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Developing World’s Share of Global Investment to Triple by 2030, Says New World Bank Report

Posted on 18 May 2013 by Africa Business

Seventeen years from now, half the global stock of capital, totaling $158 trillion (in 2010 dollars), will reside in the developing world, compared to less than one-third today, with countries in East Asia and Latin America accounting for the largest shares of this stock, says the latest edition of the World Bank’s Global Development Horizons (GDH) report, which explores patterns of investment, saving and capital flows as they are likely to evolve over the next two decades.

Developing countries’ share in global investment is projected to triple by 2030 to three-fifths, from one-fifth in 2000, says the report, titled ‘Capital for the Future: Saving and Investment in an Interdependent World’. With world population set to rise from 7 billion in 2010 to 8.5 billion 2030 and rapid aging in the advanced countries, demographic changes will profoundly influence these structural shifts.

“GDH is one of the finest efforts at peering into the distant future. It does this by marshaling an amazing amount of statistical information,” said Kaushik Basu, the World Bank’s Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. “We know from the experience of countries as diverse as South Korea, Indonesia, Brazil, Turkey and South Africa the pivotal role investment plays in driving long-term growth. In less than a generation, global investment will be dominated by the developing countries. And among the developing countries, China and India are expected to be the largest investors, with the two countries together accounting for 38 percent of the global gross investment in 2030. All this will change the landscape of the global economy, and GDH analyzes how.”

Productivity catch-up, increasing integration into global markets, sound macroeconomic policies, and improved education and health are helping speed growth and create massive investment opportunities, which, in turn, are spurring a shift in global economic weight to developing countries. A further boost is being provided by the youth bulge. With developing countries on course to add more than 1.4 billion people to their combined population between now and 2030, the full benefit of the demographic dividend has yet to be reaped, particularly in the relatively younger regions of Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

The good news is that, unlike in the past, developing countries will likely have the resources needed to finance these massive future investments for infrastructure and services, including in education and health care. Strong saving rates in developing countries are expected to peak at 34 percent of national income in 2014 and will average 32 percent annually until 2030. In aggregate terms, the developing world will account for 62-64 percent of global saving of $25-27 trillion by 2030, up from 45 percent in 2010.

“Despite strong saving levels to finance their massive investment needs in the future, developing countries will need to significantly improve their currently limited participation in international financial markets if they are to reap the benefits of the tectonic shifts taking place,” said Hans Timmer, Director of the Bank’s Development Prospects Group.

GDH paints two scenarios, based on the speed of convergence between the developed and developing worlds in per capita income levels, and the pace of structural transformations (such as financial development and improvements in institutional quality) in the two groups. Scenario one entails a gradual convergence between the developed and developing world while a much more rapid scenario is envisioned in the second.

The gradual and rapid scenarios predict average world economic growth of 2.6 percent and 3 percent per year, respectively, during the next two decades; the developing world’s growth will average an annual rate of 4.8 percent in the gradual convergence scenario and 5.5 percent in the rapid one.

In both scenarios, developing countries’ employment in services will account for more than 60 percent of their total employment by 2030 and they will account for more than 50 percent of global trade. This shift will occur alongside demographic changes that will increase demand for infrastructural services. Indeed, the report estimates the developing world’s infrastructure financing needs at $14.6 trillion between now and 2030.

The report also points to aging populations in East Asia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, which will see the largest reductions in saving rates. Demographic change will test the sustainability of public finances and complex policy challenges will arise from efforts to reduce the burden of health care and pensions without imposing severe hardships on the old. In contrast, Sub-Saharan Africa, with its relatively young and rapidly growing population as well as robust economic growth, will be the only region not experiencing a decline in its saving rate.

In absolute terms, however, saving will continue to be dominated by Asia and the Middle East. In the gradual convergence scenario, in 2030, China will save far more than any other developing country — $9 trillion in 2010 dollars — with India a distant second with $1.7 trillion, surpassing the levels of Japan and the United States in the 2020s.

As a result, under the gradual convergence scenario, China will account for 30 percent of global investment in 2030, with Brazil, India and Russia together accounting for another 13 percent. In terms of volumes, investment in the developing world will reach $15 trillion (in 2010 dollars), versus $10 trillion in high-income economies. China and India will account for almost half of all global manufacturing investment.

“GDH clearly highlights the increasing role developing countries will play in the global economy. This is undoubtedly a significant achievement. However, even if wealth will be more evenly distributed across countries, this does not mean that, within countries, everyone will equally benefit,” said Maurizio Bussolo, Lead Economist and lead author of the report.

The report finds that the least educated groups in a country have low or no saving, suggesting an inability to improve their earning capacity and, for the poorest, to escape a poverty trap.

“Policy makers in developing countries have a central role to play in boosting private saving through policies that raise human capital, especially for the poor,” concluded Bussolo.

Regional Highlights:

East Asia and the Pacific will see its saving rate fall and its investment rate will drop by even more, though they will still be high by international standards. Despite these lower rates, the region’s shares of global investment and saving will rise through 2030 due to robust economic growth. The region is experiencing a big demographic dividend, with fewer than 4 non-working age people for every 10 working age people, the lowest dependency ratio in the world. This dividend will end after reaching its peak in 2015. Labor force growth will slow, and by 2040 the region may have one of the highest dependency ratios of all developing regions (with more than 5.5 non-working age people for every 10 working age people). China, a big regional driver, is expected to continue to run substantial current account surpluses, due to large declines in its investment rate as it transitions to a lower level of public involvement in investment.

Eastern Europe and Central Asia is the furthest along in its demographic transition, and will be the only developing region to reach zero population growth by 2030. Aging is expected to moderate economic growth in the region, and also has the potential to bring down the saving rate more than any developing region, apart from East Asia. The region’s saving rate may decline more than its investment rate, in which case countries in the region will have to finance investment by attracting more capital flows. The region will also face significant fiscal pressure from aging. Turkey, for example, would see its public pension spending increase by more than 50 percent by 2030 under the current pension scheme. Several other countries in the region will also face large increases in pension and health care expenditures.

Latin America and the Caribbean, a historically low-saving region, may become the lowest-saving region by 2030. Although demographics will play a positive role, as dependency ratios are projected to fall through 2025, financial market development (which reduces precautionary saving) and a moderation in economic growth will play a counterbalancing role. Similarly, the rising and then falling impact of demography on labor force growth means that the investment rate is expected to rise in the short run, and then gradually fall. However, the relationship between inequality and saving in the region suggests an alternative scenario. As in other regions, poorer households tend to save much less; thus, improvements in earning capacity, rising incomes, and reduced inequality have the potential not only to boost national saving but, more importantly, to break poverty traps perpetuated by low saving by poor households.

The Middle East and North Africa has significant scope for financial market development, which has the potential to sustain investment but also, along with aging, to reduce saving. Thus, current account surpluses may also decline moderately up to 2030, depending on the pace of financial market development. The region is in a relatively early phase of its demographic transition: characterized by a still fast growing population and labor force, but also a rising share of elderly. Changes in household structure may also impact saving patterns, with a transition from intergenerational households and family-based old age support to smaller households and greater reliance on asset income in old age. The region has the lowest use of formal financial institutions for saving by low-income households, and scope for financial markets to play a significantly greater role in household saving.

