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  • Chile May Not Need China To Shed Laggard Status [View article]
    Strong domestic consumption combined with a relatively mature and well regulated financial sector continue to contribute to Chile's economic stability. it is no longer an export driven economy like Brazil, Colombia or Peru and much of its economic activity is driven by domestic consumption. This is also a key reason why the Chilean stock market and ECH don't correlate to China's economic growth.
    Jan 8 02:45 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Caiman Valores Positions For 2013: Colombia, Chile Offer Best Upside In Latin America [View article]
    Samir thank you for the feedback and compliments. I guess that is the $64 question, what impact does the state of Chavez's health have on the degree of political and economic risk in Venezuela and I don't think anyone can really get a handle on it. I ma hoping to travel to Venezuela over the coming months in order to get a feel for the country and the investment climate so hopefully that will allow me to give greater insight and perspective. This article from Australian newspaper the Sydney Morning Herald provides some interesting insight into Venezuela
    Jan 4 12:40 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Caiman Valores Positions For 2013: Colombia, Chile Offer Best Upside In Latin America [View article]
    Guraaf thank you for the feedback and kind words.

    I will need to take some out and think about your question, but I will get back to you over the weekend with some ideas. I have a high conviction on YPF, although it has jumped by over 25% since I last analyzed the company in Sept 12 and with recent events, it is time to reappraise that position.

    I would also suggest that both Bancolombia and Ecopetrol, despite being personal favorites, are fairly to slightly over-valued at this time. I am also waiting to see whether any other Colombian companies will IPO on the NYSE in 2013, with Banco Davivienda and EEB having considered it last year but shelved those plans due to the state of the markets and global economy.

    Feliz ano,

    Jan 4 11:38 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Caiman Valores Positions For 2013: Colombia, Chile Offer Best Upside In Latin America [View article]
    marketwatcher I haven't been following ARCO closely for sometime with my last article on the company available here It is a company that I need to review and update my outlook on will be doing so shortly. Since writing that article its shares have fallen a further 6% in value. My key issues with the company were its operating and pricing model along with its level of debt. Overall this is a company I would avoid, until those issues are resolved.
    Jan 4 09:33 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 7 Reasons To Buy This $7 Financial Stock [View article]
    vireoman thank you for the comment. This article nicely sets out the bull case for Banco Santander Brasil. I was once a fan of the bank and there is definitely potential there, but for me there are too many risks and issues within the bank at this time that are impacting profitability. When these a combined with the state of the Brazilian economy I believe it will be some time before investors see value, with Banco Bradesco and Itau Unibanco representing better value.
    Dec 30 06:01 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Does The Rebound In Iron Ore Prices Make Vale An Attractive Investment? [View article]
    Vincent again thank you for commenting you bring a wealth of information to the table and present some very challenging comments. It is appreciated and I hope to see you become a contributor. Looking forward to more comments.
    Dec 28 11:36 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • These 3 Energy Companies Deserve To Be In Your Short-Term Radar [View article]
    Thanks another great article. I am looking at doing some deeper analysis of E&P players in Colombia and I am quite interested in Canacol. Also when I publish those articles is it ok for me to mention your articles and add a link to them?
    Dec 15 01:26 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Argentinean Energy Stocks: The Nationalization Fear And The Dead Cow Appeal [View article]
    Tack I would strongly disagree, firstly it is still possible to value companies operating in Argentina and then it is possible to determine the degree of risk and factor in a risk premium. I believe that the key is correctly identifying this risk and then finding the right risk/reward trade off. Secondly, I believe that you are significantly overstating the risk of expropriation of assets in Argentina. Other than the expropriation of YPF from Repsol, which has a strong rationale behind it, there have been no other expropriations of assets recently.

