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Friday, 01 August 2014

Asia

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Yahoo's Mayer nears post-Alibaba reckoning

31 July 2014

A stake in the Chinese e-commerce group makes up over half the U.S. internet firm’s value, a Breakingviews calculator shows. When investors can buy Alibaba shares directly - potentially next month - Yahoo chief Marissa Mayer will find herself under a narrower, brighter spotlight.

Apple's iPhone 5 (top) and Samsung Electronics' Galaxy S4 are seen in this picture illustration taken in Seoul May 13, 2013.

Line's $13 bln valuation shows chat app exuberance

31 July 2014

The Japanese chat app reported a 26 pct jump in revenue from the previous quarter, pushing up valuation expectations ahead of its planned IPO. Yet Line’s valuation hangs on an assumption that new overseas users will spend like those back home. That seems like wishful thinking.

The hands of Malini Agarwal, blogger-in-chief of missmalini.com, are pictured as she blogs from her living room in Mumbai, January 22, 2013.

India’s e-commerce prize may be spread thinly

30 July 2014

A $1 bln fundraising by Flipkart underscores a China-like opportunity. Yet rivalry will be fierce, because the market is more open than the Middle Kingdom. The ambitions of companies like Amazon and eBay make it unlikely India will create a home-grown answer to China’s Alibaba.

Chinese banknotes are seen at a vendor's cash box at a market in Beijing February 14, 2014.

China online funds’ yield hunt piles on risk

29 July 2014

Money market funds like the one linked to Alibaba are buying longer-term assets to bolster yields. That could create a crunch if savers realise their assets aren’t as safe as cash. Freeing up bank deposit rates would remove the distortion that fueled the boom in the first place.

Former China's Politburo Standing Committee Member Zhou Yongkang attends the closing ceremony of the National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing March 14, 2012.

China's political purges call for financial sequel

30 July 2014

Investigating ex-security chief Zhou Yongkang shows China’s president is firmly in charge. That may help sustain faith in the Party. But other institutions need a scrub too. Exposing the money trail, and those who help the rich and mighty bypass the rules, is a logical next step.   

Nomura trading prowess demands fuller explanation

29 July 2014

The Japanese investment bank’s fixed-income arm is unfazed by broader gloom. Revenue increased 7 pct in the latest quarter. The lack of an old, bad trading book probably helps. It’s hard to tell, though, just how Nomura outflanked rivals, and thus whether success is sustainable.

Korea

Korea recklessly dices with property bubble

29 July 2014

Seoul has loosened limits on mortgage borrowing to rescue GDP growth. The real problem, though, is two years of below-target inflation. That has hurt consumption by keeping the real value of household debt too high. Bold monetary easing might be more helpful.

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