15 May 17:
The 2016 report of income for UK Reporting Fund purposes is now available here; the page listing all reports (starting 2013) is www.apolloinvestment.com/UKreportingfund.html.
3 May 17:
The Apollo Asia Fund NAV rose 1.6% in April to US$2,062.85; charts.
9 Apr 17:
The 1Q report discusses business risks under capricious rulers, and a regional stock exchange seeking suggestions for improvement.
4 Apr 17:
The Apollo Asia Fund NAV rose 5.2% in March to US$2,030.55; charts.
1 Mar 17:
The Apollo Asia Fund NAV rose 3.3% in February, to US$1,930.46. Charts will be updated later in the month.
23 Feb 17:
Returning to the topic of Disappearing Hills, a New York Times article mentions more - in Cambodia, where iconic limestone karst scenery and undocumented ecosystems are being quarried by joint ventures with the top Thai cement companies: 'A race to document rare plants before these cliffs are ground to dust'.
A more hopeful message comes from Derek Byerlee, author of a new book on tropical oils, interviewed here: 'What happens when the soy and palm oil boom ends?' He envisages ongoing demand growth, but at a slower pace, allowing cautious optimism that the environmental impact may be reduced by better management and prioritisation of land use. Poor governance in areas like Kalimantan and West Papua make this challenging, but 'the zero deforestation commitment by big traders of palm oil is a major breakthrough' and 'new technologies for supply chain management and real-time monitoring of deforestation improve the chances for success'.
Thought-provoking charts on the demographic transition under way in China and worldwide are provided by Chris Hamilton on the Econimica website, in this and earlier postings.
The depressing news of the conviction of Lena Hendry for organizing a private showing of a human rights documentary, under an act which apparently prohibits possession of a film without government approval, was accompanied by comment on Malaysia's slide down the rankings of the World Press Freedom Index. The free flow of information is vital to an investment management firm, and to efficient capital allocation for a country, so we looked at the rankings. Disconcertingly, in the 2016 ranking, most of the countries in which we hunt for investments are ranked between 130 and 176 out of 180. (The only exceptions are Japan, Australia, and Hong Kong for now.) Alarmingly, over the 10 years since 2006, declines in this group have outnumbered improvements by 9 to 3. Improvements were in Myanmar, the Philippines (we'll see if that lasts), and Pakistan. The fastest slump has been in Malaysia, from 92 to 146. Forward-thinking governments might wish to encourage a well-informed workforce.
6 Feb 17:
The Apollo Asia Fund NAV rose 3.0% in January to US$1,868.62; charts.
Inside Indonesia has a special edition discussing an urgent need for environmental education. This would be relevant to many countries; sharing best practice on educational approaches and resources would make sense.
16 Jan 17:
A Mongabay article on the controversial Don Sahong dam project asks how much the Lao government is risking for hydropower. It has excellent links, such as this stunning map of the many regional hydropower projects.
4 Jan 17:
The Apollo Asia Fund NAV fell 0.4% in December to US$1,814.41; charts.
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