Oro en la cima del mundo: World’s Top Banks.

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                                     World Ranking:

1 Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Limited, China
2 Deutsche Bank AG, Germany
3 BNP Paribas SA, France
4 Crédit Agricole SA, France
5 Barclays Bank PLC, UK
6 China Construction Bank Corporation, China
7 Agricultural Bank of China Limited, China
8 JAPAN POST BANK Co Ltd., Japan
9 The Royal Bank of Scotland plc, UK
10 Bank of China Limited, China
11 The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd, Japan
12 JPMorgan Chase Bank National Association, USA
13 Banco Santander SA, Spain
14 Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Japan
15 Société Générale, France
16 Lloyds TSB Bank plc, UK
17 BPCE, France
18 Bank of America NA, USA
19 UBS AG, Switzerland
22 Wells Fargo Bank NA, USA
21 Citibank NA, USA
22  HSBC Bank plc, UK
23 UniCredit SpA, Italy
24 China Development Bank Corporation, China
25 Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, France
26 ING Bank NV, Netherlands
27 Rabobank Nederland, Netherlands
28 Credit Suisse AG, Switzerland
29 Bank of Scotland plc, UK
30 Nordea Bank AB (publ), Sweden
31 Intesa Sanpaolo SpA, Italy
32 Mizuho Bank Ltd , Japan

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In 2012, the Bank continued to advance the transformation of corporate banking, kept optimizing the business structure and effectively adapted itself to the interest rate marketization, to realize sustainable development of corporate banking. The Bank introduced all-product marketing and comprehensive financial services and promoted interaction between commercial banking and investment banking, so as to satisfy customers’ diversified financial needs. It also enhanced business innovation and boosted the development of financial assets services such as asset management, entrusted management, agency trade, underwriting and consultancy, agency sales, etc. Relying on the global service network and the integrated technological platform of domestic and overseas operations, the Bank accelerated the development of global cash management and cross-border RMB business, and enhanced its global service capability and its brand’s international infl uence. Through innovation of the marketing system, the Bank provided differentiated services for customers at different tiers, enhanced the marketing and service quality for key customers, and expanded the customer base by winning over more small and medium enterprise (SME) customers.

The Bank was awarded the “Best Corporate Bank in China” by Global Finance. At the end of 2012, the Bank had 4.38 million corporate customers, representing an increase of 270 thousand customers from the end of the previous year; among them, 143 thousand corporate customers had loan balances with the Bank, representing an increase of 16 thousand customers. According to statistics from PBC, at the end of 2012, the Bank ranked first in the banking industry in terms of corporate loans and corporate deposits, with a market share of 11.8% and 12.6%, respectively.

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En 2012 , el Banco continuó avanzando la transformación de la banca corporativa , mantuvo la optimización de la estructura de negocios y efectivamente se adaptó a la mercantilización de tasa de interés , para hacer realidad el desarrollo sostenible de la banca corporativa . El Banco introdujo la comercialización de todos los productos y servicios financieros integrales y promovió la interacción entre la banca comercial y la banca de inversión , con el fin de satisfacer las necesidades financieras diversificadas de los clientes. También ha mejorado la innovación empresarial e impulsó el desarrollo de servicios de activos financieros , como la gestión de activos, gestión encomendada , el comercio de agencia, aseguramiento y consultoría , las ventas de las agencias , etc que utilizan la red de servicio global y la plataforma tecnológica integrada de las operaciones nacionales y extranjeros , el Banco aceleró el desarrollo de la gestión de tesorería global y negocios en RMB transfronteriza, y ha mejorado su capacidad de servicio global y infl uencia internacional de su marca. A través de la innovación del sistema de comercialización , el Banco proporcionó servicios diferenciados para los clientes en los diferentes niveles , mejora la comercialización y el servicio de calidad a los clientes clave , y se amplió la base de clientes , al ganar más de (PYME ) de los clientes de pequeñas y medianas empresas más .

El Banco fue galardonado con el ” Mejor Banco Corporativo en China” por Global Finance . A finales de 2012 , el Banco tenía 4,38 millones de clientes corporativos , lo que representa un aumento de 270 mil clientes de la final del año anterior , entre ellas , 143.000 clientes corporativos tenían saldos de préstamos con el Banco , lo que representa un aumento de 16 mil clientes . Según las estadísticas del PBC , a finales de 2012 , el Banco ocupó el primer lugar en la industria de la banca en cuanto a créditos corporativos y los depósitos corporativos , con una cuota de mercado del 11,8 % y 12,6 % , respectivamente.

El costo de la guerra: Cost of war

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In short, far from “de-escalating,” the Crisis in Crimea is starting to look permanent — and indeed, may expand beyond the borders of Crimea. This bad news helped stocks on the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average suffer their worst declines in nearly two months — and this could be only the beginning.

Two weeks ago, at the start of this crisis, we ran down five ways the conflict between Ukraine and Russia could affect your portfolio. Two weeks into the crisis, with new facts in hand, we’re back to update that advice with five more predictions. Here goes.

Manufacturing
Trade between Russia and the U.S. passed $38 billion in value last year, and much of that could be at risk if the Obama administration follows through on threats to punish Russia’s land-grab in Crimea with trade sanctions. Even worse for investors, Russia has promised to retaliate against such sanctions, potentially hurting U.S. companies that have made direct investments in the country.

Major U.S. manufacturers such as Ford (NYSE: F  ) and General Motors have invested more than $10 billion directly in Russia. Ford, for example, manufactures Focus and Mondeo automobiles at its plant in St. Petersburg and is in the process of building a new $274 million engine plant in the Russian region of Tatarstan. GM set up its first factory in St. Pete as well — a $300 million, 98,000-cars-annually assembly plant — and up until this crisis began, it was expanding its joint venture with AvtoVAZ in Togliatti.

