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Eurasian Business Briefing Leisure & Retail

BJP looks to trigger FDI surge into retail sector after election victory

Modi wins Uttar Pradesh March 2017Indian retail: BJP’s resounding victory in this month’s Uttar Pradesh assembly elections is expected to trigger a speedy relaxation in the rules governing inward investment into India’s fiercely protected multi-brand retail sector, the Times of India reported on Monday.
According to its sources, (more…)

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China set to leap up wine buying table

Chinese wine tasterChina is set to become the world’s second biggest wine market by 2020 when sales of still and sparkling wine are expected to reach $21bn, with the value of retail sales growing by 39.8% over the next three years, according to the CEO of the VINEXPO wine and spirit exhibition Guillaume Deglise. 
China is already (more…)

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Sinopec considers IPO for retail arm

Sinopec petrol stationThe state-run China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec), was this week reported to have dusted off plans for an IPO of its gas-station and convenience-store retail business. According to unnamed sources, Sinopec, which is itself listed in Hong Kong and also trades on the Shanghai and New York stock exchanges, has asked banks to submit proposals by this month for roles to manage a potential Hong Kong listing of Sinopec Marketing Coin in 2017. (more…)

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Golden Globes go to China

Golden GlobesGolden Globes: The Dalian Wanda Group, the real-estate conglomerate owned by Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin, has finalised deal to buy the American entertainment production company Dick Clark Productions in its entirety for $1bn, it announced yesterday. 
The acquisition is the Group’s third significant deal in the US entertainment sector in a year after it paid $3.5bn for the California-based Legendary Entertainment in January and $650m for AMC Theaters (headquartered in Kansas) in July, but this is its first foray into television. “Obtaining top television production rights brings about complementary and coordinated development for Wanda’s current focuses on the film, tourism, and sports industries,” the Chinese firm said. The American company’s management team “would remain in its entirety”, it added, and that they had signed “a long-term operation target agreement with the management.”
Wang JanlianWhile a group of US Congressmen have already accused Wang of being one of Beijing’s “state champions” earlier this year, the Chinese tycoon prefers to see himself as an angel investor who can help struggling US entertainment companies capitalise on the huge Chinese market. He is on record as saying that he intends to increase Dalian Wanda’s share of the world’s movie theatre seats from 13% to 20% by the end of the decade.
Wanda CityWang is also in a struggle for with Disney for domination of the Chinese theme park sector and has made clear his intention to be operating 20 parks across China by 2020. Earlier this year, Wang, who is worth around £23bn according to Forbes, wants to open six more theme parks in the next three years and have 15 in China by 2020. The first of these – the 200-ha Wanda Cultural Tourism City – opened in Nanching in September and features what is claimed to be the highest and longest roller coaster in the country. It has also infuriated senior Disney officials after Captain America and Snow White were spotted milling around with guests on the opening day.
Wang is defiant. ‘This craze for Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck is over, the period when we would blindly follow where Disney led has been gone for years,” he said. “A tiger cannot take on a pack of wolves.”

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Wanda quits Spain and turns attention to France and $3.3bn EuropaCity

Europa City 4EuropaCity: Billionaire Wang Jianlin’s Dalian Wanda Group has agreed to sell the Edificio Espana building in Madrid to Spanish investment group Baraka, in a move that will see the Chinese company exit the Spanish real estate market and turn its focus (more…)

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Dalian Wanda buys another cinema chain as Wang Jianlin presses on

OdeonChinese multinational conglomerate Dalian Wanda has bought the Odeon & UCI cinema chain from the Terra Firma private equity firm for $1.21bn through its US-based AMC Entertainment subsidiary, AMC’s chief executive Adam Aron announced yesterday. The chain owns 242 theatres and 2,236 screens and the deal reinforces (more…)

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Chinese consortium ready to buy AC Milan from Berlusconi’s Fininvest

AC MilanA Chinese consortium has agreed to buy an 80% stake in the Italian Serie A soccer club AC Milan from former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s Fininvest group based on a total valuation of between €700m and 750m (including €200m of debt). Under the terms of the agreement, (more…)

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Auchan opens first Tajik hypermarket in ‘revolution’ for food security

AuchanFrance’s international retail group Auchan yesterday opened the very first Tajik hypermarket – and the company’s first in Central Asia – in Dushanbe with an inauguration ceremony attended by the country’s President Emomali Rakhmon. The 5,000 m² outlet has been developed with (more…)

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Bullish Sorokin puts cost of Russia 2018 put at over $10bn but on schedule

Russia 2018 General Director Alexei SorokinRussia 2018: The cost to Russia of holding the 2018 World Cup will come to over $10bn, but everything will be ready on time, according to the General Director of the Russia 2018 organizing committee Alexei Sorokin. Three of the stadia were already finished, he told the R Sport website, with (more…)

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Adidas planning major push into China as demand defies economic slowdown

adidas in chinaThe German multinational sportswear manufacturer Adidas is planning to open a further 3,000 retail outlets in China as the country’s enthusiasm for sport continues to grow, despite the economic slowdown. Adidas already has 9,000 stores across the country, and the outlets will give it a presence in more than 2,200 towns and cities.
Between them, (more…)

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Bank chief puts true cost of Sochi Winter Olympics at $19bn (not $2.9bn)

Sochi Winter OlympicsThe true cost of hosting the Sochi Winter Olympics was $19bn – not the official tally of $2,9bn, VTB 24 CEO Mikhail Zadornov claimed in a television interview over the weekend. While the Kremlin disputes his figures, they (more…)

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Carrefour moves into Kazakhstan

CarrefourFrench supermarket chain is planning to open its first store in Kazakhstan in the next few months. The 12,000 m² store will be situated in the new Grand Park Almaty shopping centre. The French home improvement chain Leroy Merlin is also planning to open sites in Almaty and the surrounding region by the end of the year. Negotiations are additionally under way between the authorities and Auchan, Bombardier and IKEA.

