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Mar 16, 2015
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GE’s crumbs make for Australian buyout feast

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

General Electric’s desire to shrink its finance arm has served up a takeover feast down under. The sale of the U.S. conglomerate’s Australian consumer lending business ranks as the country’s largest-ever private equity transaction. But it’s little more than a rounding error on GE’s balance sheet.

Mar 10, 2015
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Credit Suisse buys some insurance with Pru CEO

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

So much for the banking brain drain. Credit Suisse is hiring Tidjane Thiam from UK insurer Prudential to replace veteran CEO Brady Dougan, according to people familiar with the matter. It’s a surprising vote of confidence in the Swiss institution, and the industry.

Mar 10, 2015
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Credit Suisse buys some insurance with Pru CEO

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

So much for the banking brain drain. Credit Suisse is hiring Tidjane Thiam from UK insurer Prudential to replace veteran CEO Brady Dougan, according to people familiar with the matter. It’s a surprising vote of confidence in the Swiss institution, and the industry.

Mar 9, 2015
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Kaisa haircut is bad omen for China property debt

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

Kaisa’s haircut for offshore bondholders is a bad omen for China’s property sector. The troubled developer’s ballooning debt and evaporating cash leaves creditors with little choice but to accept a restructuring that proposes to lower interest payments and extend maturities by five years on $2.3 billion of offshore bonds. The bigger question for investors is whether Kaisa is an isolated case.

Mar 9, 2015
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Kaisa haircut is bad omen for China property debt

Photo

By Peter Thal Larsen

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

Kaisa’s haircut for offshore bondholders is a bad omen for China’s property sector. The troubled developer’s ballooning debt and evaporating cash leaves creditors with little choice but to accept a restructuring that proposes to lower interest payments and extend maturities by five years on $2.3 billion of offshore bonds. The bigger question for investors is whether Kaisa is an isolated case.

Mar 5, 2015
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China’s lower growth target is missed opportunity

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

China’s new target for GDP growth is a missed opportunity. Premier Li Keqiang says economic output will expand by “about 7 percent” this year. Though the lack of precision is welcome, the People’s Republic would be better off without its big, reassuring objective.

Feb 27, 2015
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Review: Building HSBC’s sprawling, flawed empire

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

On March 3 it will be exactly 150 years since the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation opened for business. Normally such a milestone would prompt celebration: after all, the bank founded by colonial merchants now ranks among the world’s largest financial institutions. However, any merriment is likely to be mute. For HSBC the birthday brings challenges as great as any it has ever faced.

Feb 27, 2015
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Review: Building HSBC’s sprawling, flawed empire

Photo

By Peter Thal Larsen

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

On March 3 it will be exactly 150 years since the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation opened for business. Normally such a milestone would prompt celebration: after all, the bank founded by colonial merchants now ranks among the world’s largest financial institutions. However, any merriment is likely to be mute. For HSBC the birthday brings challenges as great as any it has ever faced.

Feb 26, 2015
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StanChart board clearout is only the first step

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

An “orderly succession plan balancing stability with fresh perspective.” That’s how Standard Chartered described the boardroom clearout which led to the departure of Chief Executive Peter Sands, its Asia head, its chairman and three non-executive directors. Others might have used a more violent expression. For anxious investors, regulators and employees the arrival of Bill Winters as CEO is welcome. But the ex-JPMorgan executive will face an overflowing inbox when he takes charge in June.

Feb 26, 2015
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Australia’s property market joins closed-door club

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

Australia is rolling up its welcome mat for foreign property investors. Faced with soaring house prices and worries about hordes of buyers from China, the government is imposing fees on purchasers from overseas while tightening up existing rules. It’s another case of a red-hot real estate market trying to close the door on Chinese cash.

    • About Peter

      "Peter is Asia Editor of Reuters Breakingviews, based in Hong Kong. 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 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. Follow Peter on Twitter @Peter_TL"
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