Country Risk update for the Middle East and Africa – Q1 2022

The latest update of ABiQ’s country risk ranking covers the Middle East and Africa. South Africa drops to 14th position.

The first quarter of 2022 saw the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, which sent adverse shocks to various countries around the globe. Some of which affected MEA (the Middle East & African) markets. Particularly the external impact on the food and energy sectors and trade. While several markets such as Congo, Cameroon and Egypt, which have a heavy dependency on wheat imports from Russia, were negatively affected, it is worth noting that oil exporters such as Algeria, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have benefited from the rising price levels (World Bank, AfDB).

Among other current affairs, these events are embedded in the factors affecting investment and business opportunities in the MEA markets, measured by ABiQ’s Overall Country Risk rating. The ABiQ overall risk rating is a composite rating which measures to what extent economic, political, financial, health, security and other factors can affect investing and doing business in a country. Overall risk rating of 0 is the best rating possible, and ten is the worst. We see the top 3 markets, UAE (5.28), Qatar (5.34), and Israel (5.39), being the top performers according to the overall risk ratings. On the other hand, we observe African markets such as South Sudan (8.64) and Somalia (8.50) being the lowest-ranked markets.

Most of the countries’ overall risk ratings have worsened since 2021. Qatar is one exception. Qatar’s overall risk rating improved from 5.51 to 5.34 and is now second in the ABiQ country risk ranking. Although still in the top spot, the UAE saw an increase in its risk rating from 5.06 to 5.28.

South Africa and Morocco dropped out of the top ten markets to the 14th and 16th position, respectively, with South Africa’s risk rating increasing from 5.87 to 6.38 and Morocco from 6.02 to 6.45. These are but a few examples of the worsened overall risk ratings. Nonetheless, ample business and investment opportunities in the MEA region remain present.

For more information about market risk in the Middle East and Africa or to access our risk benchmark reports, please contact us here.

 

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