Breakingviews

Tehran timidity says more about banks than Iran

May 13, 2016

European lenders seem reluctant to follow U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s entreaties to do business in the republic. An avalanche of legal and practical banana skins hint at why. These could be surmountable - if bank bosses believe their systems are up to the job.

Luxury groups should focus their FOMO on Iran

April 25, 2016

With $32.6 bln of frozen offshore cash to be repatriated post-sanctions and GDP to grow 6 pct next year, Tehran can be a magnet for high-end consumption. A lack of infrastructure and political volatility are reasons to hesitate. Offsetting that is the risk of missing out.

Give OPEC more power and let Iran and Saudi bicker

April 19, 2016

A bitter struggle between Riyadh and Tehran has hit the credibility of the group, after their rift stymied a freeze to oil output. The dispute implies the cartel needs reform and more power to offset the political motives of its members. The outcome: a more stable oil market.

OPEC freeze failure could hasten oil’s recovery

April 18, 2016

Producers failed to agree a deal to freeze supply at a meeting in Doha. The failure was largely due to Saudi Arabia’s refusal to allow Iran to be exempted from an agreement. Prices will drop initially, but if OPEC disintegrates the stalemate could hasten crude’s recovery.

Iran more red herring than black swan for oil

March 29, 2016

Despite lifted sanctions and a more moderate government, Tehran lacks the investment to deliver a boost to supply. Next month’s unofficial OPEC meeting may produce an output freeze. With Russia also less liable to increase its flows, pressure on prices looks more up than down.

U.S. tech sanctions more risky than bank crackdown

March 9, 2016

America has used its dominance of international finance to force foreign lenders to cut ties with enemy states. New restrictions on Chinese telecom firm ZTE extend the principle to technology. But that could have much bigger ramifications for U.S. firms.

Iran election is key driver of oil price recovery

February 25, 2016

Iranians will on Feb. 26 vote in the first election held since a deal with the U.S. to lift sanctions. Elect moderates and Iran could increase output, keeping global oil prices low. Go for hardliners, and the gush could be a trickle – and help OPEC reverse the slump.

Oil market rests on Saudi-Iranian output deal

November 24, 2015

Saudi Arabia says it will work with the world’s biggest oil producers to maintain price stability. To be effective, the OPEC kingpin will also have to make room for Iran to add barrels to the flooded market. The geopolitics are fast moving. But logic points to a deal.

Iran nuclear deal is huge potential step forward

July 14, 2015

The hope is that the 100-page agreement will help keep oil cheap, spur rapid growth in the Iranian economy and lead to less fighting in the Middle East. But sanctions can be revived quickly if things don’t go to plan. Mistrust remains endemic. Optimists will have to be patient.

Oil is grounded in a sub-$60 bear market

July 7, 2015

Brent crude fell over 6 percent on the back of worries about Greece and the prospect of an Iran nuclear deal. The latter has a much bigger, if delayed, impact. As U.S. shale drillers cut costs fast and Saudi Arabia goes for volume, ample supply is likely to keep a lid on prices.