Rakuten jig highlights Japan’s warped benchmark

September 7, 2016

Shares of the shopping website leapt on news it would join the Nikkei 225. It shows the power of an arbitrary index weighted by share price instead of fundamentals like size or free float. The Bank of Japan's $60 bln-a-year push into index funds will only amplify the distortion.

VW jolt not enough to end Icahn trucking nightmare

September 6, 2016

The investor's 20 pct stake in Navistar got a boost from the troubled U.S. manufacturer's partnership with the German giant. Five years agitating for change has yielded nothing for Icahn or fellow activist owners. The stock needs to rise by half again just for him to break even.

Fox settlements another price for poor governance

September 6, 2016

Rupert Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox settled a high-profile lawsuit against former TV boss Roger Ailes as accusations of his sexual peccadilloes snowball. Like the phone-hacking scandal in the UK, it's a result of lax oversight abetted by a dual-class share structure.

Global leaders test limits of spreading wealth

September 6, 2016

“Inclusion” was the buzzword at the G20 conflab. A fairer distribution of the fruits of growth is urgent when globalisation is under attack in the West. The challenge for politicians is to reduce inequality within rich countries without the rest of the world suffering.

DoCoMo spat adds odd twist to India scare stories

September 6, 2016

The Japanese telco is struggling to enforce a London arbitration award ordering Tata Sons to pay it $1.2 bln. Tata says it wants to pay. India refuses to approve. Despite a slew of reforms, high-profile legacy disputes with foreign firms hurt the idea India is open for business.

May’s migrant musings a cautious positive for City

September 5, 2016

The UK prime minister has cast doubt on the efficacy of a so-called points-based immigration system post-Brexit. That sounds good for UK financial firms hit by restrictions on non-EU workers. The catch is Theresa May has little choice but to get net migration down somehow.

Samsung Note 7 fires offer glimpse of new leader

September 5, 2016

Faulty batteries have forced the $230 bln giant to recall its latest smartphone. The financial fallout may be manageable. But it gives outsiders a way to assess heir apparent Jay Y. Lee, who is trying to assert his authority on the conglomerate. Drastic action is encouraging.

Yum’s new China backers add spice at a price

September 2, 2016

The KFC owner is selling a slug of its China unit to Alibaba's mobile-payments arm and a firm run by former Goldman Sachs partner Fred Hu. Together, they bring tech nous and connections. It's a better deal than usual for cornerstone investors, but may pay off for Yum's spinoff.

Trump’s dystopia gives gun sellers bright outlook

By Rob Cox
September 2, 2016

In a quarter that included the Orlando shooting and the NRA endorsing the Republican presidential candidate, Smith & Wesson reported a 40 pct surge in sales. It also lifted its guidance. Big business may not be getting behind Trump, but he is helping one corner of capitalism.

Dublin faces fiendishly tough call on Apple appeal

September 2, 2016

Ireland has a stark choice: take 13 bln euros from the tech giant in back tax and hurt its standing with multinationals, or keep its national business model intact. With Brexit looming, the safe choice is to appeal. But the country has more scope to annoy Apple than it did.