The Indian steelmaker’s net debt of $9 bln is three times its market value. Its European business, acquired in 2007, is suffering from cheap Chinese imports. Yet last year’s timely refinancing and support from its parent means Tata Steel can avoid the fate of British rival SSI.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership, assuming it overcomes opposition in U.S. Congress, should ease trade on everything from car parts to cancer therapies. China’s absence is significant but so is a U.S.-Japan deal. If NAFTA is any guide, however, the broad GDP impact may be limited.
The Chinese e-commerce group is a minority investor in the business that arranges delivery of billions of its packages. Yet Alibaba has spent over $6.3 bln on logistics-related deals in the past three years. Even if the investments make strategic sense, shareholders are in the dark.
The data storage company’s sale of $3.8 bln of stock to China’s Tsinghua exchanges a minority interest at a premium price for a seat on the board. Politics make selling control tough, but this kind of arrangement may help smooth Western Digital’s path in Chinese markets.
Hong Kong shareholders rejected China Merchants Bank’s employee share scheme after the lender gave them too little information. It’s a small sign big investors are turning less tolerant of shoddy governance. Chinese companies used to silent acquiescence may be in for a surprise.
Mike Smith is leaving as CEO of the $55 bln Australian lender after eight years. Beefing up in Asia has proved less lucrative than he hoped. Yet a slowing home economy and tightening regulation mean successor Shayne Elliott may have to stay centered somewhere in between.
The Hong Kong tycoon has rejected accusations that he is turning his back on the mainland. Yet the fact he felt the need to issue a defence shows the hostile terrain now facing business leaders in China. Shrill allegations of treachery will only make them less willing to invest.