WORLD FINANCE NEWS BRIEF
Top Fund Manager Hunts for Next Alibaba in Southeast Asia
E-commerce players have caught the imagination of investors worldwide this year as the pandemic forces people to stay at home, helping trigger a boom in online shopping. Stocks in the sector have been among the world’s best performers, amid bets that changes in consumer behaviour owing to coronavirus-induced lockdowns may become permanent.
Africa Starts to Have Second Thoughts About That Chinese Money
Chinese credit has grown to about a third of Zambia’s external debt, which has surged sevenfold over the past decade, forcing the government this year to ask creditors to reschedule loans.
Activists in Kenya are demanding the government disclose the terms of Chinese credit used to build a 470-kilometer (292-mile) railway. And Tanzanian President John Magufuli calls an agreement his predecessor made with Chinese investors, to build a $10 billion port and economic zone, a deal “only a madman would sign.”
In the past two decades, Beijing has handed out loans to developing countries at a speed and scope not seen since the U.S.-financed Marshall Plan in Europe after World War II.
Some researchers say fears of Chinese predatory lending are exaggerated. China hasn’t seized property or used courts to enforce debt payments, according to a study by the China Africa Research Initiative at Johns Hopkins.
Silver Futures Surge and Gold Nears Record in Flight to Havens
Some analysts said there are signs that the rally could be over-extended. Both metals’ relative-strength indexes are above 70, a level that suggests to technical traders that prices could soon pull back.
GCC NEWS BRIEF
Saudi Arabia Explores Asset Sales, Income Tax to Boost Finances
Finance Minister Mohammed Al Jadaan said Wednesday during a virtual forum organized by Bloomberg.
The government is “considering all options” to bolster its finances and while income tax isn’t “imminent” and “would require a lot of time” to prepare, the kingdom “isn’t ruling anything away for now,” he said.
As well as raising debt, the kingdom has already been selling state assets as part of efforts to diversify its economy away from oil after a slow start.
Abu Dhabi Moves to Get More Value From Oil With Chemical Venture
ADNOC, like other Middle Eastern crude suppliers, faces an uncertain outlook for oil demand
Two years ago the state company outlined some $45bn of investments in refining and chemical production.
The venture is part of ADNOC’s “unwavering focus on stretching the margin of every barrel of oil produced,” chief executive officer Sultan Al Jaber said in the statement.