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Ken Baksh – February 2023 Investment Monthly

FEBRUARY 2023 Market Report

Investment Review

Summary
During the one-month period to 31st January 2023, major equity markets, as measured by the aggregate FTSE All – World Index, rose moderately, by nearly 6%, in dollar terms, one of the best January performances in recent years. Chinese equities and related emerging markets, NASDAQ and Continental European indices led the advance. The UK and Japanese indices underperformed but still rose by 4% in local currencies. The VIX index fell, finishing the period at a level of 19.28.
Government Fixed Interest stocks also rose over the month. The UK 10-year gilt ended the month on a yield of 3.33% with corresponding yields of 3.64%, 2.29% and 0.49% in USA, Germany, and Japan respectively. Speculative and lower quality bonds, also, rose in price terms. Currency moves featured a weaker US dollar. Commodities were mixed on the month, the Chinese re-opening story prompting large moves in the industrial metals.
Monthly Review of Markets
Equities
Global Equities rose strongly in January, gaining over 5.98% in dollar terms, in aggregate, led by NASDAQ and China, and related. Amongst the major indices Japan and the UK lagged, though still each gaining over 4%. Reflecting the greater “risk on “mood the VIX index fell below 20 to a level of 19.28.
UK Sectors
Sector moves were mixed and quite large over the month, the difference between the best and worst FTA sub sectors near 20% over just one month. Travel and Leisure and retail stocks gained over 15% while non-life insurance, pharma and tobacco fell in absolute terms. Telecommunication and bank stocks were reasonably firm, partly on takeover rumours. The FTSE100 underperformed the All-Share Index for the first time in many months. By IA sectors, UK active unit trusts are matching benchmark indices, trackers etc, over the short one-month period, with small company funds about 1% behind. “Balanced” funds, by IA definitions, rose by about 3% to 3.5%, depending on the equity content.

Fixed Interest
Major global government bonds rose 2.2% in price terms over January, the UK 10-year yield for instance finishing the month at a yield of 3.33%. Other ten-year government bond yields showed closing month yields 3.52%, 2.29% and 0.49% for US, German and Japanese debt respectively. See the Bloomberg graph below to compare the “January “bond performances over the last 30 years UK corporate bonds also rose, outperforming gilts, and more speculative debt also finished the month on lower yields.
Check my recommendations in preference shares, selected corporate bonds, fixed interest ETF’s , zero-coupons, speculative high yield etc. A list of my top ideas from over 10 different asset classes is also available to subscribers.

Foreign Exchange
A stronger pound and weaker US Dollar were the main moves, where cable (£/$), for instance, rose by 2.3%The Chinese Renminbi strengthened by 2.8% against the greenback. The Japanese Yen initially showed appreciation as a follow through from December’s yield control mechanism tweak, but more nuanced Bank of Tokyo statements during the month, reversed some of the gain. Interestingly,adjusted for FX moves,UK,Japan and USA all rose by between 3% and 4% on the month.

Commodities
Industrial metals copper, aluminium and iron ore showed the largest monthly move, while natural gas and several soft commodities declined in actual terms. Gold rose modestly but other PGM’s showed little monthly change.

News
Over the recent month, there have been few major changes to formal aggregate economic growth projections, with most commentators pointing to the “management” of the US slowdown, nature and timing of the Chinese re-opening and the Russia/Ukraine conflict as being key determinants of forward-looking estimates. At regional level however, more optimism is apparent in Continental Europe.
At the same time, key data inflation indicators (headline rates, factory gate and commodity prices, shipping rates,) suggest that headline price growth is set to slow in coming months, although labour compensation developments must be watched carefully.
US
Recently announced inflation indicators showed December headline CPI of 6.5%, lower than estimates. The November PCE,the Fed’s preferred inflation metric rose at an annualised rate of 5.5% still over double the Fed target. Fourth quarter preliminary GDP growth of 2.9% (3.2% in third quarter), annualised, while higher than estimates, concealed a slower consumers’ expenditure. This relative weakness has also been backed up by consumer sentiment indicators, retail sales, housing activity, construction figures and the Empire States Survey. The Fed’s own forecasts expect GDP growth of 0.5% for 2023, and core PCE growth of 4.8% and 3.5% respectively for 2022 and 2023.The employment situation remains relatively resilient overall, despite the headline grabbing news of cutbacks in the technology sector.
At its final 2023 meeting on 14th December, the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark policy rate by 50 basis points and signalled its intention to keep squeezing the economy next year as central banks on both sides of the Atlantic enter a new phase in the battle against inflation. The new target range is 4.25% to 4.5%. Latest Fed projections below. At this time of writing we are waiting for the latest Fed move, probably 25bp increase, and the accompanying statement.

There is growing concern (again) that the US government may hit its ceiling for debt issuance this summer and spark speculation about a looming default. This “ritual” has of course been played out many times in the past, but coming this year, when the Central Bank is trying to reduce its balance sheet, there could be reasons to expect bouts of bond market volatility over coming months.

