Thursday, December 27, 2007

Share Investor: Best and Worst of 2007

Its the time of the year where I look back on the good, the bad and the ugly in the business world during 2007, with the Inaugural Share Investor best and worst of 2007.

While there was very little good about it; finance companies going bust, management spinning stories till investors got sick with dizziness and a sharemarket that failed to catch afire, some ugliness: Helen Clark and her mates increasing taxes again and not returning them till election year 2008, and few bright sparks, Micheal Hill glittering with gold by returning healthy gains for investors.

Enough verbal diarrhea.

Lets kick it off then with the biggest prick of the year.

Wanker of the year

Little Timmy Saunders and Origin/Contact Energy win this award for steadfastly refusing to step down the aforementioned Tim Saunders and other board members on Contact Energy's board for pursuing Origin's objectives rather than the wishes of Contact Energy shareholders who wanted him gone.

Arrogance and failure were the hallmarks of Saunders reign and his failure at the head of Feltex Carpets seemed to be of benefit for his reelection to the Contact Board at the end of 2007.

IPO Disasters

While there were a number of notable failures in 2007, Xero and Carmel Fisher's Marlin, the IPO that made the biggest headlines this year was Burger Fuel.

Burger Fuel had the highest hit count on this blog on Google so while it is a favourite subject, that doesn't make it a favourite for investors when they decided where they were going to put their cold hard cash this year.

The IPO was shooting for NZ$15 million but got less than a third of that.

The shares were issued at $1.00 and never sold for that figure and have continued to slumber in the 50-60c range, where they finished today at 59c.

It doesn't look promising for 2008, given the global credit crunch so best we all shut our eyes and wish the coming year away.

Leaders of the year

It is for a company that I have a shareholding in but I cant avoid name dropping it again.

Don Braid and Bruce Plested from Mainfreight control a company that is growing profits and sales globally while at the same time having a no nonsense approach to managing his people and his company.

He put the boot in during 2007 into the Labour Government for increasing business costs and interfering with private and public companies. Clearly not afraid of any possible political backlash, New Zealand business needs more no nonsense straight talkers like this dynamic duo.

Cant wait to see the back of you award

Head and shoulders above anyone would have to be Telecom's Teresa Gattung.

Presiding over a company that failed to plan for the future and is now counting the financial cost Gattung left with a hefty payday and never looked back on her years of shareholder destruction at the helm.

Restaurant Brand's Victoria Salmon finally got pushed and her emphasis on marketing and flash over service and substance had a marked affect on sales and profit at the restaurant operator.

Its current decline was somewhat slowed latter on in 2007 but it had nothing to do with new management, it was just another small upwards cycle until the next inevitable downward spiral.

Most battered sharemarket sector

While most NZX sectors got a hammering this year, head and shoulders above the rest, without a doubt, were the retailing stocks.

Battered by high mortgage rates, gas and electricity prices and new taxes, shoppers held off spending and only did so when enticed by increasing sales by retailers.

Retailer's margins were affected and competition by the likes of Hallensteins, Postie Plus, Pumpkin Patch, The Warehouse and others meant that share prices of these retailers sank like their store sales sticker prices.

Pumpkin Patch finished the year at around half its $4.95 high and others had more than 30% come off their market caps.

Losers of 2007

Investors in the myriad of finance companies that folded this year, putting well over a billion dollars of investors money at risk.

Investors ignored the risk or were advised to take the risk by "financial advisors" and were not given the required return for risk taken.

A lesson in investing that hopefully some can learn from.

Woolpullers prize

The prize for keeping its investors and the investor public at large out of the picture would have to go to management at Sky City Entertainment.

Its ability to string out takeover proceedings and its nonsensical market statements and erroneous time frames for deadlines is a skill worthy of David Copperfield, not the manager of a New Zealand blue chip.

Hopefully the new head, Nigel Morrison
, might be able to stop the boardroom table and investors heads from spinning in 2008.

Red tape award

The red tape award has to go to the Commerce Commission for first deciding to put the kybosh on the Warehouse takeover by Foodstuffs and Woolworths and then appealing the decision by the High Court to overrule that decision.

The commission have stretched out the whole process by more than a year and it looks likely shareholders will be none the wiser until well into 2008.

Conflict of interest prize

To large shareholders in Auckland Airport, Lloyd Morrison's Infratil, Auckland and Manukau city councils and their representatives on the board.

The conflicted board members are not serving other shareholders well and put their own conflicted interests before smaller shareholders.

Fairy tale award

For those in the Green Global warming religion whose adherence to fairy tales and junk science has cost New Zealand millions already in 2007 and is set to cost us billions in 2008 and for the NZX and Mark Weldon to latch onto it by starting up a "Carbon Trading" platform in 2008.

Thank you for 2007

If it wasn't for those connected with Sharetrader getting my old share investor forum site removed from its host in July because they were afraid of a little healthy competition, this blog wouldn't have been the success it has been in the latter half of 2007.

The competition has pushed me to expand and enabled a much more immediate and larger audience than before and at this rate of growth it will easily surpass sharetrader's audience by mid 2008.

Blogging really is the way and I want to thank Philip Mac Callister for his help there!


I  own shares in The Warehouse,Sky City,Auckland Airport, Mainfreight, Ryman, Fisher and Paykel Healthcare, Contact

 c Share Investor 2007

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas and NZX holiday trading hours

I just want to thank all my readers for continuing to check out the Share Investor Blog during 2007 and I want to wish you all a very happy Christmas and a safe and very prosperous New Year.

