Breakingviews

Fake Goldman Sachs belies a real China strength

August 27, 2015

The U.S. investment bank joins a long list of counterfeits that includes Apple stores, police stations and British villages. They’re easy to mock, but also veil a broader readiness to bend rules in search of profit. Properly channelled, that ingenuity and pluck could be powerful.

Luxury faces tough quest for next big market

August 27, 2015

China’s slowdown and weaker currency have hit share prices of bauble-peddlers LVMH and Swatch. The hunt is on for luxury’s next hotspot. India and Brazil show promise, but a mix of scale, rising incomes and inequality is elusive. Better opportunities may be closer to home.

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.

China’s sensible rate cut sends dangerous signals

August 25, 2015

The central bank has lowered interest rates by a quarter point and reduced the amount lenders must hold in reserve. It helps ease the slowdown and offsets capital outflows. But by responding to two days of stock market turmoil, policymakers run the risk of stoking moral hazard.

Miners’ dividends are a fragile commodity

August 25, 2015

BHP Billiton has raised its payout even as prices fall. That helps win investor support for its aggressive iron ore production strategy. Yet across the sector, funding generous payouts will become tough unless supply and demand rebalance. There is little to suggest they will.

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.

Tech’s real China syndrome victims are yet to fall

August 24, 2015

Facebook, Apple, Amazon and Microsoft lost nearly $200 bln of value in a week. China’s woes sparked the rout, but the problem was investors’ giddy faith in growth. Public tech stocks may recover. Fantasy valuations of private firms like Uber, though, will take the bigger hit.

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.

Rob Cox: Tianjin deserves to be a Cuyahoga moment

August 20, 2015

The chemical blasts that rocked China’s No. 6 city have exposed a lethal coziness between industry, government and party - and an endemic failure to put human life over economic development. Like the time an Ohio river caught fire in 1969, this feels like a wake-up call.

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.