Telco operators, a conglomerate and a startup backed by China’s Alibaba are getting ready to launch new banks to serve the country’s poor. Tight regulation and fierce competition mean it will be hard to make money. Deep pockets will determine who survives.
Shinzo Abe has spent more than three years pushing for higher growth, faster inflation and a nimbler economy. But success eludes the Japanese prime minister, who has been too timid with the public purse. Keeping the project going calls for extra spending and even easier money.
Financiers, politicians and pollsters reckon the industry needs a glitzy PR campaign to combat the impression it’s dishonest. But such an operation could leave bankers with egg on their face. Breakingviews envisions an image consultant advising CEOs to stick with the basics.
Banks want Washington to use provisions in the 2001 homeland security Act to set up a public-private database on suspect currency activity. It may be useful in preventing fraud and catching the bad guys. Lenders have another motive, too: cutting costs and even avoiding big fines.
State-backed banks in both countries have lent too much to politically connected companies that are now in trouble. While India is pushing lenders to come clean, China is still not admitting the extent of the problem. Future growth depends on a proper cleanup.
Reducing carbon dioxide emissions and hitting other sustainability goals will cost trillions of dollars. But it should spur growth and jobs and create the higher-yielding, long-term assets investors crave. Policymakers, though, need to follow through on their pledges, too.
An insider’s account provides fresh insights into the origins of China’s most successful entrepreneur. Yet the tale of Ma’s rise reveals little about the inner workings of his e-commerce empire. Outsiders are no closer to disentangling Alibaba’s future from its founder.
More state companies are failing to pay bondholders. This is partly necessity amid an economic slowdown, and partly a useful dose of market discipline. But the withdrawal of government support could spook investors, creating a credit drought.
Companies that strongly back gay and lesbian rights perform better, a Credit Suisse study finds. If only it were so simple. Corporate inclusiveness is a bit like environmental sustainability or tax avoidance. Rules, not just returns, are what make businesses do the right thing.
BP shareholders just blew a raspberry to the oil company’s decision to pay $20 mln to boss Bob Dudley, who oversaw a big loss as the oil price plunged. But is a market downswing exactly when higher rewards are needed? Breakingviews columnists opine.