Power And Dollar

Is New Japanese Ambassador To China Sinking Your 401k?

Japan just named its new ambassador to China without much notice in the States.  But do you own Japanese companies’ stocks?  How much does China affect Japanese manufacturers who have factories in China?  Current ambassador Uichirou Niwa (丹羽宇一郎) will be replaced by Masato Kitera (木寺昌人).  Shortly after the announcement of the appointment, Euro started appreciating against Japanese Yen from 102 to 102.50 similar to US’ appreciation against Yen from 74.40 to 74.85 in 30 minutes. Although US’s currency strength maybe explained by the better than expected unemployment data.  However, USD was actually depreciating against EUR at the same time when JPY was depreciating against all currencies.

So, if Kitera’s appointment has anything to do with the JPY depreciation, what was the rationale in the market at the time?

Kitera has no diplomatic experience in China.  Neither can he speak the language.  It is certainly not an advantage for a diplomat.  However, this is also a reverse to the earlier policy of Japanese Prime Minister Noda (野田 佳彦) to use civilian (current ambassador Niwa is not a civil servant) instead of foreign ministry’s bureaucrats for Japan’s ambassador to China.  Is this a signal interpreted by the market that Prime Minister Noda influence is waning?

Kitera’s career has been mainly related to international organizations, such as foreign aid (Grant Aid Division of Foreign Ministry), Minister to UN and WTO etc.  What does say about the intent of Japan in its relations to China amid the recent controversies over the island dispute?

His skills of cooperation with many different entities are certainly valuable.  Are there no suitable candidates who have host country knowledge and diplomatic skills to smoothen the relationship?  Is this appointment part of the upcoming lower house election calculation? 

If former, then it may show some distrust of the political elite over the close relationship between the bureaucrats with China.  If latter, then this is a clear signal that Japan may become more aggressive against China over the island dispute, despite the US public announcements toward a more peaceful environment during the US election season.  As a stretch, this appointment may enlarge the diplomatic battle field since Kitera may be able to draw his knowledge in the international institution areas.

If Japan actually cannot feel confident about the diplomatic abilities among the China experienced bureaucrats, then this appointment further shows the talent shortage of Japan, now reaching a higher level of the civil servants than previously thought. 

Since 1995, Japan ambassador to China has been around 60 years old, compared to US to China around 57 and China to Japan around 54.  Japan’s labor force has aged tremendously over the two decades without back fill.  The death of Nishimiya (西宮 伸一), the Japan to China ambassador to be, certainly was an accident, although indicative of Japan’s talent pool.  This appointment may serve as an additional indication that Japan is running out of candidates to manage its complicated affairs against a rising power.

This may further affect its trading strength in its future trade negotiation against China in the China, Korea and Japan trilateral relationships.  Export heavy companies in Japan will be further negatively impact, such as auto manufacturers.

October 5, 2012 Posted by | China, finance, Investment, Japan, opinion, politics, stock, trading | Leave a comment

Did Obama Plagiarize Glass And Stegall?

Did Obama’s Volcker’s Rule announcement contribute to the drop of DJ?  Did Obama plagiarize Glass and Stegall?  Pundits all over the place say that is the result of the Volcker’s Rule.  One, Volcker’s Rule alone did not necessitate the fall.  Two, who among these pundits actually read what the White House press release, and not the Bloomberg announcement, is about?  Three, Volcker’s Rule is not “new”.  Volcker’s Rule is actually a re-tro.  Four and finally, what is the implication/impact (theoretical or academic) of Volcker’s Rule?  What can we learn from Geithner’s opposition to this Volcker’s Rule?

Yahoo (of all places) actually hit it right: there are plenty of reasons for DJ to fall.  Realizing the profits from Massachusetts Senator election is quite a good reason already.  In fact, the rise of DJ on Tuesday contradicts the fall of DJ on Thursday: DJ rose because the market expected that having 1 more Republican in the Senate would derail the agenda of Obama.  If investors believed in that, then the investors could not have believed Obama’s Volcker’s Rule would become law.  So, Volcker’s Rule alone did not create the fall.

The White House press release regarding Volcker’s Rule actually gives very little information.  And luck would have it that everything covered by Obama’s 01.21 announcement is already covered by H.R.4173 – Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009.  Quite possibly, nothing is new. 

Worse, nothing is new: Glass-Steagall Act probably covered everything Volcker’s Rule is about.  Since Volcker’s Rule is not in the legislation form, no comparison can be done.  In fact even Volcker calls it “in the spirit” of Glass-Steagall Act.  It further proves that Obama named it Volcker’s Rule for political purposes: to show he is doing something to punish the bad guys (banks) for the rest of us. 

