Una's Feed
Jun 13, 2012
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Iran’s oil sanctions are just beginning to hurt

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By Una Galani

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

Iran’s sanction pain is just beginning. Oil revenue in the Islamic Republic may have fallen by nearly one third, or $35 billion, on the back of a slowdown in exports and declining prices. With U.S. sanctions set to tighten and China’s apparent readiness to go along, Tehran’s budget could be thrown deep into the red.

Jun 12, 2012
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Iraq rise will upset OPEC power balance

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By Una Galani and Christopher Swann

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

Iraq’s rise is upsetting OPEC’s power balance. For the last decade, the oil cartel has let the Gulf country produce crude without an output quota. The exemption allowed Iraq the freedom to invest in its war-damaged oil industry. That reconstruction is picking up pace – production is now higher than before the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. Iraq is set to overtake Iran as OPEC’s second biggest producer. The rapid increase in output is an urgent challenge for OPEC’s oil ministers who are meeting this week in Vienna.

Jun 6, 2012
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Qatar play for EFG Hermes stokes backlash in Egypt

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By Una Galani

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

Qatar’s move on EFG Hermes is provoking a backlash. The Gulf emirate’s play for key assets of the region’s preeminent investment bank has prompted a rival consortium, notably backed by billionaire Naguib Sawiris, to declare an interest in buying it outright. The Qatari deal was approved last week by shareholders, but in the current volatile situation anything can happen.

May 28, 2012
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Saudi’s foreign aid bill piles up

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By Una Galani

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

Saudi Arabia’s foreign aid bill is mounting. Egypt Jordan, Bahrain, Oman and Yemen – the Arab spring has elicited a string of pledges of loans and grants from the oil-rich kingdom to its troubled, resource-poor neighbours.

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.

    • 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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