Europe’s new issues market is healthy for the first time in years. Investors have spare cash, the economic gloom is lifting and recent deals have traded up. That bodes well. But quality control is becoming paramount. A few shoddy or over-priced debuts could change everything.
The hedge fund has amassed enough votes to block McKesson’s $8 bln takeover bid. The U.S. offer for the German drug wholesaler does look a bit stingy. But Elliott will suffer if the deal fails - so McKesson can probably hold firm. Elliott has other ways to make money here.
Having hit four-year growth targets, the UK insurer plans to double cash generated from fast-growing Asian operations by 2017. The worry is that Fed tapering leads to a slowdown in the region. But Pru’s market position is so entrenched that it would be wrong to bet against it.
The country’s energy sector has accumulated a 26 billion euros deficit due to the gap between production costs and consumer bills. Now the government is pulling the money it had promised to reduce the shortfall this year. Its constant flip-flops are worrying investors.
Spain’s largest media group has won breathing space from creditors in a complex, yet promising deal. The snag is that the plan inflicts dilution and relies on two assumptions: that the Spanish economy will pull through, and that assets will fetch good prices. Neither is certain.
As world leaders remember a great statesman, they may ponder South Africa’s middle-income trap. Compared with other post-colonial economies, even stagnation would be a tribute to Mandela’s peace-making. It’s up to those who followed him to buck recent trends and escape the trap.
The ex-Barclays boss is said to be preparing a $250m London cash shell to buy African financial institutions. Scandals involving Libor and Bumi have hurt both Diamond and his proposed way of investing. Rehabilitation via M&A could succeed – but only if the governance is spot on.