2014 has a been a big year in the world of business, from record-breaking IPO’s to acquisitions, from profits to losses, from economic growth to stagnation. CCTV America’s Shraysi Tandon reported this story from New York.
2014 brought business successes, struggles2014 has a been a big year in the world of business from record-breaking IPO's to acquisitions, from profits to losses, from economic growth to stagnation.
E-commerce giant Alibaba made history this year as it became the biggest initial public offering in the U.S.
“To be honest, most thought we’re just here to raise money. But we’re hoping to represent China’s economy, its small and medium enterprises and the country’s future,” said Alibaba founder Jack Ma.
In a play to dominate the messaging world, social network Facebook snapped up mobile messaging app Whatsapp for a whopping $19 billion.
Stepping into some very big shoes this year was Satya Nadella. The India-born, 46-year-old was named CEO of one of the world’s biggest tech companies, Microsoft. Nadella is only the third boss in Microsoft’s nearly 40 year history.
It was a big year for tech, and no tech story is complete without the world’s largest company by market cap, Apple. The tech giant finally joined the so-called phone-as-large-as-a-tablet ‘phablet’ craze by launching the 5.5 inch iPhone 6, the company’s first ever phablet.
Bank of America broke a record this year and now holds the title for the biggest banking fine ever: $17 billion by U.S. authorities for mortgage fraud during the lead up to the 2008 financial crisis.
And the fines didn’t stop there. Bank of America along with five other major banks like JPMorgan and Citigroup were fined more than $3 billion for attempts to manipulate the currency markets.
Shares of Malaysia Airlines took a beating this year as tragedy struck twice. The whole world watched as authorities scrambled to find flight MH-370. The plane with 239 people on board disappeared in March while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
“The Malaysia side together with Australia, the Netherlands, and other countries will want to comb the entire area because the area is pretty wide,” said Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak at the time.
Just four months later, Malaysia Airlines Flight MH-17 flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed in Ukraine. The airline is presumed to have been shot down by pro-Russian rebels, killing all 298 people onboard.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has arguably been one of the most controversial men in 2014. Earlier this year, Crimea joined Russia, a move that Ukraine and its western supporters say is illegal.
The event was not without consequence. The U.S. and the EU imposed economic sanctions on Russia, targeting Russian energy, banking and defense industries.
“If this continues, we will of course have to think about how (foreign companies) work in the Russian Federation, including in key sectors of the Russian economy such as energy,” Putin said.
As Russia’s energy sector continues to deal with the sanctions, oil prices have stumbled the past few months, with Brent crude dropping to a four-year low. The plunge in oil prices has sent political and economic shock waves around the world.
China’s purchasing power was one topic in focus throughout the year. Chinese buyers have been snapping up real estate across the U.S this year. The most memorable was the sale of the iconic Waldorf Astoria in New York to a group of Chinese buyers for almost $2 billion.
The Russians, Malaysians, Chinese, and the Americans are all making the biggest business headlines this year in the world of technology, banking, airlines, and energy. Many of these players and their stories will continue to have momentum throughout 2015.