May 2, 2014 17:53 UTC

South Africa needs neighbors’ growth rates

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

Two decades after Nelson Mandela became president, South Africa’s post-apartheid generation will vote for the first time in next week’s general election. The ruling African National Congress represents his political legacy, but that’s undermined by the party’s weak economic results. Maybe the “Born Frees,” as they’re known, can help change that.

May 2, 2014 10:17 UTC
Guest Contributor

Review: The UK’s EU choice is safety or adventure

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By Eric Chaney

Eric Chaney is chief economist at AXA Group. The opinions expressed are his own.

Hugo Dixon has thrown his intellectual weight into the European Union membership debate. The founder of Breakingviews has written a compact and yet comprehensive little book, “The In/Out Question.” His answer is neat and clear: “it would be a historic error to pull out. Our economy would suffer if we quit. Our global influence would also be diminished.” In the war of ideas, he does not take any prisoners.

May 2, 2014 08:10 UTC

Macquarie shows Wall St rivals a mirror image

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

Attention, Wall Street investment banks. One of your rivals has just reported a 49 percent jump in full-year earnings, fuelled by unfashionable businesses like trading commodities and asset finance. It earns a double-digit return on equity with lower-than-average leverage. Oh, and its shares are up 50 percent in the past twelve months.

May 1, 2014 12:00 UTC

M&A-capex inversion wrongfoots stock-pickers

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By Swaha Pattanaik

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

Resurgent business investment was supposed to lift equity markets this year. But things are not turning out as expected. The bigger beneficiaries of spendthrift chief executives appear to be takeover targets rather than firms whose earnings reflect shifts in global capital expenditure. That calls for a different investment strategy.

COMMENT

May I suggest that you develop metrics for this interesting analysis and use them to create another stock screen option on this Reuters site.

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Apr 29, 2014 15:39 UTC

There’s something unhealthy about robust UK

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By Ian Campbell

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

The UK’s first-quarter GDP came in strong, as expected. But something surprising lies in wait this year. The statisticians are going to solve one of the UK’s big problems – its low savings rate – with a tweak of their methodology. Wondrous numerical transformations – but reality is still sobering.

Apr 29, 2014 06:56 UTC

China index: Economy is creeping and crawling

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By Katrina Hamlin

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

Our index touched 90.7, slightly up from 89.5 a month earlier. But domestic activity still looks sluggish. Rail freight volumes are lower; truck sales are slower; steel production is stalling; and growth in air travel is unusually modest. Dwindling exports offer little support.

Apr 29, 2014 06:46 UTC

Pfizer tax arbitrage will hasten more deals

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By Robert Cyran

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

Pfizer’s $99 billion tax arbitrage bid will encourage copycats. The biggest charm of the U.S. drug giant’s offer for AstraZeneca of the UK lies in switching to a lower-tax domicile. The latest and largest such deal to hit the headlines raises the odds Congress will tighten rules – but not yet.

Apr 28, 2014 06:10 UTC

Abe’s small hits weightier than big trade miss

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By Andy Mukherjee 

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

Shinzo Abe’s big miss in prizing open Japan’s farm economy is making investors needlessly glum. The prime minister’s smaller recent successes, from thawing out frozen land and labour markets to reining in healthcare costs, add up to a strong reform push.

Apr 25, 2014 05:40 UTC

China’s offshore bond boom has further to run

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

China’s offshore bond boom has further to run. Companies like Tencent and CNOOC are increasingly turning to international capital markets for financing. Tighter credit on the mainland is a factor – but so is international expansion. Though there are bound to be setbacks, overseas bond issuance should carry on growing.

Apr 25, 2014 03:09 UTC

Review: India’s Singh wasn’t king, Modi could be

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

Everything except the title of Sanjaya Baru’s “The Accidental Prime Minister” has invited controversy. And the title escaped opprobrium only because Manmohan Singh, who has never won an election, was the first to acknowledge that his elevation to India’s top political job was an accident of history.