Philip O'Sullivan's Market Musings

Financial analysis from Dublin, Ireland

Market Musings 25/6/2012

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Ever since I started this blog one of the key themes has been the slowdown in the Chinese economy. A couple of interesting articles that suggest this is really starting to play out came my way over the weekend, which I highlight here:


  1. This is  an excellent TLS review of Jonathan Fenby’s latest book on China which outlines a lot of the key challenges facing the country
  2. The New York Times asks if China is manipulating statistics to camouflage the scale of the slowdown
  3. Chinese shipyards are seeing orders dry up
  4. …while the textile industry is seeing a slump in the rate of export growth
  5. Rising coal stockpiles also point to slowing economic activity…
  6. …along with modest growth in oil demand


You can read my thoughts following my recent visit to China here.


Bookmaker Paddy Power, which has a well-deserved reputation as a marketing genius, has presumably garnered a lot of goodwill in England with a €1,000,000 refund to punters after the team’s penalty loss to Italy last night.


The land-grab for emerging markets’ alcohol brands continues, with AB Inbev reportedly in talks to buy out the 50% of Corona beer maker Grupo Modelo that it doesn’t already own. Along with AB Inbev, Diageo, Heineken and Molson Coors have all been active in terms of buying high-growth brands in the developing world in recent times, which could lead to opportunities for smaller producers in this part of the world (I’m mainly thinking C&C here) to pick up more mature brands which would fit well within their portfolios.


(Disclaimer: I am a shareholder in Datalex plc) This morning it was announced that Datalex CEO Cormac Whelan is stepping down. He is to be replaced, at least temporarily, by Senior VP of Sales, Aidan Brogan, who has been with the company since 1994. Whelan leaves behind a strong legacy at Datalex, having successfully transitioned the business model into a transaction-based one and signed up plenty of blue-chip clients for the firm. Importantly, today’s statement also reveals that: “The business is performing in line with guidance to date in 2012, and the board looks forward to the remainder of the year with confidence”.


David Holding wrote an interesting article on TMF – “6 Baked Bean and Shotgun Shares” that’s worth checking out. Of the six, the only one I hold is BP, but I am intrigued by Camellia (which I had never heard of before) – assuming he has his numbers right (I’ve no reason to suspect otherwise) and there’s nothing peculiar lurking within the accounts, it’s one that seems worthy of conducting further analysis on.


(Disclaimer: I am a shareholder in Trinity Mirror plc) In the blogosphere, Paul Scott posted an excellent overview of newspaper group Trinity Mirror which hit all the key points.


Written by Philip O'Sullivan

June 25, 2012 at 7:59 am

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