South Asia will remain one of the highest saving and highest investing regions until 2030. However, with the scope for rapid economic growth and financial development, results for saving, investment, and capital flows will vary significantly: in a scenario of more rapid economic growth and financial market development, high investment rates will be sustained while saving falls significantly, implying large current account deficits. South Asia is a young region, and by about 2035 is likely to have the highest ratio of working- to nonworking-age people of any region in the world. The general shift in investment away from agriculture towards manufacturing and service sectors is likely to be especially pronounced in South Asia, with the region’s share of total investment in manufacturing expected to nearly double, and investment in the service sector to increase by more than 8 percentage points, to over two-thirds of total investment.

Sub-Saharan Africa’s investment rate will be steady due to robust labor force growth. It will be the only region to not see a decrease in its saving rate in a scenario of moderate financial market development, since aging will not be a significant factor. In a scenario of faster growth, poorer African countries will experience deeper financial market development, and foreign investors will become increasingly willing to finance investment in the region. Sub-Saharan Africa is currently the youngest of all regions, with the highest dependency ratio. This ratio will steadily decrease throughout the time horizon of this report and beyond, bringing a long lasting demographic dividend. The region will have the greatest infrastructure investment needs over the next two decades (relative to GDP). At the same time, there will likely be a shift in infrastructure investment financing toward greater participation by the private sector, and substantial increases in private capital inflows, particularly from other developing regions.

Source: WorldBank.org

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Developing countries to dominate global saving and investment, but the poor will not necessarily share the benefits, says report

Posted on 18 May 2013 by Africa Business

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Developing world’s share of global investment to triple by 2030
  • China, India will be developing world’s largest investors
  • Boost to education needed so poor can improve their well-being

In less than a generation, global saving and investment will be dominated by the developing world, says the just-released Global Development Horizons (GDH) report.

By 2030, half the global stock of capital, totaling $158 trillion (in 2010 dollars), will reside in the developing world, compared to less than one-third today, with countries in East Asia and Latin America accounting for the largest shares of this stock, says the report, which explores patterns of investment, saving and capital flows as they are likely to evolve over the next two decades.

Titled ‘Capital for the Future: Saving and Investment in an Interdependent World’, GDH projects developing countries’ share in global investment to triple by 2030 to three-fifths, from one-fifth in 2000.

Productivity catch-up, increasing integration into global markets, sound macroeconomic policies, and improved education and health are helping speed growth and create massive investment opportunities, which, in turn, are spurring a shift in global economic weight to developing countries.

A further boost is being provided by the youth bulge. By 2020, less than 7 years from now, growth in world’s working-age population will be exclusively determined by developing countries. With developing countries on course to add more than 1.4 billion people to their combined population between now and 2030, the full benefit of the demographic dividend has yet to be reaped, particularly in the relatively younger regions of Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

GDH paints two scenarios, based on the speed of convergence between the developed and developing worlds in per capita income levels, and the pace of structural transformations (such as financial development and improvements in institutional quality) in the two groups. Scenario one entails a gradual convergence between the developed and developing world while a much more rapid one is envisioned in the second.

In both scenarios, developing countries’ employment in services will account for more than 60 percent of their total employment by 2030 and they will account for more than 50 percent of global trade. This shift will occur alongside demographic changes that will increase demand for infrastructural services. Indeed, the report estimates the developing world’s infrastructure financing needs at $14.6 trillion between now and 2030.

The report also points to aging populations in East Asia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, which will see the largest reductions in private saving rates. Demographic change will test the sustainability of public finances and complex policy challenges will arise from efforts to reduce the burden of health care and pensions without imposing severe hardships on the old. In contrast, Sub-Saharan Africa, with its relatively young and rapidly growing population as well as robust economic growth, will be the only region not experiencing a decline in its saving rate.

Open Quotes

Policy makers in developing countries have a central role to play in boosting private saving through policies that raise human capital, especially for the poor. Close Quotes

Maurizio Bussolo
Lead Author, Global Development Horizons 2013

In absolute terms, however, saving will continue to be dominated by Asia and the Middle East. In the gradual convergence scenario, in 2030, China will save far more than any other developing country — $9 trillion in 2010 dollars — with India a distant second with $1.7 trillion, surpassing the levels of Japan and the United States in the 2020s.

As a result, under the gradual convergence scenario, China will account for 30 percent of global investment in 2030, with Brazil, India and Russia together accounting for another 13 percent. In terms of volumes, investment in the developing world will reach $15 trillion (in 2010 dollars), versus $10 trillion in high-income economies. Again, China and India will be the largest investors among developing countries, with the two countries combined representing 38 percent of the global gross investment in 2030, and they will account for almost half of all global manufacturing investment.

“GDH clearly highlights the increasing role developing countries will play in the global economy. This is undoubtedly a significant achievement. However, even if wealth will be more evenly distributed across countries, this does not mean that, within countries, everyone will equally benefit,” said Maurizio Bussolo, Lead Economist and lead author of the report.

The report finds that the least educated groups in a country have low or no saving, suggesting an inability to improve their earning capacity and, for the poorest, to escape a poverty trap.

“Policy makers in developing countries have a central role to play in boosting private saving through policies that raise human capital, especially for the poor,” concluded Bussolo.

Regional Highlights:

East Asia and the Pacific will see its saving rate fall and its investment rate will drop by even more, though they will still be high by international standards. Despite these lower rates, the region’s shares of global investment and saving will rise through 2030 due to robust economic growth. The region is experiencing a big demographic dividend, with fewer than 4 non-working age people for every 10 working age people, the lowest dependency ratio in the world. This dividend will end after reaching its peak in 2015. Labor force growth will slow, and by 2040 the region may have one of the highest dependency ratios of all developing regions (with more than 5.5 non-working age people for every 10 working age people). China, a big regional driver, is expected to continue to run substantial current account surpluses, due to large declines in its investment rate as it transitions to a lower level of public involvement in investment.

Eastern Europe and Central Asia is the furthest along in its demographic transition, and will be the only developing region to reach zero population growth by 2030. Aging is expected to moderate economic growth in the region, and also has the potential to bring down the saving rate more than any developing region, apart from East Asia. The region’s saving rate may decline more than its investment rate, in which case countries in the region will have to finance investment by attracting more capital flows. The region will also face significant fiscal pressure from aging. Turkey, for example, would see its public pension spending increase by more than 50 percent by 2030 under the current pension scheme. Several other countries in the region will also face large increases in pension and health care expenditures.

Latin America and the Caribbean, a historically low-saving region, may become the lowest-saving region by 2030. Although demographics will play a positive role, as dependency ratios are projected to fall through 2025, financial market development (which reduces precautionary saving) and a moderation in economic growth will play a counterbalancing role. Similarly, the rising and then falling impact of demography on labor force growth means that the investment rate is expected to rise in the short run, and then gradually fall. However, the relationship between inequality and saving in the region suggests an alternative scenario. As in other regions, poorer households tend to save much less; thus, improvements in earning capacity, rising incomes, and reduced inequality have the potential not only to boost national saving but, more importantly, to break poverty traps perpetuated by low saving by poor households.

The Middle East and North Africa has significant scope for financial market development, which has the potential to sustain investment but also, along with aging, to reduce saving. Thus, current account surpluses may also decline moderately up to 2030, depending on the pace of financial market development. The region is in a relatively early phase of its demographic transition: characterized by a still fast growing population and labor force, but also a rising share of elderly. Changes in household structure may also impact saving patterns, with a transition from intergenerational households and family-based old age support to smaller households and greater reliance on asset income in old age. The region has the lowest use of formal financial institutions for saving by low-income households, and scope for financial markets to play a significantly greater role in household saving.

