BIZweek n°328 5 fév 2021
BIZweek n°328 5 fév 2021
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  • Parution : n°328 de 5 fév 2021

  • Périodicité : hebdomadaire

  • Editeur : Capital Publications Ltd

  • Format : (260 x 370) mm

  • Nombre de pages : 8

  • Taille du fichier PDF : 3,9 Mo

  • Dans ce numéro : indice de démocratie 2020.

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VENDREDI 05 FÉVRIER 2021 BIZWEEK ÉDITION 328 LA TOUR Democracy Index 2020 highlights Pandemic dilemmas  : life, death, lockdowns and liberty Across the world in 2020, citizens experienced the biggest rollback of individual freedoms ever undertaken by governments during peacetime (and perhaps even in wartime). The willing surrender of fundamental freedoms by millions of people was perhaps one of the most remarkable occurrences in an extraordinary year. Most people concluded, on the basis of the evidence about a new, deadly disease, that preventing a catastrophic loss of life justified a temporary loss of freedom. Many critics of the lockdown approach accepted that some formof social distancing was necessary to contain the spread of the disease, but they failed to put forward convincing alternatives to the policy of enforced lockdowns, and the question of how many deaths would be acceptable as the price of freedom was one that few lockdown sceptics were prepared to answer. That does not mean that governments and media should have censored lockdown sceptics  : attempts to curb freedom of expression are antithetical to democratic principles. The withdrawal of civil liberties, attacks on freedom of expression and the failures of democratic accountability that occurred as a result of the pandemic are grave matters. This is why the scores for many questions in the civil liberties category and the functioning of government category of the Democracy Index were downgraded across multiple countries in 2020. Asia rising  : a shift eastward in the global balance of power The symbolism of Asia gaining three new « full democracies » (Japan, South Korea and Taiwan) in 2020 and western Europe losing two (France and Portugal) was apt, as the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has accelerated the shift in the global balance of power from the West to the East. Asia lags behind the West in democratic terms, having only five « full democracies », compared with western Europe’s 13, and the region also has seven « authoritarian regimes » while western Europe has none. Yet the Asia region has, so far, handled the pandemic much better than virtually any other, with lower infection and mortality rates and a fast economic rebound. Having learned from the experience of SARS, Asian governments reacted decisively (albeit deploying coercive powers in some cases), benefited from well-organised health systems and retained the confidence of their populations. By contrast, European governments were slow to act, some health systems came close to collapse and public trust in government declined. Europe’s handling of the pandemic was not a good advert for democracy, something that authoritarian China did not fail to point out. The pandemic has highlighted the widening gap between a dynamic East and a declining West and is likely to further accelerate the shift in the global balance of power towards Asia. US democracy under pressure from rising polarisation and declining social cohesion The US’s performance across several indicators changed in 2020, both for better and worse. However, the negatives outweighed the positives, and the US retained its « flawed democracy » status. Increased political participation was the main positive  : Americans have become much more engaged in politics in recent years, and several factors fueled the continuation of this trend in 2020, including the politicisation of the coronavirus pandemic, movements to address police violence and racial injustice, and elections that attracted record voter turnout. The negatives include extremely low levels of trust in institutions and political parties, deep dysfunction in the functioning of government, increasing threats to freedom of expression, and a degree of societal polarisation that makes consensus almost impossible to achieve. Social cohesion has collapsed, and consensus has evaporated on fundamental issues—even the date of the country’s founding. The new president, Joe Biden, faces a huge challenge in bringing together a country that is deeply divided over core values. Taiwan  : the year’s biggest winner The star-performer in this year’s Democracy Index, measured by the change in both its score and rank, is Taiwan, which wasupgraded from a « flawed democracy » to a « full democracy », after rising 20 places in the global ranking from 31st place to 11th. In a year notable for having few winners, Taiwan’s performance was spectacular. The country’s score rose by more than any other country in the 2020 index. Taiwan went to the polls in January 2020, and the national elections demonstrated the resilience of its democracy at a time when