Archive for the ‘american depositary receipt’ Category

Brazil confirms hydrocarbon strategy

Santos basinMuch has been made of Brazil’s offshore hydrocarbon deposits particularly in the Tupi oil & gas reserves which have been touted by state owned energy firm Petrobras as containing up to 5-8 billion barrels of recoverable oil.

Tupi,which is located in the pre-salt region, is estimated to contain between 5 billion & 8 billion barrels of light crude, & is the world’s biggest new field since a 12-billion-barrel find in Kazakhstan in 2000. The pre-salt region covers an offshore area 800 kilometers long and 200 kilometers wide between the states of Espirito Santo and Santa Catarina, is estimated to contain up to 80 billion barrels of light crude under a thick layer of salt far beneath the ocean floor.

As discussed in a previous article, Petrobras (NYSE: PBR)  & partners including Repsol and BG Group discovered vast deposits of oil under more than 4,000 meters of water, rock and salt in 2006. These deposits are at previously untapped depths and will be costly to extract. It is thought that other reserves may be nearby in other as yet unexplored blocks.

To capitalise, Brazil’s regulatory agency the ANP has announced that it will be excluding Tupi from a new round of block concessions scheduled for spring 2010, as Brazil looks to protect it’s strategic reserves & is currently changing the concession framework for blocks in the area. According to proposed legislation, which is being heavily pushed by President Lula, Petrobras will operate all blocks in pre-salt areas with a minimum 30% stake. Output would belong to the federal government under a production sharing model & participating IOCs will receive a fixed share of the revenues.

This is a canny move & possibly a very good gambit to make, as IOCs are now on the backfoot with new capacity for exploitation becoming scarce. More tellingly, companies such as Royal Dutch Shell, Total, Chevron & Exxon Mobile have come under increasing pressure in countries such as Nigeria & Angola in recent months, especially from Chinese state firms.

Last month, CNOOC, made a bid to acquire concessions in 23 prime blocks in Nigeria, which could see the Chinese state-controlled oil giant securing more than 20% of Nigerian hydrocarbon assets. There has been some speculation that Nigeria may be using the Chinese approach as a heavy hammer to extract more favorable terms on concessions that are due for re-newal, however, it underlines the fact that oil majors must look for more stable environments in which to do business.

ANP Director Nelson Narciso has expressed confidence that oil majors will still be interested in new pre-salt areas despite market uncertainty over the new terms because of both economic & political stability.

“As long as the production sharing agreements are preceded by a fair competition, there is no reason for not being happy with Brazil,” he said. “I expect that if everything goes well, by the end of next year we’ll be in a position to start the bidding for the new pre-salt round”

Lula has a knack of getting his way, as he is seen as being instrumental in pulling Brazil out of the global recession via his socialist policies, which have been very popular with Brazil’s citizens. Our view is that the IOCs will be forced to accept these terms on the pre-salt fields, whilst picking up other concessions in more mature blocks as a sap. We have been bullish on Petrobras for a good while & we see no rason to change that view on the basis of this news.

 

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Nokia launches first handset on China Mobile 3G standard

nokia logoHere at Emerging Voice, we have been following the the whole Nokia / China Mobile / 3G story for a good while, you can pick up on some of those previous posts here : Nokia in China

Today, Nokia has finally launched it’s first TD-SCDMA compliant handsets the Nokia 6788, which was built from the ground up for China Mobile.


Nokia (NYSE: NOK) today announced the Nokia 6788, its first device for TD-SCDMA – China’s domestic 3G standard, at an event in Beijing. The Nokia 6788 is the result of close collaboration between Nokia and the world’s largest mobile phone operator, China Mobile.

Speaking at the event, said Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, CEO of Nokia: “Nokia sees TD-SCDMA as being central to the successful evolution of 3G in China, and so is fully committed to this 3G standard. With a wide range of integrated China Mobile applications, the Nokia 6788 marks a new level of collaboration with China Mobile and offers enriched experiences to China’s 3G users. Nokia plans to introduce more TD-SCDMA phones in the near future, further boosting the development of this 3G standard in China.”