South Asia will remain one of the highest saving and highest investing regions until 2030. However, with the scope for rapid economic growth and financial development, results for saving, investment, and capital flows will vary significantly: in a scenario of more rapid economic growth and financial market development, high investment rates will be sustained while saving falls significantly, implying large current account deficits. South Asia is a young region, and by about 2035 is likely to have the highest ratio of working- to nonworking-age people of any region in the world. The general shift in investment away from agriculture towards manufacturing and service sectors is likely to be especially pronounced in South Asia, with the region’s share of total investment in manufacturing expected to nearly double, and investment in the service sector to increase by more than 8 percentage points, to over two-thirds of total investment.

Sub-Saharan Africa’s investment rate will be steady due to robust labor force growth. It will be the only region to not see a decrease in its saving rate in a scenario of moderate financial market development, since aging will not be a significant factor. In a scenario of faster growth, poorer African countries will experience deeper financial market development, and foreign investors will become increasingly willing to finance investment in the region. Sub-Saharan Africa is currently the youngest of all regions, with the highest dependency ratio. This ratio will steadily decrease throughout the time horizon of this report and beyond, bringing a long lasting demographic dividend. The region will have the greatest infrastructure investment needs over the next two decades (relative to GDP). At the same time, there will likely be a shift in infrastructure investment financing toward greater participation by the private sector, and substantial increases in private capital inflows, particularly from other developing regions.

 

Source: WorldBank.org

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GSMA Establishes Office In Nairobi To Support Burgeoning African Telecoms Market

Posted on 15 May 2013 by Africa Business

Mobile Connections in Sub-Saharan Africa Increase 20 Per Cent to 500 Million in 2013 and Are Expected to Increase by an Additional 50 Per Cent by 2018

iHub is Nairobi‘s Innovation Hub for the technology community, which is an open space for the technologists, investors, tech companies and hackers in the area. This space is a tech community facility with a focus on young entrepreneurs, web and mobile phone programmers, designers and researchers. It is part open community workspace (co-working), part vector for investors and VCs and part incubator. More information can be found here: http://www.ihub.co.ke/about

About the GSMA
The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide. Spanning more than 220 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world’s mobile operators with more than 230 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset makers, software companies, equipment providers and Internet companies, as well as organisations in industry sectors such as financial services, healthcare, media, transport and utilities. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as the Mobile World Congress and Mobile Asia Expo.


NAIROBI, Kenya, May 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – The GSMA today announced that it has opened a permanent office in Nairobi, Kenya. The office will be based in the heart of Nairobi‘s Innovation Hub (iHub) for the technology community and will enable the GSMA to work even more closely with its members and other industry stakeholders to extend the reach and socio-economic benefits of mobile throughout Africa.

“It is an exciting time to launch our new office in Africa, as the region is an increasingly vibrant and critical market for the mobile industry, representing over 10 per cent of the global market,” said Anne Bouverot , Director General, GSMA. “The rapid pace of mobile adoption has delivered an explosion of innovation and huge economic benefits in the region, directly contributing US$ 32 billion to the Sub-Saharan African economy, or 4.4 per cent of GDP. With necessary spectrum allocations and transparent regulation, the mobile industry could also fuel the creation of 14.9 million new jobs in the region between 2015 and 2020.”

According to the latest GSMA’s Wireless Intelligence data, total mobile connections in Sub-Saharan Africa passed the 500 million mark in Q1 2013, increasing by about 20 per cent year-on-year. Connections are expected to grow by a further 50 per cent, or 250 million connections, over the next five years which requires greater regulatory certainty to foster investment and release of additional harmonised spectrum for mobile.

The region currently accounts for about two-thirds of connections in Africa but the amount of spectrum allocated to mobile services in Africa is among the lowest worldwide. Governments in Sub-Saharan Africa risk undermining their broadband and development goals unless more spectrum is made available. In particular, the release of the Digital Dividend spectrum – which has the ideal characteristics for delivering mobile broadband, particularly to rural populations – should be a priority.

The region also has some of the highest levels of mobile internet usage globally. In Zimbabwe and Nigeria, mobile accounts for over half of all web traffic at 58.1 per cent and 57.9 per cent respectively, compared to a 10 per cent global average. 3G penetration levels are forecast to reach a quarter of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa by 2017 (from six per cent in 2012) as the use of mobile-specific services develops.

However, despite the high number of connections, rapid growth and mobile internet usage, mobile penetration among individuals remains relatively low. Fewer than 250 million people had subscribed to a mobile service in the region, putting unique subscriber penetration at 30 per cent, meaning that more than two-thirds of the population have yet to acquire their first mobile phone. Clearly, there is an important opportunity for the mobile industry to bring connectivity, access to information and services to the people in this region.

The mobile industry contributes approximately 3.5 million full-time jobs in the region. This has also spurred a wave of technology and content innovation with more than 50 ‘innovation hubs’ created to develop local skills and content in the field of ICT services, including the Limbe Labs in Cameroon, the iHub in Kenya and Hive Colab in Uganda.

Of particular note is the role of Kenya as the global leader in mobile money transfer services via M-PESA, a service launched by the country’s largest mobile operator Safaricom in 2007. What started as a simple way to extend banking services to the unbanked citizens of Kenya has now evolved into a mobile payment system based on accounts held by the operator, with transactions authorised and recorded in real time using secure SMS. Since its launch, M-PESA has grown to reach 15 million registered users and contributes 18 per cent of Safaricom’s total revenue.

To support this huge increase in innovation, the mobile industry has invested around US$ 16.5 billion over the past five years (US$ 2.8 billion in 2011 alone) across the five key countries in the region, mainly directed towards the expansion of network capacity. At the same time, given the exponential growth, Sub-Saharan Africa faces a looming ‘capacity and coverage crunch’ in terms of available mobile spectrum and the GSMA is working with operators and governments to address this critical issue.

GSMA research has found that by releasing the Digital Dividend and 2.6GHz spectrum by 2015, the governments of Sub-Saharan Africa could increase annual GDP by US$82 billion by 2025 and annual government tax revenues by US$18 billion and add up to 27 million jobs by 2025. In many Sub-Saharan African countries, mobile broadband is the only possible route to deliver the Internet to citizens and the current spectrum allocations across the region generally lag behind those of other countries.

“A positive and supportive regulatory environment and sufficient spectrum allocation is critical to the further growth of mobile in Africa,” continued Ms. Bouverot. “I am confident that now that we have a physical presence in Africa, we will be able to work together with our members to put the conditions in place that will facilitate the expansion of mobile, bringing important connectivity and services to all in the region.”

For more information, please visit the GSMA corporate website at www.gsma.com or Mobile World Live, the online portal for the mobile communications industry, at www.mobileworldlive.com.

SOURCE GSMA

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Morningstar Announces Findings from Third Global Fund Investor Experience Report; United States Scores the Best and South Africa the Worst

Posted on 15 May 2013 by Africa Business

About Morningstar, Inc.
Morningstar, Inc. is a leading provider of independent investment research in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. The company offers an extensive line of products and services for individuals, financial advisors, and institutions.

 

CHICAGO, May 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Morningstar, Inc. (NASDAQ: MORN), a leading provider of independent investment research, today released its Global Fund Investor Experience report, which assesses the experiences of mutual fund investors in 24 countries across North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. Morningstar’s evaluation of investor-friendly practices in fund markets worldwide identified the United States as the best market for fund investors based on criteria such as investor protection, transparency, fees, taxation, and investment distribution, while South Africa scored the worst. This year’s report also includes first-time reviews of fund investor experiences in Korea and Denmark.

