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Sunday, 21 December 2014


Cans of soda are displayed in a case at Kwik Stops Liquor in San Diego, California.

Activists may take the Pepsi, and Coke, challenge

19 December 2014

Thanks to stagnant sales the world’s top soda makers – with $300 bln of combined market cap – already attracted agitators in 2014. Now Pepsi is risking a proxy fight over billionaire Nelson Peltz’s break-up plan. Coke, too, may face a radical shake-up if it can’t reignite growth.

Quentin Webb

Review: An Icelandic tycoon’s sorry saga

19 December 2014

Thor Bjorgolfsson embodies Iceland’s volcanic rise and fall. He made a fortune in post-Soviet Europe, lost a bank in 2008 and caused Deutsche Bank years of grief with Actavis. This deal junkie’s memoir is self-critical in parts - but unlikely to win many new friends in Reykjavik.

Leon Black, Chairman and CEO Apollo Global Management.

Dry powder may explode in buyout barons' faces

18 December 2014

Everything is going up in private equity except deal volume. Acquisition multiples are at a record high, as is competition from corporate buyers. For big firms such as Apollo and Blackstone, $1.5 trln of purchasing power may be tough to deploy without cratering returns.

Signs explaining Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and other banking policies are shown on the counter of a bank in Westminster, Colorado.

U.S. bank watchdog judging cost cuts just right

18 December 2014

The FDIC’s latest belt tightening means its budget is now 42 percent lower than at its peak. With the OCC warning of lower lending standards, that might sound worrisome. But the FDIC’s actually shifting resources to where they’re needed most – a sign it’s learned from the crisis.

A tuna swims among a school of fish as a scuba diver looks on at Galapagos Marine Reserve August 19, 2013. Picture taken August 19, 2013.

Thai Union sets right flavour for Asian food M&A

19 December 2014

When little-known Asian buyers pounce on foreign companies, the resulting deals are often overpriced or lacking in strategy. The $1.5 bln Thai purchase of U.S. tinned seafood company Bumble Bee swims against the tide. Thai Union’s focused, low-key approach has lessons for others.

A robot transfers materials into "wells" on a microtiter plate before a test at biotech company Genkyotex's headquarters in Plan-les-Ouates in Geneva July 26, 2013.

Rampaging animal spirits birth biotech unicorn

18 December 2014

The public offering of Juno Therapeutics presents an apt finale to the best year for biotech IPOs. It’s only a year old and revenue free, but its cancer fighting technology is hot. Juno’s $2 bln valuation shows capitalism’s ability to catalyze investors’ hopes and resources.

Bank of America Chief Executive Brian Moynihan looks on during an interview in Hong Kong March 8, 2013.

James Gorman can leave Brian Moynihan in slow lane

18 December 2014

The Morgan Stanley and BofA CEOs each marks five years in charge in 2015. Neither has had an easy time of it. Gorman, though, ought to be able to lead his firm back above a 10 pct ROE – an important, if humdrum, ambition. Moynihan’s lending behemoth remains a ways off that.