LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Ebola bonds seem like a decent idea. Marrying the good intentions of concerned governments and market incentives sounds a promising way to battle the latest outbreak of the deadly disease, in which 1,800 people have already died. Yet the initiative looks less than the sum of its parts.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - British Airways owner IAG is remarkably unscathed by Europe’s airline price war. Unfortunately for chief pilot Willie Walsh, fears of a messy Brexit mean shareholders aren’t giving him the credit. There’s little he can do about IAG’s exposure to the UK economy. But some straighter talk about the group’s complicated post-Brexit ownership plans would help.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Aviation’s dreams of a green future rest on second-hand cooking oil and wishful thinking. By 2050, the industry wants to halve net CO2 emissions from 2005 levels even though traffic is set to treble. It’s hard to see electric planes or jet fuel made from plants or kitchen grease flying to the rescue. Instead, governments may have to squash demand by imposing carbon taxes.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Europe’s data police have new fangs that are turning out to be pretty sharp. British Airways was told on Monday it faced a 183 million pound penalty for the theft of customer information from its website last year. That would be a record hacking fine and dwarfs the 500,000 pound maximum paid by Facebook under old European Union rules. The airline got some credit for notifying the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), which polices the rules nationally. But the size of the punishment sets a painful precedent.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - After beating a steady retreat since the end of the Cold War, the African strongman is on the comeback trail. Worryingly, dismal growth data in major democracies like South Africa and Nigeria are bolstering his cause.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Britons should enjoy cheap stag weekends in Latvia while they can. The UK government has been encouraged by its own advisory body to cut net greenhouse-gas emissions to zero by 2050 – among the most ambitious national targets to date. Given a pre-existing goal for an 80 percent cut by the same date is looking shaky, the implication is either that the targets are hot air, or the government is about to get tough in areas like aviation.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Airbus looks reluctant to kick Boeing when it’s down. Beyond the indignity of exploiting crashes of its rival’s 737 MAX planes in which 346 people died, the 95 billion euro European planemaker will be wary of triggering a price war. And investing in costly new production without firm orders from airlines would squeeze already tight cash flow.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Thomas Cook’s best case may be a risky breakup. The struggling tour operator’s shares jumped around 16 percent on reports of a bid by Chinese group Fosun International or private equity firms KKR and EQT Partners. Either could involve selling off its airline, a tricky move that may leave an even weaker core business.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Deutsche Bank’s tie-up talks with Commerzbank are providing a field day for Europe’s financial balloon-floaters. The latest is the idea that Dutch lender ING Groep has expressed interest in chaining itself to Commerzbank, reported in Germany’s Manager Magazin. The possibility won’t impress ING shareholders but it gives Commerzbank an extra dash of lipstick and, along the way, sends a message to Dutch regulators about rigid local bank rules.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Roundup’s noxious effect is leaching deeper into Bayer. Shares in the German chemicals group slumped again on Wednesday after a second U.S. court said its widely used weed killer causes cancer. Bayer has shed $34 billion of market capitalisation since the first adverse ruling last August, effectively exterminating any value in its CropScience unit, which includes Roundup. With thousands of claims in the wings, even that may be too generous.