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Jumat, 09 Mei 2008

January year 2001, 1 AU$ was close to US$ 0.56, 1 AU$ was almost Rp.5300 and 1 US$ was about Rp.9500. Now in April 2008 1 AU$ was US$ 0.94, 1 AU$ was Rp.8700 and 1 US$ was Rp.9250. Deposit rate at that time in Australia was only about 4% per annum. Now AUD is getting stronger and its still possible to move forward. Furthermore, USD is getting weaker against other major currencies. AUD would get more powerful than USD because today interest rate in the US offers lower rate than in Australia. Certificate Deposit with minimum AU$ 50.000 (equal to Rp.435 million) in Australia for 1 year offers interest rate up to 7.90% (5/5) compared with US offers only 2.6% (5/5) per annum or compared with Indonesia offers 6.5% (5/5) per annum with approximately equal minimum fund. I think this will bring more fund enter to Australia. Even though higher credit interest rate for home loan also increase in Australia at least above 8.5% (5/5). This loan increased was to anticipate higher inflation in Australia. In mid June 2005 when 1 AU$ was equal to US$ 0.76 and 1 AU$ was Rp.7000, I was confused to convert from AU$ into US$ but finally I executed it. Imagine now actually I could safe US$ 0.18 for every 1 AU$ and foreign exchange disparity.

Stronger local currency indicated stronger financial performance in Australia recently. Mainly Australia depends on tourism, educations and financial services which predominantly contribute to its GDP. Higher metal commodities such as nickel, gold, iron, silver, zinc and agriculture products such as cattle, wheat, sugar, milk, fruits and etches have also boosted Australian economy recently because these commodities are mainly for export. As a result property’s price in Australia was amazing. Property prices in Australia have been rising dramatically and in some region even more than doubled just in a decade such as in Melbourne. This surging price was boosted by high property demand and tax incentives. Australia Immigration programs is also adding to demand for housing. Now is almost impossible to find a house below AU$300.000 in the inner city. Probably it would take some more time before it’s getting to rally again. But I believe investment in housing in Australia is promising. Many Asian and Western people are still looking at Australia as a very stable country in the world with less population compared to others. Moreover this country has rich of mining resources and variety of agriculture products ready for exports.

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Rabu, 07 Mei 2008

Alberta was overlooked before but today investors may see the result of higher oil prices and abundant proven oil reserves in Alberta is amazing. It has been said that the oil companies have earned enormously profits and up their penny stocks to even thousand percent increased. How good investors look at this opportunity would definitely raised their assets astonishingly. Actually it was revealed in the 60 minutes by CNBC television channel in year 2006 and at that time oil price was about US$40 per barrels. They believed that the oil boom would not be in anywhere or in the Middle East but in Alberta.
Some oil companies involved in Alberta are expanding to oil sands and today the local government will be more aggressively by introducing new tax incentives and deregulation over the oil sands projects to boos its production. Probably we could observed the oil companies’ performance which include the oil sands project such as Suncor Energy Inc, Marathon Oil Corporation, Nexen Inc, Canadian Oil Sands Trust, Imperial Oil Limited, Statoilhydro, Shell and Exxon. What a fantastic investment in oil companies give incredible return for investors during 5 years.

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Kamis, 24 April 2008

A Place Called “Alberta”

Canada is a well known nation with a huge proven oil reserves in the world after Saudi Arabia. These reserves include non conventional oil (oil sands) and conventional oil (crude oil) and over 95% are located in Alberta. In 2007, it was estimated at 179.2 billion barrels of proven reserves compared to Saudi Arabia’s 260 billion barrels. However, this number for oil sands reserves in Alberta is the only companies can get with the current technology today. It has not been included beneath surfaces which are believed to be more staggering number. Experts may bet the number could be more than two trillion!! This would bring Canada to be the top oil producer in the world soon. It has been said that Oil sands’ deposit may represent as much as 2/3 of the world total petroleum resources and most of world oil sands reserves are located in the province of Alberta (Canada) and Venezuela. Just from both countries’ reserves may equal to the world’s total reserves of conventional crude oil.

Oil sands or extra heavy oil (Crude Bitumen) contains mixture of sand (clay), water and extra heavy crude oil (bitumen) and it is available in various countries. Differ than conventional crude oil which requires less effort to process into gasoline, diesel and others, oil sand is much more difficult to be extracted, transported and refined by using conventional method. Oil sands have more sulfur and several metals, this formation create very heavy crude oil and high viscosity. Therefore to extract crude bitumen from its deposits would more complex than conventional oil. Refineries must use high technology to reduce viscosity usually by using steam or hot air. This technology is called In Situ method which requires more energy and more water than normal technique. Subsequently, oil sands are ready to be converted into synthetic oil and petroleum products. Despite complexity and costs to extract crude bitumen but more oil sands are being mined vastly. Higher oil prices above US$100 per barrels have given significant prospect to the oil sands more profitable.
Today Canada is the largest crude oil supplier and refined products to the U.S. with more than 95% are exported to the U.S. Abundant resources such as mining, oil, and agriculture makes Canada as one of the world’s wealthiest nation. Furthermore, it becomes one of the few developed nations with net energy exporters. Thanks to the Alberta which is now becoming the most prominent country in Canada. Unemployment rate in Alberta had sink to the lowest level and per capita incomes had doubled to the Canadian average. Now, Alberta is not overlooked anymore and during few years ahead probably we could hear more staggering news from Alberta.

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