Greatly to my surprise Petro Matad (MATD) has announced a farm-out of aspects of its Mongolian properties with BG Group (BG.). The money problem is also resolved. Petro Matad retains Block XX – apparently this could be pretty good as well. I bought 100,000 at 10p – just to keep my hand in. My friend who knows this company very well thinks this stock might now be worth as much as 15p. However, it’ll be a long time before drilling results confirm this view.
BCB Holdings (BCB), a Belize-centred bank, reported its third quarter results to 31st December 2014 last week. It’s pretty dismal out there on the face of it. BCB runs a bank in Belize and Lord Ashcroft is ultimately in charge.
BCB got badly hit by events from 2008 onwards and tourism, which is an important feature of Belize’s economy, also took a dive.
However, there is also the problem of bad debts in a flat economy. This morning’s figures disclose yet another loss. This is not entirely surprising since it is clear that the United Democratic Party, who run Belize’s government, is practically communist: this means the economy will probably continue to be flat on its back. A pity.
BCB borrows at 3%/4% p.a. from savers or depositors and lends it on to good commercial risks at around 8%/9% p.a. and at rather higher rates to consumer finance propositions. Security is taken for many loans and these values are under pressure which in turn suggests more bad debts to emerge as written off are on the way.
On the other hand, tangible net asset value is of the order of £50m in contrast to a capitalisation at 10p of £10m. It can readily be seen that if the losses through bad debts come under control the profits might be very respectable.
BCB was separated in 2011 from Waterloo Investments (WTI) which is capitalised at 60 cents US at circa one quarter of tnav of USD2.50 or USD250m. Only JP Jenkins offers an acquisition route into WTI through their matched bargain service – unless you fancy opening a stockbroker’s account in Bermuda and dealing on the Bermuda Exchange. Many cannot be bothered with that fag.
WTI owns 25% of Central American Palm Oil and this is worth perhaps $20m p.a. to WTI. Certainly a dividend of the order of $7m is paid to WTI from this source.
It is impossible to be certain of anything in particular with investments such as these but they do seem very cheap for patient people.
I shorted Silence (SLN) at 265p since I am told that their diversion into the “gene editing bandwagon” will come to a sticky end.
I also shorted Avanti (AVN) yet again. There seems to be an inconsistency with their published plan for targets to achieve and the earliest possible dates that their partners can possibly link into. i.e. it’s more Avanti talk.
Sex in practice: On Saturday evening I and my wife and her sister settled down to Judy Craymer’s film version of Mamma Mia. Yet again we enjoyed it. It is a joyous romp covering the consequences of irresponsible behaviour.
I stress the word ‘irresponsible’ since there is no getting away from its applicability and so I think it worth setting out a few comments on Hetty Baynes Russell’s very recent public recollection of her mother taking a lesbian lover in a very open and intrusive manner such that her father, a brilliant engineer, was simply pushed out of Hetty’s life. This distressed Hetty then and clearly still does. Although she went on to marry Ken Russell, the remarkable film director, it has been a lifetime of hurt for Hetty.
I mention this since Hetty argues that an exclusively lesbian upbringing is bad for children (here she counters Mary Portas and her partner). This may be reasonable; I really do not know. But there is a big difference between the Portas pair’s offering and one in which the original male is kicked out of the nest after the child or children have formed a bond with the father. Or so it seems to me. Perhaps, as in the Good Food Guide, some reader will care to enlighten me.
More sex in practice: This morning’s Daily Mail reports and names four other birds besides his wife who have been romantically linked with Ed Miliband. I think this release of information, clearly sponsored by the Labour party so to suggest virility on the part of their man, inevitably calls into question his judgement. Unfortunately the Daily Mail only offers Stephanie Flanders’ legs whereas the other three runners are legless in presentation. Therefore one cannot come to a considered opinion. One must adhere to standards.