EUROPE
The European Central Bank raised interest rates by half a percentage point on December 16th taking the deposit rate to 2%, while also warning that inflation would remain above 2% for a considerable time meaning it would have to keep up rate hikes. The simultaneous announcement that the ECB would start QT from March reinforced the more “hawkish” message from the meeting. In a more detailed presentation than previous meetings, Christine Lagarde differentiated US inflation more driven by an overheating economy and tight labour market, and the ECB price levels, more driven by soaring energy and food costs.
European GDP growth estimates have, however, stabilised over the recent period, and indeed one or two sub-country third/fourth quarter releases have been marginally above expectations e.g German 2022 GDP growth of 1.9% and various more recent indictors such as PMI confidence readings and the ZEW survey, in Germany. Warmer than expected weather, government consumer and business support and resurgent Chinese demand often being cited as the main reasons.
Current ECB staff projections foresee economic growth of 3.4% for calendar 2022 and a “shallow and short recession” over the current period., taking the likely full year 2023 figure to around +0.5%. Inflation and fuel shortages remain key determinants. Some independent economic forecasters are now attaching a non-insignificant chance that Europe may avoid a recession.
December Eurozone inflation, of 9.2% (core 5.0%) was lower than expected. At the ECB meeting (above) 2023 inflation projections were raised to 6.3%

ASIA excl JAPAN
The GDP figures, shown below (source: CLSA, CEIC) show 2022 and 2023 growth projections for the Asia excl Japan region. Growth in 2023 is likely to slow slightly amid weakening domestic and external demand after 2022, the fastest since 2012, but overall, the situation still compares favourably by international comparison The reasons include a “better” Covid experience, selective commodity exposure, tourism, continued FDI Investment (especially China related) and better initial fiscal situations (compared with late 90’s for example) and limited direct connections with the Russia/Ukraine situation. The forecasts do not assume a total easing of Chinese covid rules.ASEAN,which includes Indonesia,Malaysia,Philippines,Singapre,Thailand and Vietnam expect aggregate economic growth of 4% for 2023.
Headline inflation of around 5% currently (core 3%) also compares favourably and is expected to drop to nearer 4% by end 2023 led by commodity disinflation.
CHINA
The 5.5% official GDP growth target for 2022 was predictably missed, the actual figure emerging at around 3%. Official historic data showed weakening trends in consumer spending, fixed asset investment and construction activity while more recent (December)t “live” tracking data e.g., mobility, cement production and electricity use also showed subdued economic activity. In addition, very weak trade data was released mid-December. The major historic negative issues of a very restrictive anti-Covid policy and major disruption within the property market have now been supplemented by increasing US restrictions on the production/export of certain key electronic products.

At the time of writing however, a property “rescue” package has been implemented, while on the Covid front, various relaxation measures are taking place to alleviate some of the issues above. The removal of the quarantine requirement for inbound travellers from January 8th signalled the end of the zero-Covid system that transformed China’s relationship with the outside world. Independent medical statistics and anecdotal evidence (crematorium activity,chrysanthemum sales!) show a rapid increase in Covid cases and deaths, probably exaggerated by the Chinese New Year, but a positive economic momentum is starting to build. First manifestations are starting to appear in Chinese travel and leisure statistics while a manufacturing revival will take much longer, especially in the face of slowing US demand.
At a recent cabinet meeting, premier Li Keqiang vowed to make consumption(currently only about 40% of GDP) the “driving force” of the economy, unleashing some of the savings amassed during the Covid years.

JAPAN
The Japanese economy contracted 1.2% on an annualized basis during the third quarter of 2022, missing forecasts of 1.1% growth, and considerably weaker than the 4.6% expansion recorded during the second quarter. This was the first down quarter of the year reflecting weak domestic consumption, a slowdown in business investment and an acceleration in imports. Estimates for the full year seem to fall mainly within the 1.5%-2.0% band. Inflation, while still well below international peers, rose by 4.0% in December, the highest in 41 years, driven by currency weakness. Headline CPI is expected to remain around this level in coming months through a combination of import prices and elevated consumer expectations. Wage developments should be watched carefully over coming months and although the Fast Retailing (UNIQLO) 40% increased wage offer was a one-off, there will be focus on the upcoming spring labour negotiations which could have large implications for inflation, interest rates and consumer expenditure. The Bank of Japan changed its yield control policy towards the end of December surprising many investors and causing immediate drops in bond prices and gain in the Japanese Yen. Although denied by the BOJ,there is growing speculation that Japan may ease back on its ultra-loose monetary policy in spring 2023 when the BoJ leadership changes.

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UNITED KINGDOM
Within the UK, live activity data (e.g January Gfk data) continues to show a weaker overall trend, especially within the services sector. According to this survey, released mid-January, covering the mid-month period, consumer confidence remains very low (near a 50 year low), amid the cost-of-living crisis. This followed the publication of figures showing a drop in total 2022 retails sales of over 6%. Unemployment, however, is still at a relatively low level.
According to ONS statistics, GDP fell by 0.3% between the second and third quarters, slightly more than expected, and leaving the economy 0.8% below the “pre pandemic” level. The “increase” of 0.1% in the monthly November figure may be partly due to the “World Cup” effect. The saving ratio was 1.8% during the quarter, and banks report increases in credit card borrowing.

Inflation rose at 10.5% in December a slight improvement on the November figure, with core inflation at 6.5%. Latest earning growth around 6.5% is still a concern for BoE policy makers.
The PSBR is still hovering near all-time records, with the 2022/2023 figure expected to be about £50 billion higher than the 2021/2022 figure, already a record high.
Despite some relief with the recent energy price package, until April at least, (but not other utilities-see below), shop price inflation, greater Council Tax “freedom”, upward interest/mortgage rate pressure, falling house prices, accelerating rents, insolvencies/evictions, legacy Brexit issues and strike activity, will continue to be headwinds and the outlook for economic growth over coming quarters is highly uncertain. The Bank of England expects recessionary conditions to last for a few quarters though a recent Andrew Bailey statement hinted at a less severe slowdown than forecast around the time of the ill-fated mini Budget.

