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Breakingviews

Reuters Breakingviews is the world's leading source of agenda-setting financial insight. As the Reuters brand for financial commentary, we dissect the big business and economic stories as they break around the world every day. A global team of about 30 correspondents in New York, London, Hong Kong and other major cities provides expert analysis in real time. Sign up for a free trial of our full service at http://www.breakingviews.com/trial and follow us on Twitter @Breakingviews and at www.breakingviews.com. All opinions expressed are those of the authors.

Breakingviews - Aramco’s $1.7 trln price tag pleases almost no one

Saudi Aramco has gone for a suboptimal compromise. The long-awaited price range for its massive initial public offering, unveiled on Sunday, confirmed what everyone already knew: The Saudi Arabian oil giant is not worth the $2 trillion the kingdom originally sought. But even at a valuation of $1.6 trillion to $1.7 trillion it may still be too pricey for foreign investors.

Breakingviews - Review: Nobel winners show limits of their method

“What is common among a drought-affected farmer in India, a youth in Chicago’s South Side, and a fifty-something white man who was just laid off?” That question exemplifies the approach of “Good Economics for Hard Times: Better Answers to Our Biggest Problems”. Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, two of the three winners of this year’s Nobel Prize in Economics, like to think both big and small.

Breakingviews - UK Labour’s broadband plan is free of most logic

“British Broadband” is a catchy alliterative title, but that’s about all. The opposition Labour party on Thursday announced it wants to nationalise telecoms provider BT’s network in order to give everyone speedy fibre connections. State ownership might fix the country’s lagging communications infrastructure. But the promise of free web surfing risks condemning the idea to previous failed experiments in public ownership like British Coal or carmaker British Leylan

Breakingviews - Hong Kong property crash may hurt less this time

Hong Kong's property crash may hurt less this time around. The world's least affordable housing market is certainly heading for a major correction, and the last one was brutal: The Asian currency crisis and SARS epidemic combined to push prices down 69% from 1997 to 2003. But resilient local demand, a land shortage, fewer speculators and higher down payments might pad this downturn.

Breakingviews - Viewsroom: SoftBank’s double trouble

The Japanese firm is eyeing T-Mobile US CEO John Legere to take over leadership of WeWork. That is an additional twist in an already convoluted relationship. Legere is also trying to finalize a $26 bln deal with SoftBank’s Sprint, another asset in need of saving.

Breakingviews - Burberry checks right boxes on path to turnaround

Burberry is turning a corner. Strong demand for designer Riccardo Tisci’s new collections has helped the UK fashion group, which is famed for its checked patterns, offset protest-related disruption at its Hong Kong hub. And Chief Executive Marco Gobbetti has a new plan to help his push into mainland China.

Breakingviews - SoftBank would win from $15 bln Yahoo-Line rejig

Japan is overdue a digital-payments pickup: Its ageing population still settles four out of five purchases in cash. SoftBank Group’s restless 62-year-old founder Masayoshi Son is doing his bit, with a potential merger of his indirect holding in the operator of search engine Yahoo Japan and the controlling stake in Line, the country’s leading messaging and payments app.

Breakingviews - Hadas: Election shunts UK towards state splurge

It’s election time in the United Kingdom, and political parties are deeply split about most major issues. On the subject of government spending, however, there’s a surprising outbreak of consensus. Both the Conservatives and the Labour party have just announced similar fiscal frameworks. They are edging towards the new conventional wisdom among economists – government borrowing and spending can be good for national economic health.

Breakingviews - Value fight would drive Peugeot into cul-de-sac

Investors in Peugeot have suffered an unexpected reverse. Shares in the French carmaker have dipped since Chief Executive Carlos Tavares unveiled plans for a merger with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Demanding better terms seems futile, however. Peugeot’s largest shareholders are expected to back the plan, and a vote against the project would undermine the French group’s top asset: Tavares himself.