Breakingviews

Rock star Modi needs more business-friendly riff

September 29, 2014

The Indian prime minister used a sold-out Madison Square Garden gig to make an emotional sales pitch. While Indian-Americans may want to take up Narendra Modi’s offer to invest freely in their ancestral land, the country’s business-unfriendly reputation remains a big obstacle.

Review: China gives Africa handy investment lesson

June 6, 2014

Howard French’s new book paints an unflattering picture of the PRC’s heavy involvement in Africa. But China’s presence is not all bad. At a minimum, it gives African governments and businesses a benchmark for other offers now that the continent is attracting Western interest too.

How China is stoking London’s housing bubble

April 14, 2014

Chinese buyers are a key new factor pushing up the UK capital’s property prices. As Beijing relaxes capital controls, the wall of money could intensify. UK politicians will need to decide whether to protect London’s global financial status, or the citizens who have to live there.

Indonesia’s mining asset-grab overplays its hand

March 8, 2012

A decree forcing foreign miners to cut their stakes in projects below 50 percent shows worrying disregard for overseas capital. Indonesia’s finances are robust, but ongoing fuel supply issues, caused by a lack of energy investment, show it can’t afford to play too rough.

Crude reasons support Saudi stocks

March 20, 2012

Foreign investors are sweet on Saudi. Growing excitement over a mooted easing of ownership restrictions led overseas buyers to make record net purchases in the $400 bln stock market last month. But in a market known to disappoint, it’s worth paying close attention to the risks.

Global asset values may find new zest from China

March 27, 2012

Slower growth and doubts about accounting are leading international investors to rethink China. That’s precisely what the Chinese themselves are doing. As they diversify beyond the borders of the Middle Kingdom, the value of global property assets could benefit.

Prestige and power fuel Qatar’s frantic shopping

April 3, 2012

The tiny Gulf state is racking up stakes in European big names. Since Qatar will generate around $50 bln of spare cash this year, this is likely to continue. There may be some apparent logic to the pick n’ mix of value and vanity investments. But it doesn’t look like a strategy.

Myanmar must brace for post-sanctions cash deluge

May 18, 2012

With U.S. sanctions suspended, it is open season for investment. Myanmar is already teeming with potential investors eyeing its resources and consumers. Undeterred by weak legal and financial infrastructure, their cash could fuel inflation, corruption and inequality.

Indonesia rediscovers the Faustian bargain of FDI

June 11, 2012

The central bank is fighting to defend the currency from foreign dismay over shifting policies. Record foreign direct investment is a vote of confidence, but does not confer carte blanche. Big inflows actually make Indonesia more, not less, susceptible to foreign mood swings.

Mickey’s Magic needed for Disneyland Shanghai

November 4, 2009

China has finally given a green light for Disneyland to build a theme park in Shanghai. Negotiations that started when Bill Clinton was in the White House have concluded just before President Barack Obama is due to visit. The approval looks like a coup for Walt Disney Co, but it will take all of Mickey’s magic to prevent the park from becoming another government-financed loss maker.