5 minutes estimated reading time
Russia Seized Millions of Dollars of Swiss Luxury Watches in Moscow – Russian customs service agents took millions of dollars of Audemars Piguet watches. Audemars Piguet had closed its boutique in Moscow. The Russians allege that Audemars Piguet was in breach of customs regulations. The reality is that its retaliation for Switzerland joining other countries in levying sanctions on Russia. In this respect its similar to the state-sanctioned theft of aircraft from Irish aircraft leasing companies. There are a few problems with these Audemars Piguet watches. The Russian market for Swiss watches in 2021, accounting for 260m Swiss francs (£212m) of shipments, according to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry; which puts the country in the top 20 acquirers of Swiss watches.
Audemars Piguet Offshore models are long sought after by watch collectors. The problem that Russia will have with the watches is the inability of them to be serviced. The company will have a record of the serial numbers involved and won’t service them when they come up for maintenance in a few years time. AP watches have a reputation for being great watches, but aren’t robust like say a Rolex in terms of their need to be serviced.
Russia seems to be pretty determined to have western sanctions on the country for a long time to come yet.
China is making new billionaires much faster than the U.S. – I wonder how many of these are in areas like real estate
Republican stance on free markets is shifting when it comes to China | Financial Times worthwhile reading in conjunction with this Biden turns to former Trump officials on China competition bill
Geely questions future in Russia despite opening for China’s carmakers | Financial Times – Tu Le, managing director of Sino Auto Insights, noted that the Chinese carmakers are relatively inexperienced when it comes to maintaining a brand’s reputation in western markets. “They’ve never had to deal with these kinds of external pressures in how they were perceived by foreign consumers,” he said. “A lot of these companies, they’re going to have to do business in Europe, or they’re going to have to do business in the United States. If they seem too eager to fill that void [in Russia], I will bet you money it is going to have some backlash in those regions.”
Google Ordered Translators to Replace References to Ukraine “War” | The Intercept – I think Google needs to get ahead of things like this by being transparent about ethical considerations on their corporate blog
Judy Asks: Are Europeans Ready to Pay the Price for Ukraine’s Sovereignty? – Carnegie Europe – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace – The grim truth is that many in the West would be ready to accept compromises over Ukraine’s sovereignty in order to stop the war. In countries neighboring Russia, there is a strong understanding that such compromises would seriously weaken our security, hence they are ready to pay a high price to avoid them. However, among Western experts and policymakers, assessments of the balance between different interests seem to vary. The thinking that some degree of accommodation of Russia’s interests might be needed to reach stability has not disappeared. This is a dangerous and misguided logic
Lanvin Group plans New York IPO in SPAC deal | Vogue Business – Lanvin Group, the fashion arm of Chinese conglomerate Fosun International which includes the French heritage label Lanvin, plans to list in New York in a SPAC deal, the second high-profile fashion firm to make the move since Ermenegildo Zegna late last year. Lanvin Group announced Tuesday it is combining with special-purpose acquisition company Primavera Capital Acquisition Corporation in a deal that values the group at $1.5 billion, according to an emailed statement. Lanvin Group expects to raise up to $544 million from the deal and from existing investors, and will use the funds to expand its portfolio, including future luxury acquisitions
A Chinese Nickel Market Mystery – WSJ – Market ructions amid war aren’t unusual. But the London Metal Exchange’s retroactive cancellation of nickel trades this month appears to be unprecedented. One question is whether the Hong Kong-owned exchange intervened to rescue a Chinese nickel tycoon. – the exchange is owned by the Hong Kong Stock Exchange