Argonautica

Professional investors can review published thought leadership and market updates from the Argonaut Investment Team.

20 posts found for 2013

‘Christmas Quiz 2013’

With England given a tough draw for the Football World Cup and the Ashes series in Australia not going to plan, we felt a light-hearted Christmas quiz would be just the tonic to lighten the mood (the answers can be found at the end). The team at Argonaut wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. The questions… 1. According to forecasts, world GDP growth is expected to be 3.4% in 2014. This represents an increase of 0.9% from 2013’s expected 2.5% growth rate. However, at 4.1%, the country…

‘Argonauts return to Greece’

The Argonauts have returned to Greece, making our first investments in the country since 2006. Having lost €38bn from Greek government debt restructuring, the Greek banking sector has largely been recapitalised with new equity of €40bn1. This has also resulted in unprecedented large scale consolidation, with the four largest banks (Piraeus, Alpha, Eurobank and National Bank of Greece) now having a market share of 96%2 (compared to 55% pre-crisis)3. Not only do we think that there is an adequate margin…

‘Grecovery’

With the Greek economy having regained its lost competitiveness upon joining the Euro; its current and fiscal account now in surplus and its government debt restructured; we think the emergence of Greece from recession should soon be officially confirmed. In view of Greece’s position at the epicentre of Eurozone stress, the Grecovery is likely to be the most important European economic and political event of 2014. The Greek economy has had six years of recession, with real GDP having contracted…

‘Is the Bank of Italy really only worth €1.2 bln?’

Unlike the Bank of England (BOE), the Bank of Italy (BoI) is not owned by the state. It is in fact owned by sixty individual financial institutions (primarily banks) who were issued shares back in 1936. Of these the largest shareholders are Intesa Sanpaolo (42.4%) and UniCredit (22.1%). Using their reported carrying values implies that the BoI is worth approximately €1.2 bln1. Can this be right? However not all shareholders report their BoI stake at the same value. Indeed, two of the other top ten…

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