SINGAPORE (Reuters Breakingviews) - Global giants are looking at Vietnam through beer goggles. The young, hops-happy economy is alluring for big brewers like Asahi and Anheuser-Busch InBev. Traditional markets are as dull as a flat pint. But entrenched interests, tech-like multiples and the mixed experiences of early entrants should caution them to enjoy responsibly.
DALLAS (Reuters Breakingviews) - Saudi Arabia needs OPEC cuts to work, but not too well. The oil cartel agreed to extend cuts to production until the end of 2018 on Thursday. Its moderation so far has drained inventories and lifted prices. Further cuts won’t boost prices to the point where Saudi’s budget is in balance. Then again, that gives Saudi’s young crown prince a reason to continue reforms.
MUMBAI (Reuters Breakingviews) - Donald Trump has staked his political colors to the mast of a rising stock market like no other U.S. president. He regularly argues at home and abroad that the increase in equity prices since his election in November 2016 validates his business-friendly policies and overall stewardship of the economy. What he doesn't mention is that much of the rest of the world's bourses actually outperformed America's in dollar terms, which is what matters to U.S. voters.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - The Daily Mail is finally succumbing to the media industry’s malaise. After years of defying gravity while rival publishers watched circulation and revenue crash, the right-wing tabloid’s parent company expects its media business to shrink next year. That complicates boss Paul Zwillenberg’s plan to show that Daily Mail and General Trust is more than a struggling publisher.
SINGAPORE (Reuters Breakingviews) - Rio Tinto holds a valuable card in a high-stakes game. As Freeport-McMoRan hammers out terms for handing over a majority stake in the Grasberg copper mine to Jakarta, a production arrangement dating back to 1995 gives its Anglo-Australian partner an effective veto. The best way to play this sleeved ace would be to negotiate a graceful exit.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Britain is playing a weak hand badly in the Brexit poker game. The country has reportedly bowed to European Union demands that it pay up to 100 billion euros when it leaves the bloc. The outcome of months of haggling shows the UK has a lot less leverage than it pretends.
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Bitcoin is in danger of becoming something like respectable. The CME Group plans to start trading futures in the crypto-currency, treating it like a genuine asset with a vaguely predictable value. Devotees are delighted, and critics, like me, look foolish. I predicted imminent collapse back in 2013 when the price was $87. On Wednesday, it hit $10,000.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - U.S. President Donald Trump is back from his China visit, but the afterglow of his bromance with counterpart Xi Jinping has faded fast. Unimpressed with progress on North Korea and market opening, the White House has moved aggressively to target aluminium dumping. This is just an opening salvo in what looks set to be an acrimonious renegotiation of the world's most important trade relationship.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Despite some media pundits’ suspicions to the contrary, David and Charles Koch may be cooking up nothing more than a decent investment in publisher Meredith. Through Koch Industries’ private-equity arm, the Republican-leaning activist U.S. billionaires are sinking $650 million into Meredith to help it buy Time Inc for $2.8 billion including debt. The Kochs get preferred shares, but no votes or board seats.?Like Carlos Slim’s loan to the New York Times, the pote
LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - The Bank of England has given an unwitting boost to UK Chancellor Philip Hammond. Last week, Hammond said he wanted to raise 15 billion pounds to meet fiscal targets by selling the state’s 71 percent holding in Royal Bank of Scotland. His job has been made easier by the fact that the BoE awarded the bank a clean bill of health in its stress tests.
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