Experts at consultancy EY-Parthenon, insolvency specialist Begbies Traynor and, more recently, data from Insolvency Services to December 2022 all point to a huge increase in the number of distressed companies, predominantly in the small and medium size company area. While consumer facing sectors continued to be most affected EY said that “stress” was deepening across all sectors.
Monetary policy has tightened from a 0.1% interest rate in December last year to the current level of 3.5% warning that further hikes are likely. Markets are expecting rates to be above 4.0% by mid-2023.One particularly worrying development is the number of fixed rate mortgages that must be renegotiated over next quarters at much higher rates.

Looking Forward
Given the scope for geo-political, economic uncertainty from known factors summarized above plus the “black swan” allowance for unknown developments, plus the valuation risks, more prominent in certain asset classes than others, the first message for 2023, should be diversification, and the second should clearly be scaling your positions according to your risk profile.

scaling your positions according to your risk profile.
KEN’S TEN-2023
• Keep an overweight position in renewable/infrastructure.
• Favour value over growth generally-trade has further to run.
• Stay neutral/overweight in UK equities relative to your benchmark (page15).
• Overweight Far East,including China,Japan and other Asia (pages 16-19).
• Start switching large cap to small cap-valuation/performance.
13
• Start diversifying away from strong dollar.
• Overweight uranium relative to your commodity benchmark (page 21).
• Amongst UK sectors overweight telecom, health equipment, defence, tobacco and energy (pages 13-14),”not too ESG friendly,I am afraid”.
• Amongst UK sectors underweight luxury, motor related, most capital goods, consumer brands and food retail (pages 13-14).
• Within UK Fixed Interest prefer corporate bonds, preference shares, and zeroes to conventional gilts (page 21)-start rebuilding some fixed interest exposure, especially for cautious and balanced risk profiles.

For equities generally, the two medium term key questions will be when rising interest rates eventually cause equity derating/fund flow switches, government, corporate and household problems, and how the rate of corporate earnings growth develops after the initial snapback. Going forward, withdrawal of certain pandemic supports, uncertain consumer and corporate behaviour and cost pressures are likely to lead to great variations by sector and individual company. Investors will need to pay greater than usual attention to the end 2022 figures and accompanying forward looking statements.

 

Market Arithmetic

UK Equities continue to remain a relative overweight in my view, based on several conventional investment metrics (see above), longer term underperformance since the Brexit vote, style preference (value overgrowth) and international resource exposure although be aware of the numerous domestic headwinds I have highlighted above.
Value should be favoured over growth, and the FTSE 100 favoured over the FT All-Share. Apart from the style drift, remember that the non-sterling element of leading FTSE 100 companies and sectors is relatively high

Overweight
By sector, Oil and Mining equities continue to benefit from above average yields, strong balance sheets, dollar exposure and secular demand e.g copper,lithium, cobalt for electronics, construction, electric vehicles etc. Current moves regarding Chinese re-opening the economy would be another positive for this sector.
Remain overweight in pharmaceuticals and health equipment, expect more corporate activity
Telecom-moving to overweight this area after many years of disappointment. Valuations are attractive, many tariffs have an element of index linking, windfall tax risk is low and sector consolidation is increasing.
Defence-a relatively small stock market sector in UK terms but increased global defence spending, negative PMI correlation, high barriers to entry and corporate activity will continue to lift this specialist area.
Tobacco-ESG factors aside, there is undoubted value in this sector (both major UK stocks yield around 7%). Negative correlation with PMI’s and emerging market volume growth still strong.
Banks may enjoy some relative strength from rising interest rates but continue to monitor the recession/loan growth and default risks. These mixed trends were very evident in the recent third quarter figures. Preference Shares as well as ordinary shares have attractions in this area.

Underweight
Utilities- underweight in non-renewable utility stocks which may suffer from consumer and government pressures, and no longer trade on yield premia, especially against the backdrop of higher gilt yields. Infrastructure may fare better than distribution.
Housebuilders and real estate-expect depressed activity and remember that the rising interest rates have not yet been fully factored into bricks and mortar property yields. Industry data and anecdotal news from both housebuilders and REIT’s suggest further weakness to come.
Retailers are in general suffering from a combination of falling sales and rising costs and clear trends in consumers “trading down” are apparent. Anecdotal evidence shows a clear switch in consumer spending away from discretionary items such as electronics, furniture and certain clothing items. Certain on-line operations e.g Asos additionally are suffering from an element of post-Covid comparison. Food retailers are additionally facing stiff competition from discount “disruptors”. The British Retail Consortium expects another tough year for the sector looking for sales growth of just 2.3% to 3.5% i.e., volume declines.Share price performance over January has been very mixed.

Luxury Goods-Currently highly rated in stock market terms but could be vulnerable, in recessionary conditions and seem to have a strong correlation with property prices, which are expected to decline. However, renewed Chinese interest may help sector.
Domestic Breweries/pubs etc are having a hard time with stalling consumer’s expenditure, supermarket competition and rapidly rising costs.
In general, extra due diligence at stock level more generally will be required as I expect a growing number of profit warnings and downbeat forward looking statements.
However, takeover activity is also clearly increasing with, for example, private equity snapping up UK-listed companies at the fastest pace for more than twenty years. Foreign takeover, stake building is also increasing, current weak sterling being a factor, with Vodafone under scrutiny by a French (who already have BT interest!) investor. Biffa (waste management),MicroFocus(technology),Aveva(software) and RPS(professional services) have all succumbed to foreign takeovers in recent months, much by “strong dollar” American or Canadian organizations.