I will be checking in momentarily over the summer break and will furnish the inaugural Share Investor best and worst of 2007 for the financial sector before years end.

Until then why not check out my companion site Political Animal best and worst of 2007 for my pick of the rogues and heroes in New Zealand politics for 2007.

Just a note for NZX market watchers. The NZX closes today early at 4.00pm and resumes for normal hours again on 27 December.

For more details of the coming NZX holiday hours please check here.


Darren Rickard

C Share Investor 2007

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Political Animal: Best and worst of 2007

In the spirit of this season and in the spirit of giving, Political Animal would like to hand out presents for those politicians who went above and beyond the call of duty to single themselves out for attention in 2007.

Lets face it politics is a dirty business, and politics has been especially filthy this year.

It hasn't escaped me this time of year, you creationists out there may have been looking for evidence of Darwin's evolution and modern humans relationship to our cousins the apes, and one doesn't have to look further than Parliament in Wellington to see clearly that some modern humans have failed to evolve and apes they still are.

Nail in Labour's Coffin

Emmerson NZ Herald 19 Dec 2007

In fact some in the Labour Party clearly fail to reach ape like status.

Anyway, that is enough of the serious stuff, lets get on with Political Animal's inaugural 2007 best and worst of Politics.

Man of the year

John Boscowan, for showing opposition to the Electoral Finance Act, putting his money where his mouth was and organising huge opposition to to the fascist, Stalinist, bill that will remove free speech in election year 2008.

His courage and conviction for such a noble cause, in the face of Labour lies and innuendo, where there is usually little courage and no conviction instills pride into myself and others who marched down this countries streets to fight for our rights to have our say.

Boscawan is an individual whose qualities are rarely seen in New Zealand.

He stands above all others.

Disgrace of the year

The passing of the Electoral Finance Bill.

Whopper Lie of the year (sponsored by Burger Kings vegan vege burger)

Sue Bradford, former Miss New Zealand and now Green Party member told parliament that her anti smacking bill wasn't introduced to stop parents from smacking their kids lightly to stop them from crossing the road without looking and then when the bill became an act she said this was the kind of scenario that the bill was passed for.

Best punch and bully of 2007:

The obvious choice for this is of course Trevor "The Bash" Mallard, for trying to deck Tau Henare in Parliament and then unwisely picking on several women state workers, forgetting of course that his boss is a woman....hmmmmm....oh come on Darren that is a cheap shot.

Wanker of the year (sponsored by Durex condoms)

It just has to be that best dressed clothes horse and Taurangas answer to Don King, the heavyweight boxing promoter, Winston Peters.

There is so much material about Peters in 2007 that puts him in the Wanker of the year category. His intellectual masturbatory "gifting" of $158,000 of taxpayer money to a children's hospital instead of giving it back to those it belongs to defies logic.

We all know Winnie and logic fast became strangers when he confused his balls for baubles in 2005 and decided to take the booty instead of smacking the booty of Clarke and co.

His curious affection for Condi Rice also has tongues wagging in Wellington and closer to home, the marital bed.

Leader of the year

John Key, the Leader of the National opposition party finished the year as the most preferred Prime minister and so did his party, by a country mile. He is a man who's time has come and 2008 could be his year.

Disappointment of the year

Once again John Key, he voted for the piece of crap anti smacking bill and systematically drove a wedge into his major support.

Hot air award (sponsored by Exxon Mobil)

To those of all political parties who continue to support the myth and lie of man made global warming and are heading New Zealand on a path of economic destruction and poverty not seen since the great depression and the poppy rush in Europe 400 odd years ago, for no good reason other than politics, taxation and control.

Fool of the year

Micheal Cullen wins streaks ahead of anyone else for this category.

A collective who is so confused by how economies work he thinks governments can spend taxpayer money and not have an effect on an economy but when individuals and companies spend their own money they do!

October 2011 will see this historian look back on 2008 and see that his tax cuts of that year were too little too late for the economy and also failed to have himself and his mate Helen reelected.

Quote of the year (sponsored by Carbon footprints)

"scumbag, scumbag, scumbag, rich prick.." all directed at John Key in the house in December and sums up in 3 words what Cullen and the Labour Party think about those that have made a success of themselves in life.

As long as you don't do better than anyone in the Labour Party, who are ironically mostly from very privileged backgrounds, then you are above reproach.

Micheal Cullen, extremely wealthy himself, not that here is anything wrong with that, should be praising those that do well.

Dope/s of the year

Nandor Tanchos and his party the Greens for railing against gambling, smoking, alcohol, fatty and sugary foods while at the same time advocating the use of marijuana and"party pills" .

Defies belief and conscious thought.

Perhaps the Greens were unconscious when taking their stance on the "ills of society".

Positive media stance of the year

The New Zealand Herald's stance on the Electoral Finance Act. Never before has any media got it so right.

Disgraceful media stance of the year

Russell Brown, John Campbell, Chris Trotter, Al Gore, Findlay MacDonald, and his wife and their mates from NZ's overwhelmingly leftist media pushing the spin that the left do so well.

Repeat a lie often enough and eventually people will believe it.

Racist of the year

Willie Jackson from Radio Live, who calls himself a "Political Animal", he is right on the last part.

Willie gets off on calling people who disagree with him racist while at the same time peddling something akin to the likes of Mugabe.

Little Willie, as his wife affectionately calls him, is also on the state tit and definitely has a face for radio.

To be avoided in 2008.

