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AFRICA : AN UNCERTAIN FUTURE?

As the global economy experiences unprecedented shifts, Africa’s time to shine draws closer. Economic pundits are ready to place their bets on this emerging market despite decades of civil unrest, tribal clashes and political and economic turmoil overshadowing this vast and ancient continent’s true economic potential. Although still unable to free itself from the shackles of corruption and poverty, a self-perpetuating cycle, the success of the African economy currently rests on its ability to attract multinational corporations and foreign direct investments from Asia and Europe. Over the last ten years, trade between African countries and the rest of the world has grown significantly; charting a 170% increase in trade with the GCC, and 45% growth with China and India, currently the world’s fastest growing economies. Chinese investors have expressed considerable interest in Africa, and are already heavily invested in manufacturing and infrastructure projects in countries such as Sudan and Ghana. In places such as Ethiopia and Ghana, over 60% of Chinese investments in the countries constitute manufacturing. And the Chinese government is keen to see these numbers grow, having recently pledged an additional US$20 billion to the African economy over the next three years with an eye to developing infrastructure, agriculture and the development of small businesses.

Ranked as the poorest continent in the world, Africa has posted strong growth rates in recent years, second only to Asia, drawing increasing inward investment and giving rise to talk of its economic resilience, accompanied by much self-congratulation among officials. However, despite a projected GDP of 4.5% this year, a much more optimistic prospect compared to the debt-ridden economies of the west, industry players warn that the continent should not take a backseat in terms of creating opportunities for trade and investment.

 

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CONTENTS
 
 
Latest Issue
Wednesday 22nd October 2014
Volume 11 Issue 42
   
Cover Story
IFN Rapid
News Briefs
Asset Management
Takaful
Ratings
Moves
IFN Reports
  Building on Sri Lanka’s growth story: Amana Candor Shariah Income Fund
  IFN Global Trendswatch
  IFN Weekly Poll: If the Islamic asset management industry were to have one dedicated ‘center’, which would be most suited?
  IFN Dealogic roundup
  Oil uncertainty: a launchpad for Islamic finance?
  Unpublished private placement ratings — too early to tell
  On a Wing and a Prayer: Breaking down barriers
  New Islamic bank for Tunisia
  Islamic finance landing opportunities in aviation world
  Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE spearhead growth opportunities in the GCC
  Solid micro and macroeconomic environment pushes Al Samaha Islamic Fund to the top
  Sovereign Sukuk: Back to Asia
  Meezan Bank concludes HSBC Pakistan acquisition, targets high net worth customer base
  Positive third quarter results for Saudi banks
IFN Country Correspondents
  Completion of repayment of Qatari loans by Egypt in November
  Slow growth in Nigeria’s Islamic finance industry
  Tunisia looking to debut Sukuk by the end of 2014
IFN Sector Correspondent
  Islamic PE and VC: Under-represented but improving
IFN Country Analysis
  Growing market: Islamic finance in Bangladesh
IFN Sector Analysis
  Reviving the Islamic securitization market
Features
  Singapore as a hub for Islamic wealth management
According to an annual survey conducted by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the city-state’s central bank and regulatory authority...
  The growth of Islamic derivatives
The reputation of financial derivatives suffered greatly during the financial crisis...
  GCC’s low insurance penetration gives Malaysia a head start in Islamic insurance
Although the Gulf region is the world’s largest market for Takaful, the sector has yet to truly flourish in any of the six GCC states...
Case Study
South Africa’s maiden Sukuk: A well-received Islamic paper

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