By James Brewer
On 12 December 2012, the Nike Foundation in association with the NoVo Foundation, United Nations Foundation and the Coalition for Adolescent Girls re-launched the Girl Effect website. The website focuses on how key stakeholders such as policy-makers, businesses and NGOs can support and invest in adolescent girls in developing regions. Specific investment designed to improve girls’ access to education, healthcare and economic opportunities reduces the likelihood of child marriage, teenage pregnancy and HIV/AIDS. In addition, investment in girls’ development has a knock on effect on the lives of their families. Girls typically invest much of their future earned income back into their families, which acts to reduce the burden of poverty. This is known as the ‘Girl Effect’. (more…)
By James Brewer
By Daisy Johnson
On 6 June 2012, an estimated 30 guerrillas associated with Peruvian insurgent group the Shining Path raided the local pipeline company Transportadora de Gas del Peru’s (TGP) base camp in the Echarate district of south-central Cusco department.
Nineteen gas workers and a helicopter pilot were temporarily held hostage during the attack. The assailants left behind a letter maintaining that they would respect both foreign and national investment projects in the region, but warning workers against collaborating with state security forces.
This appears to be a significant departure from the rebels’ previous position in which they rejected the presence of oil companies in the Alto Huallaga (Upper Huallaga) valley and the Apurimac and Ene River Valley (Valle de los Ríos Apurímac y Ene; VRAE) region. (more…)
During 2011 and early 2012, Myanmar’s army-backed civilian government has embarked on a number of important political and economic reforms that promise to open up resource-rich Myanmar to foreign investment.
Western governments have responded to these reforms by gradually reversing the country’s diplomatic isolation and sanctions.
Yesterday, 17 May 2012, marked another important step in this rehabilitation process as the US followed the European lead, lifting some economic sanctions, having previously eased some diplomatic sanctions and allowed limited technical assistance from international financial institutions in February 2012.
The EU had already temporarily suspended all economic and diplomatic sanctions on 23 April. These moves have further paved the way for international businesses to return to the country. (more…)
By Irenea Renuncio
After weeks of speculation, on 16 April Argentina’s President Cristina Fernández announced in a televised speech a bill to expropriate 51% of Repsol’s YPF shares. The bill, which is likely to be swiftly passed by the country’s Congress, caused great concern in Spain, where the Spanish multinational is headquartered.
Repsol had acquired YPF in 1993 and had subsequently operated its subsidiary with the blessing of Fernández and her late husband, former President Néstor Kirchner (2003-2007). However, relations between the government and the company had deteriorated in recent years, especially as oil and gas production declined as a result of dwindling investment. (more…)
In a further signal to the extractives sector of the growing burden of government intervention on foreign investment in Indonesia, the Industry Ministry on 3 April 2012 revealedplans for a tax on the export of coal and base metals.Anshari Bukhari, Secretary General of the Industry Ministry, said the tax is intended to curb overexploitation of Indonesia’s natural resources and encouraging downstream investment.
It remains unclear how firm a government policy this is, as it is yet to be confirmed by the Ministry of Mines or other government sources; however, Bukhari suggested an export tax of 25% could be introduced later this year, to rise to 50% in 2013. (more…)
By James Smither
Nigeria has not had an auspicious start to 2012. In addition to an at-times combustible general strike over the removal of fuel subsidies in January, a series of increasingly violent and frequent terrorist attacks linked to the Islamist Boko Haram group have also rocked cities across the north and centre of the country.
Combined with the social and security risks that impede oil production in the Delta region, entrenched public sector corruption and the country’s battles with its power supply, it’s easy to see why the country may not seem an obvious investment destination.
And yet, both many established global brands and emerging Asian giants continue to regard Nigeria as indispensable component of their emerging markets profile. Setting the oil and gas sector to one side, the country’s multinational champions putting money, jobs and facilities where their mouths are include Diageo and Coca-Cola, GSK and Lafarge, Nestlé and KFC, Mango and Wal-Mart, Toyota and Tata.
Clearly, for all the dirty bath-water associated with the country, there also remains a Nigerian baby whose potential has already captured the attention of many and whom investors may be well-advised not to eject too hastily.
What then, are the key drivers of such positive investor sentiment?