This post is by Roger Nusbaum from Random Roger
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No video this week, the mountainside is crawling with in-laws and my routine this weekend is all cattywhompus. The most exciting part of my Friday was that Barron’s was online a day early. I can only remember one other time it was out early in this sort of situation.
Of most interest so far (I haven’t read the Malkiel interview yet) was the International Trader-Asia column. The focus was on Malaysia.
An ongoing thread on this site has been the need for foreign exposure and the extent to which it is becoming easier to access more and more foreign markets, stocks and so on. The Barron’s article was a reminder that we still have a ways to go on this front.
One of the stocks mentioned is a name I have looked at before called Genting Berhad. It trades in Malaysia with ticker 3182, I believe the symbol for the ordinary share is GEBHF and there is an ADR for one of the Gentings (there are several) which has ticker GEBEY but I am not sure if this is the same Genting. The one that I know is symbol 3182 is involved in “plantations, develops and manages property, and is in the paper and oil-and-gas” businesses among other things. I found this company when I was writing this post about farms and plantations but did not mention it in that post for some reason.
The company is obviously involved with a lot of themes I’ve highlighted in the last couple of years but you know the one-liner about trading by appointment only–well this one appears to not even be taking appointments. The dollar volume in KL averages about $7 million per day, if I have the correct symbol for the ordinary shares on the pinks, well it hasn’t traded since June 18th and if that is the correct symbol for the ADR it hasn’t traded since June 4th.
It is too bad something like this isn’t more easily traded for people so inclined. If you watch CNBC Asia then the Gentings are not particularly obscure and the businesses are not that difficult to understand but the numbers are probably hard to come by unless you have access to a Bloomberg terminal.
For the post linked to above I dug up a bunch of names and started the process of learning about them but the liquidity issues made it clear that buying one of these companies would be very difficult to do and selling could be even more difficult. Malaysia is an interesting country and the idea of owning one of the bigger (this is a relative term) plantations as a proxy is probably a good way to go as captured in the chart, hence the post linked above, but for now this remains elusive.
iShares Malaysia (EWM) allocates 5% to Genting Berhad but that fund has a 31% weighting in financial stocks and 28% split between the two consumer sectors so I doubt that Genting can move the needle much. We’ll have to stay tuned.
The Tour de France starts today which should be exciting. The scenery is great, a lot of the action is intense and if Versus doesn’t muck it up Phil and Paul can be very funny. As a tip, if you care about watching the tour Tivo the live showing which is all Phil and Paul (at least it has been in years past).