Banking
One of the likeliest targets for U.S. trade sanctions would be cutting ties with Russian banks in an attempt to constrict Russia’s access to foreign capital. This holds immediate implications for banking giant Citigroup (NYSE: C  ) . The U.S. bank with the most exposure to the country, Citigroup serves more than 3,000 institutional customers in Russia, has a retail customer base of 1 million and operates 50 bank branches in a dozen Russian cities. Citigroup earns about $300 million annually in Russia — for now.

Oil and gas
Closer to Crimea proper, a consortium of companies including Italian energy producer Eni(NYSE: E  ) recently signed a $4 billion investment deal with Ukraine to develop underwater gas fields off the western coast of Crimea. A “production sharing agreement,” this deal was made with the Ukrainian government as a party, however. If Crimea is leaving Ukraine, the legal validity of the deal could be questioned — and Eni could lose its 50% stake in the project.

Steel — again
ArcelorMittal 
(NYSE: MT  ) is a bit trickier. Last time we looked at the stock, we mentioned how its operations might be disrupted by conflict in eastern Ukraine, hurting global steel supplies and driving up prices. Instead — the opposite may happen. Last week, Arcelor warned that while it’s still producing plenty of steel, steel usage in Ukraine has dropped like a rock, as companies delay construction projects to see how the conflict with Russia plays out.

Result: Arcelor’s steel is being diverted to international markets, potentially increasing supply and driving prices down. (Curiouser and curiouser, indeed.)

Military suppliers
Finally, we turn to the defense contractors. This week, Ukrainian leaders made impassioned pleas to the U.S. for military assistance. Asked to supply guns and ammo, the Obama administration agreed only to send food aid, fearing that sending weapons to Ukraine might offend Russia.

But as we saw with Arcelor, this situation is fluid. The U.S. has a history of providing surplus weaponry to bolster the militaries of allied nations — offering two dozen old F-16 fighter jets to Romania in 2010, for example, and sending 400 used M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks to Greece in 2011 — all free of charge.

But “free” isn’t always what it seems. In the F-16 deal, for example, Romania was expected to spend $1.3 billion upgrading its fighter jets to modern standards. That’s money in the bank forLockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT  ) . Potentially, if Russia fails to back down in Ukraine, we could soon see Congress approve similar sales of military hardware — to Ukraine, to Georgia (which has had issues with Russia in the past), and to other border states such as Estonia or Latvia, which also wish to strengthen their defenses.

The risk to investors? Shorting defense contractors in the middle of a new cold war.

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En resumen , lejos de ” de- escalada “, la crisis en Crimea está empezando a parecer permanente – y, de hecho , puede expandirse más allá de las fronteras de Crimea. Esta mala noticia ayudó a las poblaciones en el S & P 500 y el Dow Jones Industrial Average sufren sus peores caídas en casi dos meses – y esto podría ser sólo el comienzo.

Hace dos semanas , en el inicio de esta crisis , nos encontramos a cinco formas en que el conflicto entre Ucrania y Rusia podría afectar a su cartera. Dos semanas después de la crisis, con nuevos hechos en la mano , estamos de vuelta para actualizar ese consejo con cinco predicciones más . Aquí va .

fabricación
El comercio entre Rusia y los EE.UU. aprobó $ 38 mil millones en valor el año pasado, y gran parte de que podría estar en riesgo si el gobierno de Obama sigue a través de amenazas de castigar a Rusia – apropiación de tierras en Crimea con sanciones comerciales. Peor aún para los inversores , Rusia ha prometido tomar represalias en contra de tales sanciones , lo que podría lastimar a las empresas estadounidenses que han realizado inversiones directas en el país.

Los principales fabricantes estadounidenses como Ford ( NYSE : F ) y General Motors han invertido más de $ 10 mil millones directamente en Rusia. Ford , por ejemplo , fabrica Focus y Mondeo automóviles en su planta de San Petersburgo y está en el proceso de construcción de un nuevo $ 274 millones la planta de motores en la región rusa de Tatarstán. GM estableció su primera fábrica en St. Pete , así – una planta de ensamblaje de $ 300.000.000 98000 -cars- anualmente – y hasta comenzó esta crisis, se estaba expandiendo su empresa conjunta con AvtoVAZ en Togliatti .

banca
Uno de los objetivos más probables para las sanciones comerciales de Estados Unidos estaría cortando los lazos con los bancos rusos en un intento de constreñir el acceso de Rusia al capital extranjero. Esto tiene implicaciones inmediatas para el gigante bancario Citigroup ( NYSE : C) . El banco de los EE.UU. con la mayor exposición al país , Citigroup sirve a más de 3.000 clientes institucionales en Rusia , tiene una base de clientes al por menor de 1 millón y opera 50 sucursales bancarias en una docena de ciudades rusas. Citigroup gana alrededor de $ 300 millones anuales en Rusia – por ahora.

Petróleo y gas
Más cerca de Crimea adecuada , un consorcio de compañías como productor de energía italiana Eni ( NYSE: E) ha firmado recientemente un acuerdo de $ 4 mil millones de inversión con Ucrania para desarrollar campos de gas bajo el agua frente a la costa occidental de la península de Crimea. Un “acuerdo de reparto de la producción , ” este acuerdo se hizo sin embargo con el gobierno de Ucrania como partido, . Si Crimea está dejando de Ucrania , la validez jurídica del acuerdo podría ser cuestionada – y Eni podría perder su participación del 50 % en el proyecto .

