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PaperTrading

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Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Swaps* (*But Were Afraid To Ask)

Hello, dummies
It's your old pal, Fuzzy.
As I'm sure you've all noticed, a lot of the stuff that gets posted here is - to put it delicately - fucking ridiculous. More backwards-ass shit gets posted to wallstreetbets than you'd see on a Westboro Baptist community message board. I mean, I had a look at the daily thread yesterday and..... yeesh. I know, I know. We all make like the divine Laura Dern circa 1992 on the daily and stick our hands deep into this steaming heap of shit to find the nuggets of valuable and/or hilarious information within (thanks for reading, BTW). I agree. I love it just the way it is too. That's what makes WSB great.
What I'm getting at is that a lot of the stuff that gets posted here - notwithstanding it being funny or interesting - is just... wrong. Like, fucking your cousin wrong. And to be clear, I mean the fucking your *first* cousin kinda wrong, before my Southerners in the back get all het up (simmer down, Billy Ray - I know Mabel's twice removed on your grand-sister's side). Truly, I try to let it slide. I do my bit to try and put you on the right path. Most of the time, I sleep easy no matter how badly I've seen someone explain what a bank liquidity crisis is. But out of all of those tens of thousands of misguided, autistic attempts at understanding the world of high finance, one thing gets so consistently - so *emphatically* - fucked up and misunderstood by you retards that last night I felt obligated at the end of a long work day to pull together this edition of Finance with Fuzzy just for you. It's so serious I'm not even going to make a u/pokimane gag. Have you guessed what it is yet? Here's a clue. It's in the title of the post.
That's right, friends. Today in the neighborhood we're going to talk all about hedging in financial markets - spots, swaps, collars, forwards, CDS, synthetic CDOs, all that fun shit. Don't worry; I'm going to explain what all the scary words mean and how they impact your OTM RH positions along the way.
We're going to break it down like this. (1) "What's a hedge, Fuzzy?" (2) Common Hedging Strategies and (3) All About ISDAs and Credit Default Swaps.
Before we begin. For the nerds and JV traders in the back (and anyone else who needs to hear this up front) - I am simplifying these descriptions for the purposes of this post. I am also obviously not going to try and cover every exotic form of hedge under the sun or give a detailed summation of what caused the financial crisis. If you are interested in something specific ask a question, but don't try and impress me with your Investopedia skills or technical points I didn't cover; I will just be forced to flex my years of IRL experience on you in the comments and you'll look like a big dummy.
TL;DR? Fuck you. There is no TL;DR. You've come this far already. What's a few more paragraphs? Put down the Cheetos and try to concentrate for the next 5-7 minutes. You'll learn something, and I promise I'll be gentle.
Ready? Let's get started.
1. The Tao of Risk: Hedging as a Way of Life
The simplest way to characterize what a hedge 'is' is to imagine every action having a binary outcome. One is bad, one is good. Red lines, green lines; uppie, downie. With me so far? Good. A 'hedge' is simply the employment of a strategy to mitigate the effect of your action having the wrong binary outcome. You wanted X, but you got Z! Frowny face. A hedge strategy introduces a third outcome. If you hedged against the possibility of Z happening, then you can wind up with Y instead. Not as good as X, but not as bad as Z. The technical definition I like to give my idiot juniors is as follows:
Utilization of a defensive strategy to mitigate risk, at a fraction of the cost to capital of the risk itself.
Congratulations. You just finished Hedging 101. "But Fuzzy, that's easy! I just sold a naked call against my 95% OTM put! I'm adequately hedged!". Spoiler alert: you're not (although good work on executing a collar, which I describe below). What I'm talking about here is what would be referred to as a 'perfect hedge'; a binary outcome where downside is totally mitigated by a risk management strategy. That's not how it works IRL. Pay attention; this is the tricky part.
You can't take a single position and conclude that you're adequately hedged because risks are fluid, not static. So you need to constantly adjust your position in order to maximize the value of the hedge and insure your position. You also need to consider exposure to more than one category of risk. There are micro (specific exposure) risks, and macro (trend exposure) risks, and both need to factor into the hedge calculus.
That's why, in the real world, the value of hedging depends entirely on the design of the hedging strategy itself. Here, when we say "value" of the hedge, we're not talking about cash money - we're talking about the intrinsic value of the hedge relative to the the risk profile of your underlying exposure. To achieve this, people hedge dynamically. In wallstreetbets terms, this means that as the value of your position changes, you need to change your hedges too. The idea is to efficiently and continuously distribute and rebalance risk across different states and periods, taking value from states in which the marginal cost of the hedge is low and putting it back into states where marginal cost of the hedge is high, until the shadow value of your underlying exposure is equalized across your positions. The punchline, I guess, is that one static position is a hedge in the same way that the finger paintings you make for your wife's boyfriend are art - it's technically correct, but you're only playing yourself by believing it.
Anyway. Obviously doing this as a small potatoes trader is hard but it's worth taking into account. Enough basic shit. So how does this work in markets?
2. A Hedging Taxonomy
The best place to start here is a practical question. What does a business need to hedge against? Think about the specific risk that an individual business faces. These are legion, so I'm just going to list a few of the key ones that apply to most corporates. (1) You have commodity risk for the shit you buy or the shit you use. (2) You have currency risk for the money you borrow. (3) You have rate risk on the debt you carry. (4) You have offtake risk for the shit you sell. Complicated, right? To help address the many and varied ways that shit can go wrong in a sophisticated market, smart operators like yours truly have devised a whole bundle of different instruments which can help you manage the risk. I might write about some of the more complicated ones in a later post if people are interested (CDO/CLOs, strip/stack hedges and bond swaps with option toggles come to mind) but let's stick to the basics for now.
(i) Swaps
A swap is one of the most common forms of hedge instrument, and they're used by pretty much everyone that can afford them. The language is complicated but the concept isn't, so pay attention and you'll be fine. This is the most important part of this section so it'll be the longest one.
Swaps are derivative contracts with two counterparties (before you ask, you can't trade 'em on an exchange - they're OTC instruments only). They're used to exchange one cash flow for another cash flow of equal expected value; doing this allows you to take speculative positions on certain financial prices or to alter the cash flows of existing assets or liabilities within a business. "Wait, Fuzz; slow down! What do you mean sets of cash flows?". Fear not, little autist. Ol' Fuzz has you covered.
The cash flows I'm talking about are referred to in swap-land as 'legs'. One leg is fixed - a set payment that's the same every time it gets paid - and the other is variable - it fluctuates (typically indexed off the price of the underlying risk that you are speculating on / protecting against). You set it up at the start so that they're notionally equal and the two legs net off; so at open, the swap is a zero NPV instrument. Here's where the fun starts. If the price that you based the variable leg of the swap on changes, the value of the swap will shift; the party on the wrong side of the move ponies up via the variable payment. It's a zero sum game.
I'll give you an example using the most vanilla swap around; an interest rate trade. Here's how it works. You borrow money from a bank, and they charge you a rate of interest. You lock the rate up front, because you're smart like that. But then - quelle surprise! - the rate gets better after you borrow. Now you're bagholding to the tune of, I don't know, 5 bps. Doesn't sound like much but on a billion dollar loan that's a lot of money (a classic example of the kind of 'small, deep hole' that's terrible for profits). Now, if you had a swap contract on the rate before you entered the trade, you're set; if the rate goes down, you get a payment under the swap. If it goes up, whatever payment you're making to the bank is netted off by the fact that you're borrowing at a sub-market rate. Win-win! Or, at least, Lose Less / Lose Less. That's the name of the game in hedging.
There are many different kinds of swaps, some of which are pretty exotic; but they're all different variations on the same theme. If your business has exposure to something which fluctuates in price, you trade swaps to hedge against the fluctuation. The valuation of swaps is also super interesting but I guarantee you that 99% of you won't understand it so I'm not going to try and explain it here although I encourage you to google it if you're interested.
Because they're OTC, none of them are filed publicly. Someeeeeetimes you see an ISDA (dsicussed below) but the confirms themselves (the individual swaps) are not filed. You can usually read about the hedging strategy in a 10-K, though. For what it's worth, most modern credit agreements ban speculative hedging. Top tip: This is occasionally something worth checking in credit agreements when you invest in businesses that are debt issuers - being able to do this increases the risk profile significantly and is particularly important in times of economic volatility (ctrl+f "non-speculative" in the credit agreement to be sure).
(ii) Forwards
A forward is a contract made today for the future delivery of an asset at a pre-agreed price. That's it. "But Fuzzy! That sounds just like a futures contract!". I know. Confusing, right? Just like a futures trade, forwards are generally used in commodity or forex land to protect against price fluctuations. The differences between forwards and futures are small but significant. I'm not going to go into super boring detail because I don't think many of you are commodities traders but it is still an important thing to understand even if you're just an RH jockey, so stick with me.
Just like swaps, forwards are OTC contracts - they're not publicly traded. This is distinct from futures, which are traded on exchanges (see The Ballad Of Big Dick Vick for some more color on this). In a forward, no money changes hands until the maturity date of the contract when delivery and receipt are carried out; price and quantity are locked in from day 1. As you now know having read about BDV, futures are marked to market daily, and normally people close them out with synthetic settlement using an inverse position. They're also liquid, and that makes them easier to unwind or close out in case shit goes sideways.
People use forwards when they absolutely have to get rid of the thing they made (or take delivery of the thing they need). If you're a miner, or a farmer, you use this shit to make sure that at the end of the production cycle, you can get rid of the shit you made (and you won't get fucked by someone taking cash settlement over delivery). If you're a buyer, you use them to guarantee that you'll get whatever the shit is that you'll need at a price agreed in advance. Because they're OTC, you can also exactly tailor them to the requirements of your particular circumstances.
These contracts are incredibly byzantine (and there are even crazier synthetic forwards you can see in money markets for the true degenerate fund managers). In my experience, only Texan oilfield magnates, commodities traders, and the weirdo forex crowd fuck with them. I (i) do not own a 10 gallon hat or a novelty size belt buckle (ii) do not wake up in the middle of the night freaking out about the price of pork fat and (iii) love greenbacks too much to care about other countries' monopoly money, so I don't fuck with them.
(iii) Collars
No, not the kind your wife is encouraging you to wear try out to 'spice things up' in the bedroom during quarantine. Collars are actually the hedging strategy most applicable to WSB. Collars deal with options! Hooray!
To execute a basic collar (also called a wrapper by tea-drinking Brits and people from the Antipodes), you buy an out of the money put while simultaneously writing a covered call on the same equity. The put protects your position against price drops and writing the call produces income that offsets the put premium. Doing this limits your tendies (you can only profit up to the strike price of the call) but also writes down your risk. If you screen large volume trades with a VOL/OI of more than 3 or 4x (and they're not bullshit biotech stocks), you can sometimes see these being constructed in real time as hedge funds protect themselves on their shorts.
(3) All About ISDAs, CDS and Synthetic CDOs
You may have heard about the mythical ISDA. Much like an indenture (discussed in my post on $F), it's a magic legal machine that lets you build swaps via trade confirms with a willing counterparty. They are very complicated legal documents and you need to be a true expert to fuck with them. Fortunately, I am, so I do. They're made of two parts; a Master (which is a form agreement that's always the same) and a Schedule (which amends the Master to include your specific terms). They are also the engine behind just about every major credit crunch of the last 10+ years.
First - a brief explainer. An ISDA is a not in and of itself a hedge - it's an umbrella contract that governs the terms of your swaps, which you use to construct your hedge position. You can trade commodities, forex, rates, whatever, all under the same ISDA.
Let me explain. Remember when we talked about swaps? Right. So. You can trade swaps on just about anything. In the late 90s and early 2000s, people had the smart idea of using other people's debt and or credit ratings as the variable leg of swap documentation. These are called credit default swaps. I was actually starting out at a bank during this time and, I gotta tell you, the only thing I can compare people's enthusiasm for this shit to was that moment in your early teens when you discover jerking off. Except, unlike your bathroom bound shame sessions to Mom's Sears catalogue, every single person you know felt that way too; and they're all doing it at once. It was a fiscal circlejerk of epic proportions, and the financial crisis was the inevitable bukkake finish. WSB autism is absolutely no comparison for the enthusiasm people had during this time for lighting each other's money on fire.
Here's how it works. You pick a company. Any company. Maybe even your own! And then you write a swap. In the swap, you define "Credit Event" with respect to that company's debt as the variable leg . And you write in... whatever you want. A ratings downgrade, default under the docs, failure to meet a leverage ratio or FCCR for a certain testing period... whatever. Now, this started out as a hedge position, just like we discussed above. The purest of intentions, of course. But then people realized - if bad shit happens, you make money. And banks... don't like calling in loans or forcing bankruptcies. Can you smell what the moral hazard is cooking?
Enter synthetic CDOs. CDOs are basically pools of asset backed securities that invest in debt (loans or bonds). They've been around for a minute but they got famous in the 2000s because a shitload of them containing subprime mortgage debt went belly up in 2008. This got a lot of publicity because a lot of sad looking rednecks got foreclosed on and were interviewed on CNBC. "OH!", the people cried. "Look at those big bad bankers buying up subprime loans! They caused this!". Wrong answer, America. The debt wasn't the problem. What a lot of people don't realize is that the real meat of the problem was not in regular way CDOs investing in bundles of shit mortgage debts in synthetic CDOs investing in CDS predicated on that debt. They're synthetic because they don't have a stake in the actual underlying debt; just the instruments riding on the coattails. The reason these are so popular (and remain so) is that smart structured attorneys and bankers like your faithful correspondent realized that an even more profitable and efficient way of building high yield products with limited downside was investing in instruments that profit from failure of debt and in instruments that rely on that debt and then hedging that exposure with other CDS instruments in paired trades, and on and on up the chain. The problem with doing this was that everyone wound up exposed to everybody else's books as a result, and when one went tits up, everybody did. Hence, recession, Basel III, etc. Thanks, Obama.
Heavy investment in CDS can also have a warping effect on the price of debt (something else that happened during the pre-financial crisis years and is starting to happen again now). This happens in three different ways. (1) Investors who previously were long on the debt hedge their position by selling CDS protection on the underlying, putting downward pressure on the debt price. (2) Investors who previously shorted the debt switch to buying CDS protection because the relatively illiquid debt (partic. when its a bond) trades at a discount below par compared to the CDS. The resulting reduction in short selling puts upward pressure on the bond price. (3) The delta in price and actual value of the debt tempts some investors to become NBTs (neg basis traders) who long the debt and purchase CDS protection. If traders can't take leverage, nothing happens to the price of the debt. If basis traders can take leverage (which is nearly always the case because they're holding a hedged position), they can push up or depress the debt price, goosing swap premiums etc. Anyway. Enough technical details.
I could keep going. This is a fascinating topic that is very poorly understood and explained, mainly because the people that caused it all still work on the street and use the same tactics today (it's also terribly taught at business schools because none of the teachers were actually around to see how this played out live). But it relates to the topic of today's lesson, so I thought I'd include it here.
Work depending, I'll be back next week with a covenant breakdown. Most upvoted ticker gets the post.
*EDIT 1\* In a total blowout, $PLAY won. So it's D&B time next week. Post will drop Monday at market open.
submitted by fuzzyblankeet to wallstreetbets [link] [comments]

