Jeff Mason is a White House Correspondent for Reuters and the 2016-2017 president of the White House Correspondents’ Association. He was the lead Reuters correspondent for President Barack Obama's 2012 campaign and interviewed the president at the White House in 2015. Jeff has been based in Washington since 2008, when he covered the historic race between Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain. Jeff started his career in Frankfurt, Germany, where he covered the airline industry before moving to Brussels, Belgium, where he covered the European Union. He is a Colorado native, proud graduate of Northwestern University and former Fulbright scholar.
Twitter handle: @jeffmason1
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Warning signs are flashing after another big quarter at Samsung Electronics. The South Korean group's top executive, Kwon Oh-hyun, unexpectedly resigned on Friday following record-smashing forecasts for operating profit. An early lead in memory chips has fuelled blistering earnings growth at Samsung despite legal woes. But as rivals circle, a widening leadership vacuum looks worrying.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - President Xi Jinping’s closer embrace is bad news for Big Tech. China's government wants stakes and board seats at web giants like Tencent, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. Beijing is already influential behind the scenes in technology, and given its tightening grip elsewhere, a power grab in this vital sector was all but inevitable. This will nonetheless cost investors.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - China's Sina is only likely to produce a qualified victory for activists. U.S. hedge fund manager Aristeia Capital wants the $8 billion web group to consider a sale or a merger with subsidiary Weibo. The former would never get past Chief Executive and Chairman Charles Chao, and the latter is a bad idea. But Chao could compromise by expanding the board, stepping up buybacks and handing out more Weibo shares.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - HTC is embracing an alternative reality. The ailing Taiwanese group is offloading part of its handset unit to Google for $1.1 billion. This will free up HTC to focus more on its risky but promising virtual reality business, where it is winning market share. Deeper ties with the U.S. giant might also help fend off rivals like Sony and Facebook.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - China's drug companies could provide a boost to Big Pharma. This week’s New York initial public offering of Shanghai-based Zai Lab highlights a new breed of innovative eastern drug makers specializing in treatments made from living cells known as biologics. They are eyeing a slice of the $1 trillion-plus global medicine market.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - A Chinese online grocer's flotation may struggle to pique investor appetites. Food giant COFCO wants to raise up to $600 million in Hong Kong floating its supermarket website, IFR reported on Aug. 26. Ordering fresh food online is hot, with sales in China on track to top $36 billion by next year, estimates iResearch. But the group is loss-making and battling it out with rivals in a price war.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Apple’s new handsets take features from Asia and add profit. While the latest iPhones boast big upgrades, much would be familiar to users of Samsung or Huawei phones. Apple's branding wizardry, price discipline and focus on richer customers set it apart when it comes to the bottom line.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - A guilty verdict for Samsung Group’s de facto leader is a victory for reformers. On Friday Jay Y. Lee, the third-generation boss of South Korea's biggest business, was sentenced to five years in jail for bribing the country’s previous president, embezzlement and other charges. Assuming the sentence is not overturned, this boosts President Moon Jae-in, who vowed to rein in powerful conglomerates. It should scare other bosses into behaving better.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Apple risks overstaying its welcome in China. The $800 billion iPhone maker has enjoyed massive success in the People's Republic compared to foreign peers. But as it pushes into cloud, payments and services, it confronts the same unpredictable regulators and local competitors that drove out the likes of Facebook and Uber.
HONG KONG China's e-commerce giant is abandoning its unique selling point. Alibaba is trumpeting a push into bricks-and-mortar shopping. It’s not alone but the stakes are particularly high for the $392 billion giant led by Jack Ma as it marks a reversal of the asset-light model which fuelled its extraordinary profitability.
- Gold: PRECIOUS-Gold falls as hopes of U.S. tax reform boost riskier assets
- Oil Report: Ecuador defends big Yasuni rainforest oil bet
- British Pound Report: Sterling bounces back, boosted by progress in Brexit talks
- US Dollar Report: FOREX-Dollar rises vs safe havens after U.S. Senate clears way for tax reform