Breakingviews

China Oceanwide buys GE sloppy insurance seconds

October 24, 2016

The private conglomerate run by Lu Zhiqiang is paying $2.7 bln for U.S. insurer Genworth Financial, which was spun out of the industrial giant and has since wasted away. It is not clear the Chinese buyer has what it takes to turn around Genworth, but the deal puts it on the map.

Reynolds will struggle to smoke out better deal

October 21, 2016

BAT's $47 bln offer for 58 pct of the tobacco group is at 16 times EBITDA - more than Reynolds paid for Lorillard last year. BAT's big stake will deter rivals. Recent lackluster earnings and a new CEO may also filter Reynolds' ability to push a decent price noticeably higher.

BAT heaps $47 bln of peer pressure on Reynolds

October 21, 2016

The UK tobacco giant has offered a near 20-pct premium for the 58 pct of the U.S.-based Camel-maker it doesn't own. It's opportunistic - Reynolds just named a new boss, and has disappointed investors. Still, the logic of uniting the two is as hard to resist as a Newport menthol.

Philippines U.S. “goodbye” can fix China FDI gap

October 21, 2016

President Rodrigo Duterte's boast of ditching America for China plays well in Beijing. Cash is a major motivation. China is under-invested in the Philippines compared to elsewhere in Southeast Asia. Funds from the People's Republic can help Duterte deliver on big promises.

from Viewsroom:

Viewsroom: Airing Trump TV

October 20, 2016

The presidential candidate's poor showing is hurting his businesses, but a news network could pay off if he loses the election. Saudi Arabia's monster bond deal can't mask bigger problems. And bank earnings take in the Wells Fargo effect while Netflix investors lose the plot.

Goldman-led charge on returns maths falls short

October 20, 2016

CEO Lloyd Blankfein finds it odd that shareholders keep pegging the industry's cost of equity at 10 pct. The ECB reckons it has been lower, but fluctuates wildly. There is some premise for lowering it, but regulation, dividend curbs and other factors make swaying opinion hard.

Defiant losers are becoming a costly problem

October 20, 2016

Pro-EU campaigners and Britons who live near airports have challenged the will of the majority. Donald Trump may not accept U.S. election results. In finance, companies regularly face and resolve such insurrections. Solutions are similar in politics, but harder to implement.

Final debate leaves American assets less secure

October 20, 2016

The candidates faced off for the last time before the election. The event was supposed to focus on entitlements and the economy. Instead, voters got little substance, more rancor – and no commitment by Donald Trump to accept the will of the people. America just got a bit riskier.

Morgan Stanley positioned for Fed-fueled liftoff

October 19, 2016

Solid trading and cost cuts left the third-quarter return on equity just shy of CEO James Gorman's 2017 target. Rate hikes would help the firm's lending unit. The bank is one of the best capitalized, and it could rival Goldman's ROE if watchdogs let it buy back more shares.

Italy’s flawed hero needs more than Obama backing

October 19, 2016

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's reforms have been praised by the outgoing U.S. president. Yet polls suggest he may soon lose an important constitutional referendum. That would be a shame: Renzi has made mistakes, but his reforms are needed, and a divided Italy needs his dynamism.