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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.