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Breakingviews - Ant will surf wave of Chinese cash into Hong Kong

The Ant Group can hitch a ride to Hong Kong on the back of Chinese bulls. Jack Ma's fintech outfit is eyeing a listing in the city valuing it at over $200 billion, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter. As Beijing moves to crush political unrest, mainland money has flooded the exchange, juicing a rally despite U.S. sanction threats. That's a relief for Ant, its Chinese peers, and the local financial industry.

Breakingviews - Facebook’s new best friends are a weakening link

Facebook’s new best friends are becoming a weakening link at the worst time. Small firms account for a large chunk of the social network’s $70 billion in annual advertising revenue. The pandemic has also made them more dependent on the platform just as big companies from Ford Motor to Unilever boycott it. But these minnows could flounder just when Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg needs them most.

Corona Capital: Not so united

Corona Capital is a daily column updated throughout the day by Breakingviews columnists around the world with short, sharp pandemic-related insights.

Breakingviews - UK’s Sunak hits right target with latest Santa act

Rishi Sunak is perfecting his Santa act. Nearly four months after announcing 30 billion pounds of extra spending, Britain’s finance minister on Wednesday unveiled new measures worth up to the same amount to help the economy. The best of them aim to avoid deep scars in the labour market.

Breakingviews - Hadas: A virus economic optimist partly recants

“Beware of excessive economic gloom” was the title of a column I wrote on April 8, as Covid-19 deaths surged across much of the developed world. At the time, even cautious hope seemed bold. Now the opposite warning is more apt. It’s time to beware of easy optimism.

Breakingviews - British public would end up paying for Huawei ban

British consumers could end up paying for the government’s Huawei Technologies red card. If Prime Minister Boris Johnson imposes a total ban on the Chinese company’s equipment from superfast 5G networks, mobile operators BT and Vodafone may have to spend over a billion pounds ripping out and replacing existing Huawei kit. The bill for the sudden change will land with taxpayers.

Breakingviews - This Chinese stock pop has firmer fundamentals

China’s latest stock pop mixes the bitter with the sweet. Indexes have spiked to levels not seen since 2015, and leverage is rising, adding to fears of a crash. Weakness in shadow banking and property are pushing speculative funds into shares, but the rally is also underpinned by reforms accelerating a shift into equities.

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