Jan 17, 2014 04:55 UTC

China trust default is least painful option

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By John Foley

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

Much about China’s financial system is fuzzy, particularly when it comes to so-called trust companies. But when push comes to shove the case for letting an investment product fail is pretty clear.

Jan 16, 2014 14:53 UTC

World Bank boss Kim tested by Honduran loan fracas

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

Newish World Bank President Jim Kim’s goal of cutting $400 million from the multilateral lender’s budget just got harder. With the Washington-based institution under fire for lending to a Honduran company accused of thuggish behavior, the temptation will be to add to red tape. That would slow the already sluggish loan process and impede efforts to cut poverty.

Jan 16, 2014 06:52 UTC

Hong Kong can’t build away high house prices

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

Hong Kong’s plan to cool an overheated housing market by increasing supply sounds like repeating past mistakes. Even if the territory is able to boost construction as much as it intends, the expansion is modest. Property prices remain at the mercy of external forces.

Jan 15, 2014 11:32 UTC

Hollande finally gets it. Can he do it?

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By Pierre Briançon

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

Not that long ago a French socialist president talking about the need for supply-side reforms would have represented an intellectual revolution. After six years of financial crisis, the euro zone’s near-death experience and with the French economy stalling, it simply sounded like a long-overdue admission of reality when it came from François Hollande at his Jan. 14 press conference. Still, the slow learning doesn’t take anything from the intention to “accelerate,” as he chose to put it, economic reform.

Jan 15, 2014 06:17 UTC

Another reason to be gloomy about emerging markets

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

Investors have another reason to wrinkle their noses at emerging economies: fading labour productivity.

Jan 14, 2014 23:08 UTC
Breakingviews Columnists

Predictions Panel 2014

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

Look for more mergers and acquisitions and companies to weather rising interest rates, but don’t expect Washington to do much of anything in 2014. These are some of the views that emerged from the Breakingviews Predictions panel at Thomson Reuters on Tuesday.  Joined by M&A adviser Paul Taubman, Blackstone President Tony James, and Former Fed Governor Kevin Warsh, Breakingviews Global Editor Rob Cox moderated a fast-paced and wide-ranging discussion on markets, economies and corporate finance for the year to come.

Jan 14, 2014 07:25 UTC

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

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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

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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

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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

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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.