Monday, 1 December 2008

Race to the bottom

The MIS companies are continuing their inexorable journeys towards a catastrophe. Not all will survive intact.

Great Southern Plantations (GSL) seems to be at the head of the peloton at this stage.

Desperately trying to find some cash to pay the bills over the next few years GSL has been trying to persuade Woodlot investors to swap their trees for GSL shares so that when the trees are harvested GSL will get to keep 100% of the net harvest proceeds instead of giving 94.5% back to the Woodlot owners.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Collapse of MIS

LEONIE WOOD has written another revealing episode in The Age ( HERE ) concerning the collapse of Environinvest a MIS company which traded principally in Victoria. It’s interesting to read about the cast of characters involved in the real life drama.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

CFMEU and the forest industry

One of the architects of current forestry policy, Mr O’Connor from the CFMEU has been quick to call for government assistance, as reported in The Australian dated 3rd November 2008.,,24591921-2702,00.html

The leader of the union representing forestry workers wants the Government to craft an industry plan similar to that which protects jobs and promotes growth in the car industry. It could use mechanisms such as grants and tax breaks for new investment to protect jobs and boost value adding, allowing the local industry to see off the threat of cheaper imports, Mr O’Connor said.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Sub prime MIS

Few would have thought 12 months ago that granting mortgages to a few borrowers who couldn’t afford the repayments, would lead to such world wide turmoil. But it was more than just a few borrowers. It was a few million.

The mortgage providers bundled the mortgages together and transferred them to other lenders. They were then repackaged, given an attractive credit rating, then on sold to investors and super funds all round the world. The investors thought they were buying a highly rated bond with an interest rate better than bank deposits, when in fact they were buying a collection of mortgages to borrowers with a high possibility of default.

Default is what occurred. With a large level of defaults, a lot of houses hit the market at once. House prices plummeted. Invertors’ bonds became worthless. The only recourse for investors was to sue those who sold the toxic product. But firms like Lehman Brothers declared themselves bankrupt. In Victoria alone it is estimated that local governments and other semi government bodies have lost $30m in this way.

We are now witnessing the same phenomena in our MIS industry.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

A tale of Temma


THIS IS a tale about Temma, a tale about how a small historic plot of land has been exploited by distant landowners motivated by the excesses which have characterised the last few years.

It is a tale of failed public policy.

Monday, 8 September 2008

The death of MIS

Are we seeing the beginning of a change in the managed investment scheme (MIS) industry?

The question of whether or not the pulp mill will proceed has accounted for most of the recent attention directed at Gunns and the rest of the forest industry. Gunns announced a trading halt as they endeavoor to boost their balance sheet with $430 million of additional equity. Their ASX announcements released on 29th August make interesting reading.

But even more interesting were the ASX announcements by Great Southern Limited (GSL) issued last week at the end of their self imposed trading halt. GSL is involved in the forest industry as an MIS manager and an exporter of plantation woodchips as well as administering non forestry MIS projects involving cattle, olives almonds etc. Hence GSL is similar to Gunns in many respects.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Gunns and the sale of assets

Discussion about the possible reasons for Gunns proposing to sell $170 million of their plantation assets has largely overlooked the fact that $120 million worth of hybrid securities called FORESTS (Frankable Optionally Redeemable Equity Settleable Transferable Securities) which trade on the ASX under the symbol GNSPA need to converted to shares or redeemed by 14 October 2008 or else Gunns may face an increased payment of 2.50% pa to the holders of the securities.