Oct 15, 2013 09:25 UTC

Britain can gain from China’s empire builders

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By John Foley

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

Britain once had nothing to offer China but silver and opium. Now it has holidays, banks and building sites. George Osborne, the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, and London’s mayor Boris Johnson are using visits to Beijing to say just how welcoming the UK is likely to be. It’s a triumph of openness, and provided the UK chooses its partners carefully and the Chinese are tactful, both sides will benefit.

Oct 11, 2013 17:10 UTC

Pandit gone but not forgotten at Citigroup

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By Rob Cox and Antony Currie
The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

Mike Corbat is approaching his first anniversary as chief executive of Citigroup. Chairman Mike O’Neill installed him after organizing a putsch to oust then-CEO Vikram Pandit. The new boss has accelerated some cost cuts and clarified strategy around the edges, but the broad direction is still Pandit’s. Either way, it is serving shareholders well.

Oct 11, 2013 09:30 UTC

Cathay-Qantas spat to clear cloudy Hong Kong skies

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By Robyn Mak

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

A dispute between Cathay Pacific and Qantas Airways could clear up Hong Kong’s fuzzy rules on airline ownership. The city’s dominant operator is challenging its Australian rival’s plan to set up a budget carrier. The stakes are high: a Qantas victory could spark a scramble by others to establish a local base. But no matter who wins, Hong Kong should benefit from greater legal clarity.

Oct 10, 2013 13:47 UTC

Royal Mail set to deliver IPO at right price

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By Robert Cole

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

It is virtually certain that Royal Mail shares will be sold at the top of the pre-released 260 pence to 330 pence price range. Such is the demand for stock – the UK government says the retail element is seven times oversubscribed – it is likely that the price will immediately jump. Bets laid with IG Index suggest a first-day closing market capitalisation above 4 billion pounds, or a 20 percent pop. It sounds like a bad deal for the seller – who, ultimately, is acting on behalf of British taxpayers.

Oct 9, 2013 21:16 UTC

Wall Street lets itself go for dance rave IPO

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

Investors shelled out $260 million to get past the velvet ropes and into the debut of SFX Entertainment, Robert Sillerman’s electronic dance music promotion roll-up that priced at $13 a share on Tuesday only to trade down sharply the next morning. The best explanation for Wall Street’s over-enthusiasm may be the “my grandson likes that Skrillex guy” school of stock investing.

Oct 9, 2013 20:06 UTC

$2.3 bln stitch-up of Men’s Wearhouse is no cinch

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

Jos. A. Bank’s $2.3 billion attempt to stitch up Men’s Wearhouse will be no cinch. The rival U.S. menswear retailer may be twice as large, but its dishevelment makes for a tempting target. Even at a 36 pct premium, though, the clothes aren’t fitting. Men’s Wearhouse isn’t cooperating and Jos. A. Bank has problems of its own with stagnating sales.

Oct 9, 2013 11:57 UTC

Italy’s corporate zombies haunt Letta reboot

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By Neil Unmack

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

Italy’s corporate zombies are testing Prime Minister Enrico Letta’s reform intentions. The sagas of Alitalia and Telecom Italia share a common theme: both the airline and the telecom operator are suffering under shareholder structures derived from past attempts to block foreign ownership. For Letta, they offer a chance to prove that he can make tough decisions – or that he’s happy with business as usual.

Oct 9, 2013 05:19 UTC

Obama’s Fed chair pick looks timed to calm market

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By Daniel Indiviglio

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

U.S. President Barack Obama’s pick to be the next Federal Reserve chair looks timed to calm the market. Janet Yellen appears set to get the nod on Oct. 8 to run the central bank. That will mark a safe, boring end to a wild nomination process. But a little certainty is what global investors need from a politically chaotic Washington. A debt ceiling deal remains elusive, but at least there’s some predictability on Fed policy.

Oct 8, 2013 18:35 UTC

Three taboo-breaking deals offer hope for Japan

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By Peter Thal Larsen
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Japan Inc is breaking some deep-rooted taboos. The country’s corporate establishment has long frowned on companies that succumb to foreign takeovers, offload non-core businesses, or leverage up for acquisitions. Three recent M&A deals suggest these strictures are no longer so tight. A freer form of capitalism may be taking hold in the land of the rising sun.

Oct 8, 2013 12:59 UTC

Santander believes in Spain again

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By Fiona Maharg-Bravo

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

Why would Santander double up on consumers in crisis-hit Spain? The Spanish bank is buying a controlling stake in the consumer finance arm of retailer El Corte Ingles, a department store. With 26 percent of Spain’s population out of work, that might seem risky. But Santander gets access to 10.5 million new clients, a goldmine of data, and majority control of the country’s largest consumer finance business – all at a modest price.