World View

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Full name: regular contributors - Paul Betts, Song Jung-A, Jamil Anderlini, Andrew Hill, Kathrin Hille, Haig Simonian, Joe Leahy, Amy Yee, Michiyo Nakamoto

Area of interest: International business

Journals/Organisation: Financial Times

Email: world.view@ft.com

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Column name: World View

Remit/Info: "provides sharp comment and pithy judgments on the corporate, business and financial issues of the moment across the globe"

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Email: world.view@ft.com

Website: FT.com / World View

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Selected Articles: 2010

  • column ended July 2010
  • France must tap the strength in depth of nuclear team - The country would improve its chances in the market with a second GDF Suez-led team, amid an expected surge in nuclear exports in coming years - 2nd August
  • Broccoli breeding battle gives food for thought - Broccoli is now the main course in a battle that could have significant repercussions for the European, and indeed global, agricultural, agrochemical and food industries - 24th July
  • India holds its allure for Singaporean wealth funds - Singaporean sovereign wealth funds are enjoying an Indian summer. The Government of Singapore Investment Corporation’s investment in hotels in Asia’s third largest economy follows the state’s Temasek buying into India’s National Stock Exchange - 21st July
  • China forced to put a value on its ‘foreign friends’ - While Beijing’s latest offer to open its procurement market falls short of what the US, EU and other major trade partners would like and is likely to be rejected, the proposal marks a Chinese desire to at least appear to be making an effort to appease foreign investors - 20th July
  • Time to focus energy on avoiding future disasters - As BP makes its latest attempt to plug the devastating oil leak in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, it may be time for the world’s energy authorities to reflect on the long-term lessons to be drawn from this human and environmental catastroph - 15th July
  • Stress tests risk adding to Europe’s banking headache - The European Union’s stress tests on banks could ultimately result in a pointless and harmful process, further undermining the banks and the credibility of Europe’s banking regulators and policymakers - 6th July
  • Why it can hardly be business as usual - L’Oréal shares have so far shrugged off the huge political hullabaloo surrounding its biggest shareholder - 5th July
  • Rio treads tangled path through Chinese diplomacy - Rio Tinto’s boss Tom Albanese goes to the heart of the problem of trying to disentangle the various parts of the miner’s relationship between China and Rio, or between China and many of the western companies that work with, in and for the country. It can’t be disentangled - 23rd March
  • Competition helps India tune in to TV ratings spats - Competition in India’s business television market is getting tougher, as highlighted by the recent spat between two of the country’s broadcasters over ratings. With advertisers still chasing ratings, Indians can expect to see more such clashes - 17th March
  • Wahaha billionaire has last laugh at west - Forbes magazine says China has the most billionaires outside the US for the first time. And richest among the mainlanders is Zong Qinghou, chairman of Hangzhou Wahaha group - 12th March
  • Hostile takeover taboo will be consigned to history - Japanese companies are taking to the idea of acquiring coveted brands, technology or market presence – by force if need be - 3rd March
  • Canberra should tread a line with Telstra - If the Australian government is seen to be destroying too much shareholder value it will have a problem, given that Telstra is the most widely held stock in the country - 26th February
  • Japan has allergic reaction to private equity - The failure of Willcom, which is majority-owned by Carlyle, adds another black mark to the list of disasters that have fuelled suspicions in Japan about private equity investors -19th February
  • Taiwan tunes into China’s demand for flat-screen TVs - Taiwan’s flat-screen makers are set to apply for government approval to start building factories in China for the first time after Taipei relaxed rules on investing there. Chinese workers will once again be the main reason for the move, only now the allure is in their powers of consumption rather than production - 12th February
  • Japan’s healthy eating, with a side of McDonald’s fries - In the nearly 30 years since it first landed in the country, the fast-food chain has shown that even rice and miso soup eaters can develop a craving for ‘Texas Burgers’ -10th February
  • VW shareholders should beware family’s embrace - An old school British merchant banker, now living happily in retirement in the English countryside, listed after dinner the other night his basic stock picking formula. Small and institutional investors in Volkswagen should take note - 5th February
  • Hummer deal is still making noises in Beijing - It is scant wonder that Beijing’s regulators are taking their time deciding whether to add a new car company China’s myriad carmakers – especially one that wants to make Hummers - 3rd February
  • Australia explores a rich seam in potential tax revenue - A wide-ranging tax review has reportedly recommended that Canberra slap a 40 per cent resource rent tax on operating profit of mining companies - 29th January
  • Beijing seen to be tempted to board the Athena express - A Greek railways plan would represent a golden opportunity for the Chinese and it appears a perfectly sensible strategy for Greece to fund its soaring public debt - 28th January
  • Taiwan investors expect tablet tonic - Nowhere outside Silicon Valley has Apple’s mysterious new tablet gadget captured the imagination of investors and the media more than in Taipei - 26th January
  • Axa Asia Pacific upgrade offers temptation - The Australian-listed financial services group had analysts scurrying for their pens when it forecast 2009 after-tax profits of A$675m – a figure 22 per cent higher than the mean of five forecasts compiled by Bloomberg - 22nd January
  • Tide could be turning for the luxury industry - There are increasing signs of a revival in the luxury goods industry but much will depend on the overall strength of the economic recovery - 21st January
  • FDI is South Korea’s weakness - Foreign investors are very clear why South Korea is punching beneath its weight when it comes to investing in the country - 20th January
  • Canon primed to blow hole in corporate finance logic - Should a bidder share all the theoretical synergies of a takeover even if it does not plan to realise them? - 15th January
  • Taiwan chipmakers face being left in Korea’s wake - Taipei backtracks on plan to reform $23bn D-Ram memory chip industry, showing how quickly sentiment has changed - In the 20 years or so that GM has controlled the brand, Saab has made a profit in only one of those years - 12th January
  • Swedish models too hard to handle for Detroit - 8th January
  • Airbus chief should heed own threat to ditch A400M - Airbus should never have attempted to develop a purely military aircraft and its European stakeholders have a lot to answer for by pushing the civil aircraft manufacturer into the military zone - 7th January