Preventing banks from having private equity funds, hedge funds et etc do decrease profits of the banks.  However, these funds make up 5% of revenues of Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), Citi (NYSE: C) and the like.  Yes, it does strengthen the point that this rule is for show, especially after the Massachusetts’ loss.  However, Volcker’s insistence on this issue has a point: it takes 5% of their revenue.  However, these banks are using depositors’ money to play these large bets, using FDIC’s insurance to back themselves up, and twisting their risk adjusted return on capital (RAROC).  Here is an example:  How much can $1000 bet if you were to trade on currencies?  Answer: with $1k, you can trade the equivalent of $100k of Japanese yen, British pound, Euro and so on.  If the currency fluctates 1%, the $1k is already gone.  If the market swings more than 1%, the bank has to lose all of its money (the $1k depositors’ money) and more.  So, these banks are misappropriating depositors’ money (which would be illegal in insurance laws), making taxpayers pay for their risk, and presenting themselves before the eyes of investors. 

What it really does is to draw out a lot of hot money from the market: less money will change hands on a daily basis.  That affects all industries.  Investors (institutional espeically) will have to play with real money, if this works.  Retail investors will make up a greater proportion of money in the market than before.  Market will be more difficult to be manipulated than before by a few players.  Will that shrink the whole market? Probably.  However (or hopefully), it will mean everyone will be trading with a saner head since no one will be playing with free money.

January 25, 2010 Posted by | banking, Current Events, Investment, legislation, market, Money, obama, opinion, Palin, politics, Thoughts, trading, US politics, wordpress-political-blogs | 3 Comments

China Earthquake And Your Money

CNN continues to report the newest death toll caused by China’s earthquake.  What stocks are affected by this earthquake?  This natural disaster in China is a lot closer to America than Myanmar’s simply because China is a lot more involved in the global economy.

 

More than 2 dozens of Chinese public traded companies can be found in the States either as stocks or as ADR.  The PetroChina (NYSE: PTR) is the first one to be affected because it has fields in Sichuan, the province where the quake occurred.  Those oil wells are now shut.  This company is the largest oil company in China.  Nippon Oil (TSE only) has a joint venture with PetroChina.  

 

China Telecom (NYSE: CHA) may get the worst hit since it has 10% of all land lines in the region.

Sinopec (NYSE: SNP), which is developing a field in Sichuan may see decrease in revenue.  Damage to this gas field is unknown.

 

China Life (NYSE: LFC) is also dropping since it is expected to have a lot more life insurance claims.  This life insurance company is the largest in China.  The selling pressure is short term since the life insurance penetration in that area is low.  In fact, the price has come back up after the initial drop.  This selling pressure only lasted for 1 day.

 

PICC Property & Casualty (other-otc: PPCCF) may actually get a bigger hit than the life insurance companies.

 

Negative impact on HSBC will be minimal since this bank has very exposure to this geographic area.

 

Qingling Motors (OTC: QGLHF) will get negative impact.  This area has some exposure to auto factories and circuit design.  However, the foreign trade is not concentrated here. 

 

Huaxin Cement’s price is going up already, in anticipation of more infrastructure projects.  Huaxin is traded in Shanghai only.  Lafarge SA (OTC: LFRGY), of France, is the parent company of Huaxin.  Cement company Anhui Cement is other-otc: AHCHF.

 

Construction equipment companies that have a presence in China will do well.  Check Caterpillar’s (NYSE CAT) exposure in China or Hong Kong.  Its competitors are Deere, Gehl.  Astec builds road construction equipements and components (NASDAQ ASTE).  Check its exposure in China or Hong Kong.  A strong exposure will be a good sign.   

All medical supplies companies are going up in China and Hong Kong.

 

Foreign companies such as IBM, Intel, Wipro (NYSE: WIT) have sites here.  Japanese Toyota and Hitachit also have sites here. 

This earthquake will drive up inflation in China.  Given the tourism brought by Olympics, Chinese yuan is expected to appreciate until the end of the games.

 

If your desired company cannot be found in the States, find a proxy company in Hong Kong stock exchange, or ADR in the states.  If you are interested at funds, then get an Asian (or Far East) fund that has a heavier emphasis of infrastructure and medical supplies industries, a heavier emphasis in Hong Kong.  A lot of companies in China may get suspended if it has a big swing in price.  Hong Kong does not have such restriction.  This gives your mutual fund manager a greater flexibility.

