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Doing Business in Lebanon: Getting Help from International Banks

Bordering the Mediterranean Sea and lying between Israel and Syria, Lebanon has a population of 4.259 million and a GDP of USD 40.09 billion in 2011, according to World Bank figures. Lebanon is situated in a strategic geographic location, at the crossroads between three continents (Africa, Asia and Europe), where trade routes converge. It is one of the non-oil producing Arab states in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Here we will explore why Lebanon is considered an attractive destination for investors looking to start a business and how international banks can assist. Investment Climate Lebanon has one of the most...

Selling a Few Clipper Windpower

The last couple of weeks has seen a little turnaround in the fortunes of our - predominantly - small capped portfolio. The recent rise and rise of the FTSE seems to indicate that there's still faith in the market in general so maybe it's a case of people taking from AIM to invest in the main board. Whatever the case, we've decided to pocket a little profit from our Clipper Windpower holdings for no other reason than when things get a little jittery it's nice to take a little profit here and there. We bought into Clipper Windpower back in May '09...

Day 153 – Portfolio Value £10,413 Up £134 On The Day

So it seems an age since I've posted on Investor Trader but in reality its only been the best part of three weeks. Three weeks since we broke through the 10K figure. And whilst the FTSE powers on northward, heading back towards it's old stomping grounds of '07 and '08 - beyond the 6K level - our portfolio has spent the past few weeks neither gaining or losing too much ground. A situation that's just fine by me. So often with small caps, a round of hefty gains is followed by a round of enthusiastic selling as those in for the short...

Day 114 – Portfolio Value £8,680 Up £452 On The Day

Today's boost to our bottom line can mainly be attributed to a 17.8% rally by Renesola - our Chinese manufacturer of solar energy wafers. After peaking at a little over £2.40 in June of '09, Renesola has trended broadly downward since. The reason for yesterday's surge? Renesola have put pen to paper on a new deal worth $706 million: The project, awarded by the Taiyangshan Development Zone near the city of Wuzhong, is subject to a feasibility study and government approval. The company expects to begin work on the $706 million, four-year, 150-megawatt solar power plant project in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous...

Day 107 – Portfolio Value £8,261 Up £160 On The Day

So after taking a bit of breather in June and July, the UK markets seem to have returned to their northward trajectory in the past month or so dragging our little green portfolio with it. Germany and France today announced GDP growth in the previous quarter indicating rosier times ahead and  the US Reserve held interest rates leading many pundits to speculate whether things aren't as bad across the pond as was held as consensus. I guess time will tell, but for the moment at least, there seems to be at least a little elbow-room for optimism. Clipper Windpower today announced that: two...

An Overdue Update

Sorry it's been a while since I've posted, what can I say, it's summer where I'm at and our little portfolio has being just dandy on its own without my meddling hand. There's been some chunky news floating about, so let's get down to the nitty gritty. Remember Cosalt - our provider of safety products and services to the marine, industrial and offshore oil and gas markets - that we took a stake in back in June. Remember how they halved in price almost overnight. Remember the expletives I used describing them in the coming weeks (only joking), we'll things aren't as...

Day 92 – Portfolio Value £7,378 Up £47 On The Day

Following yesterday's regurgitation of all gains made on Monday (and then some), today was a little more settled with a handful of modest gains made across our portfolio. Ceramic Fuel Cells finished the day up 6.5% on the back on news that it has extended its agreement with GDF Suez to develop and deploy fuel cell micro combined heat and power (mCHP) units in France. Lloyds Bank continued it's merry journey northward finishing up a further 2.7% today, whilst both our recent Chinese acquisitions - West China Cement and China Biodiesel - made small gains on the day. Even Cosalt had a win,...

Day 90 – Portfolio Value £7,690 Up £244 On The Day

Now that's the way I like to start a week, an ocean of blue arrows pointing to the sky, followed by some chunky figures behind 'em. Leading our list of winners on the day was China Biodiesel which finished north 1.12 pence (12.3%) at 10.12 pence. A month ago you could pick up China Biodiesel for 5 pence, there's been an upswing in volume especially in the last week and it seems biodiesel is back on the agenda in China at least. This from Green Momentum: The administration of energy in China is finalizing plans to increase production and promotion of biodiesel,...

Day 83 – Portfolio Value £7,193 Down £6 On The Day

In overall terms it was a bit of subdued start to the week for our little portfolio considering the recent strength of local markets but the lights that shone, shone brightly. Lloyds Bank surged ahead 6.7% on the day on the back of a weekend report stating it could post an interim profit despite enormous bad-debt provisions. It appears some of its most toxic sub-prime investments are more just icky than toxic, having clawed back billions of pounds of value in recent months. China Biodiesel, that we fortuitously added to our portfolio only late last week, piled on 17.9% today, though I'm...

Day 76 – Portfolio Value £6,584 Up £19 On The Day

So after an eternity - or a whole Celine Dion album for those who require a little perspective - our little portfolio finished a day valued higher than when it began. Hooray! And whilst our recent falls have been nothing stupendous - except in the case of (insert your own collection of expletives here) Cosalt - all those red arrows do tend to get to you after a while. The FTSE finished the day 75 points higher and the Dow as I type is nudging 150 points to the good, so maybe, just maybe, there's more to come tomorrow. So, onto the winners:...

Day 71 – Portfolio Value £6,541 Down £321 On The Day

Red, red, red, our portfolio is as red as a sunburnt Communist sipping a Bloody Mary! Every one of our nine pathetic holdings finished the day in negative territory. Do I sound a little bitter? Maybe, just a touch, but the inner optimist in me is trying to see the positives. After dropping 9% (and drifting from almost a quid higher this time last month) ReneSola may have slipped back into my buying zone, so we could be looking at a top in the next couple of days. My newly-discovered risk-averse side is telling me to hold back and possibly even...

Day 65 – Portfolio Value £7,202 Down £114 On The Day

So on the back of a triple-digit drop in the FTSE it was another day of low expectations. And low expectations delivered! Eros International delivered some final results, highlights as follows: Group turnover up 38.7% to US$ 156.7m (2008:US$ 113.0m) Gross Profit up 13.4% to US$ 71.5m (2008: US$ 63.0m) EBITDA up 41% to US$ 109.5 m (2008:US$ 77.9 m) with 62% of EBITDA converted to cash Profit before tax up 7% to US$ 48.4m (2008: US$ 45.5 m) Basic EPS per share up 5% to 35.1 cents (2008: 33.5 cents) With everything probably factored into the price already, Eros dropped off 3% on the day. Ceramic Fuel...