In reality, this has not passed oil companies by – they have been jockeying to get a piece of the action for some time, with the exception of a few (like Exxon Mobil and Conoco Philips) who don’t like Chavez’s way of doing business. Continue reading »
In the latest episode of Mexico’s battle of the telecoms titans, Spain’s Telefónica and Mexico’s Iusacell on Wednesday announced plans to unite in the cellular market against the biggest titan of them all, Carlos Slim, reputedly the world’s wealthiest man.
On his home turf, Slim’s América Móvil has some 70 per cent of Mexico’s mobile market, a proportion that Mexican officials describe as “dominance”. Continue reading »
Hungary’s economy will grow by 0.5 per cent in the second half of 2012. That’s if you believe Mihaly Varga (pictured), the minister in charge of talks with the EU and IMF over an aid package requested last November.
Varga made his prediction in a television interview on Wednesday, leaving officials scrambling to clarify that the government was, nevertheless, sticking to its target of 0.1 per cent growth for the full year. But even that seems implausibly optimistic. Continue reading »
Yields on South Africa’s debt due in 2015 fell six basis points to 6.18 per cent, the lowest closing figure on record according to Bloomberg. Yields on the 1, 2 and 10-year benchmark bonds all fell too, as did 3-month forward rates. Continue reading »
A third of the population is below the poverty line and unemployment is running at more than 30 per cent. Macedonia is one of the poorest countries in Europe. That hasn’t stopped the government running a concerted and doubtless expensive campaign to promote the country as an investment destination – and as a regional poster boy for economic reform.
The tiny country of just over 2m people is indeed outperforming some of its neighbours. But translating this into job creation has proved difficult. Continue reading »
Even as overall Indian auto sales have suffered over the past year, diesel vehicles have been a rare bright spot. The reason? Because of politically-sensitive government subsidies, diesel costs roughly 40 per cent less than petrol.
In the year ending March 2012, diesel cars were up a whopping 35 per cent, compared to petrol cars falling 15 per cent. Overall car sales rose 2.2 per cent – a far cry from initial forecasts by the leading trade body of 16-18 per cent (which was revised to 0-2 per cent). So what to do? Tackle the price of diesel, or make diesel cars a bit more expensive? Continue reading »
It’s Wednesday, and the BB team recommends: Saudi Arabia output proposal shocks the Opec; Syria’s savagery is a sign of despair; India needs a rate cut – but what about its airline? Afghans start mining, as Zimbabwe stops banking. Plus: was US presidential hopeful Mitt Romney always so tough on China?Continue reading »
It is bad enough that the Chinese economy seems to be faltering just as the rest of the world needs it to be strong. Now the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai says China’s market has got a lot more competitive.
In its annual China Consumer Market Strategies report published on Wednesday with Booz & Co, the management consultants, the chamber found what it called a dramatic convergence in the strategies multinational and Chinese companies are using to target the increasingly mature mainland consumer market. Continue reading »
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. That’s the reaction in Hong Kong to the suggestion by Joseph Yam that the territory should consider breaking its currency’s 28-year-old peg to the US dollar.
Yam, who ran the Hong Kong Monetary Authority for 16 years until 2009, proposed in a paper on Tuesday that the Hong Kong dollar could be managed in a more flexible fashion against the dollar, renminbi, or a basket of currencies. Continue reading »
Growing demand for solar panels has increased the number of suppliers of high purity silicon, its key raw material, including those in China. Peter Marsh, FT manufacturing editor, reports from Asia Silicon in the remote Chinese city of Xining.
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