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Breakingviews - UK mimics Big Tech in quest to reduce its clout

Britain’s new Digital Markets Unit has a distinctively Silicon Valley vibe. A sweeping mandate and the ability to act with tech-like speed raises the risk it will emulate Facebook’s old “move fast and break things” mantra. Still, it’s an upgrade on the ponderous, court-based approaches usually followed by Europe and the United States.

Breakingviews - AstraZeneca’s messaging warrants a review, too

AstraZeneca’s vaccine home run is in danger of turning into a curveball. The $134 billion drug giant is planning to review its Covid-19 vaccine candidate to clarify how effective it is. While it’s doing so, the UK group should probably do a separate review of how it communicates.

Breakingviews - Cox: Swiss firms get too global for local britches

Upon moving to Switzerland around the start of the pandemic, the first thing that stuck out in my leafy Zurich neighborhood was the orange flags. They seemed to flutter from every other stately or middle-class home, bearing a large “JA!” and one of those German portmanteau words, “Konzernverantwortungsinitiative,” which translates into English as corporate responsibility initiative.

Breakingviews - Indonesia builds sovereign fund with daring design

Indonesia is putting its own stamp on investing. International buyout firms and Gulf nations are being wooed to invest into a new sovereign fund, which will back state assets and job-creating infrastructure projects. The structure is a mashup of Singaporean and Indian models. It’s an ambitious effort to finance President Joko Widodo’s development plans, but also faces limits on how much outside money will take the plunge.  

Breakingviews - Beware Chinese used-car dealer’s sticker price

It always pays to be cautious when it comes to used-car dealers. Kaixin Auto, which sells second-hand vehicles online in China, is no exception. The company, whose name translates as “happy”, has experienced a 2,300% surge in its stock price over the last two months. The rally warrants a closer inspection.

Breakingviews - EDF shares’ power surge need not be a one-off

Fission occurs when the nucleus of an atom is split in two, releasing large amounts of energy. Jean-Bernard Levy may be a step closer to inducing his own value-generating division of energy provider EDF. His company’s shares are up 50% in the last six months, ahead of most European rivals, and a deal over higher nuclear prices would enable him to maintain the momentum.

Breakingviews - Italy finds tax trick to prettify risky bank M&A

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. 

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