Una's Feed
Jul 5, 2013
via Breakingviews

Egyptian bourse euphoria is premature at best

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By Una Galani

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

This week’s euphoria for Egyptian equities is overdone. The prospect of calmer streets has sent the country’s benchmark index of 30 leading stocks up more than 12 percent since June 30, when protests against the Muslim Brotherhood government began – more than 7 percent on Thursday alone, when the military acted on its threat to force President Mohamed Mursi from power. That was the biggest one-day gain after a year of economic mismanagement under the deposed government.

Jul 4, 2013
via Breakingviews

Military throws Egypt into dangerous phase

By Una Galani

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

Egypt is entering a dangerous period. The ousting of President Mohamed Mursi – the country’s first freely-elected leader – and the Muslim Brotherhood after just one year in power cements divisions and confirms the army’s role as kingmaker. A swift return to civilian democratic rule is critical but the path is fraught with social and economic risks.

Jun 17, 2013
via Breakingviews

Iranians put hopes for change in pragmatic insider

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By Una Galani

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

Iranians have voted for an end to the conservative status quo. The surprise victory of Hassan Rohani, the sole moderate candidate, in the presidential race has shown the level of public discontent with the Islamic Republic’s hardliners, whose voices silenced others in the last few years. The high turnout also returns legitimacy to the electoral process after the rigged vote of 2009. Iran’s complex power structure means that radical shifts at home or abroad are unlikely. But the mood in Tehran has shifted.

Apr 24, 2013

Etihad bets on India in pricey Jet Airways deal

By Una Galani

DUBAI, April 24 (Reuters Breakingviews) – The Abu Dhabi
carrier is throwing indebted Jet Airways a $600 mln lifeline for
a 24 pct stake and control of its loyalty programme. But the
generous 32 pct premium suggests Etihad will expect more than a
minority role at the Indian airline.

Full view will be published shortly.

CONTEXT NEWS

- Abu Dhabi-based carrier Etihad Airways has agreed to buy a
24 percent stake in India’s Jet Airways as part of a deal worth
$600 million. Eithad will pay $379 million to buy 27.3 million
shares at 754.74 rupees each or a 32 percent premium to the
Indian carrier’s last closing share price.

Mar 26, 2013
via Breakingviews

Target shortage feeds desperate Mideast telco M&A

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By Una Galani

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

A scarcity of takeover targets is feeding a desperate scramble in Middle East telecoms M&A. Bahrain’s incumbent operator Batelco is eyeing a stake in the enterprise unit of India’s Reliance Communications. It comes just months after agreeing a deal worth $1 billion to buy assets spanning 12 markets, including Monaco and the Channel Islands, from Cable & Wireless. Batelco’s pick-and-mix takeovers are symptomatic of a market where too many big telcos are chasing too few assets.

Mar 26, 2013

Breakingviews: Target shortage feeds desperate Mideast telco M&A

By Una Galani

DUBAI (Reuters Breakingviews) – A scarcity of takeover targets is feeding a desperate scramble in Middle East telecoms M&A. Bahrain’s incumbent operator Batelco BTEL.BH is eyeing a stake in the enterprise unit of Reliance Communications(RLCM.NS: Quote, Profile, Research). It comes just months after agreeing a deal worth $1 billion to buy assets spanning 12 markets, including Monaco and the Channel Islands, from Cable & Wireless. Batelco’s pick-and-mix takeovers are symptomatic of a market where too many big telcos are chasing too few assets.

Batelco is in search of stable cash flows amid fierce competition in its home market. Bahrain accounts for 60 percent of revenue but profit there fell by almost one-third in 2012. Cash flow is weakening and the cash dividend payout ratio has fallen from 75 to 60 percent in just two years.

Mar 19, 2013

Alwaleed’s valuation dispute has simple solutions

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

By Una Galani

DUBAI, March 19 (Reuters Breakingviews) – The controversy
over the true value of Prince Alwaleed’s investment vehicle has
some simple remedies. Kingdom Holding 4280.SE, with stakes in
everything from Citigroup (C.N: Quote, Profile, Research) to Twitter, is at the centre of
a bitter row with Forbes magazine over the exact size of the
prince’s wealth. Part of the problem is that the Riyadh-listed
company suffers from a tiny free float, limited liquidity, and
puzzling share-price movements.

Feb 20, 2013

$12 bln Qatar fund adds new risk: public scrutiny

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

(Refiles to fix location in dateline)

By Una Galani

DUBAI, Feb 19 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Qatar’s sovereign
wealth fund may regret spinning off part of its business. The
Gulf emirate known for snapping up high-profile stakes in
publicly listed entities is giving ordinary investors a chance
to get a piece of the action. That, though, opens up the
absolute monarchy to one risk it loathes: public criticism.

Feb 18, 2013
via Breakingviews

Dubai’s new boom assumes short memories

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By Una Galani

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

Dubai has rediscovered its appetite for grand designs. A replica Taj Mahal four times bigger than the original, the world’s biggest Ferris wheel, several new mega-malls, and over 100 new hotels are amongst a raft of extravagant projects aiming to boost tourism in the emirate. But lingering debt woes from its last boom-and-bust cycle should hopefully reduce the risk of runaway spending.

Jan 23, 2013

Maroc Telecom bidders defy unrest in $6 bln sale

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

By Una Galani

DUBAI, Jan 23 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Politics will play a
major part in the sale of Maroc Telecom (IAM.CS: Quote, Profile, Research). Vivendi
(VIV.PA: Quote, Profile, Research), the French media and telecom conglomerate, is in
shrinking mode. It hasn’t had any trouble drumming up interest
from far-flung corners of the world for its 53 percent stake in
the listed North African telecoms operator. Qatar Telecom
QTEL.QA, the UAE’s Etisalat ETEL.AD and South Korea’s KT
Corp (030200.KS: Quote, Profile, Research), have all submitted expressions of interest.
And France Telecom (FTE.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) is also keeping an eye on the sale.

    • 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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