What game is Blackrock playing?

Discussion in 'Wall St. News' started by themickey, Aug 18, 2021.

  1. VicBee


    Lol.. we're only 28 days in 2022 and some are already sneering at the world's biggest banks and investment firms? o_O this is going to make year-end "so what did you say?" fun...
    #91     Jan 31, 2022
  2. themickey


    How Nationalism in China Has Dethroned Nike, Adidas

    Data show sustained consumer pivot away from Western brands
    By Jinshan Hong, Yasufumi Saito and Adrian Leung 16 February 2022

    China’s 1.4 billion shoppers were once seen as an untapped gold mine for Western brands, with their rising incomes and unleashed consumer appetites expected to drive growth for companies from Nike Inc. to Nestle SA for decades.

    That calculation has changed quickly as China tussles on the world stage with the U.S. and others on everything from trade to cybersecurity and human rights. Chinese consumers are increasingly acting as an extension of the government’s political agenda—a worrying sign for global brands that have staked their futures on the $6 trillion market.

    Take the humble sneaker. Four years of transactions on China’s biggest business-to-consumer e-commerce platform, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s Tmall, show the speed and depth of this nationalistic pivot. Consumers are turning away from Western brands despite the millions of dollars they’ve invested into courting local shoppers. Where politics goes, so does the Chinese consumer—in a more profound and sustained manner than previously understood.

    Bloomberg News’s analysis of data compiled by Hangzhou-based analytics firm Taosj.com reveals that the political incidents that periodically ensnare foreign companies in China—from Mercedes-Benz Group AG and Christian Dior SE to Dolce & Gabbana Srl—are having a more lasting impact than before. The social media storm triggered in March 2021 by a raft of foreign brands denouncing the use of cotton from Xinjiang, the province where China is accused of human rights violations against the Uyghur minority, is illuminating. It became a crucial inflection point in sneaker and sportswear sales, allowing domestic brands to dethrone Western giants for the first time.

    Nike and Adidas, which said they would not use Xinjiang cotton, were sent on a downward trajectory in sales that has not yet bottomed out.

    Months after the scandal, Chinese rivals like Anta Sports Products Ltd. and Li Ning Co.—which put out statements of support for Xinjiang cotton—continue to surpass them in sales. The local companies capitalized on the upswing in nationalism with products targeted at local consumers—from sweaters emblazoned with Chinese characters to sneakers inspired by the Forbidden City.

    Waves of patriotism following deadly floods in Henan province in July and the Winter Olympics at the start of 2022 have regularly fed the trend.

    Within weeks, Chinese brands broke through to claim the top spots while Nike and Adidas nosedived
    Nike was No. 1 for most of 2018

    As the Winter Olympics in Beijing approached, local brands were dominant into the start of 2022

    Nike and Adidas grew their market share in early 2020

    Going into 2019, the No. 1 spot alternated between Nike and Adidas

    The best any local brand could reach by mid-2020 was the occasional No. 2 spot

    The three largest Chinese brands–Anta, Li Ning and Xtep–stayed in the second tier

    Nationalistic sentiment sent local brand Erke–which pledged millions to aid efforts in the deadly floods in Henan–surging to the top

    Fila is widely viewed as a foreign brand locally due to its Italian roots even though Anta acquired its China rights in 2009

    Erke’s market share was 3.4 times more than before the flood-driven surge

    By the end of January 2022, Anta and Li Ning dominated 28% of sneaker sales, 12 percentage points higher than before the Xinjiang outcry.

    Overall in the 12 months ending Jan. 31—a year when China’s borders remained shut to keep out Covid-19, and it came under attack over the virus’s origins—sales growth for top Chinese sneaker brands was about 17%, while foreign brands saw a decline of 24%.

    It’s not exclusive to sneakers. Similar patterns of nationalistic consumption are found in cosmetics and soft drinks to baby food and apparel. Local brands have already unseated global ones like Nestle as the top online sellers, reversing years of domination. Sectors like luxury and beauty care where Western giants still reign may not be far behind.

    “Consumers have moved from reacting to negative events to a form of nationalism that is much more proactive,” said Jay Milliken, a senior partner at branding and marketing consulting firm Prophet, which compiled the annual China brand relevance ranking. “Instead of saying, ‘Oh, something negative happened. Therefore, my pride in my country has awoken.’ It’s now constantly present somewhere.”

