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Aug 6, 2015
via Breakingviews

Zurich can justify a swoop on RSA

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

Zurich Insurance Group can justify going the extra mile if it really wants RSA. Disappointing results from the Swiss insurer on Aug. 6 – and expectation-beating ones from the UK-based rival it says it might bid for – make it harder for Zurich to offer less than the 515 pence at which RSA has been trading since a deal was first mooted. Fortunately, it could offer up to 600 pence without destroying value.

Aug 6, 2015
via Breakingviews

Zurich can justify a swoop on RSA

Photo

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

Zurich Insurance Group can justify going the extra mile if it really wants RSA. Disappointing results from the Swiss insurer on Aug. 6 – and expectation-beating ones from the UK-based rival it says it might bid for – make it harder for Zurich to offer less than the 515 pence at which RSA has been trading since a deal was first mooted. Fortunately, it could offer up to 600 pence without destroying value.

Aug 3, 2015
via Breakingviews

Timing looks right for RBS state selldown

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

Britain shouldn’t obsess about losing money on its Royal Bank of Scotland stake. Chancellor George Osborne is about to get cracking on reducing the government’s 79 percent holding, which will in the short term crystallise a loss on the 46 billion pounds handed over by taxpayers in 2008 and 2009. That hit needs to be put into perspective.

Aug 3, 2015
via Breakingviews

Timing looks right for RBS state selldown

Photo

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

Britain shouldn’t obsess about losing money on its Royal Bank of Scotland stake. Chancellor George Osborne is about to get cracking on reducing the government’s 79 percent holding, which will in the short term crystallise a loss on the 46 billion pounds handed over by taxpayers in 2008 and 2009. That hit needs to be put into perspective.

Jul 13, 2015
via Breakingviews

Greek bank salvation may still have sting in tail

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

Greek banks have been dragged back from the edge of the precipice. Had marathon euro talks on the night of July 12-13 failed to produce an agreement, Greece’s four big banks would have collapsed. Instead, they will get 25 billion euros in recapitalisation resources. But there’s still plenty to fret about.

Jun 30, 2015
via Breakingviews

Willis-Towers Watson insure against market turmoil

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

Willis Group and Towers Watson have taken out a spot of insurance against future troubles in the sectors they serve. Willis, an Irish-domiciled broker big in the United States and the UK, is joining forces with Towers Watson, a U.S.-based risk and healthcare consultancy. The tie-up has a defensive logic, but carries positive rationale as well.

Jun 10, 2015
via Breakingviews

UK blithely signs up to Germany’s worst idea

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

George Osborne is about to put UK fiscal flexibility in another straitjacket. Fresh from pledging not to raise taxes in the next parliament, the chancellor will use a speech on June 10 to announce legislation committing governments to run budget surpluses – a move reminiscent of the German government’s self-defeating “debt brake”. It’s further proof of the increasing bifurcation between public opinion and mainstream economic principles.

Jun 10, 2015
via Breakingviews

UK blithely signs up to Germany’s worst idea

Photo

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

George Osborne is about to put UK fiscal flexibility in another straitjacket. Fresh from pledging not to raise taxes in the next parliament, the chancellor will use a speech on June 10 to announce legislation committing governments to run budget surpluses – a move reminiscent of the German government’s self-defeating “debt brake”. It’s further proof of the increasing bifurcation between public opinion and mainstream economic principles.

May 19, 2015
via Breakingviews

UK taxpayers hurt more by EU split than HSBC exit

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

Another day, another big bank threatens to leave London. At first sight, news that Deutsche Bank could move operations out of the City in the event that Britons vote to quit the European Union may sound little different from HSBC’s decision over whether to shift its head office. But for UK taxpayers, the former would be more painful.

May 19, 2015
via Breakingviews

UK taxpayers hurt more by EU split than HSBC exit

Photo

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

Another day, another big bank threatens to leave London. At first sight, news that Deutsche Bank could move operations out of the City in the event that Britons vote to quit the European Union may sound little different from HSBC’s decision over whether to shift its head office. But for UK taxpayers, the former would be more painful.

    • About George

      "George Hay coordinates European financial coverage and writes about macroeconomics, the euro zone and UK/European financial policy. He covered European banks for Breakingviews during the financial crisis, and has also worked as a correspondent for AFX News and at United Business Media. He attended Edinburgh University and his work has been recognised at the UK’s Business Journalist of the Year Awards. Follow George on Twitter @gfhay"
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