Posted: January 1, 2016 |  AUTHOR: KEN FOX | CONTACT ME


Best wishes to my readers for a happy and prosperous New Year.

1. CheckPoint Software Technologies (Israel) (NASDAQ: CHKP)

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 11.04.28 AMThis company started in 1993 and became a leader in cyber security. Their U.S. headquarters is in San Carlos, California. Chris Bertelsen says they “are at the forefront of all cyber security.” The company has existing products such as Sand Blast software to help companies which use digital payments, currencies and point-of-sale (POS) systems.


2. Softbank (Japan) (OTC: SFTBF)

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 11.04.36 AMThe personal computer assistant Pepper has become a global phenomenon. Initially offered only in Japan, now watch for its use to spread globally. Also, Softbank’s ownership of Sprint (80%), partnerships with Foxconn (Taiwan) and Alibaba (China) will strengthen the company’s product development, manufacturing and distribution capabilities.

3. Sanofi (France) (NYSE: SNY)

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 11.04.42 AMSanofi has gone through recent management and organizational changes in 2015. This includes forming three separate units and the potential sale of its Meridan pet and animal healthcare group. The company is seeking future growth in 2016 with its launch of the first and only vaccine to prevent dengue fever, Dengvaxia. It has already been approved in Brazil, Mexico and the Philippines and expected to eventually be a $1 billion brand. Sanofi plans to launch 18 new drugs over the next five years.

4. Xiaomi (China) (private)

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 11.04.48 AMXIAOMI was founded in 2010 but is already the third largest Smartphone manufacturer in the world. Lei Jun, CEO and founder, says “our ultimate goal is to make good but cheap things.” It is a challenge to keep up with Xiaomi’s growth plans, especially this past year (2015). The company aggressively launched its Smartphones in India and Brazil, using Foxconn to manufacture the phones in each country. Xiaomi usually sells it products on line, however, it partnered with Mobile Stores in India to sell their phones. The price of its Smartphone in Brazil is about $160 (RedMi2), and in India, $110 (Redmi 2 Prime). The company seeks to become the #1 Smartphone brand in India within three years.

Xiaomi also makes Smartphone accessories, and the MiBand, a wearable fitness tracker. Rumors continue to swirl about the company introducing a tablet, other tech products, as well as plans to launch in the Americas. 

5. Starbucks (USA) (NASDAQ: SBUX)

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 11.04.56 AMThe company’s impressive growth plans include opening 1,800 new stores in 2016 (one half in China and the Asia Region). It acquired Starbucks Japan in 2015, buying non company owned stores, making it the company’s second largest market in retail store sales. Starbucks also plans to roll-out 100 Starbucks Reserve, super premium coffee stores. In order to make buying or shopping at Starbucks more convenient, they will launch mobile order and payment options nationally. Food and beverage delivery service has also started in select U.S. metro areas.

6. Wirecard AG (Germany) (WDI: Germany)

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 11.05.01 AMThe company offers Internet (electronic) payment and processing services, along with fraud protection, electronic transfers and risk management applications. It also includes services from the Wirecard Bank, which offers credit card issuing and related services. However, the main reason for inclusion is the company’s recent December 11, 2015 agreement with Alipay (owned by Alibaba) to provide mobile phone payment services for Chinese tourists visiting Europe. This agreement will provide a channel for  Wirecard to engage with Chinese tourists. Alipay is the largest provider of China’s leading internet payment solution with 400 million active users. Wirecard provides this service in Europe without having to alter POS software or terminal infrastructure. 

7. Yuan (China)

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 11.05.06 AMChina’s currency is finally being recognized. The International Monetary Fund  (IMF) added the Yuan to its elite basket of reserve currencies in late November 2015. This decision will take effect in October 2016. The Yuan would become a more freely traded currency. The Wall Street Journal (12/1/2015) adds: “Anointing the Yuan as a reserve currency is in part is a simple acknowledgement of China’s economic heft.” This is a status symbol for China and reflects a more loosening up of China’s historical governmental controls. The future acceptance of the Yuan by future global financial markets is to be determined. 

8. Panama Canal (Panama)

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 11.05.11 AMAfter several delays, the canal is scheduled to open during the second quarter 2016. The $5.25 billion project will add a third set of locks and further deepen and widen the existing infrastructure, to allow a new line of larger Post-Panamax ships to pass through. This new generation of ships, which can hold 18,000 20 foot-equivalent units (TEUs) already carries 45% of the world’s cargo. Jorge Quijano, Administrator of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) says the first transits of the Atlantic locks are set to take place in April 2016 with the opening planned shortly thereafter. The past congestion and work stoppages at the U.S. west coast ports have helped redirect cargo to the East Coast. This trend may continue with the widening of the Panama Canal and as East coast ports are deepening their ports to accommodate these larger ships.

9. Infosys (India) (NYSE:INFY)

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 11.05.18 AMInfosys is one of the largest business processing (BPO) companies in the world. Infosys was the first company to successfully provide computing services from India to clients around the world at relatively low cost. It helps large companies globally to outsource a multitude of services, ranging from: accounts receivables, insurance claims, engineering, call centers and IT consulting. It has 180,000 employees globally and is a leader in advanced IT services, including data analytics and software development. It is based in Bangalore, and has offices in 23 countries. It contracts with many of Europe’s and America’s leading corporations. The company was started in 1981.

10. Fresenius (Germany) (Ticker: FRE.Germany)

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 11.05.23 AMThe company is Germany’s largest medical-supplies provider. It produces medicines and technologies for infusion, transfusion and clinical nutrition. It provides care for mainly critically and chronically ill patients. One of its divisions is a leading provider of products and services for people with chronic kidney failure. Dialysis is a vital blood cleaning procedure that substitutes the function of the kidney, in case of kidney failure. Fresenius claims to care for 300,000 a year patients worldwide utilizing 3,400 dialysis clinics. In 2014, 50% of the dialysis machines globally sold were produced by the company.

The company is positioned to benefit from the aging population and higher incidence of chronic diseases, as well as the need for home therapies. It will also be seeking growth   in China, where they already have a China Design Center in Shanghai.   


  1. Brazil Approves Sanofi Vaccine, The Wall Street Journal, December 23, 2015
  2. Xiaomi Makes Itself at Home in India with first “Made in India” Phone, TECHINASIA, August 10. 2015
  3. What are the Key Factors Driving Growth for Starbucks, Forbes, November 9, 2015
  4. The Post-Panamax Effect: How the Panama Canal Expansion is Reshaping America’s Ports, CBE, July 21, 2015
  5. Wirecard and Alipay Sign Agreement for Innovative POS Payment Acceptance, Yahoo Finance, November 11, 2015
  6. Fresenius Turns Defense into Offense, Barron’s, October5, 2015
  7. Infosys website
  8. Xiaomi Confronts an Unnerving Time, The Wall Street Journal, September 30, 2015.
  9. Starbucks’ Growth Plans Impress Wall Street, CBS Moneywatch, December 5, 2015
  10. Sanofi Carves Up its Org. Chart to Deliver on a $38B Pipeline Promise, Fierce Biotech, July 15, 2015.
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©2017, The Global Galaxy blog is produced by The Soundings Group, LLC, Charleston, South Carolina, USA, The company is an international business consulting firm, specializing in new market assessments, market entry strategies and marketing guidance. The scope of Global Galaxy is to cover timely international trends, issues and business building ideas. Its purpose is to educate, inform and stimulate thinking for business opportunity analyses.