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Saturday, 25 October 2014


Police officers stand outside the Hefei Intermediate People's Court, where Gu Kailai is being tried for murder, in Hefei, Anhui Province August 9, 2012 REUTERS/Aly Song

China's new reform: rule of law for some

24 October 2014

The latest leadership pow-wow ended with a pledge to reduce political meddling in court cases, and fight legal graft. Yet foreign companies are unlikely to get a fairer hearing from regulators, and the ruling Party remains untouchable. It’s justice with Chinese characteristics.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during a news conference at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, California May 26, 2010. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

Zuckerberg's Chinese chat leaves CEOs tongue-tied

24 October 2014

The Facebook founder surprised and delighted a Beijing audience by answering questions in Mandarin. His linguistic skills probably won’t make the social network any more welcome in the People’s Republic. But other corporate chiefs could learn from his efforts to friend China.

A statue of a bull is seen next to a Spanish flag hung on a fence.

Ferrovial is back in conquistador mode

22 October 2014

The Spanish group is chasing deals worth 1.8 bln euros in three countries including Australia. The spree echoes its 2006 pursuit of airport operator BAA, which nearly dragged it down. But these acquisitions look less risky. Thanks to savvy sales, Ferrovial has cash to spend.

An umbrella and a security helmet is seen on a main road at the Mong Kok shopping district in Hong Kong October 6, 2014.

Hong Kong protests' silver lining for umbrella IPO

22 October 2014

Pro-democracy demonstrators are clouding luxury sales in the Chinese territory. Yet the movement’s symbol has cast a light on Jicheng Umbrella’s upcoming listing. International brolly sales are on the up. After the smoke clears, however, the main worry is rising labour costs.

A woman walks past a branch of the Australian state-owned health insurer Medibank Private in Sydney October 20, 2014.

Mega Medibank IPO sets tone for Aussie sell-off

23 October 2014

A valuation of up to $4.8 bln for the state-owned private health insurer rests on the potential for cutting costs. But not being too greedy now will make it easier to flog some of the huge pipeline of Australian assets lined up for privatisation to stock market investors.

An employee of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd (ICBC) counts money at one of the bank's branches at the Shanghai Free Trade Zone in Pudong district, in Shanghai September 24, 2014.

China's capital defences have sprung a major leak

22 October 2014

Strict controls should shield China from flighty foreign capital. In practice, investors have snuck in at least $725 billion of short-term money since 2008. That makes the economy vulnerable to outflows. Central bankers are saddled with preventing a trickle becoming a flood.

A Chinese national flag flutters at a construction site for a new residence complex in Beijing November 4, 2013. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

China grasps nettle on colossal housing overhang

21 October 2014

Property investment is slowing sharply, dragging GDP and commodity prices with it. So far, China’s planners have mostly stood by. Letting market forces operate could bring financial disruption. But unwinding the massive oversupply of hastily-built housing has to start somewhere.