Breakingviews

Twitter sale tweetstorm comes with direct message

October 7, 2016

After soaring on the back of possible bids, the $15 bln social network's shares have tumbled back down as suitors fall away. Salesforce.com's stock also has bounced around as it flirts with an offer. The flurries make clear that investors are finding any deal hard to stack up.

Hadas: May offers British-style Great Leap Forward

October 7, 2016

The UK prime minister's "quiet revolution" won't rival Mao Zedong's original in tragedy, but her mix of autocratic politics, nationalistic hope and economic nonsense is eerily reminiscent. A Brexit that offers less free trade and more xenophobia is a recipe for economic decline.

Sterling mayhem gives glimpse into future

October 7, 2016

A flash crash saw the pound briefly plunge below $1.20 in Asia. Ultra-thin liquidity, computer-driven selling, and maybe even an erroneous "fat finger" trade might explain the speed of the slide. But there is nothing unbelievable about the levels to which sterling fell.

HNA’s $10 bln leasing bet could fly

October 7, 2016

The acquisitive Chinese group will pay just over one times book value for CIT's aircraft leasing unit. That is decent compared to recent deals. Competition in leasing is fierce, and returns can be low, but HNA's increasingly global reach means it is well-placed to grow.

Wells Fargo robs banks of D.C. standard-bearer

October 6, 2016

Big lenders had hoped to piggyback off their influential rival's lack of Wall Street taint to resist proposals to curb pay and ban merchant banking. But the fake-accounts scandal weakens Wells Fargo's ability to lead the charge. That may put JPMorgan back in the hot seat.

EasyJet misery a foretaste of European airmageddon

October 6, 2016

Growing overcapacities fuelled by cheap oil, security scares and Brexit jitters are hitting even highly efficient airlines like easyJet hard. The low-cost carrier expects a 28 pct fall in pre-tax profit. Less nimble rivals like Lufthansa and Air France can brace for worse.

Activist attack gives Samsung cover to restructure

October 6, 2016

Activist fund Elliott is picking on the South Korean group again. This time it wants Samsung Electronics to split in two and pay a special dividend. Yet the proposal would also strengthen the ruling Lee family's control. Samsung may actually gain by cooperating with Elliott.

U.S. companies pick Mexico’s reality over Trump’s

October 5, 2016

Citigroup is joining AT&T, Sempra and others bulking up south of the border. None is cutting costs by sending U.S. jobs there. They're betting Mexico's reforms, improving infrastructure and rising middle class signal growth, a notion lost on the Republican presidential candidate.

Cox: Old Wells Fargo rot could stop at John Stumpf

By Rob Cox
October 5, 2016

The U.S. mega-bank's aggressive cross-selling culture traces back to its Norwest era, as does the stubbornness projected to Congress by its CEO. Given his age and poor response, Stumpf's era is endangered. Wells Fargo's board may have to alter and accelerate a succession plan.

Elliott’s Samsung attack may have staying power

October 5, 2016

The hedge fund wants the electronics giant to restructure and pay a $27 bln special dividend. Foreign activists often do poorly in Asia. But Elliott nearly won a previous battle with the family-run conglomerate. Samsung's flammable smartphone battery exposes a new vulnerability.