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Archive for the ‘Commodities’ Category

Commodity prices are close to the bottom of the cycle?

In Commodities, Indonesia, Malaysia on 10/04/2014 at 4:23 am

FT reported on April 3 that traders in an annual commodities seminar are getting bullish.

And this appeared earlier this yr

GROWTH has slowed in China, the destination of most of the world’s exports of iron ore, copper and other metals, as well as increasing quantities of oil and corn. Many analysts have declared that the China-driven commodities “supercycle” has run out of steam. But that may be premature. While global population growth is slowing, the number of people added each year is still increasing. Similarly, China’s economy will be 65% bigger in 2014 than it was in 2008. Macquarie, a bank, reckons that the growth of global demand for steel will slip to 3.1% a year between 2012 and 2018, compared with 3.3% in the previous six-year period, but that in absolute terms it will go from 45m tonnes a year to 50m tonnes a year. The same trend will apply to copper, aluminium, nickel, lead, zinc and tin. In terms of its impact on demand, Chinese growth of 7.5% today is the equivalent to 12% growth in 2008. On top of this there is growth from other Asian economies and the recovery of the American economy. The pace of increase in commodity prices may not match that of yesteryear, but the next upward climb looks set to start in 2014. See full article.

Related article:

Materials (Sector Equity)

  • The materials sector has fallen out of favour with investors in 2013, with the MSCI AC World Materials Sector index gaining just 0.3% (in SGD terms) last year.
  • Similar to the situation with the global financials sector in 2008/2009, massive write-downs have been undertaken by the sector; while this has reduced net asset values of resource companies, it also makes valuations (on a PB basis) more conservative.
  • As a beneficiary of a global economic recovery, we believe the conservatively valued materials sector may emerge as a “dark horse” this year.
  • Our recommended fund for global resources equities: First State Glb Resources

https://secure.fundsupermart.com/main/article/Idea-Week-Capture-Investment-Opportunities-2014-9073

SunT sometime back (sometime last yr) had a bullish piece. http://www.cpf.gov.sg/imsavvy/infohub_article.asp?readid={27464576-17202-5110879539} Either ahead of the the curve, too early or clueless. LOL. What do you think?

If palm oil, rubber and energy cheong gd for Indonesia, M’sia and Thailand (rubber), and for some SGX counters. Think Olam, Noble and the plantation stocks for starters. And think property developers: think esp CapitaLand. Exposure here and in China.

Noble: Time to cheong?

In China, Commodities on 08/04/2014 at 4:25 am

Well depends on whether COFCO will run the joint venture as a commercial entity.

The structure allows Noble to reduce its exposure to an underperforming business while sharing in any recovery. The prospect of a deal had already fuelled a 25 percent rally in Noble’s shares in the past month, lifting its market value to around $6.5 billion. The proceeds could be reinvested in Noble’s better-performing energy and resources businesses. And because Noble will no longer have to include the venture’s $2.5 billion of net debt on its balance sheet, its headline borrowings will roughly halve, according to Eikon.

For Noble investors, the lingering worry is whether or not COFCO, which is already China’s main wheat importer, will run the joint venture as a commercial entity. The involvement of China-focused private-equity group HOPU in the Noble deal offers some comfort. So does China Investment Corporation’s 14 percent stake in Noble, which it has owned since 2009. If China does decide to squeeze Noble, it shouldn’t do so too hard.

http://blogs.reuters.com/breakingviews/2014/04/02/noble-china-joint-venture-still-faces-market-test/

At a recent conference, Yusuf Alireza, the chief executive of Noble, talked business models: “None of us should be arrogant to assume one model is right and one model is wrong . . . from a Noble perspective, our core competence is in the middle part of the supply chain . . . We are not miners, we are not farmers, we are not a bank.”

Temasek’s Lim talks rubbish/ Olam helps African farmers

In Africa, Commodities, GIC, Political governance, Temasek on 03/04/2014 at 4:55 am

Temasek’s chairman Lim Boon Heng (the chap who cried when voting for casinos) was quoted by BT on 31 March as saying, “Coming from a little island nation with no natural resources except for some granite rocks, we are not a sovereign wealth fund in the normal sense of the term,” he said at a reception to mark the opening of Temasek’s new European office in London last Friday.

“Instead, we invest capital accumulated from generations of hard work and commitment by everyone in Temasek and the Temasek portfolio companies,” said Mr Lim in a speech at the Millennium Mayfair Hotel.

