HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - A swift return to normal in Macau is looking like a long shot. One casino operator, Melco Resorts and Entertainment, says recovery from the coronavirus could take four to six months. The slump is starting to make a comparison to China’s corruption crackdown more apt than the oft-cited SARS.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - The coronavirus is making dealmakers a little queasy. Macau casino operator Melco Resorts and Entertainment already called off a plan to invest another $600 million in Australia’s Crown Resorts, blaming the outbreak. Other acquirers also will be revisiting their contracts, most significantly the “material adverse change” clauses, or MACs. They are notoriously hard to trigger, but billions of dollars of Asian M&A hangs in the balance.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - China’s Tesla might finally clear some roadblocks. Nio has tapped everyone from founder William Li to China’s Tencent for funding since its debut in late 2018. But the U.S.-listed company remains cash-strapped. Now it says it is close to securing $1.4 billion from the municipal government of Hefei in Anhui. Similar past agreements have failed to materialise but this one, with official ties, is a more promising potential pillar of support.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Flying cars are almost a thing. Toyota Motor is investing close to $400 million in Joby Aviation, a startup that wants to cut commutes by floating over congestion. China’s Geely is backing rival Volocopter; Hyundai is collaborating with Uber Elevate. But an investment by a $232 billion automaker lends much cred to what was once a metaphor for the impossible. New technology has put air taxis within reach, and regulators are wrapping their heads around the idea. The trick is finding customers.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Betting group Genting is not the bookies' favourite as it competes for a coveted casino licence in Japan. The Malaysian outfit lacks the scale or the glitz of rivals in Las Vegas and Macau but it has an ace up its sleeve to enter the hotly anticipated new market in 2020.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Macau is being pulled into dangerous crossfire. China has suggested the world’s largest gambling centre as a venue for U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to sign an interim trade deal, Reuters reports. It’s an invitation that sends two messages at once.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Investors were chirpy after electric-car maker Tesla unveiled an unexpected profit for the third quarter. It also said its Shanghai factory is almost ready, putting icing on the cake. But founder Elon Musk has over-promised before, and there are questions about his China strategy. Traders who added almost a fifth to the company’s market value on Thursday could use a pinch of salt.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Hyundai is zooming onto the self-driving scene. Following the leads of General Motors, Uber, Apple and the like, the South Korean carmaker just unveiled bold plans to invest in autonomous vehicles and other related systems. Despite the late start, well-chosen partners and support from Seoul give it a fighting chance.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Unrest is the recurring cost of Hong Kong’s elite procrastination. Home prices have risen and tycoons have grown wealthier, while officials hoard fiscal reserves. Today’s protests focus on resistance to Beijing’s influence, but local officials’ stubborn indifference to inequality since the last round of unrest in 2014 has stoked the flames.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Blockades and walkouts roiled Hong Kong this week. Unlike similar unrest in 2014, investors are getting anxious. Trade tensions and economic weakness in China have helped to erase the Hang Seng Index’s gains this year, but local indicators like real estate and retail are cooling too. Beijing may not mind that protests squeeze business, if the rising cost of resistance divides the movement. That means there could be more disruption to price in.