Caught in the headlights award (sponsored by Wilson Tennis Raquets)

To David Benson Pope for not seeing the car driven by Helen Clark, at 170km pr hr, speeding to cut him down for stuffing tennis balls in children's mouths 20 years ago while still a teacher.

Broadcaster of the year(sponsored by Newstalk ZB)

Leighton Smith, for saying it like it is on his morning show on NewsTalk ZB.

Talkback straight to the point and with intelligence, Smith took no prisoners in 2007. His education of those ignorant to the garbage extolled by the global warming zealots was a high point.

Essential listening for 2008. (back late January)

Loser of the year (sponsored by the New Zealand Labour Party)

The last but not least category is taken out by none other than our favourite Aunt, Helen Clark.

Helen takes out this years award for loser of the year for one main reason, although there are a myriad of others.

Helen managed to take her party from being ahead in the polls and her as Prime ministerial fave, to sinking any chance that her party might have in the 2008 Elections.

She got it wrong all the way through 2007.

The anti smacking bill, Electoral Finance Bill and the failure to be punished for stealing $800,000.00 of taxpayer money to buy the 2005 election were all black marks against her and her party.

The arrogance and high handedness and the dictatorial nature of her leadership let her down time and time again and even long time Labour supporters are questioning their allegiance to a person who would pass laws to stop free speech and interfere with their lives as individuals.

Political Animal wishes all its readers a very Happy Christmas and a wonderful and overwhelmingly prosperous New Year.

C Political Animal 2007

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Media Release (21.12.07, NZ time) Auckland Airport signs confidentiality deed

Important additional information regarding the Auckland Airport takeover:

21 December Media Release:

The directors of Auckland International Airport Limited (Auckland Airport) have signed a confidentiality deed with an international party which has expressed interest in the company.

Chairman of Auckland Airport, Tony Frankham, said the party had initially expressed an interest when the board asked its financial advisors to seek any other takeover offers in November.

Following the signing of the confidentiality deed, this party has been provided access to preliminary due diligence.

"This party is the one referred to in our Target Company Statement sent to shareholders. We are releasing this notice today to confirm the position to the market.

Auckland Airport will keep the market informed of any significant developments with this party or any other party should they come forward" he said.

Mr Frankham said that Auckland Airport has also received formal clearance from CPPIB to seek other proposals while the partial takeover offer is open to shareholders.

"A provision within the CPPIB takeover offer prevented this, however, CPPIB has advised that it will not apply this provision to any process we undertake to identify alternative proposals which need not necessarily be takeover offers.

Therefore we will begin a new process early in 2008 to seek a partner who better meets the criteria established by the board. However, the directors consider that the outcome of this process will not be known until well after the CPPIB takeover offer closes on 13 March" he said.

Earlier this week directors recommended that Auckland Airport shareholders reject the partial takeover offer being made by CPPIB for the 39.53% of the Auckland Airport shares not already held by CPPIB at $3.65 per share and hold their shares.

A copy of the Target Company Statement including the independent adviser's report is available on the Auckland Airport website and has also been sent to all shareholders.

Essential Links:

Download Target Company Statement, 2.8MB PDF Released 21 Dec (NZ time)
Reuters (update 2, 9.30am 21 Dec EST)
Speed it up say Canadians NZ Herald (22nd Dec NZ Time)
Mystery Airport Suitor gets due dilligence Stuff Website
(22nd Dec NZ Time)

C Auckland Airport & Share Investor 2007

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Auckland Airport directors bribe brokers

The contempt that I feel over Auckland Airport management paying brokers to advise their clients who are thinking about selling not to vote for the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board buyout of a 40% stake in the port is only matched by my anger over who is doing it.
The Auckland Airport board is essentially
bribing brokers to advise clients not to sell.

Lloyd Morrison and company have allot of questions to answer.

I was hacked off by some of the directors that were voted onto a new board at the end of November and mentioned various agendas that might have been on the table and it looks like the current crop of board members will do just about anything to fulfill whatever their agendas are.

Forgetting all about their shareholders and basically treating them like mushrooms who are too thick to make up their own minds, they are bribing brokers with their own money in order to get their own way!

All the board should have done is present their retort to the CPPIB bid and then let shareholders sift through the information and then it is up to them to decide whether they will part with their own property.

It doesn't bode well for minority shareholders like myself, who's rights as Auckland Airport shareholders are being stomped on at every turn.

With this sort of single minded attempt to run a public company like a family dynasty, Auckland Airport directors need to take a good hard look at themselves and ask one salient question.

I'm I doing this job for my own benefit or for the benefit of shareholders, as I was elected to do?

Shareholders need to fight back and make it clear to their employees, the directors, that this sort of immoral practice is not acceptable.

Disclosure: I am a Auckland Airport shareholder

C Share Investor 2007

Commerce Commission impacts on The Warehouse' bottom line

The future of The Warehouse Group [WHS.NZ] is on hold, after the Commerce Commission announced earlier this week that they are going to appeal the High Court decision to the Court of Appeal to allow Foodstuffs and Woolworths Australia [WOW.ASX] bidding for the retailer.

Unless the Commission can argue new evidence in the higher court or argue on a technicality on a point of law then their appeal is not likely to be a positive one for them.

The Commission also face the distinct possibility that their appeal maybe thrown out before it begins at a preliminary hearing, due to sit on January 29 to decide whether leave to appeal will be granted.

Warehouse management have publicly backed the two bidders so it shows the direction the company wants to go.

The Commerce Commission clearly see the High Court decision to allow the two Warehouse suitors to bid as a watershed decision that must be fought with all their state backed muscle.

