The Winter Games won’t boost China’s growth, end repression, or win the country much extra respect. It might help soft power, but then most countries already do whatever China asks. Freed from such false hopes, everyone can sit back, have fun and admire the fake snow.
The French retailer is performing better in Latin America and Asia than at home, while its similarly sized UK rival might sell foreign assets to relieve balance-sheet strain. But if Tesco can live with the debt, it might be emboldened by Carrefour’s global shopping experience.
The tobacco giant must lift the free float of its Indonesian unit. The potential $1.5 billion sell-down comes as an economic slowdown hits cigarette sales. Luckily for the Marlboro man, investors can hardly ignore a share sale by the country’s largest listed group.
Huang Guangyu wants to sell $1.45 bln of stores to GOME, the Chinese electrical chain he founded. The complex, pricey-looking, and as yet poorly explained deal would give him majority control. Outside investors, who get a say, must ask if this is really the best they can get.
The global bank is reviewing its head office location based on 11 criteria such as economic importance, transparency and tax. A ranking based on data compiled by Breakingviews shows Singapore, Hong Kong and even Toronto are more attractive than HSBC’s current home base.
Prime Minister Najib Razak’s sacking of his deputy opens the door to a protracted power struggle. The economy can ill-afford it. Fading consumer and investor confidence and a slumping currency could mean a long period of high interest rates, anaemic growth and soured loans.
Nikkei is the latest Japanese company to look for growth outside the shrinking domestic market. Its Financial Times purchase may work out, but the approach is flawed. Few companies can profitably escape their demographic destiny. It may be better to accept steady decline.