Milltrust Alert – Selected News and Insights from the Emerging Markets and Around our Business

April 18, 2019

BY Alexander Kalis


The Hurdle Is High for India Markets Even If Modi Wins Again

The bar is high for Asia’s most-popular destination of 2019 for overseas money even if Prime Minister Narendra Modi wins a second term in elections starting Thursday.

A survey of 21 global funds and strategists show most expect him to return, an outcome that may be baked into asset prices. With valuations already high, the disappointment if he fails to get a majority, needs to form another coalition — or loses the poll — may deflate the rally that’s made India the first among markets valued at more than a $1 trillion to hit a new peak this year.

We are underweight India due to expensive valuations, says Eric Anderson, emerging-markets portfolio manager at Milltrust International. On the positive side, the nation does have accommodative monetary conditions and a growth rate that is trending above the policy rate and inflation, all of which are positive for equities. I can certainly see us adding to our India exposure this year.

Stock of the Week

Astral Poly Technik Limited, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and markets pipes, fittings, and adhesive products in India and internationally. The company operates through Plastic Products and Adhesives segments.

The Case for Astral Poly Technik Limited:
Should You Consider Astral Poly Technik Limited (NSE:ASTRAL)


IFC unveils impact investing principles to provide ‘common standard’

Amundi, AXA Investment Managers and BNP Paribas Asset Management are among 60 investors that have backed a set of principles intended to provide a clear market standard for impact investing.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the emerging markets-focused private sector arm of the World Bank Group, led the development of the ‘Operating Principles for Impact Management’.

The IFC said the principles “bring greater transparency, credibility, and discipline to the impact investing market”, addressing concerns about “impact washing”.

“Impact washing” refers to a perceived inappropriate labelling of investment strategies or products as “impact”. The term has gained currency as impact investing has gained attention in mainstream institutional investment.

The IFC has estimated that appetite for impact investing could be as much as $26trn (€23trn), while the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) has sized the market at $502bn.


How chicken became the rich world’s most popular meat

The birds now count for 23bn of the 30bn land animals living on farms

IN A SHED on a poultry farm just outside Colchester, in south-east England, thousands of chickens sit on piles of their own excrement. The facilities will not be cleaned until after the birds are killed, meaning they suffer from ammonia burns and struggle to grow feathers. Ants and maggots crawl over the bodies of those that have not made it to slaughter. The chicken industry is a dirty business, but it is also a profitable one. In the OECD, a club of mostly rich countries, pork and beef consumption has remained unchanged since 1990. Chicken consumption has grown by 70% (see chart).

Humans gobble so many chickens that the birds now count for 23bn of the 30bn land animals living on farms. According to a recent paper by Carys Bennett at the University of Leicester and colleagues, the total mass of farmed chickens exceeds that of all other birds on the planet combined. In London, some 50 miles west of Colchester, fried-chicken shops are ubiquitous. Many are named after American states (including Kansas and Montana, not to mention Kentucky). But schoolchildren and late-night partiers are unfazed by the strange names. Nor do they worry much about where their meal came from.


Following ConnectIC product launch in February, PragmatIC’s order-book already exceeds 20,000,000 units

Rapid adoption of flexible integrated circuits across 3 continents

PragmatIC, a world leader in ultra-low-cost flexible electronics, is proud to announce that in just 2 months it has received orders for over 20 million flexible integrated circuits (FlexICs). Orders from customers in Europe, North America and Asia endorse PragmatIC’s unique technology platform as the ideal solution for introducing connectivity into mass market applications.

“These initial volume orders highlight the attractiveness and uniqueness of our ConnectIC® product line”, said Scott White, CEO of PragmatIC. “Global companies, eager to enhance their digital presence, have quickly identified a variety of exciting use-cases for connectivity in everyday items.”

PragmatIC will continue to ramp production in the UK through 2019, while working with its partners to enable even more companies to leverage the benefits of FlexICs in their high-volume applications.

Precision Therapeutics’ Subsidiary Helomics to Collaborate with Viome to Explore the Impact of the Gut Microbiome on Ovarian Cancer

MINNEAPOLIS, April 09, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Precision Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:AIPT) (“Precision” or “the Company”) today announced a collaboration between its wholly owned subsidiary, Helomics, and Viome, a new kind of healthcare company transforming health at the molecular level, to study the link between the gut microbiome and ovarian cancer.

The collaboration will start with a pilot study to determine what changes occur in the gut microbiome during ovarian cancer therapy and how those changes might impact outcomes.  The companies intend to apply the results from this study to develop innovative and holistic approaches to help oncologists better personalize and optimize ovarian cancer therapy.