China proves to be an attractive investment destination - Danish toymaker Lego is teaming up to develop online games and US e-commerce major Ebay is set to open its second subsidiary in the country. Alibaba-rival JD.com aims to raise billions for its logistics business and might go public overseas. Enjoy the read and feel free to share.




Tuesday, 16 January 2018





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China proves to be an attractive investment destination - Danish toymaker Lego is teaming up to develop online games and US e-commerce major Ebay is set to open its second subsidiary in the country. Alibaba-rival JD.com aims to raise billions for its logistics business and might go public overseas. Enjoy the read and feel free to share.

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Asia & Australia


Digital alliance ▪ Toymaker Lego and tech giant Tencent have formed a partnership to develop games, online videos and a social media network aimed at Chinese children. Privately-owned Lego has seen a double-digit sales growth in China, where the company has about a 3% market share, followed by rivals Mattel and Hasbro.



More commitments ▪ Alibaba-rival JD.com has kicked off a fundraising round at its logistics unit with the aim to get at least US$ 2 billion, and eventually plans to get listed overseas. Meanwhile, US e-commerce major Ebay has inked a deal in China to set up a second branch in the country, this time in Fuzhou.



Leadership change ▪ Australian supermarket operator Woolworths has announced its merchandising director, Steve Donohue, to head the chain's A$ 8 billion Endeavor Drinks division, the country's largest liquor retailer. Current manager Martin Smith will retire at the end of the financial year.




Europe


Pushing eastwards ▪ German hypermarket banner Kaufland enters Moldova and plans to open 15 stores. The move is regarded as a stepping stone into the lucrative Ukrainian market. Over in Russia, retailer Lenta has confirmed that it has launched 89 new outlets across the country in 2017, increasing its selling space by 20.6%



Swiss deal ▪ In a bid to 'significantly expand' its position in the European convenience food market, Switzerland's leading meat processor Bell Food Group will acquire a majority stake in convenience foods company Hügli, and is set to launch a public tender offer for the remaining shares.



Reporting results ▪ Metro said that sales in the first quarter 'were in line' with its outlook for the full financial year. The German retail conglomerate posted only a slight increase in sales to EUR 10.1 billion.




USA & Canada


Fresh boost ▪ Sales at Amazon Fresh grew 35% to US$ 135 million in the last four months of 2017, aided by the company’s acquisition of Whole Foods last summer. Strategy consultant Brittain Ladd thinks this is just the beginning and predicts that Amazon will be the largest grocery brand by 2030.



Eco-friendly decisions ▪ Supermarket operator Albertsons has reached a milestone with its organic brand, reporting that the private label has achieved US$ 1 billion in sales. The chain plans to introduce around 500 new products to the line this year. The US grocer has also joined a group to form a sustainable palm oil network.




South America & Africa


Ambitious aspirations ▪ Chilean retailer Cencosud said it plans to make US$ 400 million in investments this year and expects revenue of US $16.5 billion over the 12-month period. The company also announced that its investment plan could be revised depending on the sale of non-strategic assets.



Battles ahead ▪ Cape Town-headquartered Woolworths posted a poor trading update underscoring its many woes. In South Africa, the food and clothing retailer is facing an intensified war with its competitors and weak consumer confidence. Pressure is mounting in Australia, where its David Jones chain suffered a sales decline.