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Financials: Time for Profit-Taking?


Issuance of common stock means it may be time to get out - while one still can.

This morning the media are reporting that the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Investment Company is selling a significant portion of the investment it made in Barclays (BCS) last November. Similarly, Goldman Sachs (GS) is reported to be selling 3 billion shares in ICBC.

I'm not saying the market can't or won't go higher, but I consider both investors to be astute. Further, in the case of Barclays, I would highlight that, after June 30, the ratchet which the November investor group negotiated (effectively hog-tying Barclay's from issuing new common stock without turning over the keys) expires - thereby freeing Barclay's to issue an unlimited amount of common stock beginning in July.

Also, I realize that, here in the US, investors are celebrating banks' seemingly endless issuance of common stock, because of the perception of reduced insolvency risk and/or because it will free banks from the confines of TARP. Unsurprisingly, I have my doubts on both fronts, and would offer that it appears to me that the investment community is interpreting the preparation for battle as winning the war, when from my perspective, the real battle has hardly begun.

As we've seen repeatedly over the past 2 years, there's a huge difference between "necessary" and "sufficient."

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Position in SKF, SPY options and JPM debt obligations
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