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20 Sep 2018   Macro, Africa

SWOT Analysis: South Africa

Bonds & Loans met with a range of borrowers, investors, bankers, advisers and capital markets specialists on a recent trip to South Africa. Here is our summary of what they told us.

Fitch Sees Investment Driving Growth in East Africa, Warns of Rising Levels of Debt

Bonds & Loans interviewed Jermaine Leonard, Director, Sovereign Ratings at Fitch Ratings, about the macro outlook for East Africa and the sustainability of its debt burden.

Orpic Treasurer: Addressing capital structure imbalances created by aggressive growth

Orpic (Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company) is jointly owned by the Government of Oman and Oman Oil Company and is one of the biggest and fastest growing businesses not just in the country but the region more broadly. Bonds & Loans spoke to Alexandre Clar, MG Treasurer at Orpic, about how the company plans to finance its rapid expansion and new initiatives.

Brown Brothers Harriman: Emerging Markets Preview for the Week Ahead

EM FX ended mixed in Friday, capping off an up and down week. RUB and TRY initially firmed on their respective rate hikes but gave back some of those gains heading into the weekend. Trade tensions are likely to remain high, as press reports suggest President Trump is pushing ahead with tariffs on $200 bln of Chinese imports even as high-level talks are planned. With US rates pushing higher, we think the backdrop for EM remains negative.

As Sovereigns Issue Green Bonds, Questions of Creating ‘Additionality’ Linger

A diverse group of governments have taken the plunge and issued green bonds to finance various initiatives designed to improve their climate resilience, but the diversity in their use of proceeds is making the pursuit of consistent impact reporting more complex and raising concerns about greenwashing otherwise harmful activities.

Grupo Alumina CFO on Deepening Growth in International Markets

We speak with Edward Uribe, CFO, at Grupo Alumina about how US trade policy is affecting the company’s funding outlook and the prospects for the metals and construction sectors.

The Flipside of Turkey

United States sanctions against two Turkish government ministers triggered the recent bout of volatility in the Turkish currency market. While Turkey was fundamentally vulnerable to begin with, due to a lengthy period of bad economic policies, the fact that volatility was so severe and spread far beyond Turkey indicates that this was not just about Turkey. It is also about the major shift in America’s use of soft power on the global stage.

CASE STUDY: Omantel Launches Largest Corporate Bond from Oman to Finance Zain Purchase

In April 2018 Omantel, the Imani telecoms company, successfully priced the inaugural USD1.5bn dual-tranche senior secured offering to refinance a bridge loan closed in late 2017 for the acquisition of a 21.9% stake in Zain Group. It was the largest corporate offering from Oman ever and first dual-tranche transaction from an Omani Corporate with 5.5 and 10-year tenors.

Brown Brothers Harriman: Emerging Markets Preview for the Week Ahead

EM FX ended Friday on a mixed note, with TRY and ARS leading the gains. However, the jobs data supports our view that the Fed is likely to continue hiking rates, which is negative for EM. Furthermore, trade tensions will remain high after the US announced plans to slap tariffs on an additional $267 bln of Chinese imports. This negative backdrop should weigh on EM this week.

Abraaj Collapse Reverberates Through GCC Private Equity Markets

As recently as 2016 the Abraaj Group was flying high: with around USD13.6bn of assets under management globally, the investment firm was one of the biggest in the region and blazed the trail for GCC private equity investors to expand into the growth markets. Two years on, abandoned by its founder Arif Naqvi, it is facing USD1.2bn in debt, multiple lawsuits and an unprecedented level of attention and scrutiny from authorities, threatening to send shockwaves through Middle East’s financial markets.


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