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Emerging Markets Daily - October 8/9
Oil Surges Above $80, Air India Flies Back to Tata, Global Supply Chain Problems Accelerate, Nobel Peace Prize to Filipino and Russian Journalists, Nollywood Jobs
The Top 5 Stories Shaping Emerging Markets from Global Media - October 8/9
Oil Surges to $80 As Global Energy Crisis Threatens Supplies
“U.S. crude futures topped $80 a barrel for the first time since November 2014 as a global energy crisis boosts demand at a time when OPEC+ producers are keeping supplies tight.”
“Futures in New York rose 1.3% on Friday, popping above the key, psychological level before pulling back. This week brought many indications that supplies will remain constrained: Saudi Aramco said a global natural gas shortage was already boosting oil demand for power generation and heating, and the U.S. Energy Department said that it had no plans ‘at this time’ to tap the nation’s oil reserves.”
“A weakening of the dollar on the back of worse-than-expected U.S. labor market data on Friday also boosted the appeal of commodities priced in the currency.”
“The U.S. benchmark posted a seventh straight weekly gain, the longest stretch of advances since December. The economic recovery from the pandemic, along with supply disruptions in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, had already tightened the market before rising natural gas prices spurred additional demand for oil products like diesel and fuel oil.” Julia Fanzeres reports.
Air India Flies Back to Tata Group After Seven Decades
“Tata Sons, the holding company of India's largest conglomerate Tata Group, has won the bid for Air India, the government announced on Friday, bringing the drawn-out process to a close. The debt-ridden state-run airline returns to the group it was founded by nearly seven decades ago.”
“Tata Sons -- through its wholly owned subsidiary Talace Private Limited -- had submitted the winning bid of 180 billion rupees ($2.4 billion) as the enterprise value of Air India, Tuhin Kanta Pandey, the secretary in the government's Department of Investment and Public Asset Management, told a media briefing.”
“The transaction is expected to close by the end of December. Tata founded the airline in 1932 -- when India was still under British rule -- and named it Tata Airlines. In 1946, the airline was converted into a public company and renamed Air India.”
“After India’s independence in August 1947, the government bought a 49% stake in Air India, with Tata keeping 25% and the public owning the rest. In 1948, Air India International was launched with flights to Europe, and the service was among the first public-private partnerships in the country.”
“In 1953, the government nationalized Air India as the then government of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was reportedly not in favor of private enterprises.” Nikkei Asia reports.
Global Supply Chain Problems Escalate, Threaten Economic Recovery
Wall Street Journal
“Global supply-chain bottlenecks are feeding on one another, with shortages of components and surging prices of critical raw materials squeezing manufacturers around the world.”
“The supply shocks are already showing signs of choking off the recovery in some regions. Part of the problem is a global economy that is out of sync on the pandemic, restrictions and recovery.”
“Factories and retailers in Western economies that have largely emerged from lockdowns are eager for finished products, raw materials and components from longtime suppliers in Asia and elsewhere. But many countries in Asia are still in the throes of lockdowns and other coronavirus-related restrictions, constricting their ability to meet demand.”
“Meanwhile, global labor shortages, often the result of people leaving the workforce during the pandemic, are throwing further obstacles in the way of producers.”
“The bottlenecks are forecast to constrain manufacturing output well into next year, hurting a sector that had until recently powered the global recovery.” WSJ reports.
Nobel Peace Prize: Filipino and Russian Journalists Receive Prestigious Award
“The 2021 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to journalists Maria Ressa of the Philippines and Dmitry Muratov of Russia for their ‘courageous fight’ to safeguard freedom of expression.”
“The Norwegian Nobel Committee said on Friday that the prize recognised the pair as ‘representatives of all journalists . . . in a world in which democracy and freedom of the press face increasingly adverse conditions’.”
“Ressa is co-founder and chief executive of Rappler, a Philippine news website. Launched in 2012, it has been the target of multiple ongoing criminal prosecutions by authorities in the south-east Asian nation.”
“The former CNN journalist led reporting on Rodrigo Duterte’s populist presidency, including coverage of his anti-narcotics campaign, which the International Criminal Court is investigating for suspected crimes against humanity.”
“Ressa and other Rappler executives have been charged with multiple crimes, including tax evasion, fraud and ‘cyber libel’ in what freedom of expression advocates describe as targeted harassment. She has emerged as a global symbol of the free press under siege from illiberal politicians.” The FT reports.
Nollywood Boom Could Unlock 20 Million African Film Jobs
“Africa’s film and audiovisual industry could create over 20 million jobs and an extra $20bn in annual revenues with further investment, according to a major new report by UNESCO.”
“The Nollywood model, where producers make a film in weeks for as little as $15,000, is one of several approaches that could drive film industry jobs across Africa, the report says.”
“But the industry is ‘historically and structurally underfunded, underdeveloped and undervalued’, the report, based on responses from 43 countries and 36 governments, says.”
“Currently only 44% of countries have an established film commission, while just 55% of countries have a film policy and 35% offer financial support to filmmakers. This slow pace of industry formalisation and ‘low to non-existent government support across the continent’ holds the industry back, authors say.” David Thomas reports.
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