JAPANESE EQUITIES also remain an overweight in my view, although my recent comment re hedging may “nuanced “now following the extreme currency weakness and surprise intervention/policy change. The prospective price/book ratio of 1.2 is attracting interest of corporate and private equity buyers, while the prospective yield of 2.7% is above the world average and compares very favourably with USA (1.7%). Corporate governance is rapidly improving with diverse boards, reduction of cross holding, higher dividends etc. There are clear signs that inward investment attracted by the pro-growth, pro-deregulation agenda and relatively low costs (average Japanese annual wage $30000 compared with $75000 USA) is increasing. The political agenda is likely to include a more active defence policy,and a shift in income distribution more in favour of middle-class households. Private equity stake building interest in Toshiba and growing activity in the property sector (discount on a discount in a cheap currency) demonstrate the search for value in Japan. Investors may wish to remove currency hedges.
On a valuation basis (see table above) the forward market PE multiple of 11.9 is at a considerable discount to the world, and especially US average (16.7) and certain Japanese investment trusts yield more than UK peers.

EMERGING MARKETS– Very difficult to adopt a “blanket” approach to the region even in “normal times”, but especially difficult now, with so many different COVID, commodity, sectoral mix, debt, geo-political and increasingly natural disaster variables. See chart below The IMF recently warned that several emerging nations could disproportionately suffer from a combination of COVID and adverse reaction to “tapering” by developed counties e.g., FX/Interest rate pressures. Six countries have already defaulted during the pandemic, and the IMF is currently in various stages of bail-out discussions with Pakistan,Argentina,Zambia,Sri Lanka,Ghana,Tunisia and Egypt.

Within the emerging/frontier universe I continue to have a relatively positive view on Asia. The economic fundamentals were discussed on page 16 above, and the forward-looking multiples and dividend growth metrics appear relatively attractive in a global context. Any move by China to open more fully after their severe Covid lockdown, would of course additionally help. Exposure to the entire area can be achieved through several ETF’s and also investment trusts currently on discounts.
If a country-by-country approach is adopted, I have a longer-term positive view on Vietnam
where, the nation is supported by positive demographics, with a population of near 100 million, an emerging middle class, and a recipient of strong foreign direct investment. Qualconn,an Apple supplier, Intel(semi-conductors),Lego and Samsung(mobile phone plant) have all recently invested in new capacity in the country. Other big names moving chunks of production from China to Vietnam include Dell and HP (laptops), Google(phones)and Microsoft (Games Consoles) The economy is expected to grow at around 6.5% this year (7.7% Q2 2022) and approximately 6% in 2023 while current inflation is running at about 3.5%. One more rate hike of 50bp towards the end of the first quarter should mark the end of the tightening cycle. On a relatively low prospective PE based on forecast earnings growth over 20%, Vietnamese equities appear good value.
India, although quite highly rated and a major oil importer, warrants some inclusion in a diversified portfolio although recent corporate scandals(Adani?) require watching. Indonesia, the last of my current Asian ideas benefits from a commodity boom, strong domestic market, low debt, relatively stable currency, forecast 5% GDP growth and 5% inflation.

Caution is required in many South American markets with poor COVID-19 situations, deteriorating fiscal balances, weak investment, low productivity (see below) and governments in a state of transitioning e.g Brazil. However, some stock market valuations currently appear interesting in the region, which, so far, has been relatively unaffected by events in Ukraine. Commodity exposure, deglobalization beneficiary, valuation and recovery from a very low-level account for some year-to-date stock market relative out- performance. Many of these countries also raised interest rates at an earlier stage, allowing relative currency strength, compared with say the Euro,Yen or Sterling.

COMMODITIES– Gold spiked to over $2000 in March 2023, a recent high, when Russia invaded Ukraine, and although currently staging a modest rebound is still only $1924. Central Banks have been aggressively topping up their holdings during 2022.The longer-term prospects for more cyclical plays, however, continue to look brighter. Increased renewable initiatives, greater infrastructure spending as well as general growth, especially from Asia, are likely to keep selected commodities in demand at the same time as certain supply constraints (weather, labour and equipment shortages, Covid, transport) are biting. Current relaxation of the Chinese Covid policy, has certainly provided a boost to copper, aluminium and iron ore.
• Wheat and other grain prices have fallen from the levels reached following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but the current grain shipment complications, planting/harvesting schedules within the region and extreme global meteorological conditions are expected to lead to further price volatility. If the conflict is prolonged it will affect millions of people living in such places as Egypt, Libya, Lebanon Tunisia, Morocco, Pakistan and Indonesia that could have political consequences. There has been renewed interest in agricultural funds as well as the soft commodities themselves.
• URANIUM-I remain positive on the outlook for nuclear energy (stable base load,carbon-friendly,government U-turns,high energy output) while being aware of some of the well know issues(time, cost and waste disposal).Uranium is expected to experience a material market deficit over the next few years (estimates range between 10% and 30% of global demand).Nearly half of current world mined supply comes from Kazakhstan/Russia. The current price of 50 cents per pound could easily rise to 60c to 70c,as a result of geopolitical tension and a sharply rising cost curve. Apart from capital good companies exposed to the reactor construction/maintenance, I strongly recommend some exposure to my favoured investment trust.

UK FIXED INTEREST-selective exposure now recommended, especially for cautious/balanced risk mandates.

