Vladimir Putin has agreed to buy $15 billion worth of Ukrainian bonds and to sell gas to Kiev at a discount. The deal gives relief to Russia’s troubled neighbour but costs Moscow little and buys valuable influence. Pro-EU demonstrators in Kiev and other cites won’t go home soon.
Lenders should be better at dealing with bad credit, if new rules stick. That should make state-run banks more resilient. They’re not quite investment-ready yet though – there’s still the matter of pouring in capital to deal with the 10 percent of loans that have already turned.
He lost his job as CEO of the energy firm over spending and conflicts. A new $2 bln venture would allow him to cherry-pick assets ahead of his investors and reward him generously. Despite McClendon’s knack for buying oil and gas properties, investor skepticism is in order.
American companies have a big advantage over European counterparts: abundant, cheap gas. Fracking is more difficult in Europe and requires a step-change in public perception. Cheaper energy could provide the old continent with the fillip it needs. But it’s a pipedream.
Chinese tech firms are leaving their comfort zones to win consumers. TV shows, logistics and electronics are all part of the arsenal for companies like Tencent, Baidu and Alibaba. These forays are as disruptive as they are risky, particularly for the sector’s high margins.
The U.S. private equity firm quintupled its money on the initial carve-out of the chip company from HP. Now it’s back, underwriting Avago’s $6.6 bln purchase of rival LSI. The market’s warm embrace of the deal means Silver Lake’s $1 bln convertible loan is already in the money.
With Wolfgang Schaeuble still in charge of Finance and the pro-European Social Democrats in a position of influence, Angela Merkel’s new cabinet brings continuity for Europe. But the SPD will control social policy. Its plans for welfare reforms may hurt long-term growth.
America produces a quarter of world GDP, China less than a tenth. But between them they will generate almost half the growth in global output next year. With Europe in the doldrums, Japan recovering and emerging markets subdued, the planet heavily depends on its twin engines.