Peter's Feed
Nov 18, 2014
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Investors carried away with HK Exchange’s options

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

Investors are getting carried away with Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing’s options in mainland China. Though the owner of the Hong Kong bourse should benefit from a stock-trading link with Shanghai, shareholders will have to wait for big gains.

Nov 14, 2014
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China’s stock connection: a guide to the perplexed

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

Hong Kong and Shanghai are about to link their stock markets. While it has taken years of debate and several false starts, the hook-up could have big implications for investors on both sides of the border. How big depends on China’s willingness to relax its strict limits on capital moving in and out.

Oct 28, 2014
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Hong Kong protests reach polite impasse

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

The most surprising thing about Hong Kong’s pro-democracy campaigners is that they are still there. A month after a small group of students stormed a space outside the government’s head office, the protests now known as the “umbrella movement” have confounded predictions of chaos, apathy or a violent crackdown by China. Though a compromise on democratic reform remains as distant as ever, Hong Kong’s mostly civil activists have changed the city’s political geography for good.

Oct 27, 2014
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Missed stock connection hurts China’s reform drive

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

China’s financial reform drive has suffered another setback. A flagship scheme to link the Hong Kong and Shanghai stock exchanges has been delayed after regulators failed to approve it ahead of an expected launch on Oct. 27. The setback puts another question mark over why foreign investors would want to access China’s markets in the first place.

Oct 20, 2014
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Abenomics hits a speed bump, not a road block

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

Shinzo Abe’s plan to lure more women into the Japanese workforce just suffered a symbolic but high-profile setback. Two female ministers resigned on Oct. 20 just two months after they were elevated in a cabinet reshuffle. It’s another headache for the current Japanese prime minister, who is already grappling with stuttering economic growth. Yet some of his other reforms are moving ahead.

Oct 9, 2014
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Tianhe investors sell first, ask questions later

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

Investors in Tianhe Chemicals are selling first and asking questions later. Shares in the Chinese company plunged by as much as 45 percent when they resumed trading after anonymous fraud allegations. Despite the company’s detailed rebuttal, some of the dirt has stuck. Big shareholders may have to reach into their pockets to restore confidence.

Oct 3, 2014
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Chinese banks learn Western capital tricks

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

Chinese banks are learning Western capital tricks. The country’s largest lenders have changed the way they measure the riskiness of their loans. For most, that has made capital ratios look healthier. It’s another reason to question Chinese banks’ balance sheets.

Sep 16, 2014
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Alibaba’s small IPO hike leaves room for believers

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

Pricing initial public offerings is an inexact science. Predicting how investors will value a large, fast-growing Chinese e-commerce group involves even more guesswork. That makes Alibaba’s decision to lift the maximum price for its upcoming stock market debut by just $2 a share to $68 puzzling.

Sep 12, 2014
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Best defence against short-sellers is to buy stock

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By Peter Thal Larsen 

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

Short-sellers of Chinese companies are back, and shadier than ever. In the past few weeks, two anonymous groups have trained their critical sights on Tianhe Chemicals, a Hong Kong-listed group, and Nasdaq-listed 21Vianet. Executives have tried to dispel doubts about their financial statements while railing against mysterious critics. But they haven’t yet tried the most effective riposte to those betting on a lower stock price: buying more shares.

Sep 10, 2014
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Botin’s swashbuckling hid a conservative streak

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

Emilio Botin transformed Santander from regional Spanish lender into global giant. He was a merger mastermind who usually got the upper hand. With slicked-back hair and red tie, he flew in a private jet, conferring with presidents and prime ministers as easily as bankers and chief executives. Yet unlike many of his peers during European banking’s boom years, Botin also had a cautious streak. It is that, rather than his swashbuckling style, which allowed him to keep his grip on Santander until his death at the age of 79.

    • About Peter

      "Peter is Assistant Editor of Reuters Breakingviews, based in London. He oversees coverage of financial services and regulation. Prior to joining Reuters, Peter spent 10 years at the Financial Times. From 2004 to 2009 he was the FT’s banking editor, leading the paper’s award-winning coverage of global banking during the credit crunch. Between 2000 and 2004 Peter reported for the FT from New York. He played a leading role in the paper’s coverage of the 9/11 attacks and their aftermath. A Dutch national, Peter has degrees from Bristol University and the London School of Economics."
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