Breakingviews

Rob Cox: Eat or be eaten is real Kraft calculus

March 31, 2015

It had a chance to buy Heinz two years ago. Instead of securing more of the combined value for itself, it’s now ceding control and renting its balance sheet. While selling to Warren Buffett gives the board cover, it raises questions about the sort of managers shareholders want.

Global water woes mix with trickle of good news

March 23, 2015

The planet faces a 40 pct H2O deficit by 2030 as rising populations require more food and energy. Droughts in Sao Paulo and California may become harbingers of doom. But progress on everything from data to usage to business awareness to international agreements offers some hope.

Santander’s next task: sustainable profit growth

February 3, 2015

After raising capital and trimming the dividend, new boss Ana Botin has proved her leadership credentials. The Spanish bank’s results show provisions and costs down, and net profit up. The real test will be maintaining the momentum even as key economies like Brazil falter.

Water woes could open taps on corporate risk

January 5, 2015

Two-thirds of the world’s biggest companies are worried about access to water. But few are well prepared for problems. That should change as ways to track and address concerns grow. And if bosses don’t take the initiative, activist investors may force them to.

Bad ideas catching up with Latin America in 2015

December 29, 2014

For four years, the region has mostly lagged world economic growth. The IMF predicts another year of the same. While Pacific-oriented countries will shine, Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela will suffer. With a couple of exceptions, misguided policies are coming home to roost.

Stick with BRIC

By Edward Hadas
December 23, 2014

It’s easy to mock the idea that the four biggest emerging markets – Brazil, Russia, India and China – will reshape the world economy. But the balance is still moving their way, even with slowdowns and Russian turmoil. Markets say otherwise because they were too keen at first.

Brazil’s epic water crisis a global wake-up call

November 24, 2014

Sao Paulo, a city of 20 mln, is running out of H2O thanks to creaky infrastructure, political battles, a record drought and Amazon deforestation. The humanitarian and economic cost would be immense if supplies dried up. The fiasco should drive other metropolises to action.

Chiquita inversion slips on cash appeal

October 27, 2014

The banana company’s shareholders voted down a stock deal to acquire Irish produce distributor Fyffes, a decision that now points to a sale to Brazilian buyers. Ailing arbs, a crackdown on tax-driven M&A and economic ructions didn’t help. The path of least uncertainty wins again.

How Big Oil could grease invisible hand

September 22, 2014

“Pump” contends that democracy at the gas station would help U.S. democracy more broadly. Offering drivers fuel choices like ethanol, as Brazil did, might ease the grip of Exxon Mobil and its peers. The film makes a convincing case, even as it evades some inconvenient truths.

Vivendi boosts shareholder credentials in GVT sale

August 28, 2014

The French media group says it favors Telefonica’s $10 bln bid for its Brazilian mobile unit. Telefonica could pay more, but it’s good that Vivendi has chosen the surest exit for shareholders. As for rival bidder Telecom Italia, it now faces an uncertain future.