“We launched the first Global Fund Investor Experience report in 2009 to examine the treatment of mutual fund shareholders in 16 countries with the goal of advancing a dialogue about best practices worldwide. Since that time we’ve had numerous conversations with regulators and investment companies in multiple countries about their existing policies and ways to improve,” John Rekenthaler , vice president of research for Morningstar, said. “Working with our analysts around the world, we expanded our survey to 24 countries this year. We hope our survey findings will help investment companies, distributors, and regulatory bodies around the globe continue to focus on improving the environment for investors.”

Morningstar researchers evaluated countries in four categories: Regulation and Taxation, Disclosure, Fees and Expenses, and Sales and Media. Morningstar weighted the questions and answers to give greater importance to factual, empirical answers as well as the high-priority issues of fees, taxes, and transparency. Morningstar assigned countries a letter grade for each category and then added the category scores to produce an overall country grade. The report’s authors gathered information from available public data and from Morningstar analysts. Below are the overall country grades, from highest to lowest scores and then in alphabetical order:

United States:  A

Sweden: B-

Korea:  B+

Switzerland: B-

Netherlands:  B

United Kingdom: B-

Singapore:  B

Australia: C+

Taiwan:  B

Belgium: C+

Thailand:  B

Canada: C+

China:  B-

France: C+

Denmark:  B-

Italy: C+

Germany:  B-

Japan: C

India:  B-

Hong Kong: C-

Norway:  B-

New Zealand: C-

Spain:  B-

South Africa: D

The United States garnered the highest score for the third time with a top grade of A. While the United States is not a leader in the area of Regulation and Taxes, it has the world’s best disclosure and lowest expenses. South Africa, in contrast, received the lowest grade largely because of poor disclosure practices. The new countries reviewed in this year’s report—Korea and Denmark—earned grades of B+ and B-, respectively.

New Zealand showed the largest improvement from the 2011 study rising to a C- from a D- because of positive regulatory changes and an encouraging expansion of disclosure requirements. Morningstar anticipates that the New Zealand government’s ongoing review of all fund regulations will result in even more improvements and investor-friendly practices in the years to come.

Among the key findings of the study:

  • Bans on advisor commissions are spreading around the world. In the UK, the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) has already brought such a ban into effect, while similar moves are underway in Australia and the Netherlands.
  • While the U.S. and European fund markets are roughly similar in size, U.S. investors pay significantly lower fees than European investors.
  • Fund companies in most countries continue to treat the names of portfolio managers as trade secrets, leaving investors no way to determine who is responsible for a fund’s success or failure.
  • Australia and New Zealand do not require funds to publicly disclose full portfolio holdings, while France, South Africa, Korea, and the UK only disclose holdings to current owners.

To read Morningstar’s complete Global Fund Investor Experience report, click here.

SOURCE Morningstar, Inc.

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Baird Furthers Canada’s Interests and Values in Kenya

Posted on 15 May 2013 by Africa Business

OTTAWA, Canada, May 15, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today signalled Canada’s interest in growing trade and investment with Kenya and our intent to meaningfully engage when it comes to shared values.

Canada looks forward to both countries beginning exploratory discussions regarding a foreign investment promotion and protection agreement to help create a safer, more stable environment for investors and economic opportunities for both countries.

“Our government is focused on creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity,” said Baird. “When it comes to African markets, Kenya is a major player, and increasing trade ties will benefit both countries.”

The potential for increased Canadian investment in Kenya is important and Canada is keen to explore opportunities for freer trade generally with Kenya and the East African Community, especially for Canadian natural resource companies, which are becoming leaders in the Kenyan mining and oil and gas industries.

Baird highlighted that greater commercial engagement and people-to-people ties come with the opportunity and responsibility to engage on protecting and promoting Canadian values.

To that end, Baird held a round-table meeting with defenders of the rights of sexual minorities in East Africa.

“In too many places, people are branded as criminals or made victims of violence because of their sexuality,” said Baird. “Canada is a leading defender of human rights for all, and I applaud the courage and conviction of those advocates working on the ground to improve the lives of sexual minorities.”

Baird also encouraged Kenya’s newly elected government to continue its engagement with the International Criminal Court.

 

SOURCE

Canada – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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SA ECONOMIC GROWTH HIT BY MINING SECTOR

Posted on 14 May 2013 by Africa Business

Will the Chinese purchase divested mining interests?

South Africa’s economic growth is lagging somewhat behind that of its peers in the developing world. IMF forecasts for 2013 indicate that emerging and developing economies will grow by 5,5% while SA’s GDP is expected to grow between 2,5% and 3%.

Global ranking

Country Name

GDP in Millions of US dollars (2011)

27

South Africa

408,237

39

Nigeria

243,986

60

Angola

104,332

88

Kenya

33,621

105

Zambia

19,206

One of the key reasons for slower growth is SA’s foreign trade structure and reliance on Europe. President Zuma used the opportunity at the World Economic Forum in Davos earlier this year to ensure foreign investors that South Africa is on the right track.

2012 will be remembered for the negative impact of labour unrest and resultant production stoppages in the mining sector. Mining reduced GDP by 0,5% in the first three quarters of the year. This excludes the biggest slump in the sector during the fourth quarter 2012.

Other significant features of the growth slowdown in 2012 were the slowdown in household consumption spending, poor growth in private fixed investment spending and a slump in real export growth.

South African’s inflation rate slowed to a five-month low in January 2013 after the statistics office adjusted the consumer price basket while food and fuel prices eased. In December, the inflation rate fell to 5,4% from 5,7% Statistics South Africa stated.

Government cut the price of fuel by 1,2% in January 2013, as a stronger rand in the previous month helped to curb import costs. Since then, the currency has plunged 4,8% against the dollar and fuel prices are on the rise, with prices increasing in March by a further 8%, adding to pressure on inflation.

South Africa’s strengths

· South Africa is the economic powerhouse of Africa, leading the continent in industrial output and mineral production, generating a large portion of the continent’s electricity.

· The economy of South Africa is the largest in Africa, accounting for 24% of the continent’s GDP in terms of PPP, and is ranked as an upper-middle income economy by the world bank.

· The country has abundant natural resources, well developed financial, legal and transport sectors, a stock exchange ranked amongst the top 20 in the world, as well as a modern infrastructure supporting efficient distribution of goods throughout the Southern African region.

South Africa’s weaknesses

· South Africa suffers from a relatively heavy regulation burden when compared to most developed countries.

· Increasing costs for corporates with rising wages.

· Poverty, inequalities sources of social risk mixed with high unemployment and shortage of qualified labour.

Mining

Output in the mining sector remained weak in December with total mining production down by 7,5% y-o-y after falling by a revised 3,8% (previously -4,5%) in November. On a monthly basis production rose by a seasonally adjusted 1,2% compared with 12,0% in November. Non-gold output was down by 5,0% y-o-y, while gold production slumped by 21,2% in December. For the fourth quarter, total mining production fell by a seasonally-adjusted and annualised 4,6% q-o-q as output of most minerals dropped.

For 2012 as a whole, mining volumes fell by 3,1% after contracting by 0,9% in 2011. Mineral sales were down by 15,6% y-o-y in November after falling 13,7% in October. On a monthly basis sales rose by a seasonally-adjusted 2,3% in November, but sales were down by a seasonally-adjusted 10,2% in the three months to November after declining by 6,8% in the same period to October. These figures indicate that the mining sector is still reeling from the devastating effects of widespread labour strikes in the third and early fourth quarters.

