Breakingviews

from Viewsroom:

Bookstores back, Redstone out, Zika lurks

February 8, 2016

Internet-retailer Amazon embraces bricks and mortar, while the soap opera around Viacom's aged founder continues. Plus, panic over the dangerous virus is Brazil's Achilles heel.

Host Brazil may challenge for 2016 Olympics glory

December 24, 2015

The mighty U.S. will be hard to dislodge from the top spot. But a prediction based on population, GDP, the cost of Nikes and past willingness to dope suggests Brazil could break into the top five by medals. Like Team GB in 2012, that will require capitalising on home advantage.

BTG Pactual woes echo its history in reverse

December 4, 2015

The scandal-tainted Brazilian investment bank is in talks to sell its latest acquisition, BSI. The Swiss private bank joins the list of assets on the block to shore up cash after ex-CEO André Esteves’ arrest. It’s reminiscent of how he wrested control of Pactual from UBS in 2009.

Impeaching Rousseff as likely to falter as Brazil

December 3, 2015

The attempt to remove the country’s hapless president probably lacks the votes to get far. Its proponent, the head of the lower house of Congress, has his own legal problems. But the process will further sap efforts to fix Latin America’s largest, and ailing, economy.

Pactual an arresting case against dual-class stock

December 2, 2015

Incarcerated boss André Esteves has ceded voting control at the investment bank in a stock swap with his partners. It’s a neat fix, but reveals yet another risk of supervoting stock. Investors in companies with similar structures, like Google and Moelis, should take heed.

BTG Pactual depends on trust more than ex-boss

November 30, 2015

The arrested André Esteves owns a controlling stake. Over time, though, he has made Brazil’s No. 1 investment bank more international and diversified. The new co-CEOs are experienced, too. The firm may not need Esteves, but it does need trading partners to shrug off the crisis.

BHP’s Brazil disaster points to dividend cut

November 30, 2015

The Anglo-Australian miner needs to conserve cash to pay for the Samarco dam disaster in Brazil. Forecast earnings already fall short of the $6.5 billion it paid shareholders last year. BHP would be wise to get ahead of the curve and scrap its commitment to progressive payouts.

Brazil crisis may have silver lining: rule of law

November 25, 2015

Latin America’s biggest economy will get worse before it gets better. The arrest of billionaire banker André Esteves suggests room for further nasty surprises from the Petrobras corruption probe. But feisty independent courts and stronger institutions point to a brighter future.

Hadas: The BRICs are dead. Long live the BRICs!

November 11, 2015

Goldman Sachs coined the acronym in the 2000s when Brazil, Russia, India and China promised the greatest economic shift in a century. Now Goldman is closing its flailing BRIC fund. But poor countries are still gaining on rich ones, and their base for growth is getting more solid.

Brazil dam disaster tests BHP’s mega-mining model

November 6, 2015

Investors ditched BHP Billiton shares after a jointly owned dam failed in Brazil. While mining is much safer than it used to be, such catastrophes are an inherent risk. A big balance sheet and diverse income streams mean it can absorb the financial consequences better than most.