Covid-19 catalyzes the digital transformation in Latin America

Covid-19 catalyzes the digital transformation in Latin America

  Markets across Latin America are expected to go into recession in 2020 due to the impact of the coronavirus and associated, unprecedented outward capital flows.  However, two of the most promising growth sectors in Latin America – fintech and e-commerce – align with consumer needs during the pandemic and are likely to contribute to permanent changes in consumer behavior, providing opportunities for investors to buy into these long-term growth sectors on favorable terms.

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The Risks and Rewards of Investing in the CBD Market

The Risks and Rewards of Investing in the CBD Market

  With the coronavirus reaching 191 thousand infections in the United States, U.S. states have gone on partial lockdown, with certain stores like CBD dispensaries and shops remaining open to the public as they are  considered essential businesses (depending on the state). CBD, which is composed of marijuana and hemp, is considered a vital source of pain relief and is seen in an array of products from cosmetics, to diet and food supplements. In recent years, the increased demand for CBD has opened the floodgate to businesses and investors, each vying for a stake in an exploding and new market.

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COVID-19 adds to Saudi Arabia’s economic woes, undermining the investment environment and threatening long term political stability…

COVID-19 adds to Saudi Arabia’s economic woes, undermining the investment environment and threatening long term political stability…

In late February 2020, for the first time in history, Saudi Arabia suspended the Umrah Islamic pilgrimage over concerns that Islam’s holiest sites would become a Middle Eastern epicenter for the spread of Covid-19.  Muslims around the world are questioning whether the annual Hajj pilgrimage, scheduled for July, will also be suspended.  Together, the pilgrimages attract 21 million tourists to the Kingdom each year, and their suspension could deprive the Saudi economy of up to USD 17 bn in revenue.

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Coronavirus Drives the Narrative for the Upcoming South Korean Elections

Coronavirus Drives the Narrative for the Upcoming South Korean Elections

As elections for the General Assembly approach on April 15, COVID-19  may have become the central issue in the campaign. Currently, the liberal Democratic Party (DP) who hold a majority of seats in the National Assembly, led by South Korean President Moon Jae-in, is favored to retain their majority and even increase their number of seats this upcoming cycle. They aim to steer off Korea’s Conservative United Future Party, which has seen increased popularity in the recent months. An election that was once seen as a midterm referendum on Moon and his policies has been upended by the Coronavirus pandemic. This pandemic could cut short both the Democratic Party and Moon’s aspirations, as they will have to face an economic setback, ongoing health crisis, and vicious criticism from the opposition.

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Corruption in Kenya’s Government and Economy and the Necessity of Due Diligence for Investors

Corruption in Kenya’s Government and Economy and the Necessity of Due Diligence for Investors

Despite its rich natural resources and vast landmass, Africa remains the world’s poorest inhabited continent in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Additionally, the continent’s economies have been hampered by conflict, political instability, and poor infrastructure, which have also discouraged many prospective investors. While other "third world" countries have seen significant economic growth and foreign investment in recent times, Africa has lagged behind...until recently, at least.   

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Sidestepping Risk: Getting Started with Due Diligence

Sidestepping Risk: Getting Started with Due Diligence

  This article was featured on the digital subscription platform of the Institutional Investor Network on July 19, 2019.   With direct private investing amongst institutional investors on the rise (especially in emerging markets), the task of conducting comprehensive due diligence and evaluating risk, including on how to select the right manager, becomes increasingly important. 

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Evolution of Litigation Finance - High Risk, High Reward

Evolution of Litigation Finance - High Risk, High Reward

What is Litigation Finance and how long has it been around?   The concept of Litigation Finance has become increasingly popular in recent years and there has been much discussion of this area in the financial media and forums focused on investment opportunities with uncorrelated market returns. Although sometimes presented as an untried and untested offering,  it is not in fact, a new phenomenon at all. 

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Don’t Make the Same Mistake of Not Fully Vetting Your Expert Witnesses!

Don’t Make the Same Mistake of Not Fully Vetting Your Expert Witnesses!

  Civil or criminal cases are oftentimes won or lost on the testimony of the plaintiff or defendant’s expert witnesses. Picking the right expert witness could help a company win a judgment, arrive at a favorable settlement, or it can cost a company millions of dollars. Credible and reliable expert witnesses, however, are harder to find due to the Daubert standard, which governs the admissibility of an expert witnesses’ testimony and is used by the court to decide if a witness is qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training or education. Even if an expert witness may appear to pass this standard, it’s imperative that a company conducts a thorough vetting process to truly assess the witnesses expertise, verify his or her credentials, talks to their peers and others in his or her field, check for any conflicting relationships, and understand the tools and methodologies they are applying to come to their conclusions.   

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The Never-Ending Tentacles of the Odebrecht Bribery Scheme

The Never-Ending Tentacles of the Odebrecht Bribery Scheme

The web of fraudulent schemes that transpired across Latin America with Odebrecht at the center has been particularly intriguing to our investigations team at Gryphon. In our line of work, we often find that cases of fraud or bribery are isolated to a firm, executive or a politician, but the Odebrecht case involves dozens of politicians, government ministers and corporations spread across 12 nations. It’s another reminder of when doing business in emerging and frontier markets, it’s a must to conduct in depth due diligence to identify operational, reputational or political risks associated with an investment or partnership.

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Mitigation of Risks in Myanmar are Plentiful – But Opportunities Abound on Growth Prospects

Mitigation of Risks in Myanmar are Plentiful – But Opportunities Abound on Growth Prospects

In 2013, Coca-Cola became one of the first US firms to invest in Myanmar (also known as Burma) after economic sanctions against the country, once governed by one of the world’s most authoritarian military regimes were suspended.

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