Prospects for the mining sector remain dim as the industry faces headwinds both on the global and domestic fronts. Globally, commodity prices are not likely to make significant gains as demand conditions remain relatively unfavourable. Locally, tough operating conditions persist. Rapidly rising production costs, mainly energy and labour costs, are likely to compel mining companies to scale back operations or even halt them in some cases.

This will have a negative impact on production, with any improvements coming mainly from a normalisation of output should strike activity ease. These numbers, together with other recent releases, suggest that GDP growth for the fourth quarter was around 2,0%, with overall growth of 2,5% for the year as a whole. Overall economic activity in the sector therefore remains generally sluggish while upside risks to inflation have increased due to the weaker rand.

Retail

Annual growth in retail sales slowed to 2,3% in December from 3,6% in the previous month. Over the month, sales rose by a seasonally-adjusted 1,0%, causing sales for the last quarter of 2012 to decline by 0,2% following 2,1% growth in the third quarter.

As a whole, 2012 retail sales rose by 4,3%, slightly down from 5,9% in 2011. Consumer spending is likely to moderate during 2013 as weak consumer confidence, heightened worries about job security and high debt, make consumers more cautious about spending on non-essential items. The overall economic outlook remains weak and fragile, while inflation may increase due to the weaker rand.

Manufacturing

Annual growth in manufacturing production slowed to 2,0% in December 2012 from 3,7% in the previous month, versus the consensus forecast of 2,9%. The increase in output was recorded in seven of the ten major categories. Significant contributions came from petroleum, chemical products, rubber and plastic products. Over the month, total production fell by 2,2% on a seasonally adjusted basis following a 2,6% rise in November.

On a quarterly basis, however, production improved by 1,6% in the final quarter of 2012 following two quarters of weaker growth. Both local and international economic conditions are expected to improve only moderately during 2013. A weak Eurozone will continue to hurt the large export-orientated industries.

The recent recovery in infrastructure spending by the public sector will probably support the industries producing capital goods and other inputs for local projects. But the growth rate will be contained by slower capital expenditure by the private sector in response to the bleaker economic environment both locally and internationally.

Therefore, while a moderate recovery in manufacturing production will continue in 2013, no impressive upward momentum is expected. Overall economic activity remains generally sluggish while upside risks to inflation have increased due to a weaker rand.

Infrastructure

A new economic plan, the National Development Plan (NDP), is likely to be adopted in 2013 promoting low taxation for businesses and imposing less stringent employment requirements. This a measure that the ANC is pursuing ahead of the 2014 national elections. The NDP will encourage partnerships between government and the private sector, creating opportunities in petrochemical industries, metal-working and refining, as well as development of power stations.

Construction companies are especially likely to benefit from government plans to invest $112-billion from 2013 in the expansion of infrastructure as part of the NDP. Some 18 strategic projects will be launched to expand transport, power and water, medical and educational infrastructure in some of the country’s least developed areas.

Energy companies will also benefit, following the lifting of a moratorium on licences for shale gas development. Meanwhile, there will be significant opportunities, especially for Chinese state-owned enterprises that have recently made high-profile visits to South Africa, to acquire divested assets in the platinum and gold mining sector as large mining houses withdraw from South Africa.

According to government reports, the South African government will have spent R860-billion on new infrastructure projects in South Africa between 2009 and March 2013. In the energy sector, Eskom had put in place 675 kilometers of electricity transmission lines in 2012, to connect fast-growing economic centers and also to bring power to rural areas. More than 200 000 new households were connected to the national electricity grid in 2012. Construction work is also taking place in five cities including Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Rustenburg, Durban and Pretoria to integrate different modes of transport.

Business Climate

Due to South Africa’s well-developed and world-class business infrastructure, the country is ranked 35th out of 183 countries in the World Bank and International Finance Corporation’s Doing Business 2012 report, an annual survey that measures the time, cost and hassle for businesses to comply with legal and administrative requirements. South Africa was ranked above developed countries such as Spain (44) and Luxembourg (50), as well as major developing economies such as Mexico (53), China (91), Russia (120), India (132) and Brazil (126).

The report found South Africa ranked first for ease of obtaining credit. This was based on depth of information and a reliable legal system.

Foreign trade

SA’s trade deficit narrowed to R 2,7-billion in December from R7,9-billion in November on account of seasonal factors. The trade balance usually records a surplus in December due to a large decline in imports. Exports declined 9,8% over the month. The decrease was mainly driven by declines in the exports of base metals. Vehicles, aircraft and vessels (down R1,1-billion), machinery and electrical appliances (down R0,9-billion) and prepared foodstuffs, beverages and tobacco (down 0,8-billion). Imports dropped 15,8% m-o-m.

Declines in the imports of machinery and electrical appliances (down R3,3-billion), original equipment components; (R1,8-billion), products of the chemicals or allied industries (R1,5-billion) and base metals and articles thereof (R1,2-billion) were the main drivers of the drop.

The large trade deficit for 2012 is one of the major reasons for the deterioration in the 2012 current account deficit forecast to 6,2% of GDP from 3,3% in 2011. South Africa’s trade performance will remain weak in the coming months on the back of unfavourable global conditions and domestic supply disruptions. Weak global economic conditions will continue to influence exports and growth domestically.

Skills and education

The need to transform South Africa’s education system has become ever more urgent, especially given the service delivery issues that have plagued the system. While government continues to allocate a significant amount of its budget to education (approximately 20%), it has not been enough to transform the schooling system. Coface expects the government to continue to support this critical sector, but that an opportunistic private sector will take advantage of government inefficiencies.

South Africa’s education levels are quite low compared to other developed and developing nations. South Africa began restructuring its higher education system in 2003 to widen access to tertiary education and reset the priorities of the old apartheid-based system. Smaller universities and technikons (polytechnics) were incorporated into larger institutions to form comprehensive universities.

Debt

The total number of civil judgments recorded for debt in South Africa fell by 9,8% year on year in November 2012 to 35 268, according to data released by Statistics South Africa. The total number of civil judgments recorded for debt decreased by 15,2% in three months ended November 2012 compared with the three months ended November 2011.

The number of civil summonses issued for debt fell 23,9% year-on-year to 70 537. During November, the 35 268 civil judgments for debt amounted to R414,1-million, with the largest contributors being money lent, with R142,5-million. There was a 21,9% decrease in the total number of civil summonses issued for debt in the three months ended November last year compared with the same period in 2011. A 23,9% y-o-y decrease was recorded in November.

South Africa maintains respectable debt-to-GDP ratios, although these grew to 39% of GDP by end-2012, substantially higher than the 34% for emerging and developing economies as a whole. When Fitch downgraded SA earlier this year, it specifically mentioned concerns about SA’s rising debt-to-GDP ratio, given that the ratio is higher than the country’s peers.

South Africa is uniquely exposed to foreign investor sentiment through the deficit on the current account combined with liquid and deep fixed interest markets. SA’s widening deficit on the current account is a specific factor that concerns the rating agencies and is one of the metrics the agencies will use to assess SA’s sovereign risk in the near future. Further downgrades are the risk – potentially driven by foreign investor sentiment about political risks.

Political landscape

Persistent unemployment, inequality and the mixed results of BEE (Black Economic Empowerment) intended to favour access to economic power by the historically disadvantaged populations have led to disappointment and resentment.

Social unrest is increasing. Recent events weakened the ruling coalition which came under fire for its management of these events. Tensions could intensify in the run up to the 2014 presidential elections. South Africa has a well-developed legal system, but government inefficiency, a shortage of skilled labour, criminality and corruption are crippling the business environment. South Africa also has a high and growing youth unemployment, high levels of visible inequality and government corruption so we would keep an eye on the escalating service delivery protest trends.

