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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
via Breakingviews

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
via Breakingviews

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
via Breakingviews

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
via Breakingviews

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
via Breakingviews

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.

Dec 10, 2014
via Breakingviews

China on the horns of a volatility dilemma

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By John Foley

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

China’s gyrating stock markets are a reminder that movement matters. Volatility is increasing in the People’s Republic, and fighting it is a losing battle.

Dec 8, 2014

Breakingviews: Wanda property IPO trades price for location

By John Foley

BEIJING (Reuters Breakingviews) – A prime location is worth
making sacrifices for. That may be why Dalian Wanda Commercial
Property is accepting a modest valuation on its initial public
offering in Hong Kong. At a potential market capitalization of
$25 billion, equivalent to 8.7 times forecast earnings for 2015,
the price reflects well-founded worries about China’s real
estate market, and the company is raising a third less than it
originally planned. The advantages of having an offshore pied a
terre make it a reasonable compromise.

Wanda sells itself on having branded retail and office
“plazas” in 109 cities around the country. As China’s housing
market slumps, that appeals to investors in two ways. First, a
square metre of retail space sells for three times the
equivalent square metre of housing, and with gross margins twice
as high. Second, Wanda can help populate its malls with the
cinemas, hotels and karaoke halls owned by its parent company,
reducing the chance of them sitting vacant.

    • About John

      "John Foley is Reuters Breakingviews' editor for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He relocated from Beijing in July 2015. John established Breakingviews’ Hong Kong bureau in 2009, and has written on China’s economy and financial system, mergers and acquisitions, capital markets and consumer goods. Follow John on Twitter @johnsfoley"
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