Articles: 2009

  • Latest ‘Final Fantasy’ may be Sony PS3’s final chance - With the launch of Final Fantasy 13 in Japan (from publisher Square Enix) Sony has entered a crucial period that will seal the game console’s fate - 18th December
  • Gas glut risks spoiling Russia’s power games - Falling gas and electricity demand could give Europe a stronger hand in negotiating with Russia for supplies - 17th December
  • Cadbury’s hard words could have soft centres - The UK confectioner’s ‘klepto-rhetoric’ against its potential suitor underscores the reality that Cadbury will open its door if Kraft increases its offer sufficiently - 15th December
  • For China’s car buyers sentiment trumps taxes - The country’s purchase tax on small cars, which was halved in 2009 and is credited with stimulating a surge in Chinese car buying, is being increased by 50% for 2010 - 1110th December
  • It’s back to business with no accord on bankers’ pay - It is really up to the politicians to reach a comprehensive international agreement on regulating the bankers’ pay system. The chances, unfortunately, are slim - 7th December
  • World View Live: All change at Shenzhen - Shenzhen Airlines has revealed that Fan Cheng, a senior vice-president from Air China, has been named Shenzhen’s Communist party secretary – the most powerful position anyone can hold in a Chinese company – days after it announced its de facto owner, Li Zeyuan, was being investigated - 4th December
  • Private equity firms eye Morgan Stanley’s CICC stake - Opportunities for foreigners to invest in Chinese securities firms don’t crop up often. So it is not surprising that a posse of private equity firms are among the bidders looking at Morgan Stanley’s 34.3 per cent stake in China International Capital Corp - 3rd December
  • World View Live: Toyota accelerates recall - In expanding its largest recall to include accelerator pedals for 4m vehicles in North America, Toyota is fighting a public relations battle as much as an engineering one - 27th November
  • Are Swiss bankers going to turn into tax collectors? - Patrick Odier, the new chairman of the Swiss Bankers Association, has wasted little time in setting the cat among the pigeons in the arcane world of private Swiss banking and is urging his fellow private bankers to consider making a radical change in the industry’s model, with ‘tax honesty’ becoming the new mantra - 24th November
  • Ferrero boys should be kept cool - The mention of Ferrero’s name in connection with a possible role in countering the bid by Kraft for Cadbury highlights the fact that not much is known about the company - 20th November
  • Vivendi won’t let a little hangover spoil a good party - There seems to be a party atmosphere at Vivendi these days – at least according to one veteran director who says of sitting on the French entertainment and telecoms conglomerate’s board: “C’est du fun.” And the company is now taking the party to Brazil - 19th November
  • India’s morale receives boost from Michelin’s new plant - With the French manufacturter pledging to create 1,500 jobs by 2012, when the plant is expected to open, the investment should provide not just a lift to the local economy but also a much-needed boost to workers’ morale - 18th November
  • Taiwan’s chip industry woes - The Taiwan government’s efforts to restructure its $24bn dynamic random access memory industry have came to naught - 12th November
  • Samsung suits - The number of cases being filed at the US International Trade Commission that are aimed at chasing off South Korean and Taiwanese companies is striking - 11th November
  • Downturn could spread from Singapore’s ships to shore - Anyone wondering why Singapore has remained calm and prosperous while its economy gyrates wildly should raise their eyes from the streets and look offshore - 6th November
  • Hong Kong property bubble still has room to grow - The IMF issued its annual report on Hong Kong, saying that it shared the government’s ‘concerns that a credit-asset price cycle could take hold, leading to a sharp run-up in prices for certain real and financial assets’ - 4th November
  • Nomura’s traditional ties - Investment bank Nomura is striving to shed its provincial ways and become a world-class lender but, when it comes to communicating, it is having trouble breaking with the past - 29th October
  • Bankers must resist temptation to think bigger - Brussels could be setting the stage for a new wave of consolidation in the European financial services industry. By demanding that banks which were granted state aid during the crisis shed assets on competition grounds, the European Union risks fuelling a merger and acquisition revival that may not be in the best public interest - 27th October
