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United Kingdom

Katrina Hamlin

Subsidies gas up turnaround at Buffett-backed BYD

29 Apr 2019

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Subsidies are speeding up a turnaround at BYD. The electric-vehicle maker reported a stupendous 632 percent increase in first-quarter net profit. It will be tricky to pull off a similar manoeuvre next time, as government grants helped to buoy the bottom line to 750 million yuan ($111 million). But investors nonetheless have cause for cautious celebration.

Breakingviews - Australia’s Crown could be Plan B for Japan losers

12 Apr 2019

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Crown Resorts could become a handy Plan B. James Packer’s $6.4 billion Australian casino empire is effectively up for sale after Wynn Resorts broke off talks this week when details of its offer spilled into the open. The would-be target’s shares are trading higher than they were before bid news surfaced. Any operators that fail to win a licence in Japan may yet train their sights Down Under.

Breakingviews - Wynn splurges on a new beginning Down Under

09 Apr 2019

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Wynn Resorts wants a new beginning Down Under. The casino giant is looking to buy Australia’s Crown Resorts for A$10 billion ($7.1 billion). Both companies are on the rebound after breaking up with billionaire bosses last year, but Wynn may be rushing into this relationship. The hefty 26 percent premium on offer stakes way too much on the return of big spenders.

Breakingviews - Hong Kong bank showcases the XX factor

08 Mar 2019

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Hong Kong is home to an unlikely champion of gender equality. Even as more disappointing statistics about corporate diversity roll in this International Women’s Day, the venerable Hang Seng Bank can stand proud. Its shares have outperformed under three consecutive female chief executives and a cohort of female directors. A no-nonsense approach sets a strong example for companies everywhere.

Breakingviews - Nio’s right place, right time may be short-lived

06 Mar 2019

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Automaker Nio is on a roll, delivering more than 11,000 units in its first year of sales. Tesla’s Chinese rival benefits from government subsidies, and from drivers’ enthusiasm for premium electric cars. But other up-and-coming brands are hurrying new models to market this year, putting Nio to the test.

Breakingviews - Stricken Hanergy drops investors into black hole

01 Mar 2019

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Investors in the stricken solar giant Hanergy Thin Film Power, whose Hong Kong shares were suspended almost four years ago, have been offered a false hope. A company proposal on Tuesday looks at first glance like a creative way to evade near-certain delisting. Shareholders can swap untradeable Hanergy stock for stakes in a special purpose vehicle, intended to facilitate a new listing in China. That could give backers a chance to recover at least part of their investment. Unfortunately that’s highly unlikely.

Breakingviews - Toyota JV recharges Panasonic’s battery business

23 Jan 2019

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - A joint venture with Toyota should help recharge Panasonic’s battery business. The deal unveiled on Tuesday involves pooling resources at factories in Japan and China by the end of 2020. It represents a technological step forward for the $200 billion automaker, whilst reducing Panasonic’s dependence on Tesla.

Breakingviews - A plucky local upstart will take on Macau’s moguls

31 Dec 2018

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - A plucky local upstart can take on Macau’s moguls. Licenses in the world’s largest gambling hub start to expire in 2020, forcing all players to pitch for a spot on the casino floor. With frayed U.S.-China relations dealing American giants Sands China, Wynn Macau and MGM China a weaker hand, homegrown names will try their luck.

Breakingviews - Asia’s tech titans face Nissan-style key-man risk

27 Dec 2018

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Asia’s tech titans face some Nissan-style key man risks in 2019. Startup founders have flourished in the region, taking over where old-school tycoons left off. Yet after Carlos Ghosn and a storm at the top of JD.com, shareholders see audacious leaders as liabilities, too.

Breakingviews - Short-seller tries tricky electric-car U-turn

22 Nov 2018

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Short-selling is tough, but picking winners may be just as difficult. Andrew Left’s Citron Research, known for negative reports on stocks, is now backing both Chinese electric-car maker Nio and Elon Musk’s Tesla. Conceding the dominance of Musk’s creation and then betting on a rival is a challenging combination.

World News

Europeans vote, with EU future in balance

Europeans vote on Sunday in an election expected to further dent traditional pro-EU parties and bolster the nationalist fringe in the European Parliament, putting a potential brake on collective action in economic and foreign policy.