Global Investing

South African rand slides as labour unrest grows

May 16, 2013

The South African rand has lost most ground amongst emerging market currencies, according to Reuters data, falling almost 10 percent so far this year to hit 4-year lows against the dollar.

Mali risks in focus

January 15, 2013

The international focus is on  gold-producing country Mali after days of French air strikes on al-Qaeda-linked Islamist rebel strongholds in the north of the West African country. France expects Gulf Arab states will help an African campaign against the rebels,  and a meeting of donors for the Mali operation is due at the end of the month. West African defence chiefs are meeting today to approve plans to speed up the deployment of 3,300 regional troops.

Three snapshots for Monday

March 26, 2012

Is China heading for a hard or soft landing? One chart to keep an eye on is the relative performance of materials equities, the long run of outperformance since 2000 looks like it might be rolling over.

London taking AIM at smaller companies

June 1, 2009

As investors in London’s junior AIM market know only too well, high risk does not always mean high return. Now, more than ever, the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange needs to prove that it can offer investors high-quality companies.******The FTSE Small Cap index of smaller companies listed on the main London market has outperformed the AIM 100 index on the way down, and on the way back up. The FTSE Small Cap has gained almost 30 percent over the last couple of months, while the AIM 100 has risen 20 percent.******And that’s after the AIM 100 saw falls of over 50 percent in the past year, much more than the 27 percent posted by the FTSE Small Cap index.******While liquid companies like Advanced Medical Solutions and Cape typify the benefits of AIM, there are too many that have cut back so much that they are reduced to a CEO operating alone out of his spare bedroom.******AIM officials said on Friday that they thought the market has had its best month for a year, raising around 500 million pounds for companies, but this includes 220 million pounds raised by one company alone, Max Properties.******Fund managers say that they like some AIM companies that are making profits, or close to that point. However high-risk beta stocks that expect investors to hang around for five years or more should be happy that the winter weather has cleared, because they’re likely to spend most of their time with their caps in their hands.******If AIM wants to see its companies grow fruitfully as cash returns to the market, it will have to start out by sifting the chaff from the wheat.

Hedge funds and commodities find interest cooling

September 10, 2008

rtr1w493.jpgIt was not so long ago that hedge funds and commodities were the two red hot areas to invest in.

Commodities hedge funds feel the heat

September 4, 2008

rtx7ukh.jpgThe heat is on for hedge funds with commodities bets.

Earlier this week Ospraie Management told investors it is shutting its flagship fund after it plunged 27 percent in August. The fund’s energy and commodities stock positions fell as investors worried if a global economic slowdown will mean less demand for resources.

Mick Davis takes late-cycle punt with Lonmin bid

August 6, 2008

xstrata.jpgMining stocks have lost a third of their value over the past three months on fears the commodity super-cycle is coming to end — but Xstrata’s Mick Davis reckons it’s still a good time to buy.