Jan 10, 2014 11:51 UTC

UK election clouds have gilt-edged lining

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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

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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

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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

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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.