“We are excited to see the launch of Nokia 6788,” said Mr. Lu Xiangdong, Vice President of China Mobile Communications Corporation. “With extensive experience in the China market, Nokia will provide Chinese consumers with TD-SCDMA solutions that are perfectly catered to their needs. Such cooperation between the world’s largest operator and the world’s leading mobile phone manufacturer will provide an important boost to the development of TD-SCDMA in China.”

The Nokia 6788 is specifically designed for China Mobile’s (NYSE: CHL) network and offers rich data services. It is an all-in-one device that provides its users with faster Internet speeds and download times. Featuring a 5-megapixel (2592 x1944) camera with a dual-LED flash, a 2.8″ QVGA display, and the hugely-successful Symbian S60 platform, the Nokia 6788 allows people to instantly share the things that matter to them most.

& here’s some pics

Nokia 6788

we apologise for the Engadget style of this post, but it’s been a long time coming !!

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Positive figures from Redecard will push Brazilian retail bank shares

redecardAs we have discussed in previous articles, Brazil’s retail banking sector has been enjoying a buoyant 2009 so far. This would seem set to continue as payment card processor Redecard posts an 18% jump in financial volumes.

This should be seen as a positive for Itaú Unibanco (NYSE: ITUB), which controls Redecard, as net income for the third quarter rose to BR$333M ($195M), with financial transactions across the payment platform registering BR$ 24.7Bn ($14.52Bn) & more interestingly, the debit card side rising in step by 17% to BR$12.2Bn ($7.13Bn).

Although there is general negativity on global credit card companies, particularly in Western economies, Brazil’s nascent credit sector has benefitted from a wave of bank consolidation over the last 18 months, the strength of the real versus the US dollar & one of the strongest economies to exit the finiancial crisis. Earlier this year, Visa affiliate VisaNet was the star IPO on the BOVESPA, with the launch being hugely oversubscribed by both retail & institutional investors, raising a record of $4.5Bn.

“We think the results were solid and highlight the strength of the credit and debit card markets,” reported Deutsche Bank which keeps a buy rating on Redecard. “While regulation remains a key risk, we think that it is already priced in.”

For Redecard, it is also very much a case of being seen as a Brazilian brand, which seems to be helping it’s positioning against VisaNet, which although no longer owned by Visa, retains the association. Redecard has the benefit of being able to position itself as a multi-brand entity & is more popular with Brazilian retail customers, especially in the growing debit card sector, whilst VisaNet is to some extent still regarded as a premium brand.

So, short term one-up for ITUB & we expect to see shares taking a ride higher over the next few days. VisaNet reports later this week (October 28th), so it will be interesting to see if Bradesco will be able to catch the same sentiment wave.

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Strong VAS revenues offset by weak dollar for Millicom

millicomEmerging Markets focussed telecom operator Millicom International (Nasdaq:MICC) has  posted a 12% decrease in net profits of US$143mn in the third quarter of 2009 compared to US$161mn in the same quarter a year ago, the company said in a statement.

Overall revenues were up 7% to US$856mn compared to US$800mn a year ago. However, top line figures have been heavilyimpacted by the dollar exchange rate across all of it’s markets, resulting in a 9% negative translation impact, the company said.

EBITDA has  increased 13% to US$392mn year-on-year, while  margin was 45.8%, up 2.6% compared to Q3 as a result of cost control initiatives and strong growth in higher margin Value Added Services (VAS) revenues. In Central America, Millicom’s Tigo brand returned a margin of 55.2% and in South America the margin increased to 40.7%.

Speaking during a conference call with investors, Millicom‘s CEO Mikael Grahne said the company had seen a lower level of customer intake in Central America, reflecting high voice penetration and an increasing focus on higher value customers and Value Added Services.

For the group, VAS revenue was up an encouraging 46% in the quarter in local currency terms and represented 19% of recurring mobile revenues. Demand for 3G services remains high in Latin America, especially for datacard customers. Paraguay represented the best market overall for VAS, where it brought in 30% of mobile revenues. Grahne said that in the long term, the company is aiming to have VAS represent an average of 25% of revenues across all markets.

In Central America, Honduras grew its customer base 11% year-on-year despite the entry of a third operator Digicel in late 2008. Guatemala grew its customer base by 19% and El Salvador 10%. Net additions were lower in Central America resulting from a combination of high penetration, weaker economic conditions and an increased focus on high quality customers, the company said.

