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Posted October 11, 2012 by publisher in Business In Cuba

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Rob Sequin | Havana Journal

I read well over a dozen Cuba news articles and blog posts every day about Cuba. Sometimes I have to share them with Havana Journal readers.

Here are some recent Cuba business news articles that I think you will enjoy.

1. A VERY thorough interview with Tom Herzfeld regarding his closed end mutual fund, the Herzfeld Caribbean Basin Fund (NASDAQ: CUBA)

By Nick Slepko of the Motley Fool titled The Johnny Depp of Closed-End Funds Talks CUBA. This is a nine page series. Here is the last question from page 9:

Slepko: So were you formed to make the Caribbean profitable, and not necessarily to make a profit off the Caribbean?

Herzfeld: We were formed to make investments in companies that we think will make money for our shareholders.  Having said that, I’ve been trading closed-end funds for forty-four years. It’s a very calculated process we use. For instance, we buy them at eight, sell them at nine, buy them back at six, and sell at seven, and sell them short at twelve and buy them back at eleven.  After four plus decades, we’re good at it and getting better.  But for me, to have an opportunity to be involved in rebuilding Cuba is a refreshing change of pace from buying something at six and selling at seven a few hundred times a year, although we’ve made a great success of it.

One day, I would like the Herzfeld Caribbean Basin Fund to do what you said, to make direct investments in Cuba and get involved in rebuilding the country and the financial system. I’d like to be involved in reactivating the Havana Stock Exchange. Also on the drawing board is a project to exchange shares of a Havana Stock Exchange-listed reconstruction fund for prior claims issued for property confiscated by the Castro government. That would give the holders of these prior claims a liquid investment with growth opportunity and a participation in rebuilding the country. At that point, I would like Herzfeld Caribbean to be a lot larger than it is now, and that is one of the things we consider.


Also: Herzfeld Caribbean Basin Fund Net Asset Value Makes New All-Time High by Marketwire

The Herzfeld Caribbean Basin Fund, Inc. (NASDAQ: CUBA) (Cusip: 42804T106) announced that the net asset value of the Fund as of October 5, 2012, was $8.55 per share, which represents a new high. As of the Oct. 5 close, the net asset value of the fund is up 19.25% calendar year-to-date. From inception on September 10, 1993, the net asset value is up 155.82% (performance figures adjusted for distributions).

The Fund’s share price is up 16.04% calendar year-to-date through October 5, 2012*. As of the close on that date, the share price of the Fund was $7.45 per share. From inception in September 10, 1993, the share price is up 124.82% (performance figures adjusted for distributions).

2. Fuego Enterprises Completes the Acquisition of Cuba Business Development Group, Inc.

PRNewswire—Fuego Enterprises, Inc. (PINKSHEETS: FUGI), a media and entertainment company, today announces that it has successfully completed the acquisition of Cuba Business Development Group, Inc. (CBDG). As a result, Cuba Business Development Group is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fuego. The acquisition will strengthen and complement Fuego’s overall business, which will enhance Fuego’s platform and boost expansion into other markets and sectors with immense growth potential.


3. Eight Videos of UC Berkeley Cuba seminar Cuba & California: Prospects for Change and Opportunity by CITRIS-UC.ORG

Cuba & California: Welcome and Opening Remarks

14:01 Cuba & California: The Federal Landscape and Cuba

57:38 Cuba & California: Prospects for U.S. - Cuban Relations

1:22:19 Cuba & California: Panel 1 - Forecasting Cuban Economic Reforms b

1:26:30 Cuba & California: Panel 2 - Politics and Social Developments in Cuba

56:07 Cuba & California: Rountable - Cuba and the Golden State: Exploring New

46:25 Cuba & California: Prospects of U.S. - Cuban Relations (Part 2)

3:20 Cuba & California: Closing Remarks

4. Investing in Cuba: Canada Colludes with Vampires & Zombies by Nick Slepko of Motley Fool

“In 2007, nickel and cobalt derived from Sherritt International’s (TSX: S) Moa Joint Venture with Cuba accounted for around 60% of the company’s revenue.  Since then, Sherritt has diversified into Canada’s largest coal producer.  Over the last few years, coal went from the company’s smallest portion of revenue (7%) to its primary source in 2011 (53%) – and while Cuba still accounts for all of Sherritt’s metals income, metals now contribute less than a third to the company’s annual revenue – sort of.”


5. Investing in Cuba: Another Vietnam!? by Nick Slepko

As a leading expert on international compliance and trade, attorney Dr. Timothy Ashby has been involved in assisting governments and companies with post-communist transitions since the fall of the Berlin Wall and has been deeply involved in Cuba-related activities since 1983.

Slepko:  So Cuba is no problem for you then.  What about if Fidel dies?  People believe everything is going to open up.  Is that true?

Ashby:  I don’t know about that, but hopefully the holdover Bush appointees at State and Treasury will go their merry way, and if Obama is re-elected, there are a number of new people in both that intend to ramp up a more positive policy towards Cuba.  There are a lot of frustrated liberal Democrats that want to see some progress on this.  I’ve heard it all before, but we’ll see what happens.

I do know that a vice minister in the Cuban government told me two years ago that if everyone in the Cuban government stood on the Malecon and blew their brains out, the radical Cuban-Americans in Miami still wouldn’t be satisfied.  In other words, it won’t make any difference because people like Lincoln Diaz-Balart think they are going to return to Havana and take over – [Diaz-Balart] has even said he intends to be the next president of Cuba.  He’s delusional.

It is going to take some heavy duty work by a [US] administration to break the log jam and make some changes.  The tail has been wagging the dog for a long time.


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