Labour force

The unemployment rate fell to 24,9% in the fourth quarter of 2012 from 25,5% in the third quarter, mainly reflecting an increase in the number of discouraged work seekers. Over the quarter, a total of 68 000 jobs were lost while the number discouraged work seekers rose by 87 000. The formal non-agricultural sector lost 52 000 jobs over the quarter, while the informal sector, in contrast, employed 8 000 more people. The breakdown shows that the highest number of jobs were lost in the private households category (48 000), followed by the trade and transport sectors, which shed 41 000 and 18 000 jobs respectively.

The agricultural sector led employment creation over the quarter, adding 24 000 jobs. Both local and international economic conditions are expected to improve only moderately during 2013.

Weak confidence and high wage settlement will make firms more cautious to expand capacity and employ more people this year. Government is likely to be the main driver of employment as it rolls out its infrastructure and job creation plans. The unemployment rate will therefore remain high in the short term.

Although the reduction in the unemployment rate is good news, it mainly reflects the large number of discouraged work seekers. Overall economic activity remains generally sluggish while upside risks to inflation have increased due to a weaker rand. Coface believes that this will persuade the Monetary Policy Committee to keep policy neutral over an extended period, with interest rates remaining unchanged for most of 2013. A reversal in policy easing is likely only late in the year or even in 2014.


 


Issued by:                                                                              Sha-Izwe/CharlesSmithAssoc

ON BEHALF OF:                                                   Coface

FURTHER INFORMATION:                                  Charles Smith

Tel:          (011) 781-6190

Email: charles@csa.co.za

Web:       www.csa.co.za

Media Contact:

Michele FERREIRA /
SENIOR MANAGER: MARKETING AND COMMUNICATION
TEL. : +27 (11) 208 2551  F.: +27 (11) 208 2651   M.: +27 (83) 326 2268
michele_ferreira@cofaceza.com

 

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www.cofaceza.com

About Coface

The Coface Group, a worldwide leader in credit insurance, offers companies around the globe solutions to protect them against the risk of financial default of their clients, both on the domestic market and for export. In 2012, the Group posted a consolidated turnover of €1.6 billion. 4,400 staff in 66 countries provide a local service worldwide. Each quarter, Coface publishes its assessments of country risk for 158 countries, based on its unique knowledge of companies’ payment behaviour and on the expertise of its 350 underwriters located close to clients and their debtors. In France, Coface manages export public guarantees on behalf of the French state.

Coface is a subsidiary of Natixis. corporate, investment management and specialized financial services arm of Groupe BPCE.. In South Africa, Coface provides credit protection to clients. Coface South Africa is rated AA+ by Global Ratings.

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Successful infrastructure project bonds require improved regulatory frameworks, says AfDB study

Posted on 14 May 2013 by Africa Business

TUNIS, Tunisia /African Press Organization (APO)/ African countries need to improve their regulatory frameworks in order to ensure the successful launch of African infrastructure project bonds, says a new report launched by the African Development Bank (http://www.afdb.org).

Read the report: http://j.mp/10RPwzm

Africa is ready for the launch of such infrastructure bonds provided some conditions are met, says the report, titled “Structured Finance – Conditions for infrastructure project bonds in African markets”.

With Africa having now no other option than to tap into its own internal resources, the book “points in the right direction,” said Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank, in the foreword. “I hope it will be useful for all Africans who are involved in infrastructure development.”

The report is of the view that domestic capital markets can contribute to funding some of the most important local and regional infrastructure projects. Given the limited ability of local banks to provide long-term funding and the shrinking international assistance, the report encourages project sponsors to turn to domestic institutional investors by issuing infrastructure project bonds.

The legal and regulatory framework for bond issuance exists in many countries which are active issuers of bonds for their own funding needs. However, competition between the sovereign and other issuers is a potential issue in all markets.

Many of the ingredients for infrastructure project bond issuance are present, but more needs to be done to make it attractive for sponsors to tap local markets. From a sponsor’s perspective, issuing an infrastructure project bond must offer the optimal tenor and pricing compared to other options. It is therefore essential that governments do more to reduce local market rates and lengthen the yield curve.

According to the report, a crucial barrier in African markets is the enabling environment for infrastructure. The regulatory and tariff framework in many sectors is incomplete. Many countries have established public-private partnership (PPP) laws and institutions, but often they lack the resources and capacity to prepare bankable projects for the market. As important, there is often a lack of advocacy and political support for driving concessions and PPP projects through government, and too few are coming to market, although it remains early days in many countries.

There is a crucial role for governments in promoting infrastructure project bonds. Governments can play a greater role in supporting stable economic conditions, developing local capital markets and strengthening institutions. Those actions will encourage all issuers to come to market, particularly corporations for whom bond issuance has been limited to date. Promoting reform and corporatization of utilities and parastatals, including professional management and a clear regulatory environment, are preconditions for such entities to issue in the local bond markets – an important landmark in the development of local capital markets and the emergence of infrastructure project bonds.

“The African Development Bank can play various roles in that regard,” said Cedric Mbeng Mezui, the report’s lead author. “It can provide technical assistance in infrastructure, capital markets and domestic issuance, and work with intermediaries. For specific projects, it can use instruments such as the partial credit guarantee as well as any new tailored instruments, to enhance bond issuance and catalyze the market. Direct funding for projects in early-stage preparation and through debt and equity investments at financial close will help promote the overall market. Finally, the AfDB can play a role in unblocking the political bottlenecks that obstruct projects from being developed and implemented,” he added.

For Moono Mupotola, Regional Integration Manager, AfDB, “the book was prepared with a number of objectives in mind: firstly, to highlight the opportunity for project bonds; secondly, to elaborate on the conditions for efficient capital markets; thirdly, to explain the crucial role of constructive government policies; and finally to highlight lessons learned in other markets that might be useful for Africa.”

The report was launched during the IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings in April 2013 by Charles Boamah, AfDB Finance Vice-President.

 

SOURCE

African Development Bank (AfDB)

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FOREX industry celebrates the JFEX 2013 awards winners

Posted on 13 May 2013 by Africa Business

Jordan, Amman, May 13th, 2013: JFEX awards, the most prestigious professional awards in the region announced on Monday honoring the best brokers and services providers in the FOREX industry. The 8th Annual JFEX Awards is celebrating the contributions to continue to develop the FOREX industry and reach achievements with great heights that will inspire the investors to pursue the many opportunities available in the industry.

It has been announced as the winners of the eight annual JFEX Awards, honored for their contributions to continue to develop the FOREX industry and reach achievements with great heights that will inspire the investors to pursue the many opportunities available in the industry.

JFEX’s mission, “Together, improve and adapt to the changing needs of the market.” recognizes that We need to keep pace with these rapid changes, we have to manage change so that we can still make a difference. and the awards, set up in 2013, aim to celebrate the hard work and dedication of the companies.

All winners were originally nominated by Filling the Award application , while the prestigious judging panel, who put experience and recognizes the winners in their categories.

Mr. Khaldoun Nusair, AFAQ GROUP chairman , said: “AFAQ GROUP is delighted to host these JFEX Awards to help highlighting the Obtaining of the qualifications, especially on this time basis it`s considered a huge accomplishment , improve and adapt to the changing needs of the market. And this evening, we have seen some of the best examples, from professionals and specialists, as to how this should be done.”

The JFEX Winners:

· FXSTREET: Best FOREX Forecast and Strategy Provider

FXStreet produces well-designed forecast strategy plans need to be desired outputs to required inputs) and provides the traders with market consulting and strategic forecasting supporting by strategic analysis service to emphasis analyzing and risk management.

