Reuters blog archive
By Andy Mukherjee
(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own)
As one of the world’s few remaining communist states, Vietnam’s relationship with foreign capitalists is complex. That hasn’t stopped private equity group Warburg Pincus closing the first tranche of a $200 million investment in the country’s largest mall owner. It’s early days, but for global investors Vietnam may be back in the game.
Warburg and its associates are buying about one-fifth of Vincom Retail, their first foray in the country. The investment will help parent Vingroup pare its debt load, and follows rival KKR’s decision earlier this year to double its stake in a Vietnamese fish-sauce maker.
It isn’t obvious Vietnam’s retail industry will deliver much juice in the short run. Retail sales grew 12 percent in the first six months, their slowest since 2003. Strip out 6.7 percent inflation, and real growth of retail spending barely beat last year’s 5 percent GDP growth.
from Global Investing:
By Alice Baghdjian
Uzbekistan, Bangladesh and Vietnam found themselves cheered and chided this week.
The Corruption Perceptions Index, compiled by Berlin-based watchdog Transparency International, measured the perceived levels of public sector corruption in 176 countries and all three found their way into the bottom half of the study.
from Photographers' Blog:
By Gary Cameron
There’s an old military adage, which seems to follow more fact than fiction, that if you arrive 15 minutes BEFORE your scheduled starting time, you are late.
Given that, I found myself attempting to find the walkway to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington 30 minutes before the volunteers from the Vietnam Veterans of America local chapter 641 arrived at 06:00 for a weekly cleaning of the black granite and grounds.
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.
By Wayne Arnold
Investors can’t stay mad at Vietnam. Even after a downgrade last month by rating agency Moody’s, they’re willing to lend Hanoi dollars for less. Rising exports have helped restore reserves and avert a potential balance of payments crisis, while top officials have apologised for economic mismanagement. In a world awash with cash, however, investors are all too eager to forgive and forget.
By Rob Cox
This column appears in the Oct. 1 edition of Newsweek magazine. The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.
Almost exactly two years ago this week, Christine Gregoire, the governor of the U.S. state of Washington, was in Vietnam handing out French fries made from potatoes grown in her state at a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet in Ho Chi Minh City. Gregoire, accompanied by representatives of more than 50 companies from home, was in Vietnam trying to drum up business with America’s former military adversary. But the most important stop on Gregoire’s itinerary may have been a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new deepwater shipping terminal at Cai Mep.
from Global Investing:
It's a hard slog sometimes looking for new and surprising sources of global economic growth that have not already be heavily discounted by global investors, especially in the uncertain world of 2012. It's been as hard of late to find new arguments to invest in China and quite a few people suggesting the opposite.
But a Credit Suisse report out on Tuesday homed in on worldwide urbanization trends to find out where this well-tested driver of economic activity was likely to have most impact int he 21st century. For a start, the big aggregate numbers are as dramatic as you'd imagine. More than half of the world's population now lives in urban areas, crossing that milestone for the first time in 2009. And, accordingly to United Nations projections, urban dwellers will account for 70 percent of humanity by 2050. As recently as 1950, 70 percent of us were country folk.
from Russell Boyce:
This week Pakistan marked its day of independence from British rule with parades, parties, face painting and bombs. Two pictures of faces covered in colour, one paint, the other blood, seems to sum up all there needs to be said about the national pride Pakistan feels while facing so many challenges. Visually the complementary colours of green and red (colours on opposite sides of the colour spectrum) make the pictures jump out of the page especially when put side by side. The angry eye staring out of the face of green in Mohsin Raza's picture engages the viewer full on while in Amir Hussain's picture the man seems oblivious of his wound as blood covers his face, again more opposites, this time not in colour but mood. India too is preparing to celebrate its independence and Dehli-based photographer Parivartan Sharma's picture of festival preparations came to mind after I put together the red-and-green combination picture from Pakistan.
(top left) A man, with his face painted depicting the colours of the Pakistan national flag, attends a ceremony to mark the country's Independence Day at the Wagah border crossing with India on the outskirts of Lahore August 14, 2011. Pakistan gained independence from British rule in 1947. REUTERS/Mohsin Raza
from Our Take on Your Take:
Sometimes the real action happens behind the scenes, as this image from Daniel Churechawa shows. Daniel got access to backstage at the Miss Vietnam Czech Republic competition in Prague to capture the eliminated contestants' disappointment.
from Global News Journal:
As has happened every few years since the mid-1940s Vietnam's Communists won parliamentary elections last month by a landslide, claiming 91.6 percent of the chamber's 500 seats, officials announced on Friday. No surprises there. The Communist Party has a constitutionally-mandated monopoly on power.
We noted in a story on election day that the vote was rigged to retain party control although the outcome would allow for the legislature's role in policymaking to continue to grow incrementally.
Vietnam has deployed troops to contain a rare mass protest by ethnic Hmong people that is testing the government's tolerance of minority Christians, just weeks after human rights activists accused leaders of persecuting another hill tribe. As many as 7,000 Hmong people began to gather several days ago in the far-flung mountains of Dien Bien Province, near the northwestern border with Laos and China, apparently for religious reasons although some were advocating an independent kingdom, according to diplomatic, government and other sources.