Personally, like most state apparatus and workers within those apparatus, there is a little bit of self preservation involved. In the Commission's decision to appeal we have a little job justification going on and any brakes on the growth of a business like The Warehouse, while they have to wait, and they have waited for over a year because of the CC dilly dallying, is purely incidental to those at the Commission.

It is outrageous that the state can take such a lengthy time to make such an important decision over the property rights of Warehouse shareholders. While it is understandable that there will be competition issues in business from time to time and these should be arbitrated, it is even more serious an issue when arbitration of these issues materially affects an important business because of unnecessary delays, not to mention the negative impacts to those individuals and groups who own that business.

The Commerce Commission should take the lay of the land and come to the conclusion that much wiser heads at the High Court did, that the Warehouse and its current owners need to be able to freely sell an asset that is theirs, to two willing buyers that want it.

The millions of dollars that it has cost The Warehouse so far since their business has been on hold is a serious issue and the strangle that the Commission has on its business at present must be let go so the losses don't continue to mount.

Disclosure: I own WHS shares

The Warehouse Group @ Share Investor

Long vs Short: The Warehouse Group
Warehouse bidders ready to lay money down
The Warehouse set to cut lose "extra" impediment
The Warehouse sale could hinge on "Extra" decision
The case for The Warehouse without a buyer
Foodstuffs take their foot off the gas
Woolworths seek leave to appeal to Supreme Court
Warehouse appeal decision imminent
Warehouse decision a loser for all
Warehouse Court of appeal decision in Commerce Commission's favour
MARKETWATCH: The Warehouse
The Warehouse takeover saga continues
Why did you buy that stock? [The Warehouse]
History of Warehouse takeover players suggest a long winding road
Court of Appeal delays Warehouse bid
The Warehouse set for turbulent 2008
The Warehouse Court of Appeal case lay in "Extras" hands
WHS Court of Appeal case could be dismissed next week
Commerce Commission impacts on the Warehouse bottom line
The Warehouse in play
Outcomes of Commerce Commission decision
The fight for control begins soon

Share Investor Forum-Discuss this topic

Related Links

The Warehouse Financial Data

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c Share Investor 2007 & 2009

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

New broom at Sky City set to sweep

A new boss at Sky City Entertainment Group Ltd [SKC.NZ] brings a whole new broom to the company closet, a CEO with a long history of casino experience.

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Nigel Morrison

Nigel Morrison has more than 18 years' experience in the casino business throughout Australia and in Asia and his tenure at the New Zealand entertainment company is a welcome relief from the current temporary head, Elmar Toime, with no gaming experience, and the previous one, Evan Davies, who got his casino experience on the job when he started with the company right at the beginning.

Morrison's pedigree, having just left the Macau-based Galaxy Entertainment Group, former chief executive of the Federal Group, Australia's largest private casino and gaming company and as chief operating officer at Crown Limited where Morrison played a big role in restructuring the business.

It is that experience, "restructuring" the likes of Crowns' massive riverside Melbourne gambling mecca, that will come in handy with his new role as the head of Sky City.

Sky City's business units all need a good sorting out, they are over-laden with middle management and there is plenty of fat to trim and Morrison's appointment looks to be one of managements best decisions in some time. Morrison's reputation for sorting out Crown can be seen as an indication of the direction that Sky City will be going over the short to medium term.
Part of Sky City Darwin Casino, one of the better performing
casinos in the gaming group.

Adelaide Casino needs a close look and will be kept and "refocused", as does the Auckland flagship casino, Sky Citys' chief money spinner. Previously the company talked of selling the Adelaide Casino.

Sky City Cinemas are definitely for the chop and management have been remiss of late in informing shareholders as to a date when the cinemas will be sold, or if there is indeed a buyer.

The whole takeover process over the last 4 months has been complicated and disclosure to shareholders has been confusing, changeable and misleading at times.

It looks like the the promise of a takeover has come to an end and it is time to get down to the real business and Morrison must achieve the objective of rebuilding the company to its former glory.

Morrison's $NZ3.7 million remuneration package, with around a third made up of "bonus" shares and lets hope it is results based, is generous, and he should be given 12 months to see things materially start to change, if he makes the right decisions to begin with, and then we should judge his leadership.

For Sky City shareholders lets hope he does the business.

He takes up the reigns in March 2008.

: I own SKC shares in the Share Investor Portfolio

Sky City @ Share Investor

Share Investor discusses Convention Centre proposal with CEO Nigel Morrison
Share Investor Q & A: Sky City CEO, Nigel Morrison
Sky City Entertainment: CEO Nigel Morrison discusses 2010 HY
Sky City Convention Centre Expansion a Money Loser: Part Two
Sky City Convention Centre Expansion a Money loser
Sky City Entertainment Group Ltd: Download full Company analysis
Sky City 2010 full year profit looking good
Long Term View: Sky City Entertainment Group Ltd
Sky City Entertainment: CEO Nigel Morrison discusses 2010 Half Year
Sky City Entertainment Group 2010 Interim Profit Review
Sky City to focus on Gaming
Sky City debts levels now more manageable
Insider Trading on Sky City shares
Sky City Profit Upgrade: Always on the Cards
Sky City's Current Cinema "Boom" a Horror Story in Disguise
Stock of the Week: Sky City Entertainment Group
Are Insiders selling Sky City Stock?
Sky City Entertainment 2009 Interim Result Preamble
2008 Sky City profit analysis
Sky City share offer confusing and unfair for smaller shareholders
Sky City Entertainment 2008 Full Year profit results , NZX release, 2008 full year presentation, result briefing webcast, financial statements
Sky City 2008 profit preamble
Sky City outlines a clear future plan
As recession bites Sky City bites back
Sky City Assets: Buy, sell and hold
Why did you buy that stock? [Sky City Entertainment]
Sky City Share Volumes set tongues wagging
Sky City half year exceptional on cost cutting
NZX Press release: Sky City profit to HY end Dec 2007
Sky City Cinemas no Blockbuster
Sky City Entertainment share price drop
New Broom set to sweep
Sky City Management: Blind, deaf and numb
Sky City sale could be off
Opposition to takeover
Premium for control
Sky City receives takeover bid
Sky City Casino Full Year Profit to June 30 2007
Setting the record straight
Sky City CEO resigns
Sky City Casino: Under performing
Sky City Casino 2007 HY Profit(analysis)
Sky City Casino 2007 HY Profit

