16 April 2019

Africa: The Run-Up to Elections Thwarts Africa's M&A Activity and South Africa Is Not Spared

analysis

South Africa is not the only country in sub-Saharan Africa facing a make-or-break general election in 2019. Citizens in more than seven countries will be heading to the polls, among them Benin, Madagascar, Malawi, and Botswana. Any build-up to elections makes the business community nervous and this is starting to reflect in mergers and acquisitions indicators. If the latest data is anything to go by, companies and investors are deferring big investment decisions until various election cycles are over. This deferral is also evident in South Africa.

Historically, general elections are a source of angst for the investment and business community around the world.

When it comes to the run-up to elections, investors, who are usually in speculative mode, have no shortage of things to worry about.

Arguably, the top concern is whether a new government might bring in new populist policies that might adversely impact investments, the functioning of companies and the health of the economy. This uncertainty prompts investors to avoid taking risks, resulting in large investment decisions being put on until hold the future is much more certain.

The business and investment community in South Africa and Africa as a whole is no different, if the latest...

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