Time to include Renminbi in SDR basket?

By Yimian Wu Financial experts from Hong Kong said in Chicago Wednesday that November will be a good time to include the renminbi, or RMB,  the Chinese currency, in the International Monetary Fund’s special drawing rights basket. The SDR is an international reserve asset created by the IMF in 1969 to supplement its member countries’ […]

Italy protects food with geographic names

By Yimian Wu Italy’s Trade Agency on Tuesday kicked off a three-year plan of promoting authentic Italian foods and beverages and fighting “Italian sounding” products that are actually made in the U.S. Speaking to the press at FMI Connect, a food and beverage trade show at McCormick Place in Chicago, Carlo Calenda, the Italian vice minister for Economic Development, said […]

Founder of 1871 envisions the future of Chicago

Barrett and Pritzker

By Yimian Wu The founder of the high-tech incubator 1871, philanthropist J.B. Pritzker, called for risk-taking and revolution to create Chicago’s “next big thing” at the annual luncheon of the Metropolitan Planning Council on Wednesday. “It is the idea that we are willing to take risks that is going to get us the next wave or the next answer. […]

Yum’s decision in China: To dump or not to dump

Updated June 3 with comment from OSI Group LLC By Yimian Wu Hedge funds such as Third Point and Corvex Management favor Yum! Brands Inc., for one thing: China. But activist investors propose divesting Yum’s China division, which generates half Yum’s revenue, as a giant franchisee that would pay big, steady royalty fees. According to Bloomberg, the founder of activist […]

Gross domestic product sagged in first quarter

By Yimian Wu The U.S economy contracted 0.7 percent in the first quarter as the trade deficit widened and business investment fell, according to the second estimate of gross domestic product (GDP) by the Commerce Department. The result was revised from the first estimate of an increase of 0.2 percent released last month, but it […]

Community bank shares its recipe for success on its 40th anniversary

By Yimian Wu How does a small, privately-owned community bank compete against the dominant banking giants? Cultivating long-term personal relationships, developing niche products and embracing innovation such as a total interior redesign is how 40-year-old Countryside Bank survived a painful Recession-bred crisis and resumed profitable growth. “Once when we were in Paris,” recalled Chicago customer Karen […]

Asset Managers eye Latin America’s middle class for growth

By Yimian Wu Asset managers operating in Latin America hope to claim a bigger share of the growing mutual fund market, currently dominated by local banks, with more sophisticated equity products, said fund managers in the annual conference of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Society Chicago on Thursday. Mutual funds operated by the local banks […]

How Disneyland went wrong in Hong Kong

By Yimian Wu Experts characterize China’s vast wave of “super consumers” as emerging middle class, aging customers and active e-commerce users. As China is shifting from an investment-fueled economy to a consumption-driven economy, understanding consumer behavior is key to developing the right strategy to tap into the large consumer base, the experts said in a […]

Groupon reports diminishing net loss, shares down

By Yimian Wu Groupon Inc. announced its first quarter earnings with improving revenue, growing deals and users and a diminished net loss. Shares dropped 52 cents to $6.32. In the quarter ended March 31, the Chicago-based online deals marketplace narrowed its net loss to $14.3 million, or 2 cents per diluted share, from a year-earlier loss […]

Millennials want houses despite falling homeownership rate

By Yimian Wu Despite the falling U.S homeownership rate and the rise of the sharing economy, owning a home is still part of the American dream for most Millennails, the 20- and 30- somethings. A random sampling of college students in downtown Chicago shows a majority plan to purchase a home in the future. The […]