In South America, total customers increased by 17% year on year, with Bolivia surging 47%. In Colombia, the increase was 9% and in Paraguay 12%. Constant currency ARPU in South America was up 2%, while in Central America it fell 5%. This was mainly a result of lower ARPU in Honduras, which was negatively affected by a new regulatory tax on international inbound traffic and continued promotional activity by competitors.

Grahne said that capex for 2010 would be US$700mn, US$50mn of which is held over from 2009. Though not giving a break down, Grahne said that capex in Central and South America would increase in 2010 as the company steps up investment in 3G capacity and coverage.

Millicom’s internet and TV assets that it purchased last year, Amnet and Navega, saw a sequential decline in EBITDA margins to 43% from 45% of revenues in Q2, which Grahne attributed to restructuring changes since the acquisition, but forecast that the margin would rise over time. Millicom also expects capex for Amnet to be lower in the medium term as the company focuses on increasing customer penetration with its existing footprint, rather than extending coverage.

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Infosys ups full year forecast, points to US recovery

infosys logoIndian software & services giant Infosys has announced its results for Q2 2009 & has correspondingly raised its forecast for 2010 due to improved business from customers in the U.S.

Revenues for the period were $1.15Bn, down 5.1% on the same period in 2008 but a solid 2.9% increase on the first quarter. Infosys now anticipates revenues for this fiscal year to be $4.6 billion to $4.62 billion,  a  much more optimistic forecast than made in July.

Earlier this year, Infoysys (Nasdaq:INFY) had stated that it would look to retrench in it’s domestic market & Asia, as business conditions in Europe & the US continued to deterioate. So the upbeat quarter & CEO Kris Gopalakrishnan‘s bullishness have come as quite a surprise.

“In the second quarter, the overall business climate has improved. Clients are now looking to invest in a few strategic initiatives and relationships to maximize value from opportunities when the economic downturn ends”

Earnings for the ADS of the company are now expected to be in the region of $2.10, a 7% drop on 2008, however a much improved benchmark from July this year, when Infosys stated a potential overall decline in EPS by up to 12.5%.

Normally, companies that make U-turns on forecasts in the middle of the year tend to be broadcasting warning signals, however after a slew of negative messages, it is good to see Infosys are taking a positive track. Infosys is well known for being cautious on it’s financial announcements, so any bullishness from Gopalkrishnan, should be taken at face value. As more than 60% of Infosys revenues are generated in the US, could this be a signal that the recovery is actually starting ?

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Olympic Dam upgrades & expansion crucial to BHPs future operations


bhp logo

Mining giant BHP Billiton has announced revised figures that significantly upgrade the reclaimable reserves for its flagship Olympic Dam operation in southern Australia.

New figures released by BHP (NYSE:BHP) point to a 22% increase from 284 thousand tonnes to 347.5 thousand tonnes of of U3O8, due to mineral re-classification as operational drilling taps into larger sources. BHP has correspondingly upgraded the operational lifetime of Olympic Dam from 43 to 54 years.

Olympic Dam is arguably BHP’s most valuable asset, as it is a multi-mineral source combining the world’s 4th largest copper deposit, 5th largest gold deposit & significant amounts of silver. It is also currently the world’s largest single uranium ore deposit.

With a production level of 3344tU last year, Olypic Dam is placed 4th in extraction levels for uranium, BHP are now looking to expand the size of their operations on this site. At present, all mining activities are conducted underground, however, BHP has submitted an expansion plan to local government that would see open pit miningf being introduced to the site. With government expected to make a preliminary decion on the expansion project next year, this is a critical time for BHP, as the following chart illustrates.

Olypic_Dam

In an earlier post, we discussed the impact of Sino energy requirements on Australian miners, as the Chinese are heavily commited to reducing pollution & are searching for cleaner energy sources to power their expanding economic requirements. In April this year, Chinese officials announced they would start building five extra power plants this year on top of the 24 already under construction & 11 already in operation.

