Trade Notes: Is it Worth the Trouble Investing in GB Debt?

I first looked into Grameen Bank (GB) almost 3 years ago.  A Deutsche Bank research report in 2007 got us interested in potential MFI (Micro Finance Institution) loan portfolio investments. Continue reading “Trade Notes: Is it Worth the Trouble Investing in GB Debt?”

Trade Notes: Some Tarnish on “India Shining” Might be an Opportunity

RBI head office, Delhi
Image via Wikipedia

Yes, India is most definitely one of the few positive things we could look to in 2010 but there were more than enough warning signs that things might not continue to remain so rosy.  Maoism coupled with the fissiparous nature of Indian politics —based as it is on race, religion, caste, and class — makes government and governance from the center difficult enough.  Rampant corruption in federal & state governments doesn’t help.  Nor does exploitation of that corruption by the large Indian corporates only recently weaned from the vicissitudes (that they so adroitly profited from) of the “Permit Raj.” The demographic advantages that everyone had been touting vis-a-vis China may also be a double-edged sword if not tackled adroitly and with some dispatch. Continue reading “Trade Notes: Some Tarnish on “India Shining” Might be an Opportunity”

Trade Notes: Use Bangladesh’s Bursting Bubble as a Buying Opportunity?

Riot Police Outside the DSE. Source: The Economist

Barton Biggs said that if you were betting on the 100 m sprint, you’d hire an Olympic sprinter because doing it yourself would be stupid.  This was on the way to wondering why, then, do people insist on investing for themselves rather than hiring a professional.  Hence is born the real definition of “retail investor”:  a blithering idiot incapable of taking professional advice.  Mind you, the professionals are not complaining too much because the “greater fool” is a great way to make Continue reading “Trade Notes: Use Bangladesh’s Bursting Bubble as a Buying Opportunity?”

Trade Notes: Milk Most Likely to go the way of Onions in India

Manmohan Singh, current prime minister of India.
Image via Wikipedia

I’d mentioned as long ago as March that milk prices are likely to spike higher.  The Economic Times delivered to my hotel room in Kolkata suggests this is coming true

After vegetables, now milk will also pinch consumers, as Gujarat‘s largest milk producer, Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) marketing dairy products under the brand ‘Amul‘ on Tuesday announced a pan-India hike in milk prices by Rs 2 per litre. Continue reading “Trade Notes: Milk Most Likely to go the way of Onions in India”

Trade Notes: Stay Long Russia or Edge Towards the Door?

THE KREMLIN, MOSCOW. With President-Elect Dmit...
Image via Wikipedia

Around 2007, Tim Rogers —  Valartis’ MC Russian Market Fund PM — said something very interesting about prospects in Russia.  He thought the days of making a killing just by picking under-appreciated Russian companies (i.e., pretty much any Russian company) were pretty much gone after the third level of privatizations.

Henceforth, the managers would have to make money the hard way:  by really working on picking the few remaining gems.  He’s no longer at Valartis, but it would be interesting to see how he would manage now. Continue reading “Trade Notes: Stay Long Russia or Edge Towards the Door?”

Trade Notes: buy Louis Dreyfus?

This is a much older story, first breaking in late September that has since gone into silent mode — probably as the deal-making is done or is killed by the majority owner.  Essentially, the 150-year old trader Louis Dreyfus Commodities is hoping to reinvent itself from a flow-trader agency trading commodities to someone who can bet its own balance sheet.  Continue reading “Trade Notes: buy Louis Dreyfus?”

Trade Notes: Start Trawling for Macquarie Assets Disposals?

Source: Wilkinson Architects

Hard assets that pay reliable income are a pretty good idea at the best of times — especially if you’re not the greedy kind of investor — but right now, they are a bloody good idea.  Gross and El-Erian’s “new normal” predicates the ownership of real assets with stable and secure income.  Factor in the possibility of Renee Haugeruud’s “inverse stagflation” entailing under-performing traditional paper assets — like stocks & bonds — and soaring real asset values and you get the picture. Continue reading “Trade Notes: Start Trawling for Macquarie Assets Disposals?”