United States

George Hay

Breakingviews - Rugby’s dilemma: take the penalty or go for a try

Mar 19 2019

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Rugby Union teams awarded a penalty near the opponent’s goal line face a dilemma. Should they kick a penalty between the H-shaped posts and earn an easy three points, or attempt to ground the ball beyond the posts for a so-called try, earning seven? That’s one way to think about the choice between a 500 million pound private equity bid from CVC for the Six Nations Championship, and a more ambitious 5 billion pound plan by governing body World Rugby for a wider global league.

Breakingviews - Shell CEO’s bonus problem less size than length

Mar 14 2019

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - There’s no getting around Ben van Beurden’s extremely large bonus. Royal Dutch Shell said on Thursday that its chief executive would receive 19.8 million euros in direct pay, more than double 2017’s 8.5 million euros, with the major shift via a near-quadrupling of his so-called long-term incentive plan. Unless one takes a moral approach to gargantuan pay awards, the bigger problem is not size but length.

Breakingviews - Norway’s mega-fund fluffs move away from crude

Mar 08 2019

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Norway has taken a step in the right direction, but then slipped on an oily patch. Oslo on Friday finally answered a question that had kept climate change watchers on tenterhooks: whether its $1 trillion Government Pension Fund Global would continue to invest in oil and gas stocks. Its equivocal response represents a missed opportunity.

Breakingviews - BP beats Rosneft in valuation, not operations

Feb 05 2019

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Bob Dudley and Igor Sechin both have something the other lacks. The BP chief executive, whose $138 billion oil producer owns 20 percent of Sechin’s $67 billion Rosneft, may look covetously at the Russian group’s fat margins. Sechin, meanwhile, will look ruefully at Dudley’s much perkier valuation.

Breakingviews - Deripaska markdown will persist at En+ and Rusal

Jan 28 2019

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Call it the Deripaska discount. Shareholders in Rusal and En+ received the news they’d been waiting for on January 27 when the U.S. Treasury unshackled them from sanctions imposed last April by its feared Office of Foreign Assets Control. Still, the reluctance of their shares and global depository receipts (GDRs) to fully return to their pre-sanctions levels suggests lingering concern over the continuing presence of former majority shareholder Oleg Deripaska.

Breakingviews - Oleg Deripaska’s En+ deal is more sour than sweet

Jan 23 2019

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Oleg Deripaska has become a political football. A pre-Christmas deal with the U.S. Treasury to lift sanctions on the Russian oligarch’s power group En+ has riled Democrats worried about the Kremlin’s influence in domestic politics. While the deal contains multiple grey areas, the overall upshot looks sufficiently black and white.

Breakingviews - Hitachi jitters place UK nuclear at crossroads

Jan 11 2019

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Japanese cold feet are about to land Britain’s energy policy in hot water. Hitachi could next week halt its involvement in the Wylfa nuclear power project in Wales, Nikkei reported on Jan. 11. For a UK government that wants reactors to increase their share of domestic power generation from around a quarter to a third by 2035, that’s a sizeable headache.

Breakingviews - Breakingviews predicts a year of High Anxiety

Jan 01 2019

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - In Mel Brooks’ seminal 1977 Hitchcock parody “High Anxiety”, much of the action revolves around the Psycho-Neurotic Institute for the Very, Very Nervous. Investors may feel the need to book into a similar establishment in 2019. Too many huge decisions need to be called correctly to feel relaxed about the year ahead.

Breakingviews - Trump can get what he wants from Saudi in 2019

Dec 14 2018

LONDON/DALLAS (Reuters Breakingviews) - Even by his own standards, Donald Trump has been contradictory on oil. The U.S. president spent much of 2018 berating the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries for keeping crude prices high by undersupplying the market. At the same time, he exacerbated the problem by reinstating export sanctions on Iran. An early December cut by OPEC and fellow producers including Russia is an irritant, but relatively low prices still look attainable.

Breakingviews - Global equities offer value trap in 2019

Dec 11 2018

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Are global equities cheap yet? After two sharp corrections in February and October 2018, investors will be running their rules over stock-market valuations. They should be wary of falling victim to a value trap.

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