Real estate, alternative real assets and other diversions

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What next for crude oil prices?

The price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia has wreaked havoc on the global crude oil market. Brent crude, $74 a barrel just after the US drone hit on Iran’s General Soleimani’s motorcade in early January, plummeted to 2002 pre-Iraq War lows of $20 before President Trump’s public calls for Moscow and Riyadh to boost prices with a 10-15 MBD output cut boosted Brent to $30 as I write. The US and Canadian governments have also discussed slapping tariffs on Saudi and Russian oil exports to... Read More >

Recent Articles:

What Is the Macroeconomic Analog to Coronavirus Panic?
All leaders, not just generals, tend to fight the last “war.” All readers of Hayek know why: they feel compelled to promulgate a response but lack sufficient information to make optimal decisions. They all have a vague sense that historical Read More >
My golden Greek memories and the Athens property market in 2020
It was a delight to discuss the Greek property market with one of my oldest investor friends in Dubai as our wives chatted over delicious Burmese Khowsuey in the patio of his villa under a starlit winter night in Jumeirah. Is Greece, like Read More >
What awaits the Euro, yen and crude oil this week?
The US dollar is the traditional safe haven currency during times of geopolitical or financial stress even when the cause of a risk aversion spasm is ultimately American, such as the failure of Lehman Brothers in 2008, Obama’s epic budget Read More >
The Saudi Aramco IPO shares face rising risks in 2020.
A month and a half after Saudi Aramco’s historic IPO on the Tadawul exchange in Riyadh, I conclude a few salient themes from its price action and trading patterns. One, the $2 trillion valuation sought by the Royal Court in the kingdom since Read More >
History’s first virus triggered global recession has already begun – and the Fed is clueless.
Thankfully, I was not in the global markets during the Black Death, the Great Plague and the Spanish flu pandemic but coronavirus cases have now crossed 40,000 infections and this is way beyond a local Wuhan outbreak. Despite the blowout 225,000 Read More >
The Aga Khan and Portugal’s golden real estate market!
Portugal has been a fabulously profitable market for a few prescient real estate investors from the UAE since 2015, with close friends telling me that prices of their apartments in upscale districts of Lisbon and Porto are up an incredible 50% Read More >
The poisoned prize: the quest for oil, money and power in Libya.
Libya, more than any other province of the kingdom of black gold apart from Iraq, has been a tragic victim of the “oil curse”. Libya possesses 48 billion barrels of proven crude oil reserves, the largest in Africa, bigger than even Angola Read More >
Thinking the unthinkable: Lebanon’s sovereign debt default?
The unthinkable has finally happened in a secretive central bank’s digital ledger in the heart of Beirut. The rating agency Fitch predicts imminent default on Lebanon’s sovereign debt, at $88 a colossal 185% of GDP, making the once “Paris Read More >
Triumph, tragedy and trauma in the Arab capital markets!
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Charles Dickens’s chronicle about Paris and London at the time of the French Revolution in the 1790’s captures my feelings about the Arab capital markets in 2019. The best of times? Saudi Read More >
The bullish case for $1650 an ounce gold by mid 2020
I have been thinking a lot about the James Bond villain Auric Goldfinger in 2019 – and why not? Spot gold has generated a stellar 17% profit in 2019 to date, despite King Dollar, the fall in the Volatility Index to 13 (minimal fear, maximum Read More >
Risk, ruin and leveraged madness for the Arabian Gulf’s bond investors.
I was a tad unnerved by the thousands of views and hundreds of responses to my article that “This crazy bull market will crash and die in 2020”. Guess what? The Dow is down 700 points in the past two sessions – so my warning was priceless Read More >
The Saudi Aramco IPO and Brent crude oil prices will fly in December!
November was a beautiful month for bulls on the North Sea Brent futures contracts traded on the London IPE and Chicago Merc. After all, Brent crude surged from $58 in late October to almost $64 now as I write. The wet barrel market prices in a Read More >
The UK election and an anatomy of the coming sterling crisis!
Trading sterling based on the eccentricities of UK polling data has been historically a mug’s game – an existential reality magnified by the traumatic fall in cable after the June 23 2016 shocker on the Brexit referendum. So I had a 1.30 Read More >
SAP shares are up 50% since my €82 buy conviction call in 2018!
I had recommended SAP shares at €82 in the Gulf financial press in early 2018 as its then CEO Bill McDermott committed the firm to the digital transformation of the UAE at Dubai’s World Government Summit. I published a second article on Read More >
Lebanon: Ghosts, memories and monetary abyss
I first encountered Lebanon as a teenager after the fabled Choueifat College opened its first UAE campus in Sharjah, fleeing the civil war in the Chouf. My ignorance of the country I was to know and love as my own patrie was monumental. When a Read More >
The German stock market is up 26% in 2019 despite zero economic growth!
November 2019 is the thirtieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall that led to the collapse of the Soviet occupied, neo-Stalinist DDR and the eventual reunification of Germany forty-five years after the nightmarish end of the Third Reich. Read More >
Goldman Sachs’s $1.6 – 2.3 trillion valuation range for the Saudi Aramco IPO is insane!
I literally laughed when I heard that Goldman Sachs put a valuation range of $1.6 to $2.3 trillion on the Saudi Aramco IPO. One, a valuation range of $700 million only means the Goldie analyst bankers (deal promoters?) are clueless about what Read More >
Buy the Saudi Aramco IPO at a 7.4% forward dividend yield!
