Breakingviews

Renzi’s MPS gamble works win or lose

August 4, 2016

The Italian premier chose not to haircut the bank's debt for fear of losing a crucial referendum. The alternative - raising over six times MPS' market cap - is hard, but not impossible. If the rights issue fails, Matteo Renzi still wins: it parks the issue until after the vote.

Hong Kong’s special status is in need of renewal

August 4, 2016

The former colony has mostly thrived in the 19 years since China took charge with a promise to leave it alone until 2047. But society is divided and the rule of law under strain. Without reassurances about its long-term future, Hong Kong faces an exodus of citizens and companies.

Note to D.C.: Jack-hammer away on infrastructure

August 3, 2016

With interest rates at record lows, there's growing support on the campaign trail for rebuilding U.S. roads and bridges. Donald Trump called for at least doubling the $275 bln in spending proposed by Hillary Clinton. To grow jobs, wages and GDP, it's a policy deserving of a deal.

Time Warner as sous-chef may enhance Hulu broth

August 3, 2016

The media conglomerate bought a 10 pct stake in the digital-TV service at a $5.8 bln valuation. Hulu gets Time Warner programs but not another board member at a table crowded by rivals Disney, Fox and Comcast. This sort of arrangement may give the JV a better shot at success.

Rio Tinto’s best is not yet good enough

August 3, 2016

The Anglo-Australian miner has slashed debt but can't take its eye off the ball after posting its worst earnings in 12 years. No wonder Rio is trading at a discount to peers. New boss Jean-Sebastien Jacques is paying out dividends, but has his work cut out to win over investors.

Shave Club syndrome nicks P&G makeover

August 2, 2016

New CEO David Taylor has spruced up the $230 bln Tide-to-Pampers behemoth, but it's struggling to boost sales. Now internet-savvy upstarts like Dollar Shave Club, recently bought by Unilever, threaten to steal customers and take a razor to margins in P&G's better-looking units.

Tax overhaul boosts Modi’s reform credentials

August 3, 2016

India is set to pass a bill paving a path to a long-awaited goods and services tax. Exemptions will dilute the potential boost to growth. But the bill is evidence that the prime minister can compromise to get things done. That bodes well for a long wish list of other reforms.

Cox: Trump’s taxes underscore bizarre campaign

By Rob Cox
August 2, 2016

The GOP candidate is being goaded reality-TV style by Warren Buffett and Mark Cuban to disclose his IRS returns. At stake isn't just whether he paid enough as with Mitt Romney. Rather, Trump's billionaire bona fides are in question despite an election pegged on income inequality.

Commerz lays bare market over-optimism on EU banks

August 2, 2016

The German bank says negative rates will further weigh on revenues. Investors are already braced for low returns: Commerzbank trades at 0.3 times book. Still, with analysts' earnings forecasts almost twice those assumed in the EU stress test, even more caution is warranted.

Regions will shore up China’s smaller banks

August 2, 2016

Risk is mounting at midsized lenders, and capital buffers are eroding. Beijing wants to rein the upstarts in, but provinces need regional financial champions to keep lending. As Industrial Bank raises nearly $4bln from backers in Fujian, expect others to follow suit.