Betting against copper is a dangerous game

November 23, 2015

Shares of Anglo American, BHP Billiton and Glencore fell on Nov. 23 as copper dropped below $4,500 a tonne. Once tipped as the metal of the future, copper is now a symbol of global miners’ past misjudgments. The red metal price seems destined to sink further.

Pfizer-Allergan to throw down tax-reform gauntlet

November 23, 2015

The drug firms are shrugging off Uncle Sam’s latest attempt to prevent mergers predicated on relocating to low-tax jurisdictions. The largest-ever inversion, at some $150 bln, ought to raise pressure on lawmakers to find more comprehensive fixes to the great M&A tax dodge.

Public investors lasso Square to tame the unicorns

November 19, 2015

Jack Dorsey’s payments firm has priced below its indicated range and at less than half the value of its last funding round. A two-timing CEO, rising competition and losses provided ammunition for old-school mutual fund managers demanding big discounts to lofty private valuations.

China insurer adds U.S. to overseas M&A splurge

November 10, 2015

Anbang has popped $1.6 bln Fidelity & Guaranty Life into its basket. In 12 months it has spent $4.4 bln on financial groups in South Korea, the Benelux and now America. The strategy is vague and funding opaque. For sellers, though, the Waldorf Astoria owner livens up any auction.

Elon Musk turns Tesla rounding error into $2.5 bln

November 4, 2015

That’s the jolt to the carmaker’s worth after its CEO said it delivered 23 more vehicles in Q3 than thought. It’s classic irrational shareholder exuberance to value a sliver of good news above an earnings miss. As Tesla expands, though, that may prove harder to do.

Dimon diaspora extends to Barclays

October 13, 2015

Jes Staley, JPMorgan’s onetime investment banking chief, is poised to be the UK lender’s next boss. He would join a coterie of Jamie Dimon’s former lieutenants now in CEO roles including at First Data, Visa and StanChart. Staley will put the mega-bank skills to the biggest test.

Modi offers Silicon Valley the welcome Xi won’t

September 25, 2015

The Indian leader is visiting California days after his Chinese counterpart met U.S. tech bosses. Though India’s economy is smaller and harder to navigate, the door is open. For foreign players, India’s promised growth may outweigh China’s giant but hard-to-reach opportunity.

Yahoo headaches stretch beyond Alibaba

September 9, 2015

The U.S. taxman won’t bless the Internet company’s plans to spin off its $23 bln Alibaba stake in a tax-free transaction. Yahoo may still push its case but the roughly 60 pct discount attached to this stake implies the plan is troubled - as is the company’s core business.

Google learns ABCs of conglomerate life

August 11, 2015

The web search giant is separating cars, balloons and such from its main ad businesses under a new Berkshire Hathaway-like structure called Alphabet. The move suggests Google sees how its sprawl spells trouble. It’s an easy way to erase some, but not all, the valuation discount.

Oil price slide complicates life for central banks

August 4, 2015

Brent is back down at $50 a barrel. Bond prices show this is eroding investor confidence that inflation will pick up. Central banks usually ignore the temporary impact of commodity price swings, but can’t afford to be complacent with inflation and policy rates already so low.