Breakingviews

Fidelity insiders chip away at customers’ yachts

October 5, 2016

That's the impression given when an exclusive VC fund affiliated with the $2.1 trln mutual-fund giant gets earlier, lucrative bites at investments in startups, benefiting the Johnson family which controls Fidelity. They need to ensure both the reality and perception of fairness.

ECB taper whimper is the most low growth permits

October 5, 2016

Reports that the European Central Bank may reduce asset purchases caused a blip up in bond yields. But it's a far cry from the 2013 U.S. tantrum, and rightly so. Weak growth and insufficient public investment will force monetary policy to stay loose despite diminishing returns.

Sompo buys $6 bln policy against declining Japan

October 5, 2016

The Tokyo firm is acquiring U.S.-listed peer Endurance. Japanese insurers' hunger to diversify from a tough home market has sparked a string of big deals, sometimes at crazy prices. A $6.3 bln price tag here looks fairly sane given Endurance's assets and growth prospects.

Sliding sterling is a long way from a crisis

October 4, 2016

The pound has fallen to 31-year lows below $1.28. That’s hardly a disaster. Buoyant UK bonds and stocks suggest there are few concerns about Britain’s hefty budget and current account deficits. It would take a much steeper drop to worry Bank of England Governor Mark Carney.

Evergrande finally hits on some sensible M&A

October 4, 2016

The debt-laden developer plans to swap assets for control of a mainland rival. By acquiring the $1.6 bln Shenzhen Real Estate, Evergrande may win higher valuations onshore. Assuming the overhaul gets past regulators and investors, this makes more sense than other recent deals.

Nutanix debut jams open IPO window – temporarily

October 3, 2016

The data-storage firm's 131 pct pop on Friday, for a market cap over $5 bln, made it the best tech float this year. The recent warm welcome for IPOs plus decreased VC funding may lead others to pull the trigger. With the U.S. election coming, the opening may be brief.

Britain starts Brexit; now so might banks

October 3, 2016

The UK's two-year process to leave the European Union will kick off by the end of March. Financial groups wondering whether to move operations now have the same uncertainty as before, only with a hard 2019 deadline. That could prompt the start of the big relocation.

Guest view: Where is the IMF on Greece?

October 3, 2016

The seemingly endless Greek crisis may erupt again unless the country gets debt relief, writes former Citibank executive William Rhodes. The International Monetary Fund should take the lead in spelling out economic forecasts and the decisions Greece and its creditors must take.

Golden Chinese shopping spree will tarnish soon

October 3, 2016

China's "Golden Week" holiday will see mainland tourists splurging in bazaars from Milan to Macau. Retailers should enjoy it while it lasts. Tax cuts will make shopping at home less painful, and younger Chinese prefer experiences to handbags. That will cap future growth.

Ralph Whitworth: the gentleman activist investor

September 30, 2016

The Relational Investors co-founder, who died at 60, was an anomaly in the sharp-elbowed world of forcing change at companies. He preferred working behind the scenes instead of getting into public fights. That helped reluctant boards grow more comfortable talking to agitators.