Asia: a land of opportunity for miners & investors?


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Objective Capital's Global Resources Investment Conference 2011
Stationers' Hall, City of London
27-28 September 2011
Day 1- Session 5: Asia focus
Speaker: Tim Weir, Wessex Asset Management

Published in: Economy & Finance, Business
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Asia: a land of opportunity for miners & investors?

  1. 1. September 11<br />1<br />Asia: a land of opportunity for miners & investors?<br />Tim Weir – Wessex Asset Management<br />
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  4. 4. Wessex Asset Management<br />4<br />September 11<br /><ul><li>10+ year hedge fund track record co-managing the Wessex Asia Pacific Fund (WAPF).
  5. 5. Wessex Natural Resources Fund manager since 2004 launch.
  6. 6. Wessex Gold Fund manager since 2007 launch
  7. 7. Economist by training
  8. 8. MA Oxford PPE 1980
  9. 9. AIIMR since 1982
  10. 10. Set up Abbey Commodity and Energy Trust 1982
  11. 11. Head of equities, Swiss Bank Corporation institutional funds London 1988-1993
  12. 12. Managed SBC’s GoldPortfolio, one of the world’s biggest gold equity funds, which won the Bopp-Finanz Swiss mutual fund prize 1990-93
  13. 13. Director of European equities at NatWest Investment Management 1993-1996</li></ul>Tim Weir<br />Chief Executive, <br /> Investment Director<br />Fund Manager: <br />Wessex Gold Fund<br />Wessex Natural Resources Fund<br />
  14. 14. Wessex Asset Management<br />5<br />September 11<br /><ul><li>10+ year Asian Hedge Fund track record co-managing the Wessex Asia Pacific Fund (WAPF)
  15. 15. Co-manager Wessex Natural Resource and Gold funds
  16. 16. MSc (Honours) Mining Geology
  17. 17. Exploration Geologist, Project Geologist, Investment Analyst in ANZ 1979-82
  18. 18. Mining analyst at Prudential in London 1982-84
  19. 19. Managed Abbey’s Commodity and Energy trust (ACET) and resource portfolios (see appendices).
  20. 20. 14 year Asian track record managing Abbey Life’s Asian Pacific Trust (AAPT) 1985-99. Responsibility for over $1 billion of assets at Abbey Life</li></ul>Peter Chesterfield <br />Chairman, <br /> Investment Director<br />
  21. 21. 6<br />September 11<br /> Asia: Land of Opportunities for Miners?<br />Asia: Land of Opportunities for Miners?<br /><ul><li>Consumer wealth effects in China and India are dramatically spurring demand for gold and other commodities….
  22. 22. China, now leads the world as a gold supplier, but its companies are opaque and its operating environment complex…
  23. 23. …And China has become a significant actor as a source of mining finance and infrastructure investment, in some areas…</li></ul>Yet…<br /><ul><li>Gold and diamond deposits remain concentrated outside of Asia and most production is outside of Asia…
  24. 24. …And the vast majority of mining finance does not come from Asia</li></ul>For investors, Asia is NOT the land of opportunity.<br />
  25. 25. The real land of opportunity: Mining Equities <br />7<br />September 11<br />Bullion vs Market Vectors: Significant opportunities have arisen from equity underperformance…<br />Source: Bloomberg<br />
  26. 26. The real land of opportunity: Mining Equities<br />8<br />September 11<br />… And juniors have underperformed majors<br />Source: Bloomberg<br />
  27. 27. 9<br />September 11<br /> Gold is still in a bull market <br />Strong gold supply / demand fundamentals<br />Real interest rates are still very low or negative<br />Strong consumer demand, increasingly from newly affluent Asians <br />Asian central bank buying – Iran the latest to diversify reserves<br />Perceived as a safe haven in times of financial instability <br />Increased investment demand assisted by launch of ETFs<br />Falling gold mine production (notably South Africa)<br />Cross-currents<br />Gold normally benefits from US$ weakness and rate cuts<br />Gold as each-way bet on inflation and deflation risks<br />Can lose out tactically on FX moves and liquidity drying-up<br />End of QE, high interest rates and end of inflation fears would signal end of gold bull market<br />Equities<br />1. Equities have ‘optionality’ and are currently cheap relative to bullion<br />
