Every so often, a business writer catches the mood of the market. Nassim Nicholas Taleb has done it twice. The first time it was with Fooled by Randomness, his book on trading and the financial markets; and with The Black Swan, he has hit the mark again.
As we confront the ramifications of a credit crunch that not enough people saw coming, and sudden write-downs at banks that had been applauded for their prudence, the idea that the only thing we can predict is unpredictability has quite some salience.
There are jitters all around but as illustrated by our data on page 87, so far, global FDI flows have weathered the credit crunch rather well. However, as I argued in this column earlier in the year, with less access to credit and less money to spend on international expansions, companies will need to be savvier and more selective about where and how they expand. And as demand for overseas investment locations drops, many locations will have to fight to maintain their relevance.
The need for due diligence, and as a result, market intelligence, will only intensify. And this is why, rather than pull back in the face of a cooling economy, fDi magazine is in expansion mode.
In a further step forward in our strategy to provide quality information, news and analysis on crossborder investment, Financial Times Business has acquired OCO Monitor and OCO Assess – two highly respected FDI resources developed by OCO Consulting – and has created a dedicated division called fDi Intelligence, with fDi magazine as the flagship publication for the franchise.
fDi Markets, formerly OCO Monitor, is an online database tracking crossborder greenfield investment, covering all sectors and countries worldwide. It provides real-time monitoring of investment projects, capital investment and job creation, with powerful tools to track and profile companies investing overseas.
fDi Benchmark, formerly OCO Assess, is an online location assessment and benchmarking tool, which allows corporate decision-makers to appraise the attractiveness of countries and cities worldwide for specific sectors and investment projects. It is the only product to offer comprehensive country and city-level data on a global scale and on a directly comparable basis.
Along with these products, we have taken on 16 staff members, including 11 who will continue to be based in what is now our Belfast office, making fDi, ironically, an inward investor – a very practical basis for our unrivalled expertise in business location and expansion.