Mar 10, 2014 06:52 UTC

China internet duo join forces against common foe

Photo

By Peter Thal Larsen and Robyn Mak 

The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

Two of China’s internet companies are joining forces against their common foe: Alibaba. Tencent is injecting its also-ran e-commerce units and $215 million in cash into JD.com for a 15 percent pre-IPO stake in the online retailer. More importantly, the two will collaborate on mobile commerce. Both have the same objective: erode Alibaba’s dominant market share.

Mar 7, 2014 19:47 UTC

Wal-Mart puts collar on Cerberus price for Safeway

Photo

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

Could Cerberus pay more for Safeway? Based on the 2007 A&P-Pathmark merger, synergies could be worth more than half the $9.4 billion that the private equity firm’s Albertsons supermarket is paying for its U.S. rival. In theory that leaves room for a higher offer. But competition from the likes of Wal-Mart means cost savings may need to go to shoppers, not investors.

Mar 7, 2014 16:01 UTC

What Putin wants matters less than what he doesn’t

Photo

By Pierre Briançon

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

The Western governments wondering what Vladimir Putin wants in Ukraine should start by focusing on what he doesn’t. That has become a little clearer after the Russian president’s rambling press conference earlier this week, during which glimpses of rationality appeared amidst a long, disingenuous rant against the new authorities in Kiev. Putin doesn’t want Crimea – which is only a pawn in his Ukrainian game. He is not ready to take the risk of a Western-style democracy in the former Soviet republic. And he fears the disruption of the economic and financial ties that bind Russia and Ukraine.

Mar 7, 2014 14:32 UTC

Review: Why all you know about money is wrong

Photo

By George Hay

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

Everyone knows what money is. Whether denominated in paper, coins or something else entirely, transactions get paid for by a physical commodity that enables humans not to waste their time bartering with each other. Felix Martin’s book, published this week in the United States, convincingly argues this view is not only wrong, but dangerous.

Mar 7, 2014 05:55 UTC

Japan pension debate goes beyond bonds and stocks

Photo

By Andy Mukherjee

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

Japan’s pension reform debate is heating up. But it’s in danger of missing the wood for the trees.

Mar 6, 2014 13:57 UTC

Italy’s Renzi off to a bad start

Photo

By Neil Unmack

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

Matteo Renzi has been forced to amend his electoral reform. The result could mean that Italy will remain ungovernable. The new prime minister’s hand is weaker, even though the risk of early elections has subsided. And serious economic reforms will be harder.

Mar 6, 2014 05:58 UTC

Search for China’s “Bear Stearns moment” is flawed

Photo

By Peter Thal Larsen

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

Once again, investors are facing warnings about China’s “Bear Stearns moment”. The country’s possible first domestic bond default has prompted comparisons with the sequence of events that led to the bailout of the Wall Street firm. The parallels between China’s predicament and the crisis of 2008 may be tempting, but are flawed. If the analogy has any use, it’s as a reminder of which mistakes to avoid.

Mar 5, 2014 14:51 UTC

Bondholders will have to pay for Ukraine’s reset

Photo

By Neil Unmack

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

Ukraine bondholders haven’t seen the end of their suffering. The country’s bonds have sunk in spite of talks of an imminent bailout by the International Monetary Fund. The country’s creditors may face either a soft debt rescheduling or more radical haircuts. The risks of austerity, devaluation and continued political uncertainty all point to the latter.

Mar 5, 2014 06:22 UTC

Singapore is not the world’s most expensive city

Photo

By Andy Mukherjee

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

Singapore is not the most expensive place on the globe. A much-cited survey has declared the city-state to be the world’s costliest. But it suffers from a flawed methodology.

Mar 4, 2014 07:19 UTC

Li Ka-shing dual listing plan more than cosmetic

Photo

By Una Galani

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

Li Ka-shing’s dual listing plan may be more than just a vanity project. The tycoon wants to float his A.S. Watson unit in London or Singapore as well as Hong Kong. For most companies the attractions of multiple listings are skin deep. But if the retail group can claw its way into several benchmark indices, it could prove an exception.