Daily Indonesia: A Golden Future? and more

By January 11, 2019 Indonesia

In this briefing:

  1. A Golden Future?
  2. Uranium – About to Enter Its Own Nuclear Winter
  3. Asian Frontier Monitor: One Belt New Road – Here Comes America
  4. This Week in Blockchain & Cryptos: A Bitcoin Reversal; More Red Flags for Bitmain
  5. Asia Gaming Preview 2019: Part Two Picks: Galaxy, MGM China and Nagacorp

1. A Golden Future?

The ability to have stable prices has great value.

According to Edward Gibbon, the decaying Roman Empire exhibited five hallmarks: 1) concern with displaying affluence instead of building wealth; 2) obsession with sex; 3) freakish and sensationalistic art; 4) widening disparity between the rich and the poor; and 5) increased demand to live off the state. Most DMs and many EMs display similar symptoms today because fiscal and monetary policies, the foundation of both ancient and modern societies, are identical: increasing welfare outlays by artificially inflating the money supply. The Roman Empire took more than four centuries to destroy what the Republic had built in the previous five centuries because clipping and debasing coins inflated currency supplies slowly. Entering debits and credits in the books of commercial and central banks is much more efficient. 

2. Uranium – About to Enter Its Own Nuclear Winter

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  • Quantifying nuclear statistics with substantial discrepancies
  • LT contracts & speculative hoarding driving recent 40% spot price increase
  • Primary/secondary Uranium supplies currently 112% of 2017 demand
  • Uranium supply deficits extremely unlikely before 2022
  • Global Uranium demand to fall 25-40% by 2050
  •  Primary Uranium sector LT SELL

We have independently audited global nuclear construction statistics in order to determine future Uranium demand.  Although near-term statistics match those in the public domain, long-term demand determined via construction pipeline illustrates substantial discrepancies.  Compiling planned plant construction, operational extensions, nameplate upgrades, versus decommissioning announcements/events, and in many cases, public policy inertia; has led us to believe that despite historical primary supply shortages, global nuclear demand peaked in 2006.

Since plateauing and despite strong Chinese growth, nuclear power generation has fallen <2% over the past two decades, a decline that is predicted to accelerate as a number of developed and developing nations pursue other energy options.

The macro-trend not replacing existing nuclear infrastructure means (dependent on assumptions), according to our calculations, global uranium demand will decrease between 20 to 40% by 2050.

As opposed to signifying a fundamental change in underlying demand, we believe that recent Uranium price increases are the result of producers closing primary operations, and substituting production with purchases on the spot market to meet long-term contract obligations.  In addition, hedge funds are buying physical uranium in order to realise profits on potential future commodity price increases.  Critically, we determine that primary and secondary supplies are more than sufficient to meet forecast demand over the next four to five years; before taking into account substantial existing global uranium stocks, some of which are able to re-enter the spot market at short notice.

3. Asian Frontier Monitor: One Belt New Road – Here Comes America

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In our third report in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) or One Belt One Road (OBOR) series, we examine a brand-new US strategic initiative to finance emerging markets economies, including OBOR, African, and Latin American countries.

The on-going trade war between China and the US makes the issue very political. Rightfully so, we believe the creation of the International Development Finance Corporation (“IDFC”) could be politically-motivated, but IDFC is no competition to the BRI as the latter deploys much greater funding (about USD40bn a year).

However, we see the merits of IDFC and the positive effects on Emerging Asia. After all, more competition for influence and more fund flow will help fund projects, and, perhaps, help reduce poverty (if good governance is observed). We also expect IDFC’s USD60bn fund to create more investable projects for institutional investors and lower funding cost for countries that need large infrastructure funding and countries that have been suspicious of the BRI such as India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Sri Lanka.

4. This Week in Blockchain & Cryptos: A Bitcoin Reversal; More Red Flags for Bitmain

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The year 2018 was not the brightest for cryptocurrencies; Bitcoin (XBTUSD CURNCY) fell around 70% during 2018 and top altcoins like Ethereum (ETH BGN CURNCY), Ripple and Bitcoin Cash were also down around 80%, 85% and 95% respectively during last year. While it is difficult to pinpoint a single reason for this, a number of factors including, rising security concerns, increased scrutiny, failed institutional support and Bitcoin Cash hash wars have collectively contributed to this bearish sentiment in the cryptocurrency markets last year.

In this note we take a look at several top cryptocurrency and blockchain developments from last year, to see how they would fare going into 2019.

This is a collaborative report between Douglas Kim and myself.

5. Asia Gaming Preview 2019: Part Two Picks: Galaxy, MGM China and Nagacorp

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  • Global and Asia headwinds still rattle the gaming sector, but these three companies remain undervalued despite market sentiment.
  • Macau’s solid year end performance continues to defy projections, producing a 14% y/y GGR increase.
  • Galaxy will benefit disproportionately from the HKMB bridge traffic growth, MGM’s single digit market share will ramp up to double digits and Nagacorp may be the single most siloed gaming operator in all of Asia.

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