E Closed-End Funds And Stocks

*Greencore Group plc today reported to the Irish Central Bank that its shares are being bought by institutions: 3.93% by BlackRock Inc; 3.29% by Prudential plc, a UK insurance firm; 4.074% by Susquehanna International Group; and 6.5% by FMR LLC, (Fidelity Funds). They are able to collect the buyback on UK listed shares which holders of the normal ADR cannot get because the GNCGY shares are not accepted for the buyback, only the GNCGF pink sheet shares based on the London price. It will incur a 20% withholding tax which can be offset against taxes owing next year.

Tech & Tel

*Mercado Libre is still falling because Amazon plans to open its own distribution system in Brazil, the largest market for the Argentina internet shopping site. Amazon is also roiling the US UPS and FedEx delivery services because it also plans to exclude them from distribution what people buy on-line. Note that Brazil is a tough market for delivery because it is very large and poorer than the USA, and also has variable state sales taxes. Amazon is also ending its $5 print magazine subs. Its Whole Foods arm is being sued for discrimination against a Black Muslim who took time off to pray. I am pretty sure MELI will avoid these issues.

*Apart from Amazon, Vanguard Global's best performers include Naspers which we own thanks to our reporter Africa hand Harry Geisel. NPSNY owns 31% of Tencent which has run into trouble lately but also has dozens of other internet and media holdings in emerging markets.

*China today spelled out why TCEHY is in the doghouse. The Cyberspace Administration of Chine singled out Tencent's news product as “bulgar and low-brow content that is harmful and damaging to the internet ecosystem. It shut down 733 websites in its latest crackdown. Last year TCEHY suffered since Mach as no new games were approved.

 *Vodafone defeated Telecom Italia's plan to assuage pressures for a separation of its prized network assets by placing them into a wholly owned subsidiary, as the industry regulator said it was opposed to the proposal. It would be able to compete with rival telcos while also offering them access to its network which holds too much power directly. TIM has been under pressure for years from Italian politicians, regulators, and rivals to separate and upgrade its network, which analysts have valued at up to 15 bn euros ($17 bn). Now the Italian communications regulator has sought public consultation on what to do. VOD and the O2 sub of Telefonica of Spain are working on a possible joint venture to share ownership of 2500 5G towers in larger cities which could be sold to a 3rd party. US towers already are leased to wireless telcos. But their optical fiber deal specifies that the terms and conditions under which they will work together will be flexible and will depend on accord between them later this year.

VOD was raised to buy with a GBX 225 target price today by Crédit Suisse.


*Danish Novo Nordisk's (NVO) xultophy diabetes drug combo of liraglutide and degludec is now on sale in Canada. It needs to be dosed carefully as there are side-effects so don't buy it there to save money.

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