Breakingviews

Chinese fintech could help revive Hong Kong market

September 2, 2016

Web groups like Alibaba snubbed the territory to float Stateside. A new breed of financial upstarts with few global peers may find Hong Kong more welcoming. A few multi-billion-dollar listings would cut the bourse's reliance on stodgy financial and property giants.

Drugmakers get their $2.3 bln worth in Washington

September 1, 2016

U.S. lawmakers are prodding Mylan about EpiPen in the latest probe into rising prescription prices. Dozens of legislative proposals to rein them in have stalled over the last decade. No industry spends more than pharma lobbying Congress. The investment now faces its biggest test.

Europe may end up behind the curve on 5G internet

September 1, 2016

Telecom companies claim the EU's new open-internet guidelines disadvantage them relative to U.S. and Chinese players. They're right that Europe may slip behind in the race for superfast internet, but net neutrality isn't the real enemy. Blame a highly fragmented market instead.

China is wrong venue for an SDR revival

September 1, 2016

Beijing wants to revive interest in Special Drawing Rights, the IMF quasi-currency it is about to join. The World Bank will sell $2 bln of SDR debt in China to help. Global investors badly need an alternative to the dollar but China's rickety bond market is a poor place to start.

Stars are aligning for German bank merger fest

August 31, 2016

Commerz and Deutsche Bank held talks earlier this month on a possible tie-up. These may have come to nought, but low rates and a bleak outlook make consolidation an increasingly good idea. The two biggest players may prefer other tie-ups, though.

Apple’s tax spat could blight European banks

August 31, 2016

The tech giant’s $14.5 bln EU tax bill has shades of a $9 bln U.S. fine handed to BNP Paribas in 2014. Despite big differences, both have the whiff of a transatlantic raid on those deemed able to pay. EU banks awaiting U.S. fines, like Deutsche Bank and RBS, have cause to fret.

Potash giant emerges from ashes of failed deals

August 30, 2016

Canadian fertilizer companies Agrium and Potash Corp of Saskatchewan said on Aug. 30 they were in preliminary discussions about a merger of equals. Potash shares were up about 11 percent and Agrium's 6 percent at 1 p.m. EDT. The talks were first reported by Bloomberg.

Europe’s bite at Apple could leave bad aftertaste

August 30, 2016

The European Commission wants companies to pay their fair share of tax. Zeroing in on Apple’s alleged sweetheart deal with Ireland fits that agenda. But it could misfire. Reeling from Brexit, Dublin might feel pressure to make itself even more friendly to corporate taxpayers

Tokyo’s analysts outperform on a bad metric

August 30, 2016

Sell-side researchers everywhere are under pressure to be kind to companies. Yet Japan stands out for the uniformity of opinions, a Breakingviews analysis shows. More than half of big stocks in the country don't have a single negative rating. No wonder short-sellers are circling.

Eddie Lampert is more whaling captain than hedgie

August 29, 2016

Once upon a time, the investor was hailed as the next Warren Buffett. His decade-plus obsession with Sears resembles Ahab's with Moby Dick. Extending another $300 mln loan to the flailing retailer is the latest sign that Lampert just doesn't know how to let go of the harpoon.