On Saturday, the United States closed its embassy in Libya and evacuated its staff under military guard. The closing was a response to escalated violence in Tripoli, according to the New York Times, and FSG’s Matthew Spivack says it will have a significant impact on western businesses in the area.
“The news that the US closed its embassy and the UK is evacuating some staff in Libya means that US- and UK-based companies will have little or no on-the-ground government resources to assist on investment issues. While the ongoing instability has kept away much of Western investment, companies with a local presence should already be enacting contingency plans to protect local staff and partners,” says FSG’s Practice Leader for the Middle East & North Africa, Matthew Spivack.
In Latin America this week, Argentina approached its second default in 13 years as it failed to reach a deal with creditors. Despite hope that a last-minute agreement could be reached, the Wall Street Journal reported that talks with bondholders Wednesday sent the country’s stocks plummeting.
“As the business day comes to a close on Wednesday, Argentina has failed to reach a deal with holdout creditors, and S&P has downgraded its foreign-currency credit rating to selective default. Bond and stock prices rose throughout the day in anticipation of a deal that has yet to materialize, although Argentine banks are reportedly scrambling to come up with a plan to help prevent default,” says Christine Herlihy, FSG’s Senior Analyst for Latin America.
Meanwhile in India, the founders of Flipkart, an e-commerce company that wishes to be “the first $100 billion internet company from India,” raised an additional $1 billion in funding, according to the Economic Times. With investors including Tiger Global, Naspers, and Singapore’s GIC, Flipkart has become the largest online retailer in the country.
“The potential for E-commerce in a country with a humongous young and tech savvy population and one that suffers from perpetual traffic issues is becoming clear as its online-retail poster child goes even bigger. Having hit more than USD 1 billion in revenues recently, India’s Flipkart has now raised 1 billion in funding, indicative of investor confidence in the rise of this new channel of commerce,” says FSG’s Senior Analyst for Asia Pacific, Shishir Sinha
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