Breakingviews

 
European leaders blame Russia for the takeover of Ukrainian cities by armed separatists. Yet they’re refraining from further sanctions because it’s not a full-blown invasion. The wavering and waiting will only increase the final price to be paid for Vladimir Putin’s actions.

Review: Hustling helps Africa's partial success

Dayo Olopade’s “The Bright Continent” describes “kanju,” the hustling, striving and rule-breaking that make modern Africa work. The canny invisible hand can outwit the dead hand of corrupt bureaucracy. Sadly kanju makes the continent a tough place to do fully organized business.

Asia push to in-house M&A forces advisers to adapt

From China’s CITIC to Singapore’s Temasek, Asian acquirers are increasingly relying on in-house talent to get deals done. The loss of potential deal flow in an already tough market means big banks will have to work harder to prove their worth.

CITIC's $37 bln merger hints at SOE reform task

The union of the Chinese giant with its Hong Kong-listed subsidiary offers rare visibility into China’s sprawling state conglomerates. CITIC Pacific shareholders get mostly listed assets at a discount – and if all goes well, a potentially profitable ringside seat in the cleanup.

BofA loss provides valuable mega-bank perspective

Some $6 bln of legal costs chewed up all the U.S. bank’s Q1 profit. It took half as much again to cause a quarterly loss at JPMorgan last year. BofA’s bad results, however, probably will leave Citi boss Mike Corbat wondering why his better-performing bank got stiffed by the Fed.

Credit Suisse still firing on one cylinder

The Swiss lender’s private banking arm is pulling in more money. But a 11 pct year-on-year dip in quarterly investment banking revenue suggests Credit Suisse’s other main engine isn’t motoring. Paring back further in fixed income would be one way to get things moving.

Hong Kong needs to defend shareholder democracy

The stock exchange is poised to launch a debate on shareholder voting rights after Alibaba cancelled its listing in the former colony. Dumping “one share, one vote” won’t necessarily attract many new IPOs. But it would undermine Hong Kong’s already shaky corporate governance.