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from Breakingviews:

Review: Putting a face on China’s vague ambition

By Peter Thal Larsen

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Can a large country be summed up in a single book? The notion may seem preposterous. When it comes to China, however, too many foreign writers seem determined to try to cram a state of more than 1.3 billion people into a few hundred pages. Few would dare attempt anything similar with the United States, which has a quarter of the population.

The typical approach is a sweeping overview. The reader is overwhelmed with a torrent of statistical superlatives to demonstrate how the Middle Kingdom has become richer, increasingly powerful, more productive, less equal, spectacularly corrupt, extremely indebted, dangerously imbalanced or whatever else supports the author’s broader thesis.

“Age of Ambition” adopts a refreshingly human perspective. Evan Osnos spent almost a decade in China as a correspondent for the Chicago Tribune and the New Yorker. The book is, he says, “based on eight years of conversations.” The result is a series of portraits of individuals coming to terms with rapid changes. They provide a welcome balance to the remarkably persistent image of the Chinese as a large and faceless mass.

from Breakingviews:

Capital flight crackdown would hurt outside China

By Peter Thal Larsen

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

A Chinese crackdown on capital flight would be felt around the world. The government has long tolerated some cash finding its way around the country’s financial border controls. If Beijing decides to plug the leaks then banks, casinos and overseas property markets would suffer.

from Breakingviews:

Internet ads add up for China’s party mouthpiece

By Katrina Hamlin

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.

Xinhuanet is an investment rarity: an online media group that is both fast-growing and profitable.  Booming advertising revenue is propelling the digital arm of China’s state-owned news agency Xinhua towards an initial public offering that could value it at close to $1 billion. Its success doesn’t depend on headlines or scoops, but on being the Communist Pary’s main mouthpiece.

from Breakingviews:

Beijing Motor IPO lifts bonnet on China carmakers

By Ethan Bilby 

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist.  The opinions expressed are his own.

Beijing Motor is offering investors a glimpse under the bonnet of the Chinese auto industry. The carmaker part-owned by Germany’s Daimler is planning a Hong Kong listing it hopes will help it cash in on China’s expanding demand for new vehicles. But its profitability depends entirely on joint ventures with foreign groups. It’s a reminder that China’s car market has two speeds.

from MacroScope:

Balance tilted in Ukraine?

slaviansk.jpgUkrainian forces pushed pro-Russian rebels out of their stronghold of Slaviansk on Saturday. Its re-capture represents Kiev's most notable military victory in three months of fighting in which more than 200 Ukrainian troops have been killed as well as hundreds of civilians and rebels.

The regions of Donetsk and Luhansk are likely to be next in the government forces’ crosshairs.

from Breakingviews:

Review: An American-Chinese morality tale

By Edward Hadas

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The subtitle of Stephen Roach's new book has an arresting image. "Unbalanced: the Codependency of America and China" describes two economies with mutually reinforcing dysfunctions. This approach is sometimes helpful, but the book's strongest argument concerns the retired Morgan Stanley economist's homeland. He makes a persuasive case that "most of America's deep-seated economic problems...are of its own making."

from Breakingviews:

Chinese internet stocks deserve their discount

By Robyn Mak 

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.

China’s internet stocks are red hot but investors would rather pay more for their U.S. counterparts. Shares of Chinese companies including gaming and social media giant Tencent and search engine Baidu trade at lower multiples than those of Facebook, Google and other American dotcoms when expected earnings growth is taken into account. The discount is deserved.

from Breakingviews:

Hong Kong democracy debate puts business on spot

By Peter Thal Larsen 

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Hong Kong’s democracy debate has put Western businesses on the spot. Hundreds of thousands of citizens are engaged in a public showdown over a new system for conducting elections in the former UK colony. The standoff has prompted questions about Hong Kong’s future as an efficient and well-ordered financial centre. But warnings of potential disruption miss the point.

from Breakingviews:

China index: economy looking slower than slow

By Katrina Hamlin

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.

Our index fell to 88.6 in May, its lowest reading since 2009. Exports recovered, but the domestic economy was weaker: truck sales and rail freight volumes fell, while growth in sales of residential property was at its lowest level in over a year.

from Breakingviews:

Private equity’s bad habit: Asian minority stakes

By Una Galani

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.

Private equity firms have developed a bad habit in Asia. They are investing record amounts in minority stakes in listed companies. Investors dislike such deals because they can buy the shares themselves. History also suggests that giving up control is fraught with risks.

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