Category Archives: Analysis

Fast asset growth can mask weak margins

Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. – Edward Abbey A recent Financial Times (FT) article discussed the “great aviation disrupters of the 21st century” referring to Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways. The article was analysing deteriorating performance amongst these three once high performing carriers. Of particular interest…

Your health depends on a balanced healthcare playing field

It is my opinion that one of the greatest moves to support free market capitalism in the UAE is the cancellation for Abu Dhabi Thiqa insurance beneficiaries of the 20% co-pay for treatment at private healthcare facilities.  The 20% co-pay was introduced in June 2016 and at that time there was discussion on the effect…

A case study on reporting and transparency of company results

In April of this year I talked about  some of the puzzling moves at Shuaa Capital, one of the better known investment banks in the region which is headquartered and listed in Dubai. Last month Shuaa released their H1 2017 financial results and there was quite a bit of commentary around these results. This commentary…

Your idea of success is completely wrong

There is this idea that success is 100% correct decision making. For some people, they understand this to be 90% or even 80% correct decision making. This idea is completely wrong. A success rate of 56%, implying 44% incorrect decisions, is a great result. Here’s why. Let’s simplify things. Assume that you are the chief executive of a company…

Chelsea Football Club Innovates Financially

I just found out that Chelsea Football Club is applying ideas from financial leasing to their football player lending programme. I was shocked. The analysis is quite interesting. To me at least. The movie Moneyball, based on the book by the same name, showcased the use of financial ideas in sports, in this particular case baseball. There…

Your stop loss orders aren’t guaranteed to protect you

Speaking of trading, I want to talk about certain trading misconceptions. I recently talked about the liquidity trap that some investors were getting themselves into when investing in illiquid stocks. The issue is not an investment issue but a trading issue that can greatly affect the overall IRR. In discussions about this trading trap some…

The UAE’s banking paradox

In this section I look at the UAE banking system and come to some startling conclusions. It seems that banks are grabbing market share in a market with deteriorating margins and increased risks. Last week I took a look at Union National Bank’s Q2 financial results. The focus was to look beyond the headline numbers and try…

Dubai Financial Markets Investor Structure Improving

My foray into DFM’s historical data unearthed some interesting nuggets, both of which I consider positive. For the first half of this year, Arab investors, including from the GCC, withdrew a total of AED 1.6 billion from the market while UAE citizens invested a total of AED 421 million. Here is the first interesting bit, the total…

Analysing Abu Dhabi Investment Authority’s Performance

Last year I did a bit of complex analysis, mostly trying to estimate returns, to understand Adia’s 7.5% 30 year internal rate of return (IRR) ending in 2015. This year I will make it easier. Adia’s 2016 30-year IRR was reported as 6.9%. Did Adia perform poorly in 2016? It is difficult to tell as there…