  • Sympathy for Beijing as Google book plan raises hackles - Now that Google has again fallen foul of a government-backed body, the China Written Works Copyright Society, sympathies are likely to be on Beijing’s side - 23rd October
  • Cadbury should await a properly Krafted formal offer - Cadbury’s third-quarter figures were as shiny as Willy Wonka’s shoes, but they did not depart much from the line the UK confectioner has always toed: that it does not need to put on a song and dance act to see off Kraft - 22nd October
  • Investors stick with China’s ICBC as bank stocks rise - Allianz, the German insurer, and credit card group American Express pledged to stick by Industrial and Commercial Bank of China for the time being, safe in the knowledge that Chinese banking stocks are riding the country’s growth trajectory How RBS and UBS must wish they could turn back the clock - 21st October
  • Nostalgia won’t bring the old Kleinwort Benson back - Thursday’s purchase of Kleinwort Benson by RHJ International is as much about its brand as it is about its private banking and offshore operations - 17th October
  • Franco-German nuclear partnership still makes sense - If either France or Germany is looking for a grand industrial project to resurrect their relationship, what could be more obvious than getting Areva and Siemens back together, since the two are natural partners in nuclear engineering - 13th October
  • China is driving German luxury carmakers’ return - A mood of quiet optimism seems to be returning to the German luxury car business. BMW reported a small increase in September sales on the same month last year. While sales at Mercedes-Benz and Audi were lower during the period, the decline was far less pronounced than it has been over recent months - 12th October
  • Going the extra mile to tune into Indian TV - Hathway Cable and Datacom, the country’s biggest multi-system operator, lead the corporate end of cable industry efforts to tap the markets - 9th October
  • Alibaba’s audience needs convincing - Shares in Jack Ma’s e-commerce group have fallen sharply after Mr Ma and Yahoo cashed in on their holdings over the past week -18th September
  • Gorgon becomes the stuff of legend - The approval of the first phase of the Gorgon natural gas project confirms Australia’s ascendancy as a leading natural gas producer - 15th September
  • India tech groups stand prepared for painful surprises - Indian IT outsourcers have proved to be resilient in the latest round of first-quarter earnings in spite of the global financial crisis and a scandal at Satyam Computer Services that had threatened the industry’s reputation - 31st July
  • China eyes a bridge to the world through Hong Kong - State-owned China Development Bank, which Beijing uses to fund government projects and overseas expansion by state enterprises, upgraded its representative office in Hong Kong to a full-fledged bank branch as part of its efforts to transform itself into a commercial, publicly listed bank - 31st July
  • High-tech recycling finds favour in Taiwan - Creating new businesses appears to be the order of the day for Taiwanese high-tech manufacturers, whose core businesses have been particularly hard hit by the economic downturn - 24th July
  • Hermès bags improved sales and senses good vibes - If you consider sales of luxury handbags and silk scarves as a better indicator of economic activity than those of ball bearings and machine tools, there may be signs the worst of the recession is over - 31st July
  • Tough-talking Walker pulls punches on City bonuses - If you’re going to claim that your proposed restraints on bank bonuses represent “the toughest regime in the world”, as Sir David Walker has, you had better be able to back it up - 17th July
  • China aviation heads to clearer skies - Airlines have experienced a rebound in traffic after a turbulent first half, but this has come at the expense of yield, and in June, China raised domestic jet fuel prices for the second time this year by 26 per cent - 16th July
  • Beijing snub for Australia’s claim to a cosy relationship - What’s really embarrassing for Kevin Rudd, Australia’s prime minister, is that after all his boasts of a special, personal relationship with Chinese leaders, Beijing has repeatedly ignored Canberra’s attempts to extract details about the arrest in China of Rio Tinto executives - 15th July
  • World Views: India’s corporate bond challenge - As India grapples with its infrastructure requirements, it is becoming clear that the first bridge India needs to build is one spanning the regulatory gulf in its corporate bond markets - 15th July
  • Japanese clothes tycoon finds recession easy to wear - Fast Retailing, the company behind Uniqlo, is a clear beneficiary of the global recession. It is now expecting operating profit to rise 23 per cent to Y108bn - 10th July