Acero – de nuevo
ArcelorMittal ( NYSE : MT) es un poco más complicado . La última vez que nos fijamos en la acción, le mencionó que sus operaciones podrían verse afectados por el conflicto en el este de Ucrania , afectando a los suministros de acero a nivel mundial y aumentando los precios . En lugar de ello – podría ocurrir lo contrario . La semana pasada, Arcelor advirtió que mientras aún está produciendo un montón de acero , el uso de acero en Ucrania ha caído como una roca, ya que las empresas retrasen los proyectos de construcción para ver cómo el conflicto con Rusia se desarrolla.

Resultado : acero de Arcelor se está desviando a los mercados internacionales , lo que podría aumentar la oferta y bajar los precios . ( Curioso y más curioso , por cierto. )

proveedores militares
Por último , nos volvemos a los contratistas de defensa . Esta semana , los líderes ucranianos hicieron súplicas apasionadas a los EE.UU. para la asistencia militar. Preguntado suministrar armas de fuego y munición, el gobierno de Obama estuvo de acuerdo sólo para enviar ayuda alimentaria , por temor a que el envío de armas a Ucrania podría ofender a Rusia.

Pero como hemos visto con Arcelor , esta situación es fluida . Los EE.UU. tiene una historia de proporcionar excedentes de armamento para reforzar los ejércitos de las naciones aliadas – ofreciendo dos docenas de antiguos F- 16 aviones de combate a Rumania en 2010, por ejemplo, y el envío de 400 carros de combate M1A1 Abrams utilizado a Grecia en el año 2011 – todos de forma gratuita .

Pero el “libre ” no es siempre lo que parece . En el acuerdo de F- 16, por ejemplo , se espera que Rumania gastar $ 1.3 mil millones de actualizar sus aviones de combate a los estándares modernos . Eso es dinero en el banco forLockheed Martin ( NYSE : LMT ) . Potencialmente, si Rusia no puede dar marcha atrás en Ucrania , pronto podríamos ver que el Congreso apruebe las ventas similares de equipos militares – a Ucrania, en Georgia (que ha tenido problemas con Rusia en el pasado) , y para otros estados fronterizos como Estonia o Letonia, que también desean fortalecer sus defensas.

El riesgo para los inversores? El cortocircuito de los contratistas de defensa en el medio de una nueva guerra fría.

 

 

Cima de la montaña: High performing investors of 2013

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George Soros

2013 Earnings: $4 billion
The legend continues. In 2013, George Soros had a pretty good year, with Soros Fund Management delivering returns north of 22%. That was not good enough to beat the U.S. stock market, but it still made Soros a lot of money. Soros is not involved in the day-to-day operations of Soros Fund Management, the $29 billion family office that manages Soros’ fortune and money he has given away to his foundations. The firm is overseen by Scott Bessent, Soros Fund Management’s chief investment officer, but Soros remains involved and the firm’s big short bet on the yen at the start of 2013 was vintage Soros. He continues to be a market moving force and his short of the yen after Japanese policy makers accelerated monetary easing was widely watched. The famous philanthropist was also involved in major hedge fund battleground stocks last year. Betting against fellow hedge fund billionaire Bill Ackman’s “pyramid scheme” hypothesis, Soros sided with Carl Icahn in going long the nutritional supplements company Herbalife, becoming one of the company’s largest shareholders. He trimmed the position near the end of the year. Born in Budapest, Soros survived the Nazi occupation of Hungary and went on to study at the London School of Economics before launching his hedge fund in 1969.

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Steve Cohen

2013 Earnings: $2.3 billion
In 2013, Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors hedge fund firm pleaded guilty to criminal insider trading charges and agreed to pay $1.8 billion in fines and penalties to the federal government. Federal prosecutors in Manhattan worked on what turned out to be two more successful prosecutions of former SAC Capital employees and Cohen is transforming his Stamford, Ct., hedge fund firm into a family office, returning billions of dollars to outside investors. But through it all, Cohen, 58, continued to do what he does best—make profitable trades and earn lots of money. SAC Capital knocked out net returns of about 19% in 2013. That was not as good as what the U.S. stock market returned, but it beat most other hedge fund managers.

John Paulson

2013 Earnings: $1.9 billion
The biggest comeback ever? After three very tough years, Paulson, 58, came roaring back in 2013. His $2.7 billion Recovery Fund posted net returns of 63%, his Paulson Enhanced funds returned 33% and the Advantage funds generated net returns north of 26%. About 80% of the $20 billion in assets that Paulson’s Paulson & Co., hedge fund firm oversees are now above their high watermark, meaning the firm is charging rich performance fees again. The only trouble spot in 2013 was gold. The 28% plunge of the yellow metal in 2013 not only hurt the returns of his relatively small Gold Fund, in which he has a large stake, it also dented the returns of the gold-denominated holdings he personally keeps in his other hedge funds.

Carl Icahn

2013 Earnings: $1.7 billion
Carl Icahn was everywhere in 2013. He battled with Michael Dell, helped push Aubrey McClendon out of Chesapeake Energy, made a killer trade on Netflix, fought with William Ackman over Herbalife, and loudly lobbied for Apple to repurchase more of its stock. In the end, Icahn’s investment fund returned 31% in 2013, which is pretty impressive given that its portfolio was largely hedged.

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source:forbes

Banqueros Automáticos:The computers that run the stock market

Citadel Securities has quietly become one of the largest forces in U.S. stock trading.

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From the 35th floor of a downtown Chicago office tower, Citadel executes one out of every eight stock trades in the United States. At roughly 900 million shares a day, more stocks move through Citadel’s systems than the New York Stock Exchange, which trades roughly 700 million shares a day.

If you own a 401(k) or have ever used an online broker, your trades have almost certainly passed through Citadel.

The most notable thing about the firm’s trading floor is how eerily quiet it can be.

About 40 people “run” the trading floor, but they are simply overseeing computers that use algorithms to fill and route stock orders.

