Management reports, briefs issued by Samsung Economic Research Institute
Multinational corporations are facing a hostile business environment that includes weak economic vitality, currency disputes and trade protectionism. At the beginning of the year, the International Monetary Fund predicted 3.5% global growth but only four months later, it lowered its forecast to 3.3%, warning of a "three-speed" recovery of first the emerging economies, and then the US, followed by the eurozone. Meanwhile, deliberate currency depreciation to stimulate exports has raised alarm among trade rivals and nations are tightening examination of foreign companies. For example, criticism was heaped on Apple and Microsoft business policies in China.
The Fortune Global 500 companies reported average net profit to sales of 5.5% in 2012, down 1 percentage point from pre-global crisis levels, among which 58, or over 10% of the total, were in negative territory. The Forbes Global 2000 companies' year-on-year growth in sales and assets was 6-7% in 2012 and net profit plunged 7%.
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