Saturday 1st November 2014
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FRIDAY TICKER: OCTOBER 31TH 2014: - The re-election of President Dilma Rousseff on Sunday has important implications for Brazil's Baa2 sovereign rating, as well as for the credit quality of the country's banks, corporations and securitisations, says Moody's. The rating agency says the narrow margin of her victory underscores the challenges she faces as she looks to revive Brazil's lacklustre economic performance - Facebook has reported third quarter results, again showing strongest year-on-year growth in mobile, where daily active users (DAUS) rose by 39% to 703 million, while overall daily users rose 19% to 864 million DAUS - Francisco Partners, a global technology-focused private equity firm, today announced it has completed the acquisition of Vendavo, Inc., a leader in business-to-business (B2B) pricing solutions. David Mitchell, an operating partner of Francisco Partners, will join Vendavo as CEO and lead the company’s worldwide business strategy and operations. Incumbent CEO Neil Lustig will transition into an advisory role with Vendavo. Francisco Partners now has a controlling stake in the Silicon Valley company. The acquisition by Francisco Partners provides additional resources to bolster Vendavo’s aggressive growth strategy, enabling the company to expand sales and marketing while accelerating cloud development. Vendavo completed a record first half of 2014, with nearly 30-percent growth in bookings, and the release of two breakthrough solutions for price and sales effectiveness. Based in Mountain View, Calif., Vendavo provides revenue and price optimisation solutions for B2B mid-market and enterprise companies.Francisco Partners was advised by JMP Securities, and Vendavo was advised by William Blair. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed – The International Finance Corporation, or IFC, issued the four-year, triple-A rated bond only to Japanese retail investors, tapping into the growing interest in low-risk investments with a social or environmental focus. The World Bank, has sold several billion dollars in green bonds over the past six years, with proceeds going to help countries and firms cut greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change. The latest offering, Inclusive Business bonds, would finance firms that work with or sell to the 4.5bn people in the world that make less than $8 a day. IFC said while most poor people do not spend a lot individually, as a whole they represent an estimated $5trn consumer market that firms could tap into - NAKA Mobile, a telecoms and technology specialist based in Switzerland, has claimed the industry’s first virtualised evolved packet core (vEPC). Utilising Cisco’s NFV services, NAKA claims it will transform its network architecture, expand beyond Switzerland, and provide its mobile Internet services to customers across the world - The Internet Society and Alcatel-Lucent have agreed to provide support and equipment for the development of the Bangkok Internet Exchange Point (BKNIX). The project will utilise the Internet Society’s Interconnection and Traffic Exchange (ITE) programme and is intended to deliver a stronger and more robust Internet infrastructure for South East Asia.

Barings backs resources sector equities over commodities

Tuesday, 05 August 2014
Barings backs resources sector equities over commodities Resources sector equities are currently more attractive than direct investments in physical commodities and investors should focus on investing in ‘companies not commodities’ to benefit from an increasing global demand for resources, according to Baring Asset Management (Barings). http://www.ftseglobalmarkets.com/

Resources sector equities are currently more attractive than direct investments in physical commodities and investors should focus on investing in ‘companies not commodities’ to benefit from an increasing global demand for resources, according to Baring Asset Management (Barings).

The opportunity in resources equities is as strong as it has been for several years, believes Barings.  Its positive outlook is based on the size of differential between what it sees as positive company specific drivers versus a negative – often macro driven – consensus view. 

The firm has been investing in resource-related equities for nearly 20 years and manages more than $900m in a range of different strategies in the asset class. 



 “After several years of a benign-to-negative commodity pricing backdrop and associated de-rating by shareholders, companies are finally taking action to improve margins and returns driven by self-help and or restructuring,” says Duncan Goodwin, head of Global Resources at Barings.

“To capture this market shift, we are putting more emphasis on the bottom-up element of stock selection and increasing the level of stock conviction in the Baring Global Resources Fund.  That means a reduced emphasis on top-down portfolio construction with more risk taken at the stock level and reduced macro factor risk. 

“We are increasing the level of stock conviction by decreasing the number of investments held in our portfolio. With the right analysis, we believe it is possible to target investment opportunities offering superior returns and better prospects for positive earnings surprises.”

Since March this year, the Baring Global Resources Fund has been tracked against a new composite benchmark, represented by a 60% weighting to the MSCI AC World Energy Index and a 40% weighting to the MSCI AC Materials Index. 

The benchmark broadens the investable universe of stocks in the Materials space beyond solely Metals and Mining to include subsectors such as chemicals, construction materials, containers and packaging and paper and forest products.

In addition to oil and gas production, the processing, marketing, storing and transporting of hydrocarbons is becoming an increasingly important factor for investors as countries and regions look to secure a stable and competitive source of energy to sustain economic growth.

Barings believes valuations for resources companies are currently trading below historical levels and look set to revert to their long term mean – making them very attractive for active investors with a strong understanding of the sector.  On a longer term basis, continued population growth will drive absolute demand for natural resources, energy production and raw materials, which, in turn, will create growth opportunities for resources companies throughout the value chain.

Goodwin adds: “Over the very long term, we are adamant that resource equities retain a valuable role in investment portfolios.  As commodity prices are closely correlated with rises in consumer prices, investment in the resources sector has the potential to act as a hedge against inflation.  We believe the opportunities in the sector are as strong as they have been for several years and expect a positive re-rating of the sector and associated gains for our resources fund irrespective of the macro.”

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