Guns, guards and soldiers are everywhere. But so are markets and shoppers, who risk their lives crossing chaotic roads crammed with everything from trotting donkey carts to smart four-wheel drives and menacing military vehicles.
Shiseido Co Ltd, Japan's largest cosmetics company, has agreed to buy U.S.-based Bare Escentuals for $1.7 billion, as it looks to speed up its expansion and break into a new part of the North American market.
Sales at U.S. retailers unexpectedly fell in December as consumer spent less on vehicles and an array of other goods during the holiday shopping month, raising concerns about the durability of the economy's recovery.
Canada's West 49 Inc, a trendy sporting goods retailer, said that sales for the key holiday season slipped almost 2 percent as brisk December activity was not enough to offset November's unseasonably warm weather.
Venture capitalists were never very interested in the retail sector, but they are now taking a second look, focusing on a new generation of online retailers and the next wave of technology to help stores optimize how they run their businesses.
Hopes for a flurry of flotations from Britain's retailers may prove misplaced after investors' lukewarm response to strong Christmas sales and amid growing fears life will get tougher again for consumers in 2010.
A surge in Christmas sales at British discount fashion retailer Matalan could reinvigorate a sale process that has run slowly since private equity houses first expressed an interest in the chain in October.