  28. 28. The Gold bull market in US dollars<br />10<br />September 11<br />The gold bull market is not driven just by US$ weakness…<br />USD<br />Source: Bloomberg<br />
  29. 29. Gold Price in Major Currencies<br />11<br />September 11<br />… There is an ongoing gold bull market even in strong currencies<br />Source: Bloomberg<br />EURO<br />not driven just be US$ weakness<br />AUD<br />Source: Bloomberg<br />
  30. 30. Gold market s – the new geography<br />12<br />September 11<br />North America: Valuation premium justified by lower political risk. Some production expansion from reviving older mines.<br />Russia& FSU: Some opportunities but major expropriation risk.<br />China: World’s biggest producer, but companies are fairly opaque.<br />South America: Some interesting assets, mostly owned by North American majors.<br />South Africa: Increasing depth, power supply issues and falling grades make cost control very difficult. Politics a worry.<br />West Africa: The new frontier. Exciting growth egTasiast mega-mine. Politics has improved significantly.<br />Australia: Most pure Oz gold plays are small (except Newcrest). Oz-listed stocks producing from Asia, Africa.<br />
  31. 31. Defining a profitable niche 1<br />13<br />September 11<br />Sustainable excess returns can be generated by a L/S gold equity fund because of persistent characteristics in the gold market<br /><ul><li>Gold is in a long-term bull market, but one characterized by high volatility and enormous stock divergence – how to profit from this?
  32. 32. Gold equities have leverage to bullion through operating gearing and enhancing the value of reserves in the ground
  33. 33. Commodity equities have accessible stock alpha due to the generally poor quality of research. Analysts tend to be relatively inexperienced. Good stock pickers should be able to beat a gold equity index or ETF.
  34. 34. Wessex principals have been meeting mine managers, going underground and analyzing gold mines since early 1980s. No special magic, just hard work and knowledge which cannot be replicated in front of Bloomberg screens</li></li></ul><li> Defining a profitable niche 2<br /><ul><li>A good stock picker can add more value in a long/short fund than in a long-only vehicle – the gross can be higher, the net can be higher or lower, shorts can be used for alpha or for protection
  35. 35. Gold shares should do better than bullion in a bull market
  36. 36. CTAs are better placed for protecting downside and making money in bear markets, but will normally not give full exposure in a bull market
  37. 37. Value can be added by timely exposure to silver, diamonds and PGM equities</li></ul>14<br />September 11<br />A long/short gold equity fund offers differentiated value – <br />not replicated by CTAs, long-only funds or holding physical gold<br />
  38. 38. Investment Philosophy<br />15<br />September 11<br />
  39. 39. WGF trade examples: AUSGOLD<br />16<br />September 11<br />A new gold province in Western Australia?<br />Source: Bloomberg<br />
  40. 40. WGF trade examples: PETRA DIAMONDS<br />17<br />September 11<br />Ex-De Beers management cutting costs and innovating in diamonds in southern Africa<br />Source: Bloomberg<br />
  41. 41. Risk Parameters<br />18<br />September 11<br />WGFT = Wessex Gold Fund THEORETICAL = using actual precious metal sector weightings of the Wessex Natural Resource Fund (WNRF) May 2004 to July 2007 and scaling the weightings up such that the average net position over the life of the WGFT would have been 100% net in these sectors. Average precious metal sector weight in WNRF to date has been 23% and therefore the attribution has been scaled up by a constant factor of 1/23%. Source:WAM<br />
  42. 42. Summary<br />19<br />September 11<br /><ul><li>We can make very significant money in the continuing gold bull market.
