Breakingviews

Time for Lenovo to get a grip in mobile

May 27, 2016

The tech giant is a trailblazer for Chinese firms going global by doing deals overseas and adopting Western governance. The ill-judged takeover of Motorola’s old mobile business is testing that reputation. Absent a quick turnaround, Lenovo’s credibility will take a real dent.

U.S. probe forces Alibaba in the right direction

May 26, 2016

The Chinese e-commerce giant’s accounting is under investigation. Depending on the outcome, Alibaba may have to consolidate its loss-making logistics business. If the scrutiny helps shed light on some of the group’s many blind spots, investors will be better off.

Sony’s lowball forecasts are oddly reassuring

May 25, 2016

Shares rallied despite a profit outlook that fell below expectations. Setting $1 bln of quake damage aside, the Japanese group is faring well. Consoles are humming along, handsets are stabilising, and a duff project has been nixed quickly. Sony’s turnaround is almost complete.

Tata’s portfolio power still just about adds up

May 24, 2016

Problems at its British steel unit raise questions about the direction of India’s most respected conglomerate under Chairman Cyrus Mistry. The performance of the group’s other big listed companies has been a mixed bag. But viewed as a collective, Tata’s performance stacks up.

Yum’s China split doesn’t look too tasty right now

May 23, 2016

The KFC owner’s break-up plan was a sensible victory for activists. But worries about China mean this hasn’t yet done much for shareholders. With one of Yum China’s most logical partners walking away from a pre-spinoff investment, it may be even longer before value is created.

Oilmen fix smart $2.2 bln deal in Papua New Guinea

May 20, 2016

Oil Search’s offer to buy InterOil is canny and opportunistic. The buyer will only pay later for future gas discoveries. An agreement to sell a big chunk straight on to France’s Total also cuts the chance of a rival bid. It leaves InterOil investors with an unattractive choice.

Tencent can shield itself from ad slowdown

May 19, 2016

The Chinese gaming giant warned a slowing economy may clip its fast-growing advertising business. But soaring revenue from mobile games, which topped $1.3 bln in the first quarter, cushions the blow. Besides, unlike rivals Alibaba and Baidu, Tencent relies less on ad dollars.

BOC Aviation’s Hong Kong flotation deserves to fly

May 18, 2016

The plane-leasing group is taxiing towards a $1.1 bln offering. Being under Bank of China’s wing means cheaper funding and better returns than standalone rivals. Yet the premium valuation is only justified if the state-backed parent remains willing and able to act as a backstop.

Abenomics has over-promised and under-delivered

May 17, 2016

Shinzo Abe has spent more than three years pushing for higher growth, faster inflation and a nimbler economy. But success eludes the Japanese prime minister, who has been too timid with the public purse. Keeping the project going calls for extra spending and even easier money.

India’s Modi can reclaim his “wow” factor

May 16, 2016

Two years after a landslide election, business executives are losing confidence in Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Passing a bankruptcy code last week was a major achievement but other landmark reforms look harder to achieve unless Modi reins in his party from divisive politicking.