HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - 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.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Australian cheese-maker Bega could buy Lion Dairy for $402 million after the government blocked a Chinese buyer. A local champion might consolidate the domestic market, but there are few substitutes for demand from the People’s Republic.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - The Crown Resorts saga could end with a deal after all. Regulators have suspended the Australian casino operator’s gaming licence for its new luxury Sydney complex. As the company and billionaire James Packer consider their options, private equity firm Blackstone looks well-suited to be a buyer.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Panasonic’s complicated corporate circuitry cries out for simplification. The Japanese conglomerate is yet again reorganising a $26 billion electronics empire that spans fax machines to electric-vehicle batteries. It should streamline operations and improve profitability. With luck, it will also make it easier for new boss Yuki Kusumi to lead a broader breakup.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Nio’s rapid rise confirms the electric-car craze is bigger than just Tesla. The Chinese upstart lacks the production of its larger U.S. rival, and founder William Li dazzles less than his counterpart Elon Musk. Its latest quarterly results also suggest that it will need to grow into a racy $63 billion valuation.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Foxconn is hitching a bumpy ride with electric vehicles. The $39 billion iPhone-assembler, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry, wants to diversify by supplying parts for 10% of the world’s green cars by 2027. It’s an ambitious and risky goal, but the Taiwanese technology giant’s electronics expertise and deep pockets put it in a strong starting position.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands is doubling down on Asia. The $37 billion casino operator may sell U.S. assets for $6 billion, which it can use to build its footprint in the faster-growing region. That would thin its hedge against rising risks in Chinese Macau. But the Nevada market is saturated, and a marginal contributor to revenue. Sands could use the cash for other things.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Crony capitalism was a losing bet at Crown Resorts. Regulatory inquiries into the $4 billion Australian casino operator exposed a board that was too cosy with billionaire founder James Packer, and failed to provide proper oversight. They’re the wrong people to lead the company out of a scandalous mess that has put a gambling licence for its luxurious new Sydney hotel in jeopardy.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - A swift return to normal in Macau is looking like a long shot. One casino operator, Melco Resorts and Entertainment, says recovery from the coronavirus could take four to six months. The slump is starting to make a comparison to China’s corruption crackdown more apt than the oft-cited SARS.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - The coronavirus is making dealmakers a little queasy. Macau casino operator Melco Resorts and Entertainment already called off a plan to invest another $600 million in Australia’s Crown Resorts, blaming the outbreak. Other acquirers also will be revisiting their contracts, most significantly the “material adverse change” clauses, or MACs. They are notoriously hard to trigger, but billions of dollars of Asian M&A hangs in the balance.