Inflation, Gauge Symmetry, and the big Guh.

Inflation, Gauge Symmetry, and the big Guh.
Sup retards, back at it with the DD/macro.
scroll to the rain man stuff after the crayons if you don't care about the why or how.
TLDR:
June 19 $250 SPY puts
May 20 $4 USO puts
SPY under 150 by January next year.

So I was going about my business, trying to not $ROPE myself as my sweet tendies I made during the waterfall of March have evaporated, however, I heard that the fed was adding another $2.3T in monopoly money to the bankers pile specifically to help facilitate these loan programs being rolled out.
In short, they are backing these dumb-ass, zero recourse, federally mandated, loans with printing press money.
But cumguzzler OP, your title is about inflation and guage simp--try, why are you talking about the fed #ban.
Well, when you print money it is an inflationary action in theory. Let me explain.

EDUMACATION TIME

What is inflation? Inflation is the sustained increase in the price level in goods and services. Inflation is derived from a general price index, and in the US, from the consumer price index. Knowing that inflation is an outcome, not a set policy is very important. Inflation is a measurement after the fact, much like your technical astrology indicators. (**ps, use order flow in your TA you wizards**)
HOWEVER, the actual act of buying bundles of these loans does not directly impact inflation.
Now what is Gauge symmetry? Gauge symmetry is a function of math and theoretical physics that can be applied to finance models. What a gauge is, is a measurement. Gauge symmetry is when the underlying variable of something changes, however, we do not observe that variable change.
A great example of this is if you and a friend are moving, and your friend is holding a box of tendies. The box is a cube, equal on all sides. If you turn away for a moment and she rotates the cube 90 degrees while you are not looking, and you look back - you would have no idea the cube was rotated. There was a very real change in the position of the cube in relation to space-time. Your friend acted on it. But you didn't measure it, in fact it would be impossible for you to determine if the box was changed at all if you weren't observing it. That movement of the box where you didn't observe it, is called gauge transformation and happens literally more then JPow fucks my mom in quantum physics. The object observably exactly the same even though it is not physically the same. The act of it existing as an observably the same box is gauge symmetry - it is by observation symmetrical.
Why this is important, is that fiat money doesn't have any absolute meaning. The value of $1 is arbitrary. furthermore, Inflation is a Guage symmetry. Inflation has no real impact on the real value of the underlying goods and services, but rather serves as a metric to measure the shift of value across a timeline.
When JPow starts pluggin' your mom along with all these balance sheets, there is a gauge symmetry event happening. The money he is printing is entering the system (gauge transformation), this isn't an issue if all pricing against the USD get shifted equally, however, the market is not accounting for this money because we don't have real-time data on what is being applied where, we only get a slow drip in terms of weekly and monthly reports. WE HAVE OUR EYES CLOSED. This is a gauge symmetry event.
When this happens in real terms, the market becomes dislocated from its real value price. Well how do we know there is a dislocation?
"YoU JuSt SaId tHe UnDeRlYiNg VaLuE iZ AbStRaCkKt HuRr QE aNd MaRkEtS Iz ComPlEx ReAd A TeXtBuK AbOuT FrAcTiOnAl ReSErVe BanKiNg YoU NeRd." - **anyone rationalizing the bull run**
We can look at Forex you fish.
USD lives in a bubble. The Yen is in a bubble, the RMB is in a bubble, and we exchange with each other. the Jap central bank has little effect on the CPI index (cost of goods and services) of the US. If the Yen prints a gazillion dollars, the USD is not effected EXCEPT in its exchange rate. YEN:USD would see a sizeable differential the more Yen is printed and vise-versa.
So NOW instead of JPow getting away with plowing your girlfriend, we can catch the bitch.
Instead of looking at the gauge transformation at face value and then giving up because it is symmetrical output, we can look and see if this gauge symmetry carries over to the foreign exchange market. Well guess what happens when you look at the value of the USD against foreign currencies.
Consistent uncertainty during the fed operations. Meaning the market of banks that partake in FX swaps don't know where to spot the USD. Generally a very very bad thing.
Value of the USD to Euro 2017-2020, notice the slow decline, then the chaos at the end
Above is the value of the USD to Euro, notice the sloping decline. The dollar has been growing weaker since 2017. At the end you see our present issues, lets #ENHANCE
USD to Euro, January 2020 to Present
When you see those spikes, those are days in between Fed action. The value of the US goes up when the fed doesn't print because people aren't spending. Non-spending is a deflationary event and has a direct impact on the CPI. However, each drop when you line up the dates, was a date of Fed spending.
Lets look outside of the Eurozone.

This is the RMB to USD. Yes China manipulates, but look at the end of the graph
China manipulated rates early in 2018 however you can see the steady incline upward towards the of 2018. More specifically, lets look at it since December.
RMB value against USD, January to Now
You Can see the Chinese RMB has been gaining steam since December, even with Chinese production falling off a cliff all through this pandemic.

What this rain man level autism means for the economy.

Looking across the board at Forex we can see the USD having a schizo panic attack jumping up and down like me at a mathematics lecture.
But what does all this gauge BDSM and shit have to do with the markets? Well it shows 1 of 3 things are occuring.
  1. The fed is printing money to offset deflationary pressures of the economy being fuk for the past month, and therefore all this printing is offset by the loss of liquidity throughout the system and we are all retared. (SECRET: THIS IS WHAT ALL THE INSTITUTIONS THINK IS HAPPENING AND WE WILL ALL BE FINE.)
  2. The deflationary event is overplayed, and JPow just is nailing his coffin together. This would result in long term hyperinflation similiar to the Weimar republic. The only hedge against this is to load up on strong currency that do not manipulate and have enough distance from US markets that they can have some safety (ironically the Ruble is the safest currency. Low link to the USD and not influenced by China, and on discount rn)
  3. The gauge transformation is actually not as severe as they are blurting out, the fed does not pass go, does not actually print 10 Trillion dollars, and this was all a marketing ploy to not get Trump involved and prop markets. In this case, the real deflationary event is real, the USD red rockets harder then my cock and we end up market-wise at a very high asset price in relation to real value. This one is most dangerous because it increases the real value of debt and has mass dislocation between real value and market cap. You took debt at a fixed interest rate and a fixed principal, this would cause the biggest GUH in history when all of a sudden you are $100 million in debt and your revenue was $50 million a year ago, but now is only $25 million. That $100 million in debt is still $100 million and now you have a credit crisis because past values of money were inflated. This spirals into a large scale solvency crisis of any company utilizing current growth methodology (levering up to your tits in debt)
In only 1 of these 3 scenarios do we see any sort of "good" outcome? That would be the offset of deflationary pressures.
It is very important to understand that inflation is only a measurement, and itself does not denote value of real goods and services.

Option 1 of a print fiesta that works (something similar to 1981-82) seems possible. A similar environment and reaction occured in the early 80s when the government brute-forced a bull run using these same offset theorems but in that situation, Volker at the fed had interest rates at 21.5% and had 20% to come down to stimulate the inflationary reaction.
Long term this would just lever up more debt and expanded the real wealth gap over time because we kicked the can down the road another 15 years. If that happens again socioeconomically I don't see capitalism surviving (yeah Im on my high horse get over it). This is the option that many fiscal policymakers and talking heads abide by and the reason why the markets are green. However, it is really just kicking it down the road and expanding real wealth inequality. You think Bernie Sanders is bad, wait until homes cost $3million dollars in Kentucky and AOC Jr comes around.

If we get option 2, we see hyperinflation and we turn into Zimbabwe, which is great, I've always wanted to see Africa. Long term we could push interest rate back to 1980 Volker levels and slowly revalue the US against real value commodities already pegged to the USD like oil. This would be a short term shock but because of international reliance on the USD system, we could slowly de-lever this inflation over 2-3 years and be back to normal capacity although the markets would blow their O-ring. Recession yes, but no long term depression.

If we get option 3, the worst long term option in my opinion, basically any company with any revolver line drawn down when that hits is going to go under, private equity won't touch it with a 20ft stick because cashflows couldn't possibly handle the debt on the end of the lever, and we see mass long term unemployment. The only way out of the spiral of option three is inflationary pressure from the fed+government, but because we are already so far down the rabbit hole at the current moment there's no fucking way we could print another 10 trillion. USD treasuries couldn't handle the guh and we would essentially be functionally forced into a long term (7-10 year) depression because nothing anyone could do would delever the value of the dollar. This would result in the long term collapse of the United States as a world power and would render us like Russia in 1991.

