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Puppy love keeps IPO investors on the leash

A case of puppy love just swept over the stock market. After Snap, Blue Apron and YogaWorks appeared to spell doom for initial public offerings of trendy, fast-growing businesses, shares of PetIQ jumped by a third in their Friday debut after having priced at the top of the range. A more sensible valuation helped the maker of canine treats and medicine, but it also may have wagged the dog.

Buyout firms bet $3.7 bln on fintech’s dicier side

Private equity groups are rushing to bet on financial technology. Permira, Advent and Bain have all recently announced acquisitions of payment processors in the hope of capitalising on the cashless zeitgeist. Blackstone and CVC, which just offered $3.7 billion for UK-listed Paysafe, are placing a double wager.

Euro rally will only speed its own reversal

Traders push the euro up at their own peril. The single currency’s recent broad-based strength risks depressing import prices when inflation is still too low. Any hint that a stronger exchange rate could prompt European Central Bank President Mario Draghi to leave monetary policy loose for longer will force the euro back down again.

Blackstone’s Asia move shows Eastern promise

Blackstone is more famous as a seller to Asian buyers than a private equity investor in the region. That could all be about to change. The firm plans to raise up to $3 billion for its first Asia private equity fund and could raise more, according to Reuters. The timing looks smart, but it won’t be a cakewalk.

Viewsroom: Why U.S. tax reform is doomed, too

Republicans’ failure to replace Obamacare throws into doubt Washington’s ability to keep other high-profile election promises, not least cutting corporate levies. Meanwhile, President Trump’s fuzzy agenda for reforming NAFTA could give Canada and Mexico more bargaining power.

Central banks have no choice but to keep the faith

Central banking increasingly looks like an act of faith. The president of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, and his Bank of Japan counterpart Haruhiko Kuroda have spent trillions of euros and yen without generating as much inflation as they want. Yet they have little choice but to insist their policies will eventually work.

Unilever is half way there on Kraft challenge

Unilever is half way there on its Kraft Heinz challenge. The Anglo-Dutch owner of Dove soap and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream cut costs faster than expected in the first half of the year by reducing ad spend and paying its suppliers less. Its 20 percent operating margin target looks reachable. Yet with U.S. rival Kraft Heinz free to go hostile next month, volume growth remains too low for comfort.

EasyJet can afford a spell on autopilot

For easyJet, losing a chief executive is manageable. While Carolyn McCall, who has taken up the top spot at British broadcaster ITV, was the mastermind of the UK airline’s steep ascent over the past seven years, she leaves behind a financially and strategically sound company that can cope with a spell on autopilot.

Alibaba rewrites its e-commerce playbook

China's e-commerce giant is abandoning its unique selling point. Alibaba is trumpeting a push into bricks-and-mortar shopping. It’s not alone but the stakes are particularly high for the $392 billion giant led by Jack Ma as it marks a reversal of the asset-light model which fuelled its extraordinary profitability.