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Sumner’s lease


UNDER normal circumstances, a nasty public power struggle between a company’s controlling shareholder and its chief executive might put a dampener on the share price.

Upward mobility


Rivals in the pink CAR companies have long talked a good game when it comes to harnessing technology that threatens to undermine the business of making and selling vehicles.

Proof positive


AVENUE PÉTAIN, a tree-lined boulevard of grand mansions and Art Deco towers in Shanghai’s old French concession, was once one of the city’s most prestigious residential streets.

Striking it rich


Keeping a close eye on the barrels TWO lines of business have stood out of late for their inability to make money: journalism and oil.

Taming the beasts


TALK to Axelle Lemaire, a French secretary of state in charge of all things digital, and one topic quickly comes up: online platforms of the kind operated by tech giants such as Facebook, Google and Uber.

Under scrutiny


Ma ponders “WE HAVE from time to time been subject to PRC and foreign government inquiries and investigations.” So declared form 20-F, a regulatory filing submitted by Alibaba, China’s biggest e-commerce firm, to America’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on May 24th.

Life in the fast lane


ON THE face of it business executives and Formula One drivers have nothing in common, other than the fact that they do their jobs sitting down.

Seeking another path


THREE was a magic number. At least, that was what mobile-phone operators and regulators in Europe believed a few years ago.

Seedy business


WHEN DuPont and Dow Chemical agreed to merge in December, the $130 billion deal seemed to be a prime example of American managers’ ruthless pursuit of shareholder value and dedication to building monopoly positions.

Greens in pinstriped suits


OIL firms find it hard to determine who their environmentalist adversaries are these days. They used to be easy to spot, with beards and dungarees.

$1 billion stakes on the menu


USUALLY it is a good sign when Berkshire Hathaway, the investment vehicle of Warren Buffett, takes a stake in a firm.

Risk premiums


MERELY keeping up with fevered events in Brazil has proved a challenge of late. The president suspended from office pending impeachment over dodgy government accounting; a caretaker administration left to tackle the worst recession since the 1930s; all amid an operatic bribery scandal with twists and turns that make Brazil’s telenovelas (soap operas) look logical.

Sitting pretty


Times are tough for America’s department stores. This month Macy’s, Kohl’s, JC Penney and Nordstrom all reported slumping sales.

The emporium strikes back


“INTERESTING thesis, but don’t use the word ‘platform’ in the title. No one knows what it means.” That was the reaction of a professor at MIT in 2000 upon reading the dissertation of Annabelle Gawer, now co-director of the Centre for Digital Economy at the University of Surrey.

Cheese in our time


Curds and wahey! OVER the past four decades, officials negotiating an end to Europe’s oldest frozen conflict, the dispute between the internationally recognised Republic of Cyprus and the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), have had plenty to chew on.

The eye of the storm


BOEING’S factory at Everett, near Seattle, is the largest building in the world, as befits the world’s biggest planemaker.

Snappy dressers


SOME 30,000 crocodiles bask at Izintaba, a farm sprawled across 100 acres near the South African city of Pretoria.

Snuffed out


Thank you for vaping THE interests of cigarette-makers and regulators rarely align. To date, most rules have been bad news for Big Tobacco.

Peak tycoon


Used his noodles REACHING the top is difficult in Nepal, as any mountaineer will tell you. But scaling the heights of business is scarcely easier: the landlocked kingdom, which in recent decades has swung between kleptocratic monarchy and chaotic democracy, can be as tough for entrepreneurs as the upper Himalayas are to trekkers.

Going great guns


BIG European defence firms had cause for gloom not long ago. Austerity limited military spending on the continent, and no obvious external threat justified raising it.


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