Related: High speed traders pay for an edge

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Welcome to the new world of trading: More and more, high speed computer programs are replacing thousands of floor brokers once seen running and yelling across the floor of the NYSE.

Citadel’s “floor” brokers don’t do a lot of running. They sit together behind rows of computer terminals, clicking away on keyboards to ensure the firm’s computers are operating correctly and are connected to all the right exchanges.

In essence, Citadel’s proprietary computer programs have become the new eyes, ears, and brains of the U.S. stock market.

About 20 programmers create the computer algorithms that decide how to execute each order, and what to send to public exchanges or so-called dark pools.

Dark pools may sound like the favorite haunts of Star Wars villains, but they are simply venues where buyers and sellers can submit bids without disclosing them to the public markets. Citadel operates a dark pool called Apogee out of its New York office.

Citadel’s programmers are constantly making adjustments as computers “learn” customer behavior to make the process more efficient.

“All the decisions are made by the computers,” Jamil Nazarali, Citadel’s head of electronic execution, told CNNMoney during an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour. “The people here are not making any decisions with respect to whether an order should be filled or at what price it should be filled. That’s all done in an automated way.”

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Split second decisions: Citadel’s computers execute a buy or sell order nearly instantaneously.

When Citadel’s computers do not to fill an order internally, the trade is pushed along to one of 13 public exchanges or one of more than 20 dark pools.

By law, Citadel must match or give a better price than what’s been quoted on a public exchange, said Nazarali.

But some industry watchers question whether Citadel’s prescient computer programs are always giving customers the best price.

Nazarali says they do: “As a market maker, I have a regulatory obligation to fill all customers orders on my book before I trade.”

He said Citadel’s systems actually create an even playing field between high-speed traders and retail traders who place orders through brokers like TD Ameritrade (AMTD)because they all have access to the same technology.

The industry’s primary regulator, FINRA, recently asked some market makers and dark pool operators to provide information on how they fill trading orders. Regulators are worried about high-speed traders get an edge over other investors in certain trading venues. It’s unclear if Citadel was part of that group, and FINRA declined to comment.

Trading is definitely faster, but whether it’s better and cheaper for the average retail investor remains to be seen.

Principal regulador de la industria, FINRA, recientemente pidió a algunos creadores de mercado y operadores de piscinas oscuras para proporcionar información sobre cómo se llenan las órdenes de operaciones. Los reguladores están preocupados por los operadores de alta velocidad consiguen una ventaja sobre otros inversores en determinados centros de negociación. No está claro si la ciudadela era parte de ese grupo, y FINRA declinó hacer comentarios.

El comercio es definitivamente más rápido, pero si es mejor y más barato para el inversor minorista medio aún está por verse.

देवताओं और गोल्ड: Metacapital Mortgage Opportunities

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                                            Manager: Deepak Narula

Management Firm: Metacapital Management

Location: U.S.

Strategy: Mortgage-backed arbitrage

Assets, in billions: $1.5

YTD total return: 37.8%

2011 return: 23.6%

(Reuters) – Deepak Narula, one of the hedge fund industry’s best known mortgage bond traders, said he sees a much tougher year ahead for investors but sees opportunities in certain mortgage trades.

Next year will “be a more challenging year” than 2013 because of “much greater uncertainty around how the Fed will behave,” and because of lofty bond and equity valuations, Narula, the founder of $1.45 billion hedge fund Metacapital Management, said on Wednesday.

This year Narula’s main fund has struggled to produce gains, though an investor recently told Reuters the portfolio has been able to reduce losses in the last few months. However, the firm’s $240 million Rising Rates fund, launched in May, has climbed about 14 percent year-to-date.

Last year, Metacapital’s flagship fund soared more than 40 percent, as structured credit funds rose about 19 percent on averaged. “Absent some large shock to the system” that causes initial cheapening of assets “those returns are history,” Narula said.

Those funds have only risen about 8 percent on average this year.

Managers who invested in residential mortgage-backed securities throughout 2012 and the beginning of 2013 benefited mightily from the Federal Reserve’s efforts to keep interest rates low, which pushed up the prices of mortgage bonds.

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Deepak Narula has given us some sound advice – you want to be careful going against the mission of the Federal Reserve.

And, his hedge fund earned a 38 percent return last year, the number one hedge fund performer according to Bloomberg News.

“To revive the housing market, the Fed has thrown a lot of firepower at agency mortgage-backed securities. Policy makers have worked hard to let homeowners refinance. They’ve been clear that that’s their mission-and you want to be careful going against that mission.”

George Soros, who bet against the British pound in the 1990s and made millions of dollars, I’m sure, would agree.

In addition, three of the top five funds in the Bloomberg Markets list of top performing hedge funds also were investors in mortgage securities.

“Betting on mortgage securities outpaced every other strategy, with an average return of 20.2 percent against an industry average of just 1.3 percent,” states the Bloomberg report.

But, hedge funds are not the only ones that benefited from the Federal Reserve action. Check out these two posts: “Is it too late to get into the housing rebound?” and “Is it too late to get into the housing rebound? Part Two“.

Three cheers for saving the middle class!

Nothing seems to work better as a way to make money than to work with a government policy or program. Ask the people who started up Solyndra!

The major problem with betting against a government policy or program … don’t be too early.

Narula has not always been successful in playing the mortgage market. He started his fund Metacapital in 2002. He saw the danger in the market for subprime mortgages as early as 2005 and start shorting them. Subprime mortgages did tank, but not until three years later.

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In 2006 his fund had to return money to investors and in 2007 he had to close the fund. He was “right,” but then again, he was “wrong.”

As he states, “If you are too early, you are wrong.”

But, betting “with” government policy works on the upside as well.

