The Briefing

Weekly business & investment updates curated for you.

Erbil Rotana

Cameroon — French solar power company Generale du Solaire and investment fund Arborescence Capital have signed a pact to build a number of solar photovoltaic plants in Cameroon totalling 300 MW.

China in Africa — African exports to China fell by almost 40% in 2015, China's customs office announced. China is Africa's biggest single trading partner and its demand for African commodities has fuelled the continent's recent economic growth. The decline in exports reflects the recent slowdown in China's economy.

China — Wanda Group is investing $2.3 billion to build three hospitals in China, seeking to tap rising demand for high-end health-care services in the country.

Clean Energy — The slump in oil prices that’s brought upheaval and cost cutting to the traditional energy industry spared renewables such as solar and wind, which raked in a record $329.3 billion of investment last year.

Clean Energy — The Paris climate agreement adopted by 195 nations last month provides fresh momentum for achieving the Clean Trillion campaign goal of mobilizing an additional $1 trillion investment per year in clean energy in order to stabilize the climate.

Dubai — In the run-up to the Expo 2020, the Dubai construction sector is poised to outperform the overall UAE market, although growth across the emirates is expected to remain healthy at 6.6 per cent despite low oil prices.

Dubai — As a first-class tourism destination, and a world-leading financial services center, Dubai is seen as a safe haven for individuals from the rest of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and other Middle Eastern countries, and as an alternative jurisdiction for wealthy high-net worth families and their investments from around the world, according to Deloitte’s latest report.

Egypt — Egypt continues to mobilize private regional and foreign capital to support the country’s renewable energy sector. Wind and solar photovoltaics (PV) under the feed-in-tariff scheme presents an investment opportunity of at least $6 billion to 2018.

Europe — In 2015 the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development invested over €1.4 billion in 37 projects across the southern and eastern Mediterranean region, where it began investment operations in 2012. The investments were made in the energy and renewable energy sectors, as well as in infrastructure, agribusiness and small and medium-sized enterprises.

Indonesia — The Investment Coordinating Board aims to boost realized investment in the country to nearly $41.65 billion in 2016 on the back of continued marketing activities and clearance of red tape.

Iran — The Iranian Energy Minister recently reported that Denmark has expressed an interest in developing a wind turbine manufacturing facility in Iran. Iran is looking to develop 5 GW of solar and wind energy capacity by 2018.

Kenya — Real estate is the best 2016 investment vehicle with politics expected to play a major role in determining returns in other key sectors.

Korea — Foreigners made commitments of direct investments worth $20.9 billion won in Korea in 2015, exceeding $20 billion for the first time.

Kurdistan — The Kurdistan Regional Government published the monthly oil export report for December 2015. KRG exported 18,105,734 barrels of crude oil (an average of 584,056 barrels per day in the month of December through the Kurdistan pipeline network to the port of Ceyhan in Turkey.

Malaysia — Malaysia needs to be more aggressive in attracting foreign direct investments in 2016 owing to the difficult global economic scenario. A total of RM153.2 billion in investments was recorded in the manufacturing, services and other key sectors for the first nine months of 2015.

Nigeria — The Central Bank of Nigeria would assist the Dangote Group to access foreign exchange to facilitate its $14 billion refinery project. The refinery is projected to refine 650,000 barrels of crude oil per day.

Norway — Investments in Norway's key oil and gas sector will fall further in 2016 and in the coming years following a 16-percent drop in 2015. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate sees investments, excluding exploration, falling to 135 billion crowns in 2016 from close to 150 billion in 2015. Norway's oil output will drop to 1.53 million barrels per day in 2016 and 1.41 million in 2020. The country’s gas production will fall to 106.6 billion cubic metres in 2016 from last year's 117.2 billion, rising again to 111.1 billion by 2020.

Oman — The government of Oman has borrowed $1 billion as the Gulf country tries to cope with strains on its finances as oil prices plummet.

Panama — Japan and Panama to sign a memorandum of understanding to use Japanese technology for an estimated $2 billion monorail that would span the Central American nation’s trans-oceanic canal and ease traffic congestion.

Philippines — The Philippine unit of Toyota is increasing its output by a tenth this year and preparing to tap Manila's $600 million incentive programme. Production will hit about 54,000 this year, up at least 10 percent from 2015, to support the targeted 20 percent growth in sales to a record 150,000.

Philippines — Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ is to invest nearly $774 million in the Philippines' Security Bank, the Filipino lender announced in another sign of the Southeast Asian nation's rising tiger economy status.

Saudi Arabia — The KSA’s potential sale of shares in its state-owned oil giant could lead to a publicly listed company valued in the trillions of dollars, more than 10 times Apple Inc.’s peak of about $756 billion.

Saudi Arabia — The KSA is looking to invest more than $80 billion in newer water desalination projects around the Kingdom amid increasing demand for potable water.

Taiwan — State-owned Taiwan Power plans to invest more than $11.89 billion in the development of renewable energy sources over the next 15 years, with the aim of expanding the nation’s total installed offshore wind power capacity to 180 megawatts and total installed solar power capacity to 100MW by 2030.

Thailand — FDI in Thailand plunged 78% on the year for the January-November period of 2015, an unwelcome development for a government trying to charge the economy with corporate tax incentives. The total amount listed in FDI applications fell to 93.8 billion baht ($2.62 billion). Thai tourism revenue is forecast to grow nearly 9% to touch 2.4 trillion baht ($66.12 billion) in 2016. Tourism accounts for about 10 percent of the country's GDP and has been one of the few bright spots for Southeast Asia's second-largest economy.

Turkey — The President approved the establishment agreement over the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, in which the country is a founding member. The bank, which was established under the leadership of China, is expected to have $100 billion in capital. According to the agreement, Turkey will not pay more than $2.6 billion - including capital subscription and other related payments - for the bank, which will have the potential to compete with the World Bank by providing support for energy, transportation and infrastructure projects.

The Briefing

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