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from Breakingviews:

China Tea Leaf Index: Hanging on for reform

By John Foley
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

China's rail shipments and steel drove our alternative growth index up to 96.3 in August, the highest since January. That looks like enough to give leaders the benefit of the doubt ahead of November’s party plenum, when the tone for future economic growth will really be set.

Run the numbers.

from Breakingviews:

Japan index: markets put speed bump in Abe’s path

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By Andy  Mukherjee

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own)

For the first time in six months, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic experiment stumbled in May amidst skittish stock and bond markets. But the drop in the Breakingviews Abenomics Index to 93.8, from 94.4 in April, may be temporary as deflation continues to ease.

from Breakingviews:

China index: Weaker growth on weaker foundations

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By Katrina Hamlin

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own)

China’s economy remains gloomier than this time last year as lower export growth and rail freight volumes make a grim follow-up to poor PMI readings. Sales of property, luxury liquor and posh cars prevent a steeper fall, but these are not the bright spots China needs or wants.

from Breakingviews:

Abenomics pulls Japan from its post-Lehman slump

By Andy Mukherjee

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own)

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s policies have beaten back the Japanese economy’s post-Lehman blues. Breakingviews' Abenomics Index was at its highest level in March since September 2008. And that was before the Bank of Japan launched its bold money-printing pledge.

from Breakingviews:

Why Alibaba could be China’s next $100bln IPO

by John Foley

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own)

Could Alibaba be China’s next $100 billion stock market listing? The Hangzhou-based e-commerce giant continues to be coy over when it will take the plunge. But sooner or later founder Jack Ma will need to offer some kind of exit for his backers, not to mention employees, and an initial public offering is the most likely solution. Now is a good time to start asking how the company should be valued.

from Breakingviews:

Deal prospects make Vodafone look cheap

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By Quentin Webb and Robert Cyran
The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

Deal prospects make Vodafone look cheap. An optimistic reading of the underlying valuations suggests M&A could deliver shareholders in the London-listed mobile giant perhaps 35 percent more value than they have now. That’s an extra 31.5 billion pounds ($47.6 billion). But unlocking this would entail huge deals and huge headaches to match.

from Breakingviews:

Cyprus will struggle to make gas math work

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By Kevin Allison
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Cyprus’ latest ideas for wiggling out of its financial fix include bundling future gas revenues into a national “solidarity fund”. But Breakingviews calculations suggest the gas discovered to date isn’t worth enough to plug the country’s 5.8 billon euro ($7.5 billion) funding gap.

from Breakingviews:

Leverage too risky for U.S. public pension funds

By Agnes T. Crane and Richard Beales
The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

U.S. public pension funds are in a pickle. Lackluster returns and underfunding have left their $2.3 trillion of assets inadequate to cover future obligations in many cases. In addition, pension fund managers can no longer count on the 8 percent annual return they typically assume for the future. They need to bring expectations down to earth. But instead, some are considering borrowing to juice returns.

from Breakingviews:

Calculate Europe’s potential debt spirals

The calculator shows what level of primary surplus is needed to keep Spain’s debt-to-GDP level stable.

The key variables are the current debt load, the growth rate and primary surplus. The calculator assumes all debt is refinanced at current levels. It uses the European Commission’s most recent forecasts for Spain’s growth and deficit in 2012, and current 10-year bond yields, but you can use your own inputs.

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