Monthly Archives: December 2015

Angola: Crude Oil Production

Anglo, the nation in the south west of Africa, a member of Organisation of Oil Exporting Countries.[13 nations make up OPEC countries]

Today, Angola produces 1,712,000 barrels of crude per day. To put this into context, the UK produces 850,000 barrels a day.

So what is 1,712,000 barrels of crude worth ?

Today crude oil trades at $37.62 a barrel.

1,712,000 barrels a day x $37.62 = $64,405,440 a day.

That is £43,192,400 day. Yes, £43million a day.

Canadian Electricity Production

Canada is a natural resource power house, with its huge tar sand reserves, but also it has massive electricity production due to its huge investment in hydro electric power stations due to the nations geography and waterfalls.

Canada is one of the largest electricity producers of electricity.

It produces 615.4 TW/h in 2014 with a population of 35 million people.
Now the UK produces 335 TW/h in 2014 with a population of 61 million people.

What this shows is that the Canadians are not super consumers of electricity, but they produce more than they consume, and so export huge amounts across the border to the USA. A huge market for the Canadian electricity sector.

The Leverhulme Trust

The Leverhulme Trust was established by the Will of William Hesketh Lever, one of the great entrepreneurs and philanthropists of the Victorian age. The Victorian businessman and entrepreneur William Hesketh Lever first brought his creativity and energy to the manufacture and marketing of Sunlight soap which was being sold in 134 countries only a decade after its launch. The name Sunlight Soap, comes from the town where the factory was build, Port Sunlight, on the Wirral.

On his death in 1925, Lord Leverhulme left a proportion of his interest in the company he had founded, Lever Brothers, in trust for specific beneficiaries: to include first certain trade charities and secondly the provision of “scholarships for the purposes of research and education”. The Leverhulme Trust was established. In the succeeding years, Lever Brothers became a cornerstone of Unilever, a major multinational company, created in 1930 by the merger of Lever Brothers with the Van den Bergh’s margarine company of the Netherlands. The Leverhulme Trust’s shareholding thus became part of Unilever plc

Since 1925 they have provided grants and scholarships for research and education; today, they are one of the largest all-subject providers of research funding in the UK, distributing approximately £80 million a year.

How is that £80million funded ?

£2,027,713 under investment management. That is £2.2 billion.

Today they own 5% of Unilever.


£37bn in value, The Leverhulme Trust have thus £1.850 billion in Unilever shares. That is a lot of Persil, Surf, Lipton, Carte D’or, Knorr, Marmite, Pot Noodle, Vaseline, Ben & Jerrys, Domestos, Cif, TRESemme, Cornetto, Colemans Mustard, PG Tips, Stork, VO5, Hellmans, Flora…..

Ethex: Ethical Investment Platforms

The movement of investment management is to a new world of online platforms. A new one that is offering investors a world of opportunity the world of Ethical investing is Ethex.

It gives investors options to investment in traditional ethical products but also crowd funded programmes.

Very interesting to see the backers:-

A non-profit based organisation with high ethics at the heart of the operation

Chinese National Debt

China. An incredible nation, of history and culture. Today it is the second largest economy in the world, it is the power house of the global economy, home to names such as CCTV, Huawei, ZTE, ICBC, China Mobile, Ping Insurance and Bank of China.

To fuel the growth, the nation has been using debt to finance its expansion.
The numbers are non-trivial.

$1,980 billion Central Government
$2,720 billion Financial Corporations
$2,075 billion Non-Financial Corporations

US $6,776 (this is about 33% of the US National Debt….)
UK £4,540 billion = £4.54 TRILLION

So one can see that the debt of the finance and commercial sector totally overshadows the Central Government debt.

These are huge figures. Evidence of the global addiction to debt.

The Debt of France

France is the home of some of the most important science and mathematics. Fourier, Laplace, and Lagrange to name just 3 names whose work touches our lives each day. The home to incredible food and culture, What is interesting to know is the levels of debt the French nation is carrying.

In total the debt is $3,999 Billion dollars.

That is broken down by:-

$1,510 million by Financial Corporations
$587 million by Businesses
$1,901 million by The French Government

$3,999 Billion dollars = £2,660 Billion pounds = £2.66 Trillion.

US Interest Rates.

Yesterday, Wed 16th Dec, the US Federal Reserve raised interest rates.