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Metro’s Media Markt eyes up gaps in $13bn Turkish electronics market

MediaMarkt Turkey German retailer Metro’s subsidiary is planning to ramp up its Turkish operations, its country director Yenal Gökyldirim told a press conference in Istanbul on Thursday. The discount electronics chain is looking to take advantage (more…)

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China’s JD.com to sell Russian goods to domestic market

JD.comChina’s e-commerce giant JD.com is to begin selling Russian goods in China, its president Victor Xu said last week. Starting with Canoe hats, the goods on offer will initially include food products, furs and handicrafts, either promoted and supplied directly by Russian producers or through re-sell by JD.com itself. “We hope (more…)

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Toshiba pulls out of Russian consumer electronics market as Koreans mop up

Russians in TV store

The weak rouble and increasingly stiff competition from Korean competitors has prompted Toshiba to pull out of the Russian consumer market.The Japanese electronic giant has announced that it is shutting down its TV and kitchen appliance division Toshiba CIS but that its B2B unit Toshiba Rus would carry on operating.
 
Korean companies now accounted for 70% of the Russian TV , Toshiba Rus CEO Tezuka Hiroaki said.

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Kyrgyzstan unveils plan to strengthen som and ‘de-dollarize’ economy

Food market KyrgyzstanKyrgyzstan’s Ministry of the Economy yesterday released details of plans that it has drawn up in conjunction with the national bank to beef up the national currency – the som – and to ‘de-dollarize’ the country’s economy. 
The plans entail restricting the circulation of the US dollar, stabilising the som’s position on the international currency market, boosting demand for domestic goods and developing home-grown substitutes for imports.
They also allow for reasonable currency interventions to smooth sharp fluctuations in the som’s exchange rate, the introduction of measures to attract bank deposits in the national currency and the restriction of purchase and sale operations in foreign currencies on the domestic market. The government already regularly monitors the price of basic food products such as flour, bread, meat, macaroni, butter, vegetable oil, rice, and beans to ward off unjustified price surges.
Imports currently account for as much as 80% of total consumption and 40% of the average food basket, meaning that any rise in the value of the dollar’s value inflates prices,

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Chinese online retail customers set to double by 2020

ecommerce customer service ChinaChinese online retail sales are expected to hit $1.6 trn by 2020, with the penetration rate doubling from 11% in 2014 to 22%, according to a report published yesterday by Bain & Company and Alibaba, with the main drivers for growth being business to customer, mobile Internet commerce and trans-border Internet commerce. On-line commerce (more…)

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Chinese consortium eyes up stake Formula One takeover bid

Ma Qinghua, Chinese FI driverEleven years after China joined the Formula One motor racing circuit, a group of Chinese firms lead by China Media Capital (CMC) is ready to put $1.5bn into a $8.5b takeover bid being put together by Stephen Ross, owner of the Miami Dolphins American football team.
The development (more…)

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First casino opens in Primorye gambling zone

Primorye Gambling Zone

Primorye Gambling Zone

The first casino in the far eastern Primorye gambling zone – that is being billed as Russia’s answer to Macao – opened for business this week. Owned and developed by G1 Entertainment, The Tigre de Cristal casino is the largest in Russia so far and is expected to create new jobs and boost tourism and economic growth in the region, Corporate Finance and Strategy Director Eric Landheer said at the opening ceremony.
The decision to create the Primorye gambling zone close to Vladivostok was taken by the Russian government in 2009, when it outlawed gambling in Russia with the exception of six special zones. So far, only two of those zones — Azov-City in Krasnodar and Siberian Coin in Altai — have managed to turn their special status into money-making entertainment complexes, but Primorye’s proximity to the Asian markets has helped it to attract major Asian investors such as Melco and the Malaysian NagaCorp Ltd. Other investors in the project also include local Royal Time Primorye and Diamond Fortune Holdings Prim.
As well as the casino, the 620-ha gambling zone will also include 15 hotels, 12 guest villas, a yacht club, a multifunctional trade and exhibition centre, and several cinemas. The project is due to be completed in 2022. Four investment contracts worth $1.75bn have been signed so far, according to the authorities.

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Fake Russian cheese floods shops in wake of EU import ban

Fake Russian cheeseFake Russian cheese: Almost four fifths of the cheese on sale in Russian shops is fake, the country’s health and safety watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor claimed last week, as local producers capitalise on increased demand by substituting palm oil for milk.
Sales of domestically produced dairy goods have (more…)

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