MILAN (Reuters Breakingviews) - Italian Finance Minister Roberto Gualtieri has found a backdoor way to smooth tricky bank mergers. Proposed tax changes would render state-controlled Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena a little bit more appealing to suitors, while still complying with state aid rules.
MILAN (Reuters Breakingviews) - When Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) was founded 170 years ago this week, Italy did not yet exist as a nation. The institution’s main task was to finance basic infrastructure like roads and waterworks for the King of Sardinia-Piedmont, Victor Emmanuel II, who later became Italy’s first monarch. Fast forward to 2020 and the once sleepy state lender has transformed itself into a restless dealmaking machine, leveraging its 474 billion euros of total assets to build corporate champions in sectors ranging from telecommunications to financial technology.
MILAN (Reuters Breakingviews) - Deutsche Boerse Chief Executive Theodor Weimer has finally clinched a big deal. After several false starts, the German exchange operator on Tuesday announced it is buying 80% of Institutional Shareholder Services, for about $1.8 billion. While the U.S. group’s business advising investors on how to vote at shareholder meetings is unexciting, its ability to score companies on their environmental, social and governance credentials offers growth potential. It’s also an increasingly crowded field.
MILAN (Reuters Breakingviews) - Every challenge is also a business opportunity. Rolling out a potential Covid-19 vaccine is no exception. The shots developed by U.S. drugmaker Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech, which clinical trials have shown to be highly effective at preventing coronavirus, must be transported and stored at temperatures of minus-70 degrees Celsius or below. The daunting task for authorities eager to quickly deliver billions of doses across the world is a potential boon for those making freezers and handling freight.
MILAN (Reuters Breakingviews) - Richemont is trying a new route to get on the online luxury bandwagon. The Swiss owner of Cartier on Thursday announced it’s investing $550 million in funky deluxe e-tailer Farfetch, alongside with Alibaba,. That should help Richemont grab a larger share of China’s booming e-commerce market. It may also be a way to hedge its struggling online bets.
MILAN (Reuters Breakingviews) - “What if real luxury was to have space?” So ran an old marketing campaign by French carmaker Renault. That concept may have resonated with young and low-income earners cramped in small apartments during this year’s wave of pandemic lockdowns. For the next generation of upmarket consumers, luxury could take on a whole new meaning beyond Gucci bags and Cartier watches, too.
MILAN (Reuters Breakingviews) - What was all that fuss about? Bernard Arnault’s sudden reconciliation with his less-sparkly target Tiffany is puzzling. Overcome with buyer’s remorse over the $16.2 billion deal before the pandemic, the LVMH boss trashed the U.S. jeweller’s management, went to legal war in Delaware and even appeared to enlist the French government to help him wriggle off his own hook. The tiny discount the two sides agreed to on Thursday cannot come remotely close to justifying the hit that Arnault’s spoiled-brat tactics rendered to LVMH’s reputation.
MILAN (Reuters Breakingviews) - Breaking up UniCredit could hand its shareholders a 3 billion euro reward. Chief Executive Jean Pierre Mustier is accelerating plans to separate the 16 billion euro bank’s Italian assets from its Germany-centred foreign business, Reuters reports. A spinoff could boost the stock by up to 20%. In a deal with Commerzbank or BNP Paribas, the returns could be even higher.
MILAN (Reuters Breakingviews) - At the beginning of the 2019 documentary “Chiara Ferragni: Unposted”, the Italian Instagram star enters a tattoo parlour to get her nipple pierced. The camera lingers on her picture-perfect yet grimacing face while the job gets done. Sharing such personal life details, usually mixing elegance and fun, has won the fashion influencer 21 million followers and collaborations with Dior, Lancôme and others.
MILAN (Reuters Breakingviews) - The Italian state has planted its investment flag in another important industry. Local payments group Nexi’s all-share deal to buy state-controlled Sia will create a 15 billion euro domestic champion ready to expand abroad. Sovereign wealth fund Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, which will own 25% of the combined group, appears to be trading value for future board influence.