    Watershed Moment—Xinjiang Controversy
    Online shopping in China, where consumers are far more digitally connected across all ages than in the U.S., is a real-time indicator of brand sentiment. In a country where more than half of all purchases take place via e-commerce, online demand is a quicker and more revealing source of information about the Chinese consumer than physical store transactions.

    The sneaker and sportswear sectors are a bellwether as several well-established Chinese brands exist in the space, from Li Ning, a brand founded by the Olympic gymnast of the same name now targeting hip, young shoppers, to Xtep International Holdings Ltd., which outfits top Chinese marathoners. It’s a factor still lacking in other consumer segments like beauty care and luxury goods.

    As local businesses start to break through in cosmetics and lingerie, luxury bags and dairy products, shoppers will have more options whenever the “Buy China” call is issued.

    In the past, Chinese buyers with means largely shunned local brands amid concerns over the quality and safety of their products. But the country’s pivot towards isolation under President Xi Jinping’s nationalistic ethos and the maturation of local brands, which often have more of a finger on the pulse when it comes to Chinese trends, has seen that opposition weaken.

    “Chinese consumers are becoming more confident in Chinese-made brands,” said Jonathan Cummings, Asia-Pacific president of global brand consulting and design agency Landor & Fitch. “In the past, the boycott may have been a blip, but now it starts to create a more lasting impact on people’s mentality because they know that they have an alternative.”

    Vital Market
    For foreign brands that have bet heavily on China, consumer nationalism poses a dilemma. While the market is too important to ignore, attempting to stay on Beijing’s good side also risks backlash from Western governments and shoppers.

    Before the Xinjiang controversy, Greater China contributed more than 20% of Nike and Adidas’s global revenue, after roughly doubling in the past decade. In the most recent quarter, that dropped to no more than a fifth.

    Executives at Nike and Adidas have consistently said they’re doubling down on China, despite their fading fortunes. Company representatives for Adidas declined to comment further on the fresh data, while Nike did not respond.

    “We’re getting a little bit better each quarter,” said Nike’s Chief Executive Officer John Donahoe in an earnings call with analysts in December. “We’re going to continue to invest to lead in China.”

    Adidas saw a normalization at a “very slow rate,” and a “substantial difference” between local and non-local brands in China, CEO Kasper Rorsted told analysts in November, but assured them the geopolitical tension was easing.

    Both are investing more into tailoring products to local tastes and using retail innovations common in China, like livestreaming shopping, to boost demand.

    Still, they’re on the backfoot amid the steady drumbeat of Chinese nationalism. Both brands struggle to get top local athletes to endorse them, say analysts, especially during the run-up to the Winter Olympics in Beijing. While Nike briefly regained the No. 1 spot in sneaker sales in November and December, it slipped off pole position in January as the mass sporting event raised the decibel of national pride once more.

    “Before 2016, I wouldn’t give much thought to Chinese brands,” said Clyde Chen, 25, who works in the pet industry and spent nearly a decade in the U.K. studying. “But now my understanding towards national brands has changed. The political events from the Hong Kong protests to foreign brand missteps made me feel I should support our national products. Meanwhile, social media has made it easier to find local products that are of good quality and design.”

    Wider Implications
    The shift to local is even being seen in sectors where Chinese shoppers have long favored foreign offerings. Domestic brands of infant formula were widely avoided after a deadly 2008 scandal involving tainted milk, but now local companies like China Feihe Ltd. have gained the advantage over Western manufacturers.

    In soft drinks, Nestle is now the only foreign name in the top 10, at No. 4. Local startups like drinks company Adopt A Cow and cosmetics brand Colorkey have out-performed global stalwarts like L’Oreal SA’s Yves Saint Laurent Beauty and Estee Lauder Cos Inc.’s MAC Cosmetics, attracting millions in venture capital funding.

    While nationalism can serve as a springboard, the longevity of Chinese brands will ultimately depend on their ability to maintain quality, craft a brand identity and set trends—key components of consumer loyalty that global giants have perfected over decades.

    “Chinese companies are fast in rising from 0 to 1 to 10. But they often lack the stamina from 10 to 100,” said Jason Yu, managing director of research firm Kantar Worldpanel Greater China in Shanghai, which tracks spending behaviors of 40,000 families in the country over the past decade. “What these Chinese brands need to study now is how to maintain the high growth.”

    Sources: Taosj.com and Bloomberg News
    The underlying data for this story is provided by analytics firm Taosj.com, which collects sales information on public websites and provides tools for online businesses to navigate China’s e-commerce landscape.