Over the past fifty years or so, the federal government, supported by the Federal Reserve, created credit by the millions of dollars in order to keep unemployment at low levels and to foster home ownership for the middle class and below. We had a sustained period of “credit inflation.”

Three things happen in a period of credit inflation: people take on more and more risk; people build up more and more financial leverage; and people engage in financial innovation. The last fifty years is known for all three of these things happening.

And, during this period, more and more people went to work in the financial and more and more companies added financial subsidiaries. By the early2000s, a substantially greater percentage of Americans worked in the financial sector than ever before. And, many manufacturing companies, likeGeneral Electric (GE) and General Motors (GM), earned more than fifty percent of their profits from their financial subsidiaries.

The “mission” of the federal government and the Federal Reserve System was to provide the economy with high levels of employment and greater degrees of home ownership.

The mental attitude of the leaders of American finance and industry? Well, as summarized by Charles (Chuck) Prince, the CEO of Citigroup, “”As long as the music is playing, you’ve got to get up and dance.”

Those that left the dance floor “too soon” were “right” that things were getting too risky and might fall apart. But, as Narula said, “If you are too early, you are wrong.”

Your government creates opportunities to make money … and to make lots of it. The big money to earn will, however, not go to those that will help to reduce the imbalance in the income/wealth curve. As we have seen, the past fifty years of credit inflation have done more to create the imbalances that now exist than reduce them.

And, government “missions” will continue to do so in the future.

So, one way to make money is to determine what is the federal government or the Federal Reserve “mission” and bet “with” the mission. That is, find out what these people are trying to do and develop an investment strategy that “uses” this mission. We know that the federal government and the Federal Reserve, in their well-meaning way, will continue on with their policies for a long time.

The Federal Reserve says that short-term interest rates will remain low until 2015. Really?

George Soros can tell you that when a government positions itself in this way, opportunities exist.

But, remember what Narula said – to be too early is to be wrong. Also, if you try and get into the game too late or stick around the game for too long, you will be wrong.

Timing is important.

Three cheers for Deepak Narula!

Location Type Single Location
State of Incorporation New York
Annual Revenue Estimate 120000
Employees 2
SIC Code 6722, Management Investment Offices, Open-End
NAICS Code 525910, Open-End Investment Funds
Business Categories

未来的国王:Top little known Hedge Funds

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Bridgewater manages approximately $150 billion in global investments for a wide array of institutional clients, including foreign governments and central banks, corporate and public pension funds, university endowments and charitable foundations. Approximately 1,400 people work at Bridgewater, which is based in Westport, Connecticut.

Founded in 1975 out of a two-bedroom apartment, Bridgewater remains an independent, employee-run organization. Throughout its 39-year history, Bridgewater has been recognized as a top-performing manager and an industry innovator, winning over 40 industry awards in the past five years alone. In both 2010 and 2011, Bridgewater ranked as the largest and best-performing hedge fund manager in the world and in both 2012 and 2013 Bridgewater was recognized for having earned its clients more than any other hedge fund in the history of the industry. Its clients and employees routinely give Bridgewater top satisfaction ratings in annual surveys.

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Management Firm, Location: Blue Harbour Group, U.S.

Strategy: Activist

Assets (in billions): $1.3

YTD Total Return: +19.8%

2012 Return: +16.2%

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/30-most-successful-hedge-funds-of-2013-2014-1?op=1#ixzz2uaE3WWpw

Blue Harbour Group, L.P., a Registered Investment Advisor, is an investment manager focused on investing in undervalued U.S. public companies. Our mandate is to serve as a trusted lead investor, working in a collaborative and supportive manner with companies to identify initiatives to unlock and create shareholder value. We are long term investors with a multi-year investment horizon.

 

Clifton S. Robbins is the Chief Executive Officer and Portfolio Manager of Blue Harbour Group, L.P. and has been an investor for over twenty-five years. Prior to founding Blue Harbour Group in 2004, Mr. Robbins had been a Managing Member of General Atlantic Partners, LLC. Prior to joining General Atlantic Partners in 2000, Mr. Robbins had been a General Partner of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. which he joined in 1987. Mr. Robbins began his career in Mergers & Acquisitions at Morgan Stanley & Co. in 1980.

 

Mr. Robbins is complemented by a team of senior professionals responsible for generating investment ideas, developing relationships with management teams, performing research and due diligence on prospective investments, and monitoring portfolio investments. The team consists of professionals with experience ranging from six to fifteen years in the areas of corporate finance, private and public market investing.

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INVESTMENT STRATEGY

Blue Harbour’s approach to investing in the public markets is similar in many respects to private equity investors. In this regard, Blue Harbour’s investment approach seeks to add value by working collaboratively with company management to design and to implement strategic initiatives that unlock and create shareholder value. We focus on U.S. public companies that could create significant value by implementing strategic or financial change. Much like private equity investors, a critical component of our strategy is to support superior management teams who are committed to creating value for shareholders. Importantly, unlike private equity investors, Blue Harbour’s mandate to invest in publicly traded securities affords us the advantages of not paying control premiums nor are we subject to the illiquidity and leverage of private equity models.

  • We source investment opportunities primarily through publicly traded markets but can also buy equity stakes directly from the issuer if appropriate
  • We acquire a significant minority stake and become a lead shareholder
  • We acquire our positions at the public market price instead of by auctions
  • We collaborate with company management on critical strategic and financial issues

 HT Capital Management – Hong Kong

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AP Images

Founded: 1997

AUM: $673.2 million

Manager: Ophelia Tong

  • Tong co-founded HT Capital with her husband Karl Hurst.

Strategies: Long Equity

  • HT’s two funds combined to return 6.08% last year.