Well, I could reasonably say that he is talking rot*. It could be reasonably argued that part or most of money saved (via budget surpluses) could have been be more productively spent on making life better for S’poreans. It could have been spent on

– more hospital beds (http://www.tremeritus.com/2014/03/13/gan-says-hospital-beds-increased-by-30-really/),

– better public transport (Using back-of-the envelope calculations and figures in annual reports, since it was listed SMRT (over a decade ago) has paid S$562.79m in dividends to Temasek, and ComfortDelgro has paid the S’pore Labour Foundation (a statutory board affiliated to the NTUC) dividends of  S$150.46m since 2003 (Comfort and Delgro merged in 2003, and SLF had a stake in Comfort). The amount that ended up with the government was S$713.25m, with SMRT contributing 79%. But ComfortDelgro is likely be the main beneficiary of the S$1.1bn bus plan) (Italics added at 6.55am),

– low cost public housing (remember Mah saying that lowering the cost of land cheaper was raiding the reserves http://atans1.wordpress.com/2011/04/17/what-are-in-our-reserves-a-revisit/. Link also describes how budget surpluses and the reserves are linked),

– welfare for the elderly and needy. and

– education.

The list for the productive use of govt revenue rather than to play roulette or baccarat (OK, OK invest) can go on and on.

 

Leading local economists (not juz a wannabe opposition politican) have made this point about better uses of govt money than squirreling it away for a rainy day that never comes**. They juz don’t get reported by our constructive, nation-building media.

But maybe the govt is changing its attitude and Temasek is leading the way?

Olam is into sustainable, ecofriendly agriculture.

Sor and farmers from 36 communities in the Juabeso/Bia district are part of a project to produce climate-smart cocoa, claimed to the the world’s first. The $1m, three-year pilot collaboration between Rainforest Alliance (RA), an environmental organization, and Olam International, agricultural company, offers financial incentive to the farmers.

In the wild, cocoa trees grow under taller trees, which protect them from the scorching sun. But in Ghana as in neighbouring Ivory Coast, which together account for more than half the global supply, cocoa is grown as a monoculture.

“I had a lot of trees on my farm, but I cut and burned them. I thought they brought diseases, were a nuisance and took the place of cocoa,” says the mother of four, who owns a 4-acre farm in Eteso.  “I didn’t know about the importance of shade trees until I joined the group.”

(http://www.economist.com/blogs/baobab/2013/12/ghana)

Three cheers for Olam and Temasek for helping African farmers. Next stop S’pore SMEs?

Maybe Temasek is experimenting in Africa. Next an investment in a S’pore based co that helps S’poreans? Charity begins at home.

BTW, nice to see that GIC opened an office in Brazil. About time as Latin America is becoming unfashionable among the ang mohs.

GIC opened an office yesterday in Brazil, as it looks for more investment opportunities in Latin America.

The new office – its 10th globally – will focus on areas such as real estate, healthcare, financial and business services, and natural resources and infrastructure.

“Our presence in Brazil will enable our partners to engage early and interact closely with the GIC team, which is very beneficial for complex and sizeable investments,” said group chief investment officer Lim Chow Kiat.

“We believe our partners will gain from having access to GIC’s global network of business contacts and market insights. Although emerging markets remain volatile, we are confident of the long-term Latin America growth story.” (Yesterday’s BT).

These countries need capital, now that the ang mohs no longer like the area. China is investing there, BTW.

————————————————————————————————————

*One of these days I’ll blog why ever since Devan Nai, Lim Chee Onn and Ong Teng Cheonf, we’ve had clowns as NTUC leaders. Lim may have been a failure as NTUC leader (Devan Nair fixed him), he he turned out to be a gd for Keppel, for which I’m grateful.)

**I hope thyose who think the world of Ong Teng Cheong realise that he wanted to look away even the returns from reserves away from the masses. Lee Hsien Loong and co got their way on using some of the returns on govt spending.

Olam: Nomura recomends hanging on, OCBC says accept

In Commodities on 20/03/2014 at 4:47 am

Nice to see that Nomura agrees with me on Olam, one of the world’s biggest trader of coffee, rice and cashew nuts.

Nomura advised Olam shareholders to reject Temasek unit Breedens’ takeover offer of S$2.23 a share, saying it believed the commodities firm was worth around S$2.50 a share.

“From a long-term perspective, we still see significant value in Olam, as various gestating assets start contributing over the next few years,”

Nomura estimates that Olam’s earnings could grow by more than 20% per annum in the next three years.

It added that Temasek’s emergence as Olam’s majority shareholder was positive for shareholders, as this would help reduce concerns over the firm’s access to funds, which is key in global supply chain businesses.

Temasek’s offer price which works out to about 13.3 times estimated earnings for 2014 — was not expensive as it was in line with recent transactions in the agriculture business.

Citi Research in a note last Friday that it does not expect a high success rate for the offer, given that Olam is currently midway through working its asset portfolio towards full contribution.

OCBC recommended that investors accept the offer or sell into the market if the price there is higher

“While things are moving in the correct direction, the medium-term outlook for commodities, especially hard commodities, continues to remain quite challenging in our view … do not expect to see a competing offer for Olam.”

 

Olam: Hang on, buy for the ride?

