Jardine Matheson


Ticker: JMHLY, Buy below $60.

Why I Would Buy

  1. Access To High Growth Markets – Jardine Matheson is a conglomerate that operates businesses in South-East Asian markets such as Indonesia, Singapore, Hong Kong etc. Newer investments are in hard-to-access, hyper-growth countries such as Myanmar and Vietnam.
  2. Astute Capital Allocation – Management has displayed strong skills at initiating and expanding ownership in businesses at extremely opportune times. Examples include: scooping up a 50% stake in Indonesia based Astra during the Asian financial crisis, and entering into joint ventures in Myanmar at the first sign of market liberalization there.
  3. Diversified Business Mix – The mix of businesses under the Jardine umbrella are awe-inspiring: real-estate, auto dealerships, hotels, restaurants, palm oil plantations, construction, engineering and more.
  4. Strong Returns on Equity – Jardine Matheson has averaged an impressive 11+% RoE during the past 5 years. Although there are signs of a slow down at Indonesia based Astra, their recent forays into Thailand and Myanmar shows potential for maintaining the high returns.
  5. Fair Price – The Company trades at about 12 times earnings and 1.1 times book.

What Could Go Wrong

  1. Convoluted Shareholding Structure –The conglomerate has a puzzling shareholding structure: Jardine Matheson holds ownership in many of its underlying business via a 83% stake in an intermediate holding company called Jardine Strategic. Jardine Strategic in turn holds a 56% stake in it’s parent Jardine Matheson! Look at the graphic below to see this strange looped shareholding:JardinesComplexHoldings
  2. Dynastic LeadershipThe Company is run by a single family – the Keswicks. The family projects a controlling influence over this conglomerate although it possess only 14% of voting rights. Jardine Matheson does not have professional management, rather the senior-most leadership is dynastic and is derived entirely from the Keswick family.
  3. Currency Risk –JM transacts business in various South-East Asian currencies, these are emerging market currencies and could move in any direction or degree relative to the USD.

Please read disclosure here before taking any action based on this post.

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