Sunday 11 December 2016

Davos 2016: Blackstone's Schwarzman insists China economy 'not in freefall'

Donal O'Donovan in Davos, Switzerland

Published 20/01/2016 | 14:19

Blackstone chief executive Stephen Schwarzman
Blackstone chief executive Stephen Schwarzman

Blackstone chief Stephen Schwarzman says China's economy is "not in freefall."

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Blackstone chief Stephen Schwarzman says China's economy is "not in freefall."

Fears about the implications for global trade of a slow down in China, and it's impact on oil prices in particular, 8is emerging as the dominant theme as at the World Economic Forum's annual conference in Davos, Switzerland gets underway today.

It is a sign of the pace at which markets have fallen in recent weeks that the question of whether China, and connected developing economies are in trouble, barely makes the formal agenda for this years event.

Instead exhibits dedicated to emerging technologies - including displays of advanced robotics and virtual reality line the walls and corridors, reflecting the official theme for the event, which a focus on the implications of what organisers have called the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The vast Davos conference centre is hosting 1,500 global chief executives, dozens of political leaders and hundreds of investors and academics and celebrities.

Oscar hopeful Leonardo DiCaprio and Bono are understood to be among the throngs already mingling in the informal lobbies and catch-up areas.

Stephen Schwarzman is best known in Ireland for Blackstone's string of post-crash acquisitions, including a major stake in Eircom.

He insisted today that China is not in freefall, citing the strength of consumer activity in the country, but the well known US Republican Party supporter said the level of anger being expressed in the presidential race there was 'astounding'

Taoiseach Enda Kenny is due to arrive in Davos later today.

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