John Foley is Reuters Breakingviews' editor for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He relocated from Beijing in July 2015. John established Breakingviews’ Hong Kong bureau in 2009, and has written on China’s economy and financial system, mergers and acquisitions, capital markets and consumer goods. Before joining Breakingviews in 2004, John worked as a copywriter for a London-based advertising agency. He read English Literature at Exeter College, Oxford. Follow John on Twitter @johnsfoley
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AstraZeneca’s chief executive says he’s done with deals, unless they are accretive to earnings right away. That could rule out some good acquisitions, and rule in some terrible ones. Judging transactions by their effect on earnings per share is common, and a most unhealthy habit.
After a $7.9 bln net loss for 2015 and big writedowns, the steelmaker has launched a $3 bln rights issue. It buys time for a cost-cutting programme, but ArcelorMittal’s real issue is outside its control: the aggressive supply tactics of Chinese steelmakers and Australian miners.
ChemChina’s $43 bln cash takeover of the Swiss seed maker won’t involve job cuts, management sackings or cheeky tax reduction. Great for Syngenta shareholders and employees; not so for the buyer. Fortunately, the cost is spread widely – among China’s unwitting savers.
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