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Boston Consulting Group did a study on investing in African businesses -- Here's a list of how you can add them to your portfolio
Why would you want to invest in Africa? Here are some points they make about Africa:
- With just 4% of global GDP they have 20% of the world's land and 15% of it's population
- Between 2000 and 2008 Africa's GDP grew 5.3% annually but the global GDP only grew 4% for the same time frame
- In 2009 Africa's GDP grew 2% -- US dropped 4%, EU dropped 2.8%, Latin America dropped 1.5%
- These companies do business not only in their own country but in the rest of Africa and around the world as well
- The companies mentioned in their survey far outstripped the rest of the world in increased sales and earnings growth
Lot's of bad news all around. The market was in free fall. Just how bad was it?
Value Line Index -- I like this Index better than the S&P 500 or the much narrower Dow 30 because it contains 1700 stocks so it gives me a better feel of the overall market and not just the large caps -- This week the Index is down
- For the week the Index lost 3.58%
The markets have been shaken recently, but some top strategists are still finding attractive investments.
The European debt crisis, a very disappointing jobs report, and a continuing environmental crisis off America's shores -- uncertainty has made its way back into the stock market in a big way over the past few weeks. But while that uncertainty has led to a wide array of opinions on where the market and economy are headed, many of the investment gurus I keep an eye on agree on at least one thing: If you know where to look, there are opportunities to make money.
Take Chuck Akre, who produced an exceptional 12.6% per-year return for the FBR Focus Fund from 1996-2009 before moving on to manage his own fund. Akre tells Fortune magazine that he likes convertible preferred shares of Hartford Financial Services Group, which must be converted into common stock in 2013. While hit hard by the 2008 financial crisis, Hartford is now in good shape, Akre says. “It’s an interesting, low-risk, decent turnaround play in a market with a lot of uncertainty,” he told Fortune, as part of a "25 Stock Picks from 25 Great Investors" feature that also included top stock-pickers Bruce Berkowitz, Tom Forester, and David Herro.
Another top fund manager who's seeing opportunities is Eric Schoenstein, co-manager of the Jensen Portfolio, which has beaten 95% of its peers over the past 10 years. He recently told MarketWatch that despite the major recent volatility, his fund remains fully invested in stocks. And he says companies in a number of different sectors are offering attractive “margins of safety”.
The pharmaceutical company is preparing for an earlier-than-expected launch of a new generic contraceptive.
Of these, Gianvi is the biggie -- at least for now.
The drug is a generic version of Bayer’s (BAYRY) oral contraceptive Yaz. Sales of Yaz came to $780 million in 2009. The contraceptive has been especially popular among younger women, since taking it produces less water retention than some other contraceptives and works to reduce acne.
Surprise: some brands of food don't really have all the benefits they claim.
Forbes says that "foods masquerading as drugs" have become a huge business, as companies realize they can make serious bucks by adding omega-3 fatty acids and beneficial bacteria to their products.
This "functional food" industry is a $160 billion business worldwide, and sales are growing at about 7% a year, Forbes reports. The magazine lists several food cons that could dupe shoppers into paying more for benefits that aren't really there. Here's a list:
The four largest banks have grown in size during the financial crisis.
The four biggest banks have only become larger in the financial crisis, The Wall Street Journal reports. Now, Citigroup (C), Bank of America (BAC), J.P. Morgan (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC) control more assets today then they did in December 2007.
Combined, these banks have gone from $4.95 trillion in assets in December 2007 to $7.7 trillion in assets now, Stephen Grocer writes. That's almost double the combined assets of the next 46 biggest banks.
So while politicians like to say taxpayers won't foot the bill if one of these banks should fail,
A federal grant will pay for electric car charging stations to be installed in homes and businesses across the country, free of charge.
By Seth Fiegerman, MainStreet
Uncle Sam wants you to forget about our oil problems for a minute and start thinking about electric cars.
The New York Times reports that the federal government has allocated $15 million in stimulus money and another $22 million in grants to build 4,600 charging stations for electric cars across the country. The goal, according to the Times, is to make the transition to electric cars "easier for communities and consumers."
The money will go to Coulomb Technologies, a company that builds fueling units for electric transportation. Coulomb will now begin installing charging stations in public areas like offices, stores and parking lots. Best of all, about 2,000 of these chargers will be installed for free in the homes of people who buy an electric car. As the Times notes, these chargers would otherwise cost around $2,000.
