As the Chinese proverb says, you must cross a river one stone at a time. And, according to WEF participant John Quelch, dean of the Chinese European Institute of Business Studies (CEIBS), the time for some Chinese state owned enterprises to cross the first stone towards privatization will come in 2013.

At the core of the privatization question lies the increasing cost of social security and health care in China, Quelch told beyondbrics in Davos. Read more

Fines handed down on Friday by China’s anti-trust body to Korean giants Samsung and LG and four smaller Taiwanese manufacturers are a clear sign that China is getting tough on price fixing and other anti-competitive behaviour. Foreign companies can now expect the same treatment in China as they get in the US and Europe. Read more

The Russian competition watchdogs have bared their teeth. The Federal Antimonopoly Service on Tuesday announced that it had fined Russian Railways, the state-controlled group, over Rbs2bn ($70m) for allegedly abusing its dominant position in freight.

Russian Railways immediately said it would appeal. And who knows it might win: chairman Vladimir Yakunin is a close associate of president Vladimir Putin (pictured together). But, for the moment, it is the anti-monopoly service that’s top dog. Read more

By Andrew Cadman and Bridgett Majola

There has recently been a great deal of hype regarding the opportunity that Africa presents to foreign investors seeking high returns no longer available in more developed markets.

Part of the attraction is often based on the assumption that the regulatory environments of African countries are unsophisticated or non-existent meaning that deals are easier to implement from a regulatory perspective. Whilst it is true that there was a time when doing business in Africa was relatively easy from a regulatory perspective, this situation is rapidly changing, particularly in the area of competition law and, more specifically, merger control. Read more

Investors appear to have shrugged off news that the European Commission has opened a formal investigation of the Russia’s natural gas monopoly for suspected anti-competitive practices in European gas markets. But that does not mean that the problem will go away.

Gazprom’s share price has hardly changed since Brussels announced yesterday that it would investigate whether Gazprom was abusing its monopoly position in the EU where Russia accounts for around 26 per cent of gas supplies. Read more

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) late on Thursday announced a whopping $1bn fine on 11 major cement companies, by far the largest such penalty it has ever imposed (and nearly twice the amount previously reported).

The increasingly-aggressive watchdog ordered the companies, which include majors such as Ultratech, ACC, and Binani, to hand over half the profits made in the past two years, with an additional penalty on the industry body, the Cement Manufacturers Association. Cement stocks are bound to feel the effects when trading opens in Mumbai on Friday. Read more