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March 16, 2011

Clean technology is fuelling a boom for metals with names seemingly from the comic strips of superman. Collectively known as rare earths, David Wigan takes a look at what exactly are these weird metals and asks whether it is possible to make money out of them

In the year 1219, after uniting the tribes of Mongolia, Genghis Khan dispatched 450 men to the town of Otrar, in present-day Kazakhstan, to trade. The local governor Inalchuq executed the group, and later beheaded Khan’s ambassador, sent to request an apology. Khan’s response was to raise an army and embark on the most brutal and successful military campaign in history. Inalchuq was executed by the application of molten silver to his ears and eyes.

February 10, 2011

The year has started on a positive note for family-controlled carmakers, with BMW, Audi and Peugeot Citroen reporting a rise in sales. Helped by surging demand not just in emerging markets, but also the developed world, it has raised hopes that the worst of recession may be running its course for the automobile sector.

The year has started on a positive note for family-controlled carmakers, with BMW, Audi and Peugeot Citroen reporting a rise in sales. Helped by surging demand not just in emerging markets, but also the developed world, it has raised hopes that the worst of recession may be running its course for the automobile sector.

January 26, 2011

Stanley Ho, the Hong Kong and Macau-based casino king, has often been a controversial figure during his long career as one of East Asia’s better-known entrepreneurs.

Stanley Ho, the Hong Kong and Macau-based casino king, has often been a controversial figure during his long career as one of East Asia's better-known entrepreneurs.

According to some sources, the casino and property entrepreneur has allegedly been linked to the Chinese organised crime group, the Triads, and allegedly collaborated with the Japanese during World War II.

Not the sort of background – it might be felt – you would want hung out for wider scrutiny.

January 25, 2011

Macao casino billionaire Stanley Ho has accused his family of stealing his shares in SJM Holdings without his consent, raising debate about who would succeed Ho in the billion-dollar business.

Macao casino billionaire Stanley Ho has accused his family of stealing his shares in SJM Holdings without his consent, raising debate about who would succeed Ho in the billion-dollar business.

A filing with the Hong Kong stock exchange reveals that Ho's shares in the holding company have been divided between his wives and children. Ho, chairman of SJM, said through his lawyer that he had not authorised this transfer of shares to his family.

January 18, 2011

Hong Kong-based conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa, controlled by billionaire Li Ka-shing, announced on 17 January plans to list its new entity, Port Holdings Trust. The initial public offering could be Singapore’s biggest ever and add significantly to the fortunes of Hong Kong’s wealthiest man.

Hong Kong-based conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa, controlled by billionaire Li Ka-shing, announced on 17 January plans to list its new entity, Port Holdings Trust. The initial public offering could be Singapore’s biggest ever and add significantly to the fortunes of Hong Kong’s wealthiest man.

The world’s largest container-terminal operator plans to list its deep-water port holdings in Hong Kong and southern China, while still retaining a 25% stake in the trust that currently owns the terminals.

January 14, 2011

Ikea, the Swedish retailing giant owned by the Kamprad family, announced on 14 January that its net profit for 2010 had increased by 6.1% year-on-year, but said it plans to expand cautiously in 2011.

Ikea, the Swedish retailing giant owned by the Kamprad family, announced on 14 January that its net profit for 2010 had increased by 6.1% year-on-year, but said it plans to expand cautiously in 2011.

January 12, 2011

Family-owned brewing company Heineken announced on 12 January that it has acquired controlling interests in five breweries in Nigeria as it continues its expansion in emerging markets.

Family-owned brewing company Heineken announced on 12 January that it has acquired controlling interests in five breweries in Nigeria as it continues its expansion in emerging markets.

The breweries acquired include two holding companies of the Nigerian-based Sona Group, giving Heineken access to Sona, IBBI, Benue, Life and Champion breweries. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Heineken also said that it would consider the possibility of consolidating the acquired breweries into its existing business in Nigeria, but gave no timetable.  

December 14, 2010

Walmart, the retailing giant controlled by the Walton family, announced 13 December that it plans to close its Moscow office, which was set up last year as part of Walmart's plans to expand in Russia.

Walmart, the retailing giant controlled by the Walton family, announced 13 December that it plans to close its Moscow office, which was set up last year as part of Walmart's plans to expand in Russia.

The company said it had hoped to enter the Russian market via acquisitions, but that it had found no partners with which to pursue this aim.

December 2, 2010

Walmart, the retailing giant controlled by the Walton family, has given further insights into its emerging market strategy outlining plans for its stores in China.

Walmart, the retailing giant controlled by the Walton family, has given further insights into its emerging market strategy outlining plans for its stores in China.

Dough McMillon, chief executive of Walmart's international business, said in an interview with the Financial Times that it will be opening a series of "compact hypermarkets" in China based on the company's successful model used in Latin America.

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