Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Russia and the Impact on Markets

BP has done a good job of getting cash flow out of their asset base,said Matthew Beeseley of Henderson Global Investors.We hold some of it.The company is throwing off lots of cash,but there are risks in their partnership with Russian energy titan Rosneft.*
For now,the markets have thrown off Russia/Ukraine and Syria.We're certainly concerned about the low levels of volatility across the markets.It's not normal,and at some point,one would expect the markets to normalise.The optimism has really been found in the US and the emerging markets.The glass has been half empty in Europe and Japan.*
We're exposed to a company called Epam Systems Inc,a computer outsourcing firm.It has one third of its workers in Ukraine.We want a high level of conviction about our holdings.Across parts of Russia,it's hard to invest because of the lack of a high level of conviction.*
Current sanctions on Russia are on future debt and equity.Sanctions on present debt and equity would have a major impact.*
Investors are being paid to be complacent,and when the Fed raises rates in six months to a year,geopolitical risk will begin to be factored in,Mr.Beeseley cautioned.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Risk and the Markets Today

There's a wall of worry out there,said former Ronald Reagan advisor and CNBC contributor John Rutledge-the Middle East,Russia/Ukraine and the South China Sea-but the Fed has added three trillion dollars,which is leaking into the economy through the banks.That's why prices are gonna continue to go up,I think.
For me,the two big bets to make are private equity firms and real estate.I think the small stocks are a bet to make-small caps over large caps;the US over Europe;avoid Japan.
I think the rates are headed up from here,although the fear buying is pushing them down right now.*
The Saudi stock market is planning on taking a risk and opening more to foreigners in the first half of 2015.The Saudis want to increase foreign investment;diversify away from oil;and be represented in the MSCI and other large indexes.Companies such as Kingdom Holding and Alrajhi Bank will be available to foreign investors,but only if they are institutional traders with at least five billion under management and have been in business at least five years,a draft document says.Saudi Arabia has a half trillion dollar market,the last of the large closed markets.*
This MH-17 shootdown has become a huge human drama,said Senator Dianne Feinstein,D-California,Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.I think the nexus between Russia and the separatists has been established.I think the world has to rise up and say we've had enough of this.You cannot let this kind of thing happen.
The fact of the matter is,to me,this kind of missile that travels at 2-3 times the speed of sound-there have to be some penalties for this kind of a shootdown.This kind of weapon has been given to separatists that are in many respects thugs.Russia-US relations are now at Cold War levels,Senator Feinstein told CNN's Candy Crowley.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Lessons Learned:Mickelson at Royal Liverpool

I know that I can win the Open Championship;I know that I've done it,and that takes all of the pressure off me,said defending champion Phil Mickelson,44,at a press conference on Monday at Royal Liverpool Golf Club,England.While carrying the claret jug trophy around with me for a year,it was fun to see the faces of the people take a picture of the jug or take a sip out of it.*
As for this season,I'm just not discouraged or frustrated.I know I haven't played well,but the parts feel a lot better than the whole right now.I'm driving the ball with more confidence.I just haven't had the putter.It's not the frustration you would think,given the record that I've had.I actually feel better than I have in years.
Last week,my short irons started to come back.I believe that the next five years are gonna be some of the best of my years.
With regard to major wins,I know there's a finite amount of time.I'd like to create some more if possible,a relaxed Phil Mickelson told the media gathered before him.
The highly prestigious Open Championship begins Thursday morning.*
If fans should ask Mickelson for an autograph right after a round,he politely explains that he must sign his card first.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Health of Markets:The View From Barclays

The US equity market is the market that we probably worry about most,said Jim McCormick,Barclays' Global Head of Asset Allocation.Valuations are starting to get stretched.Inflation is starting to be a problem.The truth is,inflation in the U.S. is picking up and is a trend likely to be sustained.If we are going to get a correction,the US equities are the most likely place.*
The message we have on emerging markets is,the macro picture is improving.Risk premia are higher than thery were a year ago.The asset calss we prefer is equities.We like Asia ex-Japan,Poland,India.The Indian budget is going to be very important.We're positive on India across the board.*
We've been increasingly bullish on commodities this year.Oil is attractive on all levels.If you look at the bottoms up on oil,it's been looking up for a long time,Mr.McCormick observed.