In Africa, Commodities, Temasek on 18/03/2014 at 4:50 am

(Or “Temasek and Ho Ching haters getting more frus“)

Methinks that all those posters on TRE’s piece on Olam are banging their private parts real hard and crying in frustration http://www.tremeritus.com/2014/03/15/temasek-leads-consortium-to-buy-out-debt-ridden-olam/ . They missed making $ and are also upset that Temasek made gd (but peanutty ) money supporting Olam. Even those who pretend rationality while hating all things PAP ( s/o JBJ and Chris Balding?) can only sputter that if Olam is so gd, why buy now not earlier? May I suggest that they read FT’s Lex (behind paywall): squeezing the shorts leh; and Breakingviews (see below).

My tots on the stock: don’t tender the shares. Let’s go for the ride. At worse, kanna bot out if delisted. If buying lose only “peanuts” if kanna bot out. Remember my previous tots which TRE republished late last yr?

Last chance to buy Olam?

More bull points to add to this:

– When Olam released its quarterly results in early November, it showed it  had generated positive free cash flow – the first time in four years for a seasonally weak quarter.

Its executive director of finance and business development A Shekhar told analysts and reporters: “We’re very pleased that we’re striking the right notes on both objectives of profit growth as well as free cash-flow generation.”

– Ang mohs are still sceptical about the parts of the stock’s biz model.

– But they bulls on Africa and Olam got an edge there. Africa is now seen a destination mkt, not juz an exporter of commodities i.e. origination mkt:

The commodities houses are attracted to the African destination business for three reasons. First, demand is rising fast, in many cases at double-digit annual rates. Second, many African governments subsidise basic commodities such as petrol and wheat, in effect guaranteeing a return to the traders. Third, most African countries lack the infrastructure needed to import raw materials, from silos for storing wheat and rice to terminals for unloading petrol. The commodities houses say that, as they build this infrastructure, they will be able to secure a market and benefit from years of rising demand. (FT report on Africa dated 10 November 2013)

http://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/11/26/temasek-tales-tlc-overpaid-olam-cheong-wont-read-this-in-tre-toc/

This is what the deal’s all about (other than squeezing the shorts’ balls, hard real hard):

The most immediate beneficiary of the buyout is Olam’s creditworthiness. Despite Temasek’s minority shareholding, the company has faced persistent queries about its debt load. That’s particularly damaging for a trading house like Olam, which relies on the confidence of its counterparties. In future, creditors will view Olam as an extension of its sovereign parent.

http://blogs.reuters.com/breakingviews/2014/03/14/temasek-buyout-throws-sovereign-weight-behind-olam/

My next piece of advice to those TRE readers who keep on cursing Temasek and its CEO but who end-up banging banging their balls in frustration: Go analyse SMRT.

Trmasek and Ho Ching haters should come up with new lines of attack. The world has moved on from the crisis of 2007-2009. The recovery of global markets means that post Temasek’s losses on ABC Learning, Barclays and Merrill Lynch/BOA, performance has been in line with the recovery in world equity markets. Two of its dogs are dogs no more:  Shin is 50% up from its purchase price (though how to exit is an issue), and go check the price of Chesapeake. And the glee over Olam has turned to tears as Olam powers ahead, giving Muddy Waters a bloody nose. Big playpen bully has met a bigger bully. True blue S’poreans and xenophobes should be cheering Ho Ching on, not cursing her. But then hatred of the PAP is often irrational.

Temasek tales: TLC overpaid?/ Olam: Cheong?/ Won’t read this in TRE, TOC?

In Africa, Airlines, Commodities, Temasek on 26/11/2013 at 5:54 am

Changi Airport Group: Winner’s curse?

The Aeroportos do Futuro group led by Odebrecht SA, and including Singapore airport operator Changi Airport Group, offered 19 billion reais (US$8.3 billion) and won the right to run Galeao airport in Rio de Janeiro, which will host tourists for the soccer World Cup next year and the 2016 Olympic Games, for 25 years. The consortium offered nearly four times the minimum bid for the right to operate Rio’s Galeão airport for the next 25 years.

We will only know the consortium overpaid if we know the next highest bid. Will let you know if this info is made public in Brazil )))

Last chance to buy Olam?

More bull points to add to this:

– When Olam released its quarterly results in early November, it showed it  had generated positive free cash flow – the first time in four years for a seasonally weak quarter.

Its executive director of finance and business development A Shekhar told analysts and reporters: “We’re very pleased that we’re striking the right notes on both objectives of profit growth as well as free cash-flow generation.”

– Ang mohs are still sceptical about the parts of the stock’s biz model.

