Breakingviews

A checklist for India’s new central bank chief

June 20, 2016

The Reserve Bank of India needs a new governor after Raghuram Rajan’s premature departure. The ideal candidate would support reforms underway and have some experience as an international macro-economist. Crucially, though, he or she needs to be able to stand up to the government.

Crown Resorts can shine brighter without Macau

June 16, 2016

James Packer’s $6 bln casino business may split up. A big rally in its shares looks justified. Not only will the Australian group lift payouts and put hotels into a low-tax trust. The business will also get simpler and no longer be tied to China’s struggling gambling territory.

Hong Kong could be a black belt in green bonds

June 14, 2016

China is pushing environmental finance, but rules and definitions are fuzzy. Hong Kong’s large pool of capital and transparent regulation give it the credentials to whip this immature market into shape. With just one green bond under its belt, however, the city has work to do.

Sickly Lotte IPO reflects two faces of South Korea

June 13, 2016

Seoul may be Asia’s coolest destination right now, and Lotte Group’s flagship duty-free arm ought to profit handsomely. But raids have derailed the unit’s $4.5 bln listing and drawn attention to Korea’s uglier side: its powerful, opaque and poorly governed conglomerates.

Jack Ma’s healthcare buyout is hard to stomach

June 9, 2016

The Alibaba boss’s buyout firm is bidding $1.4 bln-plus for U.S.-listed iKang. His minimum bid is 20 pct cheaper than an unfriendly approach from a rival, now dropped, which iKang’s CEO countered with a poison pill. Unless Ma pays more, outside investors will feel pretty icky.

Japan’s fiscal arrow ought to target young and old

June 6, 2016

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is preparing a stimulus that may include vouchers for creches and help with caring for the elderly. That could lure more women into the workforce while also boosting spending. Ultra-low interest rates can help speed the social change Abe has promised.

India’s smartphone giant eyes China role reversal

June 3, 2016

Micromax has bested Chinese rivals in its home market. To realise its lofty goal of being one of the world’s top five handset makers by 2020, it must succeed in the People’s Republic. Raising the fresh capital required might be the easiest part for the Indian firm.

MSCI can still afford to shun China stocks

June 2, 2016

The index compiler must once again decide whether to add mainland shares to global benchmarks. Though regulators have made some reforms, memories of last summer’s mass suspensions and state intervention are still fresh. Another delay would give China more reason to open up.

SoftBank’s $8 bln Alibaba sale is late but prudent

June 1, 2016

Masayoshi Son’s tech and telecom conglomerate is offloading 4.2 pct of the Chinese e-commerce giant to pay down debt. The hugely successful investment is now more burden than blessing. As SoftBank takes a more disciplined approach to its portfolio, further disposals may follow.

China’s sports deals hit the hogwash jackpot

May 31, 2016

Mainland money is pouring into Western teams, rights, agents, and competitions. Bold M&A often comes with empty talk and hyperbole. The world of sport is not much better. Throw in the grand designs of China’s political leaders and you have a near-unbeatable trifecta of nonsense.