Una's Feed
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
via Breakingviews

Qatar plays merger-maker at Glencore-Xstrata

Photo

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
via Breakingviews

Prestige and power fuel Qatar’s frantic shopping

Photo

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
via Breakingviews

Sanctions could cost Iran $50 bln

Photo

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
via Breakingviews

Saudi words won’t ease pressure on U.S. fuel prices

Photo

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.

Mar 20, 2012
via Breakingviews

Crude reasons support Saudi stocks

Photo

By Una Galani

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

Foreign investors are sweet on Saudi Arabia. Overseas buyers made record net purchases in the kingdom’s $400 billion stock market last month ahead of an expected easing of ownership restrictions on outsiders. But in the run-up to better access, investors need to exercise caution.

Mar 20, 2012
via Breakingviews

Hedge funds show banks how to recoup loans to Gulf

Photo

By Una Galani

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

Hedge funds are showing banks how to get their money back from Gulf borrowers. Privately-owned Bahraini investment house Arcapita is following in the footsteps of General Motors and Chrysler by filing for U.S. Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after non-bank creditors opposed extending a $1.1 billion loan facility due in March.

Mar 6, 2012
via Breakingviews

Lucrative Sino-Gulf ties will survive Syria clash

Photo

By Una Galani

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

Russia has been roundly criticised in the Gulf for vetoing last month’s United Nations Security Council resolution on Syria. China, which also vetoed the resolution, has come in for much less flak. This may be partly because the Gulf Arab countries see Moscow rather than Beijing as Bashar al-Assad’s main supporter. But it is also because the Gulf and China have $90 billion a year in bilateral trade. It’s in the interests of neither that this is disrupted.

Mar 6, 2012

Dubai’s flying shoppers could ease its debt burden

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

By Una Galani

DUBAI, March 6 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Dubai is relying on
what it does best to help solve its debt woes: shopping. After
successfully borrowing against road toll receipts last year, the
flashy emirate now wants to raise at least $500 million by
issuing bonds secured against future revenue from its giant
airport retailer, Dubai Duty Free. Securitisation is often seen
as the last refuge of the cash-strapped, and is nascent in the
Middle East. But as Western banks withdraw, it’s looking
increasingly attractive.

Feb 20, 2012
via Breakingviews

Iraq offers investors ultra-high risk-reward bet

Photo

By Una Galani

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

Are you a global investor looking for an ultra-high risk-reward option? Consider Iraq. The perils are well known – possible civil war at the top of the list – but the Baghdad main index is still up 32 percent over two years, outperforming its Middle East rivals. This year has started less well – drops are hardly a surprise for a fractious country in a volatile region – but this frontier market has many of the ingredients of success.

    • 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"
    • Follow Una