International Real Estate
In the 1990s retail industry players lived in the mortal fear that online shopping and marketing portals would decimate them. Many internet experts predicted that website-based transactions will see the end of people moving out of their house to buy from shops. The 3D technology, secure transaction gateways and home delivery were slated to be a killer concept that would change the way people buy everything. But today we are older and wiser. Today, Indian players in organised retail business think that 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand malls will kill their prospects as well as their business. The fear is misplaced for many reasons. No foreign player has been able to replace an Indian market leader if the latter has been competitive in his offerings. But conversely, foreign players have also usurped the market leader position from Indian monoliths, which tend to carry a lot of luggage. The commerce ministry’s proposal to allow 100% FDI in multi-brand retail will open the doors for the likes of Wal-Mart and Tesco. Nonetheless, the ministry has suggested stiff local sourcing requirements and mandatory investments in backward linkages for all such foreign entrants. More >
You may have already read the Foreign Direct Investment figures that came out earlier this year, however, I got around to reviewing them over the weekend – FDI to Latin America decreased in 2009 compared to the previous year 2008. No big surprise, right? But, what caught my attention initially is that the drop was just a bit less than half of the amount in 2008 – an almost 50% decline! However, upon further reflection of the depth of the economic crisis and seeing what countries are the top investors in the region, it was not such a revelation. First, let’s take a look at the numbers. More >
The Chancellor of the new UK government, George Osborne, produced his much heralded ‘emergency budget’ yesterday. The task was to prevent a loss of confidence by reducing the deficit in the public finances and to rebalance the British economy away from its dependence on the public sector by stimulating the private sector. With the exception of Ireland, the UK has the largest budget deficit in Europe. The Chancellor elected to redress the balance, which amounts to £113 billion in cuts and tax rises, by 2014 – 2015, using an 80:20 ratio – 80% by reduction in spending and 20% by increased taxation. More >
Retailers looking to grow follow one of two distinct forms of market expansion. Large, well-established companies typically look to expand their market share on an international scale. Smaller retailers, usually franchised, look to expand into new markets across North America.
Tapping into a market analysis can assist these retailers in identifying which markets are ripe for expansion, how to select a location, and how to decide how large/small a presence to create in the market. More >
In recent days I wrote a blog about how observers (mostly reporters) of Latin America try to cursorily determine if the region is swinging Left or Right. My proposition was that they do not report it correctly and that they evaluate the situation neither deep enough nor with the correct lens. However, to the subject of that article and the observation that the Leftist influence in the region is misrepresented in the analyses, I read some very interesting news today. Frankly, this has little to do directly with commercial real estate or business in the region, but it has a lot to do with helping outsiders understand an aspect of the dynamics of the region. Especially as it pertains to the undue influence of Leftist ideology in political – and hence emotional – matters that can effect governance of a country or an internal region.
This morning I read an article written by the AFP wherein Argentine and Chilean civil rights groups and members of Chile’s Leftist Nomenklatura were decrying the possible threat to Chile’s democracy because Chile’s ambassador to Argentina earlier this week made some positive references to the period of Pinochet’s government. Subsequently the ambassador had to resign – under pressure. More >