  • Recession spices up profits for growing Café de Coral - Chinese fast food chain announces turnover and profit had hit historic highs as budget-conscious consumers tightened their belts and opted for cheaper meals - 9th July
  • World View Live: India’s budget falls short - Pranab Mukherjee, India’s finance minister has stepped back from translating the Congress party’s emphatic victory at the polls into structural reform - 8th July
  • GM puts the brakes on its Toyota factory tie-up - As part of its court-supervised restructuring, General Motors has reached for the stop button on the Fremont, California, manufacturing site it set up with Toyota - 1st July
  • Electronic markets take on the middlemen of India - The National Spot Exchange, created by Financial Technologies, a commodity and capital market operator run by entrepreneur Jignesh Shah, is creating a transparent electronic spot market for gold - 1st July
  • China’s train of thought for railway privatisation - Beijing has ambitious plans to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on improving and expanding China’s creaky rail network but is only prepared to put up a fraction of the required amount - 26th June 2009
  • Pioneer and Elpida wait in wings after JAL bail-out - When it comes to bail-outs, the Japanese government can claim to have a track record of making good on its investments - 24th June
  • Ambani brothers taken to task over gas price dispute - For the second time in the past two years, the tremors from a fight between India’s richest siblings have reached parliament in New Delhi. This time the battle is over gas - 23rd June
  • For Chinalco, revenge could be a dish best eaten cold - What is Chinalco to do with its 12 per cent stake in Rio Tinto, after the miner moves towards a joint venture with BHP Billiton? It has four options, but if it’s revenge the Chinese group is looking for, the best tactic is to take up its rights and stay close - 18th June (See: Mining: summary)
  • World View Live: Middle Kingdom hones its PR skills - As China gears up to buy the world, its corporate champions are trying to hone the message they project outside the borders of the Middle Kingdom (as China is known in Chinese) - 16th June
  • Digging to the root of poverty among Indian farmers - A new Indian parliamentary committee report strikes a high-minded tone in the sensitive debate about allowing global retail giants such as Wal-Mart, Tesco and Carrefour to deepen their involvement in the Indian economy - 13th June
  • China backs telecoms champions to conquer west - The Chinese appear to believe telecoms could be their spearhead in emerging markets as well as Europe and North America - 11th June
  • Hummer takeover is a Chinese puzzle - A Chinese heavy machinery company has bought the hulking Hummer, that failed piece of the American dream, with grand plans to bring it back to life, not just in the US but in China - 4th June
  • Electronic reading devices enter into their prime - The race is on. After languishing in obscurity for nearly a decade, electronic readers are starting to change the way people read books and newspapers as devices such as Amazon’s Kindle and Sony’s Reader gain popularity - 3rd June
  • Owners must decide flight plan for Airbus - Tom Enders, the chief executive of Airbus, marks the 40th anniversary of the European group’s first aircraft, with a call for renewed political courage to ensure the success of Airbus for the next 40 years - 29th May
  • Even virtuoso cost-slashing might not cut it for Sony - The 66 per cent rally in Sony’s share price since its low point in February might indicate that Sony’s woes are over. Wednesday’s credit rating downgrade by Moody’s suggests otherwise - 28th May
  • China Mobile trudges slowly along lonely 3G path - Several months after Beijing had awarded long-awaited 3G licences, China Mobile, the leader in the world’s largest mobile market by subscribers, is still struggling with the immature TD technology the government is forcing it to employ - 27th May
  • Fiat in fresh bid to solve Chinese car puzzle - The Italian car company is talking to one of Beijing’s favourite Chinese carmakers, Guangzhou Automobile, about a production joint venture - 22nd May
  • Economic headwinds buffet European flag carriers - Europe’s three biggest airlines – Air France-KLM, Lufthansa and British Airways – appear to be suffering more than their North American and Asian competitors in the crisis. That is probably because they rely far more on the extensive international airline networks - 21st May
