Nov 29, 2012 05:47 UTC

Low valuations don’t make China stocks a bargain

By Wayne Arnold

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

Conventional gauges of value make China’s stocks tempting, particularly amid signs growth may be picking back up. But even if the economic rebound lasts, stocks haven’t been great proxies for corporate growth. Even China bulls should be ursine on the country’s equities.

Nov 28, 2012 10:15 UTC

Olam should show, not tell in Muddy Waters fight

By Andy Mukherjee

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

Muddy Waters and Olam are trading punches. The U.S. short-selling firm has released a 133-page report that mixes forensic accounting with some shoe-leather sleuthing in Africa to claim that the Singaporean commodities firm is heading for an Enron-style collapse. Now Olam has hit back with a detailed rebuttal. But for a trading business, perception matters more than facts.

COMMENT

No offense, but you must be joking… How can you seriously suggest OLAM should sell off part of their inventories just to prove that they are a liquid asset. It is bad enough that OLAM management has to spend their valuable time writing a 45 detailed response to the MW report and go through the effort of having to sue MW for their baseless attacks. OLAM has done more than enough to show that they are a legitimate operation. Let them go back to do their business and create employment and shareholder value as they have done successfully for a long time already (unlike MW).

The burden of proof is on MWs side. Unlike OLAMs track record, CB so far got only one thing right in his career (Sino Forest) and plenty of failures (such as Focus Media, as well as his storage company). As far as I am concerned he is an arrogant 36 year old wanna be finance star, who is targeting companies with complex balance sheets to make a quick buck on the short side, as he knows there will always be some doubt left, after he attacks them.

There is nothing wrong with shorting stocks of companies you dont like. Many hedge funds do that successfully. There is everything wrong with building a large short position in a stock and then using you reputation to make aggressive public statements
about the company such as “the company will fail and shareholders will be left with nothing”.

I thought we had finally learned a lesson that employment creating, profit creating companies are more valuable to society than Gordon Gekko style short sellers. I find it absolutely appalling that a Reuters reporter is taking the MW side on this issue.

Posted by Rakuten1 | Report as abusive
Nov 26, 2012 16:01 UTC

Barclays’ investment bank is too good to lose

Photo

By Dominic Elliott

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

Is Barclays’ investment bank too good to lose? Antony Jenkins is wrestling with this question ahead of the UK lender’s strategic D-day next February. Politicians, as well as some regulators and shareholders, wouldn’t mind seeing the hard-charging investment bankers associated with the Bob Diamond debacle cast adrift. But while Jenkins will need to perform open-heart surgery on the unit, it still has value as part of the group.

Nov 23, 2012 10:59 UTC

New risk factor for China stocks: divorce

Photo

By Wei Gu

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

Broken marriages are an unwelcome new risk factor for China investors. Shares in Longfor Properties dropped 4 percent on Nov. 20 on news that its founding couple had divorced and split their controlling stake, sparking fears of a covenant breach. Family feuds are growing more common, and investors are taking a share of the strife.

Nov 22, 2012 10:36 UTC

A Hewlett-Packard primer on how not to do a deal

Photo

By Richard Beales and Robert Cyran

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

If it weren’t so tragic for a once-revered technology pioneer, the story of Hewlett-Packard’s purchase of Autonomy would be a comedy of errors. If nothing else, it’s a case study of what to avoid when tempted to contemplate a big takeover.

COMMENT

Fiorina and Apothker are folding and refolding their golden parachutes, so they really could care less about what happens to HP.

Quattrone has several golden parachutes and piles of dust-laden money. The opinions of the authors about Quattrone are the most cogent. Yet, nothing of substance will occur until the next corporate debacle unfolds with more golden parachute departures. This jaded business is an on-going United States saga.

Meanwhile, 50% of all college graduates have no jobs, and they are buried in debt from the student loan racket, and almost 50% of the United States citizens will still have no adequate health-care. The care that Obama is offering will cost the average citizen more than he or she can afford, and medicare without an expensive insurance supplement is useless.

Try to find a physician who will accept medicare without a supplemental package. Next to impossible.

Pay more attention to the average citizens in the United States. The corrupt Corporate Oligarchy will take care of themselves, as they have always done.

In other words:get real.

Posted by decker | Report as abusive
Nov 22, 2012 10:31 UTC

German press crunch time could imperil democracy

Photo

By Olaf Storbeck

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

This autumn is proving to be particularly grim for the German press. DAPD, the country’s second-largest news agency went into administration in early October. The Frankfurter Rundschau, the oldest national paper in Germany, followed suit last week. On Thursday, Gruner + Jahr (G+J), Europe’s largest printing and publishing house, will probably pull the plug on Financial Times Deutschland (FTD).

Nov 22, 2012 08:26 UTC

PICC seeks strength in numbers ahead of IPO

Photo

By Wei Gu

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

The People’s Insurance Company of China is all about the power of big numbers. The insurer’s 17 investment banks have helped it sign up 17 “cornerstone” backers in advance of its $3.6 billion Hong Kong offering. Though they’re hardly big-name value investors, they improve the likelihood of getting the deal done.

Nov 20, 2012 05:33 UTC

Weibo has reason to “open sesame” to Alibaba

Photo

By Wei Gu

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

Weibo has reason to “open sesame” to Alibaba. A possible purchase of a 15-20 percent stake in China’s Twitter by the country’s largest e-commerce group, Alibaba, as reported by China Business News, makes strategic sense. It could pave the way for owner Sina to spin Weibo off, and create revenue synergies for both.

Nov 19, 2012 09:45 UTC

HSBC needs to put numbers on China ambition

Photo

By Peter Thal Larsen

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

HSBC’s global strategy overhaul has reached China: the emerging market lender is in talks about offloading its 16 percent stake in Ping An, the Chinese insurer. Chief executive Stuart Gulliver could go further, by putting some numbers on his ambitions for the bank’s other Chinese assets – particularly its even-larger shareholding in Bank of Communications.

Nov 12, 2012 14:23 UTC
Hugo Dixon

BBC shows how not to manage a crisis

Photo

By Hugo Dixon

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

The first lesson of managing a crisis is to get a grip fast. This, in turn, requires those in charge to appreciate – even exaggerate – the severity of the problem.