April 9th, 2021 | 09:03 CEST
Steinhoff, Carnival, The Place Holdings - Get in now?
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Born in Munich, he first studied economics and graduated in business administration at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in 1995. As he was involved with the stock market at a very early stage, he now has more than 30 years of experience in the capital markets.
Steinhoff International - Plaything of the gambler community
The scandalous Steinhoff International Holdings NV is slowly making headway. With the opening of two protective shield proceedings, the decisive step has been taken towards the final decision on accepting the settlement proposal for the injured parties of the accounting fraud, which has been on the table for months. Then there is a concession by the D&O insurers - but it is tied to several conditions. Steinhoff shares have now risen 300% in 6 months.
As part of its efforts to make the settlement proposal more attractive, Steinhoff managed to secure additional money "on top" from the D&O insurers for the managers involved in the events. Now the final decision on whether to accept the settlement proposal on June 30, 2021, might be a little easier. The compensation could amount up to EUR 78.1 million, of which EUR 55.5 million alone is to be distributed to the MPC class action plaintiffs - against the exclusion of further claims. In addition to the payments to the claimants from the class actions, an agreement with their representatives from Deloitte and the insurers would add a total of EUR 13 million in expense allowance.
It will now be fascinating to see what the bottom line will be. However, the pressure on the remaining two plaintiff groups is increasing enormously. One still has to agree so that the payments from the insurers and Deloitte become binding. However, even with positive votes in South Africa and the Netherlands at the creditors' meetings, the Steinhoff Group would be highly indebted. The management is condemned to succeed in the settlement negotiations to achieve at least some chance of survival for the Group. So what the stock market is currently betting on remains incomprehensible because the case will probably end with a worthless share.
Carnival plc - Loss in the billions but rising booking figures
The cruise expert Carnival plc has narrowly escaped bankruptcy through extensive capital increases. The tourism Company closed the first quarter with a loss of almost USD 2 billion. The world's largest cruise company announced this this week in Miami. Still, bookings are probably on the upswing, with hopes for a high vaccination rate driving business again. They were nearly 90% higher in the first quarter of 2021 than in the fourth quarter of last year. Bookings for the 2022 season are still quite a bit higher than in the "solid" first quarter of the comparable year 2019 for 2020 - and that's with only a small amount of advertising and marketing. The cruise line is pleased with this state of affairs, albeit surprised because this development reflects both pent-up demand and cruising's remaining long-term potential. Many analysts had already written off the business model with Corona.
The subsidiary Aida Cruises has canceled its Mediterranean voyages planned for mid-May to early June because of the ongoing pandemic. Instead, the "Aidaperla" will set off on three trips around the Canaries from Las Palmas on Gran Canaria, the Company announced yesterday in Rostock. Since mid-March, the "Aidaperla" is the only ship in the fleet there with a significantly reduced number of passengers. For many months, the Canary Islands have been one of the few vacation destinations in Europe with constantly low incidence values, allowing partial operation.
Carnival's stock is still trying to make up lost ground, no easy feat in these times. After all, the share was still below EUR 10 in April 2020, and now the EUR 20 mark has been regained. The ATH was around EUR 60 in 2017 - it will probably still take some time to get there.
The Place Holdings Ltd. - Chinese real estate developer steps on the gas
A penny stock with good prospects is The Place Holdings Ltd, a Chinese conglomerate with listings in Singapore and Frankfurt. The business model is extensive and therefore robust against the adverse effects of the pandemic. The management holding company currently operates as an asset manager, real estate developer and investor in the biomedical technology sector. The Company's history also includes tourism and the media industry.
A real flagship is the key project "THE PLACE" - a giant ensemble of commercial real estate in the middle of Beijing city center. The complex was built in 2006 and consists of two colossal office towers, a modern mall and a technological forum with a multimedia sky screen. As visitors stroll through the aisles, giant screens run inserts about shopping opportunities and other on-site events. Granted: In Corona times, the perception of this display is different than it has been for the past 10 years. Visitor frequency is now controlled and the degree of freedom is naturally adapted to the circumstances. But the pandemic will end eventually.
A total of SGD 94 million in cash has been invested in the holding Company, and the market capitalization is currently SGD 950 million. The Company propagates modern omni-channel strategies for entirely new consumer experiences. The approach, therefore, consists of a combination of solid real estate and modern tourism approaches in combination with social media. In addition, there are the commitments in Singapore itself. There, the Company benefits from excellent location conditions and economic growth that has been sustained for years. With its 20% stake in MCC Land, The Place secured access to 8,880 square meters of land in 2021 to construct over 260 condominiums and corresponding commercial space.
Shares of The Place Holdings have ranged between EUR 0.07-0.10 since its introduction in Frankfurt, and turnover has been small. A medium-term entry with a limited order makes sense.
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