– But they bulls on Africa and Olam got an edge there. Africa is now seen a destination mkt, not juz an exporter of commodities i.e. origination mkt:

The commodities houses are attracted to the African destination business for three reasons. First, demand is rising fast, in many cases at double-digit annual rates. Second, many African governments subsidise basic commodities such as petrol and wheat, in effect guaranteeing a return to the traders. Third, most African countries lack the infrastructure needed to import raw materials, from silos for storing wheat and rice to terminals for unloading petrol. The commodities houses say that, as they build this infrastructure, they will be able to secure a market and benefit from years of rising demand. (FT report on Africa dated 10 November 2013)

Even Chris Balding flies SIA

Would the Temasek model help improve the efficiency of China’s state-owned enterprises? Only one (Singapore Airlines) or possibly two (DBS bank) of Temasek’s GLCs have established themselves as international brands, according to critics such as Chris Balding of Peking University*. SingTel has made successful foreign acquisitions, but other GLCs have fared less well. STATS ChipPAC, a semiconductor firm, lost money in the second quarter of this year, as a result of the costs of closing a factory in Malaysia.

The few academic studies of Singapore’s GLCs are more encouraging, however. A 2004 article by Carlos Ramirez of George Mason University and Ling Hui Tan of the IMF showed that the country’s GLCs enjoyed a higher market value, relative to the book value of their assets, than comparable private firms. They also generated a higher return on assets, on average.

In judging the performance of Temasek’s GLCs, the counterfactual is important. They may not be as obviously successful as private titans from the region such as Samsung or LG. But they are not nearly as bad as most SOEs, including China’s. The enthusiasm for reform of SOEs in China reflects their deteriorating returns and accumulating debt. According to M.K. Tang of Goldman Sachs, their return on assets was 6.5 percentage points below that of other Chinese firms in 2012 and their shares trade at a growing discount. Even Mr Balding, meanwhile, is happy to fly Singapore Airlines.

http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21590562-chinas-rulers-look-singapore-tips-portfolio-management-soe-glc

*Cock Balding forgets Keppel and SembCorp in rigbuilding. More on these two cos later this week.

Time to chk out Olam

In Commodities, Temasek on 05/11/2013 at 4:30 am

When Muddy Waters ends up saying: “My view is that if Temasek decides tomorrow that it wanted out of this investment, it would be game over within months for them, without Temasek’s backstop,” its research director Carson Block told BT late  last week.(http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/premium/top-stories/muddy-waters-game-over-olam-if-temasek-pulls-out-20131101), its time to think it’s repenting its decision, a yr ago, to short Olam.

It’s stating the obvious. Any highly leveraged smallish stock where Temasek  exits from being a major shareholder would suffer. Temasek 1, MW 0.

Temasek has also since then progressively increased its ownership of Olam, from an initial 16.3 per cent before the Muddy Waters attack to 24.07 per cent now. Temasek 2, MW 0

In Mr Block’s view, Temasek had stepped in because of the wider implications that an Olam collapse would have posed to the commodity-trading industry in Singapore.

“If Olam had failed, what would the banks have done with the other commodity houses that are borrowing in Singapore?” he said. “It’s reasonable to assume that if the banks had to write off losses to Olam, you could have a real funding freeze for the commodity trading industry in Singapore.”

This is again stating the obvious. Temasek 3, MW 0

Funny, he didn’t bitch that BT continues to act as a chher leader for Olam. (http://www.cpf.gov.sg/imsavvy/infohub_article.asp?readid={904134059-19528-1412927508}) Temasek 4, MW 0

Maybe the narrative that Olam is changing doesn’t fit his bearish thesis. Olam is building a packaged foods business. In countries such as Nigeria, Ghana and Mali,, where it now generates sales of US$350 million, and aims to be the Unilever or Nestle of Africa. Might be interesting. Have to chk out waz this as % of total revenue and net profits. Sadly the article doesn’t give this which makes me suspicious that it’s a tiny share. Still will chk, and anyway Africa is a hot market. Temasek 5, MW 0

Final bull point, Olam did stop doing some things that Muddy waters was rightly bitching about. It shows mgt is pragmatic and flexible (Temasek 6, MW 0) , unlike the PAP govt on the FT policy (Remember the White Paper?).

Interestingly, Olam is one of the cos having an open day: a great idea.

MORE listed companies with large numbers of retail shareholders are setting aside time for the management to meet investors.

In a new trend, these companies are holding a “retail investor day” as well as the mandatory annual general meeting (AGM).

Usually, retail investors get to meet and question senior management only at the AGM.

Companies which have already held “investor day” events include Olam International, Aims AMP Capital Industrial real estate investment trust and bourse operator, the Singapore Exchange (SGX).

http://www.cpf.gov.sg/imsavvy/infohub_article.asp?readid={904134059-19479-584331750}

Oh and from the first BT report, it seems Muddy is still shorting Olam, Temasek 7, MW 0.

Noble Gp: “Cheong all the way” Maybank

In China, Commodities on 11/01/2013 at 5:39 am

But if China doesn’t perform, you’re in trouble.

S’pore Biz Review

It was annced yesterday that China’s commodities imports accelerated in 2012 in volume terms in spite of slowing growth in the overall economy, with crude oil, iron ore and copper reporting record high imports for 2012.

