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Feb 02
2011

How Egyptian Crisis could affect CFOs

Posted by nicklord in Untagged 

nicklord
 

The political crisis in Egypt makes for compelling drama, even if what has so far been a largely contained set of protests turns even more violent than it has been already. While the political revolutions in Egypt (and Tunisia) can seem very remote for those working in the West, there will be impacts which will be felt by companies far and wide.

Most obviously, any company with direct dealings with the country and the region will already be feeling the effects. Egyptian state run TV is saying that the crisis has already cost the economy some $12 billion as much of the country has ground to a halt.

Jan 26
2011

CFO sense missing from Davos sensibility

Posted by nicklord in Untagged 

nicklord
 

The World Economic Forum meeting at Davos kicks off today. Some 1200 CEOs from the world's largest companies are in attendance along with their various entourages. The official theme of the conference is "Shared Norms for the New Reality."

But a fundamental disconnect is emerging from what the conference wants to address and what business leaders are actually feeling. And this disconnect affects CFOs directly.

Jan 24
2011

British banks edge closer to break-up

Posted by nicklord in Untagged 

nicklord

 

The head of a government commission looking into the future of British banking has given a strong hint that he will eventually call for a break up of the banks. Sir John Vickers is the Chairman of the Independent Commission on Banks, which has been set up to examine how British banks are owned, run and regulated.

Jan 19
2011

The "Superman" of Hong Kong

Posted by nicklord in Deals

nicklord

 

Li Ka-Shing's Hong Kong conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa (known locally as Hutch) always tops the list of the best managed companies in Asia. This is less to do with its operational management and always to do with its financial management. Its success also flies in the face of conventional wisdom that conglomerates dilute shareholder value through a lack of focus.

Jan 17
2011

Why credit ratings still matter

Posted by nicklord in Credit Ratings

nicklord


Monday was a good day to be an Indonesian CFO.

Moody's upgraded the Republic of Indonesia from Ba2 to Ba1, one level short of investment grade. With the sovereign ceiling raised, a whole raft of upgrades followed for 10 of the country's banks, and for the national gas, electric and cements companies. Financing costs have come down and the country edges closer to the deep well of money available to those deemed investment grade.

Jan 12
2011

US puts export money where mouth is

Posted by nicklord in Deals

nicklord


In the run up to the visit of Chinese president Hu Jintao to the US next week, government officials have been indulging in the usual round of rhetoric about the undervalued Chinese currency and how it seriously harms US business.

Today at a speech to be given at John's Hopkins University, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner will again say that the Chinese currency is "substantially undervalued." He goes on to say that if China continues to undervalue its currency, then asset prices and inflation will rise, "which will threaten future growth."

Jan 11
2011

Companies copying China playbook

Posted by nicklord in Untagged 

nicklord


 One of the staple questions reporters ask corporate executives is what is their China strategy? The answers usually focus on ways that company is trying to either sell into China, or compete with Chinese low cost producers. The onus is on operations, never on finances.

But there is now a stark similarity between the ways that companies are accumulating cash and the way the Chinese and other Asian governments have been accumulating cash.

Jan 05
2011

Companies brace for new anti-bribery regime

Posted by nicklord in Untagged 

nicklord


In April this year the UK will bring into force the new Anti-Bribery act. It is modeled on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in the US and makes the UK one of the harshest jurisdictions when it comes to dealing with corporate corruption.

The Act is intended to stop companies bribing foreign officials to win business. And any UK-based company or indeed any company that has any commercial dealing in the UK will be subject to the new sanctions.

Jan 03
2011

The Taxman Cometh

Posted by nicklord in Tax

nicklord


It looks like 2011 is shaping up to be a very different year from 2010. Many companies will have got through the immediate effects of the global financial crisis through the largesse of their national governments. This will be the year when that largesse will stop and the huge debts will need to be recovered.

In contrast, 2010 was a strange year. Fiscal and budgetary crises erupted around the world, and yet business sailed on blithely. Indeed with the stock markets around the world registering double digit growth, corporate executives could be forgiven for thinking they had come out of the woods.

Dec 27
2010

No job joy for British businesses

Posted by nicklord in Untagged 

nicklord

With the New Year looming there doesn’t seem to be any sense of renewal in UK employment and pay. A recent report released by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) highlights the wage pressures British businesses are facing--and confirms the need for reduced reliance on government spend before real growth can begin.

Of the 345 companies surveyed, 49 percent said that they would be freezing pay this year. 6 percent say they will be cutting pay, while 60 percent say they will not be paying any bonuses.

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