Oct 13, 2014 06:50 UTC

China’s Agile Property only the worst of the best

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By John Foley

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

Agile Property is crumbling. The Chinese real estate developer needs urgent financial assistance after the authorities detained its chairman and it had to cancel a $360 million rights issue. The shares fell by as much as 30 percent on Oct. 13. Yet in China’s property sector, it is just the worst of the best.

Oct 10, 2014 19:18 UTC

Blackstone sale may kick off next deal trend

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By Jeffrey Goldfarb

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

It’s the end of the beginning for Blackstone. The M&A advice business that Steve Schwarzman and Pete Peterson used as a cornerstone to build their buyout firm three decades ago is being offloaded. Merging it with a fledgling shop run by former Morgan Stanley investment banking chief Paul Taubman potentially heralds the start of something else. The rise in global mergers could spawn a super-boutique or even entice a big bank to buy an indie firm.

Oct 9, 2014 07:15 UTC

Tianhe investors sell first, ask questions later

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

Investors in Tianhe Chemicals are selling first and asking questions later. Shares in the Chinese company plunged by as much as 45 percent when they resumed trading after anonymous fraud allegations. Despite the company’s detailed rebuttal, some of the dirt has stuck. Big shareholders may have to reach into their pockets to restore confidence.

Oct 7, 2014 06:48 UTC

Jumbo $6 bln bank IPO shows Saudi too big to miss

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By Una Galani

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

Saudi Arabia’s jumbo bank offering shows the soon-to-open emerging market is too good to miss. The kingdom’s top lender by assets is planning to sell shares worth $6 billion, making it the biggest-ever initial public offering in the Middle East and second only to China’s Alibaba in the world this year. For most outsiders, it’s a reminder of the opportunities that will open up when foreign investors are granted direct access to the country’s $584 billion stock market next year.

Oct 6, 2014 15:57 UTC

Meg Whitman at last splits Hewlett from Packard

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By Rob Cox

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

Hewlett and Packard are finally going their separate ways. Not literally, of course, as the founders of the Silicon Valley technology conglomerate that bears their names have long shuffled off this mortal coil. But the company now led by Meg Whitman is breaking in two.

Oct 3, 2014 18:17 UTC

Sears’ Canada stake sale merits a discount

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By Kevin Allison

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

Eddie Lampert is at it again. Less than three weeks after the hedge fund world’s Icarus figure-turned-retail boss announced he would lend Sears Holdings $400 million, the struggling store chain has announced a plan to raise more cash by selling down its stake in a Canadian subsidiary through an uncommon operation.

Oct 3, 2014 17:43 UTC

Coke challenge goes beyond revising pay plan

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By Kevin Allison

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

Coca-Cola’s challenge goes beyond revising its controversial equity compensation plan. The beverage giant’s retreat from the scheme is a win for Warren Buffett, investor David Winters and the company’s other shareholders. But the quibbles with Coke don’t end with excessive remuneration.

Oct 1, 2014 13:38 UTC

Goldman’s new conflict rules raise bigger question

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By Jeffrey Goldfarb

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

Another day, another conflict of interest situation for Goldman Sachs. New internal rules at the securities firm impose fresh limits on bankers investing in specific stocks, bonds and hedge funds. Goldman knows too well how easy it is to cross a line when treading at its edge. The new policy raises a bigger question, though: Why are Wall Street dealmakers allowed to own individual securities at all?

Sep 23, 2014 18:02 UTC

Tax clampdown could deter half-baked pharma M&A

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By Neil Unmack and Robert Cyran

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

The U.S. clampdown on tax-driven cross-border M&A should deter half-baked pharma deals. Some U.S.-led transactions, like AbbVie’s recent agreement to buy UK-based Shire, may survive on strategic logic. But pure tax-avoiding combinations look tricky.

Sep 22, 2014 06:57 UTC

Alibaba IPO highlights SoftBank’s value dilemma

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By Una Galani

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

Alibaba’s runaway initial public offering has turned the spotlight back onto SoftBank’s valuation dilemma. Following the Chinese e-commerce group’s successful New York listing, the Japanese conglomerate’s 32 percent stake eclipses the value of its other businesses. The 5 percent drop in SoftBank’s shares on the morning of Sept. 22 is a reminder the investment is both blessing and burden.