As stated earlier, I cannot understand why Bloomberg and Dow Jones media is making an inference that assets would be confiscated by the Venezuelan government similar to Cuba under Castro.
These writers have failed in their duty to disclose that when Venezuela nationalized oil assets many years ago, the government’s track record of payments at fair market value was exemplary.
In the case of minerals and hydrocarbons assets, these are already owned outright by the State.
With respect to Crystallex (KRY), the mining administrative contract for Las Cristinas was signed between the Venezuelan government and Crystallex over five years ago, and to this day the agencies of government and Crystallex management are working toward the final environment permit required to begin operating a mine there.
That mining agreement is subject to the Protection of Trade Treaty between Venezuela and Canada, with rights to international arbitration under the Washington-based International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes [ICSID], which is part of the World Bank.
So, nothing has changed. Nothing will change. There is no reason to sell the stock. A possible short squeeze may in fact be reason to buy the stock here at US$3.16.
Crystallex has the right to mine a world-class asset; it is a fit and proper guest in Venezuela. It has excellent management. It has a business model that leads me to believe the stock will trade over US$10/share once the final permit has been received and other mining companies bid to acquire control, which is highly likely.
End of story re Crystallex.
With respect to the business and financial media, particularly in Canada, I am very disappointed that they are missing the real story of confiscation. In the past two years I have written about two situations: Stelco and Royal Technologies. Both of those companies were stolen from the rightful owners and the media didn’t raise any stink whatsoever.
In the case of Royal Group, there were allegations of impropriety never actually stated and never in any case proven against the founder and principle owner Vic de Zen and a Board member the present Ontario Finance Minister. No charges were laid. Yet, the authorities, not the shareholders, threw out these gentlemen from the company and facilitated its takeover by other parties. That was a disgrace, and yet not once did I read any reporter who questioned what was happening.
Stelco was another. Like Royal Group, the company was a successful going concern in full compliance with all laws, with all creditor and shareholder agreements, and listing agreements. Yet, a rogue Chairman/CEO opined that business conditions would grow worse, and so he and his rogue Board filed bankruptcy papers. A famous judge who helped orchestrate these bankruptcy plans then accepted a Plan of Arrangement that ultimately eliminated 100 pct of the rights of shareholders, left the bondholders without payment and a new ownership group in control. Yes, you heard me right; there was no Plan of Arrangement. I stated that many times when the newspapers were regurgitating the company press releases as fact. So while still sitting on the bench, this judge decided to terminate the whole affair so he could retire. Where did he retire to? Within a couple months he joined the law firm that was the central player in the Stelco bankruptcy. The shareholders’ lawyer was paid full fees by the new control group on the basis there was no appeal. That lawyer’s girlfriend, I believe, works for the Ontario Securities Commission. The OSC refused to listen to the complaints of shareholders who knew their assets were being stolen. The newspaper reporters reported that the retirement party for the Stelco judge was a fine affair.
I just find these situations beyond belief.
Next on the list is the screwing to come for Conrad Black. Long before he was charged with any offense, he was thrown out of his company, Hollinger. Corporate raiders then arrived to strip it. What Conrad Black had done with Hollinger before it was pulled apart by others was to build a world class media company, much like Rupert Murdoch, with more than 400 newspaper titles. Now the so-called business and financial reporters are focused on Black’s well-known arrogance. Will he get fair treatment in the courtroom? I wouldn’t bet on it.
At the end of the day, I take nothing for granted. I trust nobody except myself. I have seen too much deceit in the world by reporters, storytellers and PR folk working for undisclosed parties. It is what it is; we deal with it, but we don’t have to like it.
Thank goodness for alternative media. In addition to trading, we can talk about these things.
Disclosure: Author currently has no position in KRY