It’s hard to move in Egypt without being influenced by the Mansour Group – although most consumers wouldn’t know it. Whether you’re buying a phone, servicing your car, doing the week’s shop or eating at McDonalds, the Mansour Group is probably involved in the background.

Now its chairman is keen for the company to come out of the shadows. “We need to promote the Mansour Group as a global brand at some stage,” Mohamed Mansour tells beyondbrics. “It’s high time we had that kind of presence.” The question is how – and which parts of the Mansour Group of companies to emphasise. Read more

Just when you thought you had heard the last of Chinese reverse mergers, along comes another accounting scandal that puts them back in the spotlight again.

The victim this time? Caterpillar, which on Friday stunned the market with news that it would have to take a $580m write down in the fourth quarter after it unearthed accounting irregularities at ERA Mining Machinery, a Chinese company that it acquired last June for $886m. Read more

Is Caterpillar being overly optimistic about its China operations?

Even as one US company after another – ranging from Alcoa to FedEx and McDonald’s – sounded the alarm over the impact of China’s slowing growth on demand for their products, Caterpillar appeared relatively sanguine. Read more

High-end consumer goods are hot, construction activities are not.

That is one conclusion that investors can make about the state of the Chinese economy after going through this week’s quarterly results from Apple and Caterpillar.

While Apple saw sales for the three months to the end of March surged on the back of ferocious Chinese demand for its iPhones, iPads and Macs, shares in Caterpillar took a pounding on Wednesday after the earthmoving equipment maker reported a marked slowdown in demand from China. Read more