Stay-at-Home Millionaires on the Rise in England (CNBC)
Britain’s Zoopla Property Group’s 2013 Property Rich List got a lot thicker this year with the addition of 77,894 new names to its ranks. If you’re unfamiliar with this list, it publishes the names of every home owner in England whose property value is over one million pounds ($1.5 million), and that list grew by 32 percent last year. Does that mean property investors should queue up to buy British? Well, only if they’re in the crème de la cream of the class. “Property values in these super-prime areas are astronomically high and have risen substantially over the past year,” said Lawrence Hall, head of communications at Zoopla. So, if your idea of investing also means putting money into your reputation, buy British.
Blackberry’s Rollercoaster Life (YahooFinance)
Despite playing catchup to Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS operating systems in smart phones, Blackberry still is running full-steam ahead — or at least, as full-steam ahead as possible. And that should be enough to beat Q2 estimates. If the company does beat expectations, Michaeal Genovese, managing director at MKM Partners, said investors will be able to get a good sell price. Blackberry is going to beat the quarter on “headline numbers,” he added. “Revenues, gross margins, EPS should all be pretty strongly above where the sell-side consensus is right now,” Genovese said. But that improvement won’t last, since Genovese claims that Blackberry’s subscriber base has lost 3 million users in Q412, and is expected to lose the same number again. When the company releases Q2 numbers today, you may want to consider hanging up on RIMM, Blackberry’s manufacturer.
Obama’s Back to Africa Campaign Not Resonating with U.S. Business (Bloomberg)
European and Chinese interests still far outpace U.S. investment in Africa, even a year after President Obama urged American companies to expand into the continent that’s home to six of the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies. Even if the president described Africa as “the world’s next major economic success story,” businesses still are staying away in droves, citing corruption, security risks and trade challenges as the main barriers to entry. However, global titans such as Wal-Mart or Chevron — companies with the infrastructure and financial backing to overcome those barriers — already are making headway in the former “dark continent.” How long it’ll take for investors to embrace Africa is anyone’s guess, but for those hardy souls tolerant of risk, the rewards could be enormous.