Dec 2, 2013 19:54 UTC

Amazon’s drone promise is yet more jam tomorrow

Photo

By Robert Cyran

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

Amazon is promising yet more jam tomorrow – this time from drone deliveries. Jeff Bezos, the online retailer’s chief executive, expects to be able to use unmanned aircraft to deliver small packages within a few years. It’s a striking vision, but it seems as overly optimistic as investors’ expectations of the company overall. Amazon’s market value has ballooned to $180 billion despite big profits always hovering in the future.

Nov 28, 2013 08:08 UTC

Giant Interactive’s $2.9 bln buyout hard to resist

Photo

By Una Galani

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

Giant Interactive’s $2.9 billion buyout is hard to resist. Chairman Shi Yuzhu is leading a consortium with Baring Private Equity Asia to take the U.S-listed Chinese computer gaming group private. At almost 13 times this year’s earnings, the group’s offer to buy the 53 percent that it doesn’t already own is a chunky premium to peers. Besides, independent investors have few alternatives.

Nov 27, 2013 15:20 UTC

Royal Mail risks are as real as ever

Photo

By Robert Cole

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

Royal Mail has cleared its first hurdle as a public company. But deep-seated challenges remain, and the UK postal firm’s current market value looks too rich.

Nov 27, 2013 03:11 UTC

How Cinda squares China’s debt triangles

Photo

By John Foley

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

China Cinda has spotted a clever arbitrage. The Chinese “bad bank”, which is revving up for a Hong Kong initial public offering (IPO), has recently been doing brisk business by borrowing cheaply from other banks and using those funds to buy up companies’ short-term loans to each other. In doing so, it has found a way to square China’s dreaded “debt triangles”.

Nov 21, 2013 01:54 UTC

Asia’s fear of Fed is now infecting more economies

Photo

By Andy Mukherjee

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

After a rough summer, Asian markets are calm once again. But beneath the surface, the fear of what the Federal Reserve may do next is beginning to spread beyond India and Indonesia.

COMMENT

Asian countries can reduce their Treasuries holdings to mitigate the Fed tapering exercise.

Posted by WJL | Report as abusive
Nov 20, 2013 11:39 UTC

Equity optimists may fast create a crowded trade

Photo

By Swaha Pattanaik

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

Many large institutional asset managers expect developed stocks to march higher next year. They predict that companies will ramp up capital expenditure and fiscal policy will become less restrictive. That may well happen. The risk is that too much money is chasing the same idea. Crowded trades are rarely safe bets.

Nov 19, 2013 08:09 UTC

Aussie dairy battle needs cheap debt to stack up

Photo

By Ethan Bilby

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

Australia’s dairy battle needs cheap debt to stack up. Three bids in as many days for Australia’s Warrnambool have lifted the price tag above A$500 million ($469 million). Local cost savings and projections of China’s thirst for foreign milk help justify the frenzy. But the investment case rests on low borrowing costs.

Nov 18, 2013 04:24 UTC

The ‘Abe put’ will keep Japanese equities buoyed

Photo

By Peter Thal Larsen

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

Say sayonara to the “Bernanke put” and hello to Shinzo Abe’s alternative. While the Federal Reserve chairman developed a reputation for supporting the price of bonds, the Japanese prime minister’s reforms are designed to push up stock prices.

Nov 14, 2013 18:41 UTC

Snapchat bid triples Facebook’s desperation

Photo

By Robert Cyran

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

Facebook’s Snapchat bid shows triple the desperation. The social network shelled out $1 billion for no-revenue Instagram a little over a year ago. Now it’s said to be dangling as much as $3 billion to lure in a mobile app that sends self-destructing digital images. Facebook’s apparently escalating need to buy off marauders at its moat suggests its defenses may be scalable.

COMMENT

It is an indication that the technology-bubble is alive and well. Eliminating competition has always been a basic premise of market economics so the business practices of Facebook are not so much a behavioral anomaly but almost an industry-standard. Even overpaying for a business property that enhances monopoly power is a practice that has made Google, Microsoft and Cisco Systems very successful in the technology sector, and all three have had tremendous corporate success doing it. So (as the author notes), it remains to be seen how this will work out for Facebook in the long term. But the operating margins in gaining and maintaining technology monopolies may be so high, that there is plenty of room for error so that what seems now to be outright desperation in controlling competitive technology threats may turn out to be prescient foresight.

And who would have thought…?

Posted by StevenMitchell1 | Report as abusive
Nov 13, 2013 07:44 UTC

Four ways to tell China is serious about markets

Photo

By John Foley 

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

China’s new buzzword is “decisive”. That’s how the ruling party described the role it wants markets to play in the economy. It’s hard to see whether it’s more than just talk. But there are four visible ways to tell whether China means business.