Breakingviews - Corona Capital: Texas hold it
Corona Capital is a daily column updated throughout the day by Breakingviews columnists around the world with short, sharp pandemic-related insights.
WPP boss Mark Read is tidying up during difficult times. Finsbury and two other public relations companies owned by the $10 billion advertising giant are joining forces, they said on Tuesday. The new setup, which will see the trio’s managers hold nearly 50% of the merged company, will suit Read well.
China and Britain are increasingly at loggerheads. Beijing is unhappy with Britain’s decision to offer up to 3 million Hong Kong citizens the right to live and work in the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Boris Johnson looks increasingly likely to ban equipment made by China’s Huawei Technologies from British 5G mobile networks. The two countries’ collaboration on nuclear power stations could be the next flashpoint.
The boss of the $110 bln tobacco giant is on a quest to get the world to stop smoking cigarettes and switch over to heated tobacco, mainly PMI’s Iqos brand. Calantzopoulos has a lot of dedicated customers to win over, but he tells Rob Cox how governments might lend him a hand.
Success lies in the eyes of the beholder. Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda is pursuing a policy of yield-curve control, which he defines as keeping 10-year government bond yields tethered near zero. He is hitting his target but may nevertheless saddle his country with an economic headache.
There are three good things about Uber Technologies’ purchase of Postmates. First, it removes a competitor from the food delivery market. Second, it looks cheap in light of the amount of cost Uber boss Dara Khosrowshahi thinks he can cut. And while at $2.7 billion the deal is pretty small, that makes it an amuse-bouche sized test of how regulators will respond to the $55 billion ride-hailing firm’s future acquisitions.
The board of Lloyds Banking Group has devised a management handover that evokes its boss’s slick hair. Well-coiffed Chief Executive António Horta-Osório will leave the 23 billion pound UK bank in 2021, nine months after incoming Chairman Robin Budenberg joins. The smooth transition will reassure shareholders, and give Budenberg time to find a successor to boost fee income and test the waters on M&A.
OneWeb’s relaunch will better position it to go head-to-head with Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk in orbit. The collapsed SoftBank-backed satellite startup is set to exit bankruptcy and get back into the internet space race with a $1 billion injection from the owner of India’s Bharti Airtel, the world’s third-largest telecom operator, and the UK government. The deal, if approved, will shore up future revenue and reduce sizeable risks.
French President Emmanuel Macron’s reformist credentials are on the line. The former Rothschild investment banker on Friday reshuffled his government, the first step in what he has previously flagged would be a reinvention of his presidency. He may be willing to ditch more than his prime minister in his bid to win re-election in 2022.
AEX Gold is setting the early pace in a global warming-fuelled scramble for Greenland’s mineral wealth. The Canadian miner wants to restart bullion production on the giant ice-bound island with 45 million pounds unearthed from a planned UK listing. The idea is less sketchy than it looks.
Reuters Breakingviews is the world's leading source of agenda-setting financial insight. As the Reuters brand for financial commentary, we dissect the big business and economic stories as they break around the world every day. A global team of about 30 correspondents in New York, London, Hong Kong and other major cities provides expert analysis in real time. Sign up for a free trial of our full service at http://www.breakingviews.com/trial and follow us on Twitter @Breakingviews and at www.breakingviews.com. All opinions expressed are those of the authors.