Jul 22, 2014 15:23 UTC

Listen to Murdoch’s muzzled minorities

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By Rob Cox

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

Time Warner shareholders pondering whether to surrender to Rupert Murdoch would be well advised to listen to the media mogul’s muzzled minorities. Most Twenty-First Century Fox believers are relegated to owning non-voting stock in the entertainment conglomerate, the same second-tier paper on offer as part of the $80 billion takeover bid for the owner of HBO, CNN and Warner Bros. studios. Despite broad investor overlap in the two companies, the record shows a clear distaste for Murdoch’s imperialism.

COMMENT

Why, in all the photos of him that i have seen, is Rupert Murdoch so grumpy?

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Jul 21, 2014 13:31 UTC

Tesco’s new chief should think the unthinkable

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By Robert Cole

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

Tesco has a real chance at reinvention. Hiring Unilever lifer Dave Lewis to replace Phil Clarke as chief executive provides a golden opportunity for an outsider to apply radical thinking to solving the UK supermarket group’s mounting problems.

Jul 21, 2014 06:23 UTC

The perks and pitfalls of depending on Jack Ma

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By John Foley 

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

Buy a share in Alibaba and you place your trust in Jack Ma. The Chinese e-commerce giant’s founder, executive chairman and spiritual sultan will remain a controlling force even after the company completes its massive initial public offering later this year. The $100 billion-plus question for prospective shareholders is whether they can depend on him to always act in their best interests.

Jul 18, 2014 06:29 UTC

Malaysia Airlines plight points to riskier world

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By Una Galani

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

Fatal air accidents almost never happen, fortunately for both passengers and investors in airlines. Yet Malaysia Airlines has been struck twice by tragedy in little over four months. The aviation industry may have its own set of challenges, but it is a reminder that even more robust businesses need to consider political risk carefully.

COMMENT

Our Vice President of the United States of America has said that Putin has no soul. Vice President Biden is correct. Dr. Putin has no soul. The reason that teams of investigators cannot access the crash site of the downed Malaysian commercial airliner is that Putin has a great deal to hide.

We had a similar occurrence with the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq during the administration of President George Bush. By the time the international team of weapons inspectors were able to gain access to Iraq to investigate whether or not there were weapons of mass destruction, large convoys of Russian trucks had bussed the weapons from Iraq to Syria. The international community had no proof of any weapons and I feel very much now that we will not be able to gather proof to substantiate that Russia intentionally shot down this defenseless Malaysian commercial airliner because Putin was angry over the recent sanctions that had been imposed by the international community.

Putin is a coward and Putin is a bully. Every time things don’t go his way he bullies one of his neighbors. Now, the international community is sick and tired of his antics and more severe recent sanctions are being imposed that are actually crippling Russia’s already fragile economy.

As if anyone believes that Russia has a superior military power just look at their silly parades down the street that they have on occasion in Moscow with their old dilapidated trucks and military weaponry. Putin’s economy is dependent upon taking from weaker countries just like a bully does. Putin will not threaten the United States of America nor will the United States of America allow this bully to continue to threaten, take over and kill more good people of this world who deserve to be ridden of this bully. Putin has no soul.

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Jul 16, 2014 19:02 UTC

BofA stuck in a low-profitability trap

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By Antony Currie

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

Bank of America is stuck in a low-profitability trap. Several businesses at the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank actually put in a good showing for the second quarter. The trouble is, BofA as a whole is still struggling to churn out solid earnings – even after aggressive cost-cutting.

Jul 16, 2014 05:07 UTC

China’s “De-IOE” campaign takes a bite out of tech

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By Rob Cyran 

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

China’s “De-IOE” campaign is taking a bite out of some Silicon Valley stalwarts. For those unfamiliar with the term, it’s being used by tech executives to describe Beijing’s nudging of state enterprises to wean themselves off U.S. software and service firms, chiefly IBM, Oracle and EMC. The drive, which has been going on for at least a year, but accelerated after Washington indicted Chinese army officials, has dimmed the brightest star in Big Tech’s otherwise dull constellation.

Jul 15, 2014 17:14 UTC

Market has message for tobacco M&A trustbusters

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By Kevin Allison

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

American trustbusters deciding whether to approve Reynolds American’s $55 billion deal with Lorillard will want to heed the market’s message. The combined market cap of the No. 2 and No. 3 U.S. cigarette makers has jumped more than $10 billion since merger talk surfaced. Those gains can’t be justified by the cost savings on offer. Expectations of an increase in pricing power, through the creation of an effective tobacco duopoly, may best explain investors’ enthusiasm.

Jul 15, 2014 15:51 UTC

Has Yum outlived its usefulness to China?

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By Rob Cox

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

A year after the massacre of pro-democracy demonstrators in 1989, Tiananmen Square was a preternaturally quiet place. Unlike the heart of Beijing today, bicycles and pigeons outnumbered cars and people. The only exception to the calm was a bustling corner near the square: the Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet.

Jul 14, 2014 07:08 UTC

WH Group’s revived IPO shows one lesson learnt

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By Una Galani

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

WH Group’s revived initial public offering shows it has learnt at least one lesson. After an attempt to sell shares two months ago ended in disaster, the Chinese pork producer has returned, cheaper and with fewer banks working on the deal. But it’s not clear why it is rushing back to market at all.

Jul 13, 2014 23:14 UTC

German soccer glory was predictable – with luck

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By Robert Cole

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

Brazil’s World Cup was first-rate entertainment thanks to its many surprising results. For its part Breakingviews, also somewhat surprisingly, predicted that Germany would win the competition as long ago as last Christmas.