Market Musings 10/4/2012
It’s been a real mixed bag of newsflow since my last update! Let’s jump from one story to another.
(Disclaimer: I am a shareholder in Datalex plc) I was interested to learn more details about the deal that Westjet, the 10th biggest airline in North America, has cut with Irish travel software provider Datalex. The Canadian carrier says it will use Datalex’s TDP (travel distribution platform) “as our core e-commerce platform in support of all current and many new innovative shopping and reward features that we plan to roll out in the coming months”. What I found interesting about the deal was that Datalex will replace Sabre as Westjet’s partner in this regard, which given Sabre’s scale (its revenues of circa $3bn are roughly 100x higher than Datalex’s annual revenues) is surely a vindication of the quality of Datalex’s offering.
(Disclaimer: I am a shareholder in Total Produce plc) Switching to the food sector, South Africa’s Capespan, in which Total Produce is the 2nd biggest shareholder with a circa 25% holding, reported improved FY11 results. Recent newsflow around Capespan’s third largest holder, Bidvest, could provide an opportunity for Total Produce to lift its shareholding.
Moneyweek had an interesting article about the 20 ‘best’ stocks on the FTSE.
Speaking of footsie stocks, in the blogosphere, Kelpie Capital did a detailed piece on Weir Group that’s well worth a read.
Turning to macro news, Goodbody’s Dermot O’Leary wrote an interesting piece in his morning wrap on the UK’s two-speed housing market, which you can read at the bottom of page five here. This underlines the importance of looking beyond headlines – while the RICS index suggests ‘UK house price expectations are at a 21 month high‘, but with 11 out of 12 regions expected to record negative price returns over the next 3 months (Northern Ireland has the weakest house price outlook), as ever, the devil is in the detail.
Elsewhere, I wrote a piece some weeks ago about my recent experiences in China. One of my Twitter “followers”, Derek Madden, brought to my attention an interesting piece by economist Joseph Salerno on China’s current inflationary pressures, which you can read here.
To descend into the bear pit that is international relations, I read a great blog by my old friend Ian Parsley about the tensions around the Falkland Islands earlier today. Having visited Argentina last year and seen at first hand the severe poverty many of its people live in, I would concur with his assertion that: “The whole Argentine approach is self-defeating”.