A third wave of coronavirus cases has hit Africa as the highly contagious Delta variant continues to spread while less than 2 per cent of the continent’s population has been fully vaccinated. “Many countries are still at peak risk,” said Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organization regional director.
Vietnam is in discussions with the US over starting local production of messenger RNA vaccines against Covid-19, the foreign ministry said. Local mRNA vaccine production could start later this year, a spokesperson told a news conference, adding Vietnam could make 100m to 200m doses a year.
A cricket match in Barbados between the West Indies and Australia called off because of a positive Covid-19 test on a home team staffer won’t be rescheduled until all results have come in, West Indies Cricket said. The one-day game was postponed minutes before it was due to start at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown.
Weak emerging-market gross domestic product growth is weighing on sovereign ratings, Fitch Ratings said. The median rise in GDP per head for 81 EMs over 2011–2021 is only 10 per cent, compared with 39 per cent for the US. Weak growth exacerbates fiscal, social and political risks, the agency said.
The German Covid-19 vaccine maker BioNTech said it would donate €1m to the German Alliance for Disaster Relief after this month’s devastating floods. Some of the worst damage occurred near the company’s headquarters in Mainz and its site in Idar-Oberstein, both in Rhineland-Palatinate state.
BlackRock has upgraded Japanese equities to neutral despite the detection of coronavirus cases at the Tokyo Olympics. Thomas Taw, Asia-Pacific head of investment strategy at BlackRock iShares, said potential risks associated with coronavirus cases at the Games are a “temporary headwind” for Japanese equities.
Hyundai Motor said the global chip shortage was easing as it reported a tripling of operating profit to Won1.9tn ($1.7bn) in the second quarter from a year ago due to strong worldwide sales. “The recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic spurred automotive demand,” the South Korean carmaker said.
Yoshihide Suga, Japan’s prime minister, held talks with Albert Bourla, Pfizer chairman and chief executive, seeking faster delivery of coronavirus vaccine shipments as infections rise in Tokyo, the Olympic Games host city. Japan is due to receive 70m doses of Pfizer’s jab between July and September.