  • Public feuds only serve to tarnish family reputations - Do family-controlled or owned businesses hold up better than others in times of crisis? The conventional wisdom is that they do because family companies tend to take a much longer-term approach and their owners and stakeholders rally together to cope with the difficulties - 20th May
  • Baidu’s upbeat messages undermined - Last year, China’s leading web search company upset investors, now it has infuriated its workers and labour authorities are to look into their complaints - 19th May
  • Serious money still going into shipbuilding - In spite of South Korea’s much-hyped ‘green new deal’, the government’s strategy is to protect jobs in traditional, heavy industry rather than use the downturn to diversify - 1st May
  • Acer’s sweetened lemon - Acer, the world’s number three PC vendor, has stolen a march on its rivals, moving faster than its bigger peers into the low-cost segments of the market - 30th April
  • KKR brews up hopes for private equity in Korea - The choice of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts as a preferred bidder for South Korea’s Oriental Brewery is no mean achievement given the level of local suspicion towards foreign private equity firms - 29th April
  • Mitsubishi Motors learns to roll with punches - Japanese carmaker supplies rare bit of motor industry cheer by forecasting a return to profit in the financial year to March 2010 - 28th April
  • View remains dim for flat-panel TV makers - Executives at AU Optronics and other electronics makers say the worst is over, but they may not be out of the woods yet - 24th April
  • Does champagne still fit LVMH’s fashion sense? - LVMH’s swift denial of talks with Diageo will not stop speculation whether the company’s cocktail of fashion and drink still makes economic sense - 24th April
  • LG comes calling with slim phones and fat margins - LG has improved its brand recognition with its sleek phones. Now, it has to tackle lower-end markets more aggressively to increase volume and achieve economies of scale. That could prove more difficult as the company insists it is not willing to sacrifice margins to boost market share - 22nd April
  • Airbus and Boeing’s plans fly in the face of sense - With airlines going into the red, the two civil aircraft makers are scrambling to persuade customers to keep their longer term commitments - 21st April
  • Conducting a deal that would power semiconductors - If Japan is to halt its decline in the semiconductor industry, however, then deals must be struck. NEC Electronics/Renesas makes sense – it would be a power in system chips for mobile phones – and so does a deal between the semiconductor arms of Toshiba and Fujitsu - 17th April
  • The numbers will reassure Ho ahead of launch - Ho is confident the City of Dreams casino will become a popular destination and the figures back him up as Macao’s casinos generated $1.2bn of revenue in March - 16th April
  • China Eastern seeks lift by dropping middle managers - Of all China’s struggling airlines, China Eastern is in the worst shape. Behind the scenes, a possible shake-up is in the works - 9th April
  • Lone Star fulfils NCRI investors’ wishes - Buyers of distressed assets are more often a focus of hostility than gratitude, but Lone Star may find itself drawing warm applause from NCRI investors surprised by the US fund’s apparent generosity - 8th April
  • Rush to prop up cars opens door for exploitation - The situation in the automotive sector is far from rosy, but that is not stopping speculators making a lot of money right now - 7th April
  • When deals with Beijing fall down at last hurdle - It is safe to assume that Bank of China was happy to be told by the Chinese state that it was not allowed to overpay for an asset, but the move could help create an obstacle for future offshore investments - 3rd April
  • Gold mine dispute seen as test case for Indonesia - Around Indonesia in 180 Days would be a suitable title for the latest foreign investor soap opera to emerge from south-east Asia’s largest economy - 1st April
  • Google forced to concede to Chinese way of thinking - When it comes to China, western companies have often thrown their principles overboard. But the free music search service launched by Google together with the music industry breaks new ground even in this area - 31st March
  • GM, Peugeot and the missed Italian connection - Even if his agreement with Chrysler ultimately collapses, Sergio Marchionne, the chief of Fiat, seems determined to continue seeking transformational deals. He is ready to talk to everyone and Philippe Varin, the new Peugeot boss, could be tempted - 30th March
  • Switch in fortunes for Asia’s D-Ram groups - By calling the bottom in the D-Ram market, the head of the manufacturer’s trade body has apparently turned the industry on its head - 26th March
