Better stock up on your wrinkle-free chinos and T-shirts with vaguely cultish slogans! Hong Kong-based clothier Giordano, purveyor of some of the best value in quality umbrellas this side of the Irrawaddy, has issued a profit warning due to weak mainland China sales and tighter margins. Giordano is one of a few retailers with bad news to report. Wal-Mart, which we hear is enjoying something of a renaissance in the US, says sales in China are in the red, and the people behind Circle K convenience stores are in a similar position. Times are also tough in China for Toyota, which failed to take advantage of Beijing’s tax cut for cars with small engines by, well, having too few cars with small engines. In contrast with the cheery news from GM earlier this week, Toyota’s first-quarter sales were down 17%. In news unrelated enough that any attempt at a segue would seem forced, there was more today on the negotiations in Australia (nowhere near the Irrawaddy) between Aluminum Corp of China (Chinalco) and global mining giant Rio Tinto. Chinalco is now said to be considering pursuing the negotiations minus a stake in the huge Hamersley iron ore mine, which has become a sticking point in the talks.
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