Saudi Aramco is the biggest, most profitable company in history ($110 billion revenues in 2018, $40 billion more than Apple). It has been the economic engine of the Arab world’s preeminent superpower since Chevron geologists struck the mother Read More >
Junk Bonds are Going to Kill Us All
A few years ago I was on Bloomberg one morning and said something like, stocks looked overly expensive and should be due a correction if it wasn’t for the support they were getting from company buybacks and the low relative yields on bonds. Read More >
Blain’s Morning Porridge
It’s going to be relatively short comment today – I just spent the last 1 ½ hours standing all the way from Southampton to the City.  SouthWest Rail decided to reduce the busiest Up train of the day to 5 carriages.  I suppose Read More >
There’s finance, and there’s reality
Global financial markets seem increasingly disconnected from real world events – keep your eyes on the macro trends I’ve spent 35 years in finance, and much of the market activity I’m watching just doesn’t make sense any more. Am I Read More >
Blain’s Morning Porridge
Why did the Fed Ease? Last night’s Fed decision was anything but unanimous with 10 of the 17 members dissenting – views ranging from no cut to a larger ease.  Powell described a “solid outlook” for the US economy but warned of Read More >
Blain’s Morning Porridge
“Sophisticated investors buy negative yielding bonds – are you not a sophisticated investor?” What madness will today bring?  From up in the Shard’s Eyrie in the Walkie Talkie Building we can see Marquees and Tents going up on Read More >
Why I became a sterling bull last week for a 1.30 cable target
The political drama in Westminster last week was pure Sophocles, as nemesis gutted Boris Johnson’s hubris. Boris Johnson’s agenda for a “do or die” hard Brexit was killed by two humiliating defeats in the House of Commons parliamentary Read More >
Four heartbeats of global finance in September 2019
Wall Street folklore contends that four data points reflect the interrelationship between the price of money, interest rates, the price of currency (US Dollar Index), the price of gold and price of crude oil, the four heartbeats of global Read More >
Saudi Aramco’s IPO valuation and the global crude oil market
Saudi Arabia plans to accelerate the IPO timetable for Saudi Aramco, the kingdom’s flagship state owned oil and gas monopoly that happens to be the world’s most profitable company. Saudi Aramco will be the world’s largest IPO ever if it Read More >
Blain’s Morning Porridge
Weebles Wobble but they don’t fall down..”  In the headlines this morning Blain’s Financial Porridge Podcaston Website (Subscribe to Audioboom podcast or go via Spotify or iTunes (Other channels Read More >
Anatomy of the next crude oil price crash!
Brent crude oil plunged almost 4% from $67 to $63.50 a barrel after both President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo signaled progress in reducing geopolitical tensions with Iran in the Gulf. Iran Foreign Minister Javed Zarif's Read More >
The Indian rupee trade idea was a winner – unlike Yes Bank!
I had recommended buying the Indian rupee at 69.25 as I expected the Union Budget to focus on fiscal prudence since the BJP’s landslide election win meant Prime Minister Modi did not have to appease his vote banks in the Hindi “cow belt”. Read More >
What next for Oracle, IBM and Dell?
I had originally recommended Oracle as a turnaround candidate but the slow growth of its legacy database business and execution missteps in its transition to cloud computing solutions meant the House of Samurai Larry was dead money in the past Read More >
Time to short the S&P 500 and NASDAQ Composite Indices?
The S&P 500 index trades at 2990 as I write. The risk-reward calculus on the broad index no longer flashes a buy signal to me. The economic data around the world has deteriorated at an accelerating pace, as the decline in global PMI’s, 9% Read More >
The Bitcoin madness will end in tears – once again!
The crypto-bulls have regained their mojo now that Bitcoin is at $11600, though $2000 below its most recent peak. While financial history tells me parabolic moves always end in tears, the current euphoria does not surprise me. Facebook’s Libra Read More >
Will the Euro/dollar cross rate continue to fall in July?
Nonfarm payrolls rose to 224,000 in June, the highest since January, thus popping the bond market consensus that the Federal Reserve would turn ultra-dovish at the July FOMC. Average hourly earnings are up 3.1% on an annual basis, another nail Read More >
The summer of discontent
Widespread disaffection, income-inequality, Brexit and Donald Trump – will it get better? I sense that summer 2019 in London is going to be a disruptive hell. Climate change protests in April were both extraordinarily polite and Read More >
The Hong Kong property bubble is about to pop!
Governor Chris Patten and the Prince of Wales watched forlornly as the Union Jack slid down its flagpole for the last time as Hong Kong morphed from Her Majesty’s Crown Colony to a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People’s Republic Read More >
Blain’s Morning Porridge
“I know of no country in which there is so little independence of mind and real freedom of discussion as in America.” In the headlines this morning Subscribe to podcast Happy birthday America! This morning’s intro-quote is over Read More >
What next for bonds, gold and the dollar?
US equities markets went ballistic after the Federal Reserve confirmed Wall Street consensus that it will cut the overnight borrowing rate by 50 basis points if the economy weakens. This did not surprise me. The current Fed Funds target rate is Read More >
Blain’s Morning Porridge
“France has no friends, only interests…” In the headlines this morning. When the Fed Chairman has to say he’s “insulated from short-term political pressures”, then you know his ears are bleeding from a full up-to 11 Trump rant. Read More >
Saudi Arabia and the calculus of petro power
It is impossible to analyze the real time dynamics of the global oil market without a grasp of the myriad domestic/regional economic, diplomatic and national security dilemmas that govern the formulation of Saudi Arabia’s oil pricing strategy. Read More >
The Pakistani rupee has now tanked to my 160 strategic target against the US dollar
I had forecast a collapse in the Pakistani rupee to a 160 – 180 range against the US dollar and a plunge in the Karachi stock market index to 32000 after PMLN Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was sacked by the Supreme Court at the behest of the Read More >
What next for the Uber, Beyond Meat and Luckin IPO deals?
