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Wednesday, 20 August 2014


A box of pairs of sunglasses is seen at backstage during New York Fashion Week September 12, 2011.

Luxottica: nice specs, bad optics

20 August 2014

The glasses maker’s Chief Executive Andrea Guerra may be leaving following a rumpus with owner Leonardo Del Vecchio. Power politics or strategy may be the cause – or not. The lack of clarity and the absence of a succession plan are an eyesore on Italy’s corporate landscape.

Standard Chartered

Latest blunder hits StanChart where it most hurts

20 August 2014

New York regulators have fined the emerging markets bank another $300 mln for compliance lapses. StanChart’s biggest problem is still its misfiring strategy. But such avoidable missteps reinforce a disturbing impression that senior managers are too detached from daily operations.

People walk and jog past the Bank of England, London June 15, 2012. The Bank of England announced on

Bank of England split adds muddle to confusion

20 August 2014

Two of the nine members of the UK central bank’s rate-setting committee voted to increase rates. There is good evidence of job market tightening. But inflation is still falling. Markets don’t know which way to turn. Neither, it seems, does the BoE.

Balfour Beatty

Carillion's new Balfour offer still falls short

19 August 2014

The plan to merge the UK construction groups always looked fraught. The potential for cost savings is high, but Carillion has left questions about execution risk unanswered. Its proposal is also less generous than its 36 pct premium claim implies. Balfour can remain stony-faced.

The logo of commodities trader Glencore is pictured in front of the company's headquarters in the Swiss town of Baar November 20, 2012.

Glencore's capital promises are those of a trader

20 August 2014

The $80 bln trader-miner is returning $1 bln of cash and has set out a framework for capital management, with wiggle room. That makes sense – miners need flexibility on M&A and capex. Glencore’s owner-manager ethos gives credibility to its broad commitment to shareholder returns.

Edward Hadas

Edward Hadas: Time to retire unemployment

20 August 2014

The world’s central bankers are discussing “labour market dynamics” at this week’s annual Jackson Hole conference. A good place to start is with the most widely-used monitor, the unemployment rate. It is well past its sell-by date. A “bad job index” would serve a better purpose. 

Trucks wait to be loaded with iron ore at the Fortescue Solomon iron ore mine located in the Valley of the Kings, around 400 km (248 miles) south of Port Hedland in the Pilbara region of Western Australia December 2, 2013.

BHP spin-off won't appeal to commodity players

19 August 2014

The mining giant plans to hive off some assets into a new company. The prices of nickel and aluminium, two of its key products, are rising. Investors could use the new firm to follow the trends. But they probably won’t. There are purer plays and better-diversified producers.