Nov 6, 2013 06:20 UTC

U.S. investors’ love of tech defeats fear of China

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

For U.S. investors, love of technology has conquered a fear of China. Shareholders are snapping up shares of Chinese internet companies going public stateside. It’s a striking contrast with the recent past, when accounting scams and poor governance prompted many to shun mainland stocks.

Nov 5, 2013 15:28 UTC

BMW profit miss just a bump on safe road

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By Olaf Storbeck

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

BMW shares tanked more than 3.5 percent on Nov. 5 after the carmaker released third-quarter earnings that fell slightly short of expectations. Investors should pause and relax. Even though earnings before interest and taxes are down 6 percent year-on-year, the results actually reflect the company’s strengths more than its weaknesses. Profit is down for a good reason.

Nov 1, 2013 19:46 UTC

Twitter may grow fat and happy on low-patent diet

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By Reynolds Holding

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

Twitter could grow fat and happy on its low-patent diet. The social network, which is due to go public in the next few weeks, has an incredibly slim portfolio of intellectual property. Its nine patents may leave Twitter vulnerable to lawsuits and light on proven assets. But a policy of allowing engineers some control over their inventions speeds innovation, lures top talent and cuts legal costs.

Nov 1, 2013 07:01 UTC

Sony stumble gives Loeb headache and opportunity

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

Sony may have given Dan Loeb a headache – and an opportunity. The Japanese group’s quarterly loss knocked almost 12 percent off its market value by midday on Nov. 1 and raised questions about the company’s revival. Poor results from Sony’s entertainment and electronics arms suggest there’s limited upside from the spinoff that activist investor Loeb proposed earlier this year. However, it may give him a chance to push for more radical restructuring.

Oct 31, 2013 21:01 UTC

PwC-Booz merger adds up to a major culture clash

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By Kevin Allison

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

PricewaterhouseCoopers’ proposed takeover of strategy firm Booz & Co would be the most prominent example yet of a Big Four auditor bulking up on consulting. But restrictions enacted after the massive Enron scandal of 2001 mean advisory-services staffers could end up brawling with accountants over clients. While mid-sized Booz may feel pressure to compete with rivals like Boston Consulting Group and McKinsey, the proposed deal with PwC risks a huge culture clash.

Oct 31, 2013 17:01 UTC

Even bankruptcy can’t subdue Batista’s swagger

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By Christopher Swann

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

Even bankruptcy can’t subdue Eike Batista’s bombast. As his flagship oil company OGX Petroleo e Gas Participacoes sought protection on Wednesday from creditors, the Brazilian tycoon was practically goading them. He just sold gas assets at a knockdown price to an electric utility he partly owns. Bondholders still have a better chance of recovering more money by injecting fresh cash. Pushing them too far, though, could lead to a painful liquidation for all.

Oct 31, 2013 05:53 UTC

China’s banks languish in valuation twilight zone

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By John Foley

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

What if investors valued China’s big lenders the same way they do global banks? By one measure, lenders like ICBC and Bank of China would be worth twice what they are today. Instead, the country’s banks languish in a valuation twilight zone. It’s a sign of the deep scepticism facing China’s financial sector.

Oct 30, 2013 20:28 UTC

Fund managers could learn from hometown Red Sox

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By Martin Hutchinson

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

Fund managers could learn from the hometown Red Sox. The team is a win away from being baseball’s champions. Its success hinges on the disposal of concentrated long-term bets in favor of liquidity, early-stage backing and steadier assets. Such diversification is a good reminder for the Boston-based investment industry, where the likes of Fidelity and Putnam are based, and beyond.

Oct 30, 2013 20:21 UTC

Chrysler needs $18 bln valuation to justify IPO

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By Antony Currie

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

Chrysler’s valuation needs to hit $18 billion to justify an initial public offering. That’s the point where the union trust fund that owns 41.5 percent of the Detroit automaker would reap more than it could get from controlling shareholder Fiat. But it’s also way more than either owner has ever considered to be a reasonable price.

Oct 29, 2013 16:36 UTC

Deutsche’s fixed-income pain could exceed rivals’

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By Dominic Elliott

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

Deutsche Bank’s third-quarter hit in fixed-income trading could presage a painful loss in market share. The German bank suffered a 48 percent fall in third-quarter debt sales and trading revenue – as bad as any peer. And things could get tougher still.