Reuters blog archive

from Breakingviews:

Rival’s split makes it harder for Dow to resist

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

Andrew Liveris may find it harder to keep Dow Chemical together now that a smaller rival is planning to break up. The Dow boss has resisted activist hedge fund manager Dan Loeb’s campaign to split the $60 billion company into separate petro- and specialty chemicals groups. Competitor FMC’s decision to hive off its agriculture and pharma businesses from stodgier commodity minerals should create a more valuable company. The voluntary split makes it harder for Liveris to argue why he’s resisting activist pressure to do the same.

There are decent parallels between the two companies. While $10 billion FMC is dwarfed by Dow in market cap, they both sport specialty chemical businesses. The better operating margin and revenue growth here is being overshadowed by a decent but weaker performance in minerals at FMC and petrochemicals at Dow.

The two companies also trade below their best-performing peers – Dow at 16 times and FMC, before today’s announcement, at around 17 times consensus earnings estimates for this year. Monsanto, by contrast, which deals purely with agriculture, sports a multiple of 20 times expected earnings.

from Cancer in Context:

Foods that are thought to be the best for fighting cancer


A good source of fiber and vitamin C. Most of the antioxidant power they provide comes from phytonutrients, or photochemicals, including Quercetin, a flavonoid that shows anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. 


An excellent source of vitamins C and K, manganese and a good source of dietary fiber. They are among the fruits highest in antioxidant power, largely due to their many phytochemicals, including Anthocyanins, catechins, quercetin, kaempferol and other flavonoids, Ellagitannins and ellagic acid, Pterostilbene and resveratrol.

from Cancer in Context:

Food for thought: Will almonds be part of a cancer-fighting arsenal one day?

A recent PET scan revealed cancer growth in one of my lymph nodes, a setback that means I get more chemotherapy.

My doctor characterized this as “a bump in the road” as opposed to “a major detour,” but the disappointment left me with an overwhelming feeling of losing control. I had thought the chemotherapy I got over the summer had kept the cancer at bay, but the results from the Positron Emission Tomography showed otherwise.

from Afghan Journal:

Afghan mining roadshow opens; temptation, trepidation for India, China


Afghan authorities have organised a roadshow in London that opens on Friday aimed at drumming up interest in the country's mineral wealth variously estimated at anything from $1 trillion to $3 trillion.

India and China, the regional heavyweights, are the top candidates to fight for a piece of the action in their immediate neighbourhood. If there are such large reserves of copper, iron ore and key industrial metals such as lithium lying untapped in their neighbourhood you would expect them to invest heavily in Afghanistan to feed their supercharged economies.

from Afghan Journal:

It’s all mine, says Afghan media

Quick, find some lithium before the batteries run out...

(Quick, find some lithium before the batteries run out... pic by author)

A colleague blogged earlier this week about the report that says Afghanistan is sitting on a veritable fortune in mineral resources -- between $1-3 trillion, depending on how optimistic you are.

Although another colleague analysed more critically what enormous difficulties need to be overcome to see even a fraction of that sum, it hasn't stopped the Afghan media from getting excited.

from Summit Notebook:

Audio – A little less joy down the road for Joy Global

Mining and construction equipment maker Joy Global actually had a pretty good week for itself.

The company released its first-quarter results last Wednesday, which topped Wall Street's expectations and sent the shares up more than 15 percent.