George Hay is an associate editor in Breakingviews’ London office, covering commodities, the Middle East and general financial policy issues. Prior to that he was Breakingviews’ European Financial Editor, and also worked as a correspondent for AFX News and United Business Media. He has an undergraduate degree from Edinburgh University, a Graduate Diploma in Economics from Birkbeck, University of London, and his work has been recognised at the UK’s Business Journalist of the Year Awards.
SoftBank’s $100 bln vehicle is almost spent, and CEO Masayoshi Son’s Gulf sponsors are mulling whether to back a sequel. High returns help; toppy valuations don’t. The problem is that tightening Saudi and Emirati purse strings may dent confidence in current cash-burning startups.
The gas-rich emirate’s wealth fund plans to choose its own investments in areas like tech and private equity, instead of using third-party managers. That chimes with what rivals are doing, and echoes its own racy history. Now is hardly the best time to revert to type, though.
Thirty years after privatisation, a big chunk of Britain’s steel sector is going bust. The UK’s scope to offer support is less hopeless than it might appear, but the government would need to be convinced the industry is strategic and sustainable. Neither is obviously the case.