Edition:
United Kingdom

Neil Unmack

Breakingviews - UK housing crisis needs a well-aimed bazooka

06 Oct 2020

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - The UK housing market could do with a well-aimed bazooka. Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to help 2 million Britons buy their first home, he declared in a speech on Tuesday. The danger is that he makes properties even costlier while leaving taxpayers exposed to losses.

Breakingviews - Green bonds could slide into irrelevance

17 Sep 2020

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Green bonds are booming. Everyone from JPMorgan to Germany is issuing securities earmarked for environmentally friendly projects. Yet the benefits of the $800 billion market in channelling new money to green causes are less obvious.    

Breakingviews - Diet drive could spell leaner years for Big Pharma

07 Sep 2020

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Britain is shaking up diabetes care. The country’s National Health Service plans to offer those suffering from the disease free soup and healthy shakes to help them lose weight. A shift away from drugs could spell leaner years for big pharmaceutical companies.    

Breakingviews - Euro moves a step closer to becoming a safe haven

22 Jul 2020

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - The European Union has shoved the euro a step closer to being a safe haven. The 750 billion euro fund that EU leaders agreed earlier this week will make the bloc more stable and issuing jointly backed bonds will boost the single currency’s appeal in times of stress. But there’s a lot more to do.

Breakingviews - AstraZeneca M&A puzzle sends shareholder warning

08 Jun 2020

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - AstraZeneca’s approach to rival Gilead Sciences is a puzzle for shareholders, but also a warning. Chief Executive Pascal Soriot has done well for the $140 billion drugmaker’s investors. The risk is that the company’s debt load, or his bigger ambitions, threaten that record.

BREAKINGVIEWS-Sanofi finds M&A cure to CEO foot-in-mouth disease

26 May 2020

LONDON, May 26 (Reuters Breakingviews) - Sanofi Chief Executive Paul Hudson is not letting a small Covid-19 brouhaha put him off his stride. The French drugmaker is selling a $13 billion stake in U.S. biotech Regeneron Pharmaceuticals , giving it a pristine balance sheet to do deals and invest in new drugs. It’s a nice problem to have amid a global pandemic.

Breakingviews - Virus crisis is distorted replay of 2008 meltdown

17 Mar 2020

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - The virus crisis will not be a repeat of the last global meltdown in 2008, but will hurt in new ways. Travel bans, quarantines and the closure of restaurants and shops in western countries have raised fears of a self-fulfilling credit squeeze like the one that followed the collapse of Lehman Brothers almost 12 years ago. Healthier banks give reasons for hope. Yet companies are more vulnerable, and governments less joined-up.

Breakingviews - Supply chain “tiger traps” demand better signposts

27 Feb 2020

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Financial innovation is booming in the seemingly humdrum world of supply chain finance. The business of lending to companies’ suppliers helps them preserve scarce working capital. Yet it’s also been likened to a tiger trap – a spiked pit designed to catch and contain big predators. Murky accounting and poor disclosure are to blame.

Breakingviews - EU offers Johnson a few crumbs in Brexit talks

03 Feb 2020

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - The European Union is offering Boris Johnson only a few crumbs. The 27-nation bloc wants the United Kingdom to abide by its standards in return for a tariff-free trade deal. It’s hard to square with the British prime minister’s goals. Yet Brussels has left some wiggle room - and Johnson has compromised before.

Breakingviews - Breakdown: What happens after the Brexit election?

12 Dec 2019

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Britons are facing another big electoral choice. For the third time in less than four years, voters heading to the polls are confronted with an existential decision. In 2016 they opted narrowly to leave the European Union, tipping the country into a political crisis from which it has yet to emerge. Less than a year later they deepened the turmoil by stripping Prime Minister Theresa May of her majority. Now they must decide whether to give her Conservative party successor, Boris Johnson, a mandate to finish the job. The outcome of the dispiriting contest has big implications for relations with the EU, but also for companies, financial markets, fiscal policy and the future shape of the United Kingdom.

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