Thursday, January 27, 2011

BDIY Underwater

Well well, Japan is downgraded to which TMM has one thing to say to those flipping out about this:

Which coincidentally is what the JGB mini futures investing public said – meanwhile as we write the Yen has moved about 90bps and the sovereign CDS spread is out 5bps on the move. Without getting too punchy TMM are to fade the spot traders and go with the JGB traders on this one and stick by our observation that sovereign CDS is a more blatantly rigged market than your average casino.

Moving onto something less “tabloid” there has been a continued slow boil of news headlines about Bulk Dry and how it’s almost back to the 08-09 lows. People often look at BDIY and assume that its some kind of proxy for commodities demand and that as a result it should move somewhat in line with commodity prices and particularly Chinese imports. As usual when one looks only at demand you’ve got half the story. The other half is below. White is the total in thousands of Deadweight Tons in service for bulk carriers and orange is the % of the total fleet on order and green is the level of BDIY.

As you can see the shipbuilders of the world got way, way ahead of themselves in 06-08 ordering vessels just as the world economy was going into cardiac arrest. The problem with this is unlike other products you order and get instantly (ebooks) or almost instantly (electronics) ships take a very, very long time to build. As a result, when you get inventory overhang in this industry its less like a mild hangover and more like jumping off a building and crashing through 20 sky light windows Wiley Coyote-style before you hit the bottom. And the bottom appears to be getting closer though a return to 6000 on BDIY is a very long way away indeed.

Which gets TMM onto another thing worthy of some further investigation and that is DnB NOR and perhaps Norwegian banks in general. You see, the shipping finance industry is incredibly concentrated and a relatively small numbers of banks are most acutely exposed to it. With headlines like this hitting the wires TMM have to wonder whether this outperformance in DnB NOR is warranted versus, say, Santander:

Especially with this in their latest presentation and numbers that suggest they have written down a paltry 0.1% of their shipping loan book which is about 12% of assets as of last press...

TMM think that DnB NOR via their JV DnB NORD may have been the best way to play the Baltic Banking bounce but this shipping problem does not appear at first glance to be in the price.

In the meantime, TMM would like to set up a poll as to what you should do with the glut of Capesize vessels:

  1. Moor them off Hong Kong to provide cheap housing and save on land reclamation costs.
  2. Lash a large number of them together to make a Mad Max version of Macau – which would look like Macau, just with more ultimate fighting.
  3. Moor them off Somalia to take advantage of low wages and proximity to Europe and India for light manufacturing.
  4. [suggestions]


leftback said...

Bring a large tanker to the Staten Island ferry terminal. Empty the building at 200 West Street and take all of the inhabitants on a cruise to Somalia or Yemen to form a new commodity exchange.

Anonymous said...

load just about every g7 central banker onto these and sink em real good.

btw, me recalls RBS doin a lot of shipping finance

Charles Butler said...

Trade them to Reyal Urbis for raw land in Guadalajara.

FX said...

Fill'em up with treasuries and park them off the coast for firing practice.

Anonymous said...

moor them off london, as future housing for the hedgies about to lose their jobs in 2011; oh, daily delivery from the squids' chief economist will be maintained.

Anonymous said...

If I remember right the Norwegian banks have hit the codberg of shipping (in scandinavian torskberget) pretty dramatically with abt 10 yr frequency. In old times the losses were not published as meticulously as today, but if I am not mistaken, shipping losses have paved the for Norwegian bank mergers in past. Just wondering if there would be abt 10 yrs from last round of shipping losses.

leftback said...

Interesting day, many opportunities for some mean reversion trades out there. Selling the yen seemed like the best percentage trade for me, and shorting silver looked like a good bet for trend resuming.

Anyone catch any knives? Charles, get any EGPT?

Anonymous said...

hey leftback, hope your "mean reversion" and "sell the yen" best trade of the day didn't cause you too much pain, if you lost money or better still lost your job, don't worry, Ben chopperman will use this plunge in risk assets to "justify" QE3, start writing your resumes, John Paulson could be raising another "short them all" fund, marketed of course by the squids. If you are so bad not even Paulson wants you, go get a sleeping shed with one of those moored ships off London, will ye? :(

Nemo Incognito said...

Anon 1254am, we don't require people to have a google account for comments again in the hope that really nasty, petty behavior and partisan political mudslinging stays off the blog. Ultimately this is a blog about macro - if you want to rail against bankers the comments section of the FT or NYTimes is more your bag.

Charles Butler said...

LB - No EGPT actually. I'm currently resting on my laurels. What I do want is a nascent Egyptian cable tv provider to line up against a short on a satellite provider.


Nemo Incognito said...

Charles I'd say Orascom tel but as you may have noticed that thing had been slipping into the sea for some time already.

As for knife catching you couldn't have gone past CEY LN. Egyptian gold miner. Biggest holder Paulson - its always nice having event driven guys in there as they love to buy a dip.

Anonymous said...

Rent them out as pirat sugar traps?

80-90 of these ships with armed naval personel patrolling the Somali coast line could catch a few pirats when they coma acallin'.
And make the survivors a bit wary of preying on shipping.

scrilla said...

re: #2, which has my vote:
i believe when at sea the proper term is "waterworld"