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Breakingviews - KKR throws autos shareholders into a spin

KKR’s $7.1 billion splurge on a Fiat Chrysler-owned supplier is sending auto industry valuations into a spin. The buyout group is paying 16 times next year's earnings for Magneti Marelli, which will be merged with KKR portfolio company Calsonic Kansei. That's double what publicly traded car-parts peers are worth, according to Refinitiv data. Meanwhile, shares of marquee manufacturers trade at an even bigger discount. 

Breakingviews - Saudi turmoil is new twist on old C-suite dilemma

If Saudi Arabia was a corporation, its executive chairman would now consider replacing its chief executive, whose underlings have officially been accused of murdering an unarmed civilian in an overseas branch – the consulate in Istanbul. Saudi is not a company. It is an absolute monarchy, with a king and a crown prince rather than a chairman and CEO.

Breakingviews - The Exchange: Stephen Harper

Canada’s former prime minister, in office through the financial meltdown a decade ago, is an advocate for conservative politics with a small “c.” He talked to Breakingviews about the revamped NAFTA, Donald Trump’s standoff with China and the pros and cons of the loonie.

Breakingviews - Italy tries risky EU gamble on budget

Italy’s radical government is trying a risky gamble. Its promise to boost spending has triggered a clash with the European Commission. Lengthy procedures mean the spat could drag on until European Parliament elections in May. With radical parties gaining ground, the next Commission may be more lenient or weaker. But intense market pressure could spoil the plan.

Breakingviews - China needs shadow bankers to unclog growth

China’s gummed-up credit system is threatening growth. The economy expanded 6.5 percent in the third quarter, missing expectations, as other indicators cooled too. The campaign to quash financial risk has squeezed private companies, and exhorting banks to lend more to small firms won’t cut it in the long run. Officials have little choice but to let shadow lenders find their place in the sun.

Breakingviews - Holding: Company babysitters get deserved spanking

Uncle Sam is finally delivering a spanking to company babysitters. The U.S. Department of Justice announced last week that it will cut back on hiring private monitors for corporate wrongdoers. Once trusted to keep the likes of Citigroup and Apple in line, these super-nannies have often turned out to be meddlers fond of excessive oversight and multi-million dollar fees.  

Breakingviews - Viewsroom: Saudi fiasco sets Wall Street ablaze

Bankers and officials have ditched a huge Saudi shindig after Turkey accused the kingdom of killing a prominent journalist – but big deal fees and oil reserves make the kingdom hard to shun. Breakingviews columnists discuss the financial ramifications of the diplomatic crisis.

Breakingviews - Brexit impasse moves UK and EU closer to abyss

Only the threat of chaos might break the Brexit deadlock. With just over five months to go until Britain formally leaves the European Union, talks over its departure have reached an impasse. Prime Minister Theresa May faces irreconcilable demands from EU negotiators in Brussels and hard-line parliamentarians at home. To avoid a disorderly exit, at least one side must cave.

Breakingviews - Unilever and Nestlé’s growth tests pricing power

Giant consumer goods companies are testing their pricing power. Charging more for products helped Unilever and Nestlé boost underlying revenue by 3.8 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively, in the third quarter. Both need the hikes to offset rising costs. The risk is that price-conscious customers go elsewhere.

About Breakingviews

Reuters Breakingviews is the world's leading source of agenda-setting financial insight. The company was founded in 1999 as Breakingviews.com and was acquired by Thomson Reuters in 2009, becoming the Reuters brand for financial commentary. Every day, we comment on the big financial stories as they break. Our expert analysis is provided by a global team of correspondents based in New York, Washington, Chicago, London, Paris, Madrid, Hong Kong, Beijing and Singapore. For the full commentary and analysis service from breakingviews.com, including regular emails containing the latest views, contact breakingviews.clientsupport@thomsonreuters.com. All opinions expressed are those of the authors.