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Oilfield-service firms: Knowing the drill

OIL companies rarely soil their hands with the business of extracting the hydrocarbons that are their lifeblood.

Companies in Poland: Growing the Polish Apple

NOWY STYL, a Polish company that is Europe’s fourth-largest maker of office furniture, recently bought two small German rivals.

Canada’s natural-resources companies: Reputation management

...but not in Canadian miners FEW governments have aligned their interests so closely to those of their country’s energy and mining firms as Canada’s Conservative administration.

Mobile telecoms: The endangered SIM card

APPLE revolutionised online music with the iPod and iTunes. It may be about to transform the payments business, given the successful launch last month of Apple Pay.

Video games: Console-ation prize

The releases last November of Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One were seen as the last hurrah of high-end home games consoles.

Vietnam’s state firms: Excess baggage 

Not such a smooth take-off WHEN the government launched an initial public offering of shares in Vietnam Airlines on November 14th, it was hoping that the flotation of one of few companies widely known outside the country would help it speed up a plan to “equitise” hundreds of state firms.

The taxi-app market: Uber-competitive

DESPITE its tender age of only five years, Uber, an American firm that links taxi passengers to drivers through a smartphone app, already has several records to its name.

Executive compensation: If you hire them, pay will come

WARREN BUFFETT once noted that if you want independent advice, don’t ask a barber whether you need a haircut.

Schumpeter: The tyranny of the long term

THE sheep in “Animal Farm” repeat the slogan, “Four legs good, two legs bad”. In the management world these days, the chant is “Long-termism good, short-termism bad”.

Government-controlled firms: State capitalism in the dock

ON NOVEMBER 14th Brazilian police raided the offices of Petrobras, a vast state-controlled oil firm at the centre of a corruption scandal.

Pharmaceutical M&A: Invent it, swap it or buy it

FEW industries have been shaped more by mergers and takeovers than pharmaceuticals. This is because developing drugs is such a high-risk business.

Mergers and acquisitions: The new rules of attraction

The deal of the century, just not in a good way BRUCE WASSERSTEIN was probably the most famous mergers and acquisitions (M&A) banker on Wall Street in the 1980s and 1990s.

Government outsourcing: Nobody said it was easy

We do deliveries, too “THIS has been an absolute earthquake and a disaster for Serco,” Rupert Soames, the boss of Britain’s biggest provider of outsourced government services, told Parliament in September.

The Yukos affair: The chase is on

Yukos: seized by the state JAWS dropped in July when a group of Yukos shareholders won a $50 billion arbitration award—20 times the previous record—against Russia for expropriating the oil company in 2004.

Schumpeter: A Nordic mystery

THE Nordic countries have done more than anywhere else to provide women with equal opportunities. Maternity leave is generous.

Internet regulation: Not neutral about net neutrality

Hey, stop throttling my download AMERICAN presidents rarely tell agencies such as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) publicly what to do.

Energy in North America: A new Mexican revolution

RECRUITMENT flyers are being handed out in the main square of Los Ramones, a once-sleepy town of tumbleweed and spit-and-sawdust bars 63 miles (100km) south of Mexico’s border with the United States.

Russian media firms: Interesting news

Vedomosti may crumple “YOU work for a foreign state.” That is what Tatiana Lysova, the editor of Vedomosti, a respected daily business paper, says one of Vladimir Putin’s advisers told her in a meeting in the Kremlin last year.

China’s carmakers: Zoom, zoom, splutter

CHINA’S biggest carmaker does not seem to be doing so badly, a first glance at SAIC’s third quarter results on October 30th would suggest.

Spooks v tech firms: Crypto wars 2.0

GCHQ: listening in THOSE who forget the past are doomed to repeat it, the saying goes. This seems to be particularly true in the digital world.