Each week Frontier Strategy Group’s global team shares their view on key media stories, and what the implications are for businesses that operate in emerging markets. For more information about how to contact our analysts, send us an email.
William Attwell on “Zuma Budget Hole Leaves South Africa With Tough Tax Choices”
“President Cyril Ramaphosa’s administration will unveil its 2018 spending plans on February 21. His immediate objective is to avoid another junk credit rating by showing he has concrete plans to stabilize the government’s finances. Expect tax rises on certain products (such as alcohol), and possible increases in VAT and income taxes on high-income segments, dampening B2C demand.”
Danyi Yang on “Ride-hailing app Grab gears up for payment dominance”
“With rising tech investment, Southeast Asia is likely to become the next China in terms of digital leapfrogging. Local consumers and businesses are rapidly shifting to O2O transactions and a cashless society. It’s time for MNCs to re-examine digital sales and marketing strategies in the region. Stay tuned for FSG’s new report on digital customer engagement in ASEAN, to be released in March.”
“MNCs should prioritize monitoring Brexit, because a disruption is possible even after the ratification of the transitional deal. The UK government is prepared to stop divorce bill payments in case the EU refuses to make concessions, and give the UK the deal it wants. MNCs should use FSG’s Brexit tracker, UK Monthly Market Monitoring reports, as well as Brexit Scenarios to stay ahead of developments.”
Martin Belchev on “Latvia’s ABLV receives emergency central bank loan and suspends withdrawals”
“The Latvian financial system has been hit by a number of scandals, including the severe corruption allegations against the country’s central bank governor and accusations of money laundering against Latvia’s third larges bank. These serve to underline the issue that while Latvia’s economic performance has been impressive, concerns regarding transparency and financial sustainability will persist.”