The Anglo-Australian miner needs to conserve cash to pay for the Samarco dam disaster in Brazil. Forecast earnings already fall short of the $6.5 billion it paid shareholders last year. BHP would be wise to get ahead of the curve and scrap its commitment to progressive payouts.
The Dutch insurer is raising capital equivalent to over half its market value to prepare for new Solvency II rules. But it’s also ditching its own solvency model for a tougher version supplied by regulators. If peers follow suit, insurer capital would be much more simple.
The scandal-hit Japanese group has been too fuzzy about the performance of important businesses. Now it has finally laid out the finances and outlook for various key units. Improved disclosure, plus growth potential in nuclear power, should help restore some market confidence.
Europe’s recent rapprochement with Ankara is born of necessity. Less porous shared borders will help control the flow of migrants into the West. But investors have a choice. Their ardour will hinge on how much reform latitude President Tayyip Erdogan gives his new government.
Saudi Arabia is under pressure to break its currency peg with the dollar. The inflexible riyal means Saudi can’t devalue to offset weak oil prices. But given Riyadh’s huge forex reserves, the risks of moving to a floating currency still outweigh the rewards.
Unlike its domestic peers, the Spanish bank didn’t lend to the teetering engineering group. Nor did it invest in Bankia’s failed IPO or Spain’s bad bank, Sareb. Luck may be an element, but BBVA’s risk controls and an independent-minded chairman are probably helping, too.
The UK bank has been fined for cutting corners on a 1.9 bln stg deal for politically sensitive clients in 2011. The temptation for banks to bend the rules for VIPs is just as strong today. But more vigilant regulators are chipping away at the idea that this is business as usual.
The German landlord has complicated a 14 bln euros approach by rival Vonovia by buying apartments worth 1.2 bln euros and taking on debt. True, it shows that Wohnen can gear its balance sheet up under its own steam, but there are less risky ways to make the case for independence.
The Hong Kong lender has the second biggest branch network of any foreign bank in the People’s Republic. But fast expansion has come at a cost: BEA underperforms rivals. With activist Elliott still building its stake, it’s a good time to focus on improving profitability.
The beleaguered Spanish engineering group might survive if lenders take haircuts of two-thirds. In liquidation, losses could mushroom due to the group’s spiralling working capital needs, complex business and slow Spanish courts. Abengoa needs a speedy resolution and more cash.
The Thanksgiving shopping orgy, recently adopted by the UK, is unhelpful for all concerned. Consumer credit is spiralling, confidence falling and retail margins are under pressure. If shoppers and retailers take a rational view of low prices, the festival will snuff itself out.
The U.S. firm has sold its remaining $116 mln stake in Hero MotoCorp four years after investing in the world’s largest motorbike maker. In rupee terms, Bain doubled its money in four years. As private equity pours into India, it’s a reminder that getting money out remains harder.
Imposing a staggered penalty on banks that hoard cash is one of many ways to ease policy being discussed by the European Central Bank. Such levies have drawbacks. But at least a split-level charge would encourage the biggest hoarders to boost cross-border lending.