Thank you for coming to my ted talk.
submitted by TaxationIsTh3ft to wallstreetbets [link] [comments]

Accelerating Profits system - Tradeology

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Conclusion

Accelerating profits system is a great digital product than others you find from Tradeology. By concluding this Accelerating Profits review, the system helps you to learn quickly about Forex trading and provides everything that you need to make a perfect trade decision. By using this system both newbie and professional traders will be able to make fast and appropriate trading decisions.
You will also get guidance and assistance from the expert traders which allows you for a secure trading. The whole system is very effective and is available at an affordable price.
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Forex Overview

Each day, millions of trades are made in a currency exchange market called Forex. The word "Forex" directly stems off of the beginning of two words - "foreign" and "exchange". Unlike other trading systems such as the stock market, Forex does not involve the trading of any goods, physical or representative. Instead, Forex operates through buying, selling, and trading between the currencies of various economies from around the world. Because the Forex market is truly a global trading system, trades are made 24 hours a day, five days a week. In addition, Forex is not bound by any one control agency, which means that Forex is the only true free market economic trading system available today. By leaving the exchange rates out of any one group's hands, it is much more difficult to even attempt to manipulate or corner the currency market. With all of the advantages associated with the Forex system, and the global range of participation, the Forex market is the largest market in the entire world. Anywhere between 1 trillion and 1.5 trillion equivalent United States dollars are traded on the Forex market each and every day.
Forex operates mainly on the concept of "free-floating" currencies; this can be explained best as currencies that are not backed by specific materials such as gold or silver. Prior to 1971, a market such as Forex would not work because of the international "Bretton Woods" agreement. This agreement stipulated that all involved economies would strive to hold the value of their currencies close to the value of the US dollar, which in turn was held to the value of gold. In 1971, the Bretton Woods agreement was abandoned. The United States had run a huge deficit during the Vietnam Conflict, and began printing out more paper currency than they could back with gold, resulting in a relatively high level of inflation. By 1976, every major currency worldwide had left the system established under the Bretton Woods agreement, and had changed into a free-floating system of currency. This free-floating system meant that each country's currency could have vastly different values that fluctuated based on how the country's economy was faring at that time.
Because each currency fluctuates independently, it is possible to make a profit from the changes in currency value. For example, 1 Euro used to be worth about 0.86 US dollars. Shortly thereafter, 1 Euro was worth about 1.08 US dollars. Those who bought Euros at 86 cents and sold them at 1.08 US dollars were able to make 22 cents profit off of each Euro - this could equate to hundreds of millions in profits for those who were deeply rooted in the Euro. Everything in the Forex market is hanging on the exchange rate of various currencies. Sadly, very few people realize that the exchange rates they see on the news and read about in the newspapers each day could possibly be able to work towards profits on their behalf, even if they were just to make a small investment. The Euro and the US dollar are probably the two most well-known currencies that are used in the Forex market, and therefore they are two of the most widely traded in the Forex market. In addition to the two "kings of currency", there are a few other currencies that have fairly strong reputation for Forex trading. The Australian Dollar, the Japanese Yen, the Canadian Dollar, and the New Zealand Dollar are all staple currencies used by established Forex traders. However, it is important to note that on most Forex services, you won't see the full name of a currency written out. Each currency has it's own symbol, just as companies involved in the stock market have their own symbol based off of the name of their company. Some of the important currency symbols to know are:
USD - United States Dollar
EUR - The Euro
CAD - The Canadian Dollar
AUD - The Australian Dollar
JPY - The Japanese Yen
NZD - The New Zealand Dollar
Although the symbols may be confusing at first, you'll get used to them after a while. Remember that each currency's symbol is logically formed from the name of the currency, usually in some form of acronym. With a little practice, you'll be able to determine most currency codes without even having to look them up.
Some of the richest people in the world have Forex as a large part of their investment portfolio. Warren Buffet, the world's richest man, has over $20 Billion invested in various currencies on the Forex market. His revenue portfolio usually includes well over one-hundred million dollars in profit from Forex trades each quartile. George Soros is another big name in the field of currency trading - it is believed that he made over $1 billion in profit from a single day of trading in 1992! Although those types of trades are very rare, he was still able to amass over $7 Billion from three decades of trading on the Forex market. The strategy of George Soros also goes to show that you don't have to be too risky to make profits on Forex - his conservative strategy involves withdrawing large portions of his profits from the market, even when the trend of his various investments seems to still be correlating upward.
Thankfully, you don't have to invest millions of dollars to make a profit on Forex. Many people have recorded their success with initial investments of anywhere from $10,000 to as little as $100 for an initial investment. This wide range of economic requirements makes Forex an attractive venue for trading among all classes, from those well entrenched in the lower rungs of the middle class, all the way up to the richest people alive on the planet. For those on the lower end of the spectrum, access to the Forex market is a fairly recent innovation. Within the past decades, various companies began offering a system that is friendlier to the average person, allowing the smaller initial investments and greater flexibility that is seen in the market today. Now, no matter what economic position you are in, you can get started. Although it's possible to jump right in and start investing, it's best that you make sure you have a better understanding of the ins and outs of Forex trading before you get started.
The world of Forex is one that can be both profitable and exciting, but in order to make Forex work for you it is important that you know how the system works. Like most lucrative activities, to become a Forex pro you need a lot of practice. There are many websites that offer exactly this, the simulated practice of Foreign Exchange.
The services provided by online practice sites differ from site to site, so it is always a good idea to make sure you know all of the details of the site you are about to use. For example, there are several online brokers who will offer a practice account for a period of several weeks, then terminate it and start you on a live account, which means you may end up using your own money before you are ready to. It's always a good idea to find a site that offers an unlimited practice account. Having a practice account allows you to learn the ways of the trade with no risk at all. Continuing to use the practice account while you use a live account is also a beneficial tool for even the most seasoned Forex traders. The use of a no risk practice account enables you to try out new trading strategies and tread into unknown waters. If the strategy works, you know that you can now implement that strategy into your real account. If the strategy fails, you know to refrain from the use of that strategy without the loss of any actual money.
Of course, simply using a no risk account won't get you anywhere. In order to make money with Forex, you need to put your own money in. Obviously, it would be ridiculous to travel to other countries to purchase and sell different currencies, so there are many websites that you can use to digitally trade your money. Almost all online brokerage systems have different features to offer you so you have to do the research to find out which site you wish to create an account with. All brokers will require specific information of you to create your account. The information they will need from you includes information required to communicate with you, including your name, mailing address, telephone number, e-mail address. They also require information needed to identify who you are, including your Social Security number, Passport number or Tax Identification number. It is required by law that they have this information, so they can prevent fraudulent trading. They may also collect various personal information when you open an account, including gender, birth date, occupation, and employment status.
Now that you have practiced trading currency and set up your live account, it is time to truly enter this profitable yet risky world. To make money with Forex, you do need to have money to begin with. It is possible to trade with very small amounts of money, but this will also lead to very small profits. As is with many other exchange systems, high payouts will only come with high risks. You can't expect to start getting millions as soon as you put money in to the market, but you can't expect to make any money at all if you don't put in at least a 3-digit value.
As most Forex brokers will warn you, you can loose money in the foreign exchange market, so don't put your life savings into any one trade. Always trade with money that you'd be able to survive without. This will ensure that if you get a bad trade and loose a lot of money, you wont end up on the streets, and you'll be able to make a comeback in the future.
So how does trading currency work? Logically, trades always come in pairs. For example, a common trade would be the United States Dollar to the Japanese Yen. This is expressed as USD/JPY. The way to quote a trade is kind of tricky, but with practice it becomes as natural as reading your native language. In a Forex quote, the first currency in the list (IE: USD in USD/JPY) is the base currency, and in the quote the base is always one. This means if (hypothetically of course) One USD was worth Two JPY, that the quote would be expressed as 1/2.
When trading in Forex, we use pips. Pip is an acronym for "percentage in point". A pip a certain decimal place in a number compared to the same decimal place in another number. Using pips, we track the gains and losses of a currencies value compared to another's. Let's take a look at an example. Say a value is written as 1.0001/1.0004. This would indicate a 3-pip spread, because of the 3 number difference in the fourth decimal place. Almost all currency pairs go to the fourth decimal place. The only currency pair that doesn't is that of the USD/JPY, and it goes to the second decimal place. For example, a USD/JPY quote with a 3-point spread would look like this: 1.01/1.04.
A very common aspect to the foreign exchange is leverage. Leverage trading, also known as trading on margin, is a way to amplify the amount of money you are making. When you use leverage trading, you borrow a certain amount of money from your broker and use that to make your transaction. This allows you to trade with more money then you are actually spending, meaning you can make higher profits than you would normally be able to make.
There are risks associated with leverage trading. If you increase the amount of money you are using, if a trade goes bad, then you'll loose more money than you'd usually loose. The risks are worth it though, because a big win on margin means a huge payout. As mentioned before, it is definitely a wise idea to try out leverage trading on your practice account before you use it excessively on your live account, so you can get a feel for the way it works.
Now that you're an expert on the way Forex trading works there are some things about foreign exchange that you should know. Forex is just like the stock market in that there are many benefits and risks, but if you are going to invest your time and personal money into this system, you should be fully aware of all of the factors that may change your decision to invest in the currency market.
Generally speaking, Forex is a difficult subject to opinionate on, because of the different factors that may alter the currency over the years. "Supply and demand" is a major issue affecting the Forex organization, because the world is in constant variable to change, one significant product being oil. Usually the currency of all the nations around the globe is described as a huge "melting pot", because of the fact that all of the interchanging controversy, political affairs, national disputes, and possibly war conflicts, all mixed together as a whole, altering the nature of Forex every second! Although problems such as supply and demand, and the whole "melting pot" issue, there are a numerous amount of pros to Forex; one being benefited profit from long term stock. Because of the positive aspects of Forex, the percentage of the use of electronic trading in the FX market (shortened from Foreign Exchange) increased by 7% from 2005 to 2008. Despite the controversial realm of Forex, it is still recognized today by many, and is still popular amongst many of the nations in the world.
Of all the organizations that recognize Forex, most of them practice fiscal policy, and monetary policy. Both policies are dependent on the nation's outlook on economics, and their standards set. The government's budget deficits, or surpluses against the country, is widely affected by the country's economic status of trade, and may critically inflict the nation's currency. Another factor for the nation's deficit spending is what the nation already has, in terms of necessities for the citizens, and the society. The more the country already has, prior to trade, the greater the budget for other demands from the people, such as technology, innovations in existing products, etc. Although a country may have an abundance in necessities, greed may hinder the nation's economic status, by changing government official's wants, to want "unnecessary" products, therefore ruining or "wasting" the country's money. This negative trend may lead to the country's doom, and hurt the Forex's reputation for positive change. There are some countries which hold more of a product (such as oil stated above), the Middle East dominating that sector in the circle of trade; Since the Middle East suffers much poverty, as a result of deficit spending, and lack of other resources, they demand for a higher price in oil, to maintain their economic status. This process is known as the "flights to quality", and is practiced by many countries, wanting to survive in the trading network that exists today. Interest rate, and leveraged financing, is due to the inflations that occur in many parts of the world from one point to another. Inflations wear down purchasing abilities, causing the currency to fall with it. In some cases, a country may observe the trends that it takes, and beforehand, take action to avoid any mishaps that had been experienced before. Sometimes, the country will buy more of a product, or sell more of a product, otherwise known as "overbought" or "oversold". This may aid in the country's future, or devastatingly hurt the country, because of lack of thought, as a result of fraud logic. "What started out as a market for professionals is now attracting traders from all over the world and of all experience levels" is part of a letter of the chairman of Forex, and it is completely true. There is even a 30-day trial for Forex online if anyone interested in Forex wants to learn more about the company. Although affected by leveraged financing, interest rate, and causing an increase or decrease in exchange rate risks, Forex can be a great way for quick profits and integrated economy for the country. In investing in stocks that are most likely to be successful for a long period of time, and researching these companies for more reference and background that you need to know, Forex can aid in these fields. In the Forex market of different levels of access, the inter-bank market composed of the largest investment bank firm, which contains "spreads", which are divided into bid, and ask prices. Large amounts of transactions, with large amounts traded, and requesting a small amount of difference is known as a better spread, which is preferred by many investors.
In comparison to the Stock Market, the Forex organization is just as stable, and safe, if the users on it are aware, and decently knowledgeable about the topic. The Stock Market Crash in 1929 was a result of lack of thinking, because of the extremely cheap shares, replacing the shares originally costing thousands of dollars. When the Stock Market crashed, and the New Deal was proposed by Franklin D. Roosevelt, leveraged finance was present, and utilized to stabilize the economy at the time. The United States was extremely wealthy and prosperous in the 20s (prior to the depression), and had not realized what could happen as a result of carelessness in spending. This is a result of deficit spending, and how it could damage a society, in less than a decade! When joining Forex, keep in mind that with the possible positive outcomes, and negative ones, there are obstacles that must be faced to become successful.
As a result of many catastrophic events, such as the Great Depression that occurred in the United States, people investing in the Forex organization keep in mind of the dangers, and rewards that may come upon them in a certain point in time. With more work and consideration outputted by a person, or organization in the Forex program will there be more signs of prosperity as a result. In relation to individuals such as Warren Buffet and George Soros, they have become successful through experience, and determination through many programs, and research, for security purposes. Reserving some of the most riches people in the world, to others that are just test driving it to discover its potential for them, Forex is a broad topic that experiences different people everyday. Forex may not help everyone that invests in it, but if enough outputted effort is amplified in attempts to better the economy, it is most definitely something that any person should experience first-hand.
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Forex Profit Signals