· AFBFX: Most Innovative ECN Broker

AFBFX as ECN broker became the best who consolidates bank quotes and provides their clients the best bids and offers available. Providing their clients with FOREX scalping opportunities similar how it was originally done by floor traders.

· NOORCM: Most Transparent FOREX Broker

NoorCM is a service provider of Al Shams Investment one of the most respected Investment and financial companies in the region.  NoorCM offers their clients the best conditions, transparency and high level services that exceed all expectations.

· Money Experts : Best Educational FOREX Website

Money experts became the leader in day trading educational systems and strategies by providing online outstanding resources for quality articles, videos, news, analysis and opinions about the FOREX.

· ICM Capital : Fastest Growing Online FOREX Broker

ICM Capital is well-positioned to continue the company’s growth in MENA and is committed to be a dynamic and to provides their services and products in an efficient and innovative manner consistent with the needs of their client.

· FXCM: Best Retail FOREX Provider

FXCM, the best retail broker, who provides easy method to open an account with reasonable leverage, and their clients can demo trade with no limits on its platform until they learn.

· Banc De Binary: Best Binary options Broker in MENA

Banc De Binary , a top-notch binary options broker throughout MENA region and the world, provides traders with the opportunity to test out the platform and to gain trading skills that they can use to have a long, profitable binary options trading experience.

· ADS SECURITIES: Most trusted FOREX Broker

ADS SECURITIES the first and the only FOREX broker is regulated by Central Bank of the UAE. ADS SECURITIES became genuine Middle East brokerage, and it`s the most reliable FOREX broker provides  regional services are designed for use by Middle East customers and the high capitalization of the company means that they can invest in new technology and services.

· FXDD: Best Islamic FOREX Broker

FXDD, the leading Islamic FOREX broker, who strives to always respect the requirements of the Islamic Sharia, the moral code and religious law of Islam.

· DGCX :Best Middle East FX Exchange

DGCX commenced trading in November 2005 as the regions first commodity derivatives exchange and has become today, the leading derivatives exchange in the Middle East. DGCX offers huge advantages to existing participants in physical commodities markets in the region previously unable to hedge their price exposures as well as opportunities to the region’s burgeoning investment community.

· AFB: Best White Label Solution Provider

Arab Financial Brokers (AFB), the closed shareholding corporation registered under the Kuwait commercial law. AFB provides White Label program for individuals and institutions that want to establish a brand name and a presence in the FOREX industry. AFB white label partner are provided with a platform that reflects the partner brand or logo. AFB has been continued dedication to offer global benchmark White Label solutions.

· Activtrades: Best FOREX Customer Services

ActivTrades offers the security and peace of mind of insuring its clients’ funds above the threshold provided by the (FSCS) by providing insurance policy underwritten by Lloyd’s of London. Clients of ActivTrades are individually covered up to £500,000 as Excess of FSCS Insurance.

· FxSolutions: Best Affiliate Program

FxSolutions has the Best Affiliate Program to work with and promote offering the best tools, commissions and overall offerings. FxSolutions ` Affiliate Program has become increasingly popular and as a result there’s a lot more in way of their clients.

· Fxstat: Best Social Trading Networks

FXSTAT has become one of the largest social trading networks. It now serves as an Autotrading (copy trade) service provider as well as a FOREX social network platform to aid traders in their trading. FXSTAT autotrading platform is the image of its innovative approach to technology.

· Market Trader Academy: Best educational trading academy

Market Trader Academy serves their students by offering the best in financial education . Market Trader Academy has been committed to teaching the skills needed to trade with the confidence of the pros using risk management and technical analysis strategies.

The JFEX 2013 Honorees:

· PalFX: JFEX 2013 advisory

The high profile information and consultation services providers in the region, made its contribution to the conference and the award by providing high skills of consultation to JFEX 2013, also sharing its experience in the JFEX Award judging panel.

· Banc De Binary: Most Innovative Stand

· Optimized sense: Participant

· FXBORSSA: Participant

· FX Arabia: Participant

· Bareed Wared: Participant

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AFRICA ATTRACTIVENESS: CONTINENT’S SHARE OF GLOBAL FDI INCREASES

Posted on 13 May 2013 by Amat JENG

 

Africa’s share of global foreign direct investment (FDI) has grown over the past five years highlighting the growing interest from foreign investors, according to Ernst & Young’s third Africa Attractiveness Survey , released yesterday.

The report combines an analysis of international investment into Africa over the past five years with a 2013 survey of over 500 global business leaders about their views on the potential of the African market. The latest data shows that despite a fall in project numbers from 867 in 2011 to 764 in 2012 — in line with the global trend — project numbers are still significantly higher than anything that preceded the peak of 2008. The continent’s global share of FDI has also grown from 3.2% in 2007 to 5.6% in 2012.
Mark Otty, Ernst & Young’s EMEIA Managing Partner comments, “A process of democratization that has taken root across much of the continent; ongoing improvements to the business environment; exponential growth in trade and investment and substantial improvements in the quality of human life have provided a platform for the economic growth that a large number of African economies have experienced over the past decade.”

Despite the impact of the ongoing global economic situation, the size of the African economy has more than tripled since 2000. The outlook also appears positive, with the region as a whole expected to grow by 4% for 2013 and 4.6% for 2014. A number of African economies are predicted to remain among the fastest growing in the world for the foreseeable future.

Eighty-six percent of those with an established presence on the continent believe that Africa’s attractiveness as a place to do business will continue to improve. Those surveyed rank Africa as the second most attractive regional investment destination in the world after Asia.

Increasing investment from emerging markets

Investment in FDI projects from developed markets fell by 20%. Although FDI projects from the UK grew (by 9% year-on-year), those from the US and France — the other two leading developed market investors in Africa — were considerably down. In contrast investments from emerging markets into Africa grew again in 2012, continuing the trend over the past three years.
In the period since 2007, the rate of FDI projects from emerging markets into Africa has grown at a healthy compound rate of over 21%. In comparison investment from developed markets has grown at only 8%. The top contributors from the emerging markets are India (237), South Africa (235), the UAE (210), China (152), Kenya (113), Nigeria (78), Saudi Arabia (56) and South Korea (57) all among the top 20 investors over that period.

Intra-African investment has been particularly impressive during the same period, growing at 33% compound rate. South Africa has been at the forefront of growth in intra-African trade and broader emerging market investment – (the single largest investor in FDI projects in 2012 outside of South Africa.) Kenya and Nigeria have also invested heavily but it is expected that others such as Angola, for example, with a US$5b sovereign wealth fund, will become increasingly prominent investors across the continent over the next few years.

Ajen Sita, Ernst & Young’s Africa Managing Partner comments, “There is a growing confidence and optimism among Africans themselves about the continent’s progress and future.”

AJEN SITA

There has also been an important shift in emphasis in investment into the continent over the past few years, in terms of both destination markets and sectors. While investment into North Africa has largely stagnated, FDI projects into Sub-Saharan Africa have grown at a compound rate of 22% since 2007. Among the star performers attracting growing numbers of projects have been Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia Mozambique, Mauritius and South Africa.

Perception versus reality

Our 2013 Africa Attractiveness Survey shows some progress in terms of investor perceptions since the inaugural survey in 2011. The majority of respondents are positive about the progress made and the outlook for Africa. Africa has also gained ground relative to other global regions. In 2011 Africa was only ranked ahead of two other regions, while this year it ranked ahead of five other regions (the former Soviet States, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, the Middle East and Central America).

