By Clem Miller, Senior Portfolio ManagerJanuary 18, 2018— Amidst all of the market excitement about U.S. tax reform, many investors fail to appreciate the mounting risk that President Trump could soon announce U.S. withdrawal from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
November 10, 2017— Saudi Arabia is planning an IPO for 5% of ARAMCO, the state-owned oil company, for 2018 or 2019. With an estimated value ranging from $50-$100 billion, the IPO would be the largest-ever IPO. The proceeds are slated to fund a capital increase in Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund. New York and London are competing to be the listing venue – President Trump even promoted New York by tweet.
October 17, 2017—Japan holds general elections on October 22. Polls suggest Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) will secure its current large majority of seats. Abe’s personal popularity has sagged due to family and cabinet scandals. Nevertheless, voters welcome an improving local economy and support his plans to strengthen the armed forces and increase education and childcare spending.