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Best managed companies in Asia 2011: Asia’s finest pull themselves together

Asia’s best-run companies are taking advantage of strong domestic growth to integrate and expand, while the tough global environment distracts their peers. Chinese and Indian companies are leading the charge. This year’s Euromoney best-managed companies in Asia survey highlights some of the region’s world-beaters. Lawrence White reports.

ASKED WHAT WAS the main challenge facing his company in 2010, Wang Xiaochu, chairman and chief executive of China Telecom, replies concisely: "Intensifying market competition in the telecommunications sector, especially fixed to mobile substitution." In other words, the big challenge for the company topping this year’s best-managed companies in Asia poll was a straightforward business problem of increased competition rather than the crises of liquidity, strategy and leadership that have hammered some of the leading blue-chip names from the west. Asia’s best companies are on the charge. Although access to capital has by no means been guaranteed for even Asia’s best companies, their relatively strong liquidity positions have allowed them to focus on growth and long-term strategy rather than crisis management. Xiaochu says that given the strong free cashflow generated by the business and the ease of raising funds in China’s domestic debt markets, the company is well placed to avoid the funding challenges that some global peers have faced.

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