Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes is doing production deals abroad to boost revenues.
One of Jeffrey Bewkes’ favorite movies these days is Two Ear Chicken, a low-budget German tale about a philandering tabloid journalist. No, the Time Warner (TWX) CEO hasn’t become a connoisseur of obscure German cinema. His company produced the romantic comedy, and it is the most popular German film of 2009… Bewkes believes it is no longer good enough simply to export films like The Dark Knight or TV shows like The Sopranos. He wants to produce local programming for audiences around the world. Last year, Warner Bros. (TWX) released 19 movies for the German market. “We need to get scale in these countries,” says Bewkes, “and one way to do that is to ramp up local productions.”
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) completed a tender for four nuclear plants in December,
Yet the $40 billion contract in the UAE, won by a consortium led by Korean Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), South Korea’s largely state-owned electricity monopoly, has caused consternation among the six big firms that have dominated the industry for decades: GE and Westinghouse of America, Areva of France, and Toshiba, Hitachi and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries of Japan. Russian and Chinese firms hope to follow the Koreans’ lead. Suddenly the incumbents are confronted by emerging-market “national champions” with the full backing of their governments—an invaluable asset in a high-liability business like nuclear power.
Not so wide
FROM being a rounding error a decade ago, the financial clout of China now trails only that of America. By market capitalisation, it has three of the four largest banks, the two largest insurance companies, the second-largest stockmarket and a lengthening list of investment funds. Yet who makes the decisions in China is barely understood. The government and the Communist Party are intimately entwined with the managers of China’s financial institutions. Working out who is really in charge is almost impossible.