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International

Dasha Afanasieva

Italian CEOs’ Putin call exposes European discord

Jan 26 2022

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Europe’s businessmen and women are in a bind. Top executives at some of Italy’s largest companies, including utility Enel and lender UniCredit, tuned in for a Zoom chat on Wednesday with President Vladimir Putin to discuss economic ties with Russia. With a possible invasion of Ukraine looming, the government in Rome was unimpressed. The corporate conundrum leaves other European businesses with chunky Russian exposure, especially in Germany, feeling nervous.

Peltz’s Unilever fight is easy; winning is harder

Jan 24 2022

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Nelson Peltz is feeling his consumer goods swagger. The activist investor has taken a stake in Unilever, Reuters reported on Sunday, shortly after leaving the board of U.S. rival Procter & Gamble. Unilever’s relative underperformance means other shareholders may be excited to have an activist in their corner. But even if Peltz can exert some influence, winning will prove more of a challenge.

Ukraine sabre-rattling hits Russian bank investors

Jan 20 2022

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Russian bank investors are feeling the pain from sabre-rattling over Ukraine. U.S. President Joe Biden https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/speeches-remarks/2022/01/19/remarks-by-president-biden-in-press-conference-6 has vowed to punish the country’s lenders if his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin invades. State-backed lenders like Sberbank and VTB don’t depend on foreign funding and can count on government support. Yet tumbling stock prices suggest shareholders can still get crushed.

Unilever’s health kick is risky prescription

Jan 17 2022

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Alan Jope can no longer be accused of sitting on his hands. The Unilever boss on Monday signalled he would persevere with the attempted acquisition of GlaxoSmithKline’s consumer healthcare unit. But his rejected 50 billion pound offer was already pricey. Jope risks upsetting his grumbling investors by either overpaying or lacking a decent Plan B.

Pricey oil gives Kazakh investors emergency cover

Jan 07 2022

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Vladimir Putin is lending his Kazakh counterpart a hand. The Russian president and his regional allies sent troops to Kazakhstan to quash a bloody nationwide uprising. President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev says order has been restored. Even if that’s true, major oil and gas investors like Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell, may suffer populist fallout. Paradoxically, high energy prices provide some cover against hasty renegotiation of contracts.

コラム:カザフの燃料高騰抗議デモ、欧州諸国にタイムリーな警鐘

Jan 06 2022

[ロンドン 5日 ロイター BREAKINGVIEWS] - カザフスタンの現状は、欧州諸国の指導者らにとってタイムリーな警鐘を鳴らしている。カザフでは自動車の主要燃料となる液化天然ガス(LPG)の価格上限が外されたことへの抗議デモが広がり、5日に内閣が総辞職する事態となった。カザフ特有の事情もあるとはいえ、欧州諸国にとっても他人事ではない。

The Exchange: Riding the high-tech fitness boom

Jan 04 2022

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Signa Sports United is a network of web shops and fulfilment systems for cycling, team sports and outdoor kit. Its CEO Stephan Zoll speaks to Dasha Afanasieva about going public through a Ron Burkle-backed SPAC, and how punters are spending big on sophisticated bikes and rackets.

Ingredients will be the M&A flavour of the year

Dec 23 2021

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Food additives used to get a bad rap. But the rise of natural or functional ingredients which can make food taste or feel a certain way is bringing them back into vogue. They look set to be the M&A flavour of the year.

Consumer giants will be in “plastivist” crosshairs

Dec 22 2021

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - PepsiCo and Unilever will have new reasons to confront plastic waste in 2022. Bans on single-use items or landfill taxes pose an increasing financial risk to companies not taking the problem seriously. Activist shareholders will mould the worst offenders into shape.

Philip Morris CEO does not need M&A to hit smoke free goals

Dec 03 2021

Philip Morris will reach its target of 50% sales from smoke-free products by 2025 through organic revenue growth rather than mergers and acquisitions, its CEO told Reuters.

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