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Sunday, 29 March 2015

Asia

China banks eye preference shares

China's banks turn lens on unhappy economy

27 March 2015

Lenders’ annual results give a chance to see what’s happening in corners of the country other data doesn’t show. The numbers reveal companies hit by falling commodity prices, small businesses struggling and consumers losing confidence. Banks may soon be called to the rescue.

India's boardroom diversity drive has weird result

27 March 2015

Companies have met demands they dilute male dominance by installing wives and stepmothers as directors. Some women now sit on as many seven boards. Indian corporate governance needs improving and gender diversity can boost financial returns. But mandating change isn’t the answer.

Rob Cox

Rob Cox: Pirelli flirts with joke version of hell

26 March 2015

That’s where the chefs are British, the lovers Swiss and the mechanics French. Pirelli risks becoming the corporate equivalent: the management Italian (as in the joke), its owner a Chinese state enterprise, and other partners Russian. Minority investors won’t find it funny.

Raghuram Rajan, newly appointed governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI), listens to a question during a news conference at the bank's headquarters in Mumbai September 4, 2013.

DoCoMo woes challenge India reform rhetoric

26 March 2015

The authorities won’t allow Tata to pay the Japanese telco $1.1 bln to exit a joint venture. The deal will now go to arbitration. It is another example of India’s struggle to attract foreign investment. The government would prefer someone else make the difficult decisions.

nomura abenomics

Nomura's lonely mortgage stand could yet deliver

26 March 2015

JPMorgan and 15 other banks paid Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac $18 bln to settle home-loan fraud charges, yet the Japanese lender is fighting back at trial. It’s a risky move that may prove shrewd after U.S. court rulings this week. It isn’t a requirement to roll over for Uncle Sam.

ZTE smartphones Grand Memo Lite (L) and Grand S are displayed during a news conference in Taipei October 12, 2013.

ZTE's turnaround not as impressive up close

26 March 2015

The Chinese telco equipment maker’s earnings almost doubled in 2014 – an improvement on the losses it was making three years ago. Yet revenue increased just 8 percent. ZTE is banking on smartphones and wearables to drive growth, but users don’t yet seem to be taking the bait.

Investors look at a screen showing stock information at a brokerage house in Wuhan, Hubei province February 23, 2009. REUTERS/Stringer

China brokerage IPO a triumph of wonky markets

25 March 2015

GF Securities is paying a high price for foreign currency and international prestige. It will sell $3.6 bln of new shares in Hong Kong around 50 percent cheaper than those already listed in China. Investors back home get diluted – except those connected enough to play both sides.

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