Thanks to the orchestrated bullishness of a dozen Wall Street sell side analysts and the mother of all short covering rallies, Uber has managed to claw back its losses from 38 to its IPO offer price of $45 though the latest management disaster Read More >
Blain’s Morning Porridge
“Every unresolved problem eventually creates something worse to solve it…” In the headlines this morning... I switched on the TV this morning and watched Naga sitting on the Brek-drek couch in Normandy, then a cut-away to a Piper at Read More >
A projected trading range for Citigroup shares in 2019
Citigroup, the third largest US money center bank, owns subsidiaries in Latin America whose pedigrees go back almost a century. For instance, Banamex, Citi’s subsidiary in Mexico, is the second largest corporate/retail bank south of the Rio Read More >
The Beyond Meat IPO is up 260% in two weeks!
Despite the global fame of its brand ambassadors Leonardo DiCaprio and Snoop Dog, Alternative faux meat specialist Beyond Meat (symbol BYND) electrified Wall Street with its white-hot IPO. The recent panic in financial markets and rising Read More >
Global Investing
The Uber IPO is absurdly overvalued on NASDAQ  Uber Technologies goes public in the most controversial and global tech IPO since Facebook seven years ago. Uber bulls claim that the ride sharing colossus is another embryonic Amazon, a Read More >
Property investing in the Gulf and on Wall Street
It is insane for sophisticated investors to put savings in illiquid, high risk, brick and mortar property in the GCC with volatile rental yields, rules biased in favour of developers, exorbitant service charges, excessive mortgage cost and Read More >
What next in emerging markets and South African equities
While China is up a stellar 30% since New Year’s Day 2019 and the post Bolsonaro rally in Brazil has been a license to print money in the Bovespa, the broader emerging markets have been a sucker’s bet in the past decade relative to the Read More >
Blain’s Morning Porridge
“Please… make it stop…  ” In the headlines this morning... In the news this morning we’ve got a raft of stories to wake up and think about. Yesterday’s hotly anticipated US and China data was benign and won’t roil Read More >
Blain’s Morning Porridge
“Anything of yours is mine, and what is mine me’s own..” In the headlines this morning... What next for this sad benighted isle? The one thing certain is more Brexit uncertainty. It probably gets worse long before it gets Read More >
Blain’s Morning Porridge
In the headlines this morning... This is the day the UK isn’t exiting Europe. Surprised? Not really.  Think I’ll try something different this morning - a review of the week touching on some of the key themes we should be thinking Read More >
Blain’s Morning Porridge
“Only the guy who isn't rowing, has time to rock the boat” In the headlines this morning... Apologies to anyone trying yesterday to link to Shard’s March 2019 Alternative Asset Outlook – I managed to append the wrong site-address Read More >
Blain’s Morning Porridge
Why that’s absurd, the wing is on the bird..” In the headlines this morning... Spring has sprung, and it was a fantastic weekend – attached photo of she-who-is-now-Mrs-Blain driving the boat at full pelt across the Solent. What’s Read More >
Blain’s Morning Porridge
“On the wings of a snow-white dove, he sends his pure sweet love, a sign from above….”  In the headlines this morning... To make it easy, the lyrics this morning are from the only band that might possibly understand the world at Read More >
Blain’s Morning Porridge
“There seem to be more banks in Germany than bicycles in Beijing…”  In the headlines this morning... Unfortunately, a number of readers responded to yesterdays not-terribly-serious Morning Porridge by asking what I really think Read More >
Blain’s Morning Porridge
“II have not failed, I’ve just found another way that doesn’t work...”  In the headlines this morning... For Non-British readers who are perhaps unfamiliar with the complexities of British Parliamentary procedure and Read More >
Blain’s Morning Porridge
“It’s the edge of the world and all of western civilization, the Sun may rise in the East at least its settled in a fine location..”  In the headlines this morning... What a Saturday…Well done Wales on a well-deserved Grand Read More >
Blain’s morning porridge
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.. ” In the headlines this morning So much stuff going on.. it’s shaping up to be a very interesting weekend. But, let me start with a Read More >
Blain’s Morning Porridge
In the headlines this morning One of our traders was dragged screaming and foaming at the mouth from his desk this morning. As we gently strapped him up in the office straight-jacket and wheeled him towards the Calm Room he was yelling: Read More >
Blain’s Morning Porridge
Had history been democratic, their would have been no farming or industrial revolution.. ” In the headlines this morning Apologies for lack of Porridge last week.. But, even from the top of the Alps I heard the people cheer as my Read More >
Blain’s Morning Porridge
“Dydd Gwyl Dewi Hapus” In the headlines this morning... A moment of frostiness in the Blain household this morning after I failed to provide my very Welsh “She-Who-Is-Now-Mrs-Blain” with Daffodils for St David’s Day. Cup of tea Read More >
Blain’s Morning Porridge
Big might be beautiful… but not always” In the headlines this morning... Lots of stuff for today… Kashmir, Brexit Shenanigans, and where next on trade negotiations… but let’s wait and see what develops. Yesterday, I was Read More >
Blain’s Morning Porridge
“Just do the right thing – whatever it might be…” In the headlines this morning... I’ve attached a photo illustrating just what a fantastic weekend it was – but sailing under bright sunny skies wearing a summer jacket in Read More >
Blain’s Morning Porridge
“She was a Stradivarius of an Airplane!” In the headlines this morning... Some marvellous stuff in the papers this morning and on the screens – slight delay to the porridge this morning is because we watched the USAF RAF flypast from Read More >