The graph below plots the progress of the UK 10 year gilt yield, which is at 3.33% at the time of writing. The two key things to note are firstly, the extremely low yields prevailing, just a year ago, partly reflecting a prolonged QE programme, and secondly the “panic” level reached at the end of September as domestic and international investors briefly took flight at the prospect of the short-lived Truss/Kwarteng mini budget proposals. Translating this into price terms, the I share all gilt index fell over 35% from the beginning of the year to late September before bouncing about 13% to current levels. This is huge volatility for an asset class often regarded as haven quality!
Having been negative on gilts for several years, I am now recommending gradually re-introducing selected fixed interest stocks to balanced portfolios, especially for cautious and balanced risk mandates.
Gilts themselves will have to contend with huge supply issues over coming quarters. While not falling as much as gilts and having completely different supply/demand dynamics, selected preference shares also fell to reach yield levels of approximately 7%, while good quality corporate bonds now offer yields around 6%. For the more adventurous, annual income yields around 10% and the prospect of capital gains are also also offered on more speculative grades.

GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE remains a longer-term theme, and will be built into the many infrastructure initiatives, being pursued by Europe, USA, and Asia. The Russia/Ukraine conflict is accelerating the debate, and hopefully the action. There are several infrastructure/renewable investment vehicles which still appear attractive, in my view, combining well above average yields and low market correlation with low premium to asset value. The recent volatility in natural gas prices has highlighted both risks and opportunities in the production and storage of energy from alternative sources. My favoured vehicles {solar,wind,storage and infrastructure) in the UK investment trust space have delivered capital returns of approx. 10% and additional dividend income of between 5% to7% over 2022 and are expected to continue to deliver healthy total returns.

COMMERCIAL PROPERTY-
The MSCI/IPD Property Index showed a further fall in the total return across all properties in December, the decline of 3.3%), taking the full year 2022 decline to 10.1% (capital –14.2%, Income +4.7%). The monthly decline which started in July has affected all sub-sectors with industrial properties faring the worst over the full year. Rental growth however has been positive at with a 3.2% annualized gain in December taking the full year growth to 4.2% Several analysts are down grading their estimates for the sector following the rapid move in UK longer and shorter-term interest rates. Property asset valuations take time to materialise where there is a lag between balance sheet date and results publication in the listed area. Live traded property corporate bonds, however, have already moved sharply lower.
Quoted property giants British Land and Land Securities both reported deteriorating conditions writing their third quarter statements, expecting further valuation declines following rising yields.

Full asset allocation and stock selection ideas if needed for ISA/dealing accounts, pensions. Ideas for a ten stock FTSE portfolio. Stock/pooled fund lists for income, cautious or growth portfolios are available. Hedging ideas, and a list of shorter-term low risk/ high risk ideas can also be purchased.
I also undertake bespoke portfolio construction/restructuring and analysis of legacy portfolios.
Independence from any product provider and transparent charging structure
Feel free to contact regarding any investment project.
Good luck with performance!
Ken Baksh Bsc,Fellow (UK Society of Investment Professionals)
kenbaksh@btopenworld.com

1st February ,2023
Important Note: This article is not an investment recommendation and should not be relied upon when making investment decisions – investors should conduct their own comprehensive research. Please read the disclaimer.
Disclaimer: Opinions expressed herein by the author are not an investment recommendation and are not meant to be relied upon in investment decisions. The author is not acting in an investment, tax, legal or any other advisory capacity. This is not an investment research report. The author’s opinions expressed herein address only select aspects of potential investment in securities of the companies mentioned and cannot be a substitute for comprehensive investment analysis. Any analysis presented herein is illustrative in nature, limited in scope, based on an incomplete set of information, and has limitations to its accuracy. The author recommends that potential and existing investors conduct thorough investment research of their own, including detailed review of the companies’ regulatory filings, and consult a qualified investment advisor. The information upon which this material is based was obtained from sources believed to be reliable but has not been independently verified. Therefore, the author cannot guarantee its accuracy. Any opinions or estimates constitute the author’s best judgment as of the date of publication and are subject to change without notice.The author may hold positions in any of the securities mentioned
The author explicitly disclaims any liability that may arise from the use of this material.

 

January 2023 Investment Review – Alan Green talks to Ken Baksh

January 2023 Investment Review – Alan Green talks to Ken Baksh. Covering global markets, trends for 2023 and expected developments, the interview is published in conjunction with Ken’s investment report here

Ken’s outlook is best summarised with ‘Ken’s Tens’.

• Keep an overweight position in renewable/infrastructure, especially in investment trust (page 21).
• Favour value over growth generally-trade has further to run.
• Stay neutral/overweight in UK equities relative to your benchmark (page15).
• Overweight Far East,including China,Japan and other Asia (pages 16-19).
• Start switching large cap to small cap-valuation/performance.
• Start diversifying away from strong dollar.
• Overweight uranium relative to your commodity benchmark (page 21).
• Amongst UK sectors overweight telecom, health equipment, defence, tobacco and energy (pages 13-14),”not too ESG friendly,I am afraid”.
• Amongst UK sectors underweight luxury, motor related, most capital goods, consumer brands and food retail (pages 13-14).
• Within UK Fixed Interest prefer corporate bonds, preference shares, and zeroes to conventional gilts (page 21)-start rebuilding some fixed interest exposure,especially for cautious and balanced risk profiles.

