Breakingviews

With strong new backer, Olam gets what Noble needs

August 28, 2015

Mitsubishi is backing a Singapore-listed trader bashed by short-sellers, paying $1.1 bln at a big premium. Noble needs such a vote of confidence. But the Japanese group is actually endorsing Olam – a firm supported by Temasek that has been spared the worst of the commodity rout.

Investors struggle to find true safe havens

August 26, 2015

Boltholes like U.S. and German bonds or the Swiss franc are benefiting less than might be expected amid equity swings and concern over a slowing China. Investors are rightly wary of once-safe assets that have moved erratically of late. The mystery is where they are going instead.

Impossible trinity gives China a difficult choice

August 26, 2015

Not even the People’s Republic can go on cutting interest rates, keep the yuan stable, and allow capital to flow freely. It must choose two out of three. Huge foreign exchange reserves give Beijing some room to muddle through, but not enough to reverse self-fulfilling outflows.

Alibaba still looks pricey despite selloff

August 25, 2015

Less than a year after its $25 bln offering, the web giant’s shares have fallen below their $68 IPO price. Growth worries have afflicted all technology stocks and Chinese ones in particular. But Alibaba’s core e-commerce business is still highly valued compared with its rivals.

China’s ailing stocks are now contagious

August 24, 2015

Mainland shares are tumbling again. Unlike in July, this sell-off is hurting currencies, commodities, and other Asian bourses. Two things have changed. There’s now the threat of devaluation. And bungled interventions cast doubt on China’s ability to manage markets.

Asian capital controls are a real risk once again

August 21, 2015

Malaysia’s prime minister has ruled out a repeat of the country’s 1998 hot money curbs. But slumping Asian currencies suggest it’s too soon to be complacent. Raising interest rates could mean deep recessions. Some politicians might decide to prevent capital from leaving instead.

SoftBank’s hired gun takes high road to ownership

August 20, 2015

Nikesh Arora will invest $483 million in the Japanese tech group, cementing his place as successor to founder Masayoshi Son. It’s a refreshing change from the complex awards handed out by many U.S. companies. It should also help the ex-Googler push through more bold investments.

Indian e-tailer’s funds will disappear in a flash

August 19, 2015

Online marketplace Snapdeal is raising $500 mln from investors led by Alibaba and Foxconn valuing it at $5 bln. Securing more big-name backers is a coup for the Indian start-up. But the huge discounts it offers to lure buyers and sellers means the new funds won’t last long.

Bangkok attack shakes Thai economy’s last support

August 18, 2015

The deadly bombing of a shrine will scare off tourists whose numbers were up 29 pct this year. It’s another jolt to an economy already grappling with flat exports and weak private investment. Military rulers have been slow to boost public spending. That’s making things worse.

Edward Chancellor: The cost of China’s devaluation

By Edward Chancellor
August 17, 2015

Forget about currency wars and global deflation. The true impact of the yuan’s sudden decline will be felt by China’s dysfunctional credit system, where domestic borrowers and foreign lenders believed the currency could only appreciate.