 

Source:

http://www.htcapital.hk/

http://www.bwater.com/

Tierras baldías de titanes muertos: Top stock picks part 2

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Steven Pollack 
John Hancock Disciplined Value Mid Cap

Ticker: (EXPE)
Category: Travel

Steven Pollack has three criteria when selecting a stock. The valuation should be enticing; it should be a quality business with attractive free cash flow and return on capital; and there should be a reason to buy the stock now, such as positive momentum or a catalyst to push the stock price higher. Expedia, the online travel firm, “fits all three,” says Pollack, whoseJohn Hancock Disciplined Value Mid Cap Fund (JVMAX) has a 28.8% average annual return over five years, vs. 27.3% for the S&P’s Midcap 400 index. Expedia trades at 16 times projected 2014 earnings, well below archrival Priceline’s P/E ratio of 22. Expedia reported $740 million in free cash flow during the first nine months of 2013, and revenues are growing at a 15% annual clip. Beyond that, Pollack likes the fact that Expedia andPriceline (PCLNFortune 500) are becoming an oligopoly, which will discourage new competition. Pollack also sees potential catalysts. Expedia holds controlling stakes in Trivago and eLong, popular travel sites in Europe and China, respectively. “Both Trivago and eLong have significant growth opportunities,” Pollack says, “and both could potentially be spun out.” –J.B.

Sarah Ketterer 
Causeway International Value

Ticker: (TKPPY)
Category: France

Sarah Ketterer, manager of the $4.5 billion Causeway International Value Fund(CIVVX), is a fan of energy stocks these days, in part because they’ve lagged. Ketterer, whose fund has averaged 21.2% annual returns over the past five years, vs. 16.3% for its category, blames exaggerated concerns about China for the anemic stock performance: “China is slowing down, but its demand for energy is still very high.” Her favorite stock today is Technip, which lays deepwater oil and gas pipelines. The stock trades at a mere 13 times expected 2014 earnings, which analysts project to gush 27%; Technip also offers a 2.1% dividend yield. The stock has slumped 15% since October, and Ketterer blames guilt by association, as two Technip rivals suffered big earnings disappointments. Deepwater pipe-laying is Technip’s core business, but Ketterer thinks another specialty will provide long-term windfalls. Given the shale gas boom in the U.S., she expects the country will eventually ship liquefied natural gas to Europe. Technip builds plants that convert natural gas to LNG and LNG back to gas. “They’re the best at it in the world,” says Ketterer. –J.B.

Edwin Lugo 
Franklin International Small Cap Growth

Category: Ireland

Green REIT, Ireland’s first-ever real estate investment trust, is a good story. It’s also a brand-new stock with no history, so it helps that the storyteller is a premier manager: Edwin Lugo, whose $1.5 billion Franklin International Small Cap Growth Fund (FINAX)has returned 25.7% a year over the past five years (see chart above), putting it in the top 2% of its foreign stock-fund category. Green REIT is essentially a vulture fund for Irish real estate. Commercial property prices fell 65% during the financial crisis. As a result, the Irish government and various banks ended up holding €76 billion in foreclosed properties and loans. To speed the recovery, Ireland passed a law permitting REITs; in July, Green became the first to launch there. “Banks are not in the business of managing property,” says Lugo, so they’re willing to sell “at a huge discount.” The timing looks excellent. Irish commercial property prices rose in October for the first time since 2007, just as Green made its first purchases at big discounts to U.S. properties. “It’s rare you get a chance to buy real estate at the bottom,” says Lugo, who notes that “the Irish economy is already turning around.” –J.B.

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Jim Moffett 
Scout International

Ticker: (VLKAF)
Category: Germany

Jim Moffett gravitates to out-of-favor stocks, an approach that has delivered an annualized 9.3% for a decade (UMBWX), outperforming the foreign stock index by 1.6 percentage points a year. Lately Moffett’s thinking has driven him to the auto industry. He’s especially optimistic about Volkswagen because the German automaker has been “lagging the pack” while laying the groundwork for a resurgence. The automaker’s recent stall, he says, is partly a reflection of Europe’s woeful economy and partly a result of being “out of sync” with the industry. In particular, he says, VW has lacked broadly appealing high-end offerings in the U.S. Now, though, the European economy is showing hints of improvement, and VW plans to roll out new products next year. Meanwhile, he says, the company is reducing costs with its modularized manufacturing strategy, which he expects to show results in the next year. The upshot, Moffett says: The market will eventually perceive the improvement, and VW’s stock, currently trading at nine times 2013 expected earnings, will catch up to BMW and Daimler, which have P/Es of 10.5 and 11.5, respectively. –S.M.

Brian McMahon 
Thornburg Investment Income Builder

Ticker: (CHL)
Category: China

Long viewed as frumpy, dividend stocks enjoyed a vogue in recent years. The category has waxed and waned, but one thing has remained constant: Brian McMahon’s outperformance. His $16 billion fund (TIBAX) has turned in annualized 10% returns for 10 years, more than two percentage points above results for the S&P 500 and his “world allocation” peers. China Mobile, the world’s largest telecom, follows his template. The stock’s dividend yields 4.3%, and it has grown at 6% annually for the past five years. But there’s more upside. McMahon says investors have punished the stock (which trades as an ADR in the U.S.) because the Chinese government has forced the company to adopt — and invest heavily in — the country’s homegrown 4G technology before it was widely used by the telecom industry. The good news, he says: The technology looks promising and is about to launch. “Soon they’ll have the most spectrum, the most base stations, and the first shot at this great new technology.” The result? He expects the stock, trading at 3.5 times Ebitda, to leap to 4.5 by 2015. That could propel the share price by 40% or more. –S.M.

