Top global finance headlines: Global economy set to grow in 2021

The Myanmar economy is floundering while the world economy is expected to grow and more.

Pharmaceutical companies are one of the few industries that have benefited over the past year, and this week proved their resilience even with concerns around vaccine side effects. Meanwhile, the global economy shows signs of continuing its recovery at the tail end of 2020. Myanmar's economy is floundering amid an ongoing military coup – and investor appetite for special purpose purchases shows no signs of waning any time soon.

AstraZeneca share price
Despite concerns about the efficacy of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine and potential side effects, investors have rallied around the blue-chip shares, reports the Interactive Investor. This follows information that the US government has committed to an additional 500,000 doses of its potential AZD7442 long-acting antibody Covid-19 therapy, which is aimed at people who may not be able to have a vaccination.

Global economy up
Reports of new waves and variants of Covid-19 continue to dominate world news, however global economic recovery that began in the third quarter of 2020 is expected to continue throughout this year. A report by the UN Conference on Trade and Development now shows that the global economy will grow by 4.7 percent in 2021, up 0.4 percent from its previous forecast, reports Reuters.

Hot SPAC
Special purpose acquisition companies (SPAC), shell companies that exist to take private entities public, have become hot property on Wall Street. According to CNN, US-listed SPACs have raised $83.1 billion (1.2 trillion) so far this year up 2.031 percent (or 20-fold) from the same point of last year. The jury’s still out on whether SPACs will continue to deliver, or are becoming a bubble that will soon burst.

When geopolitics goes green
With green energy all the rage, the Rand Corporation is now looking at the geopolitical implications of the transition away from fossil fuels. A Bloomberg report highlights that global inequalities and rivalries will then centre around access to technology and finance, standard setting and control of key raw materials.

Economic shutdown in Myanmar
The political situation in Myanmar, after the military seized power in February 2021, has led to an almost total shutdown of banks and businesses across the country. According to Future Directions International, international investors are adopting a wait and see approach amid a fall in business confidence and implications of expected European Union sanctions.