What is Forex Trading:
Forex Trading is trading currencies from different countries against each other. Forex is an inter-bank market that took shape in 1971 when global trade shifted from fixed exchange rates to floating ones. This is a set of transactions among Forex market agents involving exchange of specified sums of money in a currency unit of any given nation for currency of another nation at an agreed rate as of any specified date. During exchange, the exchange rate of one currency to another currency is determined simply: by supply and demand - exchange to which both parties agree.
Actually Forex is the financial game between BULLS and BEARS.
The Major currencies pairs are:
EUUSD GBP/USD USD/JPY USD/CHF USD/CAD AUD/USD
And these are the 6 best Forex Markets.
What are Forex Signals?
Forex signals are indicators that let you know when it's a good time to buy or sell a currency pair. They provide you with insight as to what's going on in the Forex market without the necessity to monitor Forex trends throughout the day. If you are self-employed or employed by another company, Forex trading is likely a part-time endeavor for you. You won't have time to sit at the computer and monitor the Forex market all day. Forex signals can be delivered to you throughout the day by professional Forex traders to give you a heads-up on what's going on in the market. You can receive the signals, and then place the signals for buy or sell.
Forex signals are basically "suggested" buy and sell points with price targets and stop-loss levels delivered by fx signal providers to traders. They may be delivered by email, instant messenger, cellphone, live currency trading systems or direct to your Forex signal metatrader on your desktop.
Forex trading is a risky business and it takes some time to master the art of Forex trading signals. There are a number of fx signal providers but before you choose, you need to make sure you have done your homework. Always ask for the Free signals to deliver for 3 to 5 days and test those signals in your Demo Account.
The main characteristics of Forex trading signals to be aware of are as follows;
Cost: monthly subscription Complexity: Simple "one email a day" OR Full-Service Control: You keep full control OR the signal provider trades your a/c for you
Most Forex trade signals charge a very modest subscription fee, usually in the region of USD $80 - $400 per month.
If you're new to Forex trading, you probably realize how important it is to make the right trading decisions. One wrong trading move can drastically harm your portfolio while a good move can bring tremendous profits. That's why trading signals are so important. Once you've tried a Forex demo account for practice and created a strategy that works for you, you can add trading signal services as a useful tool in your Forex trading.
With online Forex, finding a trading signal service is easier than ever.
In their simplest form a Forex trading signal will send you a Forex alert email once a day listing trade set ups for the next 24 hours.
Some Forex signal providers offer a free trial service, thus allowing currency traders to sample the signals to assess their worth. This is a helpful step, as it allows the trader to consider the quality and reliability of the signals before paying money. This is a crucial element in the research process, and weeds out the providers who want money upfront as they are not confident in their ability to call profitable trades. This is a good service that you can try for free for 3 to 5 days.
Various fx signal providers offer a few complimentary services along with the featured ones. Look for a fx signal company that provides email support, phone assistance and even mentoring to their clients. This is of great value, especially to new traders.
They assign their time assisting traders in taking buy/sell decisions. Forex traders depend upon and trust the recommendations of these professional signal providers, while making investing decision in the Forex market
Forex signals are not meant to be a magic solution to all your Forex problems. They are designed to inform you about the market.
Forex business timing is extremely crucial; a trader can earn millions or lose even more depending upon the his timely or untimely actions. Besides, being the biggest market on the face of earth - it generates business activity of almost 3 trillion USD, it operates around the clock, all over the globe, making it thus impossible for a trader to stay vigilant all the time about market fluctuation and probable changes therein. Therefore a trader needs alarms and indicators to get knowledge about the possible opportunities and probable pitch points. Hence the need for Forex signal or alerts. Basically Forex alert or signal is a communication or intimation to the trader indicating the ripe time to buy/sell and the suitable price to pay/ask. Most of the time, such signals and alerts are provided by trained professionals, either individual or companies.
When choosing a Forex signal service, be sure the company offers the type of signal alerts you need. Every person is different. Some require computer or email alerts, while others are not accurate Forex signals are made for both professional traders and although new traders. The best Forex signals trading system is going to cover multiple situations on the Forex market. For instance the best Forex trade signals is going to cover all major currencies like GBP, USD, and EUR at all times the market is open, not only for specific situation. Simply to get the full value of your Forex trade you must know what is happening in regards to all the major currencies. The Forex system should also be able to give you at least 1-3 Forex trading signal alerts a day.
Some Forex trading signals are high volume scalpers, calling many trades in a day aiming to profit a handful of pips on each. Others only call a few trades a day, aiming to profit 20 - 80 pips on each single trade. Forex trading signal providers help you in minimizing risks or losses in trading.
Forex signals are generally given on a daily updated basis and all are contingent on factual market analysis and behavioral flow and not on mere hearsay and other speculations.
The signals are calculated and generated by using different indicators such as trends, moving average, Elliott waves, Bollinger bands, Fibonacci series, etc. In spite of that, some uses strategies like:
Pip Maximizer Method 1 Pip Maximizer Method 2 Pip Reversal Method Pip Divergence Method Instant Pip Method Pip Retracement Method Quantum Pip Strategy
... to give profitable and accurate signals.
The following question I wish to raise, is the abundant selection of Forex signals from which we can choose. Because of the variety of service providers, they offer different services, of which we must be aware. The first type of Forex signal provider will just send out trade alerts by email, often daily, sometimes at several intervals throughout the day. Thus you need to have a laptop of email receiving device ready at all times, to gain the most from trading Forex signals.
The next type to consider are through EA/Expert Advisors. These types of signals are not good at all because those are the computer oriented programs which can ruin your money within a few trades. But fortunately this is not such a big problem today, as more traders have email reading devices. The most crucial aspect concerning the format you receive the signals, is to ensure that you receive them immediately, and have the capability to act on them straight away - so you have to have immediate access to your Forex brokerage account, and place the trade as soon as you humanly can.
A unique benefit of trading Forex signals is that it gives guidance and discipline in a Forex currency trader. Forex profit signals service providers send you alerts when the conditions are right for the trade. They use cutting-edge technology which constantly monitor all major currency pairs for generating technical indicators.
Forex signal generators produce Forex signals which are indicators of ideal trading opportunities. These are certain algorithmic patterns which have been evident in successful Forex trades throughout the years. These Forex signals are then fed onto the program of Forex automated EA or Expert Advisors. This program will then either make Forex trading decisions for the individual while s/he is away from the computer or advice the individual about what to do. Forex EAs act like wizards which monitor currency ratings through online Forex Trading Platforms. One can look at Forex signals as triggers of commands which allow the automated system to function.
Forex signals can immeasurably add to the profits of a Forex trader.
How to Receive Forex Signals: Forex signal services are available to provide signals to you around the clock. These services usually have professional Forex traders who monitor the market 24/7 and provide you with up-to-date information. These services often charge a monthly or yearly subscription fee for their services. The methods used to deliver the Forex signals to you can vary from one service to the next. Signals can be sent through email alerts, to your phone or cell phone, through your pager, or even through a pop-up software system that will show a screen on your computer each time a signal is sent. The services also vary in how they present information to you. Some will provide live charts to give you more insight as to what as happening in the market.
Time frame for which the Forex trading signals are generated is equally important. Few trading signals can be valid only for a few minutes or an hour; others may have recommendations that are valid for a day or more. If the Forex trading signal providers generate signals for shorter time frame, you need to monitor the market frequently.
Some Forex signal service providers offer add-on services like email or mobile alerts. The service provider should have end-to-end technical support for the customers.
Even with experienced traders calling your trades, it's prudent risk management to never ever risk more than 3% of your initial capital on any one trade, preferably only 1%. So, if for example your initial capital, (or to put it another way, the maximum you can afford to lose) is let's say 5,000, the position size you take on each trade should be such that if the trade hit your stop loss, your maximum loss would be no more than 1% x 5,000 = 50.
Forex signal providers render Forex business quite a bit easy for traders, especially those who are relatively new in the business. Forex signal generation and provision can be either manual or automated and it provides entry/exit points of the trade streak for major or already chosen currency pairs. In manual signal generation system a simple trade signal is provided by the single provider. In automated signal generation system, the Forex system not only intimates and alerts the trade to either enter or exit the trade, but some times makes the deal by operating in synchronization with the trader's bank or broker.
Initially Forex signals and alerts used to come in the form of telephone calls and facsimiles. Now as we have stepped into the era of information revolution which has brought forth amazingly advanced digital technology, Forex signals and alerts generation and provision system has also advanced and become much more sophisticated and quick. Now these alerts come in the form of e-mails, SMS (Short Message Service, a way of sending text messages to mobile devices), or desktop software. However with trading Forex signals, there is no such chance to over trade your account. It is absolutely possible to learn the mental aspects of trading, by following a set of rules, and not to deviate from those rules.
Many trading Forex signals provide you with a complete set of instructions in order to take the trade. Frequently the signal will have multiple exits, which enable a trader to take money off the table in small steps. So this enables the currency trader to input all of these prices into his trading platform when he gets the signals, and then to switch off the computer.
As for any purchase, it is essential that the Forex trader first does his research into the more effective trading Forex signal service for him or her. This involves a lot of careful research, and reading various reviews and testimonials of the service in question. Before I go, in conclusion, the trader is strongly advised to practice using the trading Forex signals on a demo account first, so that the Forex trader can totally test out the profitability of the signals. This has an supplementary benefit for a complete new, as it will enable the currency trader to become familiar with the trading platform, and reduce the possibility of making any mistakes.
Whenever possible, go for a free demo account and then try your forex signals for a few days before becoming a paid member. Forex trading does involve some planning and strategy building so be prepared for a steep learning curve before trading with real money! I'm going to start by telling you some cool facts about the FOREX market.
As you may already know, FOREX is the acronym for "The Foreign Exchange Market." This market concerns itself with the buying and selling of the currencies of just about every country on earth. This market is BIG! So big, in fact, it's hard to wrap your mind around the size of it.
Listen. The daily average volume of FOREX is:
Almost 5 TRILLION Dollars Per Day!
I'm going to try to bring that fact home for you: The New York Stock Exchange has a daily volume of approximately 50 billion dollars. That means the FOREX is 100 times larger than the NYSE
Actually, the daily volume of the FOREX is triple the size of all other investment markets combined!
In spite of its size, the FOREX does not have a physical location or a central exchange. It operates through an electronic network of people, banks and companies that specialize in trading one currency for another.
Almost all FOREX trades are executed on the internet by someone sitting at a computer with a high-speed connection. So, if you don't like working with a computer you may as well stop reading... because... you will be left out.
Still with me? Good.
The Only 24 Hour Financial Market In The Whole World Because the FOREX does not have a physical location or a central exchange, it is able to operate on a 24 hour basis leapfrogging from one time zone to another across the major financial centers of the world.
The FOREX market actually follows the sun around the globe... because... as one country is closing for the day, another is just opening up. This market is open 24 hours a day, six days a week from 5:00 PM Sunday (East Coast Time) to 4:00 PM Friday (East Coast Time). This 24 hour access combined with its huge trading volume makes this...
The Most Liquid Market On Earth! Except for Saturdays, you can enter or exit the FOREX market anytime night or day. This market has virtually no gaps whatsoever and your stop-loss orders are almost guaranteed.
Can you imagine that? The multi-trillion dollar liquidity, combined with 24-hour trading access virtually guarantees your stop-loss orders will be executed without slippage.
Just try to get that kind of guarantee from your stockbroker!
The stock, futures and options markets cannot offer you this guarantee because the limited trading hours create frequent gap opens. Nearly all Forex brokers make sure their hours of operation coincide with the hours of operation of the global FOREX market.
Let's see, what else? Oh, yeah, no one can corner the market. The FOREX market is so huge and has so many global participants that no single individual nor entity... not even a central bank... can control the market for any significant period of time.
Plus, There Is No Insider Trading! Because of the vast size of the global FOREX market and its non-centralized nature, there is no chance whatsoever for disruptions caused by insider trading. There is less chance for fraud in the FOREX than in any other investment market. Best of all forex can never become zero but stocks can become zero and majority of the options expire worthless.
There are no commissions. Yep, you read it right. No exchange fees, no closing fees, no government fees, no brokerage fees. This all adds up to a very low retail transaction cost. If you select your broker properly, your round-trip transaction cost could be as low as .07 percent.
And know this, a very desirable by-product of extremely high liquidity is almost instantaneous transactions executed with blinding speed. You can leverage your trades by a factor of 50 to 1, 100 to 1 and even 400 to 1.
Not only that, you can trade with a very low margin with relative safety compared to the disastrous potential of margin trading found in other financial markets. Also it is tax free income if the country you reside has no capital gain tax.
And finally, if you get really great at currency trading, your potential financial reward is so big it can make your head swim!
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submitted by GiuliettaShop to Popify [link] [comments]

Immediate Aftermath : The more data we collect and analyze, the clearer the picture becomes.

