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Forbes – 23/07/07
July 19, 2007, 1:58 pm
Filed under: current affairs

Forbes – 23/07/07

  • ┬áMore and more India-born, US-trained Indians are moving back to India to cash in on the Asian boom. The same is happening for China and Vietnam.
  • Japan, Korea and Taiwan are selling for no more than two times book value, while China is selling at a P/E of 26.Taiwan has an expected EPS growth of 22%, the highest amongst most Asian markets.
  • The rise of Islamic finance. The use of structured notes to reflect hedge fund indexes, which are shariah-compliant. A group of rock-star Islamic scholars help define what is compliant. The growth of sukuk, which is an asset-backed security, into a S70b industry. Malaysia and Singapore is jostling to win petrodollars, with Singapore being seen as a gateway through which to invest in China while Malaysia is seen as a reliable authority.
  • Greece is one of best performing European economies, growing at a rate of 6% for the past 10 years. The catalyst for this change is the entry of Greece into the eurozone, which had imposed strict fiscal and monetary policies. The MSCI Greece index has returned 42%, a tad ahead of the MSCI Europe Index. Greek shipping companies have benefited from trade with China and India. Tourism is also rising, with over 12m tourists visiting Greece a year following the boost from the 2004 Olympics.
  • France is gaining investment attention with the pro-business policies of Sarkozy. Sarkozy’s main tenets: revamp French overtime, make mortgage interest deductible, abolish the 35-hour workweek and decrease corporate taxes.
  • Outside of Britain, real estate stocks are not expensive, with governments selling real estate.
  • The post-Castro era is already unfolding. The Netherlands and Canada are the biggest recipients of Cuban exports (mostly metal ore, sugar and tobacco; Cuba imports petroleum, grain and electrical equipment from Venezuela and China. The U.S. is the only country that bars its citizens from doing business with Cuba. Location and natural resources are the main attraction of Cuba; 2m visitors go to Cuba a year and it has reserves in nickel, cobalt and oil.
  • Chinese shares traded in the Hongkong market is cheaper than that in the A shares market, even though they are the same 54 companies. This is largely due to market segmentation (A shares listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen are open only to Chinese and certain foreign institutional investors, H shares are that of Chinese companies listed in Hongkong and B shares are open to foreign investors).
  • Vietnam is booming, with the stock market reaching super hot levels. There is a rising consumer class, with properties being developed and investments flowing in.

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