Vietnam: Game changer in coffee

In Commodities, Vietnam on 05/01/2013 at 11:39 am

Starbucks, the world’s biggest coffee-shop company, will  ope nits first store in Vietnam, in Ho Chi Minh City next month.

But this is the more interesting bit: We know coffee is a national pride for many Vietnamese and as such, we look forward to contributing and growing Vietnam’s already vibrant coffee industry. As we continue to source more Vietnamese high-quality, arabica coffee we want to leverage our scale to bring the best of Vietnam’s coffee traditions to the rest of the world … Starbucks already purchases a notable amount of some of the highest-quality arabica coffee from Vietnam and is committed to sourcing more arabica coffee from the Vietnam region over the long-term. Starbucks will continue to promote responsible business practices and production standards within its existing and prospective supply chains and will work closely with local coffee farming communities to elevate the quality of arabica coffee and introduce customers globally to the rich Vietnamese coffee heritage. 

The will work closely with local coffee farming communities is a standard Starbucks promise. But given that according to the FT, “Vietnam is the world’s second largest producer of coffee beans after Brazil, any contribution Starbucks might make to improve quality and standards there could have a disproportionate impact.” Most of Vietnam’s production is robusta, a lower grade (and cheaper), arabica which is the coffee of choice round the world.

Again, no Asean round-up this week.

Olam: Snake bites itself

In Accounting, Commodities, Corporate governance on 06/12/2012 at 10:00 am

Opps looks like Olam tried to be too clever by half. By calling a rights type issue but not answering two of Muddy Point’s questions (that it is spending lots of $ on lousy investments and the restatements), investors have decided to sell given that there will a lot more debt, at expensive prices, a possible dilution, and that Muddy Waters might just be right.

Then there is the cred of management: saying it had lots of cash but then calling yet another bond issue. And having to retract a statement on the approach to Temasek.

In such a confused situation, investors might as well sell esp with the year end in sight.

And on a technical issue: leaving the warrants to be priced tomorrow was asking for trouble.

All in all, management and its investment banks have not covered themselves in competency.

Update:  “The latest Temasek-backed transaction raises significant issues, as it is extremely expensive debt and equity capital, capital that Olam spent a week telling the market it didn’t need,” said Dee. “Muddy Waters is not the issue here, it is Olam’s strategic and financial decisions that have brought this situation to a head.”

Olam: Snake confuses mongoose

In Commodities, Corporate governance, Temasek on 04/12/2012 at 5:58 am

Olam proposed an underwritten rights issue of US$750m in principal amount of 6.75% bonds due in 2018, along with 387.4 million free detachable warrants. The issue price of the bonds will be 95% of the principal amount and the gross proceeds from the issue of the bonds are US$712.5 million. Terms of bond are generous.

Olam said the transaction was fully backed by  Temasek which owns a 16% stake in the company. Temasek’s commitment “is a very strong, decisive action (for investors) not to have any worries about any of the allegations,” Olam’s CEO said.

The issue is underwritten by four major bank creditors: Credit Suisse, DBS, HSBC and JP Morgan. Again another sign of confidence.

So Temasek and the banks are onside. Goes without saying that the Indian conglomerate controlling Olam will subscribe for its share: It would, wouldn’t it?

And the shortists will have to cover their positions as investors recall their shares to make sure they get their rights.

Yr move, mongoose.

PS (at 8.50am): Gd counter by snake (must be King Cobra) to offer to pay for credit rating. Ang Moh Kaws must never underestimate Indians.

Update (1.15pm)

Shares of Olam climb more than 8%

Olam: Mongoose bites snake

In Commodities, Corporate governance on 03/12/2012 at 7:25 am

Muddy Waters offers to pay for Olam to get debt rating. It is a cheeky response to Olam’s “shock and awe” response (constructive, nation-buildingST’s description) to its allegations.

Wonder what excuse Olam will give when refusing to accept offer? After all Temasek, its investee, has a debt rating. And it is a SWF

Wonder what Olam’s banks’ will think if it rejects offer?

 

Olam: Ang Moh Kaw bites

In Commodities, Corporate governance on 28/11/2012 at 5:21 am

It’s been over a week since  Muddy Waters made allegations about the accounts of Olam. Since then Olam has come out swinging, refuting the allegations and suing.

Yesterday evening, the report was made available. Most of the issues have been flagged by analysts earlier. But there are issues about the restatements of accounts that don’t affect profits and capex that need addressing by Olam.

Remember Temasek owns 16% of Olam. So it too will be studying the report.

Olam: Temasek’s actions key

In Commodities, Temasek on 20/11/2012 at 1:45 pm

Olam fights back.

As Temasek is the second largest shareholder, will be interesting to see what it does. If it doesn’t buy Olam shares, Olam will remain under a lot of pressure. If it does buy, TRE, TOC readers and other cowboys (esp from Facebook) will be mindlessly attacking Temasek, juz because ang moh says Olam shares are a short.

