Richard Windsor
22 September 2017

Troublesome hardware. Snap Inc. is admitting that it made a wrong turn with its spectacles

With the reorganisation of its hardware division, Snap Inc. is admitting that it made a wrong turn with its spectacles which despite being cool, no one bought. Steve Horowitz will now become president of technology and report to the chief strategy officer rather than the CEO in what can only be a significant demotion, while a large part of the marketing effort has also been terminated with the COO of hardware, Mark Randall presiding over the vestigial remains.

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Richard Windsor
22 September 2017 · 3 min read

If Google is prepared to be as aggressive on price as Xiaomi, it might just get somewhere

Google – Thrice bitten, never shy. Fourth time unlikely to be the charm. Google has announced a partnership with HTC that sees some key engineering talent join Google but it remains a complete mystery as to what Google is paying money for.
This will represent the fourth major hardware related transaction that started with Motorola Mobility and continued with Nest and Dropcam.

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21 September 2017 · 3 min read

US rates: Has the fuse been lit?

Conditions for synchronised, if gradual, tightening of policy appear in place

To our surprise yesterday’s Fed statement and projections not only re-confirmed the probability of a rate increase later in the year but also continue to forecast three further rate increases in 2018. Furthermore, the Fed announced the pace of reduction in its balance sheet which, while an initially modest US$10bn per month in October will rise to US$50bn per month by the end of 2018.  The initial market reaction has been for the yield curve to flatten further as investors price in an increased probability of a Q4 rate rate increase while US 10y bond yields rose by only 3bps. Equity markets may be sanguine for now but we view this monetary headwind as a slow-burn fuse which may challenge investors again during 2018.

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Richard Windsor
19 September 2017 · 2 min read

Amazon still has the upper hand which it is showing no sign of losing

Amazon increases its aggressive land grab.  Not content to sit on 70% market share, Amazon is aggressively compensating for the lack of Alexa on smartphones by effectively giving the devices away and pushing e-commerce as hard as it can. A land grab strategy makes complete sense because the more Amazon can drive Alexa usage, the more data it will generate and the better it can become. Usage is the key to making all digital assistants better and this is the one area where Amazon has huge ground to make up compared to Google.

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Elaine Reynolds
18 September 2017 · 3 min read

Partridge and Verbier fail to find oil

Key wells fail

Azinor Catalyst’s Partridge and Statoil’s Verbier wells were each targeting over 100mmbbls in well drilled areas of the North Sea and were rare examples of exploration in the region with independent involvement. Jersey Oil and Gas (JOG) held 18%WI in Verbier, having successfully attracted Statoil to farm-in to its original 60% WI in 2016, while Azinor held a 100% WI in Partridge (subject to back in options with third parties).

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Richard Windsor
13 September 2017

Apple - Worst kept secrets

. Face ID was the star of a show where everything had been leaked.

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Richard Windsor
13 September 2017

Electric Vehicles - Extinction level event

EVs could trigger a huge decline in vehicle demand

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Richard Windsor
13 September 2017
Mel Jenner
13 September 2017 · 2 min read

Finsbury Growth & Income Trust announces new holding in Manchester United

First new purchase since 2015

Finsbury Growth & Income Trust (FGT) has announced that manager Nick Train has initiated a holding in Manchester United. He is well renowned for his low-turnover investment approach and this is the first new position in FGT’s portfolio since the purchase of Rémy Cointreau in 2015. Manchester United listed on the New York Stock Exchange in August 2012 at a price of $14 per share. Its share price subsequently rose above $19 and is currently trading at c $17. The football club has a market cap of $2.7bn and currently offers a dividend yield of 1.07%. Train believes that the value of Manchester United’s global franchise is not reflected in its current share price. He cites the recent announcement of the sale of NBA basketball team Houston Rockets for $2.2bn, suggesting that Manchester United could be worth in excess of $5bn.

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Elaine Reynolds
12 September 2017

Drombeg adds to Druid disappointment

The Druid/Drombeg frontier exploration well, 53/6-1, is currently being plugged and abandoned after encountering porous water bearing reservoir across both target intervals. Operator Providence Resources announced the results from the deeper Drombeg target this week, following on from similarly disappointing results from Druid in August.

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