Mar 6, 2015 19:12 UTC

Apple entry into DJIA is polish for an antique

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By Robert Cyran and Richard Beales

The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

Apple’s entry into the Dow Jones industrial average is a bit like polishing an antique. The average share price of 30 stocks selected by committee will finally include the world’s biggest company in place of AT&T. It’s an overdue move for an outdated yardstick – one which, like landlines and checkbooks, lives on.

Mar 6, 2015 11:35 UTC

UK retreat from RBS is more important than value

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By George Hay

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

Re-privatising Royal Bank of Scotland used to mean creating a world-class universal bank and selling out at a profit. The first objective has already fallen by the wayside – RBS is well on the way to becoming a UK-focused retail bank. Happily the second, judging by comments by Chancellor George Osborne on March 5, could soon follow.

Mar 3, 2015 12:28 UTC

Barclays’ trading woes offset pay restraint

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By Dominic Elliott

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

Barclays has got one thing right. Last year the UK bank found itself in the eye of a PR firestorm for hiking staff bonuses when profit fell. On the face of it, Chief Executive Antony Jenkins has managed to get things the right way round in his 2014 results, announced on March 3. Barclays’ investors shouldn’t celebrate just yet, though.

Mar 2, 2015 18:45 UTC
Breakingviews Columnists

Tech drive strips old-school carmakers of clout

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By Breakingviews columnists

The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

Silicon Valley is driving in to try to strip traditional carmakers of their clout. Apple is the latest technology powerhouse to dabble in vehicles – it has hired several hundred engineers and other automotive experts and has held talks with car parts supplier Magna, according to Reuters and other reports. The news is likely to dominate the Geneva auto show, which opens on Thursday. From Tesla Motors to Google to Uber and beyond, though, the shift to putting large numbers of connected, self-driving vehicles on the roads may take a while.

Feb 24, 2015 19:42 UTC

Hitachi’s $2 bln deal signals Italy open for M&A

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By Quentin Webb

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

Hitachi’s $2.2 billion deal signals that Italy is open for M&A. The bullet-train maker has agreed to buy Finmeccanica’s rail units. In Italy, and across continental Europe, sales of high-end industrial assets to Far Eastern investors can be controversial. But Hitachi is a credible buyer offering a full price. It helps that the seller is keen to restructure and has sought these divestments for years.

Feb 24, 2015 17:28 UTC

London’s FTSE can extend its record-breaking run

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By Robert Cole

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

It has been a long time coming. But after 15 years the FTSE 100, the main UK equity index, finally set a new record on Tuesday. Yet while the nominal value of London stocks is higher than ever, and the investment proposition is a long way from risk-free, the FTSE 100 is attractive.

Feb 23, 2015 20:29 UTC

Deal junkie Valeant shoots up on $10 bln fix

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By Robert Cyran

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

Deal junkie Valeant Pharmaceuticals has shot up on a $10 billion fix. The drugmaker’s pledge last year to focus on organic growth and debt reduction didn’t last long. Cost cuts and tax savings from buying Salix Pharmaceuticals proved irresistible. What Valeant’s injecting isn’t clear, though. Salix’s numbers are fuzzy after it admitted pumping clients full of inventory.

Feb 20, 2015 20:25 UTC

Time Warner Cable’s deal risk goes down to wire

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By Jeffrey Goldfarb

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

Time Warner Cable’s deal risk is going down to the wire. The $45 billion sale to larger rival Comcast has already been under consideration for nearly a year by U.S. regulators. A Federal Communications Commission preoccupied with its decision to treat the internet like a utility caused part of the delay. The agency’s decision to raise the standard for high-speed broadband also sparked fresh concern it might influence the Department of Justice’s analysis. Implied chances for success are now at 60 percent, close to the lowest in the market since the transaction was announced.

Feb 17, 2015 19:34 UTC

Fresh flames rise from Sealy’s ever-burning bed

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By Stephanie Rogan

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

The burning bed is flaring up again. Uppity hedge fund H Partners, alleging a dormant stock price at Tempur Sealy and private equity directors asleep on the job, wants the boss sacked and a seat on the board. A torturous financial history suggests it’s probably time to light a fire under the company and the industry again.

Feb 16, 2015 10:58 UTC

Michele Ferrero leaves $25 bln-plus Nutella empire

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By Quentin Webb

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

Michele Ferrero leaves a $25 billion-plus empire. The confectioner, who has died at 89, had a gift for creating and marketing treats, building Italy’s biggest fortune from nutty spread, Kinder Eggs and Tic Tacs. Stock markets and deals were both anathema. Rivals will hope his heirs tire of independence.