May 13, 2008 Posted by | banking, business, China, Current Events, economics, 香港, finance, Investment, market, opinion, politics, stock, Thoughts, trading, wordpress-political-blogs, 国事, 中國 | 2 Comments

From Zimbabwe, Kenya, To Madagascar Oil, China and India

Zimbabwe got a new twist.  CNN reports Mugabe decides not to atten the submit to be held in Zambia, its neighbour.  However, the opposition (Tsvangirai) is attending.  This will give the Tsvangiraia great opportunity to sell his plan of stabilization and strengthens Tsvangirai’s edge both internationally as well as domestically. 

The instability in Zimbabwe affects copper’s prices.  However, the copper price has been receding from its historical high.  This Zimbabwe episode will provide a support price level to copper.  So, this price will probably slow down.

Further down, Sino Union Petro & Chemical secured an oil field with Madagascar, expected to be worth 2B barrels.  China will own 50% of the venture. 

Chinese oil exploration firms have been trying to secure sites overseas with little success.  This is a firt major break not only for them, but also to Madagascar as well.  Madagascar has not produced oil for 60 years, reports Reuters! 

This company is not traded in LSE nor NY.  It is traded in HK only. 

This will also strench India’s resources as well.  Although India is not in as an urgent need as China in terms of resources.  Over the years, China is slowly moving in East Africa (more so than Africa in general), the traditinoally perceived sphere of influence by India.  Not that India has navy bases all over the place, but it has a lot of migrants and control a big portion of trade in East Africa.  It will only be a matter of time for India to express its security concern not only about the Himalaya border and Parkistan, but also about pan India Ocean security issues with China.  These oil exploration companies will have to learn that getting listed in London and NY helps them mitigate political risks.

For India, issues such as Kenya and Zimbabwe will have to become the leverage points for it to enter the stage.  It is probably too late for this episode.  But next time.

April 11, 2008 Posted by | business, China, chinese, Current Events, economics, finance, market, Money, opinion, politics, stock, Thoughts, trading, wordpress-political-blogs | 5 Comments

Kenya, Zimbabwe and Your $$

Wall Street reports (print version) that Zambia President and SADC Chairman Levy Mwanawasa invited 15 South African countries for a submit on the Zimbabwean crisis.  How does Zimbabwe affect your $$?  Kenya is having their problems too.  Zimbabwe itself does not cause that much of a problem.  When the political instability gets Zimbabwe’s neighbour Zambia nervous, then it will affect your $$.  And how does Kenya play into this?  Well, most of the copper from central Africa are mined from land locked countries.  And they, just happen so, export through Kenya.

 

http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/africa/04/10/zimbabwe.election/index.html

 

 

Zambia and Zimbabwe shares a long border.  Zambia and Kenya also share a long border.  Zambia would get nervous because it sees a refugee crisis down the road.  And that is where the problem begins.  Zambia is still a major producer of copper.  This Zimbabwean political instability may create political instability in Zambia as well.  This will drive up the prices of copper.  Kenya may not create a refugee problem.  However, the seaports may not be working and we will get a real back log on copper.  That can be the same story as oil having its backlog created by Katrina, just a copper version of it.  And from there goes into your alloy producers, manufacturing, construction tools, …

 

 

Copper prices have been falling lately (as in days).  However, copper is around the historical highs (2008.04.09’s LMX cash ~8650/MT vs. 2006.05’s LMX cash ~8800/MT).

 

 

Who is the biggest buyer of copper right now? You got it right: China and India.  And they are importing for their infrastructure needs.

 

 

In addition, this Zimbabwe will increase pressure to push up inflation.  And the inflation effect may not be a cascading effect by imports.  If the Chicago market recognizes this risk quickly, the price level may get worked into it fairly quickly.  That affects the bonds market right away.  And any movement in bonds affects stocks of FIs.  

 

 

This may lead people to think about the exchange rate of US dollars.  The exchange rate of US is not affected much by this crisis.  The US exchange may be experiencing some psychological sell off due to US’ recent fall against Chinese Yuan.  US has fallen across the psychological barrier of 1US vs. 7Yuan, read Forbes’ story here.  

