Oct 29, 2013 16:08 UTC

Apple’s simplicity complicated by status quo

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By Robert Cyran

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

Apple’s simple story is complicated by the status quo. Fourth-quarter results released on Oct. 28 contain plenty of encouraging elements. It’s just that each comes with an asterisk.

Oct 28, 2013 03:44 UTC

One idea Samsung could safely copy from Apple

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By Una Galani

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

Here’s one idea that Samsung could safely copy from Apple. As a proportion of its $221 billion market capitalization, the South Korean giant’s near $40 billion cash pile is almost as big as that of its U.S. arch rival. With reserves accumulating fast, it can afford to mimic Apple by giving more to investors.

Oct 24, 2013 08:14 UTC

China bank IPO shows rewards of financial alchemy

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By John Foley 

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

Financial innovation is paying off for Bank of Chongqing, a small Chinese lender preparing for a $2 billion stock market listing in Hong Kong. What sets the bank apart isn’t its enviable 32 percent return on equity, but its copious use of what might be China’s most baffling securities.

Oct 23, 2013 04:13 UTC

Li Ka-shing still has what investors want

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By Una Galani

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

Li Ka-shing may be an octogenarian but he still knows when to buy and sell. An analysis of 16 listed parts of the Hong Kong tycoon’s telecoms-to-energy empire, with a combined market capitalization of more than $170 billion, shows a mixed record of delivering shareholder returns. Yet Li’s flagship holding companies have matched or beaten the market over the past two and five years. For investors, it pays to invest as close as possible to the man himself.

Oct 22, 2013 04:07 UTC

Alibaba creative governance should come at a cost

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By John Foley

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

New York and Hong Kong differ on shareholder democracy. Alibaba, China’s biggest e-commerce company, has received approval from U.S. stock exchanges to let a partnership of senior executives nominate most of its directors. Hong Kong rebuffed the idea on principle. Investors in a future initial public offering must now decide what that principle is worth.

Oct 18, 2013 15:09 UTC

Europe’s investors miss value cues, again

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By Robert Cole

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

It is one of the oldest rules in the investment book: buy what’s cheap, sell what’s expensive. The current crop of European fund managers must have slept through that lesson.

Oct 10, 2013 18:24 UTC

Tech disruptors could save China’s savers

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By John Foley

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

The biggest threat to Chinese banks’ cozy oligopoly may be in the palm of your hand. Online groups Alibaba and Tencent are making incursions into the country’s financial services market, providing an alternative to the capped deposit rates and sluggish service offered by the country’s big lenders. The disruptors are taking on risks, and savers should be glad.

Oct 10, 2013 08:39 UTC

China’s Bakrie burns may have less sting

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By Una Galani

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

China’s Bakrie burns may have less of a sting. Like financier Nat Rothschild, China Investment Corporation has been scorched by its association with Bumi Resources. Following a $1.3 billion debt swap, the sovereign fund has gone from a major creditor to minority investor in the Indonesian miner.

Oct 10, 2013 01:35 UTC

Dear Mr President: Dodges for the U.S. debt ceiling

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By Swaha Pattanaik

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

With almost no official data to analyse, economists who follow the United States have little to discuss nowadays. Many of them are keeping busy thinking about how the U.S. government could delay default if lawmakers refuse to raise the nation’s maximum borrowing limit. Breakingviews imagines a letter from one of them to President Barack Obama.  

Oct 9, 2013 09:18 UTC

China competition proves hard for Yum to swallow

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By Ethan Bilby

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

China is eating less KFC chicken, and that has hurt sales at the chain’s U.S. owner, Yum Brands. Revenue at the group’s comparable Chinese branches fell 11 percent in the third quarter, year on year. While last year’s fears of antibiotic-laced Zinger Burgers didn’t help, fierce competition has also made the company a less reliable bellwether of Chinese appetites.