Dec 6, 2012 18:48 UTC

HP breakup is on tech world’s 2013 agenda

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By Rob Cox and Robert Cyran

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

David Packard and William Hewlett may be Silicon Valley’s answer to Romulus and Remus in Rome’s founding story, but the era of their brainchild, Hewlett-Packard, as an everything-to-everyone conglomerate is coming to an end. Chief Executive Meg Whitman and HP’s board, not to mention investors, won’t stick around for an arduous and risky five-year turnaround project. Breaking the company into good bits and selling bad ones must be on the agenda for 2013.

COMMENT

Dell also includes the former Perot Systems (similar to HP’s EDS). Doesn’t this effectively count the value of EDS twice – alone, and in the PC division (a la Dell)?

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Dec 6, 2012 15:18 UTC

Barclays bet lives up to rich billing for Qatar

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By Una Galani

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

A massive bet on Barclays is living up to its rich billing for Qatar. The complex 3.4 billion pound investment in the UK bank has earned a 19 percent internal rate of return for the sovereign fund, according to a Breakingviews calculation. That’s pretty good, factoring in the huge risk of propping up a universal bank at the height of the financial crisis. But it will grate for Barclays shareholders who resented the deal in the first place.

Dec 3, 2012 22:00 UTC

Wall Street deal-making has lesson for Washington

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By Jeffrey Goldfarb

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

When it comes to deal-making, Washington could learn from Wall Street. The U.S. budget talks have become the equivalent of an ugly, public merger proxy battle. While investment bankers are often too eager to push for a deal, they also know that negotiating in public usually only makes things tougher.

COMMENT

I think that every congressman should be able to draw a diagram for any individual in any industry such that the diagram shows the avenues by which money spent by the individual circulate back to the individual. Without this visualization, no person can discus what improves or impedes the circulation of money. With this visualization, we can imagine many different excellent solutions to the fiscal conflict.

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Dec 3, 2012 19:33 UTC

SandRidge CEO sets bar even lower for oil patch

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By Christopher Swann

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

Tom Ward, chief executive of troubled oil and gas explorer SandRidge Energy, has set the bar even lower for the oil patch. He is not the first energy boss to live large at shareholders’ expense. But his extravagance at the nearly $3 billion U.S. company would make even TV villain J.R. Ewing blush. Angry owners are right to want him out.

Nov 30, 2012 07:52 UTC

HK exchange plays it safe with equity finance

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

Hong Kong’s stock exchange is playing it safe. The bourse’s $1 billion share placing will allow it to repay more than half the debt it took on to buy the London Metals Exchange earlier this year. Ultra-low yields might make bonds look tempting. But a recent share rebound, and HKEx’s hefty dividend payout, justifies its cautious approach.

Nov 20, 2012 05:33 UTC

Weibo has reason to “open sesame” to Alibaba

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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 12, 2012 06:18 UTC

Diageo’s India splash won’t get Kingfisher flying

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

Diageo’s $2.1 billion acquisition of United Spirits has helped India’s largest liquor company and its chairman Vijay Mallya. But hopes that Kingfisher Airlines will fly again simply because the grounded carrier’s flamboyant founder has raised some cash look overoptimistic.

Oct 24, 2012 11:32 UTC

Rosneft buy may leave Russian oil industry wanting

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By Kevin Allison

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

Rosneft will become the world’s biggest listed crude producer following its $55 billion swoop on Russia’s third-biggest oil company. Igor Sechin’s new behemoth also expects to generate $3 billion to $5 billion of cost synergies from scooping up its smaller rival. If Rosneft can apply TNK-BP’s oilfield know-how to improve production at its own fields, the cost and revenue benefits of the Russian oil shake-up could indeed climb high.

Oct 20, 2012 19:46 UTC

Is everything sacred in Canada?

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By Robert Cyran

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

Is everything sacred in Canada? At first it was a hole in the ground. Then it was the stock exchange and a DIY chain. This week, regulators blocked two more big deals, including a $5.2 billion bid for Progress Energy by Petronas of Malaysia. Taken as a whole, these actions signal the market for corporate control in Canada – especially when it comes to foreign buyers – is effectively closed.

COMMENT

A wise decision. And so will be killing China’s takeover of Nexen.
“Canadians First” is smart politics and smart economic policy.
If foreigners want to buy Canadian resources they’re more than welcome to shop at the store. But, they can’t own it.

And, Canada doesn’t need economic advice from English-American opinion writers.
Both England and the U.S. are in terminal decline because they confused the best interests of Wall Street and The City with the best interests of the general economy.
Physician heal thyself…

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Oct 16, 2012 10:11 UTC

Failed China Gas bid leaves business unfinished

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

By Wei Gu

Sinopec’s failed bid for China Gas leaves business unfinished. The Chinese oil producer had to drop its $2.2 billion offer after failing to secure regulatory approval to buy the gas company. As a state-owned bidder, the political sensitivities were too great, and the price probably too low. Yet China’s fragmented gas industry still needs to consolidate.