Alibaba delivery arm is a financial blind spot

October 2, 2015

The Chinese e-commerce group is a minority investor in the business that arranges delivery of billions of its packages. Yet Alibaba has spent over $6.3 bln on logistics-related deals in the past three years. Even if the investments make strategic sense, shareholders are in the dark.

Business Insider picks deep German pockets

September 29, 2015

Axel Springer is buying the business and tech news website at a $442 mln valuation. Nine times sales implies a long run of fast growth. It evokes Dresdner’s acquisition of Wasserstein Perella, a deal from the days when Business Insider boss Henry Blodget worked on Wall Street.

Review: A premature obituary for capitalism

September 11, 2015

The mutating global system is nearly dead, argues left-wing journalist Paul Mason. Faced with climate change, stagnation and debt crises, we need a new plan. The urgency of “Postcapitalism” is welcome. But its prescription of a collaborative information economy is less convincing. doesn’t belong on the buyback bandwagon

September 10, 2015

The Chinese e-commerce group has earmarked up to $1 bln for buybacks. After a selloff understandably wants to signal it is undervalued. But this is not a mature business throwing off cash: it’s still growing and investing, and only floated last year.

Yahoo headaches stretch beyond Alibaba

September 9, 2015

The U.S. taxman won’t bless the Internet company’s plans to spin off its $23 bln Alibaba stake in a tax-free transaction. Yahoo may still push its case but the roughly 60 pct discount attached to this stake implies the plan is troubled - as is the company’s core business.

LVMH’s bite out of Apple is digital coming-of-age

September 2, 2015

The French luxury group has poached a top Apple music executive to head its online operations. It’s a significant move in a sector that has been wary of the net. It also cranks up the heat on the sector’s e-commerce leader Burberry and recently merged Yoox/Net-a-Porter.

Silicon Valley rule of thumb points right way

By Guest Contributor
August 31, 2015

In a land that fetishizes revenue growth over profitability, there’s a new sanity check for software firms to see if the two rates add up to at least 40 pct. A Breakingviews analysis suggests it can be a useful guideline. Investors should just be wary of extrapolating too much.

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.

SoftBank’s hired gun takes high road to ownership

August 20, 2015

Nikesh Arora will invest $483 million in the Japanese tech group, cementing his place as successor to founder Masayoshi Son. It’s a refreshing change from the complex awards handed out by many U.S. companies. It should also help the ex-Googler push through more bold investments.

Indian e-tailer’s funds will disappear in a flash

August 19, 2015

Online marketplace Snapdeal is raising $500 mln from investors led by Alibaba and Foxconn valuing it at $5 bln. Securing more big-name backers is a coup for the Indian start-up. But the huge discounts it offers to lure buyers and sellers means the new funds won’t last long.