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Saturday, 25 October 2014


Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks in the demonstration room after the Apple event introducing the new iPad in San Francisco, California March 7, 2012.

Apple's promise justifies return to old big self

24 October 2014

The iPhone maker’s $615 bln market capitalization is nearing its own record of two years ago, which eclipsed Microsoft’s peak valuation before the dot-com bust in 2000. This Apple share-price runup may not go far enough. But there’s no bubble fantasy math involved if it does.


Duracell jolt highlights the value of focus at P&G

24 October 2014

Investors were energized by the consumer-goods giant’s plan to offload its struggling batteries arm. Spinning off a low-growth commodity business won’t create much value on its own. But it’s a solid step in boss A.G. Lafley’s campaign to simplify the sprawling $225 bln firm.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during a news conference at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, California May 26, 2010. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

Zuckerberg's Chinese chat leaves CEOs tongue-tied

24 October 2014

The Facebook founder surprised and delighted a Beijing audience by answering questions in Mandarin. His linguistic skills probably won’t make the social network any more welcome in the People’s Republic. But other corporate chiefs could learn from his efforts to friend China.

Estate RMBS

U.S. mortgages sputter on demand more than supply

23 October 2014

Plenty of home loans are available, industry data show. But a lukewarm economy has made potential borrowers skittish. With the likes of ex-Fed boss Bernanke complaining about getting turned down, blaming stingy banks is easy. It’s the other side of the equation that needs work.

Martin Hutchinson

Review: World needs agreed ground rules for peace

24 October 2014

Henry Kissinger’s “World Order” bemoans the lack of one, as the West’s prevailing approach of nation states with limited conflict isn’t reflected in non-Western traditions. However the Vienna Congress innovation allowing intervention only to protect stability might work better.

Amazon, Jeff Bezos, Kindle

Amazon’s ambition outruns its cash flow

23 October 2014

The online retailer’s 20 pct sales growth in its third quarter was slower than expected, and its $437 mln loss was an ugly record. The firm’s voracious need for investment is a problem. CEO Jeff Bezos’ vision may be limitless, but his company’s ability to finance it is not.

An employee of Japanese auto parts maker Takata Corp holds a sign board of the company's Annual General Meeting at an exit of a station near the venue in Tokyo June 26, 2014.

Air-bag recall poses carmaker valuation challenge

23 October 2014

Supplier Takata’s faulty devices have sucked $6.5 bln from Honda’s market cap. Dodgy ignitions helped dent GM’s by $16 bln. Automakers can overcome such woes, as GM’s Q3 earnings imply. Increasing automation adds a new dimension to the risk, making it even harder to quantify.