Blain’s Morning Porridge
“Lenin was right. There is subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency.” In the headlines this morning... I must post this line from one of my favourite Financial sector Read More >
Blain’s Morning Porridge
“A February Super Snow Moon? Its warmer than a Scottish Summer out there...” In the headlines this morning... I note with some delight Bernie Sanders plans to stand for US President. One of my US chums sent me the story of the Read More >
Blain’s Morning Porridge
“Any customer can have a car painted any colour they want, so long as it is black.” In the headlines this morning Reasons to be cheerful….? Can’t really think of anything this morning. Just more snapshots on why we should remain Read More >
Blain’s Morning Porridge
“Once I built a tower, now its done, Brother, can you spare a dime?” In the headlines this morning Another fascinating weekend… It’s a holiday in the US, and much of UK is off for mid-term. I’m still trying to digest the Read More >
Blain’s Morning Porridge
Not as glamorous as Brooklyn, as cool as Staten Island, or as private as Manhattan… ”* *In the headlines this morning Bit of jolt to stock market’s yesterday – US Retail Sales crash, Trade War concerns, slowdown in China, Read More >
Blain’s Morning Porridge
“I was going to buy you a thousand red-roses my darling Mrs Blain.. but they were a bit expensive..  ” In the headlines this morning: There was a girl selling very expensive roses Read More >
Blain’s Morning Porridge
In the headlines this morning  (Apologies for delay) What a fascinating world we live in. Amazon boss Jeff Bezos exposing himself, and exposes the National Inquirer for attempted blackmail. A young senator, Alexandria Read More >
Blain’s Morning Porridge
“Oh dear. How sad. Never Mind.” In the headlines this morning. I’ve peeved the Americans two days in a row. In the interests of fairness and balance, EU MiFID 2 regulations dictate I must upset someone else today. So, this morning, Read More >
The bullish British pound trade ideas was a winner! As markets dismiss the risk of a no deal Brexit, I believe the pound will rise higher and so will not take profits now.
I had recommended buying the British pound at 1.2700 against the US dollar in successive columns in the past two weeks. Sterling is at 1.3200 as I write, the trade is already hugely profitable. Cable has now closed above its crucial 200 day Read More >
Global Investing Sterling has not managed to rise above 1.30 to the US dollar in the past two months
The epic political dramas of last week (Aunty Theresa’s Brexit plan was rejected by the House of Commons but she managed to survive a no-confidence vote by a narrow margin) strengthened the British pound, exactly as I had expected. Yet sterling Read More >
Blain’s Morning Porridge “The Lord above gave man an arm of iron, but with a little bit of luck, someone else will do the work..”
In the headlines this morning: I’ve just seen the surest sign economic apocalypse lies around the corner: Holiday sales in the UK are up 5% on a like for like basis, confirming we are so Read More >
Blain’s Morning Porridge “I see trouble on the way, I see earthquakes and lightning, I see bad times today...”
In the headlines this morning: I got up early to see the Super Blood Wolf Moon this morning. It hung in the western sky, a baleful dark pink ball in the sky - caused by the earth eclipsing the Read More >
Blain’s Morning Porridge  – 18th January  2019 “By Toutatis!”
In the headlines this morning: Wow… we passed the middle of the first month of the New Year, and the world hasn’t blown up. Phew… that’s a relief.. For a moment I thought 2019 might get Read More >
Blain’s Morning Porridge “Governments crack and systems fall, cause unity is powerful, lights go out...”
In the headlines this morning: There is little point commenting on yesterday’s Brexit shenanigans – except to note the degree of parliamentary indiscipline across the Conservative Party was Read More >
Making money in a potential CBS-Viacom merger deal! Even if this deal does not happen, both CBS and Viacom are now in play
Merger mania in Wall Street media shares was a profitable theme for me in 2018, particularly since I owned 21st Century Fox shares well before Walt Disney made its epic bid for the Murdoch clan’s flagship brand, the parent of President Read More >
Making money with software shares in 2019 Where to invest in the software sector this year
I have gone gaga on software shares since 2013, when Satya Nadella redefined Microsoft – and tripled the valuation of the Evil Empire of Redmond in the next five years. True, Microsoft was the best Big Tech performer of 2018, an annus Read More >
The Euro could well rise to 1.23 by end 2019!
The Euro has been a disaster since its birth in 1999. Its monetary pathologies led to youth unemployment rates of 50 – 60% in Greece, Spain and the Italian Mezzogiorno. It gave a trillion-dollar windfall to German exporters at the expense of Read More >
The bullish case for South African shares
I confess, I fell in love with South Africa’s Cape Town, though not its Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). 2018 was an annus horribilis for both the rand and South African equities, with 30% losses for a US dollar investor, the fifth worse in Read More >
The year of living dangerously in Karachi A look at the situation in Pakistan
The current balance of payments crisis in Pakistan evoked my memories of visiting Argentina as a Chase Manhattan derivatives banker in the 1990’s. Domingo Cavallo’s artificial peso peg against the US dollar led to a currency collapse, banking Read More >
Fear and loathing in emerging markets shares Learning from 2018's markets to find possibilities for 2019
It is impossible to make a strategy call on the emerging markets without also making a call on the trade war, the credit/property slowdown in the Middle Kingdom, the resurgence of King Dollar since April, Federal Reserve monetary policy and the Read More >
What awaits the world of finance in 2019? What can we expect to see from from the markets in the New Year?