    Probably more concerning, along with the irrational rhetoric coming from some ministers, is the Argentine government's wholesale intervention in the business sector through heavy handed capital controls, regulatory fines and other punitive measures aimed at preventing the outflow of capital and hard currency from the country. Regardless of this, I believe that it is a highly nuanced situation, but with the right knowledge it can be appropriately managed.
    Nov 29 06:53 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Chevron, A Dividend Champion In Trouble: What Is The Impact Of The Ecuadorian Judgment? [View article]
    Chirag thank you for the positive feedback and kind words. I must admit this article has been a labor of love since March this year and its first published incarnation was the article that I wrote on the Chevron and Transocean case in Brazil. This article grew out of that article and it is a case that I have been monitoring for some time. After discussing it with Colin Lea for the last 4 weeks we decided to put thoughts to paper and take the dual article approach.

    My intent was to examine all of the issues and try to present as balanced view as possible, so that investors particularly retail investors could make informed decisions regarding their investments in Chevron. I was quite surprised by the outcome of the valuation as I had thought that the judgment if fully enforced would have a more significant impact on Chevron and is share price. But at $99 per share in a worst case scenario it certainly comes across as manageable risk for investors.

    I feel that your a little to optimistic on the final negotiated settlement amount, only because it is such a difficult and complex case to predict an outcome for but I will provide further updates as the cases progress. At this time I wouldn't like to make a guesstimate as how much the case will be settled for or whether it will be settled for less than the full judgment. I think the key determinant is whether the Canadian courts recognized the judgment and then support its enforcement. I am also planning on writing similar articles on Chevron's other legal problems being Brazil and Spain/Repsol as these develop.
    Nov 27 05:22 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Does Wells Fargo Deserve The Attention It Is Receiving From Warren Buffett? [View article]
    Col thank you for the feedback. I am going to take a look at U.S Bancorp prior to taking a closer look at JP Morgan, because I do have a preference for simpler commercial banks. They are easier to analyze and understand.

    In all honesty analyzing JP Morgan is a daunting thought. It is a large institution with a wide range of moving parts and it is particularly complex, probably the most complex of the U.S banks because it is a mix of commercial banking, investment banking and wealth management. It has a tremendous amount of derivatives on its balance sheet and just working through those and the mark to market valuation and CVA/DVA adjustments is a daunting task.
    Nov 21 03:45 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Looking Past U.S. Banks For Better Returns: Why I Like Australia's ANZ Bank [View article]
    Hi Rokjok thought I might jump in here if Col doesn't mind.
    One of the crucial factors you are overlooking is that the level of competition in Australia and the number of banks operating in the market is significantly lower than either the U.S or Europe. The market for financial services is no where near as saturated as the U.S or Western Europe.

    This is also the case when you consider the number of non bank financial institutions competing for lending and deposits business in Australia. In Australia there are only four majors and a handful of other institutions operating in the banking and finance space, where as in the U.S or any of the European countries there are literally hundreds.

    Australia also in comparison to Europe and the U.S also has a far lower penetration of banking products and services with a private sector credit to the domestic sector to GDP ratio that is around 2/3rds of the U.K and the U.S and almost half of Spain's. This would indicate that there is still opportunity for Australian banks to continue growing.

    The economic moat that is available to Australian banks is far greater than it is for many U.S and European banks and historically has been far greater as well, along with which the top four banks control the majority of the market. They are also diversified across all financial product and service lines from retail and commercial banking to insurance, funds management and financial advice. All of which supports their continuing profitability and therefore market caps.

    With regard to the AUD I agree it is overvalued but there are a range of factors driving this, not just the commodities boom. The weakness of the USD and Euro are significant factors along with Australia having a higher interest rate and more stable economy which makes it more attractive to foreign investors to park their money there for the short-term.