This is the updated first part of the list that has recorded the notable events as the world deals with the COVID-19 pandemic. [2nd Part] ― The LINKS to events and sources are placed throughout the timeline.
------------------------
The More Data We Collect and Analyze, the Clearer the Picture Becomes.
Someone threw a stone in a pond a long way away. And we're only just feeling the ripples. — Fukuhara from Giri/Haji, Netflix series
------------------------
On Jan 30, Italian PM announced that Italy had blocked all flights to and from China. While Italy has banned people from air-travelling to China, however according to IATA data, there's no measurement implemented for air-travellers from China into Italy till the Mar 07. Especially for Chinese people who have EU passports.
On Jan 31, the US announced the category-I travel restrictions, barring all foreigners who have been in China for the past 14 days, with measures including the refusal of visas and mandatory quarantine.
• "Because the US focused on China and didn't expect the infected people's entry from Europe and the Middle East, the Maginot Line was breached from behind. And so little of credible data at the beginning made the US government to miscalculate its strategic response to the virus." — Dr. Zhang Lun, currently a visiting scholar at Harvard (economics & sociology), during the interview with ICPC on Mar 29.
Also on Jan 31, the WHO changed its tune and declared the coronavirus outbreak a Global Public Health Emergency of international concern (PHEIC).
Decisions on a PHEIC always involve politics .... West African countries discouraged a declaration in 2014 after they were hit by the largest Ebola virus outbreak on record, mainly because of concern about the economic impact.
------------------------
On Feb 02, regarding the US category-I travel restrictions, Kamala Harris, the former Democratic presidential candidate, declared on Twitter:
Since 2017, Trump’s travel bans have never been rooted in national security—they’re about discriminating against people of color. They are, without a doubt, rooted in anti-immigrant, white supremacist ideologies. This travel ban is no different.
On Feb 03, criticizing Trump for his travel restrictions continues. Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying (华春莹), a Peking University professors James Liang (梁建章), New York Times, the Nation, OBSERVER, the Boston Globe, Yahoo, and Daily Kos were saying,
it's a "panicky" decision and "racist" or it's "cruel and callous," he's stoking fear for political gains, and the president is "inappropriately overreacting." And professors Liang even said the US ban "will hurt goodwill and cooperation [with China] in the future." [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]
Also on Feb 03, Mr. Tedros of the WHO said there's no need for travel ban measure that "unnecessarily interfere with international travel and trade" trying to halt the spread of the virus.
China's delegate took the floor ... and denounced measures by "some countries" that have denied entry to people holding passports issued in Hubei province - at the centre of the outbreak - and to deny visas and cancel flights.
Also on Feb 03, China is expected to gradually implement a larger stimulus packages (in total) than a USD $572 billion from 2008. — We'd never find out but my guess is that the fund will probably go to Shanghai clique.
On Feb 04, The FDA has given emergency authorization to a new test kit by the CDC that promises to help public health labs meet a potential surge in cases.
The speed ... pushing through a new diagnostic test shows just how seriously they’re taking the potentially pandemic threat of 2019-nCoV. It’s also a sign that the world is starting to learn how to deal with an onslaught of new pathogens.
Also on Feb 04, the Wuhan Institute of Virology and China's Academy of Military Medical Sciences (AMMS, Chief Chen Wei belongs to) have jointly applied to patent the use of Remdesivir. Scientists from both institutes said in a paper published in Nature’s Cell Research that they found both Remdesivir and Chloroquine to be an effective way to inhibit the coronavirus.
On Feb 06, Jamestown Foundation, a Washington-based research & analysis unit, noted that with State Council of PRC praising his performance of containing the pandemic situation, the council expanded Li Keqiang's political control over Politburo Standing Committee of CCP. (Li Keqiang = Communist Youth League = Shanghai clique)
Also, on Feb 06, as the US evacuation planes leave China, the wave of the US evacuees have arrived who are met by the CDC personnel at the quarantine sites for screening, and those who were suspected of infection will be placed under quarantine for 14 days.
Also, on Feb 06, a CDC-developed lab test kit to detect the new coronavirus began shipping to qualified US laboratories and international ones. — However, on Feb 12, the CDC said some of the testing kits have flaws and do not work properly. The CDC finally ended up shipping the working test kits for mass testings on Feb 27. This was three weeks later than originally planned.
On Feb 07, China National Petroleum has recently declared Force Majeure on gas imports. They are trying to create a breathing room for their foreign exchange reserves shortage. China's foreign exchange reserves fell to mere USD $3.1 trillion in Oct. 2019.
On the same day, Bloomberg reported that PetroChina has directed employees in 20 countries to buy N95 face masks and send them home in China. The goal is to get 2 million masks shipped back. You can also find YouTube videos that show Overseas Chinese are scouring the masks at the Home Depot to ship them to China (the video in Korean). Also Chris Smith is pissed.
On Feb 09, Trump renews his national emergency on its southern border, and Elizabeth Goitein from the Brennan Center for Justice, published an opinion article on New York Times titled "Trump Has Abused This Power. And He Will Again if He’s Not Stopped."
On Feb 10, Dr. Tedros said that an advance three-person team of the WHO arrived in Beijing for a joint mission to discuss with Chinese officials the agenda and questions. Then, the joint mission of about 10 international experts will soon follow, he said. — Those WHO experts ended up visiting Chinese epicentre for the first time on Feb 24.
On Feb 12, the US targets Russian oil company for helping Venezuela skirt sanctions. The US admin seemingly tried to secure leverage against Russia after noticing something suspicious was up.
On the same day, Trump told Reuters "I hope this outbreak or this event (for the US) may be over in something like April." — Dr. Zhong Nanshan (钟南山), China's top tier SARS-hero doctor, also said "the peak of the virus (for China) should come in mid to late February, followed by a plateau or decrease," adding that his forecast was based on on mathematical modelling and data from recent events and government action.
On Feb 13, Tom Frieden who is a former US CDC chief and currently the head of public health nonprofit Resolve to Save Lives, said:
As countries are trying to develop their own control strategies, they are looking for evidence of whether the situation in China is getting worse or better. [But] We still don't have very basic information. [since the WHO just entered China] We hope that information will be coming out.
On the same day, the CDC reports that the 15th case in the US was confirmed. The patient was a part of group who were under a federal quarantine order at the JBSA-Lackland base because of a recent trip to Hubei Province, China.
By Feb 13, China hasn't accepted the US CDC's offer to send top experts, and they haven't released the "disaggregated" data (specific figures broken out from the overall numbers) even though repeatedly been asked.
On Feb 14, CCP's United Front posted an article on its official website, saying (Eng. text by Google Translation):
Fast! There is no time difference to raise urgently needed materials! Some Overseas Chinese have used their professions in the field of medicine in order to purchase relevant materials Hubei province in short of supply (to send them to China). .... Some Overseas Chinese took advantage of the connection resources, opened green transportation channels through our embassies and consulates abroad, and their related enterprises, and quickly sent large quantities of medical supplies (to China), making this love relay link and cooperation seamless.
On Feb 18, Reuters reports that 3M is on the list of firms eligible for China loans to ease coronavirus crisis.
There is no indication from the list that loans offered will necessarily be sought, or that such firms are in any financial need. The Bank of Shanghai told Reuters it will lend 5.5 billion yuan ($786 million) to 57 firms on its list.
On Feb 21, Xi Jinping writes a thank-you letter to Bill Gates for his foundation’s support to China regarding COVID-19 outbreak.
On Feb 24, China was rumoured on Twitter to delay the phase one trade deal implementation indefinitely which includes the increase of China's purchasing American products & services by at least $200 billion over the next two years.
Also on Feb 24, S&P 500 Index started to drop. Opened with 3225.9 and closed 3128.2. By the Mar 23, it dropped to 2208.9.
Also on Feb 24, China's National Health Commission says the WHO experts have visited Wuhan city for the first time, the locked-down central Chinese city at the epicentre, inspecting two hospitals and a makeshift one at a sports centre.
On Feb 26, IF the picture that has been circulated on Twitter were real, then chief Chen Wei and her team have developed the first batch of COVID-19 vaccine within time frame of a month.
On the same day, the CDC's latest figures displays 59 people in the US who have tested positive for COVID-19.
Also on Feb 26, the Washington Post published an article that says:
.... the WHO said it has repeatedly asked Chinese officials for "disaggregated" data — meaning specific figures broken out from the overall numbers — that could shed light on hospital transmission and help assess the level of risk front-line workers face. "We received disaggregated information at intervals, though not details about health care workers," said Tarik Jasarevic of the WHO. — The comment, in an email on Feb 22 to the Post, was one of the first instances that the WHO had directly addressed shortcomings in China's reporting or handling of the coronavirus crisis.
On Feb 27, after missteps, the CDC says its test kit is ready and the US started to expand testing.
On Feb 28, China transferred more than 80,000 Uighurs to factories used by global brands such as Apple, Nike, & Volkswagen & among others.
Also on Feb 28, the WHO published the official report of the WHO-China joint mission on coronavirus disease 2019. (PDF)
On Feb 29, quoting Caixin media's investigation published on the same day, Lianhe Zaobao, the largest Singapore-based Chinese-language newspaper, published an article reporting the following:
Dr. Li Wenliang said in the interview with Caixin media; [in Dec 2019] another doctor (later turned out to be Dr. Ai Fen) examined and tried to treat a patient who exhibited SARS-like symptoms which akin to influenza resistant to conventional treatment methods. And "the family members who took care of her (the patient) that night also had a fever, and her other daughter also had a fever. This is obviously from person to person" Dr. Li said in the interview."
------------------------
On Mar 01, China's State Council super tighten up their already draconian internet law.
On the same day, Princelings published an propaganda called "A Battle Against Epidemic: China Combating COVID-19 in 2020" which compiles numerous state media accounts on the heroic leadership of Xi Jinping, the vital role of the Communist Party, and the superiority of the Chinese system in fighting the virus.
Starting on Mar 03, the US Fed has taken two significant measures to provide monetary stimulus. It's going to be no use as if a group of people with serious means are manipulating the markets to make sure MM will have liquidity concerns when they need it most.
On Mar 04, Xinhua News, China's official state-run press agency posted an article "Be bold: the world should thank China" which states that
If China retaliates against the US at this time, it will also announce strategic control over medical products, and ban exports of said products to the US. ... If China declares today that its drugs are for domestic use only, the US will fall into the hell of new coronavirus epidemic.
On Mar 05, Shanghai Index has recovered the coronavirus loss almost completely.
On Mar 07, Saudi's Ahmed bin Abdulaziz and Muhammad bin Nayef were arrested on the claims of plotting to overthrow King Salman. — Ahmed bin Abdulaziz is known to have very tight investment-interest relationship with Bill Gates, Bill Browder, Blackstone, & BlackRock: One common factor that connects these people is China.
On Mar 08, the Russia–Saudi oil price war has begun. The ostensible reason was simple: China, the biggest importer of oil from Saudi and Russia, was turning back tankers while claiming that the outbreak forced its economy to a standstill.
On Mar 10, the Washington Post published the article saying that the trade group for manufacturers of personal protective equipment urged in 2009 "immediate action" to restock the national stockpile including N95 masks, but it hasn't been replenished since.
On Mar 11, the gentleman at the WHO declares the coronavirus outbreak a "Global Pandemic." He called on governments to change the course of the outbreak by taking "urgent and aggressive action." This was a full twelve days after the organization published the official report regarding the situation in China.
On Mar 13, the US admin declared a National Emergency and announced the plan to release $50 billion in federal resources amid COVID-19.
Also on Mar 13, China's Ministry of Commerce states that China is now the best region for global investment hedging.
On Mar 15, Business Insider reports that Trump tried to poach German scientists working on a coronavirus vaccine and offered cash so it would be exclusive to the US. The problem is the official CureVac (the German company) twitter account, on Mar 16, 2020, tweeted the following:
To make it clear again on coronavirus: CureVac has not received from the US government or related entities an offer before, during and since the Task Force meeting in the White House on March 2. CureVac rejects all allegations from press.
On Mar 16, the fan club of European globalists has published a piece titled, "China and Coronavirus: From Home-Made Disaster to Global Mega-Opportunity." The piece says:
The Chinese method is the only method that has proved successful [in fighting the virus], is a message spread online in China by influencers, including many essentially promoting propaganda. ... it is certainly a message that seems to be resonating with opinion leaders around the world.
On the same day, unlike China that had one epicentre, Wuhan city, the US now overtakes China with most cases reporting multiple epicentres simultaneously.
Also on Mar 16, the US stocks ended sharply lower with the Dow posting its worst point drop in history. But some showed a faint hint of uncertain hope.
On Mar 17, according to an article on Chinese version of Quora, Zhihu, chief Chen Wei and her team with CanSino Biologics officially initiated a Phase-1 clinical trial for COVID-19 vaccine at the Wuhan lab, Hubei China, which Bloomberg News confirmed. — Click HERE, then set its time period as 1 year, and see when the graph has started to move up.
Also on Mar 17, China's state media, China Global TV Network (CGTN), has produced YouTube videos for Middle Eastern audiences to spread the opinion that the US has engineered COVID-19 events.
Also on Mar 17, Al Jazeera reported that the US President has been criticized for repeatedly referring to the coronavirus as the "Chinese Virus" as critics saying Trump is "fueling bigotry."
• China's Xinhua News tweeted "Racism is not the right tool to cover your own incompetence."
• Tucker Carlson asked: "Why would America's media take China's side amid coronavirus pandemic?"
• Also, Mr. Bill Gates: "We should not call this the Chinese virus."
On Mar 19, for the first time, China reports zero local infections.
Also on Mar 19, Al Jazeera published an analysis report, titled "Coronavirus erodes Trump's re-election prospects."
On Mar 22, Bloomberg reports that China's mobile carriers lost 21 million users during this pandemic event. It's said to be the first net decline since starting to report monthly data in 2000.
On Mar 26, EURACTV reports that China cashes in off coronavirus, selling Spain $466 million in supplies. However, Spain returns 9,000 "quick result" test kits to China, because they were deemed substandard. — Especially the sensibility of the test was around 30 percent, when it should be higher than 80 percent.
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On Apr 03, Germany and other governments are bolstering corporate defenses to address worries that coronavirus-weakened companies could be easy prey for bargain hunting by China's state owned businesses.
On Apr 05, New York Times says "Trump Again Promotes Use of Unproven Anti-Malaria Drug (hydroxychloroquine)."
On Apr 06, a Democratic State Rep. Karen Whitsett from Detroit credits hydroxychloroquine and President Trump for "saving her in her battle with the coronavirus."
On Apr 07, the US CDC removed the following part from its website.
Although optimal dosing and duration of hydroxychloroquine for treatment of COVID-19 are unknown, some U.S. clinicians have reported anecdotally different hydroxychloroquine dosing such as: 400mg BID on day one, then daily for 5 days; 400 mg BID on day one, then 200mg BID for 4 days; 600 mg BID on day one, then 400mg daily on days 2-5.
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☞ If there were ever a time for people not to be partisan and tribal, the time has come: We need to be ever vigilant and attentive to all kinds of disinformation & misinformation to see it better as well as to be sharp in our lives. — We really do need to come together.
☞ At first, I was going to draw up a conspiracy theory-oriented list focused on Team-Z, especially Mr. Gates. However, although it's nothing new tbh, recently many chats and discussions seem overflowing with disinformation & misinformation which is, in my opinion, particularly painful at a time like this. Hence, this post became a vanilla list that's just recorded the notable events. — We all are subject to misinformation, miscalculation, and misjudgment. But the clearer the picture becomes the better we can identify Funkspiel.
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Immediate Aftermath pt.2.a
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Feasible Timeline of the Operation
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☞ Go Back to the Short Story.
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Hibiscus Petroleum Berhad (5199.KL)


