Apr 26, 2013 12:53 UTC

BBVA is bank of choice for Spanish bulls

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By George Hay

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

BBVA  is the bank of choice for Spanish bulls. Sightings of that most Iberian of beasts are few and far between. But Spain’s second-largest lender looks best for anyone believing that the country’s economy is on the eve of a recovery. 

Apr 25, 2013 19:13 UTC

Exxon Mobil running hard just to stand still

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By Christopher Swann

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

Exxon Mobil is having to run hard just to stand still. The world’s biggest company is pumping only a trickle more oil than 12 years ago – and maintaining even that is getting more expensive. Only buybacks are making growth in earnings per share look decent.

Apr 25, 2013 04:42 UTC

Why Alibaba could be China’s next $100bln IPO

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by John Foley

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

Could Alibaba be China’s next $100 billion stock market listing? The Hangzhou-based e-commerce giant continues to be coy over when it will take the plunge. But sooner or later founder Jack Ma will need to offer some kind of exit for his backers, not to mention employees, and an initial public offering is the most likely solution. Now is a good time to start asking how the company should be valued.

Apr 22, 2013 21:01 UTC

Mafia and Cyprus may release IPO animal spirits

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By Robert Cyran

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

The mafia and Cyprus could trigger a full release of animal spirits. High debt didn’t deter buyers from this month’s Intelsat and SeaWorld initial public offerings. Now comes Qiwi, a Cyprus-domiciled, Russian payment system warning about the potential effects of organized crime, the island’s bailout, money laundering and a dual-class share structure. It puts investor appetite to the ultimate test.

Apr 22, 2013 15:41 UTC

ABB takes a shine to solar

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By Quentin Webb

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

ABB’s contrarian push into solar energy looks smart. The Swiss group is buying Nasdaq-listed Power-One for $1 billion in cash – a fully priced deal, given the solar industry’s current financial misery. But ABB insists Power-One occupies a sweet spot. That sounds plausible, and long term, the deal should add up.

Apr 19, 2013 18:21 UTC

Is Microsoft the quiet villain of global finance?

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By Richard Beales

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

Microsoft may be the quiet villain of global finance. Excel errors overstated pre-crisis structured finance ratings, dented JPMorgan’s risk management just as banks were on the mend, and tripped up influential fiscal policy ideas. The rest of the Office suite of “productivity” applications – the bulk of a division responsible for $24 billion in revenue in the last fiscal year – seems equally apt to court trouble.

Apr 16, 2013 02:08 UTC

Weaker yen won’t halt Japan Inc’s overseas spree

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

A weaker yen won’t reverse Japan Inc’s overseas M&A drive. While a strong currency, low interest rates and a stagnant home market fuelled an international shopping spree in 2012, the promise of a domestic revival under new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has caused buyers to temporarily put away their wallets. But even so-called Abenomics can’t cure Japan’s ageing and shrinking population.

Apr 9, 2013 22:21 UTC

J.C. Penney exposes inefficiency valuing CEOs

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By Richard Beales

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

The debacle at J.C. Penney exposes a glaring inefficiency in how the market values corporate chieftains. When the struggling U.S. retailer hired Apple whiz Ron Johnson in 2012, the company’s equity value spiked by more than $1 billion. On Monday evening, news of his departure added $350 million. The return of ex-Chief Executive Mike Ullman – the man Johnson replaced – swiftly erased some $700 million. Such big swings make no sense.

COMMENT

A lack of products, focus, and brand image are serious weaknesses for any company. A CEO has to be flexible and willing to use test marketing strategies. Johnson was neither. I would suggest that the European firm Migros look at at Penney as an acquisitions candidate.

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Apr 9, 2013 22:18 UTC

Satellite IPO launches risk tolerance into orbit

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By Quentin Webb

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

Intelsat’s initial public offering could be a telling launch for stock markets. The owners want a full valuation despite the satellite operator’s slow growth and stratospheric debt. If investors are ready to buy, it suggests risk tolerance is heading sky-high.

Apr 4, 2013 23:37 UTC

HBOS top brass reap what they sowed

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By George Hay

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

HBOS’s top managers are finally starting to reap what they sowed. So far, official blame for the spectacular collapse of one of the UK’s biggest banks has been restricted to its former head of corporate lending Peter Cummings, who was fined 500,000 pounds by the UK regulator in September. A hard-hitting report by Britain’s Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards has rightly begun to point the finger at the very top.

COMMENT

Dear Sir/Madam,

Deterrence only Works where it is Not Profitable for Someone to do Wrong.

Small Fines are not a deterrent – Large Fines and Prison Sentences could be the way to go..

Calculations for fines should at the minimum be what the culprit earned (including any phoney Bonus payment and Share purchase offer purchase Profits) multiplied by 4.

If they cannot pay then Prison with Hard Labor should apply.

Payment of fines should not be paid out of any of the Company or Banks assets etc. otherwise the culprit has not paid for his/her crimes – others will have done it – the innocent will have paid out twice for the villains.

We must change the Laws so that People working for Companies/Banks etc. cannot vote at shareholders meetings, cannot have any means of determining their pay – Shareholders must set Pay and rewards for all staff from the Chairman down.

We must stop the loopholes used to destroy our institutions and we must endeavour to protect and serve those who invest in the Free World.

God Bless

TLS-2

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