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      • Smoke and Mirrors in South Africa

        29 February 2024   |  

        The South African government announced an unconventional strategy last week that involved tapping into its gold and foreign exchange reserves in an effort to temper its growing debt burden. While investors initially cheered this financial maneuver, we are more skeptical. Unfortunately the government announced this strategy without clearly outlining the governance of the framework. We break down the transaction and potential drawbacks below:

      • Growth Team Weekly Investment Insights

        28 February 2024   |  

        1) NVIDIA Delivers Again

        Fueled by its H100 chip, which has become the industry standard for AI development, NVIDIAs’ earnings have risen more than 700% from a year ago.

      • What “Kenya” Do? What Kenya Did!

        26 February 2024   |  

        Kenya’s upcoming $2 billion Eurobond payment due in June 2024 had been a cause of concern for many investors as the maturity quickly approached. However, in mid-February, a pivot in the country’s approach to raise funds quickly alleviated investors’ anxieties: Kenya successfully issued $1.5 billion through an international bond sale that was well oversubscribed, and used the cash to buy back 96% of its 2024 obligation at par. In our eyes, the government’s decision to issue was a smart move and a crucial step towards alleviating short-term risks for the country. It greatly reduces the event risk surrounding the impending Eurobond maturity and creates room for policymakers to turn their attention to a policy agenda that puts the country on a better and more sustainable path moving forward.

      • Growth Team Weekly Investment Insights

        21 February 2024   |  

        1) One Company is Driving Most of the YTD Russell 2000 Growth Return

        An interesting phenomenon happening within small caps this year is the dominance of Super Micro Computer.

      • Growth Team Weekly Investment Insights

        14 February 2024   |  

        1) Why Central Banks May Be Reluctant to Declare Victory Over Inflation

        This Financial Times article highlighted a few reasons global policymakers may hesitate to declare that inflation is under control. Most notably, economic strength, particularly in labor markets, may be too good.

      • Vroom, Vroom, Vroom!

        12 February 2024   |  

        Did you hear that sound? That was the sound of Vroom’s engine shutting down. If you’re not familiar with the name, Vroom, was, an online-only used car retailer, which along with Carvana and several other upstarts, aimed to disrupt the incumbent “old-school” auto retailing model. With the announcement that Vroom is winding down its e-commerce operations, we looked back at our Q2 2021 portfolio letter. In it, we compared the business of Vroom to one of the incumbents, AutoNation, through the lens of our three margin of safety investment criteria: business economics, financial condition and valuation.

        At the time, both businesses were valued at roughly the same market value, approximately $5.5bn, so we posed the question: if you had to pick one of these two businesses to buy, which would you choose?

      • A Glimmer of Gold in the Pacific

        07 February 2024   |  

        Hiding behind the picturesque beaches, tropical rainforests, and immense coral reef biodiversity of Papua New Guinea is a precarious socio-economic situation. High unemployment, crime and a volatile political landscape often dominate the headlines of the natural-resource rich pacific nation and have hindered economic development. However, tailwinds from ongoing and prospective natural resource projects along with a recent push for fiscal reforms poise the country for an upswing and position it for increasing geopolitical importance.

      • Growth Team Weekly Investment Insights

        08 February 2024   |  

        1. Hot jobs report and Fed Speak takes March cut off the table

        Last week the Fed held rates steady at the 5.25% - 5.5% level but pushed back a bit on expectations for near term cuts due to a desire for “greater confidence” that inflation will return to the 2% goal or if the labor market weakened.

      • Democracy’s Blockbuster Year

        23 January 2024   |  

        2024 is expected to be one of the biggest election years on record with more than half of the world’s population planning to go to the polls. This busy election calendar comes at a particularly opportune time as geo-political tensions are running high across the globe.

      • Thoughts and Takeaways From The EMsights Annual Research Retreat

        03 January 2024   |  

        The EMsights Capital Group held their annual research retreat in December. For two days the investment team gathered off-site to recap the events of 2023 and look forward to 2024. This year’s agenda also featured several outside speakers ranging in expertise from the Russia/Ukraine war to the current health of the US economy.

        Over the course of the two days, the team identified several cross-regional trends they expect to remain prominent in 2024: