- October 21, 2011
- Emerging Wonders…Abroad and in the U.S.
Last year, the Marina Bay Sands and SkyPark opened in Singapore. The new luxury casino and five-star hotel adds a very distinctive look to the Singapore skyline. Its boat-shaped “park in the sky” is one of the most unique designs I’ve seen in my East Asian travels and a reported 70,000 jaws drop in wonder each day as visitors view the structure for the first time. I encourage you to check out any one of the amateur videos on youtube.com of one spectacular feature—its infinity pool at the very top of the building from which one can view the city.
The Marina Bay Sands and SkyPark is featured on the cover of our latest Shareholder Report, and is a visual reminder of the growing role emerging markets play in economic growth. Our team discusses various factors from Brazil to China to Eastern Europe that are contributing to growth, including steadily rising oil demand and increasing numbers of middle and affluent classes. This is where I see numerous opportunities for today’s international investor.
There are also compelling values at home in the U.S. In my Shareholder Report letter, I showcase how the companies in the S&P 500 Index are currently paying a higher yield than the 10-year Treasury. This means a shareholder can get paid dividend income along with receiving potential appreciation.
Don’t miss our latest edition. Read it here.
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- July 25, 2011
- Rev Up for Resources Boom in China
Last week I sat down with Laura Mandaro from Marketwatch to discuss what’s currently driving commodity markets. One of the key drivers today is the robust economic activity and commodity demand taking place in Asia.
Frequent Frank Talk readers know there is something profound and significant happening in China—the building of a massive high speed rail network. It’s a $300 billion project that will connect more than 250 Chinese cities, span 18,461 miles and reach roughly 700 million people. This is going to create massive demand for commodities and a wave of investment into the sector. We believe that resource companies associated with coal, iron ore and steel are well positioned to benefit from China’s long-term sustainable bull market.
I also discuss a few individual stocks I think are structurally sound as well as talk about a market ready to take off and The Fear and Love Trade.
Investments in natural resources, emerging markets and infrastructure are subject to distinct risks as described in the funds’ prospectus.
The following securities mentioned in the interview were held by one or more of U.S. Global Investors Funds as of June 30, 2011: Freeport-McMoRan, Joy Global.
By clicking the link above, you will be directed to a third-party website. U.S. Global Investors does not endorse all information supplied by this website and is not responsible for its content.
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- July 5, 2011
- China Opens World’s Longest Cross-Sea Bridge
When the new Qingdao Jiaozhou Bay Bridge opened to traffic this week in China, it made the Guinness World Records for the longest cross-sea bridge in the world. The 26.4-mile long and 110-foot wide bridge stretches across the bay, linking the Huangdao district to the city of Qingdao and Hongdao Island.
China spent 17 years planning and designing the engineering marvel to be able to withstand the bay’s high salt content and icy winters. Yet, it only took four years to build, with at least 10,000 workers on the construction team. The Xinhua news agency says about $2.3 billion was spent, and 450,000 tons of steel and 81 million cubic feet of concrete were consumed in its construction.
An estimated 30,000 cars are expected to make the trek across the bay each day. Residents already traveling between Huangdao and Qingdao will have their trip cut in half, from 40 minutes to 20 minutes.
According to The Telegraph, Qingdao is one of China’s fastest-growing cities. It is among the top ten largest container ports in the world, and is the main port of the Chinese navy. Home to around 8 million people, half live in the metro area of the city. Many people might recognize the city as host of the sailing events during the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
While the bridge made headlines for breaking a world record, it is only one of many major infrastructure projects planned by China. In only a few short years, the country has been redefining urbanization at a phenomenal scale:
- From 2005 through 2025, Chinese cities will add more than 350 million people, which is the entire population of the United States.
- More than 200 Chinese cities will have more than one million inhabitants. Europe today has 35 cities of that size.
- There will be 50,000 new skyscrapers, the equivalent of ten New York Cities.
Many of these urban residents have rising incomes and discretionary income to purchase cars and upgrade their homes in pursuit of a better life—just like the American dream. To accommodate this rapid economic development, rising middle class and growing car ownership, China has been ramping up its transportation system. Similar to our story of China’s high speed rails, the magnitude of opportunity is expected to span across many industries, including tourism, restaurants, hotels, construction, property, rail, roads and airlines.
To grasp the immense size of China’s newest bridge, watch this short video* from The Telegraph.
Fire up the grill, enjoy the fireworks and celebrate freedom! Here’s wishing you and your family a very safe and happy holiday weekend!
All opinions expressed and data provided are subject to change without notice. Some of these opinions may not be appropriate to every investor.
