China’s big banks enjoy calm before the storm

August 26, 2016

Net profits at CCB and BoCom are stable, as are bad-loan ratios: a pleasant surprise given the wider backdrop. This partly reflects a growing gulf in asset quality between large banks and their smaller peers. The giants are probably also putting off recognising bad debts.

Hong Kong’s cornerstone problem goes postal

August 25, 2016

Postal Savings Bank of China may sell as much as 80 pct of its $8 bln share offering to cornerstone investors. One unlikely ally, a big state shipbuilder, is already down for $2 bln. This is fresh evidence, on an epic scale, of how Hong Kong's IPO crown is thoroughly undeserved.

Britain’s haul: 27 gold medals and a wooden spoon

August 22, 2016

China underwhelmed in the Olympic medals table, while the tiny UK excelled. That’s a poor guide to more important competitions. Though Britain still has soft power, its value as a role model is on the wane. China no longer needs gold medals to secure its place on the podium.

Review: The limits of predicting China’s demise

August 19, 2016

The country's prospects are bleak, David Shambaugh argues in "China's Future". His critique of the Communist Party's political flaws goes far deeper than most forecasts of economic collapse. Yet foretelling doom at some indeterminate point in the future still has limited value.

Tencent is sturdiest rock inside China’s firewall

August 18, 2016

China's closed internet has allowed giants Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent to thrive. The fortunes of the trio are diverging, however. While Baidu has stumbled and Alibaba too often goes off track, Pony Ma's focus makes the $240 bln Tencent look like the best of the bunch.

Shenzhen-HK stock link tees up “Bubble Connect”

August 17, 2016

Investors in the two cities will soon get access to each other's bourses. The addition to the Shanghai Stock Connect further opens mainland markets. The prospect of China's get-rich-quick punters exporting their investing tactics into Hong Kong small-caps is less heartening.

China’s Netflix-to-Tesla is spread painfully thin

August 16, 2016

Jia Yueting's LeEco is pushing into TVs, mobile handsets, electric vehicles and video-streaming. That poses huge financial and strategic challenges for his mostly private group. These are fast-moving, capital-intensive industries with very well-resourced competitors.

China Film’s opening week follows bad IPO script

August 15, 2016

Shares in China's biggest film distributor have more than doubled in their first week of trading. Never mind that ticket sales are falling across China. Artificially low prices and curbs on new issues mean that post-IPO performance is often divorced from fundamentals.

Viewsroom: U.S. election, European banks, Uber-Didi

August 8, 2016

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump battle over infrastructure needs, while Trump faces growing opposition from fellow billionaires. Also: the ups and downs of Europe's lenders after a stress test with no fail grade, and why Uber is ceding to Didi the ride-sharing crown in China.

Evergrande share raid cements love-or-hate status

August 5, 2016

The Chinese developer has waded into the power struggle at rival Vanke, grabbing a 4.7 pct stake for $1.4 bln. The motive is unclear, and the group's leverage and sprawl should worry investors. Yet Evergrande's aggressive stance still appears to have plenty of fans.