HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Macquarie is one of finance’s inveterate shapeshifters. For its next act, the $30 billion Australian investment bank’s newish boss, Shemara Wikramanayake, is betting on wind farms and the like. With fewer constraints than Wall Street rivals and plenty of experience, Macquarie is well placed to benefit as the global economy moves away from fossil fuels and adapts to a changing climate. A greener book, though, also brings new risks.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Is it better to criticise from inside the tent, to paraphrase U.S. President Lyndon Johnson’s famously earthy line, or from outside? Aberdeen Standard and other shareholders want miner BHP to cut ties with industry groups at odds with Paris climate pledges. The $113 billion Anglo-Australian giant says it is already reviewing its memberships, but argues change can be promoted from within too. It's a quandary familiar to fossil fuel investors.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Hong Kong offers Jakarta a valuable lesson in the cost of inaction. Unpopular legislative changes have brought tens of thousands of demonstrators onto the streets, just as in the former British colony. It is early enough for Indonesian President Joko Widodo to defuse the tension. Stalling will make it harder to tackle important and thorny policy matters.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Copper is looking shinier. Canadian miner First Quantum has attracted the interest of China’s Jiangxi Copper. The metal's weak price and similarly depressed industry valuations make it a good time to prospect for deals.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - The world's largest miner is making sustainability pay. BHP wants to make more of its chief executive's bonus dependent on reducing emissions and climate goals. The $122 billion group is also trimming overall incentives and will make boss Andrew Mackenzie hold shares for longer. For an industry struggling to regain investor trust, it’s an important step.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Australia's labour market shows an economy in need of work. More people had jobs Down Under in August, mostly because of part-time positions. Overall unemployment ticked higher. It augurs additional monetary policy easing. Loosening government purse strings would be a better option.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - It looks as if China is now flying Cathay Pacific Airways. Chief Executive Rupert Hogg and one of his top deputies abruptly resigned on Friday after the company spent a week scrambling to quell a mainland backlash related to Hong Kong protests. The shakeup occurs at an especially bad time for the carrier.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Iron ore is feeling the pain of Beijing's stimulus restraint. Prices for the steelmaking ingredient have cooled after a spike this year. That's partly thanks to easing supply pressures. China, though, has yet to help demand by splurging on bridges and buildings to counter flagging growth. Government efforts to revive a cooling economy may be far less steel-intensive this time around.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Beijing officials have crowded the cockpit at Cathay Pacific Airways. Hong Kong's unofficial flag carrier is allowing China to vet staff flying to and over the mainland, as anti-government protests heat up at home. "Overly radical" employees will be kept away altogether. The airline and its parent company, Swire Pacific, are especially vulnerable to such interference.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - A Glencore coal split could scratch multiple itches. The $42 billion commodities giant is the world's largest thermal coal exporter, at a time when miners are under growing pressure from investors to clean up. Separating the dirty fuel from the rest would help that, and more. It might even make sense for boss Ivan Glasenberg to lead the carve-out.