Africa is looking increasingly risky for investors and global supply chains. Or at least, that’s the judgement of the latest Global Risks and Resilience Atlas published on Thursday by Maplecroft.

Worldwide, 21 countries saw an increase in their exposure to risks, of which 15 are African, including: Mali, Mozambique, Tanzania, Senegal, Madagascar, Burkina Faso and Eritrea. Read more

Nigeria looks set to become Africa’s biggest economy in the medium term, and with its large population and growing consumer spending power, the west African country is top of the list for many investors looking to tap African growth. But 2014 will ask searching questions about the country’s political climate. Read more

Britain: quite safe, actually

Monday’s storm in southern England may cost insurers around $500m, and the economic impact will be greater still. But for all the media’s headlines about killer storms and more chaos to come, London will be relatively untouched by the flux in weather for the near future.

In fact, London and Paris are the only cities facing a “low risk” from the impacts of climate change, according to a new report from Maplecroft, a risk consultancy. For cities at greater risk, look elsewhere. Read more

British consumers have got used to seeing traffic light colour coding on packaged food in the shops. A green spot is supposed to entice customers by indicating the food has less fat, sugar or salt, while a red one is meant to warn you away from the most delectable junk foods. It may work on the pages of behavioral economics textbooks but it’s been a lot less effective for gluttonous shoppers in the real world.

Nevertheless, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has decided to apply the same concept to mutual funds. Read more

 A trader shouts for attention in the crude oil futures pit, 20 August, 2004, on the floor of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

A little less active than this

When it comes to passive or active investing – ie selective stock picks vs index tracking – there’s a big difference between companies based in emerging markets, and their counterparts in developed markets.

You might think that investors in emerging market companies would be in the “pick-and-choose” camp – index tracking is more common in developed markets, surely, and the companies are better known? Actually, it’s the other way round. Read more

What price a reputation? Earning a good one takes time. Losing it can take a moment. So some of the biggest companies based in Brazil, Russia, India and China may not be pleased to read a report issued this week by RepRisk, a consultancy that calls itself “the leading provider of business intelligence on environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks”. Read more

Not every company would be happy to have a prominent right-wing extremist on its roster of clients. But for Topsgrup, India’s largest private security company, Bal Thackeray – leader of the Hindu nationalist Shiv Sena political party and one of the most powerful men in Mumbai before he died this month – was just an ordinary Joe. Read more

If you thought ‘superstorm’ Sandy was bad, here’s a sobering thought: New York isn’t even a high-risk city when it comes to climate change. For that, head to Asia.

According to a report by Maplecroft, the risk consultancy, several big Asian financial and manufacturing centres are in the danger zone. Read more

Hold steady – the risk / reward balance is tipping. The Brics are now being termed “safe haven” markets and grouped with the UK, US and Germany.

For some time emerging markets have attracted multinational companies with the promise of higher returns. This draw used to come with higher risk – but the perception of that risk is now shifting. Read more

Although emerging Asian equities have matured and now trade at parity with the US, there is still a long way to go in terms of risk management products. Jeremy Grant and John Authers explain.

The inexorable rise of the Brics – in terms of growth, at least – hasn’t made them any safer from destabilising risks. In fact, they are just as exposed to global risks as they were before the 2008 financial crisis. And given the prospects for world growth are largely pinned on these economies, it’s a worry.

That’s the conclusion of the Global Risks Atlas 2012 by Maplecroft, a risk advisory company. The Brics are exposed to global risks which “could undermine their investment potential”. So what are they? Read more