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Asia CommentTaipan

Some udder nonsense

Tightening bank budgets may mean cutting back on business trips, but sometimes making those trips is the only way to get the full picture.

A banker friend of mine trekked to a rural part of China recently to carry out some due diligence on a company that was looking to issue dollar bonds to grow its dairy farm.

But did he get a shock when he arrived! From a distance, he could spot a few lazy cows grazing on the farm. But as his car pulled up closer, he was amazed to find that the cows were not real — merely statues.

The company officials hurriedly explained that they had ambitious plans for the land — the real cows were simply not there yet. Unluckily for the prospective borrower, my friend replied that his bank would be mooving on to other pastures.

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