  43. 43. Good stock picking and market timing can turn this into a longer-term profitable hedge fund opportunity
  44. 44. Wessex team has a strong fund track record and portfolio managers who are very experienced in gold markets
  45. 45. A dedicated L/S gold fund, run more aggressively in terms of the net and stock concentration can achieve very strong returns</li></li></ul><li> Wessex Asset Management<br />September 11<br />Chairman and Investment Director<br />CEO and Investment Director<br />Fund Manager<br />Associate Director, Operations<br />Middle Office Executive<br />Marketing Director<br />Consultant, risk and business development<br />WAM Legal Counsel<br />WAM Accounting<br />Compliance Consultants<br />Technology Support<br />Peter Chesterfield<br />Tim Weir<br />Gabrielle Knights<br />Sarah Martin<br />Nicola Dady<br />Douglas Sloane<br />George Vere-Laurie<br />Mishcon De Reya<br />Throgmorton<br /> IMS Consulting<br />Treken<br />20<br />September 11<br />
  46. 46. Fund Service Providers<br />21<br />September 11<br />Investment Manager Wessex Asset Management Ltd.<br /> 8 Queen Street<br /> London WIJ 5PD<br />Prime Broker / Custodian Morgan Stanley <br /> 25 Cabot Square, Canary Wharf<br /> London E14 4QA<br />Auditor Ernst & Young<br /> Harcourt Centre, Harcourt Street<br /> Dublin 2, Ireland<br />Administrator BNY Mellon Alternative Investment Services<br /> Unit D1, Balmoral Estate, Kells Road <br /> Navan, Co. Meath, Ireland<br />Legal Counsel Mishcon De Reya<br /> Summit House, 12 Red Lion Square<br /> London, WC!R 4QD<br />Legal Counsel (offshore) Maples and Calder<br /> PO Box 309, Georgetown<br /> Cayman Islands <br />
  47. 47. Fund Overview<br />22<br />September 11<br />
  48. 48. DISCLAIMER<br />23<br />September 11<br />Important Notice:<br />The Wessex Gold Fund THEORETICAL (WGFT) should be viewed solely as a calculation of the precious metal sector performance of the Wessex Natural Resource Fund (WNRF) whilst as a variable part of the WNRF portfolio. The actual performance of the proposed Wessex Gold Fund could and probably will have different characteristics. These differences include but are not limited to regional, concentration, gross and fund focus. <br />This document is intended solely for publication and distribution to the recipient and may not be passed on or disclosed to any other person. This document is for information only and is not an offer to sell or an invitation to buy shares in the Wessex Gold Fund. In particular, it does not constitute an offer or solicitation in any jurisdiction where it is unlawful or where the person making the offer or solicitation is not qualified to do so or the recipient may not lawfully receive any such offer or solicitation. It is the responsibility of any person in possession of this document to inform themselves of, and to observe, all applicable laws and regulations of relevant jurisdictions.The information and any opinions contained herein have been obtained from or are based on sources which are believed to be reliable, but the accuracy cannot be guaranteed. No responsibility can be accepted for any consequential loss from this information. Prospective investors should review the prospectus for the WGF before making an investment decision and should rely only on the information contained in the prospectus. Prospective investors should also inform themselves, and should take appropriate advice, on the legal requirements and as to the possible tax consequences, foreign exchange restrictions or exchange control requirements that they may encounter under the laws of the countries of their citizenship, residence or domicile and that may be relevant to the subscription, purchase, holding, exchange, redemption or disposal of any investments.<br />The value of investments and income derived therefrom can decrease as well as increase (this may be partly due to exchange rate fluctuations in investments that have an exposure to currencies other than the base currency of the Fund). Performance numbers shown are records of past performance and as such do not guarantee future performance. Regulated in the United Kingdom by FSA.<br />This document is issued by Wessex Asset Management Limited. The Wessex Gold Fund (the ‘fund’) is defined as an' Unregulated Collective Investment Scheme’ (‘UCIS’) and the promotion of a UCIS either within the UK or from the UK is severely restricted by statute. Consequently, this document is only made available to Professional Clients and Eligible Counterparties as defined by the FSA and to persons falling within the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Promotion of Collective Investment Schemes) (Exemptions) Order 2001. Shares in the fund should only be purchased by persons with professional experience of participating in unregulated schemes and any other person who receives this document should not rely upon it.<br />
  49. 49. BOURNEMOUTH OFFICE Douglas Sloane <br />Tel: 44 (0) 1 202 200 930 Director of Marketing<br />Fax: 44 (0) 1 202 200 931<br />Lorne Park House, Lorne Park Road 44 (0) 207 659 2893<br />Bournemouth BH1 1JJ<br />Authorized and regulated by the FSA and registered with the SEC<br />