Jan 14, 2014 07:25 UTC

Coal typifies China’s reform: it’s hard and dirty

Photo

By John Foley 

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

Coal is much like China’s reform challenge: hard and dirty. Even as politicians fret about the country’s chronic smog, they approved 100 million tonnes of new mining capacity in 2013, six times the amount for the previous year. That will add to the 300 million tonnes or so already due to come on stream in 2014. The habit is proving difficult to kick.

Jan 14, 2014 03:50 UTC

Japan index: Rising wages, prices add to optimism

Photo

By Andy Mukherjee

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

The Breakingviews Abenomics Index rose for a third straight month in November, buoyed by increasing consumer prices and improved household earnings. Equity and bond markets remain hopeful that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s war on deflation will move closer to its target in 2014.

Jan 13, 2014 06:25 UTC

Hong Kong power IPO less generous than it looks

Photo

By Peter Thal Larsen

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

Li Ka-shing is betting that a generous dividend will lure investors into the spin-off of his Hong Kong power utility. The tycoon has lowered the price range for HK Electric to ensure buyers of the investment trust get a yield of more than 6 percent. But the possibility of market-wide higher interest rates makes that look less than electrifying.

Jan 10, 2014 11:51 UTC

UK election clouds have gilt-edged lining

Photo

By Swaha Pattanaik

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

British politicians are drawing up battle lines more than a year before general elections. On current form, the left-leaning opposition could oust the governing coalition. However, any knee-jerk investor dismay may be tempered given the Labour Party is more likely to cement the UK’s place in the European Union than the ruling Conservatives.

Jan 10, 2014 04:57 UTC

China still means the world to car makers

Photo

By Ethan Bilby

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

China loves to do things big, and that includes buying cars. The country accounted for 85 percent of the expansion in the global automobile market last year. China’s growth may down-shift to 10 percent this year, according to consultancy IHS, as top cities introduce caps on new car-buying. Even then, it remains the world’s most important car market.

Jan 9, 2014 21:12 UTC

Chris Christie grapples with his inner Jamie Dimon

Photo

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

Jamie Dimon’s tale of woe is proving an uncanny inspiration to the governor of the U.S. state of New Jersey. Chris Christie, who is also considered an early front-runner for the 2016 Republican presidential nominee, followed his own “tempest in a teapot” moment with a mea culpa on Thursday for his team’s behavior over a traffic scandal. Christie even has an Ina Drew to blame. Like Dimon, the Garden State’s chief executive needs to own up to a culture he engendered.

Jan 9, 2014 05:23 UTC

Difficult second coming pays off for Chinese IPOs

Photo

By John Foley 

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

Free money, anyone? China’s equity markets have just reopened after a fourteen-month hiatus, starting with a batch of eight companies planning initial public offerings in the week ending Jan. 10. With so much pent-up demand, and rules in place to protect investors from losses, exuberance is inevitable. But better to have frothy IPOs than none at all.

Jan 8, 2014 16:03 UTC

Draghi is playing with fire on deflation risk

Photo

By Pierre Briançon

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

Mario Draghi is playing with fire. The European Central Bank accepts that the euro zone has entered a long period of low inflation – but its president sees no need to act on it. If Draghi keeps hesitating, he risks the institution’s credibility, squandering the gains of his 2012 promise to do “everything it takes” to preserve the euro.

Jan 8, 2014 05:35 UTC

China conducts monetary policy in the shadows

Photo

By John Foley 

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

China is engaging in a shadowy version of monetary policy. Recent tinkering by the People’s Bank of China, which has pushed up rates, looks targeted at parts of the “shadow banking” sector. This kind of variegated tightening might just work, simply because China’s financial system is so dysfunctional.

Jan 7, 2014 14:23 UTC
Edward Hadas

Turkey caught in vicious politico-financial circle

Photo

By Edward Hadas

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

Until a few months ago, the strength of Turkey’s politics just about balanced out its weak finances. Sadly and worryingly, the Middle East’s most important country has lost its equilibrium.