Housing and autos have always been key drivers for the US chemicals industry. We should be concerned if the housing market weakens further.
Chemicals and the Economy
The prices paid for Petkim and for Lustran reflect two very different perspectives on the current market:
ICI has experience of fighting off unwelcome acquisitions. And Akzo may find itself in a difficult position if ICI wins again. Unless this bid, like Hanson’s in 1991, marks the ‘top’ in the currrent M&A cycle.
Crude oil prices are climbing again. $100/bbl is not impossible, if current geo-political concerns continue. And today’s tightly balanced market could persist to 2010.
The latest report from the ‘central bankers’ bank’ provides an excellent analysis of what might go wrong in the world economy over the next 2 – 3 years. Anyone interested in scenario planning will find its conclusions valuable.
The US Senate thinks the Amaranth hedge fund increased the costs of natural gas futures contracts last year. Any pension funds invested in Bear Stearns’ hedge funds might want to check on the current value of their holdings.
2 July 2007 marks the 10th anniversary of the Asian financial crisis, which began with the devaluation of the Thai baht. Visiting the country 10 years later, the situation has changed quite dramatically from those panic-stricken days.