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May 16, 2013
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Glencore should just name Ivan Glasenberg chairman

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By Kevin Allison

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

John Bond’s ouster is an opportunity for Glencore Xstrata to make a fresh start in the boardroom. Best practice would dictate that the departing chairman’s permanent replacement be a strong outsider. That precludes tapping Ivan Glasenberg, the newly-merged miner’s CEO and its biggest shareholder. However, a dual mandate might better reflect corporate reality.

May 9, 2013
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ENRC board needs to summon its poker skills

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By Kevin Allison

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

ENRC’s independent directors need to practice their poker skills. They face the task of recommending or rejecting a possible bid for the hapless miner from a consortium of its biggest shareholders. The directors’ hand is weak, but they shouldn’t just fold.

May 2, 2013
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Shell must hope Voser successor mimics his ways

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By Kevin Allison

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

When a chief executive unexpectedly leaves to spend more time with his family, it’s usually a cue to start a post-mortem into a failed tenure. Shell looks like an exception. Actually, it is shame Peter Voser is leaving. The Anglo-Dutch oil major could do worse than hope his successor mimics his ways.

Apr 16, 2013
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Gold miners still look expensive

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By Kevin Allison

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

“Sitting on a gold mine” doesn’t have the ring it used to. Shares of leading gold miners fell sharply along with the routed yellow metal on April 15. Even so, the sector doesn’t look cheap. If the gold bubble has truly burst, miners’ earnings will be crushed as high costs meet falling prices. Management has few levers to pull.

Mar 22, 2013

Analysis: Cypriot gas no fix for country’s funding gap

LONDON (Reuters) – Cyprus’ gas is worth less than $2 billion based on reserves found so far and there may be too little to develop anyway, leaving plans to mortgage them against a $13 billion bailout unlikely to fly, Reuters research has found.

So far, an estimated 200 billion cubic metres (bcm) of natural gas worth $80 billion at current prices have been discovered in the Aphrodite gas field in Cypriot waters.

Mar 22, 2013
via Breakingviews

Cyprus will struggle to make gas math work

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

Cyprus’ latest ideas for wiggling out of its financial fix include bundling future gas revenues into a national “solidarity fund”. But Breakingviews calculations suggest the gas discovered to date isn’t worth enough to plug the country’s 5.8 billon euro ($7.5 billion) funding gap.

Mar 22, 2013

Cypriot gas no fix for country’s funding gap

LONDON (Reuters) – Cyprus’ gas is worth less than $2 billion (1.3 billion pounds) based on reserves found so far and there may be too little to develop anyway, leaving plans to mortgage them against a $13 billion bailout unlikely to fly, Reuters research has found.

So far, an estimated 200 billion cubic metres (bcm) of natural gas worth $80 billion at current prices have been discovered in the Aphrodite gas field in Cypriot waters.

Mar 20, 2013
via Breakingviews

Elusive future gas riches can’t help Cyprus now

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By Kevin Allison

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

If there are any optimistic Cypriots left, it’s probably because of recent huge gas finds off the struggling Mediterranean island’s coast. But it’s too soon for Cyprus to put hard and credible numbers on its hoped-for resources boom. U.S. driller Noble Energy thinks it has found about 7 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of the fuel under deep water in Cyprus’ Aphrodite gas field.

Feb 22, 2013
via Breakingviews

Bumi debacle teaches some all too basic lessons

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By Kevin Allison and Quentin Webb

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

The debacle at Bumi teaches some lessons which really should not need to be learned. The story of Nat Rothschild’s London-listed cash-shell, turned into an Indonesian coal miner, has tarred everyone involved, given acquisition vehicles a bad name, and damaged the City of London’s reputation. Concrete policy changes may follow, and alleged financial skulduggery could yet produce more fallout. But most of the mess could have been avoided if Rothschild and his backers had followed what should be standard practices for risky investments.

Feb 21, 2013
via Breakingviews

Bumi shareholders should back incumbent board

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By Kevin Allison

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

(This view was originally published by Breakingviews on Feb. 13.)

Back the Bumi board. Both the competing plans to salvage value at the coal miner have serious flaws. But the incumbent management looks better positioned than dissident co-founder Nat Rothschild to achieve an all-important split with Indonesia’s Bakrie family. That split should be investors’ top priority.