Jan 9, 2014 05:23 UTC

Difficult second coming pays off for Chinese IPOs

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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

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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

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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

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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.

Jan 7, 2014 07:51 UTC

Samsung woes strengthen case for cash handout

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

Samsung may just have strengthened the case for handing more of its cash to investors. The South Korean electronics giant’s fourth-quarter operating profit came in lower than expected after it paid employees a one-off bonus. Though a strengthening home currency and competition from arch-rival Apple remain a concern, Samsung can afford to show shareholders some generosity too.

Jan 6, 2014 15:11 UTC
Edward Hadas

Monetary policy similarity outweighs divergence

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By Edward Hadas

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

The policies of the world’s major central banks are about to diverge. That matters far more to financial markets than to the real economy.

Jan 6, 2014 04:53 UTC

Asia is ripe for a brewers M&A brawl

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By Una Galani

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

It is a seller’s market in the last frontier for beer. Asia Pacific is the last region not dominated in profit terms by the world’s four biggest brewers – Anheuser-Busch InBev, SABMiller, Heineken and Carlsberg – according to Bernstein Research. Consumption of suds is growing fast, and for-sale assets are hard to find. The coming year may see new owners for Philippine brewer San Miguel and South Korea’s Oriental Brewery. The real prize may be in China, the world’s biggest beer market by far.

Jan 3, 2014 19:18 UTC

U.S. utilities face German-style solar burn

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By Christopher Swann and Robert Cyran
The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

America’s utilities face a German-style solar burn. So far, solar power accounts for just 1 percent of U.S. electricity demand, against 10 percent in Germany. But generators stateside are already feeling the heat and pushing for levies on solar panels. They’re keen to avoid the scorched profit seen at traditional Teutonic utilities like E.ON.

COMMENT

“So far, solar power accounts for … 10 percent [of electricity demand] in Germany.”

Not that much. In 2013, German solar produced about 30 TW-h, against total demand of about 445 TW-h — 6.7%.
http://www.ise.fraunhofer.de/en/download s-englisch/pdf-files-englisch/news/elect ricity-production-from-solar-and-wind-in -germany-in-2013.pdf/view

Posted by BillWoods | Report as abusive
Jan 3, 2014 19:11 UTC

Commodities set to distinguish themselves

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

Commodity prices look set to distinguish themselves in 2014. From gold to grain, raw materials will trade less in line not only with equities, but with each other – and are likely to fall, to boot. Thank a calm euro zone and the prospect of the U.S. Federal Reserve cutting back its bond purchases.

COMMENT

Low commodity prices are good for just about everyone except the raw material producers like myself. Luckily, this article is not going to pan out the way the author believes.

Posted by jwab | Report as abusive
Jan 3, 2014 15:33 UTC

The chilling echoes of 1914, a century on

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By Martin Hutchinson

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

A rerun of 1914’s descent into global war is really rather unlikely. But some of the danger of a hundred years ago is present today.