electoral processes, parliamentary oversight and civil liberties have been backsliding globally. There was a strong voter turnout, including among the younger generation, to elect the president and members of the Legislative Yuan (parliament). Overall, the country seems to have concluded that a well-functioning democracy represents the best means of safeguarding its future. Mali and Togo the big losers in a dire year for African democracy Measured by the decline in its score, Mali, in west Africa, was the worst-performing country in the 2020 Democracy Index, being downgraded from a « hybrid regime » to an « authoritarian regime ». Mali does not have full control over its territory, and rampant insecurity precipitated a coup in August 2020 by military officers aggrieved by a lack of progress against jihadist insurgents. A military junta has since established a transitional government, nullifying the outcome of parliamentary elections held in March 2020, which were broadly free and fair. Because of this, Mali has dropped 11 places globally, the second-biggest fall in rank in Sub-Saharan Africa behind Togo, which fell 15 places, further down the ranks of « authoritarian regimes ». Overall it was a terrible year for democracy in Sub-Saharan Africa, where 31 countries were downgraded,eight stagnated and only five improved their scores. Burkina Faso, which, like Mali, faces a jihadist insurgency and does not have full control of its territory, was also downgraded from a « hybrid regime » to an « authoritarian regime ». Western Europe loses two « full democracies » In 2020 two west European countries— France and Portugal—moved from the « full democracy » category to the « flawed democracy » one. Thirteen countries in the region are now classed as « full democracies » (down from 15 in 2019) and seven as « flawed democracies »,up from five in 2019. Only three countries improved their scores in 2020 (Italy, Turkey and the UK) and 18 recorded a decline. The most significant downwards score changes were in the category of civil liberties, for which the aggregate score fell sharply, and in the functioning of government category. No country recorded an increase in its overall civil liberties score, as lockdown and social-distancing measures used to combat the coronavirus pandemic curtailed individual freedoms. Nevertheless, countries in western Europe account for seven of the top ten places in the global democracy rankings, including the top three spots, occupied by Norway, Iceland and Sweden. The Nordics are kings of the rankings, with Finland and Denmark sitting in sixth and seventh place. A tale of two regions  : democratic backsliding continues under cover of Covid-19 in eastern Europe and Latin America It is hard to say whether the recent democratic backsliding recorded in eastern Europe and Latin America would have continued without the coronavirus pandemic. What is certain is that the public health emergency provided cover for abuses of power that have become familiar in recent years. These two regions contain only three « full democracies » (all in Latin America), but they share half the world’s flawed democracies (26 out of 52). Eastern Europe has always lagged behind Latin America in the Democracy Index, but both regions suffer from similar flaws. A weak political culture, difficulties in creating institutions aimedat safeguarding the rule of law and persistent issues with corruption create a difficult habitat for democracy. The deterioration in both regions in 2020 revealed the fragility of democracy in times of crisis and the willingness of governments to sacrifice civil liberties and exercise unchecked authority in an emergency situation. The Middle East and North Africa retains the lowest score After Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and North Africa region recorded the secondbiggest reduction in regional average score in 2020, mainly because of the impact of coronavirus related restrictions on civil liberties. That score has declined every year since 2012, when the advances that followed theonset of the pro-democracy « Arab Spring »uprising in December 2010 began to be reversed. The region suffers from a concentration of absolute monarchies, authoritarian regimes and the prevalence of military conflicts, and it is the lowest ranked of all the regions covered in the Democracy Index, with seven countries of the 20 in the region featuring in the bottom 20 in our global ranking. The few bright spots included increased political participation in Israel, as shown by the high turnout in the election in 2020, despite it being the third one in two years, and tiny moves towards political inclusion and transparency in the Gulf states, where authoritarianism nonetheless remains entrenched. 4
