Breakingviews

Postal bank’s $8 bln IPO scrapes through the door

September 13, 2016

Postal Savings Bank of China is roughly worth its trailing book value at the middle of the price range. SOE listings can't pass at a discount. But that's where rivals with higher returns trade. The bank's safer lending profile, and anchor investors, should stop logic taking hold.

Rakuten jig highlights Japan’s warped benchmark

September 7, 2016

Shares of the shopping website leapt on news it would join the Nikkei 225. It shows the power of an arbitrary index weighted by share price instead of fundamentals like size or free float. The Bank of Japan's $60 bln-a-year push into index funds will only amplify the distortion.

Chinese fintech could help revive Hong Kong market

September 2, 2016

Web groups like Alibaba snubbed the territory to float Stateside. A new breed of financial upstarts with few global peers may find Hong Kong more welcoming. A few multi-billion-dollar listings would cut the bourse's reliance on stodgy financial and property giants.

Twin engines power BYD in electric car race

August 29, 2016

The Chinese group's vehicle sales surged in the first half. Government subsidies are fueling growth and BYD's in-house battery unit give it an edge over local rivals. A rare dividend payment reveals the confidence of boss Wang Chuanfu even as competition intensifies.

China’s big banks enjoy calm before the storm

August 26, 2016

Net profits at CCB and BoCom are stable, as are bad-loan ratios: a pleasant surprise given the wider backdrop. This partly reflects a growing gulf in asset quality between large banks and their smaller peers. The giants are probably also putting off recognising bad debts.

Hong Kong’s cornerstone problem goes postal

August 25, 2016

Postal Savings Bank of China may sell as much as 80 pct of its $8 bln share offering to cornerstone investors. One unlikely ally, a big state shipbuilder, is already down for $2 bln. This is fresh evidence, on an epic scale, of how Hong Kong's IPO crown is thoroughly undeserved.

Singapore eyes last trick in the book to win IPOs

August 24, 2016

The city-state is moving closer to introducing dual-class shares. A growing sense of desperation about a moribund market for new listings has reduced opposition to such a move. The risks of giving up the high ground on shareholder democracy are likely to outweigh any rewards.

Shenzhen-HK stock link tees up “Bubble Connect”

August 17, 2016

Investors in the two cities will soon get access to each other's bourses. The addition to the Shanghai Stock Connect further opens mainland markets. The prospect of China's get-rich-quick punters exporting their investing tactics into Hong Kong small-caps is less heartening.

Short hit on Itochu is wake-up call for Japan

July 27, 2016

A report by U.S. firm Glaucus poses hard questions about how the $20 bln trading house accounts for big investments in Colombia and China. Like activists before them, foreign short-sellers could help shake up a market that often looks too cosy.

Activist faces long odds to stop Baidu video deal

July 20, 2016

Acacia Partners objects to a bid from Baidu's CEO for the group's video unit. The U.S. fund is right to highlight potential conflicts of interest. But it is hard to see an activist victory here, given the boss's influence. Same goes for China's other internet giants.