*By clicking the link(s) above, you will be directed to a third-party website(s). U.S. Global Investors does not endorse all information supplied by this website and is not responsible for its/their content.
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- June 10, 2011
- The Tallest, Longest and Busiest of the World’s Infrastructure
Cities around the world take turns owning the title for the tallest skyscraper, the longest bridge or the deepest mine. Covering nearly every continent of the world, here’s our current list, which I’m sure will change over the next few years.
1. Tallest Skyscraper:
At a height of 2,700 feet, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai has 162 floors and was completed in 2010. If you’re looking for sheer quantity of skyscrapers, Hong Kong has the largest number of high-rise buildings in the world but Benidorm, Spain has the most high-rises per person.
2. Longest Train Track:
The network of rails called the Trans-Siberian Railroad in Russia is the longest train track in the world. The track connects Moscow to the far east of Russia and to the Sea of Japan. An important economic and military development, the railroad has been credited with the growth of several larger cities in Siberia.
3. Longest Railway Tunnel:
The Gothard Base Tunnel, located beneath the Swiss Alps, will soon be the longest railway tunnel in the world. Set to be completed in 2017, the $12 billion project will be longer than the undersea Seikan Tunnel in Japan. With a route length of 35.4 miles, the tunnel should boost trade and travel in Europe.
4. Largest Single-Dish Telescope:
The Arecibo Observatory in San Juan, Puerto Rico is the world’s largest single-dish radio telescope. You’ll probably recognize the telescope’s 1,000-foot-wide telescope from Hollywood appearances in both the James Bond movie “Golden Eye” and in “Contact” with actress Jodie Foster.
5. Highest Residential High-Rise Building:
The highest residential high-rise building is located in Gold Coast City, Australia. The Q1 Tower is both a resort facility and offers exclusive luxury apartments with a “stunning beachside location,” an observation deck 771 feet above the ground, and 360 degree views.
6. World’s First Billion-Dollar Home:
A 27-story skyscraper in downtown Mumbai carrying a price tag near $2 billion is the world’s first billion-dollar home. The home is owned by India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, who runs petrochemical giant Reliance Industries.
7. Tallest Engineered Dam:
The Nurek Dam, located on the Vakhsh River in Tajikistan, is the tallest engineered dam in the world. The dam is an important source of electricity for the country.
8. Longest Cable-Stayed Bridge:
Spanning 8,146 meters above the Jiangsu Province in China, the Suzhou-Nantong Highway Bridge is the world’s longest cable-stayed bridge. The bridge has linked the two prosperous cities of Nantog and Suzhou, shortening the journey between the two from a four-hour ferry ride to just a one-hour drive across the bridge.
9. World’s Deepest Mine:
South Africa’s Mponeng mine is the world’s deepest, sending miners and equipment 2.4 miles underground in search of gold.
10. Busiest Airport in the World:
The busiest airport in the world is the Atlanta-Hartsfield Airport in the U.S. The Georgia airport saw 89 million passengers in 2010. It’s also notorious for lengthy delays.
None of U.S. Global Investors Funds held any of the securities mentioned in this article as of March 31, 2011.
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- May 20, 2011
- The Dollar and Oil Debate on CNBC Europe
While I was in London earlier this week, I joined CNBC Europe’s Commodities Corner to discuss an earlier post regarding my Three Reasons to Believe in $100 Oil.
Of the three reasons I gave, most striking to this group was my belief that higher oil prices will continue because of a weakness in the dollar. What I explained during the discussion was that a falling dollar causes short-term volatility. As the demand for a particular type of commodity increases and the dollar weakens, or vice versa, investors need to deal with an exaggerated movement in the price of commodities. However, I stressed the short-term nature of these events.
More importantly to the long-term investor, I asserted there should be two main focuses over the next 10 years. One is the supply and demand factors driven by infrastructure needs, not only from China, but also many other emerging markets.
For example, investors should compare the economic situation of the E7 – Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Pakistan and Russia – which are the most populated countries against the G7 which are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.S. and the U.K. While the money supply growth rate of the G7 countries is less than 4 percent, the rate of the E7 group is at 18 percent. To me this means, over the next five years, asset prices should double.
The second important long-term focus is on government policies for infrastructure spending. One noteworthy example I like to use is the expanding infrastructure projects including high-speed rail in China to connect 250 cities and 700 million people. This is a significant driver for commodity prices.
The U.S. Trade Weighted Dollar Index provides a general indication of the international value of the U.S. dollar. M2 Money Supply is a broad measure of money supply that includes M1 in addition to all time-related deposits, savings deposits, and non-institutional money-market funds.
The following security mentioned in the article was held by one or more of U.S. Global Investors family of funds as of March 31, 2011: Kinross Gold.
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