Breakingviews

Bayer can still be saved from $66 bln splurge

September 14, 2016

The agreed takeover of U.S. rival Monsanto is too expensive. The German group's investors have probably lost $7 bln in value already. The question is whether antitrust regulators do what shareholders can't and nix the tie-up. Paying the $2 bln break fee would still be preferable.

Gauging luxury demand now more art than science

September 14, 2016

Watch-maker Richemont said first-half operating profit will be down 45 percent, with sales poor in all regions. Bag-maker Hermes is to scrap sales targets. With global GDP still to grow by 2.4 percent this year, brands can't just blame weak economies.

India lays foundation for a fintech revolution

September 14, 2016

A new payments platform, tied to biometric identity data, will hasten the move to a cashless economy. The open system sets India's fintech infrastructure apart from China or the U.S. That's great news for consumers and entrepreneurs, less so for big banks and mobile wallet firms.

Chancellor: No hyperinflation, just Weimar malaise

September 13, 2016

Central-bank money printing hasn't produced the spiralling prices that plagued the Weimar Republic. It has, though, delivered some of the social disquiet of 1920s Germany. Policymakers urging more extreme monetary actions need to exercise caution lest they get what they wish for.

Income rise weakens Trump case for radical reform

September 13, 2016

U.S. census data showed household income jumped in 2015 while poverty dropped, the first sign of recovery in the metric to show up since 2007. Evidence that Obama's programs are working will help Hillary Clinton's pitch for incremental change against Trump's radical economic populism.

Perrigo shows danger of overplaying M&A defense

September 13, 2016

The $13 bln drug company fought off Mylan's hostile takeover bid last year. Now it's missing the targets it set to persuade investors to reject the deal. It's a common infraction that in Perrigo's case has prompted activist Starboard to dive in. Overpromising is a fool's errand.

Carney guessing game feeds bond market distortion

September 13, 2016

The Bank of England has revealed corporate bonds eligible for its 10 billion pound buying spree. Its requirement that companies make a material contribution to the country still throws up some anomalies. Second-guessing the central bank makes capital markets less efficient.

Postal bank’s $8 bln IPO scrapes through the door

September 13, 2016

Postal Savings Bank of China is roughly worth its trailing book value at the middle of the price range. SOE listings can't pass at a discount. But that's where rivals with higher returns trade. The bank's safer lending profile, and anchor investors, should stop logic taking hold.

Fertilizer duo bucks trend with $36 bln love-in

September 12, 2016

Canada's Potash and Agrium are combining in a merger of equals. It's a contrast to past industry mash-up attempts, which gave off a whiff of exuberance before collapsing. There's plenty for both sets of shareholders to like, assuming the deal clears antitrust hurdles.

Sugar can’t sweeten AB Foods’ retail slowdown

September 12, 2016

Sales are slowing at Primark, the fast-fashion chain that accounts for two-thirds of operating profit at the sugar-and-retail conglomerate. The weaker pound may hit the clothing chain's profitability next year. A widening pension deficit further sours AB Foods' prospects.