Billionaire CEOs Play Down Impact of Chinese Market Volatility
As titans of tech and media descended on Sun Valley for the annual Allen and Company conference, business leaders played down the significance of the ongoing market meltdown in China.
General Motors (NYSE:GM) CEO Mary Barra is watching China closely after earmarking $14 billion for investment in the country over the next three years.
"It is a very important market and we have a strong brand in Buick. We are building Chevy and building Cadillac, so even with market dynamics changing, we are still well positioned and we are going to continue to focus on it because it's an important market," Barra told FOX Business.
Earlier this year, GM forecasted the auto industry would grow 6 to 7% in China this year. Barra expects a "modest increase" in GM's market share.
However, Chinese Internet giant Tencent is more comprehensively exposed to the market gyrations in mainland China, causing the company's president, Martin Lau, to be more cautious.
"It does concern me a little bit, in terms of how the stock market rout can affect the real economy," Lau told FOX Business. "I think the government is taking all the steps it can."
IAC/InterActive (NYSE:IACI) chairman Barry Diller shrugged off the Shanghai Composite's plunge.
"Markets go up and down. Chinese have a lot of production they make so I'm not worried," Diller said.
Priceline.com (NASDAQ:PCLN) CEO Darren Huston pondered whether the flow of outbound travelers from China -- a major source of revenue -- would be affected, but told FOX Business he is not concerned about a lasting negative impact on the global travel industry.
As business leaders minimized the impact of the Chinese market along with the ongoing drama in Greece, they participated in a packed day of panel discussions, including a morning presentation by billionaire Elon Musk on driverless cars and space travel.
Afterward, Musk told FOX Business he is "feeling very positive about the future" of SpaceX, following the explosion of a Falcon 9 rocket bound for the International Space Station last week. He did not elaborate on the cause.
Wednesday's events in Sun Valley concluded with evening remarks by Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter about improving ties between the military and private sector.