MILLTRUST INTERNATIONAL
 

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

April 26, 2019

BY Alexander Kalis
MANAGING PARTNER

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW – EMERGING MARKETS

China’s Stocks Slide in Afternoon Selloff on Stimulus Jitters

Chinese stocks sank the most in six weeks as concern deepened about the prospect of the government scaling back stimulus.

The Shanghai Composite Index slumped 2.4 percent at the close, taking its loss this week to 4.5 percent. That would be the worst weekly performance this year. Telecom, technology and consumer discretionary shares led declines as more than 10 stocks dropped for each that gained. Bonds rose, with the yield on 10-year debt falling 1 basis point, while the yuan weakened to its lowest level since February against the dollar.

Sentiment toward Chinese equities has been undermined after last week’s Politburo meeting fueled concern the government will dial back economic support measures. Large-scale stimulus helped fuel the world’s biggest stock market rally in China this year, after economic worries plagued the nation’s shares in 2018.

Stock of the Week

Wasion Holdings Limited is the leading total solution provider of advanced metering, advanced distribution and energy efficiency management in China, and is committed to becoming an “Energy Metering and Energy Saving Expert” in China and across the world. The Group was listed on the Main Board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited in December 2005, which was the first professional syndicate engaged in energy metering and energy efficiency management in China listed overseas, as well as the first company in Hunan Province listed on the Main Board overseas. In 2017, Wasion Holdings recorded revenue of RMB2,928 million and total assets of RMB7,884 million.

The Case for Wasion Holdings Limited:
Wasion Holdings Limited (HKG:3393) Is A Real Dividend Rock Star – Here Is Why

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW – SUSTAINABLE INVESTMENTS

Fighting Climate Change Can Be a Lucrative Investing Strategy, Says Jeremy Grantham

Last week, ahead of this year’s Earth Day, Grantham’s investment firm, GMO, published a white paper, in which the 80-year-old billionaire and his co-founder Lucas White argued that investing in the climate change sector can not only help solve the direct challenge facing the human species but can also produce lucrative returns over the long term:

  • We believe the secular growth tailwinds in the climate change sector will provide investors with strong investment opportunities for decades to come.
  • In our opinion, a well-designed climate change strategy can provide investors with a variety of benefits, including diversification, protection from climate risk, inflation protection, and the ability to invest in growth-oriented companies at a discount.
  • For those considering fossil fuel divestment, clean energy solutions provide indirect exposure to fossil fuel prices.
  • A climate change strategy can play an important role in a global equity program, real asset program, ESG portfolio, or as climate risk insurance.

Download White Paper

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW – AGRICULTURE INVESTMENTS

Genetically-Modified Chicken To Produce Proteins Rich Eggs

Scottish researchers created genetically-modified hens that lay eggs containing significant quantities of medicinal proteins

Conventional method for production of medicinal proteins is expensive and complex with several complications during development phase. Research team at the University of Edinburgh’s Roslin Institute was focused on production of two proteins using genetically modified chicken, which include a human protein called as IFNalpha2a, a powerful protein with antiviral and anti-cancer effects and macrophage-CSF, which is reported to stimulate damaged tissues to repair themselves – both human and porcine (pig) versions of this one have been produced.

A simplified purification system is used to extract the proteins from the whites of the eggs, which the modified chickens lay similar to the normal chickens. In order to obtain clinically-relevant amounts of the proteins, three such eggs are required. Average chickens are reported lay around 300 eggs annually, which is expected to make this technology less expensive as compared to current lower-yield techniques such as growing the proteins in mammalian cell cultures or other approaches that require complex purification systems and more processing. Although previous studies used genetically-modified goats, rabbits and chickens to produce therapeutic proteins in their milk or eggs, the Edinburgh hen system is reportedly more efficient, cost-effective, and produces higher yield.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW – SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY & INNOVATION

Viome Raised $25M for its Microbiome-based Dietary Guide Platform

Speaking with Viome CEO, Naveen Jain, it’s not hard to understand how investors, Salesforce’s Marc Benioff and Khosla Ventures among them, handed Viome a fresh round of $25 million in funding last week.

During our chat by phone, Jain was animated, proclaiming that it was a big week for him not because his company has now raised $45.5 million (and wants to raise $100 million in this Series B round) but because life is, in his words, “amazing!” and his company was working to make becoming sick a choice.

The company does this by collecting a stool sample from you (which you mail in) and running it through its software platform to analyze what microbes in your gut are doing to the food you eat. How your microbiome is treating your food can indicate what diseases you might be susceptible to, according to Jain. From there Viome applies AI to its findings to develop individualized dietary guidelines. Viome says there is no universal diet. Spinach, for example, might not be healthy for everyone because of the way your body processes it. By doing all this, Jain and company claim, Viome can help people avoid getting diseases like diabetes, or irritable bowel syndrome or even insomnia and depression.