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Breakingviews - KPMG wrist-slap shows auditors are too few to fail

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - By the UK accountancy regulator’s timid standards, criticism that big audit firms “must act swiftly” to improve the quality of their work is a sizeable rebuke. The power to impose larger fines adds extra heft to official censure. Still, it does nothing to solve the fundamental problem in the accounting business: a lack of competition.

Breakingviews - DIY approach weakens Europe’s migration defences

MILAN (Reuters Breakingviews) - Immigration has once again become the European Union’s top political challenge. Though fewer people are arriving from Africa and elsewhere than a few years ago, the issue will be central when EU leaders meet next week. A unified approach could help prevent a repeat of the crisis of 2015. The danger is that anti-immigrant sentiment pushes countries like Germany and Italy towards ineffective piecemeal solutions.

Breakingviews - ZTE becomes an even cheaper stock option

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - ZTE is becoming a harder option to price. The Chinese telecommunications equipment maker’s future rests in the hands of American politicians. It lost another $1.4 billion in value on Tuesday morning after the U.S. Senate passed a measure that would yank a lifeline thrown by the Trump administration. The company’s fate isn’t sealed yet, though.

Breakingviews - Virgin Money is cheap bride in UK bank wedding

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Virgin Money has turned out to be an acquiescent bride. The UK lender on Monday agreed to wed larger CYBG in a deal worth 1.7 billion pounds. The agreement to create the UK’s sixth-biggest bank by assets comes barely a month after Virgin Money spurned an initial approach. A union may well make sense – but its shareholders are entitled to feel short-changed.

Breakingviews - Review: The other side of Trumpismo

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Poor Mexico, the saying goes. So far from God, so close to the United States. Not so, says Andrew Selee in his new book “Vanishing Frontiers: The Forces Driving Mexico and the United States Together”. The two countries, which share a 2,000-mile border and a sometimes bloody history, are united by complex, ever-deeper ties that contradict easy prejudice.

Breakingviews - Rolls-Royce investors wisely keep the seat belt on

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Rolls-Royce investors are keeping their seat belt fastened despite the promise of an increasingly smooth journey. The British plane engine-maker aims to generate 1 pound of free cash flow per share over the mid-term, quadruple this year’s estimate. Despite the bullish new target, shareholders don’t look to be pricing it in fully. A distant horizon and history of one-off costs suggest why.

Breakingviews - Xiaomi IPO escalates China’s battle of the bourses

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Xiaomi's initial public offering escalates the battle of the bourses. The smartphone-maker originally filed to list in Hong Kong. On Thursday, the Beijing-based company said it will sell at least half of its expected $10 billion initial public offering across the border in Shanghai. This is a blow to the former British colony which only recently changed its rules to woo more tech listings.

Breakingviews - The Exchange: Italy's almost premier

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Carlo Cottarelli talks about how he nearly led a caretaker government after President Sergio Mattarella last month rejected a euroskeptic finance minister put forward by the parties that won March elections. The former IMF economist has some advice for Italy’s new bosses.  

Breakingviews - Viewsroom: AT&T win is unlikely to muzzle watchdogs

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - The telco firm prevailed against the DOJ and can now legally buy Time Warner for $85 bln. The green light doesn’t mean that regulators will roll over for other deals however. T-Mobile US and Sprint may still be in the crosshairs. Plus: An Australian bank cartel runs into trouble.

Breakingviews - ECB staggered retreat from QE makes sense

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - A staggered exit from quantitative easing is the most Mario Draghi can do. The European Central Bank said on Thursday it expected to stop adding to its bond portfolio via purchases of sovereign and corporate debt. But the exit is qualified by caveats, and a pledge to keep rates low. Trade wars and a weak euro zone mean the ECB president has little choice but to keep his options open.

About Breakingviews

Reuters Breakingviews is the world's leading source of agenda-setting financial insight. As the Reuters brand for financial commentary, we dissect the big business and economic stories as they break around the world every day. A global team of about 30 correspondents in New York, London, Hong Kong and other major cities provides expert analysis in real time. Sign up for a free trial of our full service at http://www.breakingviews.com/trial and follow us on Twitter @Breakingviews and at www.breakingviews.com. All opinions expressed are those of the authors.

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