Aug 13, 2013 05:20 UTC

Indian banks teeter on asset-quality abyss

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

India’s banks are staring into an abyss. Loans are souring rapidly as the economy stalls. Meanwhile, rising bond yields are making it harder for lenders to absorb credit losses from current earnings.

Aug 9, 2013 18:17 UTC

Carlos Slim offers escape route to KPN investors

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By Chris Hughes

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

Carlos Slim has offered an escape route to KPN investors. The Mexican tycoon’s America Movil says it intends to make a 7.2 billion euro offer for the 70 percent of the Dutch telecoms group it doesn’t already own. It’s the start of a saga that could end in a substantially higher offer. But investors should be realistic – that’s a big “could”.

Aug 7, 2013 18:15 UTC

SAC’s Steve Cohen may be the A-Rod of Wall Street

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By Reynolds Holding

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

Steven Cohen could be the Alex Rodriguez of Wall Street. Like the New York Yankees’ $275 million slugger, the boss of hedge fund SAC Capital faces sanctions for allegedly employing an illegal “edge.” Yet it’s unclear that either broke arguably fuzzy rules. And trying to level their respective playing fields is probably futile. Ultimately, baseball and Wall Street are bigger than both.

Aug 6, 2013 07:37 UTC

Sony brush-off won’t end Dan Loeb campaign

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

The tussle over Sony may be the most courteous shareholder battle ever. Back in May, hedge fund manager Dan Loeb respectfully suggested the company spin off a stake in its entertainment arm. Now the Japanese group’s board has politely rejected the idea. But the activist appears to be digging in for the long haul.

Aug 1, 2013 16:41 UTC

Shell faces reality: it’s not about the barrels

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By Kevin Allison

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

Disappointing results at Royal Dutch Shell partly reflect an outdated way of thinking. Oil majors have long obsessed simultaneously about reserve replacement, production growth and profit. The Anglo-Dutch energy giant’s decision to ditch its production goals shows it’s wising up.

Jul 31, 2013 13:31 UTC

BNP’s sturdy model will help German push

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By Pierre Briançon

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

Even the mighty are shaken. The universal banking model of BNP Paribas helped it cushion the blow in the second quarter, but a near-40 percent year-on-year drop in corporate and investment banking pre-tax profit shows it is as vulnerable as others to fickle markets and depressed economies. This may be one of the reasons why it is planning a major push into Germany.

Jul 30, 2013 15:16 UTC

Barclays’ rights issue is worth supporting – just

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By George Hay

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

Barclays’ 5.8 billion pound rights issue is just about worth supporting. Just six months after a strategic revamp, the UK bank’s investors are facing a cash call to help address an unexpected 12.8 billion pound capital hole. They should stick around.

Jul 29, 2013 03:22 UTC

Alibaba may be worth $100 bln – but not to Yahoo

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By John Foley

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

Alibaba is Yahoo’s best investment, and its most frustrating problem. The U.S. Internet group’s 24 percent stake in China’s biggest online retailer is probably worth more than Yahoo’s entire booked assets of $16 billion. But a future initial public offering, in which Yahoo has promised to sell half its shares, may deliver much less. That’s because Alibaba holds most of the cards.

Jul 25, 2013 09:26 UTC

Baidu digs deeper trench in China’s mobile wars

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By Robyn Mak and John Foley

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

Baidu is digging itself a deep trench in China’s mobile wars. The country’s biggest search engine by user traffic reported a 39 percent increase in revenue for the second quarter of 2013 compared to the same period in 2012. Mobile revenue hit over ten percent of total for the first time. Google and Facebook have shown how heavy investments can pay off over time. Yet the cost is high and margins get squeezed. In China, competitive lines are more blurred. Returns may be even longer in coming.

Jul 24, 2013 08:00 UTC

Apple overcomes China blues for now

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By Robert Cyran

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

Apple has overcome its China blues for now. One of the tech giant’s most reliable engines for growth has been booming Chinese demand. It flamed out during the quarter ended June 29, however, with revenue from the Middle Kingdom shrinking 14 percent. Solid sales in the larger U.S. market helped compensate, leaving revenue flat compared with the same period last year at $35 billion. But the performance shows just how badly Apple needs new products if it wants to shine again.