However, there still remains a stark perception gap between those respondents who are already doing business in Africa versus those that have not yet invested in the continent. Those with an established business in Africa are overwhelmingly positive. They understand the real rather than perceived operational risks, have experienced the progress made and see the opportunities for future growth. Eight-six percent of these business leaders believe that Africa’s attractiveness as a place to do business will continue to improve, and they rank Africa as the second most attractive regional investment destination in the world after Asia.

In contrast, those with no business presence in Africa are far more negative about Africa’s progress and prospects. Only 47% of these respondents believe Africa’s attractiveness will improve over the next three years, and they rank Africa as the least attractive investment destination in the world.
The two fundamental challenges that are present for those already present or those looking to invest in Africa are transport and logistics infrastructure and anti-bribery and corruption. However, moves are being made on both accounts to help allay fears of investors.

Infrastructure gaps, particularly relating to logistics and electricity, are consistently cited as the biggest challenges by those doing business in Africa. At a macro level, too, Africa’s growth will be inherently constrained until the infrastructure deficit is bridged. The flip side of this challenge, however, is that strong growth has been occurring despite such infrastructure constraints. This indicates the potential to not only sustain, but accelerate growth as the gap is narrowed. Our analysis indicates that in 2012 there were over 800 active infrastructure projects across different sectors in Africa, with a combined value in excess of US$700b. The large majority of infrastructure projects are related to power (37%) and transport (41%).

Moving away from extractive industries

Due to volatile nature of commodity prices, an over-dependency on a few key sectors clearly raises questions about the sustainability of growth. Despite perceptions to the contrary, less than one third of Africa’s growth has come from natural resources.

The trend of growing diversification continues, with an ever increasing emphasis on services, manufacturing and infrastructure-related activities. In 2007 extractive industries represented 8% of FDI projects and 26% of capital invested in Africa; in 2012, it was a mere 2% of projects and 12% of capital. In comparison, services accounted for 70% of projects in 2012 (up from 45% in 2007), and manufacturing activities accounted for 43% of capital invested in 2012 (up from 22% in 2007).

Mining and metals is still perceived by survey respondents as the sector with the highest growth potential in Africa, but the number of respondents who believe this (26%) is down from 38% in 2012 and 44% in 2011. In contrast, interest in African infrastructure projects is clearly increasing, with 21% of respondents identifying this as growth sector versus 14% last year and only 4% in 2011. Other sectors where there has been a noticeable shift include ICT (14%, up from 8% last year), financial services (13%, up from 6% last year), and education (which has come from virtually nowhere to register 10% this year).

Mark comments, “These changing perceptions of relative sector attractiveness in Africa reflect the changing fundamentals of many Africa economies: the diversification of both sources of growth (for example, the increasing contribution of services and the growing consumer class), and of the actual FDI flowing into these economies.”

South Africa most attractive for foreign investors but others hot on its heels

The large majority of respondents view South Africa as the most attractive African country in which to do business: 41% of all respondents put South Africa in first place, while 61% included it in their top three. The primary reasons for South Africa’s popularity appear to be it relatively well developed infrastructure, a stable political environment and a relatively large domestic market. The next most popular countries were Morocco (20% placing in the top three, and 8% in first place), Nigeria (also 20% in top three, and 6% in first place), Egypt (15% top three and 5% first), and Kenya (15% top three and 4% first). In general, these rankings align with emerging regional hubs for doing business across different parts of Africa.

Looking ahead

Ajen concludes, “With an increasingly solid foundation of economic, political and social reform, together with resilient growth rates, we are confident that the continent as a whole is on a sustainable upward trajectory. This direction of travel, rather than the current destination, is what is most important.

“A critical mass of African economies will continue on this journey. Despite the fact that there will undoubtedly be bumps in the road, there is a strong probability that a number of these economies will follow the same development paths that some of the Asian and other Rapid Growth Markets have over the past 30 years. By the 2040s, we have no doubt that the likes of Nigeria, Ghana, Angola, Egypt, Kenya, Ethiopia and South Africa will be considered among the growth powerhouses of the global economy.”

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Branding Africa and debunking the myths about its potential

Posted on 13 May 2013 by Africa Business

CAPE-TOWN, South-Africa, May 13, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ Africa cannot continue to be marketed as a country, when it is a continent of 54 countries, which, by 2040 will have the largest workforce in the world. The statement was made by the Economic Commission for Africa’s Executive Secretary, Mr. Carlos Lopes at the World Economic Forum on Africa this week during a session aptly titled:Myth Busting; investing in Africa.

Mr. Lopes underscored that by 2040, Africa will be more urbanized‚ connected and educated. “It will be a very different picture from what is now,” he said.

Discussions underscored that perceptions on risks and uncertainties with respect to investing in Africa have been made to look like reality. “While some issues may be real, there are many advancements that bust perceptions of corruption, lack of growth and lack of capacity, among others.

The session underscored that Africa has a growing middle class. With increased incomes, the emerging picture shows a continent where two-thirds of its growth comes from consumption; as a result, Lagos has a much bigger purchasing power than Mumbai.

“Africa has twice as much per capita than India, more cell phones than India, less poor people than India, and we can go on and on! The mega trends are in favor of Africa,” stressed Lopes

But for the Continent to reap the demographic dividends, it must address the question of infrastructure, which is necessary for industrialization and for bringing the Continent’s rural areas to the global market. In this regard, a significant amount of money is needed to realize the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) and since markets do not invest in these kinds of projects, the session underscored the need for alternative sources of funding.

“The good news is that money exists in Africa – but a shift in mindset is needed to tap into the half a trillion dollars sitting in African Central Banks as reserves,” stressed the panelists. PIDA projects, participants noted, could be broken into ‘short-range projects’, all aimed at a long-term goal.

The session also addressed the perception that Africa is lacking in skilled personnel and underscored that Africa has been on the cutting edge of innovations. However, branding and marketing of these innovations fails beyond the borders.

“Many African economies are run by informal sector, where banks do not come to the party and so the entrepreneurs in these informal sectors do not grow,” said a participant, stressing that the myth that must be busted is that these informal entrepreneurs cannot grow into big business with appropriate financing. The session acknowledged, however, that the lack of depth in the capital markets is real and it limits the possibilities for innovations to grow.

On the question of “corrupt African leaders”, the session acknowledged that the weakness lies in the capacity to investigate and get convictions, as well as lack of consistency and leadership.

Participants highlighted that the lack of a strategic vision makes corruption lead the narrative and countries like Malaysia, Indonesia are able to project their narratives on their strategic visions and less on corruption.

The need for consistency in regulatory frameworks and policy was stressed, “as it reduces the meddling of government in areas where the private sector is meant to play.”

In addition, it was felt that consistency across administrations is also important to ensure that investors play fairly. “Investors do not always like regulations,” said a participant, highlighting that the commodity boom super cycle led to an increase in profits by mining companies “by at least 200 per cent, yet tax revenues in the affected countries increasing by only 30 per cent.”

Further, the perception that ’54 countries constitute one country where there are no positive stories to be told’ could be attributed to failure by the media and the lack of attention to marketing by African governments.

A key issue that emerged is the persistence of information gaps, created by lack of country assessments. In addition, participants wondered whether those doing business in Africa might be contributing to the myths. Doing so, they said, creates entry barriers for potential competitors, and keeps resident players laughing all the way to the bank with premium returns.

“It is important to be here in Africa to understand the context; one has to understand where to invest and why one is investing,” stressed an investor.

 

SOURCE

Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)

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