Discuss SKC @ Share Investor Forum

Download SKC Company Reports

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c Share Investor 2007

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Electoral Finance Act: The Vote

The Electoral Finance Bill was passed into law today with a 63 to 57 vote majority.

Peter Dunne and his party, United Future, withdrew their support for the bill at the last minute and two votes were lost. Dunne said he still believed in the bill but public support indicated he should drop his stance of support for the Act.

He is probably to be despised even more than the other 63 supporters of this Act because he supports suppression of free speech but hasn't got the balls to follow his convictions because he is trying to save his hide for 2008.

Amended list of MPs who voted for the Electoral Finance Act

Herald's take on today's vote

C Political Animal 2007

Historical day as New Zealand loses democratic freedom

The Electoral Finance Bill was passed at approximately 5.15pm Tuesday 18, 2007.

Never before in my 42 years of existence have I ever seen such an anti democratic and unbridled attempt to hold on to the reigns of power, aside states such as Mugabe's Zimbabwe, Putin's Russia, Stalin’s Russia, Mao's China, Mbeke's South Africa and Hitler’s Germany.

We have seen the death of free speech today, unless you are the Labour Government and you can purchase it with taxpayer’s money by trumpeting your “achievements” through state agencies.

In a democratic society you have to be allowed to speak your mind without fear and that means the freedom to critique or advocate for a government or opposition. The Electoral Finance Act means you can’t do that.

In fact in a free democracy it means that even if you disagree with what I or someone lease says you have to defend my right to have that view even if it pisses you off.

That essential part of our democracy is now missing and we now must vote to remove those freedom haters who removed our rights today to have our say.

C Political Animal 2007

Leaders must come clean over losses to restore trust in credit markets

The current market turmoil seems more a reaction to uncertainty over the scope of the sub prime losses and the attendant credit crunch rather certainty over how bad it really is.

Those with the knowledge over just how much the losses are not telling the general investing public and may I be so bold to suggest that they are not telling our political masters either and if they have then our politicians are not telling all lest they panic the sheep and cause some sort of financial stampede.

To be fair the losses would have to be in the trillions to have material serious effects on financial markets and economies but the uncertainty over losses seems to have done more damage than the realities over an accurate amount.

The uncertainty has dented the all important credit sector of the economy. A sector that relies on trust, full disclosure and the knowledge that with all things known to the lender he can fork over the credit knowing he is more than likely to get his money back.

It is the essence of how business and economies run.

This trust simply doesn’t freely exist anymore and will take a complete clean out of the sub prime losses and then time to restore the much needed trust that this all important part of the business world needs.

Until then, business growth will slow, economies likewise and the mere fact that the trust isn’t there will apply the hand brakes to just about everything that needs credit applied to it. That is most of the worlds’ economy and that is why this “credit crunch” has been talked about so much.

Just a rider to the above though. If losses are in the multi trillions then the psychological trust issue that I have discussed over lending to others will be matched by hard facts that some real money has actually been lost.

The impact of that will be hard to measure but clearly it will be serious.

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c Share Investor 2007

Tuesday 18 December 2007: The death of democracy

If one were the suspicious type one might think that news out yesterday about the Eden Park Stadium was designed to take the Electoral Finance Bill off the front page, not me of course but I have a long memory and can dredge up the fact Trevor "The Bash" Mallard put out the waterfront stadium proposal last year to coincide with news that Labours' Phillip Field was being charged with various serious offences and the Anti smacking bill was on the agenda.

I just wanted to memorilise my disgust today at the passing of the Electoral Finance Bill before we lose our democratic rights.

It is without a doubt the saddest day in our democratic history and when looked back on with more clarity and purpose we will see it as a turning point for the condition our country is in, if Labour gets voted back in again in 2008.

It seems though that voters could be slowly putting up a middle finger to all this but I believe the turn in public opinion as to who they would back if an election was held today, now overwhelmingly National, has more to do with the modus operandi of Labours' Ministers, epitomised by Trevor Mallard's bullying ways and Micheal Cullen's "Scumbag" and "rich prick" comments in Parliament recently.

The public are largely unaware of the importance of the EFB because of Labours' lies about its intention but Kiwis cant stand their arrogant, nasty, vengeful, and Stalinist attitudes and if an election was held today National would govern alone.

Taxpayer money though is being readied to bribe us in 2008 like we have been never been bribed before and you can be sure that Labour would do anything to keep the reigns of power for another 3 years.

Please take a moment today to listen to the debate and also take a moment of silence to lament the death of your democracy.

C Political Animal 2007

Monday, December 17, 2007

What is Auckland International Airport worth to you?