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Download PDF of this article here: https://docdro.id/6eLgUPo
In light of the recent fall in oil prices due to the Saudi-Russian dispute and dampening demand for oil due to the lockdowns implemented globally, O&G stocks have taken a severe beating, falling approximately 50% from their highs at the beginning of the year. Not spared from this onslaught is Hibiscus Petroleum Berhad (Hibiscus), a listed oil and gas (O&G) exploration and production (E&P) company.
Why invest in O&G stocks in this particularly uncertain period? For one, valuations of these stocks have fallen to multi-year lows, bringing the potential ROI on these stocks to attractive levels. Oil prices are cyclical, and are bound to return to the mean given a sufficiently long time horizon. The trick is to find those companies who can survive through this downturn and emerge into “normal” profitability once oil prices rebound.
In this article, I will explore the upsides and downsides of investing in Hibiscus. I will do my best to cater this report to newcomers to the O&G industry – rather than address exclusively experts and veterans of the O&G sector. As an equity analyst, I aim to provide a view on the company primarily, and will generally refrain from providing macro views on oil or opinions about secular trends of the sector. I hope you enjoy reading it!
Stock code: 5199.KL
Stock name: Hibiscus Petroleum Berhad
Financial information and financial reports: https://www.malaysiastock.biz/Corporate-Infomation.aspx?securityCode=5199
Company website: https://www.hibiscuspetroleum.com/

Company Snapshot

Hibiscus Petroleum Berhad (5199.KL) is an oil and gas (O&G) upstream exploration and production (E&P) company located in Malaysia. As an E&P company, their business can be basically described as:
· looking for oil,
· drawing it out of the ground, and
· selling it on global oil markets.
This means Hibiscus’s profits are particularly exposed to fluctuating oil prices. With oil prices falling to sub-$30 from about $60 at the beginning of the year, Hibiscus’s stock price has also fallen by about 50% YTD – from around RM 1.00 to RM 0.45 (as of 5 April 2020).
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While the company is domiciled in Malaysia, its two main oil producing fields are located in both Malaysia and the UK. The Malaysian oil field is commonly referred to as the North Sabah field, while the UK oil field is commonly referred to as the Anasuria oil field. Hibiscus has licenses to other oil fields in different parts of the world, notably the Marigold/Sunflower oil fields in the UK and the VIC cluster in Australia, but its revenues and profits mainly stem from the former two oil producing fields.
Given that it’s a small player and has only two primary producing oil fields, it’s not surprising that Hibiscus sells its oil to a concentrated pool of customers, with 2 of them representing 80% of its revenues (i.e. Petronas and BP). Fortunately, both these customers are oil supermajors, and are unlikely to default on their obligations despite low oil prices.
At RM 0.45 per share, the market capitalization is RM 714.7m and it has a trailing PE ratio of about 5x. It doesn’t carry any debt, and it hasn’t paid a dividend in its listing history. The MD, Mr. Kenneth Gerard Pereira, owns about 10% of the company’s outstanding shares.

Reserves (Total recoverable oil) & Production (bbl/day)

To begin analyzing the company, it’s necessary to understand a little of the industry jargon. We’ll start with Reserves and Production.
In general, there are three types of categories for a company’s recoverable oil volumes – Reserves, Contingent Resources and Prospective Resources. Reserves are those oil fields which are “commercial”, which is defined as below:
As defined by the SPE PRMS, Reserves are “… quantities of petroleum anticipated to be commercially recoverable by application of development projects to known accumulations from a given date forward under defined conditions.” Therefore, Reserves must be discovered (by drilling, recoverable (with current technology), remaining in the subsurface (at the effective date of the evaluation) and “commercial” based on the development project proposed.)
Note that Reserves are associated with development projects. To be considered as “commercial”, there must be a firm intention to proceed with the project in a reasonable time frame (typically 5 years, and such intention must be based upon all of the following criteria:)
- A reasonable assessment of the future economics of the development project meeting defined investment and operating criteria; - A reasonable expectation that there will be a market for all or at least the expected sales quantities of production required to justify development; - Evidence that the necessary production and transportation facilities are available or can be made available; and - Evidence that legal, contractual, environmental and other social and economic concerns will allow for the actual implementation of the recovery project being evaluated.
Contingent Resources and Prospective Resources are further defined as below:
- Contingent Resources: potentially recoverable volumes associated with a development plan that targets discovered volumes but is not (yet commercial (as defined above); and) - Prospective Resources: potentially recoverable volumes associated with a development plan that targets as yet undiscovered volumes.
In the industry lingo, we generally refer to Reserves as ‘P’ and Contingent Resources as ‘C’. These ‘P’ and ‘C’ resources can be further categorized into 1P/2P/3P resources and 1C/2C/3C resources, each referring to a low/medium/high estimate of the company’s potential recoverable oil volumes:
- Low/1C/1P estimate: there should be reasonable certainty that volumes actually recovered will equal or exceed the estimate; - Best/2C/2P estimate: there should be an equal likelihood of the actual volumes of petroleum being larger or smaller than the estimate; and - High/3C/3P estimate: there is a low probability that the estimate will be exceeded.
Hence in the E&P industry, it is easy to see why most investors and analysts refer to the 2P estimate as the best estimate for a company’s actual recoverable oil volumes. This is because 2P reserves (‘2P’ referring to ‘Proved and Probable’) are a middle estimate of the recoverable oil volumes legally recognized as “commercial”.
However, there’s nothing stopping you from including 2C resources (riskier) or utilizing 1P resources (conservative) as your estimate for total recoverable oil volumes, depending on your risk appetite. In this instance, the company has provided a snapshot of its 2P and 2C resources in its analyst presentation:
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Basically, what the company is saying here is that by 2021, it will have classified as 2P reserves at least 23.7 million bbl from its Anasuria field and 20.5 million bbl from its North Sabah field – for total 2P reserves of 44.2 million bbl (we are ignoring the Australian VIC cluster as it is only estimated to reach first oil by 2022).
Furthermore, the company is stating that they have discovered (but not yet legally classified as “commercial”) a further 71 million bbl of oil from both the Anasuria and North Sabah fields, as well as the Marigold/Sunflower fields. If we include these 2C resources, the total potential recoverable oil volumes could exceed 100 million bbl.
In this report, we shall explore all valuation scenarios giving consideration to both 2P and 2C resources.
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The company further targets a 2021 production rate of 20,000 bbl (LTM: 8,000 bbl), which includes 5,000 bbl from its Anasuria field (LTM: 2,500 bbl) and 7,000 bbl from its North Sabah field (LTM: 5,300 bbl).
This is a substantial increase in forecasted production from both existing and prospective oil fields. If it materializes, annual production rate could be as high as 7,300 mmbbl, and 2021 revenues (given FY20 USD/bbl of $60) could exceed RM 1.5 billion (FY20: RM 988 million).
However, this targeted forecast is quite a stretch from current production levels. Nevertheless, we shall consider all provided information in estimating a valuation for Hibiscus.
To understand Hibiscus’s oil production capacity and forecast its revenues and profits, we need to have a better appreciation of the performance of its two main cash-generating assets – the North Sabah field and the Anasuria field.

