Bloomberg ran the following story today: “Barclays Capital Says Congo ‘Maximum Risk’ Investment,” quoting a daily briefing put out by the UK bank.
The bank considers the Congo to be “the most significant risk…for the metals and mining sector,” following the repossession of large copper and oil concessions from multinational corporations. The briefing also includes the following line: “Perhaps most worrying is that US State Department officials consider President Kabila to be at his most unpredictable, which does not bode well.”
Indeed. The legal squabbles with First Quantum and Tullow were somewhat compensated by the $12 billion in debt relief and the relatively good economic indicators, but the Barclays briefing suggests that the government’s behavior will have long term effects on international investment.