Friday, August 31, 2012

Chinese Investors Now Second-Largest Shareholder of Inter Milan

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. stake (n.)
[steyk] – a percentage or part of a company that a person or group owns or has interest in
Example: The chairman’s stake in the company amounts to 50%.

2. shareholder (n.) [shair-hohl-der] – a person or group that has bought a company’s stocks or shares
Example: The Tokyo Electric Power Company’s shareholders voted to continue using nuclear power.

3. divulge (v.) [dih-vuhlj, dahy-] – to make private information known to the public or to other people
Example: Employees must not divulge their company’s private policies and projects.

4. keep afloat / keeping (something) afloat (idiom) [keep uh-floht]/ [keep-ing (suhm-thing) uh-floht] – to avoid going bankrupt or losing a business because of money problems
Example: Many companies have trouble keeping afloat in these tough economic times.

5. sensational (adj.) [sen-sey-shuh-nl] – receiving much attention and interest from people
Example: Inter Milan gave a sensational performance in 2010 by winning three major championships in one year.)

Read the text below.

An unnamed group of Chinese investors now owns 15% of Inter Milan’s stakes, making the Chinese group the second-largest shareholder of the famous Italian football club.

According to Inter Milan, the move to sell to Chinese investors is part of efforts to increase their presence in Asia. In a press release statement, however, Inter Milan said that the Moratti family, which owns the club, would still be in control of the club.
The club also revealed plans of building a new stadium in 2017 with the aid of China Railway Construction, but the location of the future stadium is still unknown.

China Railway Construction is believed to be the company that bought the stakes, reportedly paying almost $70 million. However, Inter Milan did not divulge the identity of its Chinese investors.

What is certain is that since the deal was made, China Railway’s assistant president Kamchi Li has been included in Inter Milan’s board of directors.

The Inter Milan deal is the latest in the list of European football clubs that are looking to China and other Asian nations for help in keeping their clubs afloat amid Europe’s economic problems. Other football clubs now owned by Asian investors are Birmingham City F.C., Queen’s Park Rangers F.C., and Leicester City F.C.

However, Inter Milan’s deal is the most sensational because the club has an excellent football record. The club has won competitions such as the Serie A (Scudetto) 18 times and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Champions League three times.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         How do you feel about Asian investors owning part of European companies? Why do you feel that way?
·         Do you think Asian countries will soon dominate most Western countries in terms of business? Please explain your answer.

Discussion B

·         Football is said to be the most popular sport in the world. Why do you think it is so popular?
·         Do you think marketing a sports team internationally is important? Why or why not?

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