News today that the directors of Auckland International Airport Ltd [AIA.NZX] have advised AIA shareholders to reject the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board offer of NZ$3.66 per share as too low and that the share price doesn't take in to account future growth and potential for the port in this part of the world comes as no surprise.

The independent valuation by Grant Samuels though indicates that the offer price by CPPIB is above their valuation of $3.48 at the high side and recommends to AIA shareholders that the offer is a good one.

AIA management, in the event of the CPPIB bid crashing and burning, will actively seek "a cornerstone holder" with "airport experience" smacks of nepotism to me as one of the largest AIA shareholders with a seat on the board, is Lloyd Morrison, head of Intratil, a majority owner of Wellington Airport, with small airports in Europe and Britain.

It seems that with the certain failure of Morrison's company trying to develop a second Auckland Airport in West Auckland, he now seems intent on getting a foothold in what would have been his competition had his bid for a second port was successful.

So what is the Auckland International Airport worth?

It depends on your investment horizon. Are you invested short or long term?

If you are a short term investor who bought your shares last year for as low as $1.90, then you might be wise to accept the CCPIB offer and lock in an exceptional quick buck.

The inverse long term view of course is that within 5 years the value of a single AIA share is likely to be well in excess of the $3.65 offer from the canny Canadians. They can definitely see a good long term prospect, otherwise they wouldn't now be having a second go at the company.

Lets face it, the company is a near monopoly, with the worlds best profit margins for an airport and also a huge owner of undeveloped land and various other revenue streams or businesses outside its core reason for existence.

It is in effect also a mall operator, with a large retail presence and big foot traffic coming past on a 24 hr 7 day week basis and also operates a large car parking facility as part of the airport.

I am going to vote against the CPPIB offer.

Disclosure: I own AIA shares 

AIA @ Share Investor

Is Auckland International Airport set for M & A activity?
Share Investor Q & A: Auckland Airport's Simon Moutter
Auckland Council look set for a Auckland Airport Takeover
Auckland City Council new AIA Policy Doc
Make me an offer I cant refuse: Auckland International Airport Ltd
Long Term View: Auckland International Airport
VIDEO - Simon Moutter on Australian Airport Purchase
Auckland Airport Capital Raising a fair call
Auckland International Airport lands Australian Ports
What Infratil sale of Auckland Airport stake means
Is another Auckland Airport bid likely under a business friendly Government?
Latest Airport coverage
Cullen's move on Auckland Airport has far reaching effects
Cullen's move on AIA tax plan Anti-Business
AIA profit stays grounded
Softening opposition to CPPIB bid for AIA
Directors of AIA bribe brokers not to sell
What is Auckland Airport worth to you?
Second bite at AIA by CPPIB might just fly
AIA new directors must focus on shareholders
Auckland Airport merger deal nosedives
The Canadians have landed
AIA incentive scheme must fly out the window
Government market manipulation over AIA/DAE deal
DAE move on AIA: Will it fly?

Queenstown Airport Buyout @ Share Investor

Queenstown Airport: Queenstown Airport Update
Auckland Airport CEO on Queenstown Airport Fracas
Queenstown Airport: Court Case looks set to Drag
Queenstown Airport: Loud Voices & Loyalty
Queenstown Airport: Air New Zealand's Crocodile Tears
Queenstown Airport: AIA purchase good Long-Term but will cost shareholders Short-Term

Discuss this Stock @ Share Investor Forum - Register free
Download AIA Company Reports

Think Bigger: How to Raise Your Expectations and Achieve Everything


c Share Investor 2007

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Mike Moore turns the knife on Electoral Finance Bill

Mike Moore, former Labour Prime Minister and thorn in Helen Clark's arse takes another swing at the fascists voting for the Electoral Finance Bill.

The NZ Herald has once again given Moore an avenue to vent and once again I congratulate them for their commonsense attack on this Bill. Shame they don't have the same commonsense when it comes to their bizarre support of "climate change". We live in hope!

This bill is set to pass this week after much stalling by the National opposition and will be in force by January 1 2008.

The coming week is the darkest in our democracy's history because it will mean the end of free speech in an election year.

There are no foreign powers making comments at the death of democracy here, nobody seems to care that this sleepy little once free land in the South Pacific is turning into a bright yellow fascist/communist banana.

Will you care next year when you have to keep your mouth shut?

Its too late baby, its gone.

C Political Animal 2007

Moore continues attack on controversial Electoral Finance Bill

11:50AM Sunday December 16, 2007

Mike Moore has continued his attack on the Electoral Finance Bill.

The former Labour Prime Minister has today labelled the piece of legislation as fatally flawed. He says the restrictions in the electoral finance law, promised by the Government to be passed next week in Parliament, are without precedent in the free world.

Mike Moore says the bill is wrong in principle and in substance and will end up doing the opposite of what its authors expected.

The fresh comments come in response to Invercargill mayor Tim Shadbolt's promise he will continue to run ads against funding cuts at Southern Institute of Technology, even if the bill passes and he is breaking the law.

Mike Moore launched a public attack on Prime Minister Helen Clark earlier this year, comparing her to Robert Muldoon.

C NZ Herald 2007

Peter Bauble's giving him big trouble

In the wake of Winston "Baubles" Peters striving, and failing, to attain positive recognition from the press and public earlier on this week by gifting $158,000.00 of taxpayer funds used to fund his 2005 election campaign, to the Starship Children's Hospital, instead of paying it back like he should have, we are likely to see not only another grab at the headlines in the coming days by trying to flog off the illegitimate funds to another charity but a flailing of arms and lips over the latest bid for Auckland Airport.

