March was an eventful month and I will start with the most important new idea. This is Alibaba – BABA – which is a Chinese version of Amazon. Amazon is the most significant company making huge profits from the Cloud – Chinese Clouds are four to five years behind the US Clouds, and theirs will not only be huge, but also protected from US business incursion by The Great Firewall of China. My Smart Person thinks there may be better buying opportunities during this year, but for the record my first purchase was at US 181.26 and the month end close was 183.60. Not much happening, but interesting to see that BABA and rival TenCent are looking at pooling resources to create a Chinese UberLyft vehicle. That sounds like monopoly planning to me, and monopolies usually make money.
Staying with US tech, Microsoft put on about 6 dollars at 117.97. They are the second biggest Cloud business and have a reasonable chance of getting the Pentagon contract, which the teenage scribblers have already assigned to Amazon. Nvidia staged a rally from 154.52 (where I was losing) to 179.56 ( where I am gaining). Maybe their inventory is declining, and the recent rally in Bitcoin must be helping with chip sales. Roku gained in the early part of March, then there was a Whoops Apocalypse moment as soon as news got out that the company had filed to raise US 100 million in a mixture of equity, debt, and warrants. So the shares ended the month at 64.48 against 65.31. In my opinion they may go ahead with a fund raise, or they may just be opening a window ahead of the Apple and Disney streamers. Also Slack appears to have chosen NYSE for their upcoming listing – this is an interesting business enabling groups working together to cut out the chaff.
Moving to the U.K. market, Bango produced results in line with expectations but market makers decided to shake the tree that day ! Guess they had a few buyers lined up, as the shares closed the month at 110p against 94p. Premier Oil ended at 93.55p against my early March purchase at 73.2p. The Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund may be sellers of exploration and production companies, but their ownership is only 1.8%, hardly significant. Norwegian Wealth all came from exploration and production in their sector of the North Sea, so I find it difficult to fathom their committee logic. I should also mention BAT which closed the month at 3194p. My small add was at 2514p but still not in profit on this holding. Smart Chartist is looking for a reaction from 3200p which they reached then 3400p then maybe 4000p. He’s not always right.
Finally my new investment trust holding – Smithson – closed at 1146p against my purchase price on 22nd January of 1035.6p. Hopefully on a shining path long term.