Ed’s Daily Notes for April 23rd   Leave a comment

Fox News: Bigger iPhone 6 may face delays over reported battery issues

Bad news for you Appleheads out there:

Apple’s iPhone 6 could arrive in 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch variations this year, but those clamoring for the latter may have to hold their breath a bit longer. According to Taiwan’s Commercial Times, the purported phablet-sized iPhone could be delayed a year due to battery production issues.

As pointed out by CNET, battery manufacturers are having a hard time crafting a battery that would fit within the thin frame Apple wants for its 5.5-incher. According to the Commercial Times, the larger iPhone 6 would require a battery that is a maximum of 2 millimeters thick, whereas the average battery sits at 2.8 millimeters.

Bloomberg: Investors Checking Out of ‘Hotel Mongolia’ Found in Limbo

Mongolia is still having growing pains as a frontier market:

Welcome to the ‘Hotel Mongolia.’ It’s a lovely place. But you might not be able to leave.

For about 50 foreigners — miners, accountants, bankers and charity workers mostly drawn here by the country’s resource boom — the lyrics of the Eagles song turned into reality when Mongolia prevented them from leaving the country.

Some of those under the travel ban say the cases involve probes of their employers that have dragged on months or even years. “My career has been destroyed and I don’t know when I will be able to leave,” said Philippines citizen Hilarion Cajucom, who was an accountant at SouthGobi Resources (SGQ) Ltd. when the Canadian company was accused of tax fraud by the government.

Cajucom and former SouthGobi colleague Cristobal David have been prevented from leaving Mongolia since 2012.

Many foreigners interviewed for this story asked not to be named for fear of reprisals from the authorities. All denied allegations against them. Some described their situation as a strange limbo in which they retain their passports, haven’t been charged with any crime, yet they have been told by the police they will not be allowed to leave the country.

Meanwhile…

Bloomberg: Mongolia Eyes Changing Laws to Stimulate Mining Investment

Mongolia’s government said it intends to submit two bills to parliament that could stimulate its mining sector and stoke investment.

The first bill would annul a June 2010 law suspending the issue of new exploration licenses, providing opportunities for companies to explore deposits that include coal, copper and gold, according to the government’s website, citing a meeting on April 19. The second would amend guidelines applied to a July 2009 law on rivers and forests, to allow mining in areas previously off-limits due to environmental concerns.

The changes could provide an economic lift to a country where foreign investment fell 54 percent last year and economic growth slipped to 11.7 percent from 12.4 percent in 2012. Investment has been affected by a high-profile spat with Rio Tinto Group over the Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold deposits it shares with the government, as well as laws put in place during the mining boom of 2009 to 2011 to curb environmental damage and corruption.

Even with the problems in the world’s mining industry, Mongolia still has a lot of growth potential. But there are plenty of obstacles for Mongolia to overcome, mainly themselves.

As for Mongolia’s main trading partner…

Bloomberg: China Manufacturing Gauge Signals Economic Weakness

China’s economy has yet to respond to policy makers’ stimulus efforts, an April manufacturing gauge indicated today, helping send the yuan to a 16-month low.

The preliminary Purchasing Managers’ Index from HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics was 48.3 in April, matching the median estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. The reading rose from March’s final figure of 48 while remaining below the expansion-contraction dividing line of 50.

Sustained weakness in manufacturing would pressure Premier Li Keqiang to expand pro-growth measures beyond a required-reserves cut for rural banks yesterday and what some analysts have dubbed a “mini stimulus” package of railway spending and tax relief. The report followed data last week showing China’s expansion moderated to the slowest pace in six quarters.

I keep hearing “China will be forced to provide stimulus”, and yet there has been very little response from the government, other than a few minor infrastructure measures. The Chinese government can clearly see what is happening, yet they still resist stimulus measures. They clearly have some longer-term plan in place, and they are running with it. Until the economy threatens their longer-term plan, don’t be surprised if the Chinese government continues sitting on their thumbs.

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Posted April 23, 2014 by edmcgon in China, Market Analysis, News, Stocks, Technology

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