Kevin's Feed
Jul 17, 2012

Whitehaven should give Tinkler cautious welcome

(Repeats item first published late on Tuesday; no change to
text)

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions
expressed are his own)

By Kevin Allison

LONDON, July 17 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Nathan Tinkler
takes opportunities when he sees them. Eight months after
Whitehaven Coal (WHC.AX: Quote, Profile, Research) agreed to buy his Aston Resources and
Boardwalk Resources for $2.3 billion, the 36-year-old
electrician-turned-mining magnate is turning the tables and
offering to take the Australian coal producer private. Some
Whitehaven shareholders are joining his bid consortium, which
will offer the remaining investors $5.20 a share, a 50 percent
premium, to sell out. But Tinkler would fund the offer by
gearing up Whitehaven’s balance sheet. Leveraging into a fading
commodities boom looks ambitious even for a man who so far has
played the mining boom to perfection.

Jul 13, 2012

Mining investors at a critical juncture

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions
expressed are his own)

By Kevin Allison

LONDON, July 13 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Mining investors
are at a critical juncture. The coming months should reveal just
what’s going on with the super-cycle, the collective term for
the multiple drivers of the now-fading commodity boom.

Jun 22, 2012
via Breakingviews

Xstrata price fears no reason to vote for “Glenstrata”

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By Kevin Allison

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Xstrata’s share price could fall sharply if its $90 billion mega-merger with commodity trader Glencore falls apart. But that would have more to do with short-term market dynamics than permanent damage to Xstrata’s underlying business. What’s more, even if the merger completes, shares in the combined group could be vulnerable for different reasons.

Jun 19, 2012

Exxon’s Poland exit raises frackers’ PR challenge

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions
expressed are his own)

By Kevin Allison

LONDON, June 19 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Exxon’s (XOM.N: Quote, Profile, Research)
withdrawal from shale gas exploration Poland is a double blow to
Europe’s would-be frackers. It suggests the economics of
unconventional gas in Poland – and potentially elsewhere in
Europe – don’t stack up. It also raises the public relations
stakes for drillers.

May 23, 2012
via Breakingviews

Miners can live with a not-so-super cycle

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By Kevin Allison

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The super cycle is turning and miners’ super returns are under threat. But they can probably avoid another period of value destruction like the one that preceded the decade-long materials boom.

May 18, 2012
via Breakingviews

Debt markets may be good compromise for Dreyfus

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By Kevin Allison

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Commodity traders are finding it harder to maintain their privacy. Louis Dreyfus is the latest to step out of the shadows. The venerable agricultural trader needs to invest if it wants to stay relevant in a consolidating and increasingly capital-intensive industry. But a float or merger would dilute family control. For now, plans to tap debt markets mark a sensible compromise.

May 17, 2012
via Breakingviews

Tempting mining valuations aren’t hard to resist

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By Kevin Allison

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

It’s easy to see the temptation to pile into mining industry bellwethers BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto after the sector’s recent pummelling. The miners’ valuations looked depressed even before the market’s recent Greece-related sell-off. After a near-15 percent slide since May 1, the companies’ shares are trading close to forward enterprise multiples last seen during the dark days of 2008-2009. But any rally could be a way off.

May 14, 2012
via Breakingviews

Jewellers needed to ease gold bugs’ pain

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By Kevin Allison

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Gold has a dual personality. Many think it is the ultimate hard currency. Others like it because it looks pretty. And while its price climbed high as investors have sought shelter from the financial crisis, gold has behaved more like a risk asset recently.

May 4, 2012

Repsol still not a tempting takeover target

(The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions
expressed are their own)

By Kevin Allison and Fiona Maharg Bravo

LONDON/MADRID, May 4 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Investors
shouldn’t take bid speculation around Repsol (REP.MC: Quote, Profile, Research) too
seriously. The YPF (YPFD.BA: Quote, Profile, Research) fiasco in Argentina may have wiped
out a third of the Spanish oil major’s market capitalisation.
But a bid for the 17 billion euro ($22 billion) company still
looks unlikely.

Apr 24, 2012
via Breakingviews

Space mining plan more than just sci-fi fantasy

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By Kevin Allison

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Shady corporation sends robot army into space to mine precious metals from asteroids. That’s the basic setup of Blade Runner, the sci-fi epic that hit cinemas 30 years ago this June. It’s also the business plan for Planetary Resources, a U.S. startup that has outlined its strategy to take the mining industry into near-Earth orbit. The economics look challenging, to say the least. But the idea is not completely bonkers.