Qatar is 'most attractive' consumer electronics market in MEA: Fitch Solutions
January 15 2019 10:10 PM
Fitch Solutions
Fitch Solutions

Qatar is the “most attractive” consumer electronics market in Middle East and Africa (MEA) and tops the Industry Risk/Reward Index for the region set by Fitch Solutions with a score of 6 3.6 points.

Notable for Qatar is its high-income population and the retail segment will remain the hallmark of its consumer electronics market, fuelled by consumers’ appetites for advanced technologies and premium brand smartphones, Fitch Solutions has said in a report.

Continued infrastructure investment in the tourism, IT and healthcare sectors is a boon for enterprise device sales, owing to growing demand for TV sets, set-top boxes and PC hardware, it said.

A 2.5-point upward revision to Oman’s Country Rewards pillar contributes to an overall score of 43.3 points for the sultanate, Fitch Solutions said.

This moves it one place up the Index, to seventh place, as improving GDP growth (forecast at 3.1% for 2019 ), “positive” demographics and the government’s commitment to economic diversification support both retail and enterprise electronic device demand.

Meanwhile, a score of 44 .8 keeps South Africa at fifth place, making it the “most attractive” consumer electronics market in Africa.

Mobile network operators' strategies to migrate users to higher value post-paid packages, coupled with g rowing consumer demand for the latest technologies, means the mobile device segment will remain a bright spot for the market, Fitch Solutions said.

Nigeria scores 42.1 points for Q2, 2019, sliding one place to eighth position on the index. This is largely attributed to a two-point drop in its industry risk score, which now stands at 52.5 points.

Although the country continues its “fragile” economic recovery, factors such as rising unemployment and investor uncertainty ahead of the February 2019 general election have led Fitch Solutions’ team to revise downwards its 2019 GDP growth forecast from 3.4% to 2.5%.

A 1.7-point decline in the industry rewards score also reflects a downturn in consumer spending on big-ticket items such as PCs and TV sets.

However, a mobile penetration rate of only 82% in 2018, coupled with renewed mobile network operator investment in network upgrades and expansions, bode well for smartphone device uptake.

Kenya and Iran retain their positions as the least attractive markets on the index, coming in at 11th and 12th places, respectively, Fitch Solutions noted.

Kenya scores a lowly 38.8 points as the government's struggle to rein-in high fiscal debt will continue to impact price-sensitive Kenyan consumers, limiting spending in an already low value consumer electronics market.

Fitch Solutions said Iran’s score of 37.5 points is due to a two-point downward revision to its country risk score as the “renewed US sanctions and resultant economic woes take hold.”

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