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Jan 28, 2015
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China political investment bubble has new antihero

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By John Foley 

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

It’s hard to think of a better embodiment of China’s soaring stock market than Shenwan Hongyuan. Shares in the brokerage – newly formed from the merger of China’s tenth and sixteenth biggest trading houses – reached a valuation of $47 billion on its first day of trading. That made it bigger than U.S. brokerage Charles Schwab, and a fitting emblem of political investment mania.

Jan 22, 2015
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China’s “new normal” masks old anxieties

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By John Foley 

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

It’s hard to be scared of normal. That might be why China’s latest meme has caught on so fast. Economists, business leaders and most lately Premier Li Keqiang have used the phrase “new normal” to explain China’s slowdown. The insistence on normality mainly disguises the fact that the current situation is anything but.

Jan 20, 2015
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China slowdown sets scene for urban struggle

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By John Foley 

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

For politicians and peasants, China’s 7.4 percent GDP growth in 2014 is a happy outcome. Not so for the all-important demographic of middle-class city dwellers. The scene is set for a year of urban struggle.

Jan 14, 2015
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Milk slump sends warning on China consumer froth

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By John Foley 

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

A year ago, China’s thirst for milk was the great white hope for dairy companies. Now the froth has started to subside. A profit warning from Hong Kong-listed infant formula maker Yashili shows the dangers of investing based on broad consumer trends.

Jan 5, 2015
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A double-speak guide to modern markets

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By John Foley and Rob Cox

The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own. 

As the market perpetually shifts, so do the rhetorical stylings its players use to talk their way out of problems. The past year saw above-average creativity when it came to saying one thing and meaning another. Here, Breakingviews offers up 10 euphemisms we’d most like to see disappear.

Jan 5, 2015
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Property default rattles China debt neighbourhood

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By John Foley 

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

The mysterious refusal of a Chinese property developer to pay back a lender ought to put the whole debt-investing neighbourhood on watch.

Dec 29, 2014
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Alibaba in 2016: an imagined letter to investors

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By John Foley 

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

Breakingviews imagines the letter Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba Group, might pen to investors in the Chinese e-commerce empire a year from now.

Dec 22, 2014
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China will make 2015 year of missed opportunities

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By John Foley

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

The penny is starting to drop for foreign investors in China. Two years into the leadership of President Xi Jinping, there’s little sign of the country opening, relaxing and rebalancing as outsiders expected. It’s likely that 2015 will be another year of missed opportunities.

Dec 19, 2014
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China needs history’s biggest spring clean

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By John Foley 

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

China is in need of history’s biggest spring clean. Two years of reforms have probably stopped the flow of undesirable conduct from increasing. To make behaviour really change, it’s just as important to deal with the stock too: specifically a huge backlog of bad debts, empty houses and dirty secrets.

Dec 18, 2014
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Avon exposes ugly side of doing business in China

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By John Foley

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

Avon Products helps the plain look pretty. Now it is paying $135 million to U.S. authorities for doing something similar in China. The New York based cosmetics maker’s local subsidiary disguised payments and gifts to officials in the People’s Republic in order to win business and evade U.S. graft controls. Avon has scrubbed itself clean, but the widespread belief that bribery pays in China still lingers.