April 10, 2008 Posted by | business, Current Events, economics, finance, Money, opinion, politics, stock, Thoughts, trading, wordpress-political-blogs | 2 Comments

Zimbabwe and your $$

Wall Street reports (print version) that Zambia President and SADC Chairman Levy Mwanawasa invited 15 South African countries for a submit on the Zimbabwean crisis.  How does Zimbabwe affect your $$?  Zimbabwe itself does not cause that much of a problem.  When the political instability gets Zimbabwe’s neighbour Zambia nervous, then it will affect your $$.  

 

http://inthefield.blogs.cnn.com/2008/04/10/a-crisis-measured-in-hunger/

http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/africa/04/10/zimbabwe.election/index.html

 

Zambia and Zimbabwe shares a long border.  Zambia would get nervous because it sees a refugee crisis down the road.  And that is where the problem begins.  Zambia is still a major producer of copper.  This Zimbabwean political instability may create political instability in Zambia as well.  This will drive up the prices of copper.  And from there goes into your alloy producers, manufacturing, construction tools, …

 

Copper prices have been falling lately (as in days).  However, copper is around the historical highs (2008.04.09’s LMX cash ~8650/MT vs. 2006.05’s LMX cash ~8800/MT).

 

In addition, this Zimbabwe will increase pressure to push up inflation.  And the inflation effect may not be a cascading effect by imports.  If the Chicago market recognizes this risk quickly, the price level may get worked into it fairly quickly.  That affects the bonds market right away.  And any movement in bonds affects stocks of FIs.  

 

This may lead people to think about the exchange rate of US dollars.  The exchange rate of US is not affected much by this crisis.  The US exchange may be experiencing some psychological sell off due to US’ recent fall against Chinese Yuan.  US has fallen across the psychological barrier of 1US vs. 7Yuan, read Forbes’ story here.  

 

 

AP reports the political story as follows:

 

The opposition party said Thursday it will not participate in a presidential runoff, while spokesmen for President Robert Mugabe and his chief rival said both will attend an emergency summit of southern African leaders this weekend.

The Movement for Democratic Change says its candidate, Morgan Tsvangirai, won the March 29 vote outright, and has accused Mugabe of delaying the results to give ruling party militants time to intimidate voters and ensure he wins a second round.

On Thursday, the opposition leadership met and resolved not to participate in any runoff presidential vote.

“We won the presidential election hands down, without the need for a runoff,” MDC Secretary-General Tendai Biti told reporters at a news conference in neighboring South Africa. Party leaders had previously said they would not accept a second round, but the party had not taken a formal stance.

Deputy Information Minister Bright Matonga told CNN he believed opposition politicians would be “cowards” if they did not contest a runoff.

“They should come, they should face the music,” he said.

Twelve days after the vote, the results from the presidential race have not been released. The High Court will decide Monday whether to grant an opposition request for release of the election results.

Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa has called an emergency summit of the Southern African Development Community for Saturday to discuss the crisis.

“Such meetings are usually very healthy so heads of state can brief each other, not only us in Zimbabwe,” Zimbabwean Information Minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu told The Associated Press.

But he insisted the meeting wasn’t necessary. “There is no crisis in Zimbabwe that warrants a special meeting on Zimbabwe,” he said.

Mwanawasa originally planned to send a delegation of former heads of state to Zimbabwe but decided to hold an urgent summit instead, Zambian state radio reported.

Matonga confirmed that Mugabe would attend. “If there is a SADC meeting of heads of state, then obviously he will attend,” he told the AP.

Tsvangirai also will attend the summit, MDC spokesman Nqobizitha Mlilo said, calling him a “head of state.” Biti said the party would press SADC to urge Mugabe to step down.

Tsvangirai, who was traveling throughout the region to ask Mugabe’s peers to push him to end the standoff, was headed Thursday to South Africa to meet with President Thabo Mbeki, Mlilo said.

“If Mr. Tsvangirai is in town and before the president leaves for the next meeting and his program allows it, it is important to hear what Mr. Tsvangirai has to say,” said Aziz Pahad, South Africa’s deputy foreign affairs minister.

African leaders previously deferred to Mbeki and his strategy of “quiet diplomacy” on dealing with Zimbabwe. Mwanawasa has stood out as the only southern African leader to publicly criticize Mugabe’s policies, last year likening the country’s economy to “a sinking Titanic.”

Mugabe has virtually conceded he did not win the election and appears to be campaigning for a runoff by intimidating his foes and fanning racial tensions.

Desmond Mufunde, a newly elected MDC councilman from the rural Gweru district, said soldiers attacked some people in his district last weekend.

Zimbabwe’s Commercial Farmers’ Union accused ruling party supporters of forcing dozens of white farmers off their land and ransacking their homes. Farmers warned that continued chaos could endanger the wheat crop, vital to a nation that has grown deeply dependent on food aid during the worsening economic crisis.

