Category Archives: Investments

GE and Saudi Arabia Forge $15 Billion in Deals

In the wake of President Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia, General Electric announced it will sign $15 million worth of business deals to help diversify the Kingdom’s economy away from oil.

GE announced last week at a conference of senior US business executives with their Saudi counterparts its intention to deal with the desert Kingdom to help it diversify.

The agreements are worth about $7 billion in goods and services from GE itself. The range from utilities to healthcare; the oil industry, mining, and natural gas. Some of the deals are still in the form of memos and will need further negotiations to come to fruition.

One of the GE projects will guide power manufacture in Saudi Arabia to become more efficient and also offer digital technology to the operations at Saudi Aramco. The hope is that this project will ultimately create $4 billion in annual productivity increases at Aramco. It also hopes to cooperate in training and medical research.

Philips Sale of Lumileds Waiting for CFIUS Approval

The Dutch-based electronics company Philips says that its sale of a sub-company called Lumileds for $3.3 billion is now being scrutinized by a group called the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.” According to the Philips third-quarter results, the CFIUS has “expressed certain unforeseen concerns” which made the sale of Lumileds uncertain.

Lumileds manufactures LEDs and car components, and also owns many LED patents.
Philips is selling an 80.1 percent stake in Lumileds to a consortium of mostly investors from China. The consortium is called Go Scales and is made up of GSR Capital, Nanchang Industrial Group, and Asia Pacific Resource Development, all of which are based in China.
The sale was announced in March and is part of the company’s plan to better concentrate on consumer goods and its medical technology business.

Philips said that it will “continue to engage with CFIUS and will take all reasonable steps to address its concerns” but did not give any details about what those concerns are and in what way they will be engaged.

“Our operational performance continues to strengthen, despite deteriorating macro-economic conditions in a number of markets, most notably China,”  said Philips chief executive Frans van Houten.

Avenue Capital Group: Marc Lasry

Marc Lasry
Marc Lasry

Avenue Capital Group was founded by Marc Lasry and his sister Sonia Gardner in 1995.

The investment firm is based in New York, but has offices throughout Europe and Asia, including in London, Luxemborg and Munich. It employs 215 people, and specializes in distressed investments. As of January 2013, Avenue Capital Group manages assets of around $12.2 billion.

According to their website, Avenue Capital Group’s core strategies involve distressed and undervalued debt, as well as equity opportunities in Asia, Europe and the United States. Avenue’s strategies also include real estate, securitized loan obligations and investments in other funds.


High Stock Prices Fueled by “Easy” Money

Going up!

The general description of shares on the stock market at the moment can be described as “expensive” according to many observers.

A report in Yahoo Finance stated that “One reason that folks are paying up for richly priced stocks is that money – for many – is not much of an object right now.’’

The report added that American companies have added about $700 billion in debt so far in 2015, and repurchases of stock are on their way to going beyond a value of $600 billion.
Stocks for US companies are high-priced. The median stock carries a higher valuation than almost all of the time in the last 40 years, Yahoo stated. The largest 100 companies in the world today are worth an enormous $16.24 trillion. That amount is close to double what those companies were valued at immediately following the recent financial crisis.

According to PwC, Apple Inc. is the most valuable business in the world, with a market capitalization of $725 billion, which conducted a study in March. Since 2009 the maker of the iPhone and many other popular consumer electronic products has increased its market value by 671%. Only 6 years ago Apple was ranked the world’s 33rd largest company and worth about $94 billion.

The second largest company in the world is Google, with a valuation of $375 billion, more than double its worth in 2009 of $110 billion. Six years ago it ranked in 22nd place.

Upcoming New York Business Conferences

riding-the-waveNew York is constantly filled with interesting conferences and programs. Of particularly interest next month are two conferences, one related to the shipping industry, and the other for those in the investment industry.

Sophocles Zoullas of Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc. will be giving a presentation at the Marine Money Conference on November 12. The conference – established to “bridge the shipping and capital markets” – is in its 15th consecutive year. Speakers during the course of the conference include Mark Williams, Director, Business Development & Consultancy, Braemar ACM Shipbroking; Omar M. Nokta, Managing Director, Shipping Research, Clarkson Capital Markets; Jay Goodgal, Managing Member, Castalia Advisors LLC and many others. Sophocles N. Zoullas will be addressing participants on Wednesday November 12 at 11:35, at New York City’s Plaza Hotel. His subject matter is: “Looking Ahead: Key Themes for the Dry Bulk Market.”

The second conference for business people and investment executives will take place the day before, on Tuesday November 11 at New York’s Palace Hotel. Among the companies addressing participants of the Stephens Fall Investment Conference will be Helix Energy Solutions Group Inc. The company is a global energy offshore firm providing services to the offshore energy industry, specializing in robotics operations and intervention. In previous years when Helix addressed the conference, it was Owen Kratz, the President and CEO, who gave the presentation on their company, its future plans, deep water contracting and more.