Chocolate stock hits 52-week high, proving many analysts wrong.
By Jim Cramer, TheStreet
It chose not to compete with Kraft (KFT) in a bidding war for Cadbury. It chose not to put itself up for sale, even though analysts were pretty certain that the company didn't have the earnings power or the vision to lift the stock from the mid-$30s level.
But this is a different Hershey from the one they followed. Beginning with some management changes last year, Hershey's stopped being paternalistic. It started closing plants, moving manufacturing to where labor was cheaper, slaughtering sacred cows.
The federal trade commission targets the cereal giant twice in two years for false claims about its products.
Kellogg (K) has had a difficult go of things in the wake of the recession, lagging rival packaged foods companies in the industry as it struggled to connect with consumers. Recently the company has been looking to turn sales around with ad campaigns that focus on how its cereals help kids stay healthy and attentive in school.
The only problem is that according to the Federal Trade Commission, Kellogg is just making up those claims. For the second time in a year, FTC officials have taken the cereal giant to task for misleading consumers by claiming Kellogg’s Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal makes kids do better in school and that its Rice Krispies ward off the common cold.
“We expect more from a great American company than making dubious claims – not once, but twice,” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz.
The debut of Agricultural Bank of China will tell investors a lot about the market.
Have I got a China indicator for you!
Like a lot of investors, I think the selloff in Chinese stocks marks a buying opportunity -- sometime in 2010.
The Shanghai Composite Index is down 22% in 2010, and the market is deep into bear market territory. But that doesn't mean it can't get cheaper still. So, when should you buy?
Young Mark Zuckerberg, pressed on privacy settings, says company is doing what it thinks is right.
Zuckerberg, 26, now sits astride a social-networking monolith, with some 540 million monthly users around the world.
Quitting Facebook protest recently).
Governments across the country want to get rid of plastic grocery bags. Here are stocks that could be affected.
This is a growing trend nationwide. Cities across the country are quashing plastic bags in hopes that people will bring their own reusable bags when they shop.
Just for fun, I thought I'd look up which stocks might be affected by this movement. Here are some of the largest makers of plastic bags and polyethylene resins, according to the American Chemistry Council:
After defending Goldman Sachs and Moody's, the Oracle of Omaha is getting hit with criticism.
Public opinion is turning against Warren Buffett.
The billionaire investor is getting raked over the coals this week after defending credit ratings agencies like Moody's, saying that lots of people -- himself included -- did not expect the economy to implode.
"The entire American public was caught up in a belief that housing prices could not fall dramatically," he told a panel looking into the financial meltdown, according to The Associated Press.
The euro's trajectory isn't broken, but the velocity of its decline is. And that's enough to rebuild both confidence and capital in the market.
By Jim Cramer, TheStreet
Why isn't some hedge fund, or some group of hedge funds, out there trying to crack the euro? Or is there one – or several – and the euro has hit a floor now that there are so many more bears than bulls on it?
A very complex and difficult dynamic out there has suddenly shifted, allowing us to think about individual stocks again. Oil has bottomed – thanks for that great call Dan Dicker – at $70. The economic data in this country has been unbelievably strong, as Doug Kass points out, and the possibility of a terrific employment number on Friday still exists, stoked by President Obama's words Wednesday. The Chinese stock market seems to have stopped going down, and weaker numbers from China are now being viewed positively as a sign of a soft landing – although that view has not been articulated on TV yet, other than on my "Mad Money" show.
So we have a barometer of economic strength – oil – saying things aren't so bad, and we have a major economy that gets better and better.
Investors are seeing turmoil as the governments of Japan and Spain are rocked by unrest.
Political risk moves stock markets.
Investors are getting a reminder of that from Japan, where the resignation of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has sent the yen falling against all but one of the world's most traded currencies. The Nikkei 225 stock index is down more than 1%.
And they're likely to get another refresher in coming weeks from Spain, where the government of Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero is struggling to stay in power.
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In the never-ending contest for sales, American carmakers are pulling ahead.
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[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages ended modestly lower with the S&P 500 shedding 0.3%.
The benchmark average saw an opening loss of 1.2% after Japan's Nikkei tumbled 7.3%. Japanese stocks sold off amid continued volatility in Japanese Government Bond futures as the 10-yr yield spiked almost 16 basis points to 1.002 before the Bank of Japan's JPY2 trillion liquidity injection caused yields to retrace their gains.
Adding insult to injury was news out of China where the HSBC ... More
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