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Jun 11, 2012
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UK bosses play dangerous game: pay me or fire me

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By Christopher Hughes 

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

The O-word is causing friction between UK bosses and shareholders. Martin Sorrell says he was wounded by a shareholder who said the chief executive of advertising group WPP he had been behaving “as an owner”. Ivan Glasenberg, Sorrell’s counterpart at commodity trader Glencore, has come to his aid, saying it is hard to get a CEO to be entrepreneurial if they didn’t own a lot of stock.

Jun 6, 2012
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BP’s Russian exit would lead to existential limbo

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By Christopher Hughes

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

BP has had a lot of grief from its Russian joint venture and may now sell out of TNK-BP altogether. The UK oil major would then solve one problem by creating another. The world’s best energy assets are generally in difficult places and involve challenging partnerships. Awkward alliances are the norm for Big Oil – assuming BP wants to stay in the superleague.

May 24, 2012
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Mike Lynch should try to buy Autonomy back

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By Chris Hughes

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

Mike Lynch should try to buy Autonomy back. The software entrepreneur sealed a superb deal for shareholders when he sold the Cambridge-based firm to U.S. tech giant Hewlett Packard Co in October. But the marriage isn’t happy. Lynch was meant to be leading HP’s efforts to scale up the business. Instead, he’s leaving to do acquisitions of his own. It would make sense if Autonomy was on his list of targets.

May 2, 2012
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Let News Corp keep BSkyB

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By Chris Hughes

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

News Corporation should be allowed to keep its 39 percent stake in UK pay-TV group BSkyB. British MPs may be right when they say founder Rupert Murdoch isn’t “fit” to run News Corp and turned a blind eye to wrongdoing in its UK operations. But a regulatory review of BSkyB’s fitness to broadcast isn’t the place to remedy these failings.

Apr 24, 2012
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Murdochs’ UK political friendships backfire on all

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By Chris Hughes 

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

The Murdochs’ UK political friendships are backfiring on all concerned. Fresh revelations about the media moguls’ relationships have created new uncertainty over News Corp’s part ownership of UK satellite broadcaster BSkyB. They also have the potential to throw the UK’s coalition government into a full-blown crisis.

Apr 16, 2012
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EU bonus assault would lead banks astray

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By Chris Hughes

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

Europe’s urge to set a bonus-to-salary ratio has always looked misguided. Yet Brussels’ position is hardening. The latest thinking seems to be that bonuses should never be more than 100 percent of base pay. There’s no doubt that investment banking still has a problem with the way it rewards staff. But fixing bonuses in this way is clearly the wrong solution.

Apr 3, 2012
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Corporate cash surplus will be easy to misspend

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By Chris Hughes

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

Everyone knows that companies worldwide are sitting on cash, generating cash, and have the capacity to borrow yet more. But where will it go? The optimistic answer would be into the real economy. The reality is probably into M&A and buybacks.

Mar 27, 2012
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Donor row saps UK government’s austerity authority

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By Chris Hughes

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

The UK government is suddenly struggling with the politics of austerity. Its moral authority to force through painful spending cuts, already undermined by a poorly-presented budget, has now been rocked by a political funding scandal.

Mar 23, 2012
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BT gets better side of deal with its pension fund

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By Chris Hughes

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

BT is finally regaining the initiative in the battle over its gargantuan pension deficit. The UK telecoms group has reported a sharply reduced shortfall in the scheme’s funding position, and cut a favourable deal with members to close the remaining gap. It’s not hard to see why BT shares gained 6 percent, adding 1 billion pounds to the group’s market value. But it would be wrong to assume that the pension deficit is now a dead issue.

Mar 7, 2012
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Peugeot’s $1.3 bln cash call inspires confidence

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By Chris Hughes

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

PSA Peugeot Citroën has squared two circles with the 1 billion euro ($1.3 billion) cash call backing its alliance with U.S. peer General Motors. The French carmaker has welcomed a major new shareholder without taking control away from the founding Peugeot family. Plus it has got a firm commitment to fund capital spending on a speculative venture in a challenged industry.

    • 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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