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‘Christmas Quiz 2014’

Christmas is synonymous with tradition and at Argonaut the Christmas quiz is part of ours. We hope you find this year’s twelve questions fun and interesting. From all of us here at Argonaut we wish you all a merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Now on to the questions:
(the answers can be found at the end)

1. International Consolidated Airlines Group owns British Airways and operates predominantly out of London Heathrow – the world’s busiest international airport and primary gateway to the UK. However Heathrow only began operating as a civil airport in 1946. Prior to this, what was London’s official airport?

A. London Biggin Hill
B. Croydon Airport
C. Stansted Airport

2. Using data from 21 of the world’s largest integrated oil companies, what was the average marginal cost of producing one barrel of oil last year?

A. $ 14.74
B. $ 26.08
C. $ 41.56

3. Norway’s sovereign wealth fund (SWF) is the world’s largest single SWF with assets estimated at $893bln or 174% of GDP. Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait which account for 50% of OPEC’s crude production also have SWF’s. These three nations had a collective GDP of $1.3 trn last year, what percentage of this GDP do their collective SWF’s represent?

A. 84%
B. 104%
C. 180%

4. Healthcare has been the best performing sector year-to-date across Europe and indeed the world, as measured by MSCI Europe and World Indices. Two of the better performing stocks have been Irish domiciled Actavis and US based Allergan, who are now merging. Allergan’s largest single drug is Botox, a drug made from a neurotoxin to treat muscular conditions. Within the Botox R&D pipeline, phase II results are due in July 2015 for what new indication?

A. Glaucoma
B. Erectile Dysfunction
C. Headache

5. In October we got the results of the Asset Quality Review and ECB Stress Tests for the European banking system. All told the banking system needed to raise € 4.2 bln. To put this in perspective, since 2007, how much equity had European banks already raised?

A. €400 bln
B. €238 bln 
C. €320 bln

6. Commodity prices in general have had a tough 2014. However some niche commodities such as fishmeal (up 68% this year) have managed to buck the trend.  The industry is supply constrained in the face of growing demand. One species of fish dominates the supply chain and is considered the world’s largest fishery. Can you name the species?

A. Cod
B. Anchovy
C. Salmon
D. Tilapia

7. Next year England host the rugby world cup. They are also the current holders of the Calcutta Cup, the oldest international cup competition in the game. However a domestic cup competition predates this by four years, having first being contested in 1875, making it the oldest cup competition in rugby. Can you name it?

A. Siam Cup
B. Hopetoun Cup
C. United Hospitals Cup
D. Admiral Brown Cup

8. This year Shale oil is expected to account for half of all US oil production. As at October this year there are fifteen producing shale formations in the US, of which three account for almost 75% of total shale oil production. The two largest of these are Eagle Ford and Bakken, can you name the third largest?

A. Spraberry
B. Marcellus
C. Niobrara
D. Wolfcamp

9. Royal Caribbean Cruises this year took delivery of Quantum of the Seas- the world’s most technologically advanced liner. Among other things it is said to have more bandwidth than all other cruise ships in the world combined. To do this it uses a satellite internet connection via the recently launched O3b network. Which company is the largest shareholder of O3b?

A. Google
B. Sky
C. Liberty Global

10. Amongst daily traded on-exchange commodities, Brent crude is the worst performing commodity with a fall of almost 40% this year. However which relatively major commodity is up over 60% this year?

A. Coffee
B. Feeder Cattle
C. Cocoa
D. Palladium

11. This year has seen another decline in sovereign bond yields, with German ten year bunds yielding close to 70bps and those in Switzerland less than 30bps. However not all countries have seen their yields compress.  Can you name the country that has seen its yields rise the most this year, and is now the highest yielding ten year sovereign? (Hint: it also is considered to have the world’s largest proved reserves of oil)

A. Russia
B. Brazil
C. Venezuela

12. Before the recent referendum, the Scottish government published its own fiscal outlook where it assumed the budget deficit would fall significantly by 2018/19 to close to 2% (from about 8%). In this forecast North Sea tax receipts (accounting for over 10% of revenues) were expected to average about £7bln/annum for the next five years on the back of rather optimistic assumptions of production rising by 14% and prices being stable at $110/bbl. However this month the UK Office of Budget Responsibility published their updates for expected North Sea receipts for the next five years. Based on these figures, what would Scotland’s updated annual average North Sea tax receipts be? (Note: a £1 bln variation would knock the budget deficit by 0.6% according to the Scottish government)

A. £6.5 bln
B. £5.3 bln
C. £3.6 bln
D. £2.4 bln


Greg Bennett
Fund Manager
Argonaut Capital Partners


  1. B - Croydon Airport
  2. A - $ 14.74
  3. C - 180%
  4. B - Erectile Dysfunction
  5. A - €400 bln
  6. B - Anchovy
  7. C - United Hospitals Cup
  8. A - Spraberry
  9. D - SES
  10. A - Coffee
  11. C - Venezuela
  12. D - £2.4 bln

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