The wing flaps of the macro black swans have unnerved the financial markets in December 2018. What next if we extrapolate current trends to their logical conclusion?   La Bella Italia’s fiscal, banking and political chickens come home to Read More >
Bye bye 2018. Investors will not miss you! Reviewing some of 2018's investments and a look at the year ahead
For investors in the Middle East, global equities and crude oil, it will be hard to wax nostalgic for 2018 given the sheer scale of the losses this year inflicted. Even I was stunned to see Brent crude plunge to $58 just a week after AMEInfo Read More >
The Great Game of money, debt and Arab geopolitics An insight into how money has been heard around the world
Geopolitics has reshaped the financial markets and sovereign debt issuance pathologies of the Middle East since the 1880’s. After all, the Rothschild clan financed Benjamin Disraeli’s HM Treasury stake in the Suez Canal and the Royal Navy’s Read More >
OPEC needs a “shock and awe” output cut in Vienna Will there be a rebalance to the market and an increase on oil prices?
OPEC's ministerial meeting on 6 December will have a seismic impact on the outlook for global oil markets. OPEC has been unnerved by a 30% fall in crude oil prices in the past two months on expectations of lower oil demand due to a Chinese Read More >
Crude oil’s collapse, recession and geopolitics
The swift, brutal 30% plunge in Brent crude since October 3, 2018 has reawakened fears of global recession, the economic rationale for past oil price crashes in 2000 and 2008. Fears over Trump’s tariffs have amplified the economic slowdown in Read More >
US dollars on a wooden table King dollar, currency pegs and the Arabian money souks
The post Lehman decade was defined by the Federal Reserve’s “lender of the last resort” strategy to stabilize the global banking system. The American central bank expanded its balance sheet from $900 billion to $4.5 trillion. This led to a Read More >
What next for global markets after October’s risk spasm?
The swift 10% correction in the S&P 500 index in October is a mild echo of the 25 – 35% bear markets emerging markets, led by the financial panics in China, Turkey, Argentina, Pakistan and the ASEAN markets. Even in the US, the homebuilder Read More >
What is the risk reward calculus for Emaar Properties? A look at GCC and Dubai real estate
2018 has been a difficult year for GCC and Dubai real estate. Rents and capital values continued to fall in the third quarter, albeit at different rates in specific segments and micro-markets. The Federal Reserve’s latest monetary tightening at Read More >
GCC Focus – Dubai property market and the 2018 credit cycle Rents in prime Dubai locations like Downtown, Palm Jumeirah and Sheikh Zayed Road continue to fall in 2018
Saudi Arabia and Russia engineered a dramatic rise in the price of Brent crude via output cuts, the French far right National Front did not win the Élysée Palace in the Presidential election and the US Dollar Index fell almost 10% in 2017. I Read More >
King Dollar is dethroned by political risk in Washington  Michael Cohen pleading guilty to multiple charges of tax evasion means political risk has risen
Political risk in Washington has risen alarmingly now that President Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen has pleaded guilty to multiple charges of tax evasion, money laundering and paying hush money to adult film Read More >
Global Investing: Risk is a four letter word – but then so is ruin! As a feared, US dollar short term rates have begun to rise, as the rise in LIBOR and even EIBOR in the past few months attests.
Market View – Risk is a four letter word - but then so is ruin! Trading the financial markets has taught me that often what Dr. Kissinger (or Sun Tzu, Von Clausewitz and Lord Acton) says about geopolitics and Sigmund Freud says about death Read More >
Market View – Federal Reserve embraced a tight money policy last week Foreign exchange reserves are $10 billion or two months import cover and external debt is $97 billion
While the Federal Reserve did not raise the overnight borrowing rate at the August FOMC last week, I was chilled to read the US central bank explicitly describe the economic growth as “strong”. The last time this happened was May 2006 at the Read More >
Currencies – King Dollar devastates emerging markets currencies The British pound fell below 1.30 last week as investors were horrified by another Tory revolt
Gold has fallen to 1231 an ounce. The Chinese yuan has depreciated to 6.76 and triggered a Black Death in emerging market currencies. Copper has fallen 18% in the past month. Emerging market equities/debt markets are in free fall. The US Treasury Read More >
Market View – Barclays, Big Bang and the City of London When will Barclays rerate? Not now.
