Breakingviews

SoulCycle IPO endorphins inhibit pain potential

By Guest Contributor
July 31, 2015

The indoor cycling chain is inviting investors to join its “tribe” of athletes, renegades and rockstars. The company is profitable and sales accelerated by more than 50 pct in the first quarter to $35 mln. But management, growth plans and faddishness are weak points in the spin.

Olympics committee gets it right with Beijing 2022

July 31, 2015

The Winter Games won’t boost China’s growth, end repression, or win the country much extra respect. It might help soft power, but then most countries already do whatever China asks. Freed from such false hopes, everyone can sit back, have fun and admire the fake snow.

BNP Paribas’ M&A machine spits out growth and risk

July 31, 2015

France’s top bank by assets cranked out resurgent second-quarter earnings of 2.6 bln euros. Three takeovers in 2014 are delivering results. Yet dealmaking sprawl has tripped up rivals in the past. It might be a good time for the Belgian state to trim its 10 pct stake.

Numbers add up to HSBC leaving London

July 31, 2015

The global bank is reviewing its head office location based on 11 criteria such as economic importance, transparency and tax. A ranking based on data compiled by Breakingviews shows Singapore, Hong Kong and even Toronto are more attractive than HSBC’s current home base.

Delphi deal crudely hitches to connected-car hype

July 30, 2015

The auto supplier is paying $1.7 bln for a UK maker of “bundle management solutions.” HellermannTyton may be a solid company whose cable ties and such are integral components, but there’s a whiff of dot-com fever in the rhetoric. That’s not enough to justify the 45 pct premium.

Rob Cox: Rick Perry is running for the wrong job

July 30, 2015

The presidential candidate and ex-governor of Texas is a proponent of laissez-faire markets. Yet he has joined a global chorus of politicos and watchdogs pushing policies to break up the big banks. If he’s serious, he’d make a better Wall Street regulator than White House boss.

Deutsche Bank smart on growth, shabby on costs

July 30, 2015

Germany’s biggest bank grew capital buffers and revenue briskly in the second quarter. But expenses devoured 85 pct of the top line – the same as a year ago. New co-CEO John Cryan needs to pull Deutsche out of some of the 60-plus countries it aims to be in, and cut headcount.

Malaysian crisis could do lasting financial damage

July 30, 2015

Prime Minister Najib Razak’s sacking of his deputy opens the door to a protracted power struggle. The economy can ill-afford it. Fading consumer and investor confidence and a slumping currency could mean a long period of high interest rates, anaemic growth and soured loans.

Novartis spinoff is neat cure for Big Pharma ills

July 29, 2015

The $275 bln Swiss pharma group is injecting three drugs-in-development into a new entity backed by UK investors. Venture capital markets can be better at valuing and nurturing small drugs than Big Pharma shareholders. With biotech markets hot, there’s room for copycat deals.

Edward Hadas: Nikkei joins demographic denial cult

By Edward Hadas
July 29, 2015

Nikkei is the latest Japanese company to look for growth outside the shrinking domestic market. Its Financial Times purchase may work out, but the approach is flawed. Few companies can profitably escape their demographic destiny. It may be better to accept steady decline.