Stocks and Funds
Globally, they’re down about 8 pct. Local pain explains Lloyds and Bank of Ireland. Sovereign debt exposure is a problem for Intesa Sanpaolo and others. Santander has a Spanish election to worry about. The likes of BofA and SocGen, though, seem swept up in a sea of confusion.
The U.S. software firm debuted even as Brexit, interest rates and other global concerns have stalled most new listings. A 75 pct pop in the shares gave the fast-growing but unprofitable enterprise with lousy governance a $2.2 bln value. Silicon Valley’s hold on investors endures.
Shares in banks and homebuilders fell sharply as investors reacted to Britain’s referendum vote. As leveraged bets on the domestic economy, the selloff reflects fears of a contraction. But at least lenders are now better equipped to deal with financial turmoil than a decade ago.
The UK grocer delivered a second consecutive quarter of like-for-like sales growth. Its new strategy? Sell low-priced produce but brand it as if it were expensive. Simple as it sounds, shoppers are duly buying more goods. Tesco is finally getting to grips with its competition.
Bids and Buyouts
The U.S. pipeline operator can wriggle out of its disastrous $20 bln takeover of rival Williams. A Delaware judge says a botched tax interpretation by lawyers was a genuine mistake, not part of a scheme to prevent the deal from closing. There may yet be a price to pay, however.
Amid the worst market meltdown in ages, the German consumer goods giant is forking out $3.6 bln for U.S. home-care rival Sun Products. The price is rich and the timing bold. But at least today Henkel looks smart to lower its European exposure and transform its position in America.
The travel agent is the latest U.S.-listed Chinese group to get a buyout proposal from back home. A 15 pct premium to a depressed stock price is hardly generous. But if major shareholder Ctrip can be persuaded to hop aboard, this deal could work.
The entrepreneur may see possibilities from uniting Tesla and SolarCity that others are missing. They seem, though, to share little beyond big ambitions, cash outflows and stakes owned by Elon Musk. Easier to spot are similarities to a dreadful mining and oil merger from 2012.
Money and Markets
A new book uses the nose-horned beasts as a metaphor for obvious threats ignored by corporate and political leaders. Myriad examples enlisted by author Michele Wucker are engaging, but the solutions come off oversimplified. The gray rhino may not keep pace with the black swan.
Britain’s referendum decision is an unwelcome blow to an already fragile world economy, but the real change is that it forces companies and investors to reconsider other once-remote risks. A Donald Trump presidency or the break-up of the euro zone may deserve more consideration.
Older Britons voted to leave the EU, while younger ones wanted to stay. It’s a flashpoint in a wider global story of inter-generational strife. Unless some of the wealth is diverted their way, a brain drain of justifiably cheesed-off millennials will hit economic growth.
Prime Minister David Cameron says he will resign. He and his finance minister, George Osborne, stood for competent economic management and stability. Britain lacks obvious replacements who have experience as well as mass appeal. The economy and UK assets will pay the price.