Una's Feed
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.

Mar 20, 2012
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Crude reasons support Saudi stocks

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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
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Hedge funds show banks how to recoup loans to Gulf

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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
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Lucrative Sino-Gulf ties will survive Syria clash

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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
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Iraq offers investors ultra-high risk-reward bet

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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.

Feb 1, 2012
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Gulf stock markets head for lost half-decade

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

Gulf stock markets are heading for a lost-half decade. Regional indices are down sharply since the start of 2008 and volumes are desperately thin. There is plenty to blame: the ghosts of Lehman, the Dubai-debt crisis, the euro-zone mess, the Arab uprisings. But market participants are doing precious little to help.

Dec 19, 2011
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Alwaleed pushes the limits with edgy Twitter stake

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

Prince Alwaleed might be pushing the limits with Twitter. Even though the billionaire entrepreneur Saudi-royal is known for both his reformist views and bold media investments, his latest coup, a $300 million strategic stake in the social networking site, is decisively edgy.

Dec 14, 2011
via Breakingviews

OPEC desperately looking for a deal, any deal

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

A torn and divided OPEC is unlikely to tighten its ever loosening grip on the oil market at its summit this week in Vienna. But it might try to paper over the deep differences between its members by pretending to agree on a deal that would mostly consolidate the current status quo, leaving oil markets guessing as to the organisation’s strategy – if there is one at all.

    • 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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