ECR Minerals #ECR – Andrew Scott, Andrew Haythorpe & Adam Jones discuss Creswick, Blue Moon, Bailieston, Lolworth, Hurricane & plans for 2023

Andrew Scott, Andrew Haythorpe & Adam Jones discuss today’s developments at Creswick plus the latest developments from Blue Moon, Bailieston, Lolworth, Hurricane. At Creswick the team talk through how workings there produced several m oz of gold production over a century ago, and how the team are seeking out the primary sources. Updates on the latest license applications and approvals, before Adam talks through the latest from Lolworth and the pegmatites identified in the Gorge Creek area. Andrew Haythorpe says he was astonished by the amount of visible gold & lack of follow up -and with the abundance of mineralisation styles, early results are way in excess of what he’d hoped for. Onto Blue Moon, and the drill team are finishing off the last four holes, testing continuity of mineralisation some 200m to the west. Adam explains how the team are speeding up assays, they have located a local lab in Bendigo which can turn around assays in 10-14 days. Andrew Haythorpe then talks through the rationale behind the recent fund raise, and how the funding will enable ECR to maintain multiple aggressive drill campaigns, before moving onto the plans to get on the ground and establish drill pads etc at Hurricane in May, June next year. With the new drill rig undergoing commissioning in January, the team expect to deploy it during Q1, and Adam outlines drill plans for Q1, with Blue Moon expected to finish in February and then a push on Creswick on ECR’s own Brewing Lane property. Andrew Haythorpe concludes, stating there will be a steady flow of news in Q1 2023, and says that the Company has now built a great foundation for shareholders in 2022.

Tertiary Minerals #TYM – Alan Green talks to Chairman Patrick Cheetham

Alan Green talks to Tertiary Minerals #TYM Chairman about the full year results and progress to date. Patrick looks at the group’s Zambia operations, including the Jacks Copper Project, and looks at the collaboration with multi billion dollar copper giant First Quantum Minerals #FQM in regard to Tertiary’s Mukai and Mushima North projects. We then look at Lubiula and Konkola West projects, before moving onto the group’s Brunton Pass Copper project in Nevada, USA. Patrick then looks at potential trigger points for the Tertiary share price and valuation ahead of a busy 2023.

Power Metal Resources #POW – December interview with CEO Paul Johnson

Alan Green talks to CEO Paul Johnson. We cover the drilling campaign at the Molopo Farms Complex project in Botswana, before Paul covers recent developments at the Tati Gold project, also in Botswana. We then look at developments in Canada, both at the group’s Athabasca Uranium project and the new Lithium project acquisition, before we turn to the upcoming IPO’s including Golden Metal Resources and First Development Resources. Paul looks at what the Christmas period will hold for the POW team and the likely news flow over the Xmas period and into the new year.

ECR Minerals #ECR – Andrew Scott, Andrew Haythorpe & Adam Jones discuss Blue Moon & other projects

ECR’s Andrew Scott, Andrew Haythorpe & Adam Jones discuss today’s developments at Blue Moon & other projects. Andrew Haythorpe describes the consistent predictable grades across Blue Moon and says today’s hole assay is just another step in that direction. Adam then covers the drilling campaign, following the 2019 RC drilling campaign. The current hole is 150m to the west, and with holes 100-200m apart the results are promising, with bleaching on the core consistent with the structure. Currently three holes have been completed 3 holes, if mineralisation continues then “happy days”, a possible resource. Assays from the remaining holes should be back in early December, so. the company will announce next steps and next drill holes then. Plenty more to look forward to as well – Omeo hasn’t even been touched yet, plenty of blue sky potential, Hurricane mineralisation on surface, Lolworth assays pending from stream sediment and rock chips, field team back out there in a few days. All field samples now with the labs, looking like a good Christmas and strong start to 2023.

Andrew Scott and ECR Minerals #ECR CEO Andrew Haythorpe discuss the Placer Gold & Hurricane Acquisition

Andrew Scott and ECR Minerals #ECR CEO Andrew Haythorpe discuss the Placer Gold & Hurricane Acquisition.

Andrew H explains how, through his previous work at Hurricane, the area is high prospective for gold and antimony. A raft of historical data, numerous veins of mineralisation between 2-5m thick containing 1, 2, 5, 20 g/t – commercial grades. The region is inland from Port Douglas, and due to the relatively inhospitable climate has never been drilled, although a colleague geologist visited the area last year and reported back to Andrew on the extensive veining and mineralisation.

Andrew then discusses the option to acquire the project, very much a try before you buy approach in that the initial fee goes into the ground. Then, armed with the knowledge of the region from drilling, the option to buy, is he believes a great, risk managed approach. The potential acquisition is a good fit for ECR, which sits well alongside the Lolworth project, also being in the same region. The acquisition is a step change for ECR – Andrew says the team will be knocking on the rocks with gold in them.

ECR Minerals #ECR – CEO Andrew Haythorpe talks to Andrew Scott, October 2022

Andrew Haythorpe talks to Andrew Scott about the latest developments. He explains the nuggety gold nature of Creswick and how he has approached assessing Creswick as a prospect for the company. He is very encouraged by the results and proven sampling process, stating he believes it adds confidence as the team work towards planning resources, reserve estimate and mine plan. Andrew then talks through the final results from drilling at Bailieston, the multiple hits, and the search for more consistent grades to build a feasibility study. He tells Andrew Scott why Blue Moon is one of the lead prospects due to the grades, widths, consistency and geology – potentially a massive system. Andrew then looks at the new drill rig and how that will be deployed, before discussing the further progress on non-core asset sales. Andrew looks at next steps, with a focus on Blue Moon drilling through to Christmas, bringing the new rig work to bring up to spec, then moving it to Creswick. He talks through the sampling programme at Lolworth in N Queensland, what the team have seen so far is v encouraging, with potential for multiple gold occurrences. Andrew finishes with a look at the macro picture for investors, and how ECR are building value from the ground up.