    The raw data consists of overall sales in various product categories, as well as a monthly breakdown of the top 100 brands for each category.

    Only brands established in mainland China are labeled “domestic” in this analysis. International brands acquired by a Chinese company—such as Fila, whose trademark in China was bought by Anta in 2009—are categorized as foreign brands. This is in line with how they’re perceived by Chinese consumers.
    Editors: Rachel Chang, Emma O’Brien and Jane Pong
    With additional work by: Tim Loh, Kim Bhasin and Daniela Wei
    #92     Feb 22, 2022
  3. themickey


    Let's wait and see how this works out.
    #93     Feb 22, 2022
  4. VicBee


    Is it nationalistic because they don't buy American and European products? I ask because for the last 40 years I've been hearing "Buy American" to justify trashing Japanese cars, boycotting Mexico made products, or snearing at anything made in China.

    We've had 4 years of foaming at the mouth nationalism, rejecting anything foreign and now we're complaining (again) about Chinese buying Chinese? It's a joke, right?
    #94     Feb 22, 2022
  5. themickey


    Not here in Australia, we make five eights of fuck all. So everything we buy except food comes from China.
    We are good at digging holes though.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2022
    #95     Feb 22, 2022
    VicBee likes this.
  6. ZBZB


    Larry Fink is on the board of WEF.
    #96     Feb 22, 2022
  7. themickey


    BlackRock, Vanguard Grapple With Sanctions on Russian Securities

    Silla Brush and Loukia Gyftopoulou, Bloomberg News

    (Bloomberg) -- BlackRock Inc., Vanguard Group and Van Eck Associates are among large asset managers facing a ticking clock if they want to unload stakes in financial firms sanctioned for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

    The U.S. Treasury Department gave fund managers until May 25 to find non-U.S. buyers for their equity and debt holdings in five Russian entities, including VTB Bank PJSC and VEB.RF. The firms also must sever business ties with VTB, which was stripped of its access to infrastructure for the settlement of trades in European markets.

    “Portfolio managers face a balancing act between complying with sanctions and complying with their obligations to fund shareholders under other laws and objectives, which include trying to match an index,” said Jay Baris, a law partner at Sidley Austin. “In a volatile market they must determine whether to hold the securities or sell them to a non-U.S. person at a price that could be a fire sale.”

    Read more: BlackRock Among Russia Bond Holders Tangled in $15 Billion Rout

    A Treasury official said the effective dates of the sanctions were delayed to help firms unwind positions in the affected Russian financial institutions.

    The extra time will “alleviate the need to rush to the market to sell,” said Darshak Dholakia, a Washington-based partner at Dechert LLP who specializes in sanctions and national security law.
    #97     Feb 25, 2022
  8. themickey


    LMAO :)
    #98     Feb 25, 2022
  9. themickey


    China’s wealthiest drop $72 billion in a day as stocks plunge
    By Venus Feng March 15, 2022

    China’s stock rout cost the nation’s richest tycoons more than $US52 billion ($72 billion) on Monday.

    Zhong Shanshan, known as China’s king of bottled water, led the plunge as his fortune fell by $US5 billion, while Tencent Holding Ltd.’s Pony Ma dropped $US3.3 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

    Tencent CEO “Pony” Ma’s fortune fell by $US3.3 billion after a report the company is facing a record fine for violating anti-money laundering rules.Credit:Bloomberg

    Shares of Zhong’s Nongfu Spring Co. tumbled 10 per cent in Hong Kong trading -- the most in 18 months -- though he still remains China’s wealthiest person with a fortune of $US60.3 billion. Tencent fell the most since 2011 after a report that it’s facing a record fine for violating anti-money laundering rules. Pony Ma, once the country’s wealthiest person, is now third with a net worth of $US35.2 billion.

    The slide in Chinese stocks accelerated Monday after US officials said Russia asked Beijing to help with the war in Ukraine, raising concerns over a backlash against Chinese companies, potentially even sanctions. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index tracking shares traded in Hong Kong sank the most since November 2008, while the Hang Sang Tech Index tumbled 11 per cent for the worst decline since its inception.

    More: https://www.smh.com.au/business/mar...n-a-day-as-stocks-plunge-20220315-p5a4ni.html
    #99     Mar 14, 2022
  10. Mic, are there any Chinese stocks you like? Is the wealth destruction because of US or is China killing DIDI, BABA and Tencent?
    #100     Mar 14, 2022