The mental masturbation of this individual has exploded all over his own face.

Peter's railed against the two previous bids by Dubai Aerospace Enterprise and The Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board and will be grabbing it with both hands again next week and giving it a good tug for airtime.

This nitwit really doesn't understand that individual shareholders like myself have property rights and it ain't up to the likes of this closet Lenin lover to rain on my rights as a property owner.

He must be reminded by voters like you and me that grandstanding for airtime, just for the sake of exposure doesn't make you right or get you the exposure that you desire.

He is manipulative, selfish, arrogant, untrustworthy and an unmitigated liar.

Lets kick him under the kerb.

C Political Animal 2007

Related reading

DAE Bid for Auckland Airport
Canadians' first bid for airport
Government market manipulation

Second bite at Auckland Airport by CPPIB could just fly

Well, I got the offer for my Auckland International Airport Ltd [AIA.NZX] shares from the Canucks', Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, in my mailbox yesterday.

This is the second bid from the Canadians.

Its pretty basic, you can either accept the offer partially or fully for your shares and vote accordingly for CPPIB to take just shy of a 40% stake in AIA and for a NZ$3.6555c cash consideration.

Seems allot lower value than some have put on the company but it is a reasonable advance on the current share price of $2.80.

Brook Asset Management and other broker institutions look likely to back the offer but the two large council owned parcels of shares and those of Lloyd Morrison's Infratil, which make up around a 30% shareholding are likely to sit on the other side of the fence.

There are also regulatory issues in the way in regard to Overseas Investment Office and IRD approval of tax related matters germain to the deal and political pressure from the usual numbskull's like Winston "Baubles" Peters.

This bid however is more likely to succeed than the bid from Dubai Aerospace International, which was shot down by the AIA board even before it could be put to shareholders earlier in the year because there isn't the Middle East/Muslim factor involved and the DAE bid involved more control with a bigger stake.

Obvious problems with a Muslim company owning AIA made a big influence on my decision then to back shareholders holding onto their shares although I wasn't opposed to another foreign owner making a bid.

Having seen the CPPIB offer it looks good compared to the alternative if one was to stay a shareholder.

CPPIB has changed the terms of its planned amalgamation with AIA (assuming it gets to approx 40 per cent). Stapled securities issued under the proposed amalgamation will now include a convertible note with a face value of $2.75 (previously $3.35) an ordinary share with a face value of $.0.7055 (previously $0.1055) and $0.20 cash (unchanged). The convertible notes will pay a 7 % coupon rate.

So there is more debt servicing for the new AIA model under the Canadian proposal and this is clearly going to drag on profit in the short to medium term until the various benefits they have mentioned under the new structure are bedded down and then realised.

The Canuck investment board sure are canny investors with a good track record,

CPP Fund
$121.3 Billion
At September 30, 2007

But it remains to be seen, if they are successful whether they can make their investment in AIA fly or if it is going to crash land.

There is going to be a AIA Board announcement and appraisal tomorrow(NZ Time) by Grant Samuel's, with valuation assessment and projections on passenger and aircraft demand.

Full CPPIB Offer

Queenstown Airport Buyout @ Share Investor

Queenstown Airport: Court Case looks set to Drag
Queenstown Airport: Loud Voices & Loyalty
Queenstown Airport: Air New Zealand's Crocodile Tears
Queenstown Airport: AIA purchase good Long-Term but will cost shareholders Short-Term

AIA @ Share Investor

Make me an offer I cant refuse: Auckland International Airport Ltd
Long Term View: Auckland International Airport
VIDEO - Simon Moutter on Australian Airport Purchase
Auckland Airport Capital Raising a fair call
Auckland International Airport lands Australian Ports
What Infratil sale of Auckland Airport stake means...
Is another Auckland Airport bid likely under a business friendly Government?
Latest Airport coverage
Cullen's move on Auckland Airport has far reaching effects
Cullen's move on AIA tax plan Anti-Business
AIA profit stays grounded
Softening opposition to CPPIB bid for AIA
Directors of AIA bribe brokers not to sell
What is Auckland Airport worth to you?
Second bite at AIA by CPPIB might just fly
AIA new directors must focus on shareholders
Auckland Airport merger deal nosedives
The Canadians have landed
AIA incentive scheme must fly out the window
Government market manipulation over AIA/DAE deal
DAE move on AIA: Will it fly?

Discuss this Stock @ Share Investor Forum - Register free

Download AIA Company Reports
Download Queenstown Airport Company Reports


A Perfect Gentleman: The Sir Wilson Whineray Story

A Perfect Gentleman: The Sir Wilson Whineray Story

c Share Investor 2007

Friday, December 14, 2007

Money Manager's first step gives investors the middle finger

Today's column time warps back to 2002 when I started a thread on the financial forum Sharetrader. The thread was titled "Are Money Managers Dodgy? I cant find it on the site now as I suspect the owner of Sharetrader, Tarawera Publishing, has removed it due to the slagging off of Doug Somers-Edgar, the owner of MM, through a family trust.

The finance biz is very small in New Zealand and people don't like to step on toes, even though they should, should they want to continue to do business with each other.

Flick back to today and we find the on-going saga of Money Managers and their "First Step" product seems to have finally come to a soggy mess after being closed down in 2006.

Money Managers have told over 7000 investors they are unlikely to get all of their money back after First Step was liquidated, putting around $150 million of total funds invested at risk of being flushed away.

The NBR had this to say about First Step back in February 2002:

First Step's own financial statements showing related party lending at 29.58%.
There is still no information on where the money finally ends up, what the rate of return is for those related parties, and the level of risk to which First Step investors are exposed.