Barclays was a traditional, Quaker High Street clearing bank whose roots in Britain and its colonies literally went back centuries. The bank was a traditional and commercial bank with branches across the world Barclaycard was the best known Read More >
Macro Ideas – Time to go bottom fishing on the Bosphorus for Turkish shares? Free fall in the Turkish lira and sovereign debt
There was nothing surprising about the reelection of Turkish President Recep Erdoğan’s victory with even more concentrated executive power and his Justice and Development (AKP) party coalition now has a parliamentary majority. This scenario Read More >
A lowdown on the Abraaj Capital saga US fund Colony Capital had earlier agreed to buy some of its key funds
​Market View – The tragedy, destiny and endgame of Abraaj Capital F. Scott Fitzgerald, the literary king of Jazz Age New York, and the author of the Great Gatsby, wrote “there are no second acts in American life”. The traumatic events Read More >
​​​GCC Focus – Saudi Arabia and the new economics of crude oil The impact of the Saudi oil policy shift in real time on my Bloomberg screen
There is absolutely no doubt that the next OPEC ministerial meeting in June will pit Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies against Iraq, Iran and Venezuela, three founder members of the oil exporters organization. Saudi Arabia has increased its Read More >
Strategy ideas and macro risks in the Indian stock market The emerging markets convulsions in May were compounded by the political shock for the BJP in Karnataka
After a stellar 28% return in 2017, the BSE Sensex (down 2%) and the NSE Nifty 50 indices in India been a disappointment in 2018 to date. The emerging markets convulsions in May were compounded by the political shock for the BJP in Karnataka. The Read More >
Market View – Will a shift in OPEC and Russian output policy mean $56 Brent? Emerging market currencies and industrial commodities suggests a deflationary chill
Crude oil prices plunged by 7% in two sessions as Saudi Arabia and Russia confirmed that they would release 1 million barrels a day in the wet barrel markets. Speculative froth in the oil futures markets vanished, to be replaced by a new trading Read More >
Market View – The coming emerging markets meltdown The world is on the brink of yet another emerging market meltdown whose twin epicenters are now Istanbul’s Bosphorus and the Argentine pampas
Five years after the 2013 “taper tantrum”, the world is on the brink of yet another emerging market meltdown whose twin epicenters are now Istanbul’s Bosphorus and the Argentine pampas. There is now a tangible risk of contagion in the asset Read More >
Market View – The Federal Reserve and the rise in inflation risk Core inflation will continue to accelerate this summer and autumn
Market View – The Federal Reserve and the rise in inflation risk The dominant theme of 2018 has been a rise in the bellwether ten-year US Treasury note yield from 2.40% to 3% amid fears on Wall Street that a rise in wage inflation and Trump Read More >
GCC Focus – Saudi Arabian equities are global winners in 2018! Saudi Arabian equities have become the world’s second best performing stock market in 2018
I had written an article titled “six reasons to be bullish Saudi equities in 2018, published in the KT on January 28. Yet I was surprised to see Saudi Arabian equities become the world’s second best performing stock market in 2018 after Read More >
Macro Ideas – Is Iraq the world’s next hot frontier stock market? Money alone will not solve Iraq’s problems of systemic corruption
A dismal legacy of civil war, sanctions, insurgency, foreign invasion and terrorism has had a catastrophic impact on the Iraqi economy. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told the assembled global elite at Davos 2018 that Iraq needed $100 billion in Read More >
Market View – The case for profit taking in Indian equities Indian equities still face downside risks even though Dalal Street suffered its first real correction since March
The Sensex and Nifty seem near a cyclical peak though the declines in Indian midcap/smallcap shares have been draconian. There is no doubt in my mind that, after a stellar 2017, investors sentiment in the Indian equities market is at an Read More >
Global Investing Wall Street – Trade wars, risk and global stock markets
After a 1000 point midweek Dow rally, the US stock market was slammed again by 567 Dow points on Friday after President Trump announced $100 billion in additional tariffs on China and the March payroll growth number was a dismal 103,000 relative Read More >
Pocket watch on pile of dollars Wall Street – The rising LIBOR and the global financial markets All that's affected by the rise in LIBOR
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell made it clear that his strategy on interest rate hikes will be guided by the real time performance of the US economy, not the estoric econometric models of the central bank’s staff monetary economists. Read More >
Tug of war with hands pulling rope in opposite directions Macro Ideas – The bullish case for British equities British equities exhibit metrics of investor pessimism
Brexit, sterling’s fall from grace, the Read More >
Businessmen walking across a bridge Global Investing A study in commercial property, Europe’s financial fault lines and India’s Sensex and Sri Lankan equities
GCC Focus – Losing and making money in commercial property The sharp rise in US Treasury, British gilt, German Bund and other government bond yields is a disaster for real estate investment trusts (REIT’s) worldwide, including those in the Read More >
Can South Africa’s catastrophic land grab be stopped? All the evidence suggests that Ramaphosa's land grab will trigger economic disaster
On February 27, the South African National Assembly set in motion a process to amend that country’s Constitution so as to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation. If implemented, the measure will destroy the political Read More >
Currencies, Singapore property and crude oil A look at the indian rupee, sterling, yen and euro, property price rises in Singapore, and crude oil and the valuation discount in energy shares
Currencies – What next for the Indian rupee, sterling, yen and the Euro? I reiterate my call last week for a depreciation in the Indian rupee to at least 66 against the US dollar. Note that the India is showing the fastest GDP growth of any Read More >
Saudi oil and a look at the Southeast Asian financial markets What is happening in the global oil market and opportunities in Southeast Asia
Saudi Arabia has been the traditional voice of price moderation and long-term stability in the global oil market, given that it has the world’s highest long life reserves and lowest cost of production of crude oil. In the 1980’s and 1990’s, Read More >
Wall Street carnage and Walt Disney Fear has replaced greed with a vengeance