David Herro 
Oakmark International

Ticker: (CS)
Category: Switzerland

Even as investors fled Europe during its sovereign debt crisis, David Herro placed one of the most audacious contrarian bets in recent history, going all-in on beleaguered French, Spanish, and Italian financials. The result: nearly 40% returns over the past 12 months. (The fund’s (OAKIX) extended record is also superb: 11.3% annualized returns over the past 15 years, vs. 5.0% for MSCI’s EAFE index.) With Europe seemingly off the ledge, Herro now reserves his strongest conviction for Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse, which, he says, is at an “inflection point.” Low interest rates and a strong Swiss currency have pushed it to the bottom of its earnings cycle, and the bank has been building reserves to comply with higher post-crisis capital requirements. But those impediments, Herro says, have run their course. The result will be double-digit earnings increases, he says: “Over the coming years it should be able to generate $8 billion in annual operating profits” — four times the current level. To Herro, that makes the company’s forward P/E of 8.8 and price-to-book ratio of 1 look unjustly low. –S.M.

金の王: New Rulers of Wallstreet

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Peter Thiel

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Peter Thiel has gone from successful entrepreneur to super successful venture investor. The PayPal cofounder was Facebook’s first professional investor, giving Mark Zuckerberg and his hoodied cohorts a $500,000 check in 2004 in return for more than 10% of the company. Thiel still sits on Facebook’s board, but sold most of his stake in the Menlo Park, Calif.-based social networking company following its May 2012 IPO. His various venture firms include Founders Fund, whose stated goal is to invest in companies that can affect dramatic technological change. To that end, Founders Fund has backed rocket builder SpaceX and CIA-backed data-mining software company, Palantir, where he is also a cofounder. Ideological to the point of eccentricity, Thiel believes technology rarely repeats itself: “There’s a sense in which technology is, by definition, non-repetitive. And every moment in technological history only happens once.” As Palantir chairman, Thiel has personally invested $40 million in the Palo Alto, Calif. firm. FORBES estimates that he controls more than 12% of the company. Thiel has long maintained that Palantir could be just as valuable as Facebook. “There’s Google, then Facebook-which is search for people-and then there’s Palantir, which can help institutions search through their massive reams of data,” he told FORBES. He is up $400 million this year because of new revelations regarding his Palantir holdings.

 

Ray Dalio

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After completing his education, Dalio worked on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and invested in commodity futures.[6] He later worked as the Director of Commodities at Dominick & Dominick LLC.[7] In 1974, he became a futures trader and broker at Shearson Hayden Stone.[6] In 1975, he founded the Westport, Connecticut based investment management firm, Bridgewater Associates which in 2012 became the largest hedge fund in the world with nearly $120 billion in assets under management.[6]

In 2007, Ray Dalio predicted the global financial crisis[8] and in 2008 published an essay, “How the Economic Machine Works; A Template for Understanding What is Happening Now”,[9] which explained his model for the economic crisis. He self-published a 123 page volume called Principles, in 2011, which outlined his logic and personal philosophy for investments and corporate management based on a lifetime of observation, analysis and practical application through his hedge fund.[10][11][12] In 2013 Dalio began sharing his “investment secrets” and economic theories onYou Tube via a 30 minute animated video which he narrates, called How The Economic Machine Works.[13]

John Paulson

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While assets under management at Paulson & Co. are down to $18 billion from $36 billion in early 2011, John Paulson’s hedge funds are performing well in 2013 thanks to bets on stocks like MGM Resorts and Aetna. Through the first six months of the year, the firm’s Credit Opportunities fund rose 11.2% net of fees, its Enhanced fund returned 15.6% and its Recovery fund produced a 25.2% return.  However, because a significant portion of his personal investments in Paulson & Co. funds are gold denominated, Paulson’s return on his own capital was more measured, as gold sank through the first half of the year. In an unusual deal for his firm, the outfit won a bid in August to take piano maker Steinway private for $512 million. Paulson, who will always be remembered for making billions shorting subprime mortgage securities in 2007, now appears to like real estate; one of his funds picked up 875 acres in Las Vegas in 2012.

Age: 58
Source Of Wealth: hedge funds, Self Made
Residence: New York, NY
Citizenship: United States
Marital Status: Married
Children

Winds of Change: Renewable Energy Stocks

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Clean Energy Boom

Leading clean energy stocks such as Tesla (NASD:TSLA), SolarCity (NASD:SCTY) and other solar stocks such as First Solar (FSLR) have been recently catching investors’ attention and producing stellar returns.

Since the last update on May 5th, my portfolio has advanced 3.0 percent for a 10.5 percent return for the first half.  However, the portfolio continues to lag both the broad market of small cap stocks as measured by my benchmark the iShares Russell 2000 Index (IWM), and the blistering performance of clean energy stocks, as measured by the leading clean energy ETF, the Powershares Wilderhill Clean Energy Index (PBW).

IWM inched up 2.7 percent for a 17.9 percent total return, while PBW rocketed up another 13.9 percent for a 34.9 percent total first half return.

The core of the problem was the renewable energy developers: Finavera Wind Energy (TSX-V:FVR, OTC:FNVRF), Alterra Power (TSX:AXY, OTC:MGMXF), US Geothermal (NYSE:HTM, TSX:GTH), and Ram Power Group (TSX:RPG, OTC RAMPF).  This group declined an average of 23 percent for the year (including the effects of the declining Canadian dollar), despite a number of positive developments for the individual names.  All are trading a a significant discount to the value of their assets, with Alterra and Ram Power cash flow positive, and US Geothermal profitable on a GAAP basis.  Finavera, meanwhile, is in the possess of selling its assets and I expect it to have cash equal to more than twice its current share price by the end of next year.

Gemasolar

GT Advanced Technologies Inc. (GTAT) may be a solar overlap now more than a solar pure-play, but it is back in focus now that Apple reached a pact with GT to supply sapphire glass for Apple products. Apple may be looking to work around the Gorilla Glass from Corning, but the gains if the project works out as well as the stock indicated could be a good omen for GT.