Among the questions Mr Somers-Edgar has refused to answer:

Could that expertise not be provided within First Step, thereby providing more transparent accounting for funds?

Are the returns in line with the level of risk investors are taking?

Why will Money Managers not open up to independent scrutiny?

What is the total "cost on funds" (how much money the investment is generating compared with how much investors are getting back)?

What are the total fees charged?

The National Business Review has revealed how the First Step structure puts walls between investors and their money, with no clear account of what happens behind the walls.

First Step has had a chequered disclosure history; the Securities Commission suspended its prospectus when it was first issued in February last year.

Presumably Money Managers didn't inform clients of the concerns of the likes of the NBR and myself and continued to take in client's funds in a dishonest, calculated and deceptive way.

This part of the NBR article is revealing:

First Step's own financial statements showing related party lending at 29.58%.

One would have to ask, if there is interrelated lending from First Step, as there is with every other "product" Money Managers peddle-Doug is known as "Mr Clip, Clip" for every time there is an inter-company loan or transfer he clips the ticket with a fee-why don't the more profitable areas of the business lend money back to First Step to bail out Money Managers 7000 clients?

I know it is a dumb question but it had to be said.

I urge anyone considering investing in any of Doug Somers-Edgar's companies to take a deep breath, Google his name and see what you come up with and then make your decision.

What has Somers-Edgar been up to lately?

Doug has mysteriously disappeared from his former high profile, since stepping down from Money Managers in 2006 but seems to have been busy suing people for critiquing his investment style.

From 27 June 2004, Somers-Edgar-related CTT companies in receivership (CTT Finance Holdings, CTT Financial Services, CTT One, Dental Finance, Paragon Factors and involved in numerous other liquidations of his own, related and other parties companies

Owning a dodgy Ginseng business.

Related Share Investor Reading

The "New" Money Manager's Investment Vehicle still tainted by its past
Don't forget Money Managers
Orange Finance collapse should turn investors red, with rage
Money Managers First Step saga: 3 Story wrap

c Share Investor 2007 & 2009

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Waiting for the backlash

Emmerson, NZ Herald, Dec 12 2007- "Shallow and error-prone"

The Herald is facing a backlash from Helen Clark for their strong
stand against the Electoral Finance Bill, she doesn't like opposition
and the EFB removes that in election year.

The latest stupidity from the Labour/Peter's Government, Winston"Baubles" Peters, paying back ill gotten taxpayer money to a children's hospital instead of the Auditor General, is merely another in a long list of arrogant, unlawful, stupid, malicious and corrupt practices that Helen and her hangers on have foisted upon us over the last 8 long years.

I'm just wondering to myself, when is there going to be a backlash?

Where is the anger, the outrage, the venom, has Clark's regime breed the mongrel out of us?

There have been touches of it, with street protests against the Electoral Finance Bill, but those were tame. In Australia cars would be burned in the streets if their leaders tried this sort of fascist stuff!

We watched our judicial system tumble when Labour pulled down the august pillars of the Privy council appeals without a whimper.

Little was done when Kiwis' rights as parents to discipline their children by having the capacity to smack was removed.

Attempts at dissolving property rights, the intervention of Clark's nanny statists to tell us what to eat, watch, listen to, breathe and teach us "appropriate" ways to talk to those who offend against our persons least we hurt their feelings were met with a whimper of dissent, even from the National "opposition".

The arrogance of a leader and those under her who believe they are above those that they work for is truly mind blowing. Speeding through a small town at 170km per hr to go to a rugby game and blaming several policemen by allowing them to be charged. Mugabee and other tin pot dictators would be proud and we presumably were too because few bothered to raise a voice let alone a middle finger.

Making theft of taxpayer money to buy an election legal after the fact is clearly a breach of the very moral and indeed legal fibre that most Kiwis presumably live by and I would have thought that even the loony left who voted for Labour, NZ First, The Greens, The Maori Party, United Future and Jim Anderton, would have stood up to be counted, considering they are implicit in the crime of buying votes with stolen taxpayer money.

Surely the guilt must be eating away at their conscience?

The gutter snipe attacks in Parliament by sniveling little Stalin adherents, like Micheal Cullen and Trevor "The Bash" Mallard against the leader of the opposition, John Key, for dragging himself out of poverty and making a success of himself in the finance world and accumulating wealth is truly without parallel.

"Scumbag, scumbag, scumbag" "rich prick" sums up Cullen's attitude to those that might have worked hard and made money, his use of terms like this, especially in Parliament, show him for what he and his party are.

Arrogant, self serving, jealous of those that have done better and career politicians who wouldn't have a way of making a living outside government, a government department or a union and supporters seem to lap up this sort of childish playground stuff because they probably feel the same.

We shouldn't be hacked off and angry like Dr Cullen because an individual might have made a success of his life through hard work and accumulated wealth we should be angry at those who deride those successful people!

Is it not the Kiwi way to get pissed off when your freedoms are being chipped away or is it up to the likes of people like me to motivate you off your couch and get yelling "we are as mad as fuck and we are not going to take it anymore!!"

We have seen any possible anger subside come the last two elections because Labour have bought voters by promising taxpayer moola for their back pockets and any opposition is conveniently forgotten.

I will be here to remind you in 2008 to stay angry, if you are, and use that anger in a positive way by choosing not to vote for those that want your freedoms quashed, and not let you be tempted by my taxpayer dollars to dissipate that anger and vote for your wallet.

C Political Animal 2007