It's said that the shift from rural to urban population is the most significant phenomenon since independence in most African countries. Lagos is reported to have recently joined the ranks of the world’s megacities, which is Africa’s second after Cairo, while Kinshasa is also rapidly approaching mega city status.
The announcement by Barclays Plc that it will sell down its stake in the Johannesburg-listed Barclays Group Africa serves as a blow to the “Africa Rising” narrative. The upbeat story on the back of strong economic growth has been widely told and well received over the past decade. However, amidst a slump in global commodity prices and slower growth key trading partner China, Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) Africa is facing many challenges in 2016.
Private equity investments have not been embraced by South African retirement funds which have less than 1% of their portfolios invested in private equity. The low investment in private equity comes despite its 4 to 5% outperformance of equity investments and its ability to catalyse and develop new businesses and expand existing ones, while investing in schools, housing and power, all of which contribute to the South African economy.
With all eyes on Minister Pravin Gordhan as he prepares for his Budget Speech later this month, one thing that is certain is that 2016 is going to be a tough year for South African consumers. A looming ratings downgrade, the falling rand and rising inflation means that Treasury will have to hike taxes even more significantly this year than in the previous few years, and much of this burden will land on consumers’ shoulders.
The rise of the the Chinese currency, the renminbi (RMB) gives emerging markets an important alternative when it comes to currency investment and hedging.
Libya’s oil sector faces a host of challenges. The failure of the Tripoli-based GNC and Tobruk governments to reach a unity peace deal last month is pushing the country into deeper political chaos, while the expanding presence of the Islamic State is threatening an already fragile security situation
The Nigerian insurance industry represents a good opportunity for investors and it has attracted relatively large amounts of foreign private investment in recent years. The industry does, however, have some challenges to overcome. Similar to other financial industries such as banking and pensions, good governance and consumer education is needed to enable the industry to reach its full potential.
President Nkurunziza is likely to continue to perpetuate political instability through repressive conduct, in order to hold on to power. This will negatively impact East Africa’s economic prospects.
The growth of the pension funds, insurance and mutual fund industry together with the rollout of more sophisticated trading and settlement infrastructure is accelerating the overall development of capital markets in Africa, says Hari Chaitanya, Head of Investor Services Product Management, Transactional Products and Services at Standard Bank.
Income growth in Africa may not be as fast as some have expected, but the trend is very much alive, says Razia Khan, Chief Economist for Africa, Standard Chartered Bank
The recent elections in Côte d’Ivoire bode well for democracy and the rule of law in this budding West African nation of 23 million and mark a milestone on the journey away from the country’s recent violent history. The post-election violence of 2010-2011 left 3,000 people dead. People were anxious going into the elections and many can now breathe a sigh of relief.
The role of custodians is advancing beyond traditional functions of safeguarding assets and settling trades, to the full administration of pension fund investments, says Charl Bruyns, Head of Investor Services South Africa for Standard Bank.
Kenyan economic climate is flourishing as the country becomes the preferred investment hub for the East Africa region and beyond. With this designation has come increased investment activity, from both local and foreign investors. According to the 2015 Kenyan Budget Policy Statement released by the National Treasury earlier this year, Kenya is considered a “frontier” economy with bright prospects.
Infrastructure contributes to more than half of Africa’s recent improved growth performance, writes Geoffrey Mabea, Manager, Capital Projects & Infrastructure PwC Kenya