 

 

Diverging commodities

In Commodities on 03/11/2012 at 9:49 am

The food index soared to a new high in August after America suffered its worst drought for 25 years … Metal prices, meanwhile, have been hit by the euro-zone crisis and the slowdown in China.

 

 

Noble’s into base metals with a Latin beat

In Commodities, Energy, Logistics on 30/08/2012 at 6:41 am

The search for base metals will likely focus on major producing regions such as South America … It is also one of the few merchants still doing business in Venezuela, where the aluminum industry is in crisis.

Noble already has an array of iron ore and coal offtake deals and strength in alumina and aluminum through tolling deals. Last December, it signed a pact to supply a smelter in Azerbijan with alumina in return for aluminum output.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/26/noble-basemetals-expansion-idUSL2E8JHMDE20120826

Stock could fly again but its up against shume big mean boys. And is the founder still active in mgt? And if so gd or bad for co?

Wilmar: Doing deals with what?

In Commodities, Financial competency on 29/08/2012 at 6:26 am

(Or “Why analysts are talking rubbish” or “Bond issue coming up”)

Analysts are telling Wilmar to do deals to get its share price up. Remember they have been fans of Wilmar and need the share price to recover to look gd. 
http://www.sfgate.com/business/bloomberg/article/Wilmar-Deals-Loom-With-Stock-at-65-Discount-to-3817390.php

This Kuok wants to do deals. Its in his blood.

But the analysts forget one thing. How is Wilmar going to finance its deals. Not thru a share issue: because as they are pointing out the shares are “super cheap”. Borrowing more money ain’t that easy because co has net debt of US$12.5bn on a market captalisation of US$19bn. True got gd cash flow and interest cover. But it would need brave bankers. Not many around nowadays as the irrational French frogs are nursing losses.

Err what a bond issue aimed at the retail investor? Why not call DBS? Reason: http://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/08/27/dbs-screws-its-customers-again-and-again/

If China slows down, ASEAN beneficiaries

In China, Commodities, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam on 26/06/2012 at 6:22 am

(Or “What stocks, ETFs to buy”)

A  China slowdown need not be bad for everyone. Mr Frederic Neumann, Regional Economist at HSBC, distinguishes between hard and soft commodities. A Chinese rebalancing could actually be good for soft commodities*, such as wheat and soybeans*, if household spending were to rise.

Brazil’s loss, in other words, could be Argentina’s gain. Other commodities, such as palm oil**, used in processed foods, may also do better.

That could benefit countries such as Malaysia, which has ramped up palm oil*** production in recent years, and Indonesia**** – although the latter also produces hard commodities including coal.

On the other side of the ledger, some big oil importers***** could benefit from the weaker prices that a Chinese slowdown might produce.

http://www.todayonline.com/CommentaryandAnalysis/Commentary/EDC120622-0000021/Should-we-fret-about-Chindown?

*Think Olam, Wilmar, Golden Agri, Bumitama Agri, Kencana Agri and First Resources

**Think Wilmar and the other SGX plantation stocks.

***Think Felda, Sime Darby, United Plantations, IOI, Genting Plt, KL Kepong, TSH, Oriental.

****Think Astra Agro and London Sumatra Indonesia. Any other Indon listed plantations cos to think about? Do remember that the SGX-listed planters are mainly Indonesian planters and many of them are relatively new, giving them an advantage over the older Malaysian plantation players. Malaysian planters have also bought land in Indonesia partly because land in Malaysia is getting too expensive even in East Malaysia.

*****Think ETFs on Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

More bad news for Noble, Olam and Wilmar

In China, Commodities, Logistics on 21/05/2012 at 5:48 am

The FT reports that Chinese importers are requesting trading houses to defer shipments of commodities. Sometimes they have broken agreements by refusing to accept deliveries.

Commodities specifically mentioned are iron ore and thermal coal (Noble’s specialities), cotton (Olam speciality) and soyabeans (Wilmar is world’s boiggest crusher). No wonder the price of these stocks keep weakening.

BTW, until I read below, I didn’t realise Noble is a big player in coffee and cocoa (but revenue is “peanuts” compared to iron ore and energy).

http://seekingalpha.com/article/572831-commodity-trading-firms-bunge-and-noble-offer-investors-good-value

What a sick joke on Olam

In Commodities on 16/05/2012 at 3:12 pm

Stock has collapsed today because analysts warned of cuts to full-year estimates after the commodity trader reported disappointing earnings  (Q3 net profit falls 22.5%  to S$98.7 million) and warned of a weak outlook.

The sick joke is that 0ut of 24 analysts tracking Olam, 18 had a buy or strong buy rating, four rated it a hold and only two had a sell rating, according to Thomson Reuters data as of Tuesday (yesterday).

