China: Breaking the taboo

The enormous enthusiasm international investment bankers showed when China began floating state-owned companies in 1993 has cooled markedly.

Deutsche Telekom: Nowhere to hide

So much rests on the success of the Dm15 billion share issue for Deutsche Telekom, scheduled for November - not least the credibility of Frankfurt as a financial centre.

United Kingdom: Britain's finished revolution

Institutional investors loved privatization in the 1980s when the UK government sold off sleepily run companies with undervalued assets such as Cable & Wireless and Associated British Ports.

Brazil: Did Merrill bid too low?

A bid so finely priced as to put profits in doubt, a smouldering argument over 500 years of iron ore reserves, the lack of a new story to tell investors - these are the problems Merrill Lynch faces after winning the mandate to privatize Companhia Vale de Rio Doce.