Bankers

"I have two great enemies, the Southern Army in front of me and the bankers in the rear. Of the two, the one at my rear is my greatest foe." - Abraham Lincoln



Monday, March 8, 2010

Hold on to your Loonies!


Last year we told you to "hold on to your Loonies" as the Canada buck was trading around .77 usd at the time. Needless to say, we told you so! This week both the National Post and RBC are telling you the same thing, forecasting that by the end of the second quarter, the Loonie will trade "above" the U.S. dollar.

There has even been a spike in put options of late which allow the buyers to sell Aussie dollars for the Canada buck (Loonie). As the world searches for more places to "stash their cash", Canada has been at the forefront. The soundest banking system on the planet (Four of the five major banks just reported profits above analysts expectations) coupled with many natural resources, makes Canada a good bet for foreign investors and with the latest Canadian budget, that outlook brightens further, as the Canadian Government has done away with restrictive bureaucracy that kept, especially, American V/C firms from investing in Canada. With those restrictions gone, more capital is looking to Canada for safety as well as innovation in energy, bio tech, mobile web technology and numerous other businesses.

Canada projects (and so do many economists around the world) that it will be first mature economy to emerge from deficit spending. As the largest supplier of oil to the United States, and with an abundance of Natural Gas, hydro power and recently wind power, Canada is well positioned in the energy sector, with the largest consumer of energy right next door.

Add to that the fact that Canada holds over 20% of the worlds fresh water supply while it's citizens make up only .03% of the worlds population, and the outlook becomes brighter still.
Oh yes, have I mentioned Canada is the #2 suppler of diamonds to the world, (the #1 supplier of "non-blood" diamonds) and is in the top 3 % of suppliers of Potash, gold, copper, nickel, uranium, platinum, etc. It's known reserves of natural gas is second only to the United States at present, but will probably take the number one spot as exploration ramps up for shale gas.

Even manufacturing is flying in Canada as Bombardier of Montreal takes on the Giants of Aerospace, Boeing and Lockheed Martin, at least in the regional jet space, while it's rail car division signs more new contracts in Europe and Asia for high speed rail in the $Billions. Ballard Power Systems, the granddaddy of fuel cell technology is signing contracts in Europe and especially India to supply those areas with clean tech portable power for their mobile web expansion. Ottawa based Wilan Technologies has signed 212 licenses for it's mobile web technology and on March 11th, it stands to reap even more rewards from it's patents as Apple and 18 other tech giants face a Markham hearing in a Texas court to determine how much they have infringed on Wilan's patents.

Magna International, Inc. is an Ontario, Canada based company, which produces a massive amount of auto parts for many players in the auto industry. It also has a new division, Magna E-Car Systems, that provides integration of components and systems, as well as the development and production of innovative complete-vehicle solutions, from engineering to turnkey systems, for all hybrid and electric vehicle programs around the world. Magna also manufactures other automotive systems, assemblies, modules, and products.

Encana is a major natural gas supplier, with huge investments in shale gas from Texas to New York, from Vancouver to Nova Scotia besides it's already extensive regular natural gas projects. Encana recently split into two entities, leaving most of it's oil business to a new company Cenovus a now lean oil player based in Calgary Alberta. As two separate entities since November 2009, these two companies figure to factor in to the North American energy market in a big way over the next decade.

TD Bank, Canada's second largest bank, is expanding into the U.S. market at a time when many U.S. banks are ripe for the taking, and it expects that it's U.S. arm may outpace it's Canadian system of 2,000 branches in the not too distant future. Currently, without that growth, it already stands at North America's 7th largest bank by capitalization.

In 9 out of the last 10 years, Canada has not only been in "the black" but has actually paid down debt in each of those years, while the rest of the G20 sank deeper. Even with this years deficit, caused by international events rather than domestic, Canada's "per capita" debt is less than half that of America.

The Loonie is outshining the usd for good reason. Natural Resources, Natural Gas, Oil, Aerospace, mobile web technology, Clean Tech, energy, auto, bio science and banking are only some of the strengths of the "True North strong and free", so as we said before, hold on to your Loonies, and reap the rewards of years of restraint and good management. Canada's investment landscape is becoming a lot less boring, and a lot more profitable.


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