The Federal Open Market Committee has raised rates for the first time since 2006. The impact of this, is very clear, imagine having debt that is denominated in US Dollars, now the cost of servicing that debt has gone up . If you have cash, say outside the US, in a currency that is NOT in US Dollars, it is now potentially more lucrative to move the money to the US to gain on the upward interest rate.

This now signals an end to cheap credit. The risk is now that rates are on an upward trajectory, those carrying heavy debts will have to pay higher interest payments.

Standard Life: Assets Under Administration

The highly regarded life assurance giant and asset manager is Standard Life. The largest employer in the beautiful city of Edinburgh, it has become a massive player in fund management


Today, they manage £301.9bn.(that is about 20% of UK GDP).

What is interesting to know, is that Standard Life, also manage the money purchase pension plans for many companies.

BT, [] the most dynamic telecommunications corporation in the world, has a money purchase pension scheme for its staff, that is a Standard Life product.

The Ground Rents Income Fund PLC

The Ground Rents Income Fund is a £100m London listed investment company that investment in ground rents on land, effectively buying freeholds on land.


Brooks Macdonald Funds Limited are the investment advisors.

What is interesting about The Ground Rents Income Fund is the major investors:-

21.23% Architas Multi Manager
12.95% Brooks Macdonald Asset Management
9.51% Ruffer
5.92% AXA Framlington Investment Managers
5.87% Old Mutual Global Investors
4.66% Vestra Wealth
4.61% Transact

A yield of over 3%

Berkshire Hathaway: Northern Power Grid

The Northern Power Grid in a UK company that runs the electricity distribution network that delivers power to customers in the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire.

It known as a DNO, a Distribution Network Operator, delivering electricity to end customers.

What is interesting is to know who the owner of Northern Power Grid is.
It is the investment company Berkshire Hathaway, run by one of the world’s most successful investors, Warren Buffet who is one of the world’s richest men.

Electricity Generation: India

A measure of a country’s economic development is the amount of electricity that is generated by the nation to meet the economic needs of domestic and commercial users.

India accounts for 5.1% of global electricity generation. It produces 1208.4 Terawatt/Hours. Each year India has needed over 9% more electricity that the year before, a good bench mark for the current economic growth enjoyed by the country.

To put this 5.1% figure into perspective, that represents one of the top 5 nations for electricity production. India produces twice as much electricity as Germany and three times more electricity than the UK.

Of course, UK and Germany could be potentially more efficient, but as a quick benchmark, one can see the rapid economic development of India based on the nation’s electricity generation.

Total Proven Oil Reserves.

The world is hooked on oil. Total oil consumption is 92,086,000 barrels a day. (that is 92million)

But what is the total reserve in the ground ?

It is: 1700.1 Thousand Million barrels. That is : 1,700,100,000,000 to be precise.

That is broken down by these regions:

13.7% in North America
19.4% in South and Central America
9.1% in Europe and Eurasia
47.7% in The Middle East
7.6% in Africa
2.5% in Asia Pacific

Now using  92,086,000 barrels a day, with reserves of 1,700,100,000,000 barrels in the ground, that equates to 18,462 days which is 50 years if we consume at the constant rate of 92,086,000 barrels a day and no new reserves are found.

HM Government Borrowings: November 2015

Another month, guess what, take a lucky guess, it is the same old story, HM Government, spends more money than it receives via taxes and duties. Another deficit month, thus to bridge the gap, needs to borrow on the bond market.

In November 2015, the HM Government had to borrow money to meet the difference between tax revenues and public sector expenditure. The term for this is The PSNCR: The Public Sector Net Cash Requirement.

There were “only” 3 auctions of Gilts (UK Government Bonds) by the UK Debt Management Office ( to raise cash for HM Treasury :-
18-Nov-2015 2% Treasury Gilt 2025 £3,347.4600 Million
12-Nov-2015 4¼% Treasury Gilt 2039 £1,500.0000 Million
10-Nov-2015 0 1/8% Index-linked Treasury Gilt 2058 £769.8750 Million

When you add the cash raised:-

∑(£3,347.460 Million + £1,500.000 Million + £769.875 Million) =  £5,617.34 Million

£5,617.34 Million = £5.61734 Billion

On another way of looking at it, is in the 30 days in November, HM Government borrowed:-

£187 million each day for the 30 days. We are fortunate, while the global banking and financial markets still has the confidence in HM Government to buy the Gilts (Lend money to the UK), the budget deficit keeps rising. What is also alarming, is the dates these bond mature 2025, 2039 and 2058. All long term borrowings, we are mortgaging our futures, but at least “We Are In It Together…