MGI Weekly round-up | 29 September 2017

Stories MGI has been tracking this week: 

  • Egypt, Morocco & Tunisia among top ten investment destinations in Africa
  • Syria’s electricity production is increasing
  • Greece drops to 86th place of the global competitiveness index 

And as always, we feature content from the MGI data and analysis platform, a summary of the week’s key statistical releases, and a look to the week ahead in data. In this newsletter, we use the MGI Economic Prospects Index to examine the economic potential of several African Med countries.
 
Egypt, Morocco & Tunisia among top ten investment destinations in Africa
In its last “Where to invest in Africa” report, Rand – the South African bank ­– ranked Egypt and Morocco amongst the top three investment destinations in Africa. Tunisia also made the top ten.
 
Egypt was placed on top of the list followed by South Africa – which fell from the first place for the first time since the report’s inception. Egypt surpassed South Africa largely because of its superior economic activity score. Morocco came third in the list. The country managed to maintain its position for the third consecutive year, having benefitted from a significantly enhanced operating environment since the Arab Spring in 2010.

Tunisia ranked 9th, following significant efforts towards advancing political transition and creating a friendlier business climate, the North African Post reports.
 
Algeria is a notable absence from this year’s top ten, having dropped five places to land in 15th spot.

Syria’s electricity production is increasing
Syria managed to produce much more energy during the last few months, after the army recaptured natural gas fields from militants. Electricity has been limited and irregular across various parts of the country during the war. Since the early stages of the conflict, Syria has collaborated with friendly states to keep the system in operation.
 
According to electricity minister Bassam Darwish, electricity production fell by more than half in 2016 compared to 2011. According to the minister, the direct losses caused by the war to the power sector amount to $4 to $5 billion, whereas indirect losses resulting from the lack of electricity to various sectors, residential zones and institutions could top $60 billion.

Greece drops to 87th place in the global competitiveness index
In the last Global Competitiveness Report, Greece ranked 87th among 137 countries, dropping one place compared to the previous year. The report examined 12 categories, with Greece’s performance dropping in 8 of those. High tax rates, inefficient government bureaucracy, tax regulations, policy instability, access to finance, and corruption we identified as key problem areas, Ekathimerini reports.

Featured content from the MGI.online data and analysis portal
The MGI Economic Prospects Index (MEPI) (https://www.mgi.online/mepi/) combines information on opportunity and risk to capture the economic potential of each Med country in a single number. There are options for selection of risk profile of the potential investor (risk neutral, risk tolerant, risk averse) and time horizon of the potential investment (short-term or long term). This week we look at the short-term (1-7 years) economic potential of North African countries. 

Our index is in agreement with Rand analysts regarding prospects for Morocco, which for the third consecutive year is ranked 3rd in its ‘Where to invest in Africa’ report. For risk neutral investors, Morocco occupies the second place on our Mediterranean Economic Prospects index (MEPI), being surpassed only by Malta.  In fact, for investors willing to stomach a bit of extra risk Morocco tops the list, even though institutional factors make it a somewhat less appealing prospect for more conservative investors (ranked 7th).
 
Our analysts are more pessimistic than Rand however with regards to Egypt. Egypt has a low MEPI score for all investor types, mainly due to pessimistic projections for GDP growth as well as the general institutional environment. 

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The week in data
Highlights from national statistics releases tracked by MGI this week include: 

Looking ahead
In the coming week, we will see data for Manufacturing PMI for several Med countries. MGI’s complete data release schedule can be viewed at https://www.mgi.online/release-calendar/.
 
Monday 2 October, 2017:

  • Turkey Manufacturing PMI for September
  • Spain Manufacturing PMI and new car sales for September
  • Italy Manufacturing PMI for September
  • Italy unemployment rate and employment for August
  • France Manufacturing PMI for September, final estimate
  • Greece Manufacturing PMI for September
  • Turkey tourist arrivals for August
  • Cyprus unemployment rate for August
  • Cyprus current account for 2017Q2
  • Tunisia IPI for July

Tuesday 3 October, 2017:

  • Spain registered unemployed and consumer confidence for September
  • Turkey inflation rate and PPI for September
  • Morocco real GDP for 2017Q3
  • Egypt foreign exchange reserves for September

Wednesday 4 October, 2017:

  • Spain Services PMI for September
  • Italy Services PMI for September
  • France Services and Composite PMI for September, final estimate
  • France retail sales for August
  • Lebanon BLOM PMI for September
  • Malta retail sales for August
  • Israel foreign exchange reserves for September
  • Albania central bank interest rate decision 

Thursday 5 October, 2017:

  • Palestinian Territories IPI for August
  • Spain 3-year, 5-year Bonos auction and 10-year Obligacion auction
  • Cyprus construction output YoY for 2017Q2 and inflation rate for September
  • France 10-year OAT auction
  • Greece unemployment rate and employment for July
  • Montenegro retail sales for August

Friday 6 October, 2017:

  • France balance of trade, current account and budget balance for August
  • Spain IPI for August
  • Italy retail sales for August
  • Greece balance of trade for August
  • Tunisia inflation rate for September
  • Turkey treasury cash balance for September
Round-upalma economics