Road to fortune or highway to hell?

GM-OPEL/That will ultimately be the question asked about what kind of a future the German carmaker Opel faces.

Parent General Motors said on Thursday that it indeed wanted
to sell a majority stake in the unit to Canadian auto parts
group Magna and Russia’s Sberbank, a decision long favoured by the German government under Chancellor Angela Merkel.

With about two weeks to go until a general election in
Europe’s biggest economy, this would clearly be a political
victory — but the question remains whether it will also be an
economic one.

Merkel said that GM’s recommendation — which would see
Magna’s Brussels-listed rival bidder RHJ International losing
out in the battle that has dragged on for months — is going to
be tied to conditions.

Although she said that those conditions would be manageable and
negotiable, doubts remain about whether this will be the new
beginning the company is hoping for.

Deals du Jour

With Germany due to decide which bidder — or bidders — it prefers as a partner for Opel, it’s a big day for carmakers. And the sale of RBS’s Asia assets is moving closer as well, with ANZ bank raising money for the purchase, and sources telling Reuters that HSBC has pulled out of the race. For top deals of the day, click here.

From the newspapers:

* A unit of the Aviation Industry Corp of China (AVIC), China’s huge state-owned aircraft maker, plans to list abroad in the near future, the official China Securities Journal said, citing AVIC President Lin Zuoming.

* Citigroup Inc and Bank of America Corp are likely to soon raise base salaries for investment bankers to compensate for limits on annual bonuses, the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter. Read Reuters story here.