Breakingviews

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.

Markets might yawn at second ECB cheap-money fix

February 29, 2012

The ECB’s first three-year liquidity facility in December sparked a rally across markets. The second may not have the same impact. Those hoping for a massive injection of cheap money may be disappointed. And expectations of further ECB long-dated funds look premature, at least for now.

Temasek’s triple personality bodes well for returns

May 9, 2012

The Singaporean state investor is developing the trading eye of a hedge fund, a private equity taste for financial engineering, and the pay structure of an investment bank. That should improve its sub-par performance, though it won’t always sit well with Temasek’s political ties.

U.S. venture capital needs a reboot

February 4, 2013

A decade of insufficient shrinkage hasn’t fixed wimpy performance, which undershoots boring stock indexes. The dot-com boom is history, startups find capital elsewhere, and funds chase assets over returns. A few big names aside, investors need to strip VCs of their mystique.