Mar 25, 2015 15:19 UTC

Hermes shares look too glossy

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REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

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

Hermes has won many a handbag fight. In the last two years its high-end leather goods found eager buyers in most markets, despite global economic weakness. On the home front the family controlled group has freed itself from the smothering embrace of Louis Vuitton owner LVMH.

Mar 24, 2015 19:58 UTC

Google’s CFO search should have it feeling lucky

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"The Reuters Breakingviews 2015 Predictions panel moderated by Reuters Breakingviews Editor Rob Cox and featuring Founder & Executive Chairman at Evercore, Roger Altman, Chief Economist & Executive Director of Global Market Insight at General Electric, Mar

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

Google’s CFO search should have it feeling lucky. There’s a dearth of executives with the financial, tech and government know-how needed to help run a $400 billion company. Even fewer women fit the bill. Silicon Valley and Wall Street just can’t find people like Morgan Stanley Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat fast enough. The challenge is to create more like her.

Mar 23, 2015 15:05 UTC

Tronchetti and China pitch Pirelli price cleverly

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REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

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

Pirelli’s would-be new owners have pitched their price cleverly. Marco Tronchetti Provera, the Italian tyremaker’s chairman and a leading shareholder, has teamed up with state-owned China National Chemical Corporation to buy and then delist the company’s shares. The deal highlights how Italian companies are up for sale to foreign owners, even at ungenerous prices.

Mar 19, 2015 18:59 UTC

Wall Street owners finally get breakup bona fides

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A Bank of America ATM sign is pictured in Encinitas, California

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

The idea of big U.S. banks breaking up will finally get a public airing. The Securities and Exchange Commission is allowing Bank of America shareholders to vote at the firm’s annual meeting on whether executives should contemplate spinning off the Merrill Lynch investment bank. The watchdog previously muzzled similar requests.

Mar 18, 2015 14:45 UTC

Inditex shares no longer a bargain

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REUTERS/Andrew Winning

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

Inditex is back in fashion. The Zara owner’s shares have risen more than 20 percent this year, against 7 percent for rival H&M’s. The Spanish recovery, a weakening euro and the group’s nimble business model justify a premium valuation. But at more than 30 times forward earnings, the good news is already priced in.

Mar 17, 2015 19:22 UTC

Jefferies rubs salt into own wounds

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Trading specialists from Jefferies work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange

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

Jefferies is rubbing salt into its own wounds. The Wall Street firm managed to avoid a second straight quarterly loss, but only just. Net income for its first quarter was a dismal $12.5 million as the three months to February exposed some of the investment bank’s weaknesses.

Mar 17, 2015 13:57 UTC

Rob Cox: If only GE had an activist who cared

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General Electric Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt speaks at a news conference in New York in this October 21, 2009 file photo. REUTERS/Mike Segar

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

Almost nothing General Electric does registers with its stockholders. A big asset sale? Shares hardly budge. A mega-billion-dollar acquisition? Yawn. Aggressive shrinkage of its irritating financial business? Crickets. It seems investors no longer give a damn about the $254 billion company run by Jeff Immelt. If only GE had an activist who cared.

Mar 17, 2015 13:23 UTC

Clock ticks for Swatch in Apple Watch challenge

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By Carol Ryan

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

Just as the global watch market begins to put China’s growth-stunting corruption crackdown in the rearview mirror, Apple Watch appears on the horizon. Nick Hayek, the CEO of Swatch, doesn’t look concerned by the iPhone maker’s arrival on his patch. He should be.

Mar 16, 2015 18:16 UTC

Valeant’s $11 bln bid may have scored two knockouts

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By Robert Cyran

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

The sweetened $11 billion bid by Valeant Pharmaceuticals for Salix Pharmaceuticals may have scored two knockouts. By stumping up an extra 10 percent from its previous offer, the acquisitive drugmaker now backed by hedge fund boss Bill Ackman put rival suitor Endo International on the mat. The extra cash required, and the debt already on its balance sheet, leave Valeant’s business model looking wobbly.

Mar 13, 2015 19:17 UTC

BNY Mellon spat hints at activism getting crowded

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By Richard Beales

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

Bank of New York Mellon is under fire. Again. Marcato Capital Management is gunning for Gerald Hassell, chief executive of the $44 billion U.S. financial institution. That’s after Nelson Peltz’s Trian, armed with a similar critique, already secured a board seat. Activism is starting to look like a crowded strategy.