Ed joined the London Breakingviews team in 2018 as Africa columnist. Before that, he was Reuters sub-Saharan Africa bureau chief, based in Johannesburg. During two decades at Reuters, Ed has reported from three continents, with postings in London, Edinburgh, Phnom Penh, Bangkok and Johannesburg. Along the way, he has covered everything from the dotcom bubble to the death of Nelson Mandela and fall of Robert Mugabe. He holds a degree in Classics from Cambridge University.
The war-scarred African nation wants to restructure its defaulted obligation by linking repayments to future gas sales, giving bondholders extra security. But developing $50 bln of projects in such an exotic locale is unlikely to avoid snags. Delays could mess up creditors’ sums.
The UK engineer is to hive off its medical arm. Creating daylight between the flatlining health unit and the faster-growing security and oil services bits could make it easier to sell. But unless Smiths can give more detail this looks more like buying time than creating value.
The British bookmaker wants to double operating profit by 2023 through growing its online and U.S. businesses. Given domestic political heat and economic weakness, it’s the right strategy. But non-UK growth will have to shoot the lights out for the group to hit its targets.