FIDEL Dead....

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by ElCubano, Aug 24, 2007.

  1. It hasnt been anounced yet.... at 5pm eastern time 8/24/ heard it here first...peace

    time now 3:36pm eastern
  2. the rumor is growing....they are setting up barricades up and down 8th street ..which is lil havana miami.....lets see what happens
  3. thanks cubano---this is serious news--should be in news section--maybe just another rumour??

  4. wait til 5pm ...but yes it has been rumored several times in the past...but i have never posted any of that..i got this from an insider....
  5. Buy CUBA and CGAR(bb).

    Might also see some movement in RCL.

    Also, I remember reading an article about a railroad company in southern Florida that would benefit because they are the only railway that runs out of the southern Florida ports. Anyone know who it is? Thanks.
  6. topdown


    From Forbes 7/23:

    After Fidel
    Alex Davidson 07.23.07

    Don't wait for a regime change. The post-Castro era is already unfolding.

    Last summer, while the dictator who has ruled for almost half a century lay hospitalized with intestinal problems, two men at the University of Miami started planning for the post-Castro era. Jorge Piñon, a former BP executive, and Jaime Suchlicki, former director of the university's Research Institute for Cuban Studies, created the Cuba Business Roundtable to provide U.S. businesses with information they will need should America end its now 46-year-old embargo against the Castro regime.

    The group has 24 unidentified member companies. They pay $10,000 a year to receive monthly updates, participate in conference calls to discuss the news on Cuba and receive reports on how industries are doing on the island. "We're telling people this won't be like eastern Europe," Suchlicki says of a postembargo Cuba. "It's going to be gradual change."

    Prior to the 1961 embargo 80% of Cuba's trade was with the U.S. Today the Netherlands and Canada are the two biggest recipients of Cuban exports (mostly metal ore, sugar and tobacco); Cuba imports petroleum, grain and electrical equipment from Venezuela and China. The U.S. is the only country that bars its citizens from doing business in Cuba and with Cuban entities.

    With 11 million people Cuba is smaller than communist Vietnam, with 85 million people, and, of course, China, with 1.3 billion. And Cubans are too poor to buy most imported goods, limiting any initial postembargo market for consumer products. The per capita gross domestic product in 2006 was $3,900, according to U.S. government figures. "You're not going to have 20 Home Depots and 20 Wal-Marts," Piñon says.

    It's the location and natural resources that attract. Cuba gets 2 million visitors a year and will appeal to hotel companies and cruise operators, as well as to corporate farmers in need of equatorial sunshine. As for its resources, joint ventures in Cuba with the nickel and cobalt industries brought in $1.3 billion in 2005, while estimates of offshore oil reserves are at 5 billion barrels and of natural gas reserves at 10 trillion cubic feet.

    Thomas J. Herzfeld started his Herzfeld Caribbean Basin Fund (nasdaq: CUBA - news - people ) in 1994, with the ticker CUBA (no coincidence). He put up $10 million and underwrote it through his brokerage firm. Nasdaq-listed shares of the closed-end fund, whose investments are primarily in U.S. stocks and companies in Mexico, the Cayman Islands and Panama, are down 11% this year to date but up 17% a year since inception. For comparison, Morgan Stanley (nyse: MS - news - people ) Capital International's EAFE Index of foreign stocks shows a gain of 10% year-to-date and 12% a year since Herzfeld launched his fund. With $16 million in assets this tiny fund sells at a steep 36% premium to net assets. That alone makes it a bad buy; 3.4% in annual expenses is another reason to stay away.

    But you can knock off the fund's positions. The biggest: Florida East Coast Industries (nyse: FLA - news - people ), a holding company with interests in real estate and railroads; Consolidated Water, a seawater-desalination plant operator; Seaboard Corp. (amex: SEB - news - people ), a pork and shipping firm; Watsco (amex: WSO.B - news - people ), which sells air-conditioning, heating and refrigeration equipment; and Royal Caribbean, a cruise line.

    Herzfeld tells eager investors that a postembargo Cuba is all about the ABCs: "A" for aircraft, air-conditioning, autos and agriculture; "B" for boats, buildings, boatyards and banking; and "C" for cigars, casinos and cement.

    Florida East Coast fits none of those categories. Herzfeld likes it because it runs the main freight railroad between Jacksonville and Miami, a likely key line for goods in a postembargo Cuba. He thinks the company would operate a rail barge to and from Cuba, whose railroad gauge is the same as in the U.S. This stock, which is up 40% since the start of the year, sells for an expensive 57 times its Thomson IBES 2007 consensus earnings forecast.

    Seaboard operates most of the container ships in the Caribbean and has a hand in the food business, so it's already positioned to take advantage of any increase in trade in the region. Herzfeld's fund holds positions in two cruise companies: Royal Caribbean and Carnival (nyse: CCL - news - people ). Roughly half the revenue of each operator comes from the Caribbean; Herzfeld says that revenue would double once access to Cuba was granted.

    Another holding, Trailer Bridge (nasdaq: TRBR - news - people ), is a trucking and marine-freight company that just won a deal to ship Ford vehicles to Puerto Rico. Trailer Bridge has only $112 million in latest 12-month revenues, but Herzfeld likes it because its ships have shallow drafts. Only 3 of Cuba's 14 ports have water at least 65 feet deep.

    For investors looking to capitalize on Cuba's energy resources, things get trickier. Its reserves would not add much immediately to the profits of, say, an ExxonMobil (nyse: XOM - news - people ), while smaller operators might have a hard time because of the high cost of offshore drilling--as much as $1 billion per platform.

    Nevertheless, the potential for Cuba is substantial enough that it warrants attention from both investors and speculators. Foreign operators are already flocking to Cuba's waters. Cuba looks likely to get a share of the "Eastern Gap," a portion of the Gulf of Mexico fields that will ultimately be split with Mexico and the U.S., according to Piñon. This is in addition to the North Cuba Basin's reserves.

    Another company likely to benefit is Teco Energy (nyse: TEPRT - news - people ), which owns Tampa Electric (other-otc: TAECM.PK - news - people ) and Teco Guatemala and has other units dealing with natural gas, coal, synthetic fuels and waterborne transportation.

    While America sits on the sidelines, there are 258 joint ventures and 115 cooperative production contracts currently in Cuba. Among these are Canada's Sherritt International, which has invested more than $500 million in onshore oil and gas exploration. Oil companies from Spain, India, Malaysia and Norway, as well as Sherritt, now hold 16 offshore deepwater blocks; Brazil's Petrobras is also rumored to be expressing interest. Lloyd's of London has been in the reinsurance business in Cuba, while Telecom Italia is a shareholder in Etecsa, Cuba's national phone company.

    "We're seeing the post-Castro era unfold right before our eyes," says Kirby Jones, founder and president of the U.S. Cuba Trade Association.
  7. andread


    No news yet. Old Fidel wasn't doing very well, but maybe this time it's just a rumor.
    I'm curious to see what happens in the next hours
  8. Topdown,

    Thank you for the article. That was the exact one I was referencing. I appreciate it.
  9. topdown


    No problem LH, I've been thinking about this trade for a while. Short tobacco / cigars / sugar? Long travel / casinos / Cosa Nostra?

    I guess it all depends on Raul. But if US travel / trades open up there has got to be a play here.
  10. Maybe he's just a bit dead?
    #10     Aug 25, 2007