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

May 31, 2019

BY Alexander Kalis




Milltrust International Group, one of Asia’s foremost asset management firms, was last night crowned ‘Best Asset Management Firm Serving Family Offices and Private Banks’ at the 7th WealthBriefingAsia Singapore Awards.  The awards dinner was held at the Westin Singapore.

The triumph is yet another milestone in the Company’s drive to be recognized as one of the pre-eminent players in the competitive asset management space.

Showcasing ‘best of breed’ providers in the global private banking, wealth management and trusted advisor communities, the awards were designed to recognise companies, teams and individuals which the prestigious panel of judges deemed to have ‘demonstrated innovation and excellence during 2019’.

Commenting on the firm’s triumph, Simon Hopkins, CEO, Milltrust International Group said: “We are delighted to have been voted the winner of this prestigious award by so many of the industry’s great and good. It is a great honour to be recognised in these awards, and testament to the hard work that the team have put in over the last 12 months.  Everyone has really pulled together to ensure we continue to deliver the highest level of service to our clients, and move us that bit closer to our goal of being recognised as a leader in the asset management space in South-East Asia”.


We are overweight on China but India is coming up: Eric Anderson, Milltrust Global EMs

“There are two ways to make money in EMs – picking the right stock and picking the right country.”

According to one-year forward valuations, India trading 50% over the EM average and 20% over the long-term India average, said Eric Anderson, Senior Portfolio Manager on the Global Emerging Markets Strategies and Head of Investment Solution, Milltrust Global EMs, in an interview with ETNOW. In our view, medium to long term, flows are going to wait and see what happens next., says Anderson

What is your outlook for India within the global emerging markets portfolio?
We have moved up our exposure to neutral. We have been underweight for a number of reasons. Typically, we have a shorter term view on Indian markets. We look at six to nine months, which I guess is more of a medium term. We look at a number of factors when evaluating the countries. From India’s perspective, what has worked well is that you have improving sentiments following the Modi victory which which will translates into positive equity markets and an accommodative monetary policy.

You have a growth trending above policy rate, above the inflation rate and a positive terms of trade. All those are generally positive for equity markets and that is a good start of the equation. The more challenging one and the reason we are still neutral is that valuations are a little bit high from both absolute and relative basis. If you look at the one-year forward valuations, you are trading 50% over the EM average and 20% over the long-term India average.

The return of equities dipped a bit below the EM average and dividend yield was a bit low. There are still some better opportunities elsewhere in EM. While we have an improving outlook, we are still neutral. What we look to go overweight is when we see improvement on the valuations and that will come from earnings growth. It has been relatively poor last five-seven years and we certainly expect that as capacity realisations improve, it will unlock some earnings from our view point.

Stock of the Week

Jain Irrigation Systems, often known as Jain Irrigation, JISL, or simply Jains, is a multinational organisation based in Jalgaon, India. JISL employs over 11, 500 employees, and has 33 manufacturing plants. It develops, manufactures, supports and sells diversified products, including drip and sprinkler irrigation systems and its components, integrated irrigation automation systems, PVC and PE piping systems, plastic sheets, greenhouses, bio-fertilizers, solar power, solar water-heating systems, solar water pumps, turnkey biogas plants, and photovoltaic systems. JISL also processes dehydrated vegetables, concentrated and frozen fruits or pulp.

Why We Like Jain Irrigation Systems:

  • Jain Irrigation is India’s largest manufacturer & supplier of micro-irrigation systems and the global leader in mango & onion processing and pipe manufacturing.
  • Management expecting more agricultural infrastructure projects to be tendered in CY19 with JI well placed to win 2-3 years’ worth of orders.
  • Potential catalyst from IPO of Jain Farm Fresh unlocking value in the parent company.
  • Major Climate Impact: Over 8.5 million farmers reached with the micro irrigation systems improving water efficiency by 70%

Sources: Jain Irrigation & EISAL Estimates


Update on Core-Power 
Our partners at Flibe Energy Inc (FEI) who are led by Kirk Sorensen are making good progress with the work at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). That work involves building and testing the first crucial parts of the chemical filtration system for the Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor(LFTR – pronounced ‘Lifter’).