April 10, 2008 Posted by | business, Current Events, economics, finance, market, Money, opinion, stock, Thoughts, trading, wordpress-political-blogs | 1 Comment

Treasury to “Talk” about Tibet in China or $$?

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is visiting China.   It is said that he will bring the issue of Tibet to China.  Among other items for discussion are: Chinese tariffs on environmental technology, restriction on financial markets open to foreign competition, the free currency exchange rate of Chinese yuan.  Forbes has a summary:

http://www.forbes.com/markets/feeds/afx/2008/04/02/afx4843254.html

A visit by Treasury is of course arranged way in advance.  So, Tibet is not what prompted the visit.  Neither would Tibet become the main focus at the last minute for a Treasury Secretary.  So, the Tibet talk is for domestic consumption.  Is the appreciation of yuan the point, now that Paulson is actually in China? 

Yuan has already appreciated 4% this year, i.e. 4% in 3 months.  That is quite a bit of appreciation in such a short period of time.  That topic cannot last long.  So, any accomplishment out of this trip would not be in this topic.  And someone like Paulson who has decades of experience in international banking knew that.   

So, what does he want to accomplish here? 

He will put some effort into the environmental technology issue.  However, he is not an expert.  If he has a delegation to go with him, then he will be able to facilitate a lot business card exchanges among the right people.  The irony here is US isn’t really a great leader in this field.  The strength is probably in the capital intensive side of this business, such as wide farms.   

Wang Qishan, the Vice Premier of China managing trades, is the counter part of Paulson.  They met when Paulson, while at Goldman Sachs, helped China restructure one of the big banks.  Therefore, they will be able to spend the most time on opening financial markets to foreign competition.  US’ interests will be on having foreign insurance, investment and banking companies to operate in China while China will say they are not ready yet.  An achievement should not be expected since this ought to be a long term negotiation.  Besides, China is waiting for a new President to deal.  They can also spend some time in the difficulty of conducting M&A in China.  However, if Paulson brings up that issue, then the conversation will easily be dragged into the difficulty of having M&A done in the states by Chinese firms.   

The importance for the US is this is the first trip since the new leadership in February.  So, this is a relationship building trip.  A lot of career bureaucrats of both sides need to find out who their counter parts are.  US’ new Trade counter part will give US less confrontation.  However, by no means negotiations will be easier.  This is a difference in style, not in substance.  Paulson will also gain a lot from this trip.  His Goldman Sachs resume put him to DC.  He paid back to his core constituency by the recent overhaul to make the industry more competitive in the global market place.  Now, his position of power opened even more doors to his post Treasury Secretary career.    

At least someone got something useful of Bush Administration.

April 3, 2008 Posted by | business, China, Current Events, 西藏, market, Money, opinion, politics, stock, Thoughts, Tibet, trading, wordpress-political-blogs, 中國 | Leave a comment

Taiwan’s Bank buys Mainland China’s

Fubon has been approved to buy approximately 20% of Xiamen City Commercial Bank at a price of US$34 M.  The biggest shareholder of Xiamen City Commercial Bank is the Xiamen City government’s Commerce Bureau, approximately 24%.  Fubon is traded in international exchanges.  Fubon is expected to name members to the board.

Xiamen City Commercial Bank is a local bank.  Xiamen (Amoy) has the heavies concentration of Taiwan businesses.  This local bank is not a troubled bank.  The significance is not who bought whom, but the approval by Taiwan’s authorities.  This will be considered a plus for Fubon. 

Taiwan’s government bureaucrats are quick to recognize the president elect Ma and quickly steering to approvals that would be considered as consistent with his platform.  There probably will be other approvals before May that are considered favourable to businesses/industries building ties to Mainland China. 

April 3, 2008 Posted by | banking, business, China, Current Events, economics, finance, market, Money, stock, Taiwan, trading, wordpress-political-blogs, 台灣, 中國 | Leave a comment

Paulson’s Big Bang: For Who And What Do You Care?

Paulson made this long expected announcement about residential mortgage regulation.  What is relevant? To Who?  Irrelevant or indifferent to McCain, this plan is not adding points to McCain.  It does not do anything to elevate the pains a lot of people are suffering right now.  What is going on?Below is the news from Reuters: http://www.reuters.com/article/bankingFinancial/idUSN3142489220080331

This kind of regulation is not something Democrats are good at.  However, putting something like this up front can reduce a lot of fire in this election from the Democrats.  So, it does not add points to McCain, it can take a few hits from Democrats.  However, after reading the pdf file from Paulson, one may protecting McCain is only a collateral benefit.  This piece of work is more about pay back time, paying back to a core constituence.

