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Some links

Arte documentation (German) how Amazon disrupts publishing (h/t Blicklog).

Jet.com wants to attack Amazon. The founder has sold diapers.com to Amazon and worked for 2 years “inside”.

Tesla seems to be ready to produce batteries which will power your home

Pat Dorsey abandons somehow moats and is betting on managers instead. With his new German investment Aurelius AG, he might be betting on the wrong guy….(MS Deutschland bond scandal).

Highly recommended: Damodaran on the mess that is Petrobras

Ed Morse, one of the very few who predicted the drop in oil prices, expects much lower prices in the next few months

And finally, based on the “overwhelming demand”, a few pictures from a recent skiing trip (Austria, Warth/Lech):

IMG-20150212-00158

IMG-20150212-00160 (1)

Some links

Always a good read: Rob Vinall’s (RV Capital) annual letter featuring US based Credit Acceptance Corp. as major new investment

Don’t miss the new issue of Graham and Doddsville featuring among others Bill Ackman and Corsair Capital

Very good (long form) post on the future of television networks vs. Netflix, Amazon & Co

GMO’s Q4 letter contains an intersting part on oil, fracking etc. from Jeremy Grantham. He references this NYT article on oil by Daniel Yergin which is also a good read.

Some (Australian) perspectice on iron ore and China

AlphaVulture has a very unique perspective on Amaya, the new online poker power house. It could actually be a rather interesting short opportunity.

WertArt has discovered closed end Italian Real estate funds. Something to look at more closely…..

Some links

A great (long) article on Shell, drilling in the Arctic, proven oil reserves and some more.

The WertArt blog likes Italien closed end real estate funds

A few nice graphs on oil demand.Hint:It is lower than expected.

An interesting essay about the “out-of-control” art market

On the advantages of bottom up stock picking against top down market timing

Eddie Lampert (Sears) explains the trial and error nature of retail.

Nate from Oddball with a great post on he advantages of a consistent (and boring) style of investment

Some links

Eddy Elfenbein is out with his buy list for 2015

Looks like an interesting book: Forging Capitalism: Rogues, Swindlers, Frauds, and the Rise of Modern Finance plus a good list of investing books

Morgan Hounsel on what to avoid as role model

Very good story on Amazon’s Kindle and the future of books and Henry Blodget interviews Jeff Bezos

BMW’s growing troubles in China

A 3 month old but maybe still interesting post on Paragon Offshore drilling

Via market folly: Howard Marks on oil

Some links

Sohn conference SF 2014 notes with summaries of all the pitches plus Notes from the Sohn Canada conference with even more ideas

Great write up on C.H. Robinson from the Punchcard blog.

Some great bloggers “on air”: Nate from Oddball and David Merkel, Aleph

Damodaran on the HP break up and Amazon’s field of dream

Fall 2014 issue of Graham & Doddsville, featuring Wally Weitz

David Einhorn’s presentation for Sun Edison

Wertart Blog likes Steico, the German insulation manufacturer and Valueinvesting France is back with a post on Akka and SII

Some links

Damodaran tries to value Go Pro

David Merkel on the “interest rates must rise” mantra

Research Affiliates has a pretty cool new website where you can play around with expected returnas and volatilities of all major asset classes

Interesting post on the differences between Japanese and US stock valuations

A good summary of investment ideas presented from the “great investors” conference (GIBI) including Einhorn, Ackman, Price etc.

Recent ~40 minute interview with Warren Buffett

Short cuts: KAS Bank & Van Lanschot

Both Dutch Banks in my Portfolio, Van Lanschot and KAS Bank reported 6 month numbers last week.

Van Lanschot

Van Lanschot’s 6 month numbers were relatively solid in my opinion. 6 months EPS were 1,14 EUR per share, however this includes certain one-offs from asset sales. The underlying wealth manangement business seems to have stabilized. Net interest income is slightly going down but this is the result of shrinking their loan portfolios and was expected. The stock price reacted quite positively on those numbers:

What I didn’t like at all was the fact that within the comprehensive income, they burried a large increase in their pension reserves of around -82 mn before tax. This is around 10% of gross pension liabilities and wiped out all the profit of Van Lanschot in the first 6 months (comprehensive income was actually negative). Unfortunately, there is no explanation given. I Have sent an Email to IR in order to understadn this better.

KAS Bank

Similar to Van Lanschot, KAS Bank presented very solid 6M numbers including a big one time effect. They received 20 mn EUR as compensation for letting German dwpbank out of an outsourcing contract. Underlying profit without this one off increased nicely, although mostly due to cost savings than higher revenues.

Compared to Van Lanschot, the stock price did very little:

Maybe this has to to with a somehow muted outlook and the decission to fully reinvest the dwpbank payment. Nevrteheless, for me KAS Bank seems to be on a very good way and is rather a buy on weak days. I still think that KAS Bank should trade at least at book value which is around 14,50 EUR per share.

KAS Bank in my opinion is also a very good and cheap interest rate hedge. If short term rates rise, this will directly benefit KAS Bank’s result within a very short time frame. I do not have an active opinion on interest rates, but it is a nice “add on” to the investment case.

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