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Wednesday, 07 October 2015


A pair of gloves and a mallet rest on beer barrels

Bud almost has the SAB keg tapped

07 October 2015

AB InBev’s $99 bln cash offer for SABMiller is robust. The alternative stock package is unusual, but looks cleverly designed to meet the tax needs of Altria and BevCo, SAB’s 41 percent shareholders. It also eases post-deal debt pressures. MegaBeer is almost here.

Vincent Bollore

Bollore’s TI stake hike hints at true intentions

07 October 2015

The French corporate raider has increased his stake in the Italian telco to 20 pct. His recent purchases could be a defensive move to avoid dilution, or to profit from cross-border consolidation. But it could also be part of a more activist plan to shake up Italian pay-TV.

A worker works on a Samsung outdoor advertisement installed atop an office building in central Seoul March 23, 2015. Tech giant Samsung Electronics Co Ltd likely saw January-March earnings slip for the sixth straight quarter, but investors are betting on

Samsung's future is more Intel, less Apple

07 October 2015

The South Korean giant’s operating profit topped $6 bln in the third quarter – the first improvement since 2013. While smartphone sales are struggling, Samsung’s chip business is increasingly powering its bottom line. Future growth will depend more on components than handsets.

A woman photographs the ice-covered trees along Lake Michigan in Chicago, Illinois, February 2, 2015.

Scorched U.S. tech and pharma feel the M&A chill

06 October 2015

Two of the hottest sectors for deals this year have extended their run. Apple chip supplier Skyworks agreed to buy PMC-Sierra for $2 bln and AmerisourceBergen is purchasing PharMEDium for $2.6 bln. Investors in both acquirers jeered, building on a worrisome trend for mergers.

Sandbar sharks swim around during a cageless shark dive tour in Haleiwa, Hawaii February 16, 2015. Shark tours are a renowned form of eco-tourism in Hawaii and diving with sharks without a cage is becoming increasingly popular as well. Picture taken Febru

Internet TV may sink Discovery's quest for EU gold

06 October 2015

The U.S. cable network behind “Shark Week” and other nature fare plans to pad profit with subscriptions to its Eurosport channels. Like Americans, though, Europeans clamor for video streaming from Netflix, Amazon and other upstarts. The bundled-programming ship may have sailed.

An illustration picture shows a projection of binary code around the shadow of a man holding a laptop computer in an office in Warsaw June 24, 2013.

EU data ruling could stunt single digital market

06 October 2015

Europe’s top court has called an agreement over data transfer between the euro zone and America “invalid”. Legal alternatives exist, but will be costly for smaller companies. It will make it harder for Europe’s tech industry - and a single, regional internet market - to blossom.

A barman pours a beer produced by brewing company SAB Miller at a bar in Cape Town, September 16, 2015.

SABMiller's growth focus raises Budweiser stakes

06 October 2015

The South African-born brewer used the G-word six times in the first three sentences of an ostensibly ordinary Q2 trading statement. The intention looks clear. Seven days ahead of Anheuser’s deadline to launch a formal $100 bln-plus offer, SAB is saying: pay up or shut up.

Digicel Chairman Denis O'Brien

Irish mogul fails to connect with IPO investors

07 October 2015

Denis O’Brien has shelved plans for a $2 billion listing of Digicel, his Caribbean telco. Markets haven’t treated recent IPOs kindly. But Digicel’s undemocratic voting structure, high debt and exposure to the Haitian gourde required an especially strong stomach.

An AirAsia baggage handler drops a bag on the tarmac at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, Malaysia, June 17, 2015. AirAsia Bhd's shares skidded as much as 13 percent on Wednesday as investors spooked by a report questioning the Malaysian budge

AirAsia buyout could fly with fancy

07 October 2015

Co-founder Tony Fernandes would need about $800 mln of additional financing to take the embattled budget carrier private. Though buyouts are rare in the cyclical industry, it could make sense for investors willing to bet on a Malaysian recovery and on oil prices staying low.

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde takes part in a euro zone EU leaders' summit on the situation in Greece, in Brussels, Belgium, July 11, 2015.

Thicket of bad economic ideas leads IMF astray

06 October 2015

The latest World Economic Outlook notes that reported growth is slowing, but cannot quite explain why. The picture would be clearer, and probably look brighter, if the IMF relied less on faulty measures like GDP and productivity. More attention to financial harm also would help.

Freeport rejig only partly solves credibility gap

06 October 2015

Jim Bob Moffett’s energy group is bowing to pressure from activist Carl Icahn. It’s ditching board seats and a controversial management structure and may hive off the oil and gas unit it bought in a bad 2012 deal. Like Chesapeake, though, more fundamental changes may be needed.

A shirtless Xavier Broseta (R), Executive Vice President for Human Resources and Labour Relations at Air France, is evacuated by security after employees interrupted a meeting with representatives staff at the Air France headquarters building at the Charl

Air France staff can beat bosses but not reality

06 October 2015

The assault on the troubled national airline’s HR director isn’t the first French use of unconventional negotiating techniques. It’s not totally irrational, as the government often yields to direct action. But with its swollen cost base, Air France can’t afford to be cowed. 

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney (C) leaves after an inflation report news conference at the Bank of England in London, Britain August 6, 2015.

BoE's Carney sails between honesty and expediency

06 October 2015

Full disclosure from the UK central bank governor could shake investors’ view that rates won’t rise for at least another year. But this might be inconvenient for Mark Carney since it would result in an economy-harming stronger pound. Carney may try for a calibrated compromise. 



Rob Cox

Rob Cox: Wal-Mart just shy of target on gun front

06 October 2015

Like CVS with smokes, the retailer stopped selling AR-15 rifles, the kind used in an Oregon college shooting, because it’s bad business. Yet Wal-Mart blocked a Wall Street parish’s plan to make that and similar policies permanent. The church’s case merits Supreme Court review.

Hugo Dixon

Hugo Dixon: Greek bank recap is race against time

05 October 2015

Capital must be injected by year-end to avoid a disastrous bail-in of uninsured depositors. To meet the deadline, Europe’s central bank must finish its stress test and decide how much capital is required. The banks then need time to see if private investors will take part.


Robyn Mak

Alibaba delivery arm is a financial blind spot

02 October 2015

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.

Peter Scher

Guest view: A big dividend from investing in data

01 October 2015

U.S. officials haven’t collected employer training information in two decades. It’s one example of a larger problem. Peter Scher, JPMorgan’s head of corporate responsibility, says more public and private funding of data gathering and analysis would help the U.S. economy grow.

Antony Currie

Carney hits potential sustainable-finance goldmine

01 October 2015

U.N. goals, a U.S.-China pact and papal concern are all fine ways to highlight global development issues. The problem is financing the $4 trln a year needed to solve the issues. The BoE governor’s idea to make companies lay out climate-change risks is one promising approach.