Katrina Hamlin is a columnist and production editor based in Hong Kong. She writes on topics including environmental policy, cleantech and green finance, and also covers the gambling industry in Macau and Asia. Before joining Reuters in 2012, Katrina was deputy managing editor of Shanghai Business Review magazine. She graduated from the University of Oxford with an MA in Classics, and earned a Masters of Journalism with distinction from the University of Hong Kong.
The $41-bln conglomerate turned to the southeast when it moved out of Hong Kong ahead of 1997. It thrived, betting on cars in Indonesia and milk in Vietnam. Those economies have cooled of late but long-term prospects, plus uncertainty up north, will encourage more to follow.
State-backed Mengniu wants to buy Bellamy’s, a maker of infant formula, for some $980 mln. The premium looks frothy, and such tie-ups have soured before. But if local ties mean licences and an Aussie brand lures wealthy buyers, shareholders are right to bet on success.
The carmakers are buying small stakes in each other, four years after Suzuki ended a rocky ride with Volkswagen. Although such deals are being unwound across Japan, this one holds promise. It may pave the way for a deeper alliance in an industry increasingly dependent on scale.