George's Feed
May 10, 2013
via Breakingviews

BT’s free sports gambit tries to out-Sky Sky

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By George Hay and Quentin Webb

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

BT’s free sports gambit is an attempt to out-Sky Sky. The UK telco on May 9 surprised investors by offering new broadband users the chance to watch live Premier League soccer for no extra charge. The 2 percent, 6 percent and 12 percent drops in the share prices of BT, BSkyB and smaller competitor TalkTalk may look like an extreme response to the move, but they reflect rational fears of a price war.

May 10, 2013

Breakingviews:UK’s sovereign debt precaution at odds with EU

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

By Peter Thal Larsen and George Hay

HONG KONG/LONDON, May 10 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Britain’s
principled approach to banks’ holdings of sovereign debt could
have a perverse outcome. The watchdog has taken the sensible
step of demanding that lenders expect big losses if government
bonds default. That helps fix one of the biggest flaws in
measuring bank capital. But pan-European rules mean that risky
euro zone debt is excluded from the precautions.

May 8, 2013

Sainsbury’s slow approach to banking makes sense

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

By George Hay

LONDON, May 8 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Sainsbury’s (SBRY.L: Quote, Profile, Research)
has taken another baby step towards becoming a real bank. The UK
supermarket chain confirmed on May 8 that it would buy out
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L: Quote, Profile, Research) from their 50:50 joint venture,
but continued to shy away from offering the main products that
banks offer – current accounts and mortgages. The apparent
timidity could be a holding strategy.

May 3, 2013
via Breakingviews

RBS needs to make the case for freedom

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

Royal Bank of Scotland needs to make the case for its freedom. The UK bank’s management is now publicly stating that the process to sell down the UK government’s 81 percent stake will begin in under a year. But a quick sale looks as double-edged as RBS’s own current performance.

May 1, 2013
via Breakingviews

Barclays in capital fog after Deutsche U-turn

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By George Hay

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

Barclays is under the spotlight after Deutsche Bank’s  capital U-turn. Having trumpeted an organic capital strategy since being appointed co-chief executives of the German bank last year, Juergen Fitschen and Anshu Jain finally opted for a 3 billion pound equity placing to bolster capital. Barclays new boss Antony Jenkins doesn’t look immune to a similar volte face.

May 1, 2013

Breakingviews-Barclays in capital fog after Deutsche U-turn

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

By George Hay

LONDON, May 1 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Barclays (BARC.L: Quote, Profile, Research) is
under the spotlight after Deutsche Bank’s (DBKGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) capital
U-turn. Having trumpeted an organic capital strategy since being
appointed co-chief executives of the German bank last year,
Juergen Fitschen and Anshu Jain finally opted for a 3 billion
pound equity placing to bolster capital. Barclays new boss
Antony Jenkins doesn’t look immune to a similar volte face.

Apr 26, 2013
via Breakingviews

BBVA is bank of choice for Spanish bulls

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By George Hay

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

BBVA  is the bank of choice for Spanish bulls. Sightings of that most Iberian of beasts are few and far between. But Spain’s second-largest lender looks best for anyone believing that the country’s economy is on the eve of a recovery. 

Apr 23, 2013

Breakingviews- Justin Welby’s UK banks sermon welcome but flawed

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

By George Hay

LONDON, April 23 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Justin Welby’s
sermon on UK banks is welcome, but flawed. Britain’s new
Archbishop of Canterbury has called for a big UK bank to be
split up. Welby’s financial literacy means his views are, to an
unusual degree, worth listening to. Sadly, the time for penance
for the likes of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L: Quote, Profile, Research) is probably
already past.

Apr 9, 2013

Breakingviews-Greek banks look bail-in proof – for now

(Updates share prices in Context)

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

By George Hay

LONDON, April 9 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Cypriot depositors
will be spitting tacks. Greece’s two largest banks, National
Bank of Greece (NBGr.AT: Quote, Profile, Research) and Eurobank (EFGr.AT: Quote, Profile, Research), need 15.6
billion euros of capital between them. They have been struggling
to attract private funds. But instead of suffering a
Cypriot-style scalping in the form of a proper bail-in, they
will be kept whole. What gives?

Apr 4, 2013
via Breakingviews

HBOS top brass reap what they sowed

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By George Hay

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

HBOS’s top managers are finally starting to reap what they sowed. So far, official blame for the spectacular collapse of one of the UK’s biggest banks has been restricted to its former head of corporate lending Peter Cummings, who was fined 500,000 pounds by the UK regulator in September. A hard-hitting report by Britain’s Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards has rightly begun to point the finger at the very top.

    • About George

      "George Hay writes about the banking and property sectors. He joined from Thomson Financial News, where he was a companies correspondent. Before that he worked at United Business Media, where he was news editor of Building Magazine. He has a first in English Literature from Edinburgh University, and was nominated in two categories at the 2009 Business Journalist of the Year Awards."
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