Notes on Cloudy February

Here are my pins on trends and developments in world markets in February 2022:

* Port congestion in West Coast and freight costs are pushing US #brandowners and #retailers to diverge their supply bases away from pacific (China, Vietnam) into #Caribbean and #southamerica . Common theme in multiple FY 2021 results calls especially of listed consumer companies in the US. However it is risky and takes patience to do; #rockybrands management provided a good example: “We will slow play that. I cannot stress enough to you and anybody in the marketplace if a boot fits and performs and you move it and it doesn’t fit and doesn’t perform the same way. It is the fastest way to lose that product. “

* Recent decisions of #bp and #shell to get out of #russia by fireselling their valuable assets ($25bn of Rosneft stake for bp and Sakhalin assets for #shell) at a huge discount urged investors to question (disrupted) #corporategovernance and managements’ lack of concern for #shareholdervalue. TotalEnergies seems to be taking more prudent approach.

I am wondering about whether Depository Receipts of russian companies which makes up considerable portion of #londonstockexchange index will continue to be traded. #norilsknickel DR is suspended already.

* China signed a new gas pipeline agreement with Russia to buy 50bn m3 of natural gas per annum. The pipeline has around same capacity with cancelled Nord Stream 2 project.

* China internet ecosystem is bringing down platform walls. Following recent regulatory changes, ecommerce sites and non ecommerce platforms such as #WeChat, #Douyin and #Kuaishou in China now have started to open up, albeit gradually, to search engines and other ecommerce sites. The ecommerce related performance based ad market in China is estimated to be around $24-28bn. #BIDU is a good candidate to seize a considerable slice from this pie in near future. Top #Alibaba apps shall also launch inside #WeChat and #Alibaba expect meaningful incremental traffic into these as WeChat mini programs command huge traffic.

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