia offers a range of advantages and opportunities for foreign investors, but they may want to wait awhile until some risks play out.
Milestones | Brazil
In this time of recession, Brazil’s economy is becoming more agribusiness-oriented. The sector generated 23% of Brazilian GDP last year, after 21.4% in 2014, and accounted for 46.3% of total exports.
Capital Markets | Regulation
“Nothing will make us deviate or change our course. We are not exiting our operations in any of our African markets,” declared Maria Ramos, CEO of Barclays Africa.
Milestones | Argentina
As Argentina prepares to launch a new bond issue in April, marking its return to international capital markets, investors are once again turning their attention to Buenos Aires, which has known 15 years of isolation.
By any measure QNB has major ambitions. It is the largest bank in Qatar and one of the leading financial institutions in the Middle East and Africa. It does not stop there. QNB has set its sights on becoming a global bank by 2030. QNB’s group chief executive discusses with Global Finance the regional downturn, success in Africa and its plans for a global presence.
The Middle East is no stranger to political and economic uncertainty, but simmering religious and political tensions and stubbornly low oil prices have dealt the region a difficult hand. The question now is: How will countries play in order to win?
Cuba: News that Anglo-Dutch consumer products company Unilever will return to Cuba to build a $35 million plant in the special development zone at the port of Mariel, about 40 kilometers west of Havana, is one of the clearest signs yet that the communist nation is taking a more pragmatic approach to foreign direct investment.
The republic of Trinidad and Tobago girds for austerity as oil brings in less foreign exchange.
South Africa: After burning through two Finance ministers in 18 months—with the second having held the job for less than a week—South Africa’s president, Jacob Zuma, moved in mid-December to restore a measure of stability to the post.
A new era kicked off on December 31, 2015, for the 10 countries that are part of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations: The alliance launched the Asean Economic Community (AEC), a trade bloc aimed at creating a unified, cross-border market where labor, services and capital can flow without restrictions.
The axe fell on Brazil heading into 2016 as it suffered a downgrade to junk status by Fitch Ratings, heightening the air of crisis as the beleaguered nation grapples with political turmoil and recession.
Corporate Governance | Management
Selling the assets could improve BTG’s net worth by 20 billion reais ($5 billion).
In Myanmar, Asia’s odd man out and a global pariah for decades, small signs of progress mean a lot. So the early December launch of the Yangon Stock Exchange (YSX) was a big deal—even if no stocks trade there yet.
In November the European Investment Bank published its latest Bank Lending Survey for Central Europe and Southeastern Europe.
The International Monetary Fund decided last month to alter its long-standing policy of not lending to countries with arrears to official creditors—national governments or agencies they sponsor—thereby enabling it to continue lending to Ukraine should it fail to repay on time a $3 billion bond due to Russia.
Unlike some of its Eastern European neighbors, the Czech Republic has shunned joining the eurozone and has surprised many with its stable and healthy levels of economic growth. However, progress is still needed on business transparency.