North Sabah oil field
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Hibiscus owns a 50% interest in the North Sabah field together with its partner Petronas, and has production rights over the field up to year 2040. The asset contains 4 oil fields, namely the St Joseph field, South Furious field, SF 30 field and Barton field.
For the sake of brevity, we shall not delve deep into the operational aspects of the fields or the contractual nature of its production sharing contract (PSC). We’ll just focus on the factors which relate to its financial performance. These are:
· Average uptime
· Total oil sold
· Average realized oil price
· Average OPEX per bbl
With regards to average uptime, we can see that the company maintains relative high facility availability, exceeding 90% uptime in all quarters of the LTM with exception of Jul-Sep 2019. The dip in average uptime was due to production enhancement projects and maintenance activities undertaken to improve the production capacity of the St Joseph and SF30 oil fields.
Hence, we can conclude that management has a good handle on operational performance. It also implies that there is little room for further improvement in production resulting from increased uptime.
As North Sabah is under a production sharing contract (PSC), there is a distinction between gross oil production and net oil production. The former relates to total oil drawn out of the ground, whereas the latter refers to Hibiscus’s share of oil production after taxes, royalties and expenses are accounted for. In this case, we want to pay attention to net oil production, not gross.
We can arrive at Hibiscus’s total oil sold for the last twelve months (LTM) by adding up the total oil sold for each of the last 4 quarters. Summing up the figures yields total oil sold for the LTM of approximately 2,075,305 bbl.
Then, we can arrive at an average realized oil price over the LTM by averaging the average realized oil price for the last 4 quarters, giving us an average realized oil price over the LTM of USD 68.57/bbl. We can do the same for average OPEX per bbl, giving us an average OPEX per bbl over the LTM of USD 13.23/bbl.
Thus, we can sum up the above financial performance of the North Sabah field with the following figures:
· Total oil sold: 2,075,305 bbl
· Average realized oil price: USD 68.57/bbl
· Average OPEX per bbl: USD 13.23/bbl

Anasuria oil field
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Doing the same exercise as above for the Anasuria field, we arrive at the following financial performance for the Anasuria field:
· Total oil sold: 1,073,304 bbl
· Average realized oil price: USD 63.57/bbl
· Average OPEX per bbl: USD 23.22/bbl
As gas production is relatively immaterial, and to be conservative, we shall only consider the crude oil production from the Anasuria field in forecasting revenues.

Valuation (Method 1)

Putting the figures from both oil fields together, we get the following data:
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Given that we have determined LTM EBITDA of RM 632m, the next step would be to subtract ITDA (interest, tax, depreciation & amortization) from it to obtain estimated LTM Net Profit. Using FY2020’s ITDA of approximately RM 318m as a guideline, we arrive at an estimated LTM Net Profit of RM 314m (FY20: 230m). Given the current market capitalization of RM 714.7m, this implies a trailing LTM PE of 2.3x.
Performing a sensitivity analysis given different oil prices, we arrive at the following net profit table for the company under different oil price scenarios, assuming oil production rate and ITDA remain constant:
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From the above exercise, it becomes apparent that Hibiscus has a breakeven oil price of about USD 41.8863/bbl, and has a lot of operating leverage given the exponential rate of increase in its Net Profit with each consequent increase in oil prices.
Considering that the oil production rate (EBITDA) is likely to increase faster than ITDA’s proportion to revenues (fixed costs), at an implied PE of 4.33x, it seems likely that an investment in Hibiscus will be profitable over the next 10 years (with the assumption that oil prices will revert to the mean in the long-term).

Valuation (Method 2)

Of course, there are a lot of assumptions behind the above method of valuation. Hence, it would be prudent to perform multiple methods of valuation and compare the figures to one another.
As opposed to the profit/loss assessment in Valuation (Method 1), another way of performing a valuation would be to estimate its balance sheet value, i.e. total revenues from 2P Reserves, and assign a reasonable margin to it.
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From the above, we understand that Hibiscus’s 2P reserves from the North Sabah and Anasuria fields alone are approximately 44.2 mmbbl (we ignore contribution from Australia’s VIC cluster as it hasn’t been developed yet).
Doing a similar sensitivity analysis of different oil prices as above, we arrive at the following estimated total revenues and accumulated net profit:
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Let’s assume that the above average of RM 9.68 billion in total realizable revenues from current 2P reserves holds true. If we assign a conservative Net Profit margin of 15% (FY20: 23%; past 5 years average: 16%), we arrive at estimated accumulated Net Profit from 2P Reserves of RM 1.452 billion. Given the current market capitalization of RM 714 million, we might be able to say that the equity is worth about twice the current share price.
However, it is understandable that some readers might feel that the figures used in the above estimate (e.g. net profit margin of 15%) were randomly plucked from the sky. So how do we reconcile them with figures from the financial statements? Fortunately, there appears to be a way to do just that.
Intangible Assets
I refer you to a figure in the financial statements which provides a shortcut to the valuation of 2P Reserves. This is the carrying value of Intangible Assets on the Balance Sheet.
As of 2QFY21, that amount was RM 1,468,860,000 (i.e. RM 1.468 billion).
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Quite coincidentally, one might observe that this figure is dangerously close to the estimated accumulated Net Profit from 2P Reserves of RM 1.452 billion we calculated earlier. But why would this amount matter at all?
To answer that, I refer you to the notes of the Annual Report FY20 (AR20). On page 148 of the AR20, we find the following two paragraphs:
E&E assets comprise of rights and concession and conventional studies. Following the acquisition of a concession right to explore a licensed area, the costs incurred such as geological and geophysical surveys, drilling, commercial appraisal costs and other directly attributable costs of exploration and appraisal including technical and administrative costs, are capitalised as conventional studies, presented as intangible assets.
E&E assets are assessed for impairment when facts and circumstances suggest that the carrying amount of an E&E asset may exceed its recoverable amount. The Group will allocate E&E assets to cash generating unit (“CGU”s or groups of CGUs for the purpose of assessing such assets for impairment. Each CGU or group of units to which an E&E asset is allocated will not be larger than an operating segment as disclosed in Note 39 to the financial statements.)
Hence, we can determine that firstly, the intangible asset value represents capitalized costs of acquisition of the oil fields, including technical exploration costs and costs of acquiring the relevant licenses. Secondly, an impairment review will be carried out when “the carrying amount of an E&E asset may exceed its recoverable amount”, with E&E assets being allocated to “cash generating units” (CGU) for the purposes of assessment.
On page 169 of the AR20, we find the following:
Carrying amounts of the Group’s intangible assets, oil and gas assets and FPSO are reviewed for possible impairment annually including any indicators of impairment. For the purpose of assessing impairment, assets are grouped at the lowest level CGUs for which there is a separately identifiable cash flow available. These CGUs are based on operating areas, represented by the 2011 North Sabah EOR PSC (“North Sabah”, the Anasuria Cluster, the Marigold and Sunflower fields, the VIC/P57 exploration permit (“VIC/P57”) and the VIC/L31 production license (“VIC/L31”).)
So apparently, the CGUs that have been assigned refer to the respective oil producing fields, two of which include the North Sabah field and the Anasuria field. In order to perform the impairment review, estimates of future cash flow will be made by management to assess the “recoverable amount” (as described above), subject to assumptions and an appropriate discount rate.
Hence, what we can gather up to now is that management will estimate future recoverable cash flows from a CGU (i.e. the North Sabah and Anasuria oil fields), compare that to their carrying value, and perform an impairment if their future recoverable cash flows are less than their carrying value. In other words, if estimated accumulated profits from the North Sabah and Anasuria oil fields are less than their carrying value, an impairment is required.
So where do we find the carrying values for the North Sabah and Anasuria oil fields? Further down on page 184 in the AR20, we see the following:
Included in rights and concession are the carrying amounts of producing field licenses in the Anasuria Cluster amounting to RM668,211,518 (2018: RM687,664,530, producing field licenses in North Sabah amounting to RM471,031,008 (2018: RM414,333,116))
Hence, we can determine that the carrying values for the North Sabah and Anasuria oil fields are RM 471m and RM 668m respectively. But where do we find the future recoverable cash flows of the fields as estimated by management, and what are the assumptions used in that calculation?
Fortunately, we find just that on page 185:
17 INTANGIBLE ASSETS (CONTINUED)
(a Anasuria Cluster)
The Directors have concluded that there is no impairment indicator for Anasuria Cluster during the current financial year. In the previous financial year, due to uncertainties in crude oil prices, the Group has assessed the recoverable amount of the intangible assets, oil and gas assets and FPSO relating to the Anasuria Cluster. The recoverable amount is determined using the FVLCTS model based on discounted cash flows (“DCF” derived from the expected cash in/outflow pattern over the production lives.)
The key assumptions used to determine the recoverable amount for the Anasuria Cluster were as follows:
(i Discount rate of 10%;)
(ii Future cost inflation factor of 2% per annum;)
(iii Oil price forecast based on the oil price forward curve from independent parties; and,)
(iv Oil production profile based on the assessment by independent oil and gas reserve experts.)
Based on the assessments performed, the Directors concluded that the recoverable amount calculated based on the valuation model is higher than the carrying amount.
(b North Sabah)
The acquisition of the North Sabah assets was completed in the previous financial year. Details of the acquisition are as disclosed in Note 15 to the financial statements.
The Directors have concluded that there is no impairment indicator for North Sabah during the current financial year.
Here, we can see that the recoverable amount of the Anasuria field was estimated based on a DCF of expected future cash flows over the production life of the asset. The key assumptions used by management all seem appropriate, including a discount rate of 10% and oil price and oil production estimates based on independent assessment. From there, management concludes that the recoverable amount of the Anasuria field is higher than its carrying amount (i.e. no impairment required). Likewise, for the North Sabah field.
How do we interpret this? Basically, what management is saying is that given a 10% discount rate and independent oil price and oil production estimates, the accumulated profits (i.e. recoverable amount) from both the North Sabah and the Anasuria fields exceed their carrying amounts of RM 471m and RM 668m respectively.
In other words, according to management’s own estimates, the carrying value of the Intangible Assets of RM 1.468 billion approximates the accumulated Net Profit recoverable from 2P reserves.
To conclude Valuation (Method 2), we arrive at the following:

Our estimates Management estimates
Accumulated Net Profit from 2P Reserves RM 1.452 billion RM 1.468 billion

Financials

By now, we have established the basic economics of Hibiscus’s business, including its revenues (i.e. oil production and oil price scenarios), costs (OPEX, ITDA), profitability (breakeven, future earnings potential) and balance sheet value (2P reserves, valuation). Moving on, we want to gain a deeper understanding of the 3 statements to anticipate any blind spots and risks. We’ll refer to the financial statements of both the FY20 annual report and the 2Q21 quarterly report in this analysis.
For the sake of brevity, I’ll only point out those line items which need extra attention, and skip over the rest. Feel free to go through the financial statements on your own to gain a better familiarity of the business.
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Income Statement
First, we’ll start with the Income Statement on page 135 of the AR20. Revenues are straightforward, as we’ve discussed above. Cost of Sales and Administrative Expenses fall under the jurisdiction of OPEX, which we’ve also seen earlier. Other Expenses are mostly made up of Depreciation & Amortization of RM 115m.
Finance Costs are where things start to get tricky. Why does a company which carries no debt have such huge amounts of finance costs? The reason can be found in Note 8, where it is revealed that the bulk of finance costs relate to the unwinding of discount of provision for decommissioning costs of RM 25m (Note 32).
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This actually refers to the expected future costs of restoring the Anasuria and North Sabah fields to their original condition once the oil reserves have been depleted. Accounting standards require the company to provide for these decommissioning costs as they are estimable and probable. The way the decommissioning costs are accounted for is the same as an amortized loan, where the initial carrying value is recognized as a liability and the discount rate applied is reversed each year as an expense on the Income Statement. However, these expenses are largely non-cash in nature and do not necessitate a cash outflow every year (FY20: RM 69m).
Unwinding of discount on non-current other payables of RM 12m relate to contractual payments to the North Sabah sellers. We will discuss it later.
Taxation is another tricky subject, and is even more significant than Finance Costs at RM 161m. In gist, Hibiscus is subject to the 38% PITA (Petroleum Income Tax Act) under Malaysian jurisdiction, and the 30% Petroleum tax + 10% Supplementary tax under UK jurisdiction. Of the RM 161m, RM 41m of it relates to deferred tax which originates from the difference between tax treatment and accounting treatment on capitalized assets (accelerated depreciation vs straight-line depreciation). Nonetheless, what you should take away from this is that the tax expense is a tangible expense and material to breakeven analysis.
Fortunately, tax is a variable expense, and should not materially impact the cash flow of Hibiscus in today’s low oil price environment.
Note: Cash outflows for Tax Paid in FY20 was RM 97m, substantially below the RM 161m tax expense.
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Balance Sheet
The balance sheet of Hibiscus is unexciting; I’ll just bring your attention to those line items which need additional scrutiny. I’ll use the figures in the latest 2Q21 quarterly report (2Q21) and refer to the notes in AR20 for clarity.
We’ve already discussed Intangible Assets in the section above, so I won’t dwell on it again.
Moving on, the company has Equipment of RM 582m, largely relating to O&G assets (e.g. the Anasuria FPSO vessel and CAPEX incurred on production enhancement projects). Restricted cash and bank balances represent contractual obligations for decommissioning costs of the Anasuria Cluster, and are inaccessible for use in operations.
Inventories are relatively low, despite Hibiscus being an E&P company, so forex fluctuations on carrying value of inventories are relatively immaterial. Trade receivables largely relate to entitlements from Petronas and BP (both oil supermajors), and are hence quite safe from impairment. Other receivables, deposits and prepayments are significant as they relate to security deposits placed with sellers of the oil fields acquired; these should be ignored for cash flow purposes.
Note: Total cash and bank balances do not include approximately RM 105 m proceeds from the North Sabah December 2019 offtake (which was received in January 2020)
Cash and bank balances of RM 90m do not include RM 105m of proceeds from offtake received in 3Q21 (Jan 2020). Hence, the actual cash and bank balances as of 2Q21 approximate RM 200m.
Liabilities are a little more interesting. First, I’ll draw your attention to the significant Deferred tax liabilities of RM 457m. These largely relate to the amortization of CAPEX (i.e. Equipment and capitalized E&E expenses), which is given an accelerated depreciation treatment for tax purposes.
The way this works is that the government gives Hibiscus a favorable tax treatment on capital expenditures incurred via an accelerated depreciation schedule, so that the taxable income is less than usual. However, this leads to the taxable depreciation being utilized quicker than accounting depreciation, hence the tax payable merely deferred to a later period – when the tax depreciation runs out but accounting depreciation remains. Given the capital intensive nature of the business, it is understandable why Deferred tax liabilities are so large.
We’ve discussed Provision for decommissioning costs under the Finance Costs section earlier. They are also quite significant at RM 266m.
Notably, the Other Payables and Accruals are a hefty RM 431m. What do they relate to? Basically, they are contractual obligations to the sellers of the oil fields which are only payable upon oil prices reaching certain thresholds. Hence, while they are current in nature, they will only become payable when oil prices recover to previous highs, and are hence not an immediate cash outflow concern given today’s low oil prices.
Cash Flow Statement
There is nothing in the cash flow statement which warrants concern.
Notably, the company generated OCF of approximately RM 500m in FY20 and RM 116m in 2Q21. It further incurred RM 330m and RM 234m of CAPEX in FY20 and 2Q21 respectively, largely owing to production enhancement projects to increase the production rate of the Anasuria and North Sabah fields, which according to management estimates are accretive to ROI.
Tax paid was RM 97m in FY20 and RM 61m in 2Q21 (tax expense: RM 161m and RM 62m respectively).

