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Feb 22, 2012
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UPS could be bidding against itself for TNT

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By Christopher Swann and Quentin Webb
The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

TNT shareholders are waiting for a much bigger buyout package. There’s good reason for the Dutch parcel service to expect UPS, its American suitor, to sweeten its bid of 4.9 billion euros, or $6.3 billion, given the huge synergies that would probably result from the union. But with rivals FedEx and DHL inhibited in varying ways, TNT investors may not get the bidding war they’d like.

UPS hasn’t unwrapped the expected cost savings from acquiring TNT. Stripping out expenses would be relatively easy, though, given UPS’ formidable presence in Europe. And the opening offer suggests it would retain a large slug of these benefits for itself.

Feb 22, 2012
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IMF strategically withdraws from Greek campaign

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By Christopher Swann and Neil Unmack

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

The International Monetary Fund played a big part in the first bailout of Athens but will have just a minor role in the second. The fund is providing only 13 billion euros more, barely enough to service existing loans. With the EU taking greater responsibility for the Greek mess, the IMF may find it easier to build a broader euro-zone firewall.

Feb 9, 2012
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Pennsylvania sells out cheaply in fracking fight

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By Christopher Swann

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

Pennsylvania is selling out cheaply in the fight against fracking. The Keystone State, the nucleus of national opposition to the deep-drilling technique, is poised to levy a gas tax, ostensibly to cover drilling damages. The charge may soften the hostility. But the levy is less than half that of other states, suggesting the industry still has the upper hand.

Jan 10, 2012
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Euro crisis could make IMF bigger and softer

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

Europe’s travails are an opportunity for the International Monetary Fund. With a kitty approaching $1 trillion, the fund will need to get even heftier in 2012 if the euro zone crisis takes a turn for the worse. And the long-inflexible “conditionality” attached to its loans may have to soften if big countries like Italy or Spain are forced to borrow. Some U.S. republican senators are balking at this bigger, easier IMF. But it looks preferable to the recent trend that saw nations build up their currency reserves.

Jan 3, 2012
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U.S. shale exuberance may need to be tempered

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

France’s Total and China’s Sinopec kicked off 2012 with $4.5 billion of deals with Chesapeake Energy and Devon Energy, respectively, to drill for U.S. shale oil and gas. Vast resources and technology in America should keep attracting foreign buyers. But the reaction by Ohio officials after several earthquakes suggests political risks will intensify.

Dec 12, 2011
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Supersized IMF not just for little guy bailouts

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

The International Monetary Fund’s not just for little guys anymore. The European Union’s offer to inject up to $270 billion takes the Washington-based lender’s total pot to over $1 trillion for the first time. And fat contributions may follow from key developing nations, which have made additional cash contingent on more euro-zone self-help. The muscled-up fund may soon have the scale to help rescue a big nation like Spain.

Nov 29, 2011
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Sub-$90 oil would quickly restore OPEC harmony

By Christopher Swann and Una Galani
The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries can be a fractious club. Past spats have often stemmed from the hugely different crude prices member countries needed to balance their books. Now, even Nigeria’s ultra-low $20 a barrel mark six years ago is up to $80. If prices fall anywhere near that level, OPEC will reunite.

Nov 28, 2011
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China could gain from helping Europe via IMF

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

Rescuing the wealthy euro zone is a tough sell for relatively poor China. But the Middle Kingdom could parlay some of its $3.2 trillion of reserves into greater international clout through the International Monetary Fund. It would be saving a big export market and a reserve-diversifying currency into the bargain.

Oct 31, 2011
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Nabors’ $100 mln payout to CEO offers warning

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

Eugene Isenberg, the chairman and chief executive of Nabors Industries, is pocketing $100 million just to give up the second of his two titles. That seems absurd. But the board of the $5.3 billion U.S. oil drilling company was hamstrung by an old contract. Even so, Nabors’ stock has underperformed for a decade.

Oct 11, 2011
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Oil trader, stock investor variance is opportunity

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

Economic fear has taken a heavier toll on U.S. oil company shares than on crude itself. Either there are bargains among the stocks of oil explorers, or commodity investors are too bullish. The difference of opinion ought to mean there’s room to make money.

    • About Christopher

      "I am a columnist at Thomson Reuters focusing on the energy industry and hedge funds. Prior to this I worked at Bloomberg and the Financial Times."
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