Felda’s cornerstone investor: Louis Dreyfus

In Commodities on 15/05/2012 at 10:34 am

Commodities group Louis Dreyfus has agreed to take a minority stake in Malaysian palm oil firm Felda, it said on Monday, conditional on a successful June stock market float for Felda. The amount could be US$150m.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/14/us-dreyfus-felda-idUSBRE84D0XG20120514

Louis Dreyfus Commodities told FT it was planning to take part in the wave of consolidation among agribusinesses, unveiling a US$7bn warchest, underpinned by cashflow and the trader’s first access to capital markets in its 160-year history. It is likely to raise US$500m in bonds soon.

The farm commodities trading giant, which earlier this month agreed to buy US sugar refiner Imperial Sugar for US$203m including debt, said it was to spend US$7bn building assets and buying companies, following investment of $4.9bn in the 2006-11 timespan.

It plans to move from middleman to a vertically integrated trading house: like Wilmar. Seems to be the fashion. Olam is doing this too.

Update on !7 May 2012:

Fidelity and Hong Kong-based Value Partners Group have agreed to become cornerstone investors of Felda Global Ventures Holdings’ US$3.3 billion (S$4.2 billion) initial public offering (IPO) in Malaysia, the Edge daily reported yesterday, citing unnamed financial executives involved in the listing.

Other cornerstone investors include Malaysian tycoons Quek Leng Chan and Chua Ma Yu, pension fund Employees Provident Fund and state-owned asset manager Permodalan Nasional, the report cited the executives as saying.

Buffett on Gold

In Commodities, Gold on 14/02/2012 at 2:30 pm

Today the world’s gold stock is about 170,000 metric tons. If all of this gold were melded together, it would form a cube of about 68 feet per side. (Picture it fitting comfortably within a baseball infield.) At $1,750 per ounce — gold’s price as I write this — its value would be about $9.6 trillion. Call this cube pile A.

Let’s now create a pile B costing an equal amount. For that, we could buy all U.S. cropland (400 million acres with output of about $200 billion annually), plus 16 Exxon Mobils (the world’s most profitable company, one earning more than $40 billion annually). After these purchases, we would have about $1 trillion left over for walking-around money (no sense feeling strapped after this buying binge). Can you imagine an investor with $9.6 trillion selecting pile A over pile B?

(Apologies for not crediting where I got this from: feeling tired)

Now this is accountability

In Commodities, Corporate governance, Logistics on 11/11/2011 at 5:56 am

Commodities supply chain manager Noble Group (based in HK but listed here) announced on Wednesday the resignation of its chief executive only hours after reporting a surprise US$17.5-million (S$22.5-million) net loss in the third quarter from a net profit a year earlier. It blamed volatile market conditions and mark-to-market losses.

CEO Ricardo Leiman will remain as an adviser to the group after resigning “for personal reasons”, Noble said.

Chairman Richard Elman was appointed acting CEO, “We are taking this opportunity … to realign our goals and strategies to adapt to the many challenges that exist in the prevailing market conditions … It goes without saying that we are very unhappy with this performance even if it does just cover a very short period … things happen’ which are out of our control … remains very healthy and strong”.

 

What if there is stagnation?

In Commodities, Economy, Investments, Property on 21/10/2011 at 6:49 am

A few days ago, I blogged that were three scenarios for the developed world. Growth — buy equities; inflation — buy property and commodities; and recession — buy government bonds.

Thinking about it again, there is a  fourth scenario: stagnation. There will be shallow recoveries and recessions in quick succession.

In that scenario, one should be looking at buying equities for their dividend yields, and the corporate bonds of super blue chips.

Where be the next winner?

In Commodities, Economy, Investments, Property on 17/10/2011 at 7:00 am

Depending on where the developed world heads, equities, commodities and property, or government bonds could be the investment.

There are three scenarios for the developed world (remember the BRIC and Indonesia etc still are dependent on the developed world to drive their economies). It can

– grow out of its debt burden,

–  inflate the debt away, or

–  fall back into recession, marked by the occasional default.

Each of those outcomes leads to a different portfolio.

Renewed growth would favour equities, but at the moment, this looks too hard to achieve. An attempt to inflate would be good for commodities and property but would be disastrous for government bonds. Selected equities might do well: those that can pass on the cost rises to customers. Those bonds would do best if the developed world goes into a  recession.

Hope this explains the extreme volatility of markets.

CIMB bearish on commodity supply chain stocks

In Commodities on 12/09/2011 at 7:07 am

CIMB doesn’t like commodity plays and has made negative comments abt midstream commodity supply chain players Mewah, Noble and Olam.

Not time to buy yet: Noble is trading at its eight-year historical mean, while Olam is trading at 1.5 standard deviations below its mean and Mewah is trading at 2.5 standard deviations below mean. Despite their more modest valuations, we believe it is too early to turn bullish on this sector. Consensus estimates do not appear to have fully reflected their earnings risks, in our view. Our FY12 earnings per share estimates for all three stocks are 4-46 per cent below consensus. Further downgrades by the Street may be de-rating catalysts.

