E A Portuguese Lesson For Greece

*An exec of Alibaba who formerly worked for Tencent (TCTZF) was arrested for allegedly accepting bribes. Doug Young, a respectable China hand writing in www.seekingalpha.comsuspects that TCTZF may have been the source of information leading the Chinese investigators to crack down on BABA. I think it is called competition. However now the Chinese sleuths are examining possible back-handers taken by people still at Tencent.

*Novartis (NVS) after winning fast US FDA approval for its Entresto drug against heart failure plans to offer an outcomes-based payment system for the likely blockbuster. It will charge insurers a low price for the initial dose followed by a second payment if the new drug keeps patients out of the hospital and save money thereby. However, pharma benefits manager Express Scripts is skeptical about the NVS scheme. Entresto is not the only factor affecting a heart failure patient's outcome, Express Scripts' Steve Miller told Bloomberg. The UK's NICE which creates the list of which drugs may be prescribed in the National Health Service, already bases payments on outcomes. I do not think it will become a burden on US insurance companies to do the same.

*Vale (VALE) rose over 4.6% on Friday while the Chinese stock market was in a recovery. This is not totally irrational, unlike the copycat boosts in bourses worldwide. If the Chinese economy manages to extricate itself from stock market gambling, China may resume boosting its economy with real estate and infrastructure investment, for which its needs include steel as much as speculators or government spending. VALE makes the cheapest landed iron ore going to Chinese ports now in Chinese-funded Valemax ore carriers.

*Oops. I misread when Investor AB (IVSBF) will report. It is this Thursday. IVSBF is the Wallenberg investment holding company, the closed thing to a “Scandinavian Fund” these days and invests alongside the Swedish bank SEB Bank. Unlike the other bank's holding company, Industrivaerden, Investor staff was not allowed to have conflicts of interest with the investment firm. We already are only allowed to buy vote-less B shares while the Wallenbergs own A shares with votes. But at least they use them to keep the investment managers under control.

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