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Sep 27, 2013

How to respond to rising London house prices

(The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions
expressed are their own.)

By Edward Hadas and Chris Hughes

LONDON, Sept 27 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Some day, London
will be like it was only a few years ago, when its homes were
not unaffordable for all but the most wealthy. While waiting,
policymakers should try to mitigate the damage that global easy
money has done to this privileged corner of the world.

Sep 13, 2013
via Breakingviews

UK house prices needs less rigging – not more

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By Chris Hughes

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

Britain’s professional home valuers are rightly worried about bubbly residential property prices. Their suggested policy response is ingenious – a requirement that the Bank of England curbs mortgage lending when annual house-price growth exceeds 5 percent. Such a counter-cyclical approach is a good idea, but setting a trigger for intervention is just as misplaced as the government schemes that are currently inflating the market.

Aug 29, 2013
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Vodafone needs to deliver on Verizon exit

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

 

If Vittorio Colao could achieve only one thing as chief executive of Vodafone, he might wish to sort out the UK telecoms group’s messy American mobile venture with U.S. peer Verizon. Vodafone has now confirmed it is in talks to sell its 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless to its partner. A good deal here would represent a tremendous outcome for Colao.

Aug 9, 2013
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Carlos Slim offers escape route to KPN investors

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By Chris Hughes

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

Carlos Slim has offered an escape route to KPN investors. The Mexican tycoon’s America Movil says it intends to make a 7.2 billion euro offer for the 70 percent of the Dutch telecoms group it doesn’t already own. It’s the start of a saga that could end in a substantially higher offer. But investors should be realistic – that’s a big “could”.

Jul 29, 2013
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“Equality” in Big Ad merger may be hard to sustain

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By Chris Hughes and Quentin Webb

The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

The merger of equals between Publicis and Omnicom is easier to proclaim than to sustain. The combination of the two advertising groups is neat, but it carries risks. Mergers of equals have a bad name. That used to be because U.S. deals were wedged into the structure just to benefit from more generous tax rules. Nowadays, it is more often because they are a nil-premium takeover in disguise, with one company winning the battle for board seats, head-office location and name.

Jul 8, 2013
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What UK finance should take from Andy Murray

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By Christopher Hughes

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

The Wimbledon tennis championships used to reflect the UK’s position in financial services. The British accepted that they would never be the best tennis players, and instead drew satisfaction in hosting an event that attracted top talent from abroad. It was the same in finance. After the “Big Bang” deregulation in 1986, London became a place where foreign banks thrived. Now victory by Scottish-born Andy Murray in Wimbledon’s men’s singles final on Sunday has robbed the UK financial sector of this comforting analogy.

May 1, 2013

Unilever defies buyback vigilantes

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

By Chris Hughes

LONDON, April 30 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Unilever (ULVR.L: Quote, Profile, Research) (UNc.AS: Quote, Profile, Research) is breaking some of the basic rules of corporate finance. Investors, being keen on financial logic, aren’t impressed.

Feb 28, 2013
via Breakingviews

EU bonus lesson: self-regulate or worse follows

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By Chris Hughes

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

The regulation of pay in Europe marks an unwelcome watershed in post-crisis financial reform. European Union lawmakers on Thursday finally approved rules to cap bank bonuses relative to base salaries. Regulating for competition or financial stability is one thing. Intervening in how people are paid is quite another.

Feb 19, 2013

EU bonus crackdown means more cash for bankers

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

By Chris Hughes

LONDON, Feb 19 (Reuters Breakingviews) – If Europe wants to
hard wire excess pay for bankers, it is going the right way
about it. Proposals to set a maximum ratio of bonuses to salary
are so manifestly counterproductive that it’s hard to believe
they have gained almost unstoppable momentum among European
Union members. Bad policy is what happens when weak management
in the financial industry collides with the politics of envy.

Feb 6, 2013
via Breakingviews

Liberty pushes envelope for post-crisis M&A debt

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

Liberty Global’s $23 billion offer for Virgin Media marks a turning point in post-crisis deal finance. This cable-TV mega-merger has most of the hallmarks of the pre-crisis boom. The target’s shareholders are being paid partly in their own cash, which will be extracted from Virgin Media through some ambitious financing operations. Leverage may not be pushed up to pre-crisis highs, but this is still a big moment.

    • About Chris

      "Chris Hughes is EMEA Editor of Reuters Breakingviews. Chris started his career as a researcher in BBC Television’s documentaries department and then became a financial journalist. He was previously Investment Banking Correspondent and Senior Corporate Reporter at the Financial Times, Financial Editor of The Independent and a companies writer at the Investors Chronicle. Chris has also worked at communications consultancy Financial Dynamics (now FTI), as an Associate Partner."
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