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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Asia

A Chinese national flag flutters on the Pearl River near a construction site in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, March 27, 2014.

China’s 7.4 pct growth just enough to save face

16 April 2014

Though it hasn’t been slower since 2009, the pace of expansion in the world’s second-biggest economy is still rapid enough to avert the need for a humiliating stimulus. The big exception is real estate, where some kind of meddling to ease a funding crunch looks unavoidable.

A man walks past the entrance to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange January 12, 2012.

Hong Kong needs to defend shareholder democracy

16 April 2014

The stock exchange is poised to launch a debate on shareholder voting rights after Alibaba cancelled its listing in the former colony. Dumping “one share, one vote” won’t necessarily attract many new IPOs. But it would undermine Hong Kong’s already shaky corporate governance.

A man holds a glass of whisky in the visitors centre of the Diageo-owned Dalwhinnie Distillery

Diageo throws money at Indian empire-building

15 April 2014

The UK distiller is again trying to tighten its grip on India’s United Spirits. It’s offering $1.9 bln to nearly double its stake to 54.8 pct. A sky-high multiple of 38 times EBITDA gives this offer better odds than the last. And there’s industrial logic to offset the huge price.

Andy Mukherjee

India in depth: Modi may as well let states spend

15 April 2014

Empty coffers await the opposition leader who is widely tipped to be the country’s next prime minister. Instead of pursing self-defeating austerity, Narendra Modi could pass on more federal spending budget to India’s states. Their expenditure produces three times more output.

Baidu

China travel merger could mean liftoff for Baidu

16 April 2014

A potential $11 bln tie-up of booking sites Ctrip and Qunar sounds dandy. But the real break may be for search engine Baidu. As Qunar’s biggest shareholder, it could get a first-class seat in the merged duo, with room to take a bigger stake when valuations come back to earth. 

Smithfield Foods Executive Director, President and Chief Executive Officer Larry Pope addresses a news conference on WH Group's IPO in Hong Kong April 14, 2014.

WH Group’s quick pork flip serves up meaty return

15 April 2014

The private Chinese pork producer hasn’t had much time to justify the fat premium it paid for Smithfield last year. Yet relisting the enlarged group in Hong Kong implies the value of the U.S. business has risen at least 21 percent. Others will be tempted to try a similar trick.

IMF President Christine Lagarde leaves the European Council headquarters

U.S. stalls IMF reforms at risk of own ambitions

14 April 2014

Finance ministers meeting in DC blasted Congress’ refusal to back more lending power for the fund and a bigger voice for the likes of China and Brazil. Harsh words alone won’t do much. But votes against Ukraine loans and other plans would inflict a high price on foot-dragging.

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