Nov 4, 2014 07:00 UTC

Xiaomi’s upward valuation hike hard to justify

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By Ethan Bilby

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

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi is a hit with customers, but its upward valuation spiral seems hard to justify. A new funding round could value the group at a mooted $50 billion. That suggests investors are valuing it the same way they do tech giant Apple. Xiaomi is growing fast, but it lacks its U.S. rival’s dominance or innovation.

Nov 3, 2014 21:59 UTC

Music rally can shake off discordant Taylor Swift

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By Jeffrey Goldfarb

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

Back in 1989, the year Taylor Swift was born and the title of her latest hit album, Garth Brooks sold over 10 million copies of his eponymous record. It is a bygone era for the music industry. Until Swift released the collection that includes “Shake It Off” last week, no artist had sold even 1 million this year. That sort of popularity gives her the market power to make decisions like the one she did on Monday to pull her catalog from digital streaming service Spotify.

Nov 3, 2014 06:50 UTC

Macau’s casinos worryingly reliant on high-rollers

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By Ethan Bilby

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

A drop in Macau’s high rollers may push the Chinese territory’s gambling revenue to its first annual decline on record. Forecasts for next year seem over-optimistic. For many casinos in the coastal enclave, high-spending VIP gamblers are the biggest vulnerability. If they stop playing, the likes of Galaxy Entertainment and Wynn Macau would be particularly hard hit.

Oct 31, 2014 15:46 UTC

Draghi can only dream of moving like BOJ’s Kuroda

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By Swaha Pattanaik

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

It is the stuff of dreams for President Mario Draghi. The European Central Bank chief can only fantasise about pushing through policy decisions with a one-vote majority, as Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda did on Friday. The euro zone economy is the poorer for his inability.

Oct 31, 2014 14:00 UTC
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Review: No bets on Berkshire after Warren Buffett

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By Kate Duguid

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

The question facing Berkshire Hathaway is life after Warren Buffett. And it’s a quandary worth $330 billion, Berkshire’s market value.

Oct 31, 2014 06:19 UTC

China index: Home truths upset economy

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By Katrina Hamlin

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

Our alternative growth index hit its lowest levels since April 2009 last month. Housing investment is leading the downturn with the slowest pace of growth in over two years. In the past, more bank lending was seen as the answer. This time, it doesn’t seem to be helping at all.

Oct 31, 2014 06:15 UTC

Hong Kong protests lay minefield for business

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By Una Galani

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

Hong Kong’s protesters have laid a minefield for big business. The city’s democracy debate is a deeply divisive issue. For companies, keeping quiet is less risky than expressing an opinion guaranteed to irk customers and staff or strain relations with Beijing. It’s even harder for individual employees who must tread a blurry line between free speech and corporate interests.

Oct 30, 2014 17:43 UTC

Tim Cook’s pride may expand corporate talent pool

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

Tim Cook’s pride may expand the corporate talent pool. The Apple chief executive’s decision to speak publicly about being gay should help advance the slow march toward acceptance. As boss of the world’s biggest company by market value, Cook could inspire others, giving C-suites and boardrooms more choice. They need it.

Oct 30, 2014 17:23 UTC

REIT scandal could be good test for Sarbanes-Oxley

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By Reynolds Holding

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

A scandal at one of America’s biggest real-estate investment trusts could be the perfect test for the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. American Realty Capital Properties’ stock tanked nearly 20 percent on Wednesday after the company said mistakes in its financial statements were intentionally left uncorrected. That sounds tailor-made for a case under the often-ignored law inspired by Enron, WorldCom and other accounting debacles.

Oct 30, 2014 07:59 UTC

QE gave emerging markets brief gains, lasting pain

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

Six years of quantitative easing in the United States have brought fleeting gains to emerging markets, and more enduring pain.