02/21/2012
December 3, 2017
12/24/2011
December 3, 2017

01/27/2012

I’m in Cape Town, South Africa. I FINALLY have internet!!! Tomorrow, I leave for Mongolia…


What portion of the Euro-zone liquidity crisis is caused by guys hoarding Euros to do modern art??

http://www.finextra.com/news/fullstory.aspx?newsitemid=23353

Apparently, it’s a pretty high percentage… lol


Hi Kuppy
Safe and happy travels. I was recently in Asia over the holidays and ran into a guy who just raised $100 million from a few European family offices to invest in Sri Lanka real estate. Similar thesis to your ideas around property in Mongolia and Mozambique – own high quality downtown property.

From a macro sense do you think Sri Lanka has the necessary tailwinds? It does not seem to have a big resource development coming on stream. It seems the proposition is around valuation after the long drawn out civil war that has ended and Indian “cash” from graft trying to find a home. Relative to real estate pricing in India apparently it is very inexpensive.

I don’t know the details of valuation in Sri Lanka, but I cannot imagine that only 2 years after the end of a civil war, prices can be too expensive. Are there catalysts to make values go up? I don’t know.


Hi Kuppy,
Thank you for posting travel hournals. I’ve been really enjoying reading them. I just graduated from University of Notre Dame last year and am now working as an investment analyst for a endowment styly buyside firm. I love travelling and feel very comfortable of going to foreign countries by myself. Your stories just enlighted me that travelling can be fun and investment related at the same time. I wonder how you reach out to people in countries you plan to visit. Thanks a lot!

I find that the people most willing to spend time with you are the ones trying to sell you something. Start with real estate agents, stock brokers, private equity guys, etc. Just email them and tell them you’re coming. If you hit it off, go out for drinks after and see where it goes… in the end, guys in emerging markets like to learn about what’s going on in the developed world as much as you want to know how they see things.


Kuppy,

I bought Mercer at 9 when you talked about it. I doubled my position at 14 when it seemed like it was breaking out. Then when it went under 8, I sold it because the chart was bad. I shorted some at 6 because the chart was even worse. Now, the chart looks good again. Should I cover? go long?? stay short??? I’m so confused. Thankx for all of your help.

Sorry buddy, maybe you should stick to index funds…. lol

I more than doubled my position under 7. I’m holding what I have here. The news from last week is VERY bullish. The germans are buying them a $10m of very high margin electricity revenue. This company is increasingly becoming a utility player and those get valued at very high multiples, not the 2x cash flow that Mercer is currently valued at….


http://www.numbersleuth.org/worlds-gold/

A reader sent this. I thought it was really interesting.


http://www.classicvalueinvestors.com/newsletter/sample/UltimateValueFinderEnergoldDrilling.pdf

A reader who wrote up Energold in his newsletter was kind enough to send along a PDF with his Energold piece. Enjoy.


http://www.scribd.com/investmentlb/d/16588637-Paul-Tudor-Jones-Failure-Speech-June-2009

I thought this was really excellent as well. Sorry about all the links on this Ask Kuppy


I just read your article on Mozambique part II. I was a little perplexed by the high rental rates you used. Here in Thailand, an economy much more stable and bigger than Mozambique, grade A office building goes for only $20 something/m^2, and grade B right in the heart of the city will fetch only in the mid teens per square meter.

Remember, with property, every market is different and prices are set by supply and demand. Thailand had a huge real estate boom in the late 90’s and it’s still oversupplied from that. Thailand is also a very stable country, which means that there’s plenty of capital looking to invest and build new office space, hence the cost per meter is set by financing costs and construction prices. In many countries in Africa, there’s a lack of capital that’s willing to invest in office space because they’re scared and cannot get financing–so everything is cash financed, which means you need much higher per meter rates to justify the returns–hence very little gets built and supply is always trailing demand….


You mentioned a month or so ago that you would share a list of good banks in Mongolia. I plan on moving some money to Mongolia and would be very interested in this information.

I appologize to the readers who have asked for a bank. Quite honeslty, I feel funny recommending any one bank and the first few people I sent overwhelmed the one small bank that I am friendly with. I think that this is one of those situations where you need to go and open the account on your own unfortunately. Sorry.

Just so everyone knows, the 5 biggest banks are Khan, TDB, Golomt, Xac, Savingsbank If no one responds from one, try another…


Wow, right out of Confessions of an Economic Hitman. So much for those who disparage the “conspiracy theory” basis of the IMF and World Bank.

Confessions is a really great book. However, I don’t think those guys purposefully try to bankrupt countries. I think these agencies actually believe their own internal numbers on these projects… which is a shame.


not so much a question but a comment.
throughout history we have seen gresham’s law in effect. bad money drives out the good. My dad was a businessman for awhile during the hyperinflation that took place between the wars in germany. I asked him how his business did. He said he lost money every year in his business but made up for because he financed the building where he operated in the local currency. The way the Zims coped with their hyper inflation is facinating. I have much of my investments in gold and silver mining shares. and have accumulated some silver and bullion, silver proof sets at small premiums at the time which i figure will be easily barterable should the need arise at some future time. I am deliberating now whether i should refinance my house and hold on to it as a long term investment. i think over 30 years it will hold up better than the mortgage I will get on it.

I cannot give out personal investment advice, but given that you can borrow money for 30 years at historically low rates and do it in a currency that your own government tells you that they intend to destroy…. it sure seems to make a lot of sense…Question is, what would you buy with the money? You don’t want debt just for the sake of debt…


Re: Zimbabwe If the Chicago boys of Chilean (Pinochet) fame had come in, do you think there would have been a different outcome? Or would the financing they received in the beginning not been given to them, which would have made it just as likely to fail? Thanks for the write-up, I am living vicariously through you!

I think it would have failed no matter what had happened because Mugabe is a socialist madman without any knowlege about economics or governance. All he cares about is staying in power at any cost.


I have never been to Zimbabwe but through a love of their music and playing the same music I’ve met many Zimbaweans over the years. I can’t think of a single people that were more graceful, kind and delightful to be around. People who had dealt with so many personal tragedies (much from poverty and AIDS) yet remained so outwardly upbeat and generous. Admittedly it is a selective cross section that I met but I’ve always been impressed by these few and hope they are representative of the rest.

I was also impressed by the people there. It really is a shame that the British stuck Mugabe on them as there were so many better qualified people that they could have chosen after they had pushed to destroy Rhodesia.


There is a lot of excitement about natural gas and the increase in supply has driven the price down. Wont the increase in natural gas supply start to lower the price of oil and if so when do you see that happening?

People will eventually switch to use more natural gas, but these things take time to play out. I don’t know if there is really a ‘play’ on this to be had.