ECR Minerals #ECR – Director Adam Jones discusses the latest Creswick update, plus Bailieston, Blue Moon and Lolworth projects

ECR Technical Director Adam Jones talks to Alan Green about the latest re-assay update from Creswick and the bumper gold grades. We look at what this will mean for Creswick going forward, before moving onto the final drilling results announced last week from Bailieston, the latest drilling news from the Blue Moon project and the Lolworth Range sampling programme in N Queensland. We finish with some near term milestones for investors to look out for.

#KAV KAVANGO RESOURCES PLC – KCB drill strategy finalised

Botswana focussed metals exploration company Kavango Resources plc (LSE:KAV) (“Kavango”) is pleased to report finalisation of its drill strategy for four of its prospecting licences (“PLs”) in the Kalahari Copper Belt (“KCB”) (the “Drill Strategy”).

Over the last 12 months, Kavango has focussed its field exploration in the KCB on PLs 082/2018, 036/2020, 049/2020 and 052/2020 (the “Four PLs”). The Drill Strategy is the culmination of these efforts.

HIGHLIGHTS

–     Kavango’s objective in the KCB is to make one or more discoveries of economically viable copper/silver deposits across its 12 PLs in the region

–     The Drill Strategy is a flexible programme, designed to be delivered in staged phases and to a variety of depths

–     Kavango expects to conduct ongoing optimisation as drill results are known

–     Kavango has so far delineated 13 priority target areas (the “Priority Targets”) across the Four PLs:

–     188 drill collar locations identified

–     Up to 37,600m of reverse circulation (“RC”) and diamond drilling proposed

–     The Priority Targets are situated in underexplored areas of the KCB, which are in the vicinity of known high-grade copper/silver deposits

–     Kavango identified the Priority Targets through:

–     Geophysical surveying and data interpretation (airborne magnetics & airborne electromagnetics)

–     Geological mapping, confirming favourable regional structures

–     Intensive soil sampling, with recorded values of up to 119 parts per million (“ppm”) copper (pXRF values)

–     Kavango will continue further field exploration across all 12 of its PLs in the KCB, in parallel to any drilling. The Company expects to add more target areas and drill collar locations to its inventory as this work progresses


Kavango has provided maps showing the Priority Targets on the Company’s website, via the link below:

https://www.kavangoresources.com/media-library/news-release-media/rns28september2022


Ben Turney, Chief Executive Officer of Kavango Resources, commented:

“I am extremely happy to provide an update on this major development in the Kavango story. With such a large, prospective land package in the Kalahari Copper Belt (KCB), it is vital that we are clear on the steps required on our road to discovery.

We have undertaken extensive geological, geochemical, and geophysical work to define our target areas precisely, with the aim of maximising our chances of success. If copper exists on our ground, I am confident that our highly experienced technical team will find it.

Through our flexible proposed drill programme, we have a total of 188 viable drill locations over 13 priority areas, each of which we believe gives us the chance of encountering copper mineralisation. In total our exploration drilling could total as much as 37,600m, which emphasises the scale of Kavango’s opportunity. Our ground could host multiple deposits, which is why we have been as thorough as we have in our approach.

With such large target areas to go for, we’ve worked diligently to rank our specific drill targets in order of priority. Our goal is to become a major player in the KCB and I look forward to updating shareholders in due course as we commence our maiden drill campaign in the KCB.

Drilling strategy detail

Kavango has carefully designed a methodology for generating and ranking targets across its KCB licences, centred on combining multiple data sets. The Company’s approach brings together the combined geological, geochemical, and geophysical experience of its four senior technical team members, who together have more than 90 years of exploration experience. This approach includes:

I)          Geological mapping

–     This allows for the recording and measuring of licence geology, providing the bedrock for interpretation of geochemical and geophysical data

II)         Soil sampling

–     After identifying anomalous areas through soil sampling, Kavango’s team revisit each site to follow-up and ‘ground truth’, this allows Kavango to avoid false anomalies. It ensures that ongoing work focuses on the highest-priority targets – anomalies that are not just at elevated levels but also are continuous across multiple lines

III)        Regional Airborne Magnetic (“AM”) surveying

–     AM data is readily available in Botswana and provides a basis for validating geological mapping. Variations in magnetic mineral content allow for the identification of strata within geological sequences that can be used both within and across adjacent licence boundaries. This technique can significantly assist with the identification of large scale deposits, which are controlled by overall regional geological trends

IV)       Licence specific Airborne ElectroMagnetic (“AEM”) surveying

–     Kavango has flown AEM surveys across a number  of its licences. This data is used to identify conductive bodies that could represent metal sulphides, and to assist detailed mapping of potential lithologies and structures

V)        Target refinement

–     Kavango carries out additional work, including infill lines of soil sampling and additional geophysics, such as Controlled-source Audio-frequency Magnetotellurics (“CSAMT”), to confirm and better define its highest priority drill targets

To date, geological mapping and soil sampling, supported by the ongoing integration of AM and AEM, have taken place across licences PL082/2018, PL036/2020, as well as the “Mamuno” licences (PL049/2020 and PL052/2020). These Four PLs sit within Kavango’s wider portfolio of 12 KCB licences covering 5,065km2.

The Company’s work has led to it defining and ranking 13 Priority Targets, which include values of up to 119ppm copper and are described in more detail in the table below. Because the Priority Targets are still being refined, it should be noted that the ranking of each may change as further data becomes available.

Kavango has currently identified a total of 188 drill collar locations over the Priority Targets for a total of up to 37,600m of test drilling. The Company’s goal is to make multiple significant copper/silver discoveries across its PLs. Kavango’s confidence is based on the quality of its work, which has highlighted the Priority Targets’ favourable geology, structural setting, and position relative to known KCB deposits.