I will never forget last week’s stock market carnage. Global equities lost $5.2 trillion in value. The Dow Jones plunged 2000 plus points, with two 1000 point falls, its worst week since the post-Lehman meltdown in October 2008. The Chicago Read More >
Oil refinery at night The bullish case for Saudi Arabian stock market 6 reasons why the world financial markets will embrace this unloved stock market in 2018
2018 is the year the world financial markets will embrace the unloved, underowned Saudi stock market, whose TASI index is down 42% since mid-2014. Why? One, the kingdom has reassumed its role as OPEC’s swing producer after it cut its output by Read More >
Eagle The spike in three month LIBOR is bad news for borrowers Why the world is on the eve of a major rise in interest rates
I had projected a bloodbath in the US Treasury bond market since late 2016, when it was obvious that Trump’s tax reform would double the US budget deficit at the same time as the Federal Reserve prepared to 'normalize' or shrink its balance Read More >
Burj Khalifa in Dubai and aeroplane GII’s Amazon logistics deal is strategic winner for Dubai! Plus my thoughts on the forthcoming oversupply problem in Dubai's residential market
Dubai-based Gulf Islamic Investments (GII) acquired a one million square foot Amazon logistics centre in Dortmund, Germany for $144 million. This deal is a testament to the boutique global merchant bank created in Dubai by GII’s co-founder/CEO Read More >
Dubai skyscrapers with palm tree Dubai property market trends in 2018 What the new year has in store for the UAE's real estate
The rise in Brent crude to $60 a barrel and the trade volume ballast generated by the world’s first post Lehman synchronised economic recovery is hugely positive for UAE economic growth in 2018. After all, the UAE is unique because Abu Read More >
High rise building with balconies Goldmines and landmines in the property market My latest thoughts on global property investment
I am often asked by investors to articulate my 'philosophy' of real estate investing. Tough question. My ideal deal is one where it is possible to buy brick and mortar assets at 60–70% of replacement cost. This usually occurs in the aftermath Read More >
Computer screen showing stock price movements Greed and fear in the global stock market What the week's news means for investors
US and global equities surged on news that the US House of Representatives passed the tax reform bill, Cisco and Walmart posted blowout earnings and a potential bidding war emerged for Fox’s media assets. The rally on Thursday followed a week Read More >
Close up detail of banknote The end of easy money Why emerging markets will pay a high price
2017 has been a wonderful year for major emerging markets, thanks to a 7% fall in the US Dollar Index, no hard landing in China, the end of recessions in Brazil and Russia, falls in inflation that enabled central bank easing and stimulated Read More >
Dubai skyscrapers with palm tree Why the Emaar development IPO will make money for investors The latest in UAE property development news
Emaar Properties will sell 20% of its UAE development portfolio in an initial public offering in November. This is the first IPO in the UAE capital markets in the last three years and follows bellwether offerings such as Emaar Malls and Emaar Read More >
Mount Fuji with Cherry Blossom, view from Lake Kawaguchiko, Japan The Japanese stock market is not yet overvalued Why a yen hedged Japanese equities portfolio is absolutely essential
Japan experienced two “lost decades” of deflation and financial distress after its stock market and property market bubble burst in 1990. The Nikkei Dow index experienced one of history’s longest, most savage bear market, falling from Read More >
Cranes outlined against the sunset Saudi Arabia and the crude oil price surge Why September was an historic month for the global crude oil market
September 2017 was an historic month for the global crude oil market. West Texas rose to $52 and Brent rose to $58 as financial markets finally accepted that Saudi Arabia has been successful in brokering high compliance rates with last year’s Read More >
Numbers on a digital screen The bloodbath in bitcoin has only just begun Why cryptocurrencies are doomed to fail
Jamie Dimon, the unanointed king of Wall Street and chief executive of New York banking colossus JP Morgan did not mince his words. He called bitcoin “a fraud”, a speculative bubble comparable to the Dutch tulip mania of the 17th century and Read More >
Digital screen with abstract reflections The bullish case for Japan’s undervalued stock market Why Japan is the cheapest developed world stock market in 2017
The North Korea crisis has led to a 1000 point decline in the Nikkei. Japan is the cheapest developed world stock market in 2017. Any spasm of risk aversion leads to a rise in the Japanese yen and a correction in its Nikkei Dow averages lower. Read More >
London street with phone box and bright lights The anatomy of a British pound collapse Our Macro commentator on the outlook for sterling
It took a North Korean ballistic missile launch and Hurricane Harvey’s devastation of the $500 billion Houston/Galveston/Corpus Christi economy to push sterling higher to 1.2950 against the US dollar. While the British pound is the most Read More >
A pile of gold coins and bars The US dollar plunge and emerging market currencies Matein Khalid brings us the latest currencies news
The US dollar plunged after Janet Yellen did not talk about Fed monetary tightening and Mario Draghi did not protest 1.19 Euro at the Jackson Hole central banking symposium. This is a green light for the carry trade in emerging market currencies. Read More >
Skyscrapers seen from above The Trump White House and US stock market risk With the Volatility Index at 14, Wall Street’s pendulum of greed and fear has unquestionably tilted to fear
Trump’s post Charlottesville remarks, the Barcelona terrorist attacks and Cisco’s results unnerved the US stock market bulls last week. Friday was a surreal moment in the history of Wall Street. It was entirely rational for traders on the New Read More >
Chess pieces on a chessboard Global political instability: a threat to the markets? A macro view of volatility and market resilience
The old stock exchange cliché goes “markets go up like an escalator, go down like an unhinged elevator”. The world learnt this lesson the hard way as geopolitical tensions between the US and North Korea escalated to nuclear brinkmanship. Read More >
Computer screen showing stock price movements Ten macro reasons to buy Brazil shares Our Macro View commentator explains why he's buying into the emerging market
“Brazil is a country of tomorrow and always will be.” General Charles de Gaulle dissed Latin America’s largest economy with Gallic disdain. Quelle horreur! Yet I have been fascinated by the magical land of samba, carnival, Pele, Gisele, Read More >
