SoftBank’s $100 bln VC dream requires creativity

October 26, 2016

Masayoshi Son's group has pledged a quarter of the total touted for a giant technology fund venture with the Saudis. That's a lot for a company with a strained balance sheet. But fees from the fund, hybrid bond issues and asset sales mean Son has plenty of ways to find cash.

Asia’s buyout barons hail “control” era too soon

October 10, 2016

Minority stake purchases still outweigh full-blown takeovers by private equity firms in Asia. A shift would help an industry flush with funds. But while recent data is encouraging, founders who want to sell and professionals who can run acquired firms are both in short supply.

China’s startups have few good options left

September 20, 2016

A slowdown in venture capital is squeezing smaller tech hopefuls. Many have flocked to the "New Third Board" but it's hard to raise new equity on this moribund over-the-counter market. Some cash-strapped groups may sell out to larger rivals, or cut costs and hope for the best.

Fat-tail US legal risk keeps Malaysian scandal hot

July 21, 2016

The Justice Department has alleged over $3.5 bln was siphoned off from 1MDB. The legal details join the dots of the controversy, with plenty of colour. Everyone involved with the sovereign fund, from the Malaysian premier to Goldman Sachs, should feel uncomfortable.

Temasek’s goals are bold for a low-yield world

July 8, 2016

The $180 bln Singaporean investor just suffered its first down year since the financial crisis. Still, it beat benchmarks, and some key holdings have since rebounded. However, Temasek is still targeting a feisty 8 pct annual return. That could skew future investment decisions.

Investment acronyms shift from optimism to angst

February 2, 2016

BRICS has been buried. Just as well: it was a “Bloody Ridiculous Investment Concept”. Now VIIPs and TICKs vie to take its place. But searching for groups of vibrant economies jars with the gloomy mood. The most appropriate new acronym might be a set of worries labelled CFO.

Fund glut will send Asia’s buyout barons off-piste

December 30, 2015

Local private equity firms are flush with unspent capital. Though that’s a global issue, it’s more acute in Asia due to a dearth of sizeable takeover targets. Firms will be tempted to overpay for assets, buy businesses from rivals, or drift into unfamiliar kinds of dealmaking.

Traders need help to make Wall Street shine

October 8, 2014

Markets are more volatile, but not enough to ensure decent Q3 profitability for Goldman, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley. That’d take up to $12 bln of extra revenue trading bonds, FX and commodities among them. Expect additional cost cuts. And other businesses will have to step up.

U.S.-backed China tech shows investment curb folly

August 1, 2014

Foreign funds sank $5 bln into venture capital the first half of 2014 – three times what local funds raised. That the country’s next Alibaba will probably be funded by Silicon Valley investors may jar with national pride and official rules. But China’s economy is the undeniable beneficiary.

Take hedge fund exuberance with grain of SALT

May 16, 2014

Amid moans about conference fatigue, a near-unanimous confidence emerged at SkyBridge’s annual Las Vegas confab. Long-awaited opportunities in M&A, bargains in Europe and collapsing correlations have finally arrived all at once. The consensus itself, however, is reason for pause.