Raul's Feed
Jul 20, 2012

Chevron doubles down on Chavez staying power

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

By Raul Gallegos

NEW YORK, July 20 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Chevron (CVX.N: Quote, Profile, Research)
is doubling down on the staying power of Hugo Chavez.
Venezuela’s bond yields have gyrated with investors’ changing
views of the strongman’s cancer survival odds. But the U.S. oil
major’s $2 billion loan to state oil giant PDVSA [PDVSA.UL] is a
clear bet on Chavez’s re-election and survival. His shadow may
darken the nation’s economic outlook for a while yet.

Jul 13, 2012

Ousted Vale CEO returns unshackled by the state

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

By Raul Gallegos

NEW YORK, July 13 (Reuters Breakingviews) – The ousted chief
executive of Vale (VALE5.SA: Quote, Profile, Research)(VALE.N: Quote, Profile, Research) is back on the scene. Roger
Agnelli was deposed from the Brazilian mining giant last year
after resisting President Dilma Rousseff’s meddling. Partnered
with billionaire banker André Esteves, he is returning to invest
in iron ore and metals. It’s a chance to show he can outperform
Brasilia.

Jun 29, 2012
via Breakingviews

Brazil’s richest man overpromises, underdelivers

Photo

By Raul Gallegos

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

Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista is swiftly falling from favor. His flagship oil company OGX lost 25 percent of its value Wednesday after massively cutting the output expectations of some key oil wells. Batista is a savvy salesman and wheeler-dealer but his failed promises are building up rapidly. Investors smartly no longer take him at face value.

Jun 20, 2012

Pemex can’t shake stigma of state-run cheapskate

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

By Raul Gallegos

NEW YORK, June 20 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Pemex [PEMX.UL]
can’t shake off the stigma of being a state-run cheapskate.
Mexico’s only oil company is trying to improve production after
it declined by a quarter since 2004. But a second oil field
auction aimed at luring in foreign players has just ended as
disappointingly as the first. Meanwhile, investors lapped up the
firm’s $1.75 billion sale of 32-year debt. The contrast shows
how potential partners still have little faith that Pemex can be
more than a cash cow for creditors and its government owner.

Jun 18, 2012
via Breakingviews

World’s new air giant taking off at turbulent time

Photo

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

Get ready for the world’s largest airline to take off this week. But don’t look north or east – the globe’s most valuable carrier is set to be South American. Chile’s LAN Airlines is on track to finally consummate its marriage to Brazilian rival TAM this Friday, almost two years after announcing the tie-up. But the promise of greater regional integration has fueled big expectations that economic headwinds will make difficult to meet.

Jun 8, 2012

Brazil’s meat champ gets rude welcome to big-time

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

By Raul Gallegos

NEW YORK, June 8 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Brazil’s JBS
(JBSS3.SA: Quote, Profile, Research), now the world’s largest meat producer, is vowing to
sue Greenpeace after the environmentalists accused the company
of damaging the rainforest. The spat showcases the risks that
can come from quickly scaling up to become a global player. It’s
a coming-of-age moment of sorts for JBS.

Jun 5, 2012

Brazil’s easy money squeezes banking weaklings

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

By Raul Gallegos

NEW YORK, June 5 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Brazil’s easy
money policies have squeezed yet another of its banking
weaklings. The country’s central bank seized consumer lender
Banco Cruzeiro do Sul (CZRS4.SA: Quote, Profile, Research) on Monday for “serious”
financial violations. The episode serves as another example of a
bank losing its way in Brazil’s lending frenzy.

Jun 4, 2012

Latam’s new oil king dons large and heavy crown

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

By Raul Gallegos

NEW YORK, June 4 (Reuters Breakingviews) – A large and heavy
crown awaits Latin America’s next oil king. Colombia’s Ecopetrol
ECO.CN is jockeying to surpass Brazil’s Petrobras
(PETR4.SA: Quote, Profile, Research)(PBR.N: Quote, Profile, Research) as the region’s biggest crude producer by
market value. Solid management has helped lure billions in
capital away from rivals in meddling nearby states. But
Ecopetrol may struggle to live up to the high hopes for its
reign.

Jun 1, 2012

Eike Batista’s EBX feijoada gets harder to stomach

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

By Raul Gallegos

NEW YORK, June 1 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Eike Batista’s
EBX feijoada is getting harder to stomach. The Brazilian
billionaire’s latest initial public offering, of his holding
company’s coal subsidiary CCX (CCXC3.SA: Quote, Profile, Research) last week, went down
badly in the market, with the shares off 29 percent. Five of
Batista’s six other listings have done poorly, too, including
big falls for the shipbuilding and logistics arms. Even
optimistic investors can’t keep digesting such slop.

May 8, 2012
via Breakingviews

A post-Chavez Venezuela is no investment bonanza

Photo

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

The health of Hugo Chavez has piqued the market’s interest. Long stretches of silence from the cancer-stricken Venezuelan president have brought a certain morbid optimism to investors, who have sent the country’s debt to highs not seen in years. But any new regime will still have to wrestle with the legacy of backwards Chavez policy. Unwinding years of economic mismanagement won’t be easy.

    • About Raul

      "Raul Gallegos is the Latin America financial columnist for Reuters Breakingviews. Raul has more than a decade of experience covering the region’s business, finance and economics. His work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the LA Times and Institutional Investor. From 2004 through 2009, Raul was the Venezuela-based oil correspondent for Dow Jones Newswires, and a member of the OPEC coverage team in Vienna. He holds a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of California at Berkeley and a master's degree in International Affairs from Columbia University. He was a 2010 Knight-Bagehot Fellow at the Columbia Business School. ..."
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