*Qatar registers MEA's second bestscore of 68 points in Fitch Solutions' Index
Public spending on IT projects in line with the ICT-2015 strategy as well as large-scale infrastructure projects ahead of the FIFA World Cup in 2022 will continue to drive Qatar’s IT product and services spending, according to Fitch Solutions.
Qatar has registered high score of 68 points in Fitch Solutions' Industry Risk/Reward Index (RRIs), which is the second best in the entire Middle East and Africa (MEA) region.
The impact of the blockade on Qatar by a quartet of Arab nations “remains muted”, the report noted.
The Gulf Co-operation Council maintain its position as the “most lucrative” of the 12 IT markets surveyed by Fitch Solutions for the RRIs .
Oman's IT Score of 47.8 points is boosted by a five-point upward revision in the country rewards segment. Fitch Solutions’ Country Risk team has revised Oman's 2019 GDP growth forecast from 2.5% to 2.8% on the back of increased hydrocarbon production as well as strengthening bilateral relations with China as the country pursues a strategy to diversify the economy away from its oil dependence. These developments support increased spending on computer hardware and IT software and services.
South Africa scores 51.9 points this quarter, holding on to sixth position on the Index. The market is emerging as a hub for cloud services with Huawei Technologies, Microsoft and Amazon all planning to open data centres in the country, developments which bode particularly well for the country’s IT software and services segment. This quarter, the Country Risk pillar sees only a slight downward revision (-0 .7) and now stands 58.2 points.
That said, Fitch Solutions’ said it would not rule out the potential for more significant changes to occur in upcoming quarters owing to risks from approaching elections and a volatile Rand, which may weigh on investor sentiment.
Meanwhile, Ghana’s score of 42.1 points sees it fall behind Nigeria to 10th place on the Index this quarter.
However, Fitch Solutions “remain positive” about the market's growth trajectory, albeit from a low bas e, owing to IT service and hardware demand from public and private investment into sectors including power, energy and utilities.