Addressing the Billions Underserved

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Chevron Trapped by Gorgon and the Aussie Dollar

In early December, Marathon Oil (NYSE:$MRO) announced a $5.2 billion capital budget for 2013 and ConocoPhillips (NYSE:$COP) plans to invest $15.8 billion in the next year. But the biggest announcement came from Chevron (NYSE:$CVX) which will make investments of $36.7 billion in 2013, which is 12% more than its planned budget for 2012–$3.3 billion of which is allocated for its affiliates. About 90% of $36.7 billion will go towards upstream crude oil and natural gas exploration and production while 7% will go towards downstream operations.619196-gorgon-project

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Sony Hunkers Down Before PS4 Arrives

image001(2902)The struggling Japanese consumer electronic equipment manufacturer Sony (NYSE:$SNE) has reportedly decided to sell one of its main buildings in Tokyo to generate $1.14 billion to pump up its falling cash reserves. Under the leadership of Kazuo Hirai, the business is shedding off its non-core assets while trying to refocus on its core consumer products such as mobile phones, tablets and gaming consoles. The news, which has not been officially confirmed by Sony, was received well by investors as its shares jumped by 2.9% in a single day on 10th January.

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Unlocking Resources In China And Afghanistan

bhp-billiton_416x416A consortium of investors led by City of London banker Ian Hannam, former BHP Billiton (NYSE:$BHP) executive Chip Goodyear, and the Polish billionaire Jan Kulczyk has been among those shortlisted for exploration of a handful of major mineral mining tenders opened up for bid by the Afghan government. The three projects – mostly involving mobilizing copper deposits – are located in the northern portion of the country where the Karzai government has more control versus the south where the Taliban is essentially in charge and has made life difficult for exploration projects in the past.

Read the rest over at Seeking Alpha.

The End of the China Steel Trade

Australia has been insulated from the woes that have plagued other developed economies because the commodity boom in China masked any unsustainable domestic fiscal policies. Australian base commodity producers have been in the right place at the right time to feed the voracious appetite of a Chinese economy growing fat on the excesses of U.S. Fiscal and monetary policy. However, these days are coming to an abrupt end, as Chinese demand for Australian iron ore and coal has fallen of the proverbial fiscal cliff.

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New Rules Threaten Singapore’s Casinos

While gambling in Singapore is still a relatively young industry, the government’s control over unwanted behavior in the island city-state is not.  The latest rules passed have made it clear that Singapore is very serious about maintaining a short leash on its two casinos operated by Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:$NVS) and Genting Singapore (AMEX:$EWS).  Both of these casinos have proven to be a smash success in the island city-state so much so that the Marina Bay Sands is LVS’s best performing casino in its portfolio in just over 2 years of operations. 

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Peter Pham is an author, international fund manager, and a registered financial director by the Cayman Monetary Authority (CIMA). In 2013 he published his first book entitled, The Big Trade: Simple Strategies for Maximum Market Returns. He currently manages the portfolio of a global hedge fund and runs an asset management company, Phoenix Capital.  (read more)

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