Names Don't Matter And Trade News

Names matter less than you think The winner of the Eurovision song contest in Copenhagen yesterday was Austria's Conchita Wurst, a bearded male drag queen, who sang “Rise like a phoenix” to bug (among others) homophobic Vladimir Putin.

Nationalist pol Vladimir Zhirinovsky told Russian State TV: “It's the end of Europe. Fifty years ago the Soviet Army occupied Austria. We made a mistake in freeing Austria. We should have stayed.” Actually the Russian Copenhagen contest judges also voted for alto-soprano Conchita, a 25-yr-old Austrian cross-dresser born Thomas Neuwirth. Neuwirth says Conchita is a bearded Colombian lady and the singer gets not just the gay, lesbian, transgender, and bisexual vote but also that of people who like a joke.

You don't want to be tagged with a name giving luck or blessing.

Yingluck Shinawatra has been deposed as prime minister in Thailand and banned from politics. Goodluck Jonathan is under extreme political pressure for his government's failure to respond vigorously to the kidnapping by Boko Haram Muslim extremists of students at girl's high school in Nigeria's northeast province.

Having a blessing (Barak in Hebrew or Arabic) in your name doesn't do much good either. Israeli ex-defense minister Ehud Barak failed to get a peace deal with Yassir Arafat at Camp David in 2000 during the Clinton Administration. Hosni Mubarak in Egypt at 86 was tried for murder and has seen his party banned from the presidential coming election. Barack Obama has low approval ratings despite having won a 2nd term and may not go down in history as a great president despite his Nobel.

I haven't found any examples of people bearing bad luck or cursed names doing better.

More for paid subscribers follows from Israel, Singapore, China, Australia, Brazil, Britain, Spain, Canada, Germany, Japan, and Ireland.

*Reuters gave a boost to Global Logistic Properties Ltd today calling Chinese operations of the Singapore warehouse and logistics firm the solution to “weak links” which are needed if China is to meet the explosive growth potential being cited for Alibaba in its Wall St. debut. That is probably more likely than a takeover bid for GBTZF by Warren Buffett. As much as $2.5 trillion will have to be invested in building and automating Chinese warehouse facilities over the next 15 years, and private equity groups are said to be interesting in investing. They may well line up alongside GBTZF, the most experienced developer before putting up staggering amounts of money to build 2.4 bn sq meters of new logistics sites—an area as large as the island of Taiwan, Reuters noted.

*Alibaba note 2: Tencent for $187 mn has bought 11% of the Shenzhen-listed shares of NavInfo, a maker of mobile map aps. There are rumors it will buy the rest and block Baidu's access, just as Alibaba has blocked its dealing with larger rival AutoNavi. TCTZF shares are up 6%+ on the news.

*Vale is getting lucky on the ground, up over 3% in trading today. The reason is a tugboat deckhands strike in Oz taking out ore shipments to China via the world's largest bulk export terminal, at Port Hedland. The Maritime Union of Australia voted a 7-day walkout which hit shipment from BHP Billiton. Vale means value in Portuguese so the name may be helping.

*Delek Group in its huge Leviathan prospectus revealed that production will be delayed to 2018 from a prior target for the offshore gasfield of 2016. Operator Noble Energy (US NBL, not the same as Swiss NE) cited “regulatory uncertainty” to explain the delay, a factor which also led Australia's Woodside Pete to perhaps pull out of the Leviathan consortium.

DGRLY via two subs is selling $2 bn in bonds in tranches of $400 mn with maturity every two years from 2016 to 2020, and from 2023-25. The interest rates will range from 2.903% to 5.412% and banks are now producing their offer prices for the May 19 deadline. Delek is raising the money to avoid depending on Woodside. The US$ bonds will trade in Tel Aviv.

Meanwhile BG Group (BRGGY, sold 2 years ago) is reportedly also interested in buying some gas from the operating field, Tamar, to ship to its Egyptian Nile Delta liquefaction plants by reversing the trans-Sinai pipeline. Last week talks began between NBL (for the Tamar partners) with Union Fenosa of Spain to do this. Delek in vowel-less Hebrew can be read as  Dalek (the exterminators in Dr. Who.)

*Another Investor's Chronicle push but this time not for Naibu but for Raven Rus, RUS:AIM. It read about the logistics operator:

“A Russian warehouse company offers both a short- and a medium-term interst investment opportunity to exploit. Although the Ruble has devalued 7.5% this year against the US Dollar, the Russian currency is actually 5% stronger against the greenback in the 2 months since [RUS] reported results in early Mar. That's comforting because although its rental income is received in Rubles, it is pegged to the US dollar.” What the article fails to note is that RUS trades in sterling on the AIM and the US$ is down for British investors against the pound.

*Banco Santander is using contingent convertible (co-co) bonds to boost its capital base, issuing euros 1 bn of co-cos in Mar along with euros 1.5 bn of other bonds which also count as tier 1 regulatory capital. It aims to boost its core capital to 9% by the end of 2014 which means there will be more bonds. The likely victim of this rush is going to be common shareholders who will get shares rather than dividends. Luckily ADR owners of SAN can choose cash under the issuing prospectus.

*Canadian Solar is presenting today at the Deutsche Bank alternative energy conference in NYC. The stock is up on that and the interim Q1 update in which it forecast signficantly higher revenues than at the end of BY 2013, at C$460-470 mn, and more megaWatts, 490-500 vs a prior estimate of 470-490. However it also said its operating margins might drop to 14-15% from 14.16% estimated earlier. It reports on Friday.

*Cormark brokers raised IAM Gold to neutral from reduce. IAG.

*Covidien plc is planning opening an advanced medical training and research facility in Turkey. Your editor did a search of the Irish maker of medical instruments and supplies and can confirm that COV is not a maker of unprotected morcellation devices for removing uterine fibroids by laparoscopy which can spread cancer unless the growths are zapped in a removable bag.

*We sold COV spinoff Mallinckrodt on a timely basis as its Q2 profits fell 66% from prior year. We sold MNK because of tax-evasion shenanigans.

*Compugen has ousted CFO Dikla Axselbrad after her husband came under Israeli investigation for insider trading of its stock and named Avihai Shen as interim CFO. The CGEN share is up.

*Also rising in Bavarian Nordic which reports Weds. BVNKF in Denmark will hold its Q4 results talk at 8 am my time. Is there a volunteer in Nordic land where the share trades as BAVA?

*Trying to sell my Japanese shares of DeNA proved very difficult as the order kept being rejected for being too small at E-trade which had bought the shares for me in the first place. The sale was tipped in the Sunday blog. If readers were more successful I would like to know. E-trade cannot explain the failure to trade and in the interval the stock, JP:2432, has lost ~20% of its value. So I suspect some of you did get to do the trades. DNACF is also down in US markets although it has not traded yet, just on the bid/ask.

*We sold Israel Chemicals out of fear Jerusalem would tax it to death. It wound up facing higher corporate taxes partly offset by a reduction in royalty surcharges for its potash mines, back to 5% after being hiked to 10% in 2008. ISCHF is also facing cleanup charges from the region because of low water levels at the Dead Sea Works.

Fund news follows:

*New Germany Fund cut its half-yearly dividend by a whopping 82%+ to $0.8025 from an exceptional $4.4481 per share last year. The payout is still listed as 30.8% in today's Barron's. We sold 2 ½ years ago.

*European Equity Fund, also a Deutsche Bank close-end, cut its semi-annual divvie by 27.3% to 0.1105/sh from 0.152. Its payout is listed at 18.8% in Barron'stoday. That is a problem with using stock funds for income—they are unreliable. EEF.


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