Risks

There are a few obvious and not-so-obvious risks that one should be aware of before investing in Hibiscus. We shall not consider operational risks (e.g. uptime, OPEX) as they are outside the jurisdiction of the equity analyst. Instead, we shall focus on the financial and strategic risks largely outside the control of management. The main ones are:
· Oil prices remaining subdued for long periods of time
· Fluctuation of exchange rates
· Customer concentration risk
· 2P Reserves being less than estimated
· Significant current and non-current liabilities
· Potential issuance of equity
Oil prices remaining subdued
Of topmost concern in the minds of most analysts is whether Hibiscus has the wherewithal to sustain itself through this period of low oil prices (sub-$30). A quick and dirty estimate of annual cash outflow (i.e. burn rate) assuming a $20 oil world and historical production rates is between RM 50m-70m per year, which considering the RM 200m cash balance implies about 3-4 years of sustainability before the company runs out of cash and has to rely on external assistance for financing.
Table 1: Hibiscus EBITDA at different oil price and exchange rates
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The above table shows different EBITDA scenarios (RM ‘m) given different oil prices (left column) and USD:MYR exchange rates (top row). Currently, oil prices are $27 and USD:MYR is 1:4.36.
Given conservative assumptions of average OPEX/bbl of $20 (current: $15), we can safely say that the company will be loss-making as long as oil remains at $20 or below (red). However, we can see that once oil prices hit $25, the company can tank the lower-end estimate of the annual burn rate of RM 50m (orange), while at RM $27 it can sufficiently muddle through the higher-end estimate of the annual burn rate of RM 70m (green).
Hence, we can assume that as long as the average oil price over the next 3-4 years remains above $25, Hibiscus should come out of this fine without the need for any external financing.
Customer Concentration Risk
With regards to customer concentration risk, there is not much the analyst or investor can do except to accept the risk. Fortunately, 80% of revenues can be attributed to two oil supermajors (Petronas and BP), hence the risk of default on contractual obligations and trade receivables seems to be quite diminished.
2P Reserves being less than estimated
2P Reserves being less than estimated is another risk that one should keep in mind. Fortunately, the current market cap is merely RM 714m – at half of estimated recoverable amounts of RM 1.468 billion – so there’s a decent margin of safety. In addition, there are other mitigating factors which shall be discussed in the next section (‘Opportunities’).
Significant non-current and current liabilities
The significant non-current and current liabilities have been addressed in the previous section. It has been determined that they pose no threat to immediate cash flow due to them being long-term in nature (e.g. decommissioning costs, deferred tax, etc). Hence, for the purpose of assessing going concern, their amounts should not be a cause for concern.
Potential issuance of equity
Finally, we come to the possibility of external financing being required in this low oil price environment. While the company should last 3-4 years on existing cash reserves, there is always the risk of other black swan events materializing (e.g. coronavirus) or simply oil prices remaining muted for longer than 4 years.
Furthermore, management has hinted that they wish to acquire new oil assets at presently depressed prices to increase daily production rate to a targeted 20,000 bbl by end-2021. They have room to acquire debt, but they may also wish to issue equity for this purpose. Hence, the possibility of dilution to existing shareholders cannot be entirely ruled out.
However, given management’s historical track record of prioritizing ROI and optimal capital allocation, and in consideration of the fact that the MD owns 10% of outstanding shares, there is some assurance that any potential acquisitions will be accretive to EPS and therefore valuations.

Opportunities

As with the existence of risk, the presence of material opportunities also looms over the company. Some of them are discussed below:
· Increased Daily Oil Production Rate
· Inclusion of 2C Resources
· Future oil prices exceeding $50 and effects from coronavirus dissipating
Increased Daily Oil Production Rate
The first and most obvious opportunity is the potential for increased production rate. We’ve seen in the last quarter (2Q21) that the North Sabah field increased its daily production rate by approximately 20% as a result of production enhancement projects (infill drilling), lowering OPEX/bbl as a result. To vastly oversimplify, infill drilling is the process of maximizing well density by drilling in the spaces between existing wells to improve oil production.
The same improvements are being undertaken at the Anasuria field via infill drilling, subsea debottlenecking, water injection and sidetracking of existing wells. Without boring you with industry jargon, this basically means future production rate is likely to improve going forward.
By how much can the oil production rate be improved by? Management estimates in their analyst presentation that enhancements in the Anasuria field will be able to yield 5,000 bbl/day by 2021 (current: 2,500 bbl/day).
Similarly, improvements in the North Sabah field is expected to yield 7,000 bbl/day by 2021 (current: 5,300 bbl/day).
This implies a total 2021 expected daily production rate from the two fields alone of 12,000 bbl/day (current: 8,000 bbl/day). That’s a 50% increase in yields which we haven’t factored into our valuation yet.
Furthermore, we haven’t considered any production from existing 2C resources (e.g. Marigold/Sunflower) or any potential acquisitions which may occur in the future. By management estimates, this can potentially increase production by another 8,000 bbl/day, bringing total production to 20,000 bbl/day.
While this seems like a stretch of the imagination, it pays to keep them in mind when forecasting future revenues and valuations.
Just to play around with the numbers, I’ve come up with a sensitivity analysis of possible annual EBITDA at different oil prices and daily oil production rates:
Table 2: Hibiscus EBITDA at different oil price and daily oil production rates
https://preview.redd.it/jnpfhr5n9br41.png?width=814&format=png&auto=webp&s=bbe4b512bc17f576d87529651140cc74cde3d159
The left column represents different oil prices while the top row represents different daily oil production rates.
The green column represents EBITDA at current daily production rate of 8,000 bbl/day; the orange column represents EBITDA at targeted daily production rate of 12,000 bbl/day; while the purple column represents EBITDA at maximum daily production rate of 20,000 bbl/day.
Even conservatively assuming increased estimated annual ITDA of RM 500m (FY20: RM 318m), and long-term average oil prices of $50 (FY20: $60), the estimated Net Profit and P/E ratio is potentially lucrative at daily oil production rates of 12,000 bbl/day and above.
2C Resources
Since we’re on the topic of improved daily oil production rate, it bears to pay in mind the relatively enormous potential from Hibiscus’s 2C Resources. North Sabah’s 2C Resources alone exceed 30 mmbbl; while those from the yet undiagnosed Marigold/Sunflower fields also reach 30 mmbbl. Altogether, 2C Resources exceed 70 mmbbl, which dwarfs the 44 mmbbl of 2P Reserves we have considered up to this point in our valuation estimates.
To refresh your memory, 2C Resources represents oil volumes which have been discovered but are not yet classified as “commercial”. This means that there is reasonable certainty of the oil being recoverable, as opposed to simply being in the very early stages of exploration. So, to be conservative, we will imagine that only 50% of 2C Resources are eligible for reclassification to 2P reserves, i.e. 35 mmbbl of oil.
https://preview.redd.it/mto11iz7abr41.png?width=375&format=png&auto=webp&s=e9028ab0816b3d3e25067447f2c70acd3ebfc41a
This additional 35 mmbbl of oil represents an 80% increase to existing 2P reserves. Assuming the daily oil production rate increases similarly by 80%, we will arrive at 14,400 bbl/day of oil production. According to Table 2 above, this would yield an EBITDA of roughly RM 630m assuming $50 oil.
Comparing that estimated EBITDA to FY20’s actual EBITDA:
FY20 FY21 (incl. 2C) Difference
Daily oil production (bbl/day) 8,626 14,400 +66%
Average oil price (USD/bbl) $68.57 $50 -27%
Average OPEX/bbl (USD) $16.64 $20 +20%
EBITDA (RM ‘m) 632 630 -
Hence, even conservatively assuming lower oil prices and higher OPEX/bbl (which should decrease in the presence of higher oil volumes) than last year, we get approximately the same EBITDA as FY20.
For the sake of completeness, let’s assume that Hibiscus issues twice the no. of existing shares over the next 10 years, effectively diluting shareholders by 50%. Even without accounting for the possibility of the acquisition of new oil fields, at the current market capitalization of RM 714m, the prospective P/E would be about 10x. Not too shabby.
Future oil prices exceeding $50 and effects from coronavirus dissipating
Hibiscus shares have recently been hit by a one-two punch from oil prices cratering from $60 to $30, as a result of both the Saudi-Russian dispute and depressed demand for oil due to coronavirus. This has massively increased supply and at the same time hugely depressed demand for oil (due to the globally coordinated lockdowns being implemented).
Given a long enough timeframe, I fully expect OPEC+ to come to an agreement and the economic effects from the coronavirus to dissipate, allowing oil prices to rebound. As we equity investors are aware, oil prices are cyclical and are bound to recover over the next 10 years.
When it does, valuations of O&G stocks (including Hibiscus’s) are likely to improve as investors overshoot expectations and begin to forecast higher oil prices into perpetuity, as they always tend to do in good times. When that time arrives, Hibiscus’s valuations are likely to become overoptimistic as all O&G stocks tend to do during oil upcycles, resulting in valuations far exceeding reasonable estimates of future earnings. If you can hold the shares up until then, it’s likely you will make much more on your investment than what we’ve been estimating.

Conclusion

Wrapping up what we’ve discussed so far, we can conclude that Hibiscus’s market capitalization of RM 714m far undershoots reasonable estimates of fair value even under conservative assumptions of recoverable oil volumes and long-term average oil prices. As a value investor, I hesitate to assign a target share price, but it’s safe to say that this stock is worth at least RM 1.00 (current: RM 0.45). Risk is relatively contained and the upside far exceeds the downside. While I have no opinion on the short-term trajectory of oil prices, I can safely recommend this stock as a long-term Buy based on fundamental research.
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