GT’s stock even managed to hit a new 52-week high above $10 this week on the Apple news. The question to ask is whether the Apple deal will be enough of a bang for the company to make leaps in the solar operations as well. The GT HiCz systems produce low-cost monocrystalline ingots for high-efficiency solar cells. Its DSS furnaces are also called the solar industry standard by the company itself, with more than 3,200 units shipped worldwide. After a 20% gain to $10.10, the stock is up about 300% from its 52-week low, and the consensus analyst price target was down around $7.60 on last look.

First Solar Inc. (FSLR) shares have somehow managed to come all the way back to more than $60.00. This is nearly triple from the lows of the last year. What has driven this interest so much of late was when First Solar managed to dazzle investors with its earnings. Some of the huge upside may have simply been in the timing of the revenue recognition. It seems odd that the stock jumped so much when you consider that sales guidance for year was effectively trimmed by about $200 million while it simultaneously raised its earnings guidance.

SunEdison Inc. (SUNE) almost brings back too much pain to trust as a serious and sustainable turnaround in the solar sector. This is the old MEMC outfit, which makes and sells silicon wafers to semiconductor and solar energy companies. The company now offers home solar solutions and intelligent energy solutions, and it announced plans to spin off its chip-related operations in August.

Source:

http://www.Finance.yahoo.com

To the Sun We Shall Journey: Best SRI mutual funds

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n the world of investing, conscience, it seems, costs nothing. You can have your do-gooder cake and eat it, too. Consider iShares MSCI USA ESG Select Index (symbol KLD), an exchange-traded fund that tracks an index of companies that it says follow high “environmental, social and governance” standards. Over the past five years, the fund returned an annualized 2.3%, compared with 1.7% for Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index. Calvert Equity Fund (CSIEX), one of the largest and oldest funds in the sphere of socially responsible investing, or SRI, gained 6.9% annualized over the past 15 years, compared with 5.5% for the S&P.

Socially responsible investing has come a long way since I started writing about it nearly 20 years ago. In 1995, there were only 55 mutual funds that engaged in SRI, with $12 billion in assets. Now there are 493, with assets of $569 billion. Socially responsible investors include “cor­porate responsibility and societal concerns” as “valid parts of investment decisions,” according to the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment, a trade group.

there’s the fund that proves you don’t have to sacrifice profits at the altar of morality: Domini Social Equity. Its annual fee of 1.23% keeps it off my recommended list, but you can’t help liking the fund, which was founded by Amy Domini. As a stockbroker in 1980, Domini recognized that her clients wanted to put their money into responsible companies and to avoid bad actors. With Peter Kinder and Steve Lydenberg, she devised an SRI index of 400 stocks and launched a fund to follow it. Over the past 15 years, the fund gained an annualized 5.1%, trailing the S&P by less than half a point per year.

Since 2006, Domini has been actively managed, but you can still buy the index that Amy Domini helped develop through an ETF with yearly expenses of just 0.50%. The five-year return of iShares KLD 400 Social Index (DSI) has lagged the S&P by just 0.2 point per year. So, giving up practically nothing, you can get a warm feeling that your money is serving a useful purpose—even if the fund manager or index composer is deciding what that purpose should be. Not a bad deal.

 

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Ariel Fund – $863.5 million

The Ariel Fund is part of the family of mutual funds managed by Ariel Capital Management based in Chicago, IL. According to the firm the fund invests in companies with market capitalizations primarily under $1.5 billion, with an emphasis on small-cap stocks. Market capitalization is a way to determine the size of a company and is calculated by multiplying a firm’s outstanding shares by the dollar value of a single share. “Small-cap stocks” mean companies whose market capitalization is generally below $2 billion but above $300 million. The Arial Fund’s social criteria includes screens for environmental impact, tobacco, weapons, nuclear energy, and diversity.

Stock symbol:ARGFX

Pax World Balanced Fund – $1.5 billion

Part of the Pax World Mutual Funds family based in Portsmouth, NH. According to the firm, Pax World Balanced invests in companies “that provide goods and services, such as health care, technology, pollution control, housing, utilities, and education, that improve the quality of life.” Pax World Balanced is a “domestic hybrid” fund, meaning it holds a mix of stocks and bonds of U.S. based companies.

Stock symbol:PAXWX

PIMCO Total Return III Institutional – $2.225 billion

PIMCO is one of the largest fixed-income management firms in the world. The PIMCO Total Return III Institutional is a fund for institutional investors such as pension funds. The minimum investment is $5 million. According to the firm the fund invests primarily in corporate bonds, U.S. government securities, and mortgage-related securities. Its investments may not go to issuers who engage in “the operation of gambling casinos, the provision of healthcare services, or the manufacture of alcohol, tobacco products, pharmaceuticals, pornography, or military equipment.”

Stock symbol:PRFAX

Ariel Appreciation invests in “mid-cap” stocks, which are companies with a market capitalization generally between $2 billion and $10 billion. According to the company, Ariel Appreciation limits its investments to firms the size of $200 million to $5 billion. It uses the same screens as the larger Ariel Fund: environmental, tobacco, weapons, nuclear energy, and diversity.

Stock symbol:CAAPX

Parnassus Equity Income – $1.3 billion

Parnassus Equity Income is a member of the Parnassus Funds family based in San Francisco. As an equity income fund it tries to grow through price appreciation, but also by investing largely in dividend paying stocks. According to the firm, the fund can invest up to 10 percent of its assets in community development loan funds. It may not invest in companies “that produce alcohol, tobacco, weapons, or nuclear energy.”

Stock symbol:PRBLX

 

 

Sources at

http://www.kiplinger.com

http://socialinvesting.about.com/