Brazil’s Rising Economy and Industries

Brazil's economy was a 'superstar' economy during the global recession of 2009.  How is Brazil faring now?  Business leaders are examining the picture of one of Latin America's fastest growing economies, facing an estimated 7% growth in GDP in 2010.
The retail market is rapidly growing. Highly fragmented, the industry is primary dominated by three actors: Pão de Açúcar, Carrefour and Wal-Mart.  Smaller local chains control small shares of industry activity, intensifying competition and impacting customer loyalty for larger chains.  Industry consolidation may emerge as a way to boost profitability, enhance market presence and reduce competitive threats.  
Economic growth and development have lead to the emergence of a rising middle class, with increased disposable income.  Food consumption represents the majority of retail sales in Brazil.  The question of whether conspicuous consumption will become a greater trend in this emerging market (as it has in Asian emerging markets) has interested many luxury retailers.  Foreign luxury cars, designer clothes, and other luxury products are flooding prosperous Brazilian cities.  Credit and financial planning providers are rushing to meet the needs of these consumers.  
To reach out to the rising consumer class, marketers have focused on loyalty, lifestyle marketing and awareness promotion to tap into Brazilian consumers' disposable income.  According to several sources, Brazil has the highest percentage of internet users regularly using social networks.  New technologies such as Social Media are beginning to be used by large companies to communicate their promotions to consumers and to respond to customer opinion.

Dubai’s Property Market Collapse

This shows the degree of slowdown in Dubai's massive property market.  It further shows how highly leveraged many consumers are in Dubai and high degree of speculation in Dubai's property market.  In a blunt article by the New York Times, expatriates in Dubai are sharing ther fears about not only their property ownership (Freehold property), but also their futures in the city-state.  Many are fleeing due to these fears.  Other observations on the ground is that traffic is lower on key thoroughfares, a rare sight in Dubai.

Civil Unrest in both Bulgaria, Lithuania & Latvia

Unrest in Bulgaria

Violence erupted in Sofia due to dissatisfaction with the government, new policies designed to counteract the recession and the worsening economic situation.

Unrest in Latvia

This video shows recent unrest in Latvia because of anti-government sentiment and the economy.

Unrest in Lithuania

Lithuania has had to implement tax raises for the population and salary cuts on government workers due to the economic recession.

Islamic Banking update

At the end of the first quarter of 2008, Islamic banks comprised 13.4% of UAE’s banking assets, according to Kuwait’s Global Investment bank. The sector is on the move with strong growth, rising share of the total banking market, new products and strong deposits. According to this report, the sector is introducing innovative products to account for new market needs. Among these products are Ijarah and Murabaha.

Many banks in the Middle East already have an Islamic banking unit or even converting existing non-Islamic subsidiaries into Islamic ones. The report goes on to mention that compound annual growth rate of deposits at Islamic banks has risen 44% over the past 5 years.

A previous report by SIS International indicates that Islamic Banking has attracted a key market of banking clients, high net-worth individuals (HNWI’s), particularly in the Gulf. While Bahrain is traditionally known as a hub for Islamic banking, banks in the UAE and Qatar are making in-roads into the market by creating Islamic Financial Services subsidiaries.

Economic snapshot: Islamic Banking

At the end of the first quarter of 20008, Islamic banks comprised 13.4% of UAE’s banking assets, according to Kuwait’s Global Investment bank. The sector is on the move with strong growth, rising share of the total banking market, new products and strong deposits. According to this report, the sector is introducing innovative products to account for new market needs. Among these products are Ijarah and Murabaha.

Many banks in the Middle East already have an Islamic banking unit or even converting existing non-Islamic subsidiaries into Islamic ones. The report goes on to mention that compound annual growth rate of deposits at Islamic banks has risen 44% over the past 5 years.

A previous report by SIS International Market Research indicates that Islamic Banking has attracted a key market of banking clients, high net-worth individuals (HNWI’s), particularly in the Gulf. While Bahrain is traditionally known as a hub for Islamic banking, banks in the UAE and Qatar are making in-roads into the market by creating Islamic Financial Services subsidiaries.

Crotia’s Economic Snapshot

(Picture taken by SIS)

Croatia is often noted for its premier tourist sites. Despite slowdowns in the global economy, Croatia is likely to grow substantially this year. We set out to study the extent of Croatia's growth.

Islamic Banking: Opportunities and Obstacles for the U.S. Financial Industry

The Islamic industry has grown dramatically since the 1960s into a multinational industry with a substantial impact on global finance. This sector largely involves religious (Shari’ah) and cultural norms into its mission, transactions and processes. Intending to promote the public good, Islamic banking forbids usury, interest-based financing and profits from alcohol, tobacco and pornography.

It accounts for more than $250 billion dollars, and has grown at least 10% each year during the past ten years. Supporting this extensive growth is oil windfalls from Islamic countries and the fact that the Islamic population (around 1.5 billion) is growing at one of the fastest paces. Currently, only about 300 Islamic banking institutions and European banks like HSBC and BNP Paribas are already in this market. Growth opportunities abound for these companies, and many Islamic Banks have already listed on the London Stock Exchange. Foreign banks, operating in countries with Muslim populations.

The Islamic banking sector reaches a growing segment of the world’s population that seeks alternative financial services. Furthermore, investments in these banks offer some protection from global financial shocks. For instance, Islamic banks were unaffected by the financial shock after September 11.

Estimates forecast that Islamic banks could manage as much as half of all Muslims’ individual savings worldwide in a decade. The industry also caters to a large number of high net worth individuals (HNWIs) given the prosperity in the Gulf region and provide financing to large-scale construction projects in emerging markets. Not only could it possibly give foreign banks a larger reach into the Islamic world and exposure to large deposits in Gulf countries, but also it conceivably opens them to Muslim communities in their own respective countries.

FMCG Market in Vietnam

An Interesting Look into Vietnam

Our Research on Vietnam's FMCG Market

Driven by increasing youth expenditures, better distribution networks and strong economic growth, Vietnam’s FMCG industry, which grew 20% in 2006, is expected to grow more in 2007. China’s growth rate was 11%, while the Thai market grew 4% and the Taiwan market grew 3%. 57% of Vietnam’s population is under 25 years old. Vietnam has a higher family density than other countries in Southeast Asia. The country’s monthly expenditure is around $40 USD. The most widely used cosmetic category in the country is facial moisturizers.

BRIC Banking

Video of Mastercard's Assessment on the Bric Countries.

According to PriceWaterhouseCoopers, China and India show the greatest banking growth potential in the coming decades.