Monthly Archives: August 2022

Panic Journal – Ukraine/Russia edition part 4: Power & Gas prices, Merit Order and other Ramblings


With European Gas and Electricity prices trading like “Meme stonks”, it is time for another “panic post”. As always, these posts are mostly for myself in order to better structure my thoughts and educate myself and should not be seen as any kind of advice.

Just to quickly revisit the last post from part 3. One of my predictions back then with regard to the economic impact (unfortunately) aged quite well:

One explanation that I have read is that Russia and Ukraine are only 2% of Global GDP, so a “loss” of these countries is no big deal. Personally, I do think that this is not a very useful number. Russian oil and gas is powering a significant amount of European (and Global) GDP. A supply disruption from Russian oil and gas would impact a much larger share of GDP globally and might make Covid-19 supply chain disruption like a toddler party.

Turmoil in European Gas and Electricity markets:

The fact that European Gas and electricity markets face absolute mayhem has now clearly reached the headlines. I have stolen two Charts from Twitter(@Schuldensuehner), one showing electricity prices until yesterday, and one natural gas:

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Book review: “The Alchemy of Air” – Thomas Hager

Alchemy 2

The subtitle of this book summarizes the content quite nicely: “A Jewish Genius, a Doomed Tycoon, and the Scientific Discovery That Fed the World but Fueled the Rise of Hitler”.

Synthetic fertilizer is one of these inventions that profoundly changed the path of humanity, but is being rarely talked about. Before synthetic fertilizer, farmers fertilized the” old way”, using animal manure,crop rotation etc. The problem with this approach is that the land can only yield so much net of what these animals need to eat themselves. The main issue is that plants need Nitrogen in a form that naturally is not so easy to come by and is used up if agriculture is intensified. Although Nitrogen is the most abundant element on Earth (78% of the Atmosphere), plants need Nitrogen in a different form and only a few of them (peas, Soy) can produce it themselves.

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Play Magnus – Take-over or take under ? –> Shout out for Experts on Norwegian Take over laws !!


Play Magnus is a stock some of my readers my remember. I initially invested (speculated) in October 2020 at 16,5 NOK per share, but sold quickly after my initial timing was really bad with a loss of around -20%.

I then bought again in November 2020 at a higher price (~17 NOKs) . I then managed to sell around 1/3 of the position close to the high at 38 NOKs per share. This year, i sold the remainder of the position shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine to manage portfolio volatility. Overall, I made 0,5% on the whole trade (pre taxes, pre costs) which clearly shows that my trading skills are not very good.

I still followed the stock as I liked the business, the management team and thought that at some point in time this could be interesting. Actually I just talked this Monday with a friend that at prices below 10 NOK, the stock looks interesting.

The stock chart shows how volatile the ride from Play Magnus was since its IPO:

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All Danish Shares part 10 – Nr. 91-100

And on we go after a short Summer Break with 10 more, randomly selected Danish stocks. This time, only one stock managed it onto the watch list. Only 79 more stocks to go to “finish off” Denmark from here. Enjoy !!

91. Erria 

Erria is a tiny, 9 mn EUR market cap offshore and shipping service company. They do have some business and made a very small profit in 2021. Nevertheless, this one seem to be too small to bother. “Pass”.

92. DSV A/S

DSV is a 38,3 bn EUR market cap ” transport and logistics company, offering transport services worldwide by road, air, sea, and train, with the bulk of its activities coming from its European trucking network and airfreight and sea freight forwarding businesses. ” One can actually see a lot of DSV trucks on German high- and freeways.

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Some links

Bireme Capital with a nice “post mortem” on their Tencent Music investment

Vitaly Katsenelson explains why he invested into Uber

Symmetry with a deep dive on GiG Media from Sweden

Interesting deep dive into bankrupt Crypto Fund Three Arrows Capital and its founders

Fred Wilson (AVC) summarizes his expectations for the Ethereum “Merge” towards Proof-of-Stake

Air Conditioning technology seems to be ripe for disruption

Timeless advice from Charlie Ellis for “Investing Amateurs”


Half year portfolio company review 2022 – Part 1.


Readers of my blog know that I am not a big fan of doing “sell side” style quarterly updates on my portfolio companies. Quite a few of my holdings don’t even report quarterly.

On the other hand, especially in times like this with fast moving fundamental changes, only looking at the holdings once a year is maybe not enough especially for those positions where my investment horizon is shorter and where I have not yet build up long term confidence.

Therefore I’ll start with half year updates in order to at least look at all my portfolio companies in a systematic way once during the year. In this installment I have selected the larger positions first with a few exceptions.

  1. Admiral

Admiral reported a solid set of numbers for the first 6 months. Net income is slightly ahead of my estimates with a run rate of around 1,34 GBP EPS vs. 1,2. Interestingly, no specific reserve strengthening seems to have been necessary. The stock market seems to have been positively surprised. Even after the recent recovery, the stock trades below 10x P/E for 2022. 

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Special Situation EXMAR NV (BE0003808251) – “Time to Tango ?”

Disclaimer: This is not investment Advice. Never trust any anonymous dude on the internet. DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH!!!

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Due to a formula error, I double counted the Net cash in the SOP calculation. Kindly check out the updated numbers ! Fair value is now ~14 EUR per share compared to 17 EUR. Still attractive but a little bit less then initially thought.



Due to time restrictions, I am not so active in special situations anymore, as the “return on time invested” is often not so great. However if a Special Situation basically “jumps at me”, I won’t say no. In this case some starts aligned: Two people I respect a lot (M. and C.) both independently mentioned this sitation.

In addition, I have a certain weakness for Belgian special situations since my SAPEC investment some years ago and at first sight, a lot of aspects “clicked” with what I am looking for in a special situation.

Just as a reminder for newer readers (and myself): A special situation in my definition is an investment where I am looking at shorter time horizons and where there are some kind of catalysts that could help to realize a significant undervaluation of a security. I have different requirements for special situations, for instance, the long term quality of the business or the management are less important.

The company:

Exmar Logo

Exmar NV is a Belgian holding company that comprises a couple of maritime activities. The major activities are LPG shipping, the operation of “maritime infrastructure” and other activities, among them interestingly a travel agency and a Yachting service.

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Some links

Rob Vinall has released his half year letter and has announced a big surprise: Andreas Lechner will join him officially as partner

Iceberg research published a quite entertaining “short attack” on Victoria Plc, a UK flooring roll-up

Great write-up from Augustusville on Millicom (TIGO)

Failed Chinese fast grocery delivery MissFresh is a great case study for similar businesses

Former Tech Champion Intel looks like a train wreck these days

ProfitHunting with a write-up on Aluminium Producer Norsk Hydro

A very interesting article about the obscure market in Listerine royalties