Thursday, 2 May 2013

Bless you and all your investment decisions . . . oh and please let an Italian win the Giro

Rather than starting with the investment side of things today I noted Pope Francis, in the picture with Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, has blessed the Maglia Rosa of the 2013 Giro d'Italia which will start Saturday, May 4th, from Naples and ends on May 26 in Brescia.

The pope looks to me like at least a XXXXL. That's not a nasty thing because as we all know the Italian sizing tends to be very tight. Traditionally one or more of the Italian bike makers present the Pontiff with a new bike. I think the popes prefer Campagnolo to Shimano on their Colnago:

The Giro starts on the weekend. On Sunday the riders spurn the usual short time trial for what is a glorified criterium around the streets of Naples. 

It should be well worth watching as the teams try and upset what should be the Mark Cavendish show. I like Naples and I've been there a few times. The city has a certain grittiness that's hard to get your head around at first, but when you look past the chaos of the streets and out over the bay the old saying "see Naples and die" makes sense. A stunning place and the home of pizza.

My own cycling activity took me down to La Perouse here in Sydney today for my usual workout. Once through Randwick you get a pretty clear run for 20kms or so before the turn. The wind was southerly today, which hurt on the way down , but had me flying on the way back along Anzac Pde to Maroubra Beach. It's pleasure to get a tail wind, the miles melt under the bike and you hardly notice as the speed flicks up over 40kph. I'm sure in the right peloton I could have average high 40's most of the way back today.

I got some feedback regarding my Apple comments yesterday, which was good on two points:

1. People are reading the blog
2. Not everyone felt the same way

It would seem that the yield starved investors have a point in that they now don't care about inovation as much as income. If Apple can hold it's own and cover a good stream of dividend payouts they're happy to hold the stock and treat it like a CB that might get an equity kicker in the future. Some likened it to my comments on ANZ bank saying that the RoE alone, even when discounted to allow for deterioration of market share and the effects of lower margined products (ie. iPad Mini) still afforded them some comfort. Look, I'm not sure I agree with own a tech stock for dividends etc., but I see the point and am happy to print other arguments, though I'm not going to get all gushy about an Apple watch or TV as I just don't see people buying into them as they did the iPod etc..

Also After my comments about DB I see that the  ING Groep NV's US unit IPO saw the parent sell 65.2 million shares for $19.50 each, raising about $1.3 billion. The per-share price is below an expected range of $21 to $24, but the offering's size is above the estimated 64.2 million shares. Expect more of this type of action over the summer. 

Finally I'm going to avoid too much comment on some week US data due to the fact that the first Friday of the month gives us US non-farm payrolls which will trump everything else. I think the market is bracing for some weak numbers already, so maybe a bad headline is already priced in. More on that tomorrow.


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