Wage growth may finally be taking hold. Americans are getting better-paying work, spurring more people to seek it. January’s headline figure of 151,000 new jobs undershot estimates, though. And Janet Yellen et al know they’ll be blamed for global market volatility, too.
The $11 bln oil explorer is selling shares to shore up capital. Not long ago, it repurchased more than twice as many at double the price amid an Elliott insurgence. The toxic mix of a cyclical industry, activism and financial engineering should be a required boardroom case study.
More than 100 mln people are due to watch the Panthers and Broncos battle for supremacy on Sunday amid $10 mln-a-minute ads. Live sports are pivotal for broadcasters but the $18 bln price tag is getting harder to justify. As cord cutting accelerates, the chalice will be poisoned.
The country’s political parties still haven’t formed a government seven weeks after an inconclusive election. In the short term, it’s unlikely to have a big impact on the economy. But a prolonged stalemate could hurt confidence and sap momentum, as well as deter corporate deals.
Foreign currency reserves shrank by $513 bln last year, reversing two decades of cash flooding in. The decline has spooked global markets, put pressure on the yuan and prompted a renewed rush for the exits. Breakingviews looks at the causes and consequences of the exodus.
The activist fund is pushing for a sale of Bank of East Asia. Other big shareholders are unlikely to join in. It’s also a bad time to seek a buyer for a group with such a large exposure to China. Elliott’s latest salvo suggests it’s getting nervous about its $500 mln bet.
CEO Philippe Dauman replaced Sumner Redstone as chair of the $18 bln media firm, thwarting the controlling stockholder’s daughter, Vice Chairwoman Shari Redstone. She wanted an independent leader. Investors may not like the soap opera, but it has potential as a much-needed hit series.
The internet security group netted $5.3 bln from selling Veritas. Pressured by Elliott, it’s now borrowing $500 mln from Silver Lake and returning all the cash to investors rather than keeping a war chest. Symantec’s questionable dealmaking record makes the straitjacket merited.
France’s largest bank’s 30 pct discount to tangible book value implies investor fears about its so-so capital and exposure to stricken oil groups. BNP Paribas’ top line in its three main arms still grew in the final quarter. It should be trading nearer the likes of ING.
After a $7.9 bln net loss for 2015 and big writedowns, the steelmaker has launched a $3 bln rights issue. It buys time for a cost-cutting programme, but ArcelorMittal’s real issue is outside its control: the aggressive supply tactics of Chinese steelmakers and Australian miners.
State-backed Beijing Enterprises is buying Germany’s Energy from Waste for $1.6 bln. Unlike some of China’s splashier foreign deals, this looks decently priced and makes obvious strategic sense. China badly needs more clean-technology expertise. Expect more trashy buys.
The U.S. president’s $10-a-barrel fee would fund infrastructure and nudge consumers from fossil fuels. It might also up demand for gas-sipping autos, helping carmakers meet emissions goals. And energy firms could pass on the cost. It will, alas, surely stall in an election year.
ECB chief Mario Draghi says rate-setters must try to stoke price pressures when inflation is too feeble for too long. Yet for all his bustle, the Italian is less trusted by investors to conjure up inflation than his wait-and-see peer, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney.