Nov 17, 2014 19:04 UTC

Baker Hughes wins tactical $35 bln battle

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By Kevin Allison

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

The Baker Hughes chief executive must be feeling satisfied. Martin Craighead played hard-to-get and it helped his company squeeze a premium north of 50 percent out of Halliburton, which on Monday agreed to acquire its smaller U.S. oilfield services rival for about $35 billion in cash and stock. Halliburton’s $2 billion annual cost savings goal covers the premium, but only just – and the benefits may fall short of that target.

Nov 14, 2014 19:19 UTC

Halliburton can stump up $30 bln for Baker Hughes

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By Kevin Allison

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

Baker Hughes may be worth more than investors think. Shares of the No. 3 U.S. oilfield services firm jumped 15 percent on Thursday after news broke of deal talks with the $46 billion Halliburton. A back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests the industry No. 2 should be willing to pay nearly 40 percent more than Baker Hughes’ $22 billion undisturbed market valuation to seal a deal.

Nov 13, 2014 19:38 UTC

Buffett’s $4.7 bln Duracell deal a double positive

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By Robert Cyran and Kevin Allison

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

Warren Buffett’s $4.7 billion Duracell deal is more positive than negative. Berkshire Hathaway is paying for its latest acquisition by trading its stake in Procter & Gamble for the consumer stalwart’s battery unit. Swapping a reliable staple for a declining business looks odd. But the transaction is structured in a way that means both sides are getting a decent deal.

Nov 13, 2014 16:13 UTC

Heady Topper points to beer business peak

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By Rob Cox

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

John Kimmich sparked a Twitter mini-sensation last month when he posted a picture someone had sent him of a four-pack of Heady Topper, the unfiltered double IPA he produces at his Vermont brewery, The Alchemist. The photo showed four 16-ounce cans sitting unrefrigerated, with a $42 price tag. “Shameful,” he tweeted.

COMMENT

What? Back to the ’80s? Microbreweries have been in fashion and out of fashion; some population centers can support an “x” number of them but not above a certain number. The concept of “artisanal” beers is note worthy and commendable but, again, nothing new. Investment-wise, they should only be considered by hobbyists who are not looking to build empires that support workers and their families and not to generate any IPO.

Posted by SixthRomeo | Report as abusive
Nov 13, 2014 14:34 UTC

SABMiller has fight to justify heady share price

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By Robert Cole

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

Perma-speculation that Belgian brewer AB InBev will make a bid probably accounts for most of the share price premium enjoyed by rival SABMiller. Without such support, the UK group’s stock could drift lower.

Nov 12, 2014 19:46 UTC

Barclays’ forex delay looks like bad news

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By George Hay

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

Barclays is once again exposed. In June 2012, the UK bank was the first to settle claims that its staff attempted to fiddle Libor rates. It promptly lost its senior management and a good deal of its reputation. A decision this time round to hang back from an industry settlement for multiple failings in foreign exchange trading is harder to immediately assess. But it probably isn’t good news.

Nov 12, 2014 14:46 UTC

FX fines are wake-up call on self-policing

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By Dominic Elliott 

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

The $3.4 billion regulatory settlement for currency market rigging is a big wake-up call to the banking industry on self-policing. The firms involved – Citigroup, HSBC, JPMorgan, Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS – are paying 20 percent more than the same authorities have levied from five firms for the Libor scandal. That cannot be dismissed as simple fine inflation. It reflects banks’ failure to learn their lesson. Misdeeds in FX went on as recently as October 2013 – well over a year after Barclays became the first bank to settle over Libor.

COMMENT

Banks never learn from the past; therefore they repeat the past.

Posted by grg32 | Report as abusive
Nov 11, 2014 22:42 UTC

Steve Cohen’s loot could land in undeserving hands

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By Reynolds Holding

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

SAC Capital’s ill-gotten gains could be headed for undeserving pockets. A $600 million settlement between Steve Cohen’s hedge fund – now called Point72 Asset Management – and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission will go to investors on the other side of the illegal transactions. Better them than Uncle Sam. But the real victims were drug firms Elan and Wyeth, whose data SAC’s trader misappropriated.

Nov 11, 2014 07:47 UTC

China embraces troublesome cult of consumption

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By John Foley 

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

China has no more potent symbol of consumer power than “Singles’ Day”. Alibaba, the e-commerce giant that invented the shopping frenzy which takes place every Nov. 11, shifted $2 billion of goods on its websites in the first hour of trading. If consumers kept that up all year, retail sales in the People Republic would be five times bigger than they actually were in 2013. Fortunately, they don’t.

Nov 7, 2014 20:29 UTC

Sears investors too giddy about slow-mo breakup

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By Kevin Allison

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

Sears investors are too giddy about the money-losing retailer’s slow-motion breakup. Shares in Eddie Lampert’s struggling store chain jumped 35 percent by early Friday afternoon on news it may create a real estate investment trust for many of its stores and lease them back. The move would raise significant cash, but shareholders, Lampert included, would finance the deal. And the prospects for the rump retailer remain pretty dim.