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Friday, 28 August 2015

BREAKINGVIEWS

With strong new backer, Olam gets what Noble needs

28 August 2015

Mitsubishi is backing a Singapore-listed trader bashed by short-sellers, paying $1.1 bln at a big premium. Noble needs such a vote of confidence. But the Japanese group is actually endorsing Olam – a firm supported by Temasek that has been spared the worst of the commodity rout.

Bad loan bank China Cinda Asset Management

China bad bank pays high price for respectability

28 August 2015

Cinda Asset Management started as a dump for dodgy bank loans but expanded into funds, insurance and brokerage. Now it’s looking to swallow Hong Kong lender Nanyang for around $8.8 bln. At more than twice its own book value, Cinda needs many benefits to make the deal stack up.

A San Diego police officer in riot gear protects a Dole truck leaving the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal in San Diego, California December 12, 2011.

Dole boss is bad apple for buyout barrel

27 August 2015

A judge says David Murdock duped shareholders, independent directors, lawyers and bankers when he took the produce vendor private two years ago for $1.6 bln. The deceit will cost him $150 mln. It’s also a sad reminder that even carefully vetted deals can be rotten at the core.

Hot air balloons are inflated at sunrise on day one of the 2015 New Jersey Festival of Ballooning in Readington, New Jersey, July 24, 2015.

Solid U.S. growth trumps stock market sideshow

27 August 2015

GDP expanded at a 3.7 pct pace in the second quarter and 2.7 pct year-on-year. The jobs market looks steady. For central bankers like the Fed’s Bill Dudley, that ought to be more “compelling” than the now-arrested slide in shares. Zero interest rates are past their sell-by date.

Ukrainian Finance Minister Natalia Yaresko (R) walks past Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk during a government meeting in Kiev, August 27, 2015.

Bondholders escape Ukraine with only mild scratch

27 August 2015

War-torn Ukraine has agreed a 20 percent haircut with a group of rebellious creditors. That’s half the loss Kiev originally wanted. Yet it’s not much of a victory for lenders either: with the economy in tatters and doubts continuing, creditors will be lucky to escape another hit.

A general view shows an oil refinery of Russian state-controlled oil giant Rosneft at night near the Siberian town of Strezhevoy

Shell-BG merger still works with cheap oil

27 August 2015

The tumbling oil price has raised fears that Shell shareholders might balk at the $70 billion the Anglo-Dutch energy group agreed to pay for smaller rival BG. While the premium may now look bigger, so should the cost savings, even now that black gold has lost its shine. 

A man looks at an electronic board at a brokerage house in Shanghai August 31, 2009.

Stock rout will blow hole in China's deal pipeline

27 August 2015

The selloff has brought an abrupt end to a record-breaking run for share sales in the People’s Republic. This will hurt local brokers, which dominate onshore listings, more than foreign banks. A sharp slowdown in Chinese M&A, up 70 pct so far this year, also looks inevitable.

Traffic passes a 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) billboard at the Tun Razak Exchange development in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, July 6, 2015. Malaysia's ringgit hit a 16-year low on Monday as political tensions mounted over a report that linked Prime Mini

Malaysia fund mess gives Abu Dhabi no good options

28 August 2015

Troubled 1Malaysia Development Berhad denies a state-backed fund is pulling a $5 billion lifeline. Abu Dhabi’s relationship with 1MDB has become an embarrassment, and Malaysia’s sliding currency complicates the bailout. But walking away would make things worse for the Gulf state.

Coca-Cola bottles

Coke's sparkling H2O talk is a bit too fizzy

27 August 2015

The soft-drinks giant has done more than many corporations to nurture water resources. Now CEO Muhtar Kent reckons he can hit Coke’s goal of replenishing every liter it uses five years early. But the company’s claim that it will be water neutral doesn’t yet pass the taste test.

The flags of the U.S. and China hang outside of 85 Broad Street, headquarters for the investment bank Goldman Sachs in New York, October 23, 2008.

Fake Goldman Sachs belies a real China strength

27 August 2015

The U.S. investment bank joins a long list of counterfeits that includes Apple stores, police stations and British villages. They’re easy to mock, but also veil a broader readiness to bend rules in search of profit. Properly channelled, that ingenuity and pluck could be powerful.

New York Fed president William Dudley addresses the Association for a Better New York in New York.

Markets are a test of central bankers’ backbone

27 August 2015

Equities are rallying after a Fed official cast doubt on the need for a September rate rise. China’s slowdown and sliding commodities may warrant circumspection among global central bankers. But market gyrations don’t. Monetary policy inaction should be for the right reasons.

A woman shops in a Louis Vuitton store during Vogue's 4th Fashion's Night Out: Shopping Night with Celebrities in downtown Shanghai September 7, 2012

Luxury faces tough quest for next big market

27 August 2015

China’s slowdown and weaker currency have hit share prices of bauble-peddlers LVMH and Swatch. The hunt is on for luxury’s next hotspot. India and Brazil show promise, but a mix of scale, rising incomes and inequality is elusive. Better opportunities may be closer to home. 

Bronze medallist Wang Lianyuan of China runs out of the water as she completes her swim during the women's triathlon at Songdo Central Park during the 17th Asian Games in Incheon September 25, 2014.REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Chinese mogul takes on extreme triathlon challenge

27 August 2015

Wang Jianlin’s Wanda group will buy the operator of Ironman events from its private equity owner for $650 mln. Endurance sports are booming. But turning China’s newly affluent onto day-long stints of running, swimming and cycling looks harder than luring them into Wang’s cinemas.

Videos

E-book

A Tamer Lion: Singapore at 50

The city-state defied all expectations during its first five decades. Now it faces fresh challenges. As celebrations fade, this collection of views examines Singapore’s prospects including the outlook for its workforce, property market, role as a finance hub, and water supply.

Columns

Rob Cox

Rob Cox: Double-duty CEOs are a worrisome trend

27 August 2015

Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne may don another hat to run Ferrari. Like Jack Dorsey and Elon Musk, however, he’s only human. Investors in public companies, especially young or challenged ones, require full attention from a leader. That’s all but impossible when he’s running two.

Features

William Rhodes

Guest view: Urgent action needed on bank culture

21 August 2015

Converging pressures from regulators and shareholders have reached a level where bank CEOs know they must do more to restore traditional solid values to the industry, argues William Rhodes, a former Citi executive and co-chair of the G30’s steering committee on banking reform.

Daniel Indiviglio

Liquidity risk: a bondholder survival guide

17 August 2015

Wall Street executives Jamie Dimon and Gary Cohn blame trickier trading on new rules, an argument ex-Fed boss Paul Volcker refutes. But investors need not panic. They already have tools at their disposal to help combat a sudden drought in the market, and one or two new ones, too.