Breakingviews

China SOE fusion could topple cult of competition

April 28, 2015

A mooted $569 bln merger between Sinopec and PetroChina looks a step back for reform and efficiency. But competition between state-backed firms isn’t always helpful. A more demanding shareholder, pricing power and superior regulators could be better spurs to improve performance.

China frothy markets churn up funding opportunity

April 27, 2015

Companies are using rising prices to raise equity capital. Buoyant stocks have also made regulators more relaxed about new supply. For a country that has gorged on corporate debt, more equity sounds like a good thing. If investors were more discerning, it really would be.

China’s cyber crackdown: A guide for the perplexed

April 24, 2015

The People’s Republic is squeezing technology companies. New banking rules and counter-terrorism legislation could make it harder for foreign groups to operate in the expanding market. Is security just an excuse to protect domestic players? Breakingviews cracks the code.

Japan stocks can rise beyond symbolic Nikkei high

April 23, 2015

The index closed above 20,000 for the first time since 2000. Though Japan’s bull market is more than two years old, a trade deal with the United States could make returns still sweeter for investors. Stronger corporate earnings and more money-printing could also boost equities.

India’s poor state banks will test investor limits

April 22, 2015

State Bank of India is leading the rush to raise capital with a $2.4 bln share sale. A stronger economy makes bad debts look less bad. Investors will also have to believe a government pledge to meddle less in lending decisions. Even so, few banks look tempting.

Daiichi Sankyo scrubs out Indian M&A nightmare

April 21, 2015

Last year the Japanese firm folded its stake in troubled Indian drugmaker Ranbaxy into local rival Sun Pharma for 40 pct less than it paid in 2008. A share rally means Daiichi has recovered its losses on the seven-year misadventure. It shows the power of appropriate ownership.

Sliding prices vindicate China’s growth worries

April 20, 2015

New moves to get banks lending more show the authorities are worried that growth may miss the official target of 7 percent. Look closer at what’s happening to prices and there is good cause. China’s slowing growth is close to being too slow.

Tax shockers ramp up India investor risk premium

April 17, 2015

The country wants $6.4 billion in what it says are unpaid taxes from foreign funds. Private equity firms could be the next target. The frequent adjustments to tax policy raise a red flag. Investors will have to demand higher returns to insure against future fickleness.

Lightness of China growth is short of unbearable

April 16, 2015

Not only has GDP expansion in the People’s Republic slowed to a post-crisis low, but growth is also increasingly “import-lite.” Fortunately, the mainland has good reasons for not choosing a weaker currency as stimulus. That could turn world’s discomfort with China into pain.

China’s answer to Uber may be worth more than Uber

April 13, 2015

Twin taxi-hailing apps Didi and Kuaidi Dache may be worth $14 bln – twice their last reported amount – a Breakingviews calculator shows. They could even close in on the $40 billion valuation of Uber itself. All hangs on what passengers will pay for something they now get free.