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Home-field advantage

TROPICAL rain pounds on the roof of a cavernous warehouse near Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital. Inside, youngsters in orange T-shirts haul around clothes, luggage and electrical goods for Lazada, an e-commerce firm, which has just moved in.

Brush with the law

Head-scratcher, and Mr Bouvier ANY billionaire with a weakness for Picasso or Gauguin will know Yves Bouvier.

Female Finns are faring fine

Progress towards workplace equality for women comes in small steps. Last month Keidanren, Japan’s powerful business lobby, appointed its first female executive.

Borrow, buy, cut

PATRICK DRAHI, the main mover-and-shaker in Europe’s slowly consolidating telecoms market, says he likes to keep a low profile.

Googledome, or temple of doom?

MARC ANDREESSEN knows a thing or two about Silicon Valley’s penchant for status symbols and its braggadocio.


THE annual letters Warren Buffett sends to shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway are among the most influential documents in business.

The quantified serf

THINK of it as the workplace equivalent of the Fitbit or Nike FuelBand: a way to set your goals and monitor your progress, and to share the journey with colleagues, who will cheer you on and give you a helpful nudge whenever you fall behind.

Shock treatment

THE best-known objective of America’s Affordable Care Act of 2010—commonly known as Obamacare—was to ensure that the 40m-plus Americans who lacked health insurance could get it.

Growing by shrinking

IT TOOK more than three years, but on February 24th Finmeccanica, Italy’s state-controlled aerospace and defence group, said it had found a buyer for its rail businesses.

Why Target lost its aim

Where are the shoppers? AT ONE of Target’s shops in downtown Chicago, one recent weekend, customers congregated in the electronics department and the area that sells towels and bedding.

Recalling the boss

“I’D SOONER die than imitate other people,” said Soichiro Honda, founder of the firm that is now Japan’s third-largest carmaker.

Spring tide

The fresh, clean, premium-priced waters of Changbaishan BENEATH the frozen flanks of East Asia’s most revered mountain, in China’s north-eastern Jilin province, a huddle of sleek new processing plants will soon be packaging its precious essence: spring water.

Clarification: Boston Consulting Group

Clarification: The Boston Consulting Group has asked to clarify the information it supplied to us about its forecasts for the uptake of automation in cars (“Upsetting the Apple car”, February 21st).

Golden scenarios

ONCE upon a time, in a world in which oil was costly and energy sources seemed scarce, the International Energy Agency, a think-tank for countries which import fossil fuels, produced a special report heralding a “golden age of gas”.

The Xiaomi shock

“FROM the beginning, Xiaomi has considered the mobile phone to be a converged gadget of software, internet services and hardware, not just a simple device.” So declared Lei Jun, the charismatic founder of Xiaomi, a Chinese smartphone-maker with global aspirations, during a recent meeting at his firm’s headquarters in Beijing with Choi Yang-hee, South Korea’s telecoms minister.

Brazil’s business Belindia

BRAZILIANS make up almost 3% of the planet’s population and produce about 3% of its output. Yet of the firms in Fortune magazine’s 2014 “Global 500” ranking of the biggest companies by revenue only seven, or 1.4%, were from Brazil, down from eight in 2013.

Avalanche in the Alps

SIKA, one of Switzerland’s most successful family-controlled firms, was founded 105 years ago by Kaspar Winkler, a cobbler’s son who invented the compound used to waterproof the Gotthard railway tunnel under the Alps.

Supersize me

In Spain, good things come in small packages THE successful stockmarket flotation this month of Aena, a state-controlled airport operator, reinforced optimism that Spain’s economy is finally on the road to recovery.

Letting the cream rise

CHINESE mothers are feeding their infants more milk-based formula. Aspiring Russians have grown addicted to decadent foreign cheeses.

An overburdened champion

THE contrast between the compound of Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia’s national oil company, and the kingdom beyond its walls is stark.