A chart showing upwards progression The hunt for value in global equities Matein Khalid explores the dramatic shift in the US stock market from growth/momentum to value shares
The US stock market has been resilient to the political and policy firestorms created by the Trump White House. Trump’s failure to enact tax reform or a major fiscal stimulus has restrained but not destroyed the 'animal spirits' of the Wall Read More >
Brown bear in forest London property faces a bear market in 2018 Why the UK is heading for a period of stagflation
Prime London home prices (Mayfair, Kensington, Belgravia, Chelsea) are now down 20% from their pre-Brexit peaks. Theresa May’s general election gamble and the surprising success of the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn has negatively impacted Read More >
Abstract digital numbers Europe faces macro storm clouds this autumn My predictions for the next few months
European equities were the classic 'pain trade' of 2017, the bull market’s wall of worry was scalable, even a slam dunk. Geert Wilders and Marine Le Pen were defeated in the Dutch and French election, reducing political risk in Europe. Greece Read More >
A house roof with two dormer windows and the sun shining between them The Canadian house price bubble has now burst Plus the latest on Morgan Stanley and emerging markets
The Canadian housing bubble has gone so ballistic that the Ontario government is considering a 15% tax on foreign buyers to cool down the speculative spiral in Toronto condominiums. The smart money on Wall Street’s latest trade is to short Read More >
Three dollar bills tucked into the top of a hardback book Wall Street: a hawkish Federal Reserve and the US dollar comeback Also in this week's column: investing in Fox News and the Standard Oil twins
Dr Janet Yellen surprised the financial markets with her hawkish take on interest rate policy and inflation even as the FOMC raised the Fed Funds rate for the fourth time since December 2015. Despite successive weak CPI and auto/retail sales Read More >
Digital screen with abstract reflections The fallout from the UK election is self-evident Plus: the latest on investing in Singapore and the future of the US Dollar Index
Like David Cameron’s Brexit referendum, Theresa May gambled her political career on her decision to hold a snap election to consolidate the Tory majority in the House of Commons. With 318 seats, Mrs May’s gamble backfired and the Tories are Read More >
Sunlight coming through high rise buildings Can UAE emerge as an aircraft leasing hub? Plus my thoughts on Central Europe and the dollar
I was stunned to read a Boeing report that forecasts that the global passenger jet fleet will more than double to 45,250 by 2035. Given that almost 20,000 of the world’s in-service aircraft will be retired or converted to freighters in the next Read More >
Aerial view of a city Saudi Arabia and the age of shale In this week's update on global asset markets, Matein Khalid considers shale, European equities, and the emerging market of Argentina
Saudi Arabia engineered a short covering rally and cyclical bottom in Brent crude with its 15 May agreement with Russia to roll over last November’s oil output cuts for another nine months. The kingdom has, in essence, resumed its traditional Read More >
Digital tablet, mobile phone, credit card with lens flare What Trump’s political scandal means for investors The latest on the White House's influence on the financial markets, from Matein Khalid
Image (c) iStockphoto The financial markets have finally cottoned on to the increasingly sordid political realities created by the Trump White House. Trump could well be impeached for obstruction of justice if he tried to pressure FBI Director Read More >
Chess pieces on a chessboard The latest on oil and gas shares Plus, Matein Khalid shares his thoughts on investing in the Japanese stock market
The 11% fall in the price of crude oil in the past month on panic selling in the energy futures pits of New York, London and Singapore has unnerved the world’s leading oil and gas exporters. Saudi Arabia will both extend last November’s OPEC Read More >
Blurred photograph of crowds walking through London What next for G-10 currencies and crude oil?
The euro, the French stock market, OAT-German debt interest rates spreads, the Volatility Index (VIX) and the ghosts of Vichy, Oradour and Algérie française convince me that Emmanuel Macron will be the next President of France on Sunday. So I Read More >
Pile of euro coins on a chart France’s election and global financial risks
The French election is a game changer for global financial markets for multiple reasons. One: the worst case scenario of far right (Le Pen) and far left (Melenchon) as second round candidates for the Elysee Palace on May 7th is no longer a Read More >
Numbers on a digital screen Emerging markets: an update
Emerging market equities have been the darling asset class de jour in 2017, mainly in Asia and Latin America, despite the March FOMC rate hike, a US Dollar Index at or above 100 and a mini-swoon in crude oil after a Saudi-Russian output cut spat. Read More >
Dubai skyscrapers with palm tree Market View: Dubai property is in a bear market
I find it laughable when investment bankers come to my office and try to assure me that warehouse and logistics space in Dubai is a “defensive” investment. Mathematical reality does not support this argument. Rents in Jebel Ali Free Zone Read More >
Globe showing South America Macro Ideas: The bullish case for emerging markets and European equities
Emerging market equities have outperformed the S&P 500 index and the flagship asset class index fund (symbol EEM) is up 12.5% in 2017. The US dollar and the ten-year US Treasury bond yield have both fallen since the March 14 FOMC rate hike, Read More >
China skyline Market View: Are Chinese shares in a stealth bull market?
Chinese equities have risen steadily higher in 2017 in a stealth bull markets, despite $700 billion in capital flight last year, a fall in the renminbi to 6.90, periodic liquidity squeezes in the Shanghai money market, draconian credit controls, Read More >
Oil refinery at night Market View: What next for crude oil, silver and copper equities? 
I doubt if West Texas crude oil rebounds beyond $52 in the short term without clear evidence that Saudi Arabia and its GCC allies can persuade Russia, Iraq, Algeria and Iran to keep their output cut promises amid a global glut and resurgent US Read More >


Investor's Notebook

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Fintech, proptech and what it all means

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The Architect

Some of the profession's best minds

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Money, rates and prices

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