A quick reminder to book (free) tickets to not one but TWO investor events coming up next week.

On Tuesday, June 19th, in the afternoon in the City kick off at 2.30pm), I’m hosting AltFi’s first Alternative Property forum – with nearly all they key alternative lenders in the room. A must for any income-based investor.

You can see more information about this event online at http://www.altfi.com/events/the-alternative-property-forum.

The day after – Wednesday 20th – at lunchtime (12.30) I’m hosting an even more adventurous invite-only event, all about Lithium and the New Electric Battery revolution. It’s at the Hospital Club in the West End of London 9near Covent Garden) and details are below.

“ Lithium Explained is focused on providing investors with an insight into how they can gain exposure in the sector throughout the value chain.  Hosted by leading financial journalist David Stevenson of the FT Adventurous Investor and Moneyweek, the panel includes representatives from Legal & General, which runs the largest fund that invests in battery metals and new electric grid technology and is one of the fastest growing funds in Europe; Savanah Resources, which has its sights on becoming the first European producer of battery grade lithium; and Bacanora Minerals, which is on course to build the next world-class lithium mine at its Sonora project in Mexico.

We listened to feedback from the last event and chose a lunchtime slot with sandwiches provided:  12:30pm – 2pm on Wednesday 20 June 2018 at The Hospital Club in Covent Garden.  You will get the opportunity to ask questions but if you’d like something specific covered, do let us know.

Date: Wednesday 20 June 2018
Venue: The Hospital Club, 24 Endell Street, London WC2H 9HQ
Time: 12:30-2pm
RSVP: isabel@stbridespartners.co.uk
One last observation.

Asia looks to me an especially interesting equity market at the moment. Of course, there’s all the big macro stuff about China  Rising but I’m slightly more interested by the fact that established value investors with a strong contrarian streak think its one of the most interesting regions on earth. One manager who I have a great amount of time for is Greg Fisher over at Samarang, who runs the (now closed) Asian Prosperity Fund. His monthly notes always make compelling reading, not least because he is such a fan of the Ben Graham style of investing – needless to say, he loves Japanese small caps !

Anyway, Greg’s latest note is full of enlightening insights into the state of Asian equities. Greg reports that returns across the region have been underwhelming not least because

“two of the worst performing markets were Vietnam and Malaysia, our largest geographical exposures outside of Japan,  which continues to prove to be a relatively safe haven. In Vietnam the main index has fallen well over 20% in the last couple of months, driven by some profit taking and margin unwinding in some of the most expensive stocks (which we do not own). Nonetheless, this fed through even to some of the utilities we do own, such as PPC and NT2 and we have been adding to the latter slowly but surely year to date. For now, Vietnam remains caught up in its own dynamic and still largely uncorrelated with the rest of  Asia, let alone the rest of the world. In Japan, for now the market remains slightly stuck in this second phase of the larger bull  market, a break-out to the upside likely to occur when the external situation becomes a little less confused.”.

Malaysia has also had its recent political ups and downs – Fisher now thinks we should look again.

“In financial markets and of course in business generally, no one likes uncertainty and so the surprise result of the Malaysian election caused an immediate negative reaction to both the stock market and currency. It is difficult to forecast exactly how Mahathir and his colleagues will re-shape the direction of government policy.  That said, most Malaysians I know have reacted positively to the potential at least for the extent of politically based corruption to be greatly reduced and for some sort of re-setting of the country ’s economic model to occur. It is encouraging that the currency has performed no worse than other Asian counterparts in this period of US dollar strength. Equally, Malaysia stands to benefit significantly if oil and gas prices remain at these higher levels, the outlook both for growth and the current account to improve. All in all, these developments, i.e. a combination of cheaper asset prices  and potentially a more positive economic backdrop, have made it  worthwhile to closely scrutinise what we own and companies on  the Malaysian watchlist, to see if there are opportunities to take  advantage of.”