Una's Feed
May 9, 2012
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Iran’s yuan oil payments won’t catch on, yet

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By Una Galani

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

Iran’s yuan-for-oil payments won’t catch on, yet. Tough sanctions from the United States have pushed the Islamic Republic to accept the Chinese currency as part-payment for crude exports to the People’s Republic. But while the yuan should play a bigger role in the world’s energy settlements by the end of the decade, Iran’s shift won’t be the catalyst.

May 2, 2012
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Saudis wouldn’t gain much from a union with Bahrain

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By Una Galani

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

Saudi Arabia’s call for Gulf nations to combine into a single entity appears to lay the ground for some kind of union with Bahrain. King Abdullah first highlighted the security issues facing the region when its leaders met in December – nine months after the kingdom sent tanks to tame a pro-democracy movement in Bahrain. Speculation is now swirling about how the relationship between the strongest and weakest members of the six-nation bloc could evolve, ahead of a meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council this week.

Apr 26, 2012
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Iran offers Egypt limited lesson in subsidy reform

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By Una Galani and Christopher Swann

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

Iran offers Egypt a limited lesson in reform. The International Monetary Fund says the Arab state should look to the Islamic Republic as a model for how to cut subsidies. Iran ventured where few of its regional rivals dared in 2010 when it raised fuel prices. But the vast differences in wealth between these two countries make the comparison unhelpful.

Apr 25, 2012
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Egypt-Israel energy ties look broken

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By Una Galani

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

Egypt and Israel’s energy ties have come unstuck. The Arab nation has terminated its long-term contract to supply gas to its neighbour in a payment dispute. In post-revolutionary Egypt, it was only a matter of time before the opaque gas deal fell apart.

Apr 20, 2012
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Formula One has much to lose in Bahrain race

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By Una Galani

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

Formula One has failed to see the red flag in Bahrain. The prestigious sporting event won’t gain much from holding a fixture on this tiny Gulf island still in turmoil from its Arab uprising, amid sharp condemnation of human rights abuses. Pushing on with the weekend event looks like a stubborn and risky miscalculation.

Apr 18, 2012

Emirates reaches limits of organic growth strategy

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

By Una Galani

DUBAI, April 18 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Emirates airline is changing its flight path. After more than a decade of organic growth, the Dubai carrier announced this week that it is studying foreign acquisitions. While the airline says it hasn’t entered any talks for the moment, the shift comes amid rising competition. Meanwhile, India is due to decide whether to allow foreign airlines to own up to 49 percent of its local carriers.

Apr 13, 2012
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Qatar plays merger-maker at Glencore-Xstrata

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By Una Galani

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

Qatar is playing merger-maker for Glencore-Xstrata. The Gulf state’s sovereign wealth fund has already proved it can act as a successful arbitrageur in M&A situations. It hasn’t revealed its intentions for the 5.5 percent stake in Xstrata built in the two months since Glencore agreed to merge with the Anglo-Swiss miner in a $90 billion deal. But the bold $2.7 billion investment could be another win.

Apr 3, 2012
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Prestige and power fuel Qatar’s frantic shopping

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By Una Galani

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

Investors searching for financial logic to Qatar’s raft of high profile foreign investments risk coming unstuck. Within recent weeks the tiny Gulf state’s sovereign fund has made moves on France’s Total, conglomerate Lagardere and luxury house LVMH. The Qataris’ rapidly expanding pick n’ mix portfolio has led bankers to compare the strategy to the one that led Dubai into crisis.

Mar 30, 2012
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Sanctions could cost Iran $50 bln

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By Una Galani

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

Iran’s oil revenue could halve. Top buyers are moving to cut imports of crude from the Islamic Republic amid a coordinated effort by the West to tighten sanctions. If Tehran has to sell the oil it does manage to shift at a discount, it may soon face the pinch.

Mar 21, 2012
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Saudi words won’t ease pressure on U.S. fuel prices

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By Una Galani
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own

Saudi Arabia can’t easily relieve Barack Obama’s fuel price misery. The kingdom’s assurances that it can and is willing to increase oil supply in the event of a shortage won’t do much to lower U.S. fuel prices, which are reaching risky levels ahead of presidential elections in November. In fact, the options for the world’s biggest oil supplier to rein in runaway crude are all imperfect.

    • About Una

      "Una Galani is Asia Corporate Finance Columnist of Reuters Breakingviews, based in Hong Kong. She spent three years in Dubai covering the region’s economies in the immediate aftermath of the Arab Spring. Previously, Una wrote on capital markets, mergers and acquisitions, and telecoms across Europe from London. She was commended in the category of Young Financial Journalist at the Harold Wincott Awards for 2009 after joining Breakingviews in 2006. Una read English Literature at Oxford. Follow Una on Twitter @ugalani"
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