E The Anvil Chorus

The private-side Chinese purchasing manager's index, run by HSBC, rose into growth for June, with a score of 50.8. Anything over 50 shows orders are rising. In May the level was 49.4. What this means for our portfolio is explained below.

The hammering outside my office where the scaffolding is being partly assembled reminds me of The Anvil Chorus. The perilous-looking tubular structure in the building courtyard was 1 to 2 stories below our apartment when I left for work. We really have to leave for Europe later this week. While this is partly a vacation it is also a respite from daytime racket and the need to close windows during the summer. The pound is near a new 5-yr high in anticipation of my spending.

With no fewer than 3 of my stocks topping the weekly and month top gainers, all up 22%+, I am getting fearful of a market top. My big winners last week were Covidien(which still counts as I only sold half); Shire, which my son put into our corporate profit sharing account; and Williams Cos, a US stock. Mark Hulbert is making bearish forecasts based on the level of mergers and acquisitions, M&A, which affected all 3, with WMB the buyer and the other two the target. Mark writes Hulbert's Financial Digest, which tracks our performance and is published by marketwatch, a Dow-Jones website.

More  from Britain, South Africa and Korea, China, India, Fin-, Scot-, and Ire-land, Spain, Brazil, Mongolia. Australia and Canada including a big annual report and a stock sale.

*Royal Bank of Scotland via its sub, Coutts & Co., whose clients includes Her Majesty the Queen and her relatives, is under investigation by German authorities for allegedly providing tax-evasion help to the family of Osama bin Laden. We own RBS preferred shares and the C shares of NatWest but none of the common. If this spills over into the pref pricing, it is a good entry point.

*Naspers reported a dividend hike and somewhat disappointing results (because of capex) and the share fell 6% in Johannesburg trading before recovering and is now off 4.6% in US trading. NPSNY is worth hugely more than its current price, also affected by worries of the rand, because its 34% of Tencent alone is worth $47 bn vs its total market cap of $4.49 bn. NPSNY also owns a chunk of Mail.ru.

Its full-years report for 2013-4 came out today showing that adjusted net income rose by only 1% to ZAR 8.6 bn ($810 mn) in the year to Mar. 30. TCTZF and mail.ruaccounted produced a profit of ZAR 10.2 bn which offset losses in other sectors. Part of the problem was impairment charges taken on an e-commerce unit in troubled Turkey and a miss over its lagging e-commerce arm and its results form Brazil print publisher,Abril SA.

Sales rose 26% to 62.7 bn rands. It spent 79% more on development, which hit R7.7 bn.

One reason for the messy market reaction may have been that new CEO Bob Van Dijk was on the line in Hoofddorp, near Amsterdam in Holland, while the results were published out of Cape Town where NPSNY is HQ'd.

Naspers may delay its growth plans going forward, Mr. Van Dijk says and also toldThe Financial Times today that it will “look carefully into M&A” after he took overApril 1. He hinted that Naspers may add to its heavy spending on African TV with more e-commerce and Indian travel sites. (It bought Indian online ticket firm redBus and Russian toy and children's clothes retailer eSky.ru last FY, before Van Dijk took over.)

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Ikejakson 5 years ago Member's comment

Direct request to Mister Bob van Dijk Hoofddorp Netherlands. Please email me and I shall show you what you have to overcome at Naspers.

Ikejakson 5 years ago Member's comment

Naspers SA stinks to high heavens. There is no single manager with balls. When the shit hits the fan they all hide behind their desks. Not a single one has the backbone to face the public.