Breakingviews

Latest Apple rumor may vanish as fast as a McLaren

September 22, 2016

The iPhone giant may have approached the British supercar firm. Apple, though, has made few acquisitions, even to help it pioneer smartphones. While McLaren is high-tech, it's hard to see it taking Apple's car ambitions far. Fancy can run free when a company has $230 bln of cash.

Coal rally may already be out of steam

September 22, 2016

The steel-making fuel is likely to give producers like BHP Billiton and Anglo American unexpected earnings boosts but there are few reasons to believe in a lasting rally. Weak Chinese metals demand and a potential revival in domestic supply could make gains fragile for investors.

China gets steelier about debt restructuring

September 22, 2016

Metals trader Sinosteel has agreed a $4 bln workout. The deal is a fudge, but spreads the pain more widely than expected. Meanwhile, a smaller miner has been allowed to fail. Both episodes suggest China is getting a bit tougher about debt problems in moribund sectors.

Fed “forward guidance” blows too much smoke

September 22, 2016

The U.S. central bank again declined to raise rates, leaving what hedgie Dan Loeb called the crack cocaine of loose monetary policy in place. The Fed counts talking to the market as one of its tools. But its story has changed so much that it might do better being less chatty.

BOJ buys time and friends with yield-based reboot

September 21, 2016

The Bank of Japan has ditched its money-printing goals, pledging instead to keep 10-year interest rates at zero until inflation exceeds 2 pct. The central bank’s latest overhaul means it is less likely to run short of debt to buy, and eases the financial sector’s pain.

China postal bank aptly fails to push envelope

September 21, 2016

Postal Savings Bank is raising $7.4 bln after pricing shares in its IPO near the bottom of the range. The implied worth of the lender's equity is 0.93 times its forward book value, in line with peers. Higher costs and loan concentration means it is lucky to secure that.

Cox: Apple and Tesla really need each other now

By Rob Cox
September 20, 2016

Tim Cook may be revamping his approach to autonomous cars, while Elon Musk needs capital and corporate credibility. An Apple stake in Musk's electric carmaker would help both. Adding the Tesla founder to the iPhone giant's board could catalyze innovation there, too.

GSK tries out alternative medicine with new CEO

September 20, 2016

It's a logical move to name consumer head Emma Walmsley as the drugmaker's new chief executive. Pharma companies can learn a lot from the efficient personal care sector. Critics may see a doubling down on GSK’s HIV-to-Horlicks model, without a fix to its weaker pharma business.

China’s startups have few good options left

September 20, 2016

A slowdown in venture capital is squeezing smaller tech hopefuls. Many have flocked to the "New Third Board" but it's hard to raise new equity on this moribund over-the-counter market. Some cash-strapped groups may sell out to larger rivals, or cut costs and hope for the best.

Abbott eases its M&A risk with $4.3 bln asset sale

September 19, 2016

With two acquisitions worth over $30 bln pending – and the purchase of Alere, in particular, not going smoothly – the $62 bln health firm is vulnerable. Selling its eye-surgery unit to J&J gives Abbott needed financial breathing room and perhaps extra leverage with Alere.