Mitigating risks, securing business in emerging markets


Past work

Profile of Omani office holder

In Oman, we provided an in-depth study of one of the government offices and its office-holder for a regional client. The aim was to give the client a solid understanding of how the office worked, its remit, and the true power of the office-holder. The report included the background, allies and interests of the office-holder.

Sources for this report included: former employees of the government office; Western and Omani defence officials; sources from the subject’s village and political analysts.


Kuwait market entry and evaluation

For a client looking to invest in Kuwait we provided a detailed market entry report on the client’s chosen sector. The report looked at key local-decision makers in the sector; Kuwait’s political system and parliament, succession in the Al-Sabah ruling family, the local tender process; corruption/governance issues and political risk.

Sources for this report included: a senior official in the Kuwait National Assembly; a Ministry of Finance official; two high-ranking businesspeople and political analysts based in Kuwait.


Infrastructure disputes in Qatar

A client asked CbI to produce a report looking at the history and handling of disputes around large infrastructure projects.  Qatar has been a key construction market in the region but the pace of rollout and weak institutions have meant that projects have often been poorly planned and managed by the contracting agencies, the capacity of local subcontractors has been inadequate and bottlenecks in supplies or construction works have created problems – including blame being shifted to contractors. The client wished to understand how best to manage relationships in the emirate and how attitudes were changing towards major infrastructure projects.


Cameroon market entry and stakeholder mapping project

For a major energy sector client considering an investment in Cameroon we provided a detailed and thorough report on their sector of interest. We examined political stability and prospects for future stability; electoral politics, the ruling party and opponents; the Anglophone crisis and impacts for national stability; energy sector governance, corruption and decision-making; security conditions and land and maritime border disputes with neighbours; Société Nationale des Hydrocarbures and its organisation, and the military and judiciary. We also provided profiles on senior decision-makers.

The report was assembled by a CbI director who has worked on Central African issues for over 20 years along with CbI’S research associate based in Yaoundé. A political researcher on CbI’s staff specialising in sub-Saharan energy, resources and political issues contributed as did the company’s in-house cartographer.

Sources for the report included: government and opposition members, energy industry sources including SNH employees; a representative of Cameroonian civil society; Cameroonian academics; international monetary and financial officials; European diplomats based in Yaoundé and sources from companies operating in Cameroon.


Study of local content requirements in two neighbouring countries

At a client’s request we carried out a study of the local content requirements in two neighbouring countries. We provided a detailed overview and analysis of current local content regulations and how regulations were going to change following a major discovery. The report also included expectations of government and society.

Sources for the report included: the director of upstream in the Ministry of Energy; local lawyers well-versed in commercial law; MPs – including the politician tasked with oversight on extractive industries; other senior officials from the energy ministry and civil society representatives.


Personal profile of a head of state

For a major international investor about to negotiate a large investment deal at the highest level, we provided a detailed personal study of an African head of state. Based on interviews with informed primary sources it described the head of state’s key attitudes and main intellectual and policy priorities. It also analysed the most important relationship and inter-personal dynamics likely to impact on decision-making at that level, set out essential points of protocol and ways of establishing a good rapport with him.

Sources for the report included: a former senior diplomat, and nine other individuals from the business community, security and military establishments all of whom know had fairly regular dealings with the subject.


A series of strategic risk reports into Libyan economic institutions

Over the past decade, we have carried out several detailed studies on the main Libyan economic and financial institutions including banking, sovereign wealth and energy sector entities. These reports – based on interviews with large numbers of well-informed sources – have covered key questions of political, financial and reputational risk focusing particularly on governance and have been used by clients to manage their exposure and assess the potential impact of political and security events on their relationships with key individuals and organisations.

These reports were researched and written by a senior CbI executive, drawing on more than 13 years experience in reporting on Libya.  In addition to source interviews, they are informed by a detailed archive of documentation related to the Libyan economy and business, which has been compiled over this period and also involved detailed examinations of official audit reports published in Arabic by the Libyan Audit Bureau and the Administrative Control Authority and other bodies.

Sources for these reports included: Libyan political analysts, former policitians,  financiers  and business people, plus researchers and journalists, officials and diplomats who have worked on the Libya dossier.


Algerian energy stakeholder analysis and risk management reports

In the past decade, we have completed several detailed stakeholder analysis and risk management reports on the Algerian energy sector and some of its main corporate entities for international energy sector clients. Informed by primary source enquiries and our long-term continuous monitoring of the sector, these reports have helped clients to formulate detailed country strategy setting the framework for engagements with key decision-makers.

Sources for these reports included: officials and former officials at the main energy institutions, executives at international companies operating in the country, plus officials, politicians and members of civil society organisiations.


Egypt oil and gas stakeholder analysis

For an energy sector client we carried out a detailed stakeholder mapping exercise of the main decision-makers in Egyptian hydrocarbons based on analyses of their career histories and primary source evaluations of their views, priorities and objectives.

Sources for these reports included: executives at a wide range of private and state-owned institutions in the sector.