Breakingviews

Investors struggle to find true safe havens

August 26, 2015

Boltholes like U.S. and German bonds or the Swiss franc are benefiting less than might be expected amid equity swings and concern over a slowing China. Investors are rightly wary of once-safe assets that have moved erratically of late. The mystery is where they are going instead.

Alibaba still looks pricey despite selloff

August 25, 2015

Less than a year after its $25 bln offering, the web giant’s shares have fallen below their $68 IPO price. Growth worries have afflicted all technology stocks and Chinese ones in particular. But Alibaba’s core e-commerce business is still highly valued compared with its rivals.

China’s ailing stocks are now contagious

August 24, 2015

Mainland shares are tumbling again. Unlike in July, this sell-off is hurting currencies, commodities, and other Asian bourses. Two things have changed. There’s now the threat of devaluation. And bungled interventions cast doubt on China’s ability to manage markets.

Why it’s a bad idea for China to prop up its stock market

July 28, 2015

Regulators say they will keep supporting stocks. That unwise pledge is the high price of being a financial free rider. Like many governments, China’s authorities found the easy gains from a rising market irresistible, and have ended up its slaves.

China’s rout may disrupt online finance pioneers

July 16, 2015

Regulators have targeted Hundsun, an $8 bln trading-tech firm backed by Alibaba founder Jack Ma, over the market crash. Internet finance in China flourished in legal grey areas. If official attitudes are hardening, it will be riskier and pricier for Ma and peers to innovate.

Edward Hadas: Greece, China and financial failure

By Edward Hadas
July 15, 2015

Not noticing how loans were distorting the Greek economy led to a crisis. In China, the financial system’s ability to create illusory wealth is causing bother. The authorities are lost everywhere. They would do better if they treated finance as an unruly servant of the economy.

Trade halts add to China’s Potemkin market problem

July 9, 2015

Boom, bust and bailout already make it hard for outsiders to take Chinese stocks seriously. An extraordinary slew of trading halts, trapping investors in hundreds of stocks, makes things worse. Bosses and bourses get a temporary respite at the cost of their own credibility.

Chinese shares still look overvalued

July 6, 2015

Mainland authorities are taking ever-bolder steps to prop up stocks which have dropped almost 30 pct in three weeks. Yet earnings growth is slowing and valuations are still high when compared with other markets. If fundamentals matter, Chinese equities have further to fall.

IPO madness in China stock markets is relative

June 26, 2015

Guotai Junan shares popped 44 pct after its IPO, valuing China’s third-largest broker at $35 billion. Rivals make that look pedestrian. Such excesses are possible because China remains mostly sealed. Foreign markets courting China’s capital should hope its exuberance stays home.

Delhaize pays for sway in 25 bln euro Ahold combo

June 24, 2015

Top brass at the Belgian supermarket operator have secured strong board representation in the agreed tie-up with its larger Dutch rival. The 5 pct fall in Delhaize stock suggests they may have surrendered shareholder value in the hope of retaining management influence.