HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Fatigue may be setting in for some Chinese soccer investors. LeEco has just lost the rights to screen top Asian matches. The cash-strapped group, led by hyperactive entrepreneur Jia Yueting, has unique problems. Still, some others have probably over-stretched too.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Mistakes happen. It’s what happens next that counts. Sunday's Academy Awards gaffe that saw the wrong film named as best picture may leave the ceremony’s accounting partner with a sense of déjà vu. PricewaterhouseCoopers flubbed its job of handing closely guarded voting results to presenters, resulting in "La La Land" being mistakenly awarded the Oscar until the error and the real winner, "Moonlight", were finally announced in the middle of the third "La La Land"
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - The London Stock Exchange and Deutsche Boerse really hope their merger of equals will go ahead. So do some of their investment bank customers. Many politicians in Germany and the United Kingdom, though, hope it fails, and shareholders don’t really mind either way. A probable objection from the European Commission’s antitrust police is therefore no disaster.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - China may have another way to get around IPO reform: luring tech unicorns with easier listings. The securities watchdog is mulling faster IPO approvals for big tech names. Letting Jack Ma's Ant Financial, last valued at $60 billion, jump the queue may convince other entrepreneurs to list at home, eschewing venues in New York and Hong Kong. But this would be a poor substitute for meaningful reform.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - China's debt-to-equity swap plan is a complicated attempt to carry out a corporate turnaround in the People's Republic. The government-backed scheme, launched in mid-2016, is designed to ease the burden on the country's heavily indebted state-owned enterprises. By mid-January, banks and borrowers had agreed to convert loans worth approximately 300 billion yuan ($43.5 billion) into shares, according to a Reuters analysis.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Steven Cohen is a litmus test of people’s views about finance and its role in society. Is the billionaire hedge-fund manager a supremely gifted trader or a pathological rule-breaker? Is he a self-made man or an avatar of the ultra-wealthy? Is he an art connoisseur or a crass arriviste?
DALLAS (Reuters Breakingviews) - Like any good private-equity investor, Carlyle has demonstrated a knack for buying when others are selling, and vice versa. It’s instructive then that the firm led by David Rubenstein is embarking on its biggest quest for distressed assets at a time when tax-cut hopes are fanning Wall Street euphoria. The $2.5 billion fund is a good reminder that lofty valuations, an aging recovery and a chaotic new administration can produce bad outcomes.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - British voters tend to view parliamentary by-elections as an opportunity to express their displeasure with the sitting government. So the ruling Conservative Party’s victory over rival Labour in the northwestern constituency of Copeland is an impressive endorsement of Prime Minister Theresa May. It might also mark the peak of her popularity. Her reluctance to call an early election could prove a mistake.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - A former employee accused the ride-hailing company of sexual harassment and gender discrimination. It’s not only bad form but yet another roadblock for money-losing Uber. Plus, where do Kraft Heinz and its owner 3G go after their failed $143 bln bid for Unilever?
WASHINGTON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Steven Mnunchin’s stock-market brag could turn out to be a double-edged sword. The new U.S. Treasury secretary says the post-election rally in the equities market reflects faith in President Donald Trump and his promises for tax reform and fiscal stimulus. Both plans need approval from Congress, and may be accompanied by higher inflation. Anti-immigrant and trade policies could also mute market gains.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Numbers don’t lie. If only that saying were even halfway true. Official statistics are increasingly becoming a plaything of politicians. If the trend continues, the results will be bad for everyone. Unfortunately, the statisticians aren’t in a strong position to defend themselves. They haven’t always been loud and clear in proclaiming the messy truth behind their measures.
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