Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Asia Executive:ASEAN Region Looking Robust This Year

The ASEAN Region-the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and its environs-is growing 5-5.5% this year,according to Stuart Dean,President,ASEAN Region at General Electric.We grew 30% there last year,and we expect double digit growth again this year.
All the businesses had a good year in 2011,and it looks similar this year.GE Aviation had a strong year,and we're gonna be pretty big this year as well.
I think the China landing is likely to be soft.For the next 4-5 years,ASEAN is likely to see growth of 5-6%.There's a lot more opportunity to sell locomotives in ASEAN.The living standards increase,and infrastructure plays a big part in that,Mr.Dean explained.
Stuart Dean has a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Duke University,as well as an MBA from Harvard University.ASEAN has 10 members,including Indonesia,Malaysia,Singapore and Vietnam.
General Electric(GE)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Investment Problems and Prospects:Thoughts From Alliance Bernstein

Our point of view on the Volcker Rule is that it reduces liquidity all over the world,says Peter Kraus,Alliance Bernstein CEO.Investors want to trade securities at a price that's fair;at the end of the day,the Rule reduces liquidity.Our view reflects our clients' views.
The Volcker Rule,part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation,takes effect in July.It bans proprietary trading by financial institutions.Big banks will be required by the Rule to maintain a staff of 50-60 people to comply with it.
That the Rule applies to foreign institutions as well has increased the criticism of it.Complaints have been rolling in from around the world.
The changes on Alliance Bernstein's business will not be particularly large,Mr.Kraus added,but it will crimp our clients' returns.It will hinder the sale of mutual funds.If you buy securities from a seller,you must sell at the end of each day,making it difficult to price the sale.The Rule is very complex from both the compliance and the structural point of view.
As for the overall investing environment,we certainly understand the flow of funds is still into fixed income.That makes it an interesting time to consider tilting back into equities,Mr.Kraus explained.
Mr.Kraus' colleague at AB,Vadim Zlotnikov,observes that some of the positives from the U.S. and China should be able to overcome the problems in Europe.To the extent Greece defaults,and there is no contagion,I don't think it would be a big enough event.
Mergers and acquisitions economically would make a lot of sense.The financial availability is improving;the deals are looking attractive.It could be April or mid-year before conditions deteriorate,in Mr.Zlotnikov's estimation.
Alliance Bernstein is a client-centered and research-driven asset management firm.Their global client base includes a broad range of individuals and institutions who are assisted by the firm's array of products and service organisations,which are tailored to their distinctive needs,from offices worldwide.
Alliancebernstein Holding,LP(AB)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Author and Professor:Getting Back to Prosperity

The best thing is for the creditors and authorities to get a deal that helps Greece to grow,in the view of John B. Taylor,Professor of Economics at Stanford University.Each side is gonna try to get the best deal they can.If they can put in some good economic growth plans,I think that's the answer to this-to get Europe back on the growth track.The growth in the early eighties was 5.9%.Steady as you go,keeping the tax rate low-that's what my research shows.
We in America could get into a situation like Greece.We can get back on track with just some sensible adjustments.It shouldn't be that hard.The Fed has bought so much debt,people don't know how they're gonna get out of that,so the banks are sitting on all that cash.
We just have to contain the entitlement growth.It'll lead to a better system.We got away from all this in the eighties and nineties,but we fell back into it,the interventionist policies.Get back to predictable,reliable monetary policies and we'll be in good shape,Dr.Taylor feels.
John Taylor is a former member of the President's Council of Ecomomic Advisors from 1989-91.He is currently a Senior Fellow in Economics at the Hoover Institution.Dr.Taylor is author of the book "First Principles:Five Keys To Restoring America's Economic Prosperity."

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Chief Market Strategists:Grappling With Greece-and who may ultimately win

Even if some problems are solved in Europe,we still have more to go,according to Nick Colas,Chief Market Strategist at ConvergEx Group.Germany is a special case,a high growth export economy,sending such things as machine tools to China.Spain is like Florida:housing driven,with homes for retirees.
Europe's got to firewall a bunch of the issues in Italy,Spain and Portugal.What they're really trying to do is buy time.We in the U.S. are doing everything to keep rates low on the monetary side;Europe has embraced austerity.We are trying to keep growth going.We shall see who wins.
Leadership is lacking,adds Andrew Economos,Head of Sovereign&Institutional Strategy,Asia ex-Japan at JP Morgan Asset Management.Greek politicians are setting themselves up for the April election.A deal is done.It's really a question of getting the three political parties in line.
We'll have this rolling crisis as we sweep through the periphery.Germany will guarantee the debt and China will take a stake.I think it means ample liquidity.Ultimately,it flows into Asian markets,Mr.Economos believes.
ConvergEx Group is a provider of mission-critical software and services to asset managers and financial intermediaries globally.Serving more than 4,000 institutional customers in 22 cities worldwide,their products and services span the investment life cycle.
JP Morgan Chase(JPM)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Executive Warning:China Dominant in Rare Earth

Michael Silver,Chairman,CEO and President of American Elements,a global manufacturer of engineered and advanced materials,including rare earth metals and chemicals,has been pleading for the establishment of a U.S. strategic metals reserve(SMR).China is currently dominant in the field,with 95% of the world's rare earth production.
In the event of an embargo on rare earth,U.S. manufacturing would grind to a halt.The strategic metals are crucial for everything from televisions and cell phones to fiber optics,computer hard drives,wind turbines,lasers and night vision goggles,as well as radar transmitters and GPS systems in the military realm.
In the past year,the cost of rare earth has risen more than 25-fold.South Korea,Japan,the EU and U.K. have their own plans for national stockpiles.
The military does need to do an assessment of what its needs for rare earth are for six months or a year.Clearly a politically strategic asset,China has command of most of these materials,putting it in the position of being the Middle East of the 21st century,controlling the alternative energy sources,such as solar panels and hybrid batteries,that are so reliant on rare earth,in Mr.Silver's opinion.
The U.S. has only one open pit mine in Mountain Pass,California,which belongs to Molycorp.Molycorp has just sold 12.5 million shares to a Chilean firm,Molibdenos y Metales S.A.,for 390 million dollars-a 13% stake in the company.
American Metals is based in Los Angeles and has manufacturing and warehouse facilities in the U.S.,China,Mexico and the U.K.