I did in the end add to my Premier Oil, buying back the remaining 40% at around 75. Some interesting statistics about oil and oil product theft in Mexico came to light. It appears that only refined products like petrol/gasoline are stolen on a regular basis from pipelines and trucks, then like abracadabra the same products are sold to filling stations by criminal gangs. Sometimes this is with the collusion of Pemex employees, who are most probably placemen – those are the guys who get a job through political connections, can seldom be found anywhere near their offices, and only answer their private cellphones.
Because products we have bought that were made in Mexico have failed or been well below acceptable standards this got me thinking. Many years ago somebody gave me a Calvin Klein watch bought in Maceys New York for about $100. After a while the battery movement seized up – and I gave it to a specialist watch guy I knew to have a look at. He said the problem was that the manufacturers put in a 50 cent movement, and the watch worked well for a number of years with the $2 movement he replaced it with for me. So I wonder if components are replaced with sub standard copies at Mexican factories, as the criminal gangs could be setting up spares businesses stocked with stolen parts. So far I have had a Samsung Smart TV where the screen failed, a Black and Decker food processor that would not chop anything much, a large Frigidaire upright fridge/freezer that ceased to work, and a Whirlpool washing machine where the tub started to damage the structure of the machine. All Made in Mexico
I assume that Trump knows that the Mexicans will tighten up on immigrants if they are threatened with tariffs. This is because a huge amount of laundered money was used to set up many of the manufacturing facilities in Mexico, now rented to the gringos. As for corporate ownership of property in Mexico, it’s a nightmare – ask anyone who was around at Allied Breweries in the U.K. after they bought Domecq.
I was also a bit surprised to see how quickly Neil Woodford had to suspend redemptions of his fund. I sold out earlier mainly because of concerns that very small U.K. companies could be caught like rabbits in the headlights by Brexit. I need to review funds in greater depth this month, and look at a Buffetology fund – yes there is one and it now has billion in assets.