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Performers wear masks to prevent an outbreak of a coronavirus as they...

China's reopening generates mirage of normality

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) -China’s first big vacation of 2023 offers shallow relief to investors. Movie sales during the lunar new year holiday week surpassed last year's to top nearly $900 million, per ticket provider Maoyan Entertainment. Travel is rebounding too.

The annual World Economic Forum 2023 in Davos

EU debt fears hinder U.S. green subsidies riposte

The European Union is under enormous pressure to push back against the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act and its vast array of clean technology subsidies. Politically, there’s strong desire to act. Unfortunately, green financing doesn’t grow on trees.

FILE PHOTO: Customer uses an ATM at a Bank of America branch in Boston

Bank earnings become a post-Covid parlor game

After three years of upheaval, it’s natural to yearn for a bit of normal. According to America’s biggest banks, which have unrivalled insight into what makes households and companies tick, normal is a long way off.

FILE PHOTO: Davos ahead of the World Economic Forum 2023

Davos, Inc. finds reasons to be less gloomy

When the chairmen of some of the world’s largest companies got together behind closed doors at the World Economic Forum this week, they had plenty of reasons to feel sombre. Higher interest rates are putting a brake on economic growth, trade tensions are fracturing supply chains, and investors have just suffered their worst year since the 2008 financial crisis. Yet when the assembled crowd were asked how many of the companies represented had reported better profits last year, a majority raised their hands.

World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai

Alibaba’s pushy shareholder mistimes his moment

Ryan Cohen has been pressing Alibaba for improvements since last August, per the Wall Street Journal. As the owner of an undisclosed stake, he wants the company to boast its share buybacks. There are similarities with cash-rich Apple where he owns roughly $800 million of stock. Alibaba is sitting on $48 billion of net cash as of September, up 4% since March.

Vendor sells Chinese Lunar New Year decorations at an outdoor market in...

Chinese GDP surprise sets expectations too high

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) -The Chinese economy grew 3% in 2022, the government reported, beating forecasts but way below the official 5% target. Ending consumption-suppressing policies is removing drags on growth, but with fiscal coffers low, and debt and inflation rising, China is short on tools to drive growth.

Davos ahead of the World Economic Forum 2023

The Davos party returns, with the shakes

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters Breakingviews) -There’s a hangover happening in Davos even though the party hasn’t yet started. The World Economic Forum’s annual winter shindig in the Swiss mountain resort, which kicks off on Monday, marks a return for glitzy parties and high-minded debates following a three-year hiatus. A record number of business leaders are set to make the trip, and the passage of commercial, private and government aircraft through Zurich’s airport suggests overall attendees are at pre-Covid-19 levels. Yet the direction for the future – and those who will lead it – is more clouded than ever.

A taxi driver is reflected on a side mirror as he uses Didi Chuxing...

The fog lifts for Didi's path to normalcy

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) -Didi Global's road ahead looks clearer. Chinese authorities are set to allow the ride-hailing group's services back on domestic app stores before the key Lunar New Year holiday which begins on Jan. 22, Reuters reported on Friday, citing sources. The move effectively removes a one-and-a-half year ban on new users for Didi, which has cost it dearly.

JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon looks on during the inauguration the new French...

Banks’ profit picnic will attract ant invasion

Big banks have little to fear from a recession in 2023. They’re in better shape than a decade ago, with big buffers against delinquent debtors and numerous watchdogs keeping them honest. Nonetheless, the coming year will see large U.S. lenders’ profit relentlessly gnawed by rising expenses that come from many different directions. It’s less a bear attack, and more an ant invasion.

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