Morgan Stanley’s

MS 0.60%

deal to acquire

Eaton Vance

EV 48.14%

isn’t a steal. It still might prove to be a very good business decision.

The timing of the transaction is interesting: Morgan Stanley said it has been looking at this deal for several years, and Eaton Vance wasn’t trading at a huge discount to where it has been over that period of time—only 5% below its five-year average share price as of Wednesday.

But among things that have changed recently are some in Washington. For a long time running, an investor concern around Morgan Stanley was that the Federal Reserve’s shift to a new way of determining capital requirements would increase the bank’s required minimum. Instead, Morgan Stanley did relatively well in this year’s stress test, and its new requirements actually came in lower than many analysts had anticipated based on prior exams.

Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley and peers

Read More

India’s biggest oil refiner is betting on plastics as it seeks to diversify from an increasingly challenging fuels business.

Indian Oil Corporation plans to add petrochemical plants to all of its future refinery expansions and boost existing output at its current facilities, Chairman Shrikant Madhav Vaidya said. Overall, less than 10 per cent of the crude processed by the refiner is used to make petrochemicals — the building blocks for everything from food packaging to car parts — but the business contributes almost a quarter of the company’s profits, he added.

While there is consumer and government pressure across the world to reduce the use of plastics, processors in Asia are building or planning petrochemical plants, with demand for transport fuels set to ease in the years ahead. Indian Oil this week finalised a $2.4-billion expansion at its Gujarat refinery to include a polypropylene unit, which can make products for

Read More

Mastercard Inc. MA and partners N-Frnds, SGeBIZ and Finastra have entered into an agreement with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to provide funds for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Asia.

SMEs are at the receiving end of the COVID-19-led business disruption, which affected their supply chains and trade networks. These enterprises account for 90% of all global businesses, employing about half of all the workers and delivering more than 50% of GDP.

The drying up of overall demand among the consumers caused a funding gap between the banks and SMEs.  Even in the pre-COVID-19 times, the ADB estimated that there was a huge $1.5-trillion fund crunch in 2018 because of major challenges in accessing cheap finance due to asymmetric information problem between suppliers and demanders of funds and high transaction costs.

The International Chamber of Commerce estimates a potential $2-$5 trillion shortfall in trade financing through 2021 if demand

Read More