The stricken carmaker is making fewer vehicles than a year ago. Yet it hired more people in the first quarter. Investment and distribution costs grew too. Chief Matthias Mueller may be busy with a still-unresolved emissions scandal, but there’s little sign of needed cost-cutting.
Bank of America Merrill holds the most FTSE 100 mandates - the first time JPMorgan Cazenove has come second in 10 years. But a wider market view shows fewer shifts elsewhere. The glacial shifts of offering free advice to corporate clients are as British as awful summer weather.
The Chinese behemoth may be able to improve its foothold in a key market by buying 13 pct of its peer Down Under. Virgin is a struggling carrier, however, in need of a huge capital injection and it already has three other big airline investors. That caps HNA’s potential returns.
The country could return to the influential MSCI emerging market index. Pakistan’s stock market is the best performing in Asia this year and is still cheap. The economy is also not in bad shape. For investors who can stomach the political risks, Pakistan looks enticing.
Yusuf Alireza is leaving the embattled commodity trader after four years in charge. Though Noble has avoided an immediate liquidity crisis, investors still question its long-term viability. Flogging its U.S. energy arm will raise cash at the expense of further shrinkage.
The German chemicals group’s rejected $62 bln offer for the seed maker already appeared to violate one of its key principles: stick to projects whose returns beat the cost of capital. Upping the price to win over Monsanto would take heroic sales-growth assumptions to stack up.
Too much of a good thing could be bad for the Gulf state. It has just raised a whopping $9 billion in the bond market thanks to investors’ hunger for yield. Loading up on debt will help Qatar cope with lower energy prices, but just dodges its biggest problem: lavish spending.
While economic activity has picked up, the Spanish population is ageing faster than the EU average. Consensus and long-term planning are needed to tackle the burden this will place on the welfare system and growth prospects. The current polarisation in politics stands in the way.
Mainland money is pouring into Western teams, rights, agents, and competitions. Bold M&A often comes with empty talk and hyperbole. The world of sport is not much better. Throw in the grand designs of China’s political leaders and you have a near-unbeatable trifecta of nonsense.
Wang Jianlin is offering his property firm’s Hong Kong investors a stingy 10 pct premium to the IPO price 17 months ago. The Chinese tycoon will pocket better returns if it relists on the mainland. Yet while minority investors have reason to hold out, doing so would be risky.
The country’s mobile phone duopoly will jointly pay $1.5 bln for San Miguel’s telecom assets after the conglomerate’s effort to set up a new operator failed. From Thailand to India, new entrants are trying to take on big players. Access to capital and knowhow decides who wins.
But that’s only if the healthcare M&A machine can boost sales at its $4.2 bln quarry. Reducing taxes and cutting costs at the maker of electron microscopes only gets Thermo partway to justifying the price tag. Thermo’s track record gives investors some comfort it can do this.
Shinzo Abe’s plan to revitalise Japan needs a boost. The PM didn’t get as much backing as he might have liked from hosting the club of rich nations. But he may just about be able to spin the summit statement as an endorsement of fiscal stimulus and a tax standstill.