LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - The likelihood of successfully navigating an asteroid field is approximately 3,720 to 1, the automaton C-3PO tells Han Solo in “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back”. With enemy spacecraft in tow, however, the Millennium Falcon pilot has no choice but to continue. OneWeb Chief Executive Adrian Steckel can probably sympathise.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Overzealous parents sometimes inadvertently hold children back. Deutsche Bank, UBS and others similarly risk smothering their asset management units in a too-tight embrace.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Europe’s patchwork of middling banks is a major weak point for the bloc’s economy. Top regulator Andrea Enria, who chairs the European Central Bank’s supervisory board, is doing his bit to make cross-border mergers easier. But the creation of a lender with the heft to rival U.S. behemoths requires politicians to make it a priority.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Big banks want you to know that reports they processed hundreds of billions of dollars of potentially dodgy funds are old and not necessarily relevant to the current money-laundering fight. That’s only partly true. The leaking of details of thousands of suspicious transactions reveal that financial institutions and authorities could do a lot more to combat the financing of terrorism, corruption and other global ills.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Some mergers are bold strategic gambits. Others are about stemming the bleeding. The latest outbreak of European bank M&A is firmly in the latter category. That makes it easier to spot potential targets.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Compared to investment bankers, private equity executives are less obvious political punchbags. As the industry grows and cash-strapped governments look for new sources of tax revenue, that could change. The infamous loophole surrounding so-called carried interest will be in the crosshairs.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Boris Johnson’s digital credentials are as yet untested. The possible sale of UK-based chip designer Arm to U.S. giant Nvidia provides a test. The prime minister has the power to stop a deal.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - HSBC Chief Executive Noel Quinn is making a decent stab of reviving the ailing $90 billion lender, but the ground keeps shifting beneath his feet. With low interest rates sapping revenue in every division aside from investment banking, cost cuts at the London-based bank will have to go much further than originally planned to get returns back up to a respectable level.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Credit Suisse has already been through the wringer. Former Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam cut 4.3 billion Swiss francs ($4.7 billion) of costs at the Zurich-based lender between 2015 and 2019. Now, his successor, Thomas Gottstein, will make further annual savings of 400 million francs, merge his investment banking units and may shrink the proportion of capital allocated to that business. His plan, which amounts to mimicking UBS, is likely to narrow a valuation discount to the local rival.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - For once, Europe’s bank traders aren’t the dunces in the class. Having long dragged down group-wide returns, the markets-based units of Barclays and Deutsche Bank surged in the second quarter. Yet ebbing volatility implies that the old reality will return before long, necessitating further cuts.