John's Feed
Aug 12, 2013
via Breakingviews

Li Ning hits gruelling part of TPG fitness plan

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By John Foley

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

Most fitness plans come down to two things: burning fat and building muscle. Li Ning has managed the first, but not yet the second. In the first half of 2013 the Chinese sportswear brand closed stores and shed inventory, narrowing its operating losses to 39 million yuan ($6.3 million). But Li Ning has yet to prove it can follow this up with sustainable top-line growth.

Jul 29, 2013
via Breakingviews

Alibaba may be worth $100 bln – but not to Yahoo

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By John Foley

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

Alibaba is Yahoo’s best investment, and its most frustrating problem. The U.S. Internet group’s 24 percent stake in China’s biggest online retailer is probably worth more than Yahoo’s entire booked assets of $16 billion. But a future initial public offering, in which Yahoo has promised to sell half its shares, may deliver much less. That’s because Alibaba holds most of the cards.

Jul 25, 2013

Breakingviews: Baidu digs deeper trench in China’s mobile wars

(Refiles to add RICS)

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

By Robyn Mak and John Foley

HONG KONG, BEIJING, July 25 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Baidu
(BIDU.O: Quote, Profile, Research) is digging itself a deep trench in China’s mobile wars.
The country’s biggest search engine by user traffic reported a
39 percent increase in revenue for the second quarter of 2013
compared to the same period in 2012. Mobile revenue hit over ten
percent of total for the first time. Google (GOOG.O: Quote, Profile, Research) and
Facebook (FB.O: Quote, Profile, Research) have shown how heavy investments can pay off
over time. Yet the cost is high and margins get squeezed. In
China, competitive lines are more blurred. Returns may be even
longer in coming.

Jul 22, 2013
via Breakingviews

China’s PBOC serves reformists an amuse-bouche

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By John Foley

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

China’s central bank has just whetted the appetites of reformists. The People’s Bank of China said on Friday that starting immediately it will let banks lend as cheaply as they like, removing the floor of around 6 percent for one-year loans. It smells like interest-rate liberalisation, but it’s only an amuse-bouche.

Jul 16, 2013
via Breakingviews

GSK finds toxic side effects in Chinese market

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By John Foley and Edward Hadas

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

GlaxoSmithKline has a problem in China. The Chinese authorities have a problem that goes well beyond the UK pharmaceutical maker.

Jul 12, 2013
via Breakingviews

The lowdown on China’s slowdown

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By John Foley

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

For China, 2013 is becoming the year of the credible shrinking GDP growth target. Earlier in the year, the old 8 percent norm was shaved down to an official estimate of 7.5 percent. On Thursday, Finance Minister Lou Jiwei moved that to 7 percent – and said an even lower number was possible. What’s going on? Here’s the lowdown on the China slowdown.

Jul 9, 2013
via Breakingviews

Japan’s dealmakers deflated by Abe’s arrows

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By John Foley

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

Shinzo Abe may yet revive Japan’s economy, but so far he has done the opposite for the country’s chief executives. The volume of overseas mergers this year has been positively lethargic. The prime minister’s efforts to cheapen the yen, and volatile markets, partly explain the lull, but the case for going abroad remains strong.

Jul 5, 2013
via Breakingviews

China’s shipbuilding supertanker will turn slowly

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By John Foley

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

In 1433, China abandoned its costly maritime ambitions, forfeiting for centuries its chances of oceanic dominance. It is unlikely to make the same mistake again. While the tribulations of China Rongsheng show that the country’s modern shipping industry is in trouble, a sector with such strategic and symbolic importance can stay afloat long after its financial appeal has run dry.

Jul 3, 2013
via Breakingviews

How to cut the cord on China’s shadow banks

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By John Foley

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

It’s time for some delicate surgery on China’s financial system. The growth of non-bank lending channels – collectively known as “shadow banking” – is basically helpful for the economy. But regular banks are in too deep. China’s financial regulators need to separate the siamese twins.

Jun 28, 2013
via Breakingviews

China’s corporate spying is three-cornered problem

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By John Foley

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

American prosecutors have targeted Chinese wind turbine maker Sinovel for allegedly stealing secrets from a U.S. rival. The threat of a $4.8 billion fine for a company with total assets of $4.6 billion sounds potent. But it doesn’t address the economic conditions that make China a target for accusations of ideas theft. Call it the corporate espionage triangle.