Breakingviews

Li Ka-shing still has what investors want

October 23, 2013

Asia’s richest man may be an octogenarian but he still knows when to buy and sell. While the listed bits of his empire show a mixed record, Li’s two prized holding companies have matched or beaten the market. That provides valuable pointers as Li readies a new batch of IPOs.

Alibaba creative governance should come at a cost

October 22, 2013

New York says the Chinese e-commerce group could list with a structure that lets insiders nominate directors. Hong Kong regulators disagreed. The debate is really about the value of shareholder democracy. Investors should be wary of giving up their rights cheaply.

Europe’s investors miss value cues, again

October 18, 2013

It’s a basic rule of asset management: buy what’s cheap, sell what’s expensive. The current crop of European money managers must have slept through that lesson. As the most recent cycle turned, they sold as stocks got cheaper. Now shares are more expensive, they are buying again.

Tech disruptors could save China’s savers

October 10, 2013

Alibaba and Tencent are taking on China’s bank oligopolists. That’s good for depositors: even if the upstarts fail, the industry will have to raise its game. The danger is that more digital channels for lending and saving sow further confusion about who is on the hook for risk.

China’s Bakrie burns may have less sting

October 10, 2013

Like Nat Rothschild, China Investment Corp. has been scorched by Bumi Resources. A $1.3 bln debt swap has turned the sovereign fund from major creditor to minority investor in the Indonesian miner. But CIC’s state backing limits the risk of climbing into bed with the Bakrie clan.

Dear Mr President: Dodges for the U.S. debt ceiling

October 10, 2013

Political gridlock is slowly heightening concern that the United States may not pay its creditors on time. Breakingviews imagines an economist’s suggestions to the U.S. president on how to limit the market fallout if an accord can’t be reached soon enough.

China competition proves hard for Yum to swallow

October 9, 2013

The nation is eating less KFC chicken, hurting sales at the chain’s U.S. owner. Last year’s fears of antibiotic-laced Zinger Burgers didn’t help, but fierce competition has also given consumers more dining options. Yum is no longer a great bellwether for Chinese appetites.

For China, U.S. debt ceiling is a paper tiger

October 8, 2013

The biggest holder of U.S. debt is understandably troubled by Washington’s financial straits. Yet absent an actual default, China is relatively insulated from market gyrations. The more trade partners doubt the dollar, the faster it can promote its own currency as a substitute.

Tyremakers’ takeover spat faces high toll

October 7, 2013

India’s Apollo wants to renegotiate the $2.5 bln takeover of its U.S. rival following labour disputes. Cooper Tire has gone to court to force its suitor to pay up. Investors are increasingly doubtful the deal will cross the finish line. A compromise looks the least bad outcome.

China’s dash for dairy based on frothy forecasts

October 4, 2013

Foamy figures about milk’s popularity in China have lifted share prices of domestic producers, propelled Huishan’s $1.3 bln IPO last week and attracted big investors like Henry Kravis. China’s market size potential is massive, but the rate of growth may be leaner than advertised.