  • Hong Kong trade sourcing group has a makeover - The results briefings hosted by Li & Fung, the Hong Kong-based trade sourcing company, attract a specialist crowd but it deserves a greater following - 26th March
  • East Star chief vanishes - At least somebody seems to know what happened to the chief executive of a fledgling private Chinese airline who disappeared last Friday - 20th March
  • Indian banking veteran exit Merrill venture - When Hemendra Kothari, the long-time partner in Merrill Lynch’s Indian investment banking joint venture, said on Wednesday he was selling his last stake in the firm, his turn of phrase was unfortunate - 19th March
  • Long memories - In the memory chip industry, it used to be common sense not to form alliances with former Siemens group companies. Their unique technology for producing D-Ram chips, once considered a strength, left them in difficulty as their advanced chips became less competitive - 18th March
  • Lopez family keeps wary eye on Meralco stake building - San Miguel, the Philippine conglomerate, has been slowly upping its stake in Meralco and is headed by Eduardo Cojuangco Jr, a close associate of the late President Ferdinand Marcos who forced the Lopezes to give up Meralco in the early 1970s. The family got back the company only after Mr Marcos was overthrown in 1986 - 16th March
  • Numbers must fall before figures add up - Hector Sants made it clear that the FSA will take a more aggresive approach to regulation and will toughen up and correct managers - 13th March
  • Deserts littered by state of airline industry - There is no better barometer of the state of the airline industry than the number of “white tails”, or aircraft mothballed in the California and Arizona deserts. The problem now is whether there will be any parking room left to accommodate them - 6th March
  • CIC accepts role as piggy bank for China Inc - China Investment Corporation, the country’s fledgling sovereign wealth fund, has turned its attention to the commodities sector, where prices have collapsed partly because of lower demand from China - 5th March
  • Bright signs in PC market likely to be short-lived - PC makers and mobile phone manufacturers are pointing to signs that Chinese consumers are coming back to the market, but the real picture is not so clear - 4th March
  • Indonesian coal not expecting to feel chill - What global financial crisis? That would be a reasonable conclusion after the latest predictions from the Association of Indonesian Coal Companies - 2nd March
  • Telefónica takes a lesson in table manners - The Spanish company faces a tough time with its stake in Telecom Italia - 27th February
  • Europe’s farmers can take credit - Another trading week, another sea of red ink for Europe’s equities, as banks and insurers take a bath. Talking about safe havens may seem obtuse, but where should investors place their money, other than under the mattress? - 25th February
  • Japan’s groups resist subsidised temptation - Blue-chip companies are waiting to see which organisation will call on the rescuers first - 24th February
  • Berlin says it with Flowers - The pressure on Germany to bolster its banking and car sectors has been intensifying - 19th February 2009
  • Japan says sayonara to activist investors - Champions of Japanese-style management will be toasting the financial crisis that started the global recession as redemption demands back home have forced activist investors to cash in holdings in Japan - 18th February
  • Australian resource groups feel pain of Chinese gains - Life is about to get a tad busier for Australia’s foreign investment review board, the body charged with assessing the merits of large inbound investment, after Beijing-based Minmetals launched a $1.7bn takeover bid for Oz Minerals, the world’s second-largest zinc producer - 17th February
  • Asus wins kudos for acknowledging mistakes - Maker of the EeePC notebook computer has looked inward for the cause of its woes - 13th February
  • Another banking exit dents hopes for reform - The key to running a bank successfully in Japan has eluded many an experienced financier, but foreigners appear to have had a particularly hard time at it - 11th February
  • Fortis deal is matter of pride for Ping An - As the largest private shareholder in Fortis and with a seat on its board, Ping An Insurance might have expected to be kept in the loop about how the humbled financial institution was to be carved up - 10th February
  • Cloak and dagger tactics set to result in cold shoulder - Hartmut Mehdorn, Deutsche Bahn’s pugnacious and outspoken chief executive, is having a hard time these days. Berlin in October postponed sine die his plan to partially privatise the German railway - 6th February
