3. And speaking of Panama, the country has been the fastest-growing Latin American economy this year and last. But it is by no means the only growth story in the region. (Panama has averaged 9% annual growth over the past six years.) Add in Colombia -- growth of 5.9% in 2011, and projected growth of 3% to 5% in 2012 and 2% to 5% in 2013 -- and Mexico -- 4% in 2012, with plans by incoming President Enrique Peña Nieto to push growth to 6% by the time his six-year term is over -- and Latin America has some of the world's best growth prospects.
Most interesting to me at this point is Mexico. The recent success there is a huge change from the past decade, when growth averaged just 1.6% a year through 2010, and the improvement looks sustainable. Mexico, which lost export business to China, has started to gain it back as China's wages climb and as the lower cost of exporting to the United States becomes a significant advantage.
On current trend, Mexico has a shot at becoming one of the 10 largest economies in the world by 2020. One key to watch is Peña Nieto's success or failure in changing the basic law governing Mexico's state-owned oil company Pemex so that the country's oil industry can attract the capital and expertise it needs to reverse the dramatic decline in production. Mexican companies to take a look at include global cement giant Cemex (CX), homebuilders such as Desarrolladora Homex (HXM), food producers such as poultry producer Industrias Bachoco (IBA) and media company Grupo Televisa (TV).
4. The other Latin American story that interests me now is the rise of banks in the region that have picked up share as the big Spanish banks, Banco Santander (SAN) and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA), have had to pull back or sell off businesses to raise capital to help them recover from the bust in Spanish real estate and the decline of the Spanish economy. Two to look at are Chile's CorpBanca (BCA), which has made two major acquisitions in Colombia this year (including the purchase of Banco Santander's Colombian unit) and Colombia's Banco Davivienda (PFDAVVND in Bogotá), which has recently expanded into Panama with plans for an expanded role in the United States.
5 .The other big regional growth story is taking place in Africa, specifically sub-Saharan Africa. Gross domestic product for Africa as a whole will grow by 5% in 2012, the International Monetary Fund projects, with 5.7% growth a reasonable target for 2013. But that growth won't follow the usual pattern, with South Africa leading the way and countries such as Nigeria squandering their promise. Currently it's South Africa, mired in labor unrest, corruption and dysfunctional politics, that is trailing countries such as Nigeria and Kenya.
Africa remains a tough nut to crack for investors, with relatively little information available on the relatively few publicly listed companies. Two that I've been researching lately are Nigeria's IHS (IHS in Lagos), an owner and operator of cellphone towers in Africa, and Naspers (NPSNY) a South African media company with 6 million pay-TV subscribers in South Africa and 1.8 million elsewhere in Africa.
These five stories certainly don't exhaust the world of company-, sector-, industry- and country-specific trends that are unfolding while the market devotes the bulk of its attention to macro trends in Brussels, Washington and Beijing. For example, there's the move by Norway's $660 billion sovereign wealth fund to increase its allocation to real estate, including the U.S. real-estate market, to 5% of its portfolio from 0.3% at the end of September.
But these five trends should be enough to get you going. Someday this macro-dominated financial environment will end -- if only for a while -- and your portfolio will be grateful that you managed to devote a little of your attention to long-range, below-the-radar thinking.
Updates to Jubak's Picks
These recent blog posts contain updates to the stocks in Jubak's market-beating portfolios:
- China slowdown hurts Yum Brands
- Apple pulls ahead in horse race with Android
- How long will Costco's dividend pop last?
- Why Targa is a good oil bet
- A long road to Polypore's restoration
- Wal-Mart faces a tough holiday season
- Why McDonald's will top $100 again
At the time of publication, Jim Jubak did not own or control shares of any company mentioned in this column in his personal portfolio. The mutual fund he manages, Jubak Global Equity Fund (JUBAX), may or may not now own positions in any company mentioned in this column. The fund did own shares Banco Bilbao Vizcaya, Banco Davivienda Argentaria, Banco Santander, CorpBanca, Grupo Televisa, Industrias Bachoco and Novo Nordisk as of the end of September. Find a full list of the stocks in the fund as of the end of September here.
Jim Jubak's column has run on MSN Money since 1997. He is the author of the book "The Jubak Picks," based on his market-beating Jubak's Picks portfolio; the writer of the Jubak's Picks blog; and the senior markets editor at MoneyShow.com. Get a free 60-day trial
subscription to JAM, his premium investment letter, by using this code: MSN60 when you register at the Jubak Asset Management website. Click here to find Jubak's most recent articles, blog posts and stock picks.
Jim Jubak's column has run on MSN Money since 1997. He is the author of the book "The Jubak Picks," based on his market-beating Jubak's Picks portfolio; the writer of the Jubak's Picks blog; and the senior markets editor at MoneyShow.com. Get a free 60-day trial subscription to JAM, his premium investment letter, by using this code: MSN60 when you register at the Jubak Asset Management website.
Click here to find Jubak's most recent articles, blog posts and stock picks.
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stock trends to jump on
translation: buy something so my bonus goes up
Staying away from all investments for awhile would seem to be more prudent.
Apple Inc. the hottest stock in the NASDAQ has been falling like a rock lately. Today Apple Inc. is $ 532.17 now. Not to long ago it was over $ 600.00 per share. There is a problem for Apple, that investors are disappointed that Apple isn't paying out a special dividend, as are other companies. Apple Senior VP Eddy Cue is the latest Apple insider to sell off his company’s stock. Cue follows Apple veteran Bob Mansfield and now-former iOS chief Scott Forstall in selling off shares of Apple. Cue sold 15,000 shares of his company’s stock to the tune of $8.76 million last Friday. The prediction of $ 1,000.00 per share looks remote for the near future.
The technology advances of the past 25 years have barely brought us to the threshold of dazzling
advances on so many fronts, worldwide. I like STK, Columbia Seligman Premium Technology Fund
for a long term holding. It seems to be in oversold territory now and is paying a 13% annual dividend, paid quarterly.
I wish there were more articles like this.This is a financial site and yet mostly I read
rants from Obama haters still bitter over the election.With the Dow up 5,000 points
with Obama you`ld think people would be happy their making money.
WHUTTTT a JOKE for an article, >>> CLEAR as MUDDDD & nothing of RELEVANCE in it'zz entire content!!! FYI = WURTH-LEZZZZZ POS!!!
YU pay for these worthless articles???
Here is an idea banging around. The government would pass a law called National retirement account-you will be forced to invest into it out of your weekly pay. What would you be investing in? US treasuries. The american people will have to loan their retirement account to the US government to cover the debts. It will be a law forced on everyone. It will be called National Retirement Account law. They would abolish the IRA and 401k .Pretty scary!
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