E Sunshine And Grouses

The sun is shining and it is warm in New York city so naturally stock markets are down.

I am not over-weighting trivial factors. Consider what happened in Asia in the wee hours on Wednesday. A proposal to link the Chinese stock market of Shenzhen to the free-er one in Hong Kong was published by mistake. The news of the link had already come out in May (we reported it) and no enabling rules have yet been set up. Shenzhen is a short train journey away from Hong Kong.

In China's frenetic market, any bit of positive gossip is an excuse for neophyte investors to pile into stocks. And they did. Shanghai rose 4.3% and Shenzhen 5.1%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng only went up 2.1%.

A yen for mail? Meanwhile, across the water (still not claimed by China), Japan Postwas ipo'd as a private company and immediately rose 26%. Mail is not all that JP handles; it has vast banking operations that fund the government deficit and QE policies. Its army of letter carriers act as tax, health, and social workers to oldsters stuck in country villages far from their offspring.

All that service for the good of the elderly citizenry cuts profitability, why we did not spring for the privatized stock.

One theme on Wednesday was lady board members or having to name ladies to your board. Another is a grouse about how badly conference calls are transcribed and how information from Nasdaq is out of date. Another theme is yankee bonds.

*The Japan Post sale boosted the yen, leading me to (finally) exit our Pro Shares ultra short yen (and long-dollar) ETF, YCS. We sold half earlier.

Our Japan Small Cap Fund, JOF, fell 0.38% while Aberdeen Japan Fund dropped 0.4%. Both suffered as other Japanese shares were sold to buy JP.

Dropping too were our Japanese shares Dena, 2432, down 0.31%; Rion, 6823, down 0.35%; and Shinmaywa, 7224, down 0.99%. Everyone was rushing to get the mail.

Heavy Industries

*Veresen (FCGYF) produced its quarterly which Martin Ferera writes showed “steady results with the only significant weakness in natural gas liquids. It also lowered guidance.” It updated its distributable cash estimates for this year to C$0.99-1.07/sh from the earlier range of C$0.95-1.14. The drop was because of the lower loony, apparently. It also helped VSN keep down costs. The share rallied earlier this week. And we now get a 9% yield (C$1.)

Martin is cheered by the “strong indication that commercial discussions to finance” the Oregon (USA) gas liquefaction project are going well. VSN for Jordan Cove and Pacific Connector won the final economic impact statement from FERC to build a port, a 232-mi natural gas pipeline, and a liequefaction plant for the gas. The final order will come byDec. 29. Now VSN is signing up customers to ship natural gas through its network to the Pacific to the tune of about 1 bn cu ft/day by 2020. Gen. Joe Shaefer has sold the stock from the fund he runs but Martin persuaded us to hang in there. The divvie helped as did the rising oil price. FCGYF here; VNS there.

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