    On top of this it is also perceived as a safe haven (somewhat like Switzerland) and this is attracting increased investment, which along with the factors listed above is supporting the AUD's high valuation.
    This won't change until the situation in Europe is well on the path to being resolved and the U.S economy stabilizes, which is some way off yet. But any investor in an Australian banks needs to be aware of the currency risk and manage this appropriately, just as they do with Canadian or Latam banks. 
    Nov 19 06:06 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Seeking Contrarian Value In Brazil: Itau Unibanco Shows Potential Despite Rising Risk In Brazil [View article]
    tasilva I am fully aware that the Brazilian central bank sets the selic rate, as I stated in my previous comment I have read the latest capcom reports from the central bank. I would also suggest that in your career it may help you to not be so arrogant or make assumptions about people, their knowledge or qualifications. If you had read my profile you would know that I speak Spanish and while Spanish and Portuguese are different languages they are similar enough for me to understand Portuguese particularly when reading it. I would also suggest that when disagreeing with an argument it is best to refute that argument based on facts and in particular facts obtained from a range of independent sources rather than denigrating the person who has presented the view that you disagree with.

    With regard to the market consensus it is based on a range of views from across the banking sector, market analysts, investment analysts and economists. It is not solely based one single source. If you take the time to conduct some research on how the market and in particular foreign investors perceive Brazil you will see a consensus view emerging, which is that it is likely the selic rate will be lowered.

    If the Brazilian economy continues to slow, with the interventionist policies of the Rousseff government and the increasing economic and political risk that we are now seeing, there is no doubt that investors will continue to be deterred from investing in Brazil. In which case over the short-term the real will depreciate against the USD. it is also important to remember that the main reason for the significant appreciation of the real over the 2 years prior was the extremely high interest rates in Brazil that attracted considerable amounts of foreign 'hot money'. With the rate now at an historical low combined with the rising economic and political risk that 'hot money' has been directed to other locations for investment.
    Nov 4 05:22 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Seeking Contrarian Value In Brazil: Does Banco Bradesco Represent Value? [View article]
    Vincent awesome, thank you for the comments and the additional information and your unique on the ground insight. I agree with everything you have said and Brazil despite itself and self destructive tendencies will succeed because of its unique culture, natural resources and large population.

    But it is appearing at this time, that the policies of the current president and government rather than being more pragmatic like Lula's have become increasingly ideologically driven with a strong populist bent. This is seeing increased government intervention in the economy, growing protectionism with Brazil now having the highest number of protectionist measures in Latam after Argentina and increasing structural economic problems. These are key causes of the current economic decline and unless dealt with will lead to further structural problems causing Brazil to experience another lost decade. It is also creating issues as you have pointed out around living standards, inflation and inequitable incomes.

    Another problem is that it is also causing growing internal dissent and creating issues with attracting foreign investment. In saying that I am certainly not advocating economic development in the style of Colombia which has taken the exact opposite approach because this too while creating a favorable climate for investors has created an immense social cost and marginalized many of societies most vulnerable people. Have you thought further about contributing? You have an opportunity to add some very unique and high value insight for readers.
    Oct 30 08:25 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Argentina's Stunning Pari Passu Loss [View article]
    It will be interesting to see how the BoNY manages the directions imposed on it by the judgement in conjunction with its equitable duties as trustee. Particularly as its duties as trustee would generally be seen to over-ride any directions or judgements given by a court with regard to other monies owed by the founders (i.e issuers of the bonds).

    If BoNY were to comply with the directions of the court order they would be violating their duties as trustee to the beneficiaries (the highest and most sacrosanct of legal relationships/duties) and find themselves exposed to legal action from the beneficiaries. If I were BoNY I´d be hurrying off to the courts to seek directions so that in the event of breaching those duties they are not exposed to litigation from the beneficiaries.

    I agree this has added a new degree of instability to an asset class that doesn´t need it at a time when sovereign default are the watch words on everyone's mind. I doubt though that an Argentine default would precipitate a major financial crisis, the country has been a pariah state since 2002 and has been essentially disconnected from the global financial system. If anything it will only serve to deepen the difficulties associated with managing the country´s economy and worsen the lot of everyday Argentineans.
    Oct 28 09:36 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 4 Reasons Why Dividend Investors Should Buy Vale Shares [View article]
    My pleasure Materials Investor if you need any further information or have any questions please let me know. You can also see my latest articles on Vale here and here . CV
    Oct 25 09:59 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment