Feb 5, 2014 06:15 UTC

IPO flops will come back to haunt Li Ka-shing

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

Li Ka-shing’s stock market flops will come back to haunt the tycoon when it matters most. His latest spinoff, utility HK Electric, has become the third listing in a row from the businessman’s energy-to-telecoms empire to fizzle. Though markets are soft, Li’s reputation for selling at the top may make it harder to get a premium valuation if he decides to press ahead with an initial public offering (IPO) for his prized health and beauty retail business, A.S. Watson.

Jan 31, 2014 11:30 UTC

Emerging vacuum a harbinger of global downdraught

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By Ian Campbell

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

Emerging economy policymakers are wailing, understandably. But they can’t expect some magical coordination of global monetary policy. U.S. tightening is essential to curb global bubbles. Emerging markets are the first victims. They won’t be the last.

Jan 30, 2014 12:15 UTC
Edward Hadas

Markets give central bankers lessons in humility

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By Edward Hadas

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

Markets are teaching central bankers some hard lessons. The monetary authorities in developed economies are learning how hard it is to switch direction. And emerging markets are showing that no policy rate is right when the economy is wrong.

Jan 30, 2014 06:29 UTC

ICBC takes slow-burn approach to global expansion

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By John Foley

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

ICBC’s purchase of Standard Bank’s UK trading division has moved at a glacial pace, and gives rivals little to fear. That’s the best sign that China’s largest lender knows what it’s doing.

Jan 29, 2014 14:56 UTC

Turkish central bank in “whatever it takes” moment

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By Pierre Briançon

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

The Turkish central bank has gone for shock and awe. After a messy week of blunders, it has opted for a massive increase of interest rates that will soothe concerns about the institution’s independence. The country may be mired in a political crisis and ruled by an unpredictable prime minister, but at least it still has a central bank doing what central bankers are supposed to do – mind the currency.

Jan 29, 2014 06:43 UTC

Apple numbers show scale of China challenge

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By Ethan Bilby

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

Apple may be a dominant player in flogging smartphones in most of the world, but it’s still an also-ran in China. Disappointing global sales increase the pressure on the iPhone maker to gain ground in the People’s Republic. Though its deal with China Mobile should provide a boost, lower-cost rivals will limit its market share gains.

Jan 28, 2014 12:27 UTC
Edward Hadas

ECB might be the most effective big central bank

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By Edward Hadas

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

Of the world’s three most important central banks, which one is doing the best job? Of course, it’s too early to tell – the distinguished economist Alan Blinder may now regret describing Alan Greenspan as “the greatest central banker who ever lived” in 2005. But there’s a good case that the European Central Bank under Mario Draghi deserves the prize.

Jan 28, 2014 05:46 UTC

Exportless recovery adds to emerging market risks

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

The devaluation of the Argentine peso has shaken investors. It’s not exactly an emerging market crisis, but cracks are beginning to emerge in the cheery consensus about the global economy’s prospects in 2014.

Jan 27, 2014 16:34 UTC
Edward Hadas

Markets could be their own worst enemy in fear binge

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By Edward Hadas

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

The optimistic investor consensus about 2014 is in danger of disappearing. Investors seem to be having second thoughts about the thesis that GDP growth would be reasonably strong almost everywhere and financial problems would not reach disruptive levels. Markets tumbled last week and have continued to weaken. If investors do not calm down soon, they could spark the crisis they fear most.

Jan 27, 2014 07:05 UTC

China falls prey to its own capital magnetism

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By John Foley

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

Capital is flooding into China, and central bankers are worried. It’s easy to see why: such problems aren’t supposed to happen in countries with strict capital controls. But China’s monetary magnetism is of the authorities’ own making. In trying to slow reckless lending growth, planners have created a huge arbitrage opportunity.