“There are not enough uranium resources in China to support the aggressive nuclear power development plan for the next 20-30 years,” said Professor Liu Deshun, of China’s Institute of Nuclear and New Energy Technology. “Australia has the uranium resources that could be exported and in China we have the demand”

Earlier this year, BHP managed to successfully expand into the Yeelirrie deposit in Western Australia, which is estimated to  have a 10 to 12-year lifespan and a resource of 35,000 tonnes of uranium,  as a result of the Western Australian government lifting a six year old ban on uranium extraction in the state. With this prescedent & also the ability to secure long term supply contracts to China, Australian Minister for Resources, Martin Ferguson, has indicated the Federal Government was unlikely to stand in the way, subject to environmental and investment tests.

In the short term, this could also have a large knock on effect on the share price of some of it’s key competitors, namely Freeport McMoRan & Rio Tinto. Rio is also a top producer of uranium ore, with it’s Ranger Mine in Kakadu, which currently supplies 10% of global requirements, any uplift in BHP’s production capacity is sure to impact that figure.

More interestingly for me, there has been much speculation that BHP could be looking to acquire Freeport McMoRan (NYSE:FCX)  in order to bolster their gold & copper production, however, referring to the anticipated production uplift in both of these commodities if the expansion plan is successful, why would BHP Billiton look at dishing out more than $27 Bn, when they could integrate on an existing site?

The Australian government is also more likely to sponsor the expansion project in my point of view, as it will keep the majority of that cash pile invested in the country & help to secure more than 15,000 jobs directly & indirectly for the lifetime of Olypic Dam. Perhaps readers of the WSJ should think a little more on geo-political terms when voting on nonsensical polls.

Original editorial at MyStockVoice.com

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Unnatural activity on Turkcell points to another leg up

Having been a long term holder of Turkcell (NYSE:TKC)  & having written about it here on my own blog & Seeking Alpha on a number of occasions, I hadn’t thought recently about an article on the subject. However, a few things in the past week have brought it to the forefront of my mind & a conversation with a contact yesterday peaked my interest, so have been doing some back research & looking a little more intently at the action over the last week.

As (hopefully) anyone that is reading this article knows, Turkcell is the market leader by subscribers & mobile revenues in it’s domestic market, with more than 36.3 million users, or 60%, whilst competitors Vodafone & Avea (Turk Telekom) have 24% & 16% market share respectively.

TKC_Long_term

Last week along with 15 of the country’s major banks, Standard & Poors upgraded TKC‘s long term foreign currency rating from negative to stable. TKC has also been a pretty strong performer this year, hitting a low of $11.15 in March up to a high of $18.09 on Wednesday (of which more in a moment). Looking at the long term chart, it’s been a pretty good trend all year, adhering to it’s 20 day SMA, albeit with some volatility coming in in the last two months or so & also increased volumes being traded since August.

Recently we have seen some interesting sell activity in the stock, with plenty of unnatural selling pressure on Monday 21st September, when more than 75% of the daily trades on the NYSE for TKC were sells, against an exchange average of 48%, this is the first thing that caught my eye, but dismissed as housekeeping & profit taking, which is understandable.

This was then followed by two straight days of reasonably heavy buying, followed again by some sustained selling pressure on the 24th September, again followed by heavier than normal buying again. On Monday this week, we saw this activity starting again,out of  120k  TKC shares traded 94k or 77.85% were to the short side against an exchange average of 47%. Then yesterday, we saw TKC share volume shoot to nearly 2.3 million shares traded & the stock dropped $0.90 or 5% in an hour. OK, the markets took a tumble yesterday all over, but this is unprescedented for TKC since February this year.

People may be getting nervous on emerging & developing markets & admittedly, we have seen increased volatility coming in in the last 20 days trading, however, Turkcell registers normal daily volumes of of circa 660k shares traded, yesterday we saw 2.273 million shares exchanging hands.

Looking historically at TKC from a technical perspective over 2009, whenever we have seen volatile activity as above, it has been a precursor to another leg up in the stock, as per the chart below.

TKC_12_month

On the basis that it has just been upgraded on a long term basis, it’s major shareholder is Sonera BV (Telia Sonera of Sweden) & it has just launched 3G along with a raft of new services, I’m a perma-bull on this stock. I spent quite a bit of time researching yesterday & was not able to come up with one single reason why TKC has sustained such a beatdown, I can only surmise that some speculation has been going on in Hedgistan & expect to see another brisk leg up. Correspondingly, yesterday I added 50% to my position at 17.01 & am quietly confident we will see $20 in quick time.

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