In 2013, Côte d’Ivoire will be aiming to go one better than in 2012 across two fronts. The national football team will try to improve on last year’s runners-up spot in the African Cup of Nations, while the Ivorian authorities are targeting an increase in real GDP growth from 8.6% to 9%.
Having contracted by -4.7% in 2011 on foot of the post-electoral political crisis that saw 3,000 people killed, real GDP rebounded strongly in 2012. Whether this represents a one-time recovery of lost ground or is indicative of higher trend growth remains to be seen. The Ivoirian authorities are aiming for double-digit growth rates from 2014 in a bid to position the country as an emerging market by 2020. Although slightly less bullish, the IMF expects a still impressive average growth rate of 7.5% over the 2013-2015 period. Continue reading →
Here is the final paper for my course in ‘Managing Political Risk’ at Columbia with Ian Bremmer, Preston Keat & Ross Schapp. I enjoyed learning from the best!
1. Enrique Peña Nieto is long odds-on favourite to be elected President on July 1st, the first time PRI will hold the Presidency since losing it in 1997 after 71 years of unbroken rule.
2. Current polling suggests the PRI-PVEM alliance will comfortably secure a Congressional majority, raising the prospect of unified government for the first time since 1997 (NB: this did not subsequently come to pass; November 2012).
3. Unlike at past Presidential elections, no significant political or economic instability is anticipated to ensue, chiefly because Mexico’s macro fundamentals are now far stronger. Continue reading →
The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates Mexico’s shale gas reserves at 683 trillion cubic feet (tcf), roughly a quarter of US reserves.
At present, PEMEX has a monopoly on the extraction of hydrocarbons on Mexican soil, protected by article 27 of the constitution.
To date, PEMEX has drilled one shale gas well, and expects to drill three more by 2013. It’s longer term aim is to drill 4,000 wells to yield 1 billion cubic feet per day (bcfpd). Based on current estimates, this is equal to one sixth of total current gas production and roughly 9% of expected demand for gas by 2025. Continue reading →
Over the medium-term there are likely to be improved opportunities for private sector firms to participate in incentivized service contracts for oil exploration and extraction in Mexico, albeit with asymmetrical contractual obligations, legal & political risks. Opportunities for more far-reaching entry into the Mexican oil sector, including asset acquisition, are viewed as less likely over the same time horizon. Continue reading →
Potential changes in Mexico’s internal security situation pose both upside and downside risks to corporates, each with relatively equal, medium likelihood and medium-to-high impact. With relatively lower probability, an extreme deterioration poses substantial broad-based downside risks for currency, credit and equity markets. Continue reading →
Formally, Mexico is structured as a federal constitutional republic, consisting of 31 States plus a Federal District, not dissimilar from the US. It has several distinguishing characteristics, however: 1) it combines constitutional separation of powers with a civil law system, 2) consecutive re-election for the same public office is prohibited (although running for an alternative office is both permitted and common), 3) having been dominated by a single-party, PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party) for 71 years until Vincente Fox of PAN (National Action Party) won the Presidency in 2000, transition to genuine democracy is still incipient. Continue reading →