Indian tycoon’s $9 bln tidy-up is too clever

August 15, 2016

Kumar Mangalam Birla is merging two holding companies. That helps streamline his Aditya Birla conglomerate. But the overly complex deal gives investors on both sides reasons to grumble. One side is forced to share a healthy balance sheet and the other a promising financial arm.

Hillary Clinton slips through Trump tax loophole

August 12, 2016

The Democratic nominee revealed that she paid a 34 pct tax rate last year. Over $10 mln of income also cements her in the 1 pct with inequality an election focus. Trump's refusal to release his own returns makes Clinton's wealth and its origins harder for Republicans to assail.

Wall Street dawdling only gives opponents a push

August 12, 2016

Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley want till 2022 to offload investments banned by the Volcker Rule. They've already had six years to do so, a span when the stock market doubled. Even if the request has merits, it'll encourage harsher scrutiny and talk of more regulation.

from Viewsroom:

Viewsroom: India water woes; fintech; Trumponomics

August 12, 2016

Drought, farmers, poor pricing and bad infrastructure in the world's second-most populous country hinder Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Make in India' vision; peer-to-peer lenders try to deal with a downturn; and Donald Trump's economic plan is more pinstripes than blue collar.

UK fracking revolution calls for national thinking

August 12, 2016

Handouts to disgruntled communities and tax breaks are unlikely to make shale gas extraction more appealing for investors, given the shaky outlook for prices. A better strategy could be to create a national drilling titan in the mould of Norway's Statoil to get Britain fracking.

M&A activist twist suits almost everyone

August 11, 2016

Activist hedge fund Elliott won a bump in value on two agreed deals - for brewer SABMiller and UK retailer Poundland. Both results are good for shareholders in the targets, and not too bad for the bidders. It should, though, provoke a subtle shift in how deals get done.

Disney deal finally puts ESPN on offense

August 10, 2016

A year after sparking concerns about its sports network losing subscribers, the media conglomerate is buying a one-third stake in Major League Baseball's streaming technology firm for $1 bln. That will take ESPN direct to consumers and give Disney a valuable step into the future.

ITV can pay more for a slice of Peppa Pig

August 10, 2016

Canada's Entertainment One rejected a 1 billion pound approach from ITV, an 8.5 percent premium on its closing share price. The Peppa Pig owner is well positioned for the shift towards digital content. And ponying up more would help ITV to diversify away from the UK.

Team Trump: six degrees of legal separation

August 9, 2016

Many of the rich businessmen and investors advising the GOP nominee on economic policy also are linked to his past lawsuits. Most of the cases were settled or dismissed. There's a "Team of Rivals" element to the group, but it mostly exposes Trump's litigious and mercurial nature.

Microsoft’s Monster warning for LinkedIn deal

August 9, 2016

The software giant's $26 bln swoop for the professional social-networking site already looked pricey. offers a cautionary tale of how bad it could get. The job-listing board was once worth $8 bln until LinkedIn crushed it. Now it has sold to a rival for just $429 mln.