Midcom Group has announced a $50million retail expansion, growing its Mstore brand from 300 outlets, to 1,300 in 2018 and over 2,000 outlets by 2020, which will make Mstore the largest mobile and electronics retailer in Africa and create over 5,000 jobs.
Midcom operates across 17 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia in a variety of industries including telecommunications, consumer electronics, dairy, education, commercial and residential real estate and Forex.
Midcom Group’s Managing Director, Akash Kumar said in a statement at the weekend that his company had been operating across the continent for over 14 years in an array of industries.
According to him, these industries complement one another by allowing the company to successfully apply the group’s combined knowledge and expertise of African markets and sectors to the continued growth of its brands.
“The expansion of Mstore is the latest realisation of that growth strategy, which we believe any other international organisation moving into these markets would struggle to replicate. By starting small, with 300 locations, we’ve used our knowledge of the markets to apply a strategy that will make us the largest mobile and electronics retailer on the continent. The expansion of Mstore will support another of our businesses, FERO, our recently launched line of mobile phones, by providing full sales and technical support to FERO customers across our markets. This type of on-the-ground support is a service no other mobile operator in Africa is able to offer,” Kumar explained.
Midcom Group’s new FERO range of mobile phones are designed specifically for African markets, offering 16 models, from entry-level feature phones through to sophisticated premium smartphones targeting the top end of the market.
“We are operating retail outlets in prime locations to provide the best experience to our customers, who are now able to enjoy the ease of buying global leading devices in their region with manufacturer warranty. It is a win-win situation for the consumer, our partners and the group,” Kumar added.
All Mstores are strategically located at prime locations in major cities across Africa and are equipped with state-of-the-art infrastructure and IT tools to manage operations, along with well-trained experts providing customers with knowledge and technical expertise. Each store provides strategic and prominent positions for all brands to display their units. Brand promoters are also present in these stores to provide detailed guidance to customers.
Mstore also provides technical support for customers facing issues with their devices, including a 48-hour turnaround time guarantee to resolve customer issues. MStore generates its loyalty by providing advanced after sales services to satisfy customer needs, including free screen repairs for consumers when the product has been purchased from Mstore.
Oil Prices Hold Steady Ahead of Crucial OPEC+ Meeting Amidst Fed Rate Hike Signals
Oil prices maintained their significant gains as traders anticipate the outcome of a crucial OPEC+ meeting on supply while considering signals from the Federal Reserve regarding interest rate policies.
Global benchmark Brent hovered below $82 a barrel, having surged over 2% on Tuesday, while West Texas Intermediate traded under $77.
The OPEC+ meeting, scheduled for Thursday to set policies for 2024, is currently grappling with a dispute over output quotas for some African members.
The recent rise in crude prices is underpinned by a weakening dollar, with a Bloomberg gauge of the US currency reaching its lowest level since August.
Federal Reserve policymakers, including Governor Christopher Waller, have hinted at an impending pause in the series of rate hikes, contributing to the bullish sentiment in oil markets.
A softer dollar enhances the appeal of commodities for international buyers.
Yeap Jun Rong, a market strategist for IG Asia Pte in Singapore, commented on the interplay of factors, stating, “The US dollar was dragged lower on a build-up in dovish expectations, which was very much cheered on by oil prices.”
However, concerns persist about OPEC+’s ability to address the challenges in the oil market effectively.
Despite the recent gains, oil is on track for a consecutive monthly decline due to increased supply from non-OPEC countries, intensifying pressure on the cartel and its allies to consider more significant output cuts.
The International Energy Agency’s earlier assessment indicated a potential return to a global crude surplus in the coming year.
In the US, the American Petroleum Institute reported a 817,000-barrel decline in nationwide inventories last week, potentially marking the first drop in six weeks, pending confirmation from government data.
This development may add support to oil prices and impact the ongoing dynamics in the energy market.
Oil Prices Stabilize as OPEC+ Weighs Deeper Output Cuts Amid Global Supply Concerns
Market Evaluates OPEC+ Decision Amidst Bearish Sentiment and Global Supply Worries
A Relaxed Start to the Week But Much More to Come, OPEC+ Eyed
By Craig Erlam, Senior Market Analyst, UK & EMEA, OANDA
It’s been quite a calm start to the week which isn’t entirely surprising given the lack of events on the calendar today. That said, things are expected to pick up with the rest of the week serving up some big economic releases and a hugely important OPEC+ meeting.
All data now, particularly that of the US, is being looked at through the prism of what it will mean for the final central bank meeting of the year and the new projections it’ll be accompanied by.
Since the last meeting, the data has been encouraging and we’ll get another batch before the Fed meets on 13 December. This week we’ll get the October PCE inflation data – the Fed’s preferred measure – as well as third quarter GDP, ISM manufacturing and jobless claims.
Outside of the US, we’ll get flash HICP inflation data for the eurozone, PMIs from China, CPI figures for Australia and a rate decision from the RBNZ. On top of all that, there’s a plethora of central bank speakers making appearances which will keep us on our toes.
BoE Governor Bailey got the week off to a start on that front, pushing back against expectations for rate cuts from Q2, claiming he doesn’t expect any for the “foreseeable future”. A vague commitment as ever but all we can expect from policymakers for now. There’s still a way to go and as Bailey highlighted, getting from peak to now is likely to be much easier than from here to 2%.
Oil choppy ahead of Thursday’s OPEC+ meeting
Arguably, the OPEC+ meeting will be the week’s most impactful event. Not just because any decision could have direct consequences for price and therefore inflation but also due to the meeting already being pushed back by four days, so there’s clearly some disagreement within the alliance.
The group has always found a way to get an agreement over the line before, even if that means the biggest producers taking on more of the additional commitments so it’s probably safe to say something similar will be achieved this week. But the question is how far they’ll push it, given the recent trend in oil prices and increasing concerns around global growth next year.
Gold eyeing record highs?
Gold has got the week off to a strong start, up around half a percent and hitting a six-month high. It just about managed to end last week above the psychologically challenging $2,000 level – where it’s repeatedly been pushed back from over the last month – and it seems that has propelled it on today.
We’re still seeing some push back though but this break has been backed by softer US data in recent weeks and less hawkish commentary from the Fed. That may be the difference this time around and enable it to look up towards record highs, only a few percent above where it currently finds itself.
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