Oct 8, 2013 12:59 UTC

Santander believes in Spain again

Photo

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.

Oct 4, 2013 19:10 UTC

Twitter’s sky-high R&D hits the right spot

Photo

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

Twitter’s research and development spending may be sky-high, but it hits the right spot. At 44 percent of revenue in the first half of the year, the microblogging site is spending far more as a proportion of its top line than Facebook. But with a lower number of users than its rival, Twitter needs to grow to make new investors happy.

Oct 4, 2013 15:44 UTC

Twitter stakes claim as least-evil tech IPO

Photo

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

Twitter has staked its claim as the tech world’s least-evil initial public offering. The microblog service’s $1 billion filing is a model of simplicity. There is one class of stock. Existing investors aren’t selling. The chief executive hasn’t written a sappy, incomprehensible letter. And growth is roaring. Twitter’s stock still carries risks, but avoiding many excesses Silicon Valley companies indulge in when going public is encouraging.

Oct 4, 2013 03:09 UTC

China’s dash for dairy based on frothy forecasts

Photo

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

Foamy figures about the popularity of drinking milk in China have lifted share prices of domestic milk producers and fuelled one of the biggest mainland initial public offerings of the year, Huishan Dairy’s $1.3 billion debut last week. China’s market potential is large, but the rate of growth may be leaner than advertised by milk industry bulls.

Oct 3, 2013 20:17 UTC

Solo stars Goldman and Morgan Stanley share stage

Photo

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

Wall Street’s biggest rivalry is fading further into history. Back in the days of so-called relationship banking, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley slugged it out for exclusive assignments. Now, when it comes to mergers and new stock sales, they are working together more often.

Oct 2, 2013 19:04 UTC

LVMH finds way to keep talent: list it

Photo

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

An IPO instead of a contract. LVMH may have found an original way to keep close the hot designers that made it worth 75 billion euros and created the world’s largest luxury group.

Oct 2, 2013 16:46 UTC

Container Store fills IPO with Silicon Valley hype

Photo

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

Container Store has filled its initial public offering with Silicon Valley hype. Selling boxes is a commoditized affair. That’s why Kip Tindell, the chief executive, hawks cult-like self-improvement instead. He talks of the company’s “yummy” employee-centered culture. But paying Container Store’s backer Leonard Green & Partners and its executives a dividend with the proceeds of going public shows a hard-headed capitalism.

Oct 1, 2013 18:11 UTC

Goldman and JPMorgan get one job split right

Photo

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

Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan have managed to get at least one job split right. Neither bank will cleave the chairman and chief executive roles, but they’ve figured out that allowing the general counsel to also run regulatory compliance invites trouble. Interpreting the rules and ensuring they’re followed too often conflict. Rival financial institutions – and companies in other industries, too – should follow suit.

Sep 30, 2013 18:27 UTC

Apollo’s energy IPO gives new life to quick flips

Photo

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

Apollo’s latest sale gives new life to the quick flip. Leon Black’s shop is taking EP Energy public less than 18 months after leading a $7.2 billion takeover of the oil and gas company. That contrasts starkly with the trend of longer buyout holding times. The prospect of a twofold return shows that private equity can still dig into its old bag of tricks.

Sep 27, 2013 19:22 UTC

J.C. Penney’s stock sale reflects discount dimness

Photo

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

J.C. Penney’s stock sale reflects a particular sort of dimness about discounts. The troubled U.S. retailer is struggling to get prices right in its stores and isn’t faring any better in the markets. It is selling over $900 million of shares at $9.65 each, after spending a similar sum to buy them back two years ago while paying nearly $37 apiece. Capital misallocation is a new bad sign for J.C. Penney.