This overhaul is to take the initiative of repair from the Democrats to the Republicans, in particular, someone who knows the financial industry well.  Paulson is not a retail banker.  He comes fromt he capital markets.  His placed a great emphasis on capital markets, like merging SEC and futures trade commission.   

The change regarding exchange traded funds is a good call.  But then, how is it related to the purpose of residential mortgage overhaul?  Fixing the approval process is needed. And couldn’t this be done in legislation maintenance?  Why packaged in such a big fix?  It serves the industry more than the purpose of residential mortgage regulation, similarly for expanding the Investment Company Act to permit a new global investment company.  

It is probably a good idea to have oversight of broker-dealers and investment advisers offering similar services to retail investors.  What about the practice of licenses being licensed to the companies rather than the individuals who actually do the work?  That has been the cause of a lot of discrimination lawsuits.  Since the licenses are licensed to the companies, this looks more like territorial fighting than “oversight”.  Of course, some kind of retail investor protection will be part of the deal.  

Of the whole 7 pages of summary, only 0.5 page of it is focused on residential mortgage origination.  Another 0.5 page about state banks, payment systems and thrift charter, the real retail customers related issues.  Once insurance is added on top, there is 1.5 page of material!  

It is true there are other issues involved, such as the new powers to the Fed that has indirect positive consequences to the retail customers as well.  However, the meat is in the regulation reduction.  And for all fairness, it is about redundancy.  But don’t do it in the name of preventing similar mistakes like this mortgage crisis!

Who cares? Of course anyone who has a heavy position in FIs.  However, the benefit is more on the bigger guys.  The bigger institutions are the ones who have cross jurisdiction issues.  The retail level gets affected the most looks like the mortgage brokerages.  More details regarding the mortgage origination is needed to see if Home Depot and the like would get affected.

April 1, 2008 Posted by | banking, business, Current Events, economics, finance, market, Money, opinion, Regulation, stock, trading, wordpress-political-blogs | 4 Comments

Market Reacts to Taiwan’s Election

The general sentiment of the economic outlook written on 03.21 is reflected today in markets.  The article on 03.21 is here: 

https://royho.wordpress.com/2008/03/21/taiwan-count-down-1/

This is from Reuters:

http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/03/21/taiwan.elections/index.html#cnnSTCText

CNN:

http://money.cnn.com/2008/03/24/news/international/taiwan_markets.ap/index.htm

CNN has a summary of the post election here:

http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/03/23/taiwan.ma.ap/index.html#cnnSTCText

http://edition.cnn.com/2008/BUSINESS/03/24/taiwan.markets.ap/index.html

Some stocks are going up in Hong Kong and Shanghai as well.  Stocks in Shanghai will have a much shorter ride.  Since you probably cannot trade in Shanghai’s market, you cannot be exposed to it.  Your mutual fund may.  If your mutual fund does not have a local office, it may not actually understand political dymanics and the reasons for its short ride.  This is a good opportunity to watch your fund manager. 

You may happen to have some stocks in Hong Kong since HK is a lot more accessible to foreign capital and quite a good amount of their listed companies are also listed elsewhere (London, NY’s 2 markets).  This ride could be slightly longer.  New president does not come until much later.  So, all these trades are also emotional. 

Some Taiwan companies are traded overseas.  These rides are longer.  Again, new president does not come until May 2008.  So, these are sentiment trades.  One may want to wait untill some announcements come.  But it is the time to study the annual reports. 

Is the Taiwan the safest bet while the USD continues to fall?  It is not as easy to hold foreign currency in US as in some other countries.  So, holding a foriegn currency at the retail level is not easy.  The second best is to find a foreign currency/foreign money market fund.  The third is to find conservative funds with foreign positions, foreign as in outside of North America (Canada is not safe enough).  If you are a hands-on kind of guy, and you are interested in this region, then Taiwan banks are okay (among the public tradable in NY).  Avoid banks in Mainland China (for a different reason).  Some other FIs are okay, but not banks.

March 24, 2008 Posted by | business, canada economics, China, china politics, chinese, Current Affairs, Current Events, economics, election, 馬英九, finance, market, Money, opinion, politics, stock, Taiwan, Thoughts, trading, 中國 | 2 Comments