Breakingviews

SoftBank’s $32 bln ARM bet gives investors a shock

July 18, 2016

The Japanese tech group has reportedly agreed to buy the UK chip designer. It's a pricey punt on connected devices, and an unwelcome surprise for those who thought SoftBank was focused on reducing debt. Shareholders remain at the mercy of Chairman Masayoshi Son's "crazy ideas".

British retail sleepwalks into Amazon-ageddon

July 8, 2016

Real-world stores are burdened with poor demand, too much property and thinning profit. The U.S. tech giant, meanwhile, is hiring 1,000 UK staff and pushing into fashion and groceries. The UK's economic problems could be a decisive moment in the online land grab.

UK upstart banks lack too-big-to-fail airbag

July 6, 2016

Britain's challenger banks have grown thanks to their bigger peers' dire customer service. Most look well capitalised. But a Brexit-induced recession and commercial property downturn may expose shoddy underwriting. Their tiny size means regulators won't mind if they go under.

Japan’s carmakers are passengers in wild FX ride

July 5, 2016

Shares in Toyota, Nissan, Honda and others have crashed since Britain voted to quit the EU. All will be hit by an economic slowdown, and some would suffer from new tariffs on UK-made vehicles. But the selloff mostly reflects how exposed the firms are to currency-market swings.

UK’s tax cut goal: calm business, scare Brussels

July 4, 2016

George Osborne has plans to cut the UK's already-low corporate tax rate to near-Irish 15 pct levels. It might stop domestic business jumping ship post-Brexit. But the prospect of a tax haven UK also acts as a bargaining chip to use in forthcoming exit negotiations.

London’s divorce from wider UK can only go so far

July 1, 2016

The capital's new mayor is right to seek greater tax autonomy. But after a divisive vote in which Londoners wanted to stay in the EU, the trick is to do so without increasing divisions with the rest of the UK. Offsetting devolution with lower grants is a good place to start.

Hadas: Britain picks the wrong time to play games

June 29, 2016

After the vote to leave the EU, politicians on both sides have taken pride in abdicating their responsibility. It comes not from respect for democracy, but for another British tradition: treating things as a game. Young people lost this round, but may even the score in future.

China has more to lose from Western turmoil

June 28, 2016

As voters in developed countries reject globalisation, Premier Li Keqiang has called for more international economic cooperation. That makes sense: rising protectionism and resistance to foreign investment will hurt Chinese business and exacerbate its own economic slowdown.

Europe exit dulls Britain’s appeal to Asia Inc

June 27, 2016

Asian companies have typically viewed the United Kingdom as a stable and open market. Now they must grapple with a weak sterling, political chaos, and likely recession. Until they have more clarity on the terms of future trade with the European Union, investment will suffer.

LSE-Deutsche Boerse hangs over Brexit precipice

June 22, 2016

UK equities could crash if Britons vote to leave the European Union. Among other things, this could upend the carefully composed share split in the British and German exchanges’ merger. For Frankfurters carping at where the new company would be based, it could be the final straw.