NRG, China Pacific, RIM, SanDisk, Thai natural gas car

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BUffett under water
Exelon put a bid for NRG yesterday, a bigger power (utility) for another smaller one, not all that interesting or surprising considering current market condition: the drop of share prices and the freeze of credit market (note the utility companies usually rely on bond market to finance its cap ex). But I saw a small twist: Buffett is still under water on his NRG share purchases, even after the Exelon bid. According to SEC filing, Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, bought 3,238,100 shares of NRG at $42.4 per share, in 2Q 2008 (source: gurufocus).

Rouge trader at Citic Pacific
According to Bloomberg, the rouge trader in Citic Pacific, a subsidiary of all-mighty China Citic Group, is going to lose 2 billion USD on un-authorized currency trade. Adding to the injury, the daughter of Citic Chairman Larry Yung (wiki), appears to be involved in the scandal. How many poor Chinese kids can go school with that money???

Citic Pacific logo

SanDisk vs. SamSung
SanDisk sold some stake of its JV (with Toshiba) to Toshiba. Read WSJ for more details. Interesting quote:

…Other analysts said the latest deal makes SanDisk more attractive to Samsung and could eventually make it easier for the Korean company to forge a deal to buy the company. “Toshiba wouldn’t revise its joint-venture agreement with SanDisk if it didn’t think a deal with Samsung would go through,” said Peter Yu, an analyst at BNP Paribas…

CNG car becoming popular in Thai
Last not least (from WSJ), natural gas powered cars are becoming popular in Thai, after the Thai goverment put up some policies to support the initiative (in order to reduce the crude oil import). Two interesting numbers: it takes $1,900 to convert a normal car into CNG car powered car; in last 6 months 40,000 cars were converted in Thai. Also, “According to PTT officials, about 115,000 vehicles now run on CNG in Thailand, compared with only about 1,000 in 2003.”

Also according to the article, the CNG is not going to be big in the US in the near term. But PTT’s Mr. Chitrapongse doubts the U.S. will convert to natural gas as quickly as Thailand has. For Americans, gasoline, even when its price soars, is a much smaller part of the budget than it is for Thais, whose incomes are lower. That means Americans may feel less urgency to put up with the hassles of CNG, he says.

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