Lots of power, zero emissions, and at a low affordable cost.
The LFTR is a ‘twin-fuel chemical atomic reactor’ free of the challenges which bedevil the ‘nuclear’ reactors we know today because it’s a molten salt reactor which runs on Thorium. It can’t melt and it can’t explode like nuclear reactors can. In fact, the conditions for such accidents to occur are inherently absent from the LFTR.

The LFTR is a unique machine.
It releases the energy in Thorium (a natural metal which is 4 x more abundant in nature than Uranium) at a staggering rate. Our estimates show that 99.4% of all the energy is used up, leaving very little waste. That’s millions of times more efficient than fossil fuels, and 100s of millions of times more efficient than wind and solar. The two-fuel configuration of the FEI LFTR results in ‘breeding’ of fuel. This ongoing process of converting Thorium into energy, which turns Thorium into energy etc, means the LFTR is probably the most efficient thermal energy source ever conceived.

At Core-Power, we have been working on designs and engineering calculations for a Very Large Desalination Tanker(VLDT).

Here’s how it would work:

  • A 300,000-dwt tanker (same size as a Very Large Crude Carrier – VLCC) is powered by a 100-150MWth LFTR, producing about 65-95,000 horsepower.
  • The propulsion units, which are electric – will allow the ship to be deployed anywhere in the world where fresh water is urgently needed at very high speed. We think 22-25 knots can be achieved using twin propellers. If you’re not a shipping boffin, VLCCs struggle to do 15 knots at full power using a diesel engine.
  • Once in position, the vessel ‘sucks’ seawater from the ocean, and using a combination of reverse osmosis and hybrid multi-effect distillation from the waste heat of the LFTR and some electric power, produces in the region of 200 million litres (!) of fresh water daily.
  • Electric power from the LFTR is used to pump that water ashore together with spare electric power which may be needed.

A VLDT would be available to hire by Governments of countries hit by drought, or agencies assisting with humanitarian relief in disaster zones.

More permanent employment can also be envisaged, where water-tank and pipeline infrastructure are built by countries which can then receive fresh water from VLDTs, working from stationary positions or on a rotation basis. We will continue working on the design as there are some exciting possibilities for how we incorporate solutions for brine-discharge, and fresh water purity technology.

Since the LFTR is small enough to be built on an assembly line, dramatically reducing the cost of build they are superbly suited to power ships, factories, water and waste management plants, data centres, subways and so much more.

Our fund raising is now approaching the target we have set, and we expect to be ready to move on to our Series A round in the autumn.

Next month we will tell you about some exciting new developments in how the Thorium fuel cycle produces Medical Radioisotopes used for radiotherapy and cancer treatments, and how these are extracted from the LFTR.


Tough nut to crack: the almond boom and its drain on the Murray-Darling

Demand for the thirsty crop has created a gold rush but irrigators and growers fear there might not be enough water

Neale Bennett, an almond grower in Mildura, ripped out his sultana grapes and dried fruit crop and began planting almonds in the 1990s. He’s ridden the wave of increased global demand for almond milk, almond meal and, well, just almonds.

Rising prices for the sweet brown nuts, mechanised equipment to harvest them and the ability to trade water up and down the Murray to water the thirsty trees have created a kind of agricultural gold rush along the waterway.

Over the last decade, big almond producers like Olam have bought up land around the booming town near the border of New South Wales and South Australia. Since 2016, 15,000 hectares of new trees have been planted, adding another 50% to the 32,000 hectares already there.

But with increasingly severe drought conditions, questions are being asked about whether the irrigators are facing a potential catastrophe of their own making.


Milltrust CerraCap Investment Deep Instinct gets deal to secure HP laptops

TEL AVIV (Reuters) – HP Inc is working with Israeli cybersecurity firm Deep Instinct to launch HP Sure Sense to prevent advanced cyber attacks, the two companies said on Tuesday.

An industry source estimated the deal was worth more than $150 million over a few years for Deep Instinct.

Rolling out on HP’s latest EliteBook and HP ZBook laptops, HP Sure Sense works on or offline.

With over 350,000 new malware varieties being discovered daily, HP said it required a new line of cybersecurity defence, noting that HP Sure Sense uses artificial intelligence and deep learning to predict and prevent security threats.