Jan 9, 2014 18:52 UTC

Bankers will get more joy from bonuses past

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By Antony Currie and Dominic Elliott
The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

Investment bankers will have to look backward, not forward, for joy this bonus season. A mediocre fourth quarter means Wall Street and City practitioners are unlikely to improve on their total compensation from 2012. With industry-wide revenue growth expected to be tepid at best for the next couple of years, the trend could persist. Bank share price performance, though, should help make up some of the difference.

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 7, 2014 18:44 UTC

Hard to find phoenix in ashes of Batista’s empire

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

 

It’s hard to find a phoenix in the ashes of Eike Batista’s empire. There are real assets buried under the tycoon’s collapsed EBX Group. Even so, the onetime flagship energy explorer will emerge with poor growth prospects. Investors have already priced in big things for the port and electricity arms. And too much depends on a resurgent Brazilian economy.

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 19:11 UTC

John Malone deploys same old tricks against Sirius

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

John Malone is up to his same old tricks against Sirius XM. Liberty Media, where he serves as chairman, is offering more than $10 billion to squeeze out the satellite radio company’s minority investors. They’d get a derisory 3 pct premium and perhaps better liquidity in return for non-voting Liberty stock with inferior prospects. Sirius shareholders should hit back.

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.

Jan 3, 2014 19:23 UTC

Double logic of $1 bln cyber deal reveals hotspot

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

At first glance, the latest cybersecurity deal looks like a breach of logic. FireEye’s market value shot up by a third on Friday, a move worth $1.6 billion, more than it said it had spent to buy Mandiant. The deal marries FireEye’s threat protection with its target’s capabilities responding to cyberattacks after they happen. Even with the industrial fit, the welcome from investors was unusually warm.

Jan 3, 2014 19:18 UTC

U.S. utilities face German-style solar burn

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By Christopher Swann and Robert Cyran
The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

America’s utilities face a German-style solar burn. So far, solar power accounts for just 1 percent of U.S. electricity demand, against 10 percent in Germany. But generators stateside are already feeling the heat and pushing for levies on solar panels. They’re keen to avoid the scorched profit seen at traditional Teutonic utilities like E.ON.

COMMENT

“So far, solar power accounts for … 10 percent [of electricity demand] in Germany.”

Not that much. In 2013, German solar produced about 30 TW-h, against total demand of about 445 TW-h — 6.7%.
http://www.ise.fraunhofer.de/en/download s-englisch/pdf-files-englisch/news/elect ricity-production-from-solar-and-wind-in -germany-in-2013.pdf/view

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Jan 2, 2014 18:11 UTC

Chrysler deal gives Fiat a new year’s turbo boost

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

Sergio Marchionne could not have wished for a better start to 2014. On the first day of the new year, the boss of both Fiat and Chrysler managed to strike a deal allowing the Italian firm to become the sole owner of Detroit’s third-largest automaker. And the $4.3 billion two-part pact he has made with Chrysler’s union trust fund puts him on top.

Jan 2, 2014 05:45 UTC

Small tech best placed to take on Big Brother

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By Katrina Hamlin

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

Feeling insecure? So are companies everywhere. The lesson of 2013 was that there are grievous flaws in security systems once thought virtually impenetrable. Business needs better protection. The most credible providers may be smaller tech players.