January 24, 2017    4 minute read

5 Stories Impacting The World Today

   January 24, 2017    4 minute read

5 Stories Impacting The World Today

German Companies’ Post-Brexit Confidence

Polling shows negligible concern from most German companies over the effects of Britain’s EU departure.

Editor’s Remarks: An IW survey of 2900 companies in Europe’s biggest economy found that over 90% of them expect little to no damage to their business as a result of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. Around a quarter of respondents believe Brexit will have a positive effect on them – reasons included that it might cause foreign investment into Germany to rise. Of the 2-3% of those who expect a major hit, most are in the industrial sector. Car makers, for example, stand to lose considering Britain’s status as Germany’s third-largest export market. It remains to be seen whether their market power will hold more sway over negotiations than the relaxed 90%.

What to watch: Theresa May, Angela Merkel, Guy Verhofstadt, Wolfgang Schäuble

Blackstone Boosts Asia Real Estate Portfolio

Blackstone Group is reportedly preparing a $5bn+ fund for property investments across the continent.

Editor’s Remarks: Expected for launch at some point early next year, it will come as a show of strong confidence in returns on Asian property. The multinational with total assets worth around $24bn is the world leader in alternative asset management and has already invested over 70% of the $5bn raised in its first Asian property fund. With a reported rate of return of 17% on Blackrock’s first drive as of September 2016, and over twenty other real estate funds having last year raised a total of $10.6bn for investments focusing on the region, property across the continent seems bound to go from strength to strength over the next few quarters.

What to watch: Blackstone, China Vanke, Embassy Office Park REIT

China and Philippines Fight Against Poverty

The two Asian giants have pledged joint measures worth $3.7bn.

Editor’s Remarks: China’s Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng withheld details on the 30 projects making up the anti-poverty collaboration, though the Philippines’ Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez mentioned a mixture of large and smaller programmes in rural areas across the two countries totalling 1.5 billion in population. The move comes as part of efforts by the Philippines to strengthen ties with China and turn away from its traditional ally in the US, led in particular by President Rodrigo Duterte – who has nevertheless been fairly warm towards Donald Trump of late.

What to watch: Rodrigo Duterte, Wang Yang, Donald Trump on ‘One China’

Yahoo Probed over Hacking Disclosure

A US federal agency is investigating whether data breaches should have been reported sooner to investors.

Editor’s Remarks: A filing from the tech giant revealed that it is under investigation from the Securities and Exchanges Commission over when it discovered cyber attacks that took place in 2013 and 2014. The hacks, compromising half a billion email addresses and over a billion user accounts altogether, were not disclosed until September and December of 2016 respectively. A lot could ride on whether the SEC finds Yahoo fulfilled its duties to inform stakeholders, particularly if it calls into question its agreement in July to sell operations to Verizon – a deal now worth around $4.8bn.

What to watch: Yahoo, Verizon Communications, SEC, Senator Mark Warner

Trump Pulls US Out of TPP

The new US President has signed an executive order to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Editor’s Remarks: In one of his first acts in the White House, Donald Trump pushed the gears in motion for America to exit the free trade deal that covers eleven countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Trump has already rattled feathers in traditional wings of the Republican Party with his cabinet nominations – Rex Tillerson’s appointment to Secretary of State succeeded on Monday, for example – and this will likely worsen relations given the GOP’s significant role in pushing such trade deals. The move is characteristic of Trump’s role in redefining American political divisions, though: the repeal has had support from Democrats such as Senator Brown as well as traditionally left-leaning labour groups.

What to watch: NAFTA, UK-American trade negotiations, TTIP

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