Global Mining Investing $69.95, 2 Volume e-Book Set. Buy here.
Author, Andrew Sheldon

Global Mining Investing is a reference eBook to teach investors how to think and act as investors with a underlying theme of managing risk. The book touches on a huge amount of content which heavily relies on knowledge that can only be obtained through experience...The text was engaging, as I knew the valuable outcome was to be a better thinker and investor.

While some books (such as Coulson’s An Insider’s Guide to the Mining Sector) focus on one particular commodity this book (Global Mining Investing) attempts (and does well) to cover all types of mining and commodities.

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Thursday, August 18, 2005

Aussie dollar - looking weaker

The Australian dollar is likely to fall off in the coming months as a softer Chinese and US economies tranlates into lower commodity prices. The highly indebted household sector will prevent the government from raising interest rates, though a weaker $A and tight labour markets suggests some upward move in interest rates will be required to quell inflation. There are already signs that retail sales and business confidence is weaker in the retail sector, so consumer spending should fall, but $A dominated mineral revenues will offer a sound buffer until inflation needs to be addressed. The 'staunchly independent' Reserve Bank (central bank) will have a chance to prove its meddle. We have already seen food prices moving up 7-15%, so that will eventually lead to wage pressures.

Strong commodity prices was recently the reason for a strong $A, but it appears to have been a speculative commodities play rather than reflecting real demand. Economic activity just was not that strong.

This set of affairs means that Australian gold stocks will out-perform.

Japanese Yen - subdued for now

The Japanese yen is a side-show compared to the $US as the US economy powers ahead and the Fed fight inflation fears with higher interest rates. The Yen will however out-perform the Euro since its economy is growing stronger. There is also considerable interest in the Japanese equity market as it benefits from a property-inspired boom.
- Andrew Sheldon

Euro - nothing happening

The Eurozone remains a disappointment - given the slow growth and lack of resolve to establish a unified monetary policy framework. Progress with labour reform is also slow.

The Euro will be weak as the US and Japanese economy strengthen, particularly since the Eurozone will not want to raise interest rates.

- Andrew Sheldon

US Dollar - range bound

The $US has broken out of its long term downtrend, though its likely to test its lows as oil prices and Asia`s mercantilist policies conspire to boost the US deficit. In the short to medium term however the US economy is growing strongly and the Fed is raising rates, so with the Eurozone recording subdued growth - except a stronger $US. The Japanese economy is looking stronger, however the Yen will look weaker as long as the rate differentials with the US remains substantial.
Higher deficits or lower interest rates could eventually bring the $US back to its Y86 low. For the meantime, the US remains a growth story. Nevermind that the bulk of the jobs created are in the service sector and will disappear with the forthcoming collapse in household consumption.

- Andrew Sheldon

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Indonesian Rupiah - up on growth

Ever since the current president of Indonesia was elected, I have been very excited by Indonesia`s prospects. The reasons are thus:
  1. Leadership: The values and leadership style of PM Dr Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono are conducive to stable government. The PM is US-educated so there is some hope that he will embrace western values. He has also been concillatory with US and Australian governments.
  2. Tourism: The tourism industry was hit by terrorism, and less so by the tsunami. It appears that Indonesian police have had greater success rooting out terrorism than the Philippines.
  3. Values: Indonesia has long been divided by different values (religions) and ethnic groups that have fought over control of resources > mining revenues. This and corruption has undermined the rule of law.
  4. Infrastructure: there is some hope that Indonesia will be able to develop basic infrastructure to service industry.
  5. Industry: Certainly the Indonesian coal & minerals industries will benefit from renewed investment. Oil & gas exploration and development also will boost national income since indonesia is a net energy exporter.
  6. Civil Unrest: The government is close to negotiating a peace agreement with the Free Aceh Movement in North Sumatra. This region controls a significant share of the country`s oil production capacity, so will aid further investment.
  7. Trade: Exports are up 30% in the last year since Dr Y`s election.

There is every reason to believe that Indonesians will be less prone to embracing terrorism if their prospects for employment are raised. but it only takes 1 to set a bomb. Given the stronger terms of trade of Indonesia (from net energy exports) and its stronger leadership, it seems to have less upside than the Philippines peso, but represents a safer bet.

- Andrew Sheldon

Philippines Peso - down on reform uncertainty

The Philippines peso is not one of the easist currencies to trade, but having visited the country in recent weeks, the country strikes me as an emerging good story. There are a number of dynamics shaping up to propel this country:
  1. Constitutional crisis: The Arroyo government was close to impeachment in recent weeks, and though it looks like she will have a reprieve, a strong consensus emerged for reform. The Philippines is considered the 2nd most conrrupt country after Indonesia in Asia.
  2. New cabinet: During the crisis, Arroyo moved to appoint several ministers who were well received by the Makati Business Club. eg. New finance minister, etc
  3. High oil prices: The Philippines is strongly dependent on imported oil. This dependence has eroded government activity.
  4. Expat income: The Philippines has the good fortune of having some 5mil expats working overseas, mostly in the USA, Japan and the Middle East. In times of crisis these Filipinos repatriate more funds to the Philippines.
  5. Terrorism: The Philippines comprises 3 island groups. The southern island group of Mindanao/Sulu hosts a large number of Muslims, some of whom engender extremist views - the Abu Sayef - and resort to kidnap and ransom demands, assasinations and bombings of key infrastructure. Their activities have impacted on investment in the Philippines and the southern islands in particular.
  6. Values: The Philippines has embraced the worst elements of western thinking - populist democracy, Catholicism and the hypocrisy that accompanies such subjective values. This aspect of the Philippines remains the most enduring and the most scary. Chile proved that it can be done - though it did not have the same democratic foundation given that Pinochet maintained control of the military.
  7. Investment potential: The Philippines remains (along with Indonesia) the poor bed-fellow in Asia. There are 3 sectors of the Philippines economy that hold particular promise:

a. Mining: The Philippines is very rich, so is likely to benefit from a future mining boom. It will be greatly advantaged by expat miners returning home.

b. Tourism: More than most countries in Asia, the Philippines offers an attractive archipelago for developing tourist resorts for Asians. Part of the appeal is the allure of the Filipino, though improvements in diet, infrastructure, service, security and safety are needed.

c. Property: There are currently significant constraints on foreign investment in property in the Philippines. Foreigners are for pure investment purposes are only allowed to invest in condominiums starting from $US40,000.

In recent weeks the Peso has fallen to P42 against the $A and $56 against the $US. Uncertainty over the constitutional process and higher oil prices and the collapse of Asian exports can be expected to see the peso trade lower in future, but that will present an attractive buy opportunity.

- Andrew Sheldon

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