Tuesday 30th June 2015
NEWS TICKER, MONDAY, JUNE 29TH : The mobile service provider CM Telecom says the company will move into mobile payments and has founded CM Payments, a new payment service provider (PSP) that will operate internationally. CM Payments opens its office in Amsterdam. CM was founded in 1999 in Netherlands and specialises in worldwide mobile messaging and payments. The company declares they already have in-house technology and the platform, which can process a large number of transactions per second utilises this technology for the expanded service. The platform also offers connectivity to multiple payment methods including VISA, MasterCard, Paypal, iDeal, Microincasso and Bancontact (Belgium). CM Payments wants to expand cooperation with a number of existing CM customers by using the capabilities of the payment platform. The group consists of, among others, authorities, fundraising institutions, media, e-commerce and telecom players. After a closed beta period, CM Payments will go public. - Despite offering the first prepaid MasterCard with 14 currencies on a single card at ‘spread free’ exchange rates, Centtrip is urging holidaymakers visiting Greece in the next few days to physically take enough spending money for their entire holiday, because it believes local merchants may impose limits on how much they will accept by card, or reject cards altogether as they fear they will not be able to access funds from their own banks. Centtrip hopes that the level of uncertainty facing Greece will be removed soon, and that it can start recommending people use cards again when visiting the country. Greece has announced that banks will be closed until July 6TH – the day after a referendum on bailout proposals, and there is a €60 euro limit on ATM withdrawals. However, foreign tourists, a key driver of the Greek economy, will be exempt from the restrictions. Brian Jamieson, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Centtrip, said: “Although customers will be able to use our Centtrip card and others at ATMs, they will be faced with long queues to withdraw their money. Local merchants may also impose limits on how much they will accept by card or reject these altogether because they may be concerned about accessing funds from their own bank. During the current situation in Greece and the uncertainty that prevails, we are advising people to take all the spending money they think they will need for their entire holiday in hard physical Euros. As the situation develops, we will provide further recommendations to our clients and to those travelling to Greece.” - Scotiabank's Commodity Price Index climbed by 4.7% month-over-month (m/m) in May -- the second consecutive monthly gain -- though the All Items Index remains -26.5% below a year earlier. "While global economic conditions remain lacklustre, international oil prices have lifted off bottom and supply disruptions in Western Canada's oil patch have pushed up domestic netbacks," says Patricia Mohr, vice president of Economics and Commodity Market Specialist at Scotiabank. "May and June have witnessed an extraordinary narrowing of the discounts on Western Canada's light and heavy crude oil off West Texas Intermediate (WTI) -- the North American benchmark -- a trend which will continue into July. The Forest Product Index edged down in May by -0.2% m/m and is still -11.5% below a year earlier. However, strong US housing permits in May and a growing backlog of sold, but not yet started units, points to stronger residential construction in coming months. The basic supply of shelter in the U.S. is tightening, with apartment vacancy rates at a mere 4.2% - propelling multiple-unit building permits to an annualized 592,000 units in May, the highest level since January 1990. Western Spruce-Pine-Fir 2x4 lumber prices have jumped back to US$300 per thousand board feet from US$262 in April and US$256 in May. After investors bid up LME zinc prices as high as $1.09 per pound in early May, zinc prices have unwound alongside copper to the US$0.92 mark in late June. However, closure of the Century mine in Australia and Lisheen in Ireland in 2015:Q3 will tighten world supplies, sending prices significantly higher by year end. Chinese interest in copper and other mining investments remains strong - a sign that the 'bull run' in base metals is expected to return later in the decade.

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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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