VENDREDI 05 FÉVRIER 2021 BIZWEEK ÉDITION 328 Top 5 Traclecl Sectors DROP CONS Oth D EBT 1 il IO% 1% al MS1 11 ACTA PUBLICA Foreign Local Share of TMT AXYS REVIEW The ‘January effect’did not materialise The first month of 2021 could be resumed, according to stockbroking firmAXYS’review  : The vaccine-induced momentum was dampened ; select illiquid stocks were boosted by corporate actions, and Ascencia rallied to multi-month highs while peers were highly volatile The Mauritian Bourse’s freshly found momentum – following the vaccine announcement in early November – ground to a halt in January. Indices – except for the DEMEX (+6.5%) boosted by Ascencia’s rally to multi-month highs – lost between 0.3% and 1.5%. The « January Effect » in Jan2021 did not materialise, according to AXYS Stockbroking’s report released on 3 January, and was among the 3 out of FIN JOURNÉE INTERNATIONALE DES ZONES HUMIDES Le National Parks and Conservation Service (NPCS), Reef Conservation Mauritius et la Mauritian Wildlife Foundation (MWF) s’engagent avec l’Union européenne en faveur de la protection de la biodiversité et de la lutte contre le changement climatique. Ces actions s’inscrivent dans le contexte des engagements pris au niveau mondial au titre de la Convention sur la Biodiversité Biologique et de l’Accord de Paris. Elles s’alignent avec l’esprit de la nouvelle stratégie environnementale du gouvernement qui est en phase de finalisation. La cérémonie de signature a eu lieu jeudi matin à Pointe d’Esny dans le cadre de la Journée internationale des Zones humides. L’Ambassadeur de l’Union européenne auprès de la République de Maurice, S.E.M. Vincent Degert, a déclaré  : « La Convention de Financement que nous avons signée avec le NPCS, et les contrats de subventions signés avec la Reef Conservation et le MWF ce matin témoignent d’une consolidation des liens qui unissent l’UE et la République de Maurice dans le domaine de la protection de l’environnement et de la lutte contre le changement climatique. » A l’image de son engagement pris dans le Pacte Vert adopté par la Commission Européenne en décembre 2019, l’UE confirme Equities Stock 29-Jan% à PER DY PBV LMLC 1 9 1.50 41 9 32.0rx I 8% I 3x gel Ct IJTDL 65.00 32.8 - 0.5x Cà CCARE 8.98 17.5 28.5x 2.2% 6 lx tn ASCE 20.00 15.6 I8.1x 0.8% 1.2x UTIN 5.00 11.1 15.4x 0.4x Stock 29-Jan% ❑ PER DY PBV BMHL 20.80 -14.2 1.9% 0.3x RHT 20.00 -13 0 - 0.3x MOR 18.10 -12.6 42.8xe.9x MEDL 38.00 -9.5 - 0.3x ROGE 20.25 -8.0 13.2x 0.5x 10 Januarys when the market closes in negative territory. Select illiquids were boosted by corporate actions. Moulins de la Concorde (+42%) and sister concern Livestock Feed (+11%) peaked at record highs following their « bonus issue » of shares. Similarly, United Docks (+33%) sky-rocketed to its highest level in months. It began to do so after announcing the results of its « rights issue » which included 250k shares offered to management. The emergence of new highly contagious Covid-19 variants and subsequent re-confinements as wellas heightened travel restrictions in developed countries, appeared to negatively impact hospitality stocks which shed a combined 3%. LUX* Resorts (+3%) – which has already published Q4- 2020 interim results – was the only hotelier ainsi son positionnement comme l’un des partenaires centraux de Maurice dans ces domaines. Il s’agit notamment de promouvoir cette approche novatrice selon le principe de Ridge to Reef qui fait le lien entre pollution terrestre et marine et la nécessité d’agir de manière intégrée pour préserver les écosystèmes qui sont interconnectés. La Convention de financement et les deux subventions, attribuées suite à des appels à propositions, permettront au National Parks and Conservation Service (NPCS), qui opère sous l’égide du Ministère de l’Agro-industrie et de la Sécurité alimentaire, et aux deux organisations non gouvernementales, Reef Conservation Mauritius et la Mauritian Wildlife Foundation, de mener des actions en faveur de la reforestation et de la protection des écosystèmes marins à Maurice (dans la Réserve naturelle de Rivière Noire, à l’île d’Ambre, Bel Ombre et Roches Noires) et à Rodrigues. L’UE, l’Agence Française de Développement (AFD) et l’Antenne de la Région Réunion à Maurice, regroupée au sein de la Team Europe financent et soutiennent actuellement la mise en œuvre d’une dizaine de projets nationaux et régionaux de lutte contre le changement climatique et de protection de la biodiversité à Maurice. Très prochainement d’ailleurs, l’UE signera un nouveau contrat de 6 millions d’euros avec la COI sur le renforcement de capacités en matière de météorologie – projet qui sera to close in positive territory. Conglomerates were a mixed bag. Alteo (-2%) and Medine (-10%) experienced a cooling-off following their respective sharp rallies during Q4-2020, whereas construction materials heavy Gamma-Civic (+8%) and United Basalt Products (+5%) experienced strong performances. Property companies were highly volatile whereas illiquids recorded the sharpest drops. L’Union européenne investit plus de 240 millions de roupies à Maurice mis en œuvre par l’AFD. L’UE signera également au premier semestre un contrat de 2,5 millions d’euros avec l’Université de Maurice portant sur la recherche sur les écosystèmes marins. 5

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