Broker likes Wilmar

In Commodities, Uncategorized on 21/07/2011 at 6:22 am

JPMorgan upgrades Wilmar from Neutral to Overweight. It raises target price to S$6.50 from S$5.40.

“We think Wilmar will be able to raise prices in the near term, improving both oilseeds and consumer products margin in 2H11/2012,” citing recent media reports of China removing price controls on cooking oil.

Meanwhile , OCBC retains its Hold call on Wilmar.

Commodities: Clash of the titans

In Commodities on 07/05/2011 at 10:30 am

Billionaire traders offer clashing opinions over future of falling commodities market .

Soros is bearish, Paulson is bullish. Guardian story.

Falling commodity prices gd?

In Commodities, Economy on 07/05/2011 at 6:39 am

Err world economy could be weakening.

Housing prices should come off unless M’sian Chinese decide to migrate here.

Glencore lists, commodities’ mkts collapse

In Commodities on 06/05/2011 at 4:35 pm

As trading and mining house Glencore is listing, making some mgrs billionaires, commodity prices have fallen for a second day in early trading in Europe, led by another drop in crude oil.

This comes after markets were hit by one of the biggest sell-offs in two years on Thursday. Brent crude fell 4.3% to below $106 a barrel, adding to a 8.6% drop on Thursday, and bringing its cumulative fall over the past week to over 16%.

Industrial metals such as copper also saw further falls, as did some foodstuffs.

If this goes on, the view blogged here earlier that the Glencore IPO is a sign that commodities mkts have peaked for the time being, was a gd call.

Glencore IPO: Commodities to collapse?

In Commodities on 06/04/2011 at 6:36 am

You might not have heard of Glencore. There is little news of its upcoming IPO in our MSM because the US$10bn IPO will be listed in London and HK. This would value the company at US$145bn

Co is a trader in commodities.

With oil at USD120 and demand for most commodities strong, why should this float mark the end of an uptrend in commodities? Well the US Fed is likely to stop printing money and the European Central Bank is likely to join emerging market central banks in raising interest rates. China has juz raised interest rates for the second time in four months.

Remember Blackstone? In 2007, Blackstone, a private equity firm went public at US$36. A year later, the stock was at US$5. The private equity boom had ended. It is now only recovering.

Shrewd money knows when to cash out and Glencore has some of shrewdest minds in the commodities market.

OCBC picks for 2011

In Banks, Commodities, Property, Telecoms on 20/12/2010 at 5:24 am

Like other brokers, OCBC is bullish for next yr. But there are some picks that are unique to OCBC.

Our picks for 2011 are Ascott Residence Trust, Biosensors International Group, CapitaLand, DBS Group Holdings, Ezra Holdings, Genting Singapore, Hyflux, Pacific Andes Resources Development, Keppel Corporation, Mapletree Logistics Trust, Noble Group, Olam International, Sembcorp Marine, StarHub, United Overseas Bank, United Overseas Land and Venture Corp.

A worrying combination

In Commodities, Emerging markets, Energy on 17/12/2010 at 5:35 am

A strong oil price and a strengthening US$.

Article

Nomura: Bullish on Indonesia

In Commodities, Energy, Indonesia on 15/12/2010 at 5:11 am

Nomura says Indonesia’s fundamentals are solid. Growth is strong, inflation is muted, and the central bank aims to keep the rupiah stable. And the government aims to kick-start infrastructure projects by making land acquisition easier.

So GDP growth is expected to grow from an estimated 5.9% this year to 7% next year. Nomura sees a 15 times PE for the equity market next year, with a possible re-rating to as much as 16.5 times PE.

The firm’s top stock picks in Indonesia are infrastructure providers. Commodity companies are also expected to do well. Coal prices are rising even as production volumes improve. A return to normal weather conditions will also boost Read the rest of this entry »

Global food prices: not time to panic yet!

In China, Commodities on 21/11/2010 at 6:07 am

Still lower than 1980 levels as this chart shows

But big macs are getting more expensive in China. The US policy of QE2 is forcing up the real value of the yuan (via the price of gds, services and food). The more the Chinese defend the exchange rate to prevent the Yuan from appreciating in norminal terms, the more the real value of yuan rises.

The US is still the hegemon.

Time to be bullish on commodities?

In Commodities on 19/11/2010 at 5:18 am

Missed the bull run and planning to use the recent weakness to jump in because China will be roaring ahead soon aftwer tackling inflation, and US monetary policy will mean that commodity prices will have to strengthen just to reflect the weakening US$.

Well sumething to think abt. The Baltic Dry index of shipping costs, which has been used as leveraged play on commodities, has been weakening for some months, even after commodity prices revived on the Fed’s policy of printing more $.

Update on 20th November 2010: On Friday commodities fell, with some industrial metals and oil declining amid concerns that China’s appetite as a commodities importer may wane. It had just raised banks’ reserves. On Thurs commodities had recovered because investors had tot China had finished its tightening.

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