LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - China Pacific Insurance has broken a year-long dry spell for the stock market link between China and Britain. The $32 billion financial group on Wednesday raised $1.8 billion on the London Stock Exchange, becoming just the second company to add a listing in the British capital to its primary venue in Shanghai. The lack of traffic between the two financial centres is partly down to mounting political tensions. But the scheme also faces more practical hurdles.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Just Eat Takeaway.com’s Chief Executive Jitse Groen will have to face down his own shareholders to get what he wants. The billionaire entrepreneur’s Anglo-Dutch company on Wednesday agreed to a $7.3 billion all-share acquisition of U.S. meal-delivery peer Grubhub. Investors in the $14 billion buyer have both the means and motive to veto it.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Boris Johnson is putting spin ahead of substance on Hong Kong. The UK prime minister said on Wednesday he will open a path to citizenship for as many as 3 million residents of the territory if China presses ahead with plans to impose a new security law on the former British colony. For now, the suggested changes to the visa regime look limited and vague. That’s a missed opportunity.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Just Eat Takeaway.com’s latest hot dish is a convertible bond. The Dutch food delivery group sold 300 million euros of the funky debt that converts into equity, capitalising on demand for the product amid volatile markets. For bankers, investors and the companies that issue them, the feast isn’t likely to end soon.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Blackstone is betting big on Britain’s property market. But the $6 billion that Steve Schwarzman’s private equity colossus is paying for iQ Student Accommodation is not really an endorsement of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s execution of Britain’s exit from the European Union. Rather Blackstone is wagering that whatever happens with Brexit, the global allure of an English education will endure.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Critics will say that Britain’s antitrust boss Andrew Tyrie is tilting at windmills. The former Conservative politician, who now chairs the Competition and Markets Authority, is having a pop at food-delivery M&A, even though the deals in question bear none of the typical warning signs of monopolistic behaviour. Yet diligence is no bad thing, and makes a welcome change from the CMA’s past naivety.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Giving young shoppers easy credit to spend online doesn’t sound sensible. Yet a new craze called “buy now, pay later” (BNPL) is growing in popularity. The risk is a regulatory backlash like that which befell U.S. vaping heavyweight Juul.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Just Eat shareholders are limbering up for a feast this Christmas as two suitors prepare rival menus to win over the UK food delivery company.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Japan is overdue a digital-payments pickup: Its ageing population still settles four out of five purchases in cash. SoftBank Group’s restless 62-year-old founder Masayoshi Son is doing his bit, with a potential merger of his indirect holding in the operator of search engine Yahoo Japan and the controlling stake in Line, the country’s leading messaging and payments app.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Masayoshi Son’s SoftBank Group is a giant tech-investment machine whose gears are greased by generous dollops of debt. Borrowing worked well for the $80 billion company as asset values rose; it could become a problem as they go into reverse.