  • A canny deal that could backfire on Hyundai - Everyone loves a bargain, or so it seems. US sales of Hyundai Motors rose 14 per cent in January after South Korea’s biggest carmaker launched an incentive programme that allowed customers to return their cars if they lost their job within a year of purchase - 5th February
  • S Korean banks must show winning ways - South Korean banks have spent the past few months dealing with liquidity problems by issuing subordinated debt and hybrid bonds in an effort to reinforce capital bases. Local banks raised nearly Won17,000bn ($12bn) in the last two months of 2008 - 4th February
  • Canon’s warning shot strugglers should heed - When the mighty struggle, the weak should be afraid indeed. Canon’s forecast that it would earn only Y98bn in 2009 should terrify any electronics company that lacks its formidable financial strength (Y665bn of net cash) and dominant market positions - 29th January
  • Government aid - the gift that just keeps on coming - Woody Allen’s definition of a stock broker is someone who invests your money until it’s all gone. Governments on both sides of the Atlantic seem to be behaving in a similar way these days, handing out bundles of tax dollars and tax euros to financially strapped businesses as if they were sitting on a bottomless pit full of cash - 28th January
  • Sarkozy ready to do battle with his French champions - From the beginning, two of President’s pet industrial projects have involved bolstering the French defence sector and the country’s leadership in nuclear energy - 27th January
  • No need to flatten investor rights in UK dash for cash - They are like desperate pioneers preparing to race to stake their claim. But as British companies ready their wagons for a headlong dash for shareholders’ cash, they need to pay attention to best practice as well as speed - 22nd January 2009
  • Kirin maintains thirst for overseas acquisitions - Kirin’s aggressive overseas foray reflects the inexorable reality of a shrinking home market that has pushed other Japanese companies to go shopping overseas - 21st January
  • Fiat boldly goes where others fear to tread - Sergio Marchionne, Fiat’s chief executive, laid a particularly strong claim for the top prize in the Financial Times-ArcelorMittal ‘boldness in business’ award by confirming his plans to acquire a 35 per cent stake in Chrysler - 20th January
  • An opaque view of ethical and transparent capitalism - President Nicolas Sarkozy has proposed new rules to make capitalism more ethical and transparent. Unfortunately, these admirable proposals do not seem to apply to Thales - 19th January
  • Schröder’s close Russian ties land him TNK-BP role - Soon after stepping down as Germany’s chancellor three years ago, Gerhard Schröder raised more than an eyebrow by becoming chairman of Gazprom’s Nord Stream pipeline venture. Now he's joining the board of TNK-BP, Russia’s third largest oil company - 15th January
  • Black hole of horror for Bumi’s investors - Bumi Resources, the world’s second-largest thermal-coal exporter, lives in two parallel universes – in one are its two world-class assets, in the other a black hole of investor horror - 14th January
  • Crucell injects fresh life into drugs sales - Crucell, the Dutch vaccines group, has injected fresh life into the ever more vibrant new year prospects for pharmaceutical deals, with an extra sting in the tail - 13th January
  • Disney’s Chinese kingdom gets closer to reality - Children all over Asia – not to mention Shanghai property developers – have been hoping for years that Disney and the Shanghai government can finally strike a deal to build the first Disneyland in mainland China - 12th January
  • Daewoo left counting cost as another offer collapses - Ripplewood knocked back deal after failing to agree a price for the electronics maker with creditors - 8th January
  • BofA is second time lucky in China, and just in time - There are not enough investors to absorb every Chinese bank share that could potentially be sold in the coming weeks. So the rush to exit by UBS, and the chunky share sale by BofA, are likely to appear even smarter in three months time - 7th January
  • Daiichi needs a miracle cure - The deal to buy India’s Ranbaxy is looking increasingly toxic. Daiichi Sankyo is facing its first net loss for the full year after booking a valuation loss of $3.8bn on its Indian acquisition - 6th January
  • Europe’s big three airlines scramble for supremacy - The international airline sector lost $5bn last year and the industry’s association IATA expects it will lose at least $2.5bn this year. This, coupled with the decline in air travel, is prompting a new and imminent round of consolidation in European skies - 5th January

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