General Electric Vice Chair: ‘No Shortage of Growth Opportunities’

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In another report from the World Economic Forum this week, General Electric Co.’s (NYSE:GE) vice chair John G. Rice spoke with the Wall Street Journal regarding the “tremendous underlying demand for infrastructure” in emerging markets, despite lower growth expectations. Rice expressed optimism about the global economy in general, saying it is “getting better, not worse.”

GE has substantial operations in emerging markets, and said that demand in China “remains great.” News of slowing growth in emerging markets such as Asia come at a time when GE is undergoing big restructuring moves; the company has been re-focusing its efforts away from higher-margin financing activities and is investing instead in its classic industrial business.

Rice estimates that over the next three years, the company’s industrial businesses will contribute 70 percent of GE’s operating profits, with the remainder stemming from its banking business, according to the Wall Street Journal. Not only is the company undergoing restructuring, but Rice added that the nature of the company’s infrastructure work is changing as well, with GE playing “matchmaker” between financing sources and the governments that are pursuing large projects.