In this way, Kavango plans to use the results from its initial drilling to inform deeper drilling and, potentially in future, resource drilling. The Company expects to add additional targets over time to its inventory, as it continues with further field exploration across its eight other KCB licences and unexplored areas within the Four PLs.

SCOPING FOR REVERSE CIRCULATION AND DIAMOND DRILLING PROGRAMME IN THE KCB

Licence/ Prospect

Target name

No. of proposed holes / metres

Description

Supporting data

PL036/2020

(Infill soils underway, waiting analysis. Tromino surveys in progress. Regional aeromagnetic interpretation in progress.)

Acacia

30 drill collar locations / 6,000m

Wide anomaly around the central part of the fold nose of the ‘Acacia fold’, measuring 2km x 2km. Possible source of this anomaly could be radial axial fold fractures, tapping into the Ngwako Pan/D’kar contact along the axis of a SW plunging anticline.

Max value 56ppm Cu, 5 values above 20ppm Cu. Coincident Zn (+20ppm Zn) identified

Morula

30 drill collar locations / 6,000m

Wide anomaly just south of the Acacia fold nose. Measuring 3km x 3km with a general NE-SW trend parallel to the regional stratigraphy.

Max value is 38ppm Cu. (previous orientation survey associated this anomaly with calcrete/drainage)

Happy

10 drill collar locations / 2,000m

Low-tenor teardrop shaped anomaly to the south. 9km long and 1km at its widest. Located in the centre of an interpreted anticline. No exposure in the area.

Defined by +15ppm Cu values. Maximum value is 25ppm Cu. Supporting anomalous Zn values (+20ppm Zn)

Kudu

4 drill collar locations / 800m

Newly identified NE-SW trending zone of anomalous Cu values. 18km long (non-continuous) target zone, within which are possible multiple targets including Lines 69 & 83. This trend is distinct, sub-parallel to stratigraphy and tight.

Narrow focus suggests this could be a steeply dipping feature, and/or a sharp structural feature such as a fault. It is also immediately adjacent to what Kavango’s geologists have mapped as a structural repetition of the key Ngwako Pan-D’kar contact.

Line 39. Defined by 8 values in excess of 30ppm Cu; max value 110ppm Cu.

Line 69 Geochemical high 46ppm Cu value

Line 83 Geochemical high 51ppm Cu value

PL082/2018

(Infill soils completed, analysis in progress. Tromino surveys in progress. Regional aeromagnetic interpretation in progress.)

Central Zone

45 drill collar locations / 9,000m

Follows the geological trend of a possible sub cropping anticline. This anticline forms the dome that hosts the Zeta and Plutus copper deposits identified by Discovery Metals, to the NE. The elevated copper values are postulated to represent a possible leakage zone from a redox contact underneath.

Defined by Cu >30ppm, max 119ppm, plus anomalous zinc. Extends over some 27km and is also characterised by a zone of elevated magnetic response. Peak values along trend, in particular where supported by favourable structure will form initial focus.

Quartz veining observed in field. Drilling will target intersection of structure and favourable stratigraphy at depth.

Northern Zone

15 drill collar locations / 3,000m

Robust anomaly extending over 8 km of geological strike length and 400m at its widest, no outcrop. Local drainage base level.  Anomaly is located on the edge of a magnetic high, which bears similarities to the Ourea and Quirinus copper deposits identified by Discovery Metals in 2009. These deposits are interpreted to be on the limbs of tight anticlines.

Cu: >30ppm, max 39.7ppm. Anomalous zinc.

Previous work by Kavango identified a coincident elevated AEM response in this area. Target is an extensive one, with elevated metal values and high magnetic response – initial drilling could verify whether this relates to possible Karoo volcanics, or the targeted sediment hosted strata bound mineralisation.

South conductor

12 drill collar locations / 2,400m

High conductivity area identified by Kavango. Faulted. Further field follow up planned.

SW high

3 drill collar locations / 600m

Single point high geochemical value. Further field follow up planned.

Mamuno (PL049/2020, PL052/2020)

Targeted AEM completed. Interpretation in progress.  Tromino to continue soon. Infill soils planned.

Regional aeromagnetic interpretation in progress.

Main Zone

(L6, L7, L10)

33 drill collar locations / 6,600m

Single large target 5km x 3.5km

Trending NNE-SSW, the geochemical anomaly straddles the mapped prospective redox horizon on the limbs of a possible regional anticline.

Thicker sand cover here may attenuate the geochemical signal, while the very flat terrain could cause dispersion of the anomaly by sheet wash. No obvious drainage that could have caused contamination or a false anomaly.

Wide area of anomalous values >30ppm Cu. Peak value of 73ppm Cu.

KAV has recently flown an AEM survey over this anomaly; interpretation is pending.

Further information in respect of the Company and its business interests is provided on the Company’s website at www.kavangoresources.com and on Twitter at #KAV.

dri

Kavango Resources plc                                                                                     

Ben Turney

bturney@kavangoresources.com

 First Equity (Joint Broker)

+44 207 374 2212

Jason Robertson              

SI Capital Limited (Joint Broker)                                                                          

+44 1483 413500

Nick Emerson

Kavango Competent Person Statement

The technical information contained in this announcement pertaining to geology and exploration have been read and approved by Brett Grist BSc(Hons) FAusIMM (CP).  Mr Grist is a Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy with Chartered Professional status.  Mr Grist has sufficient experience that is relevant to the exploration programmes and geology of the main styles of mineralisation and deposit types under consideration to act as a Qualified Person as defined in the 2012 Edition of the ‘Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves’.

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