Phil Clarke, CEO of Britain’s largest grocer, touts a “big and bold plan.” He needs one, given poor trading and intensifying competition. But his proposals are vague, and he’s been too timid before. Tesco’s beaten-up shares bounced. But investors should stay sceptical.
The Swiss lender’s private banking arm is pulling in more money. But a 11 pct year-on-year dip in quarterly investment banking revenue suggests Credit Suisse’s other main engine isn’t motoring. Paring back further in fixed income would be one way to get things moving.
The stock exchange is poised to launch a debate on shareholder voting rights after Alibaba cancelled its listing in the former colony. Dumping “one share, one vote” won’t necessarily attract many new IPOs. But it would undermine Hong Kong’s already shaky corporate governance.
The company’s stagnant U.S. business plays second fiddle to its overseas holdings. Yahoo’s 24 pct stake in Alibaba accounts for almost 60 pct of its market value. The Chinese internet giant’s upcoming IPO strips investors of their biggest reason to follow the stock.
Wages represent 52 pct of GDP, and until they accelerate inflation won’t take hold. A leading think tank is even still worrying about deflation. But there are early hints that employees are beginning to regain some bargaining power. Higher prices could follow in 2015-16.
Though it hasn’t been slower since 2009, the pace of expansion in the world’s second-biggest economy is still rapid enough to avert the need for a humiliating stimulus. The big exception is real estate, where some kind of meddling to ease a funding crunch looks unavoidable.
A potential $11 bln tie-up of booking sites Ctrip and Qunar sounds dandy. But the real break may be for search engine Baidu. As Qunar’s biggest shareholder, it could get a first-class seat in the merged duo, with room to take a bigger stake when valuations come back to earth.
A U.S. court says a regulation forcing firms to disclose their use of African minerals is unconstitutional. The rule’s merits aside, the opinion weakens the public’s right to good information. Given the Supreme Court’s pro-business tilt, transparency could be in real trouble.
With Russia squeezing an already feeble economy, it will be tough to avoid meltdown. A steep interest rate hike can only delay woes. Since impoverished Kiev cannot count on either citizens ready for huge sacrifices or massive Western financial support, Russia has the upper hand.