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Saab Story's Happy Ending?


The world in your hands: an overseas update.


Breaking news from Sweden where Tiger Woods' wife, soon to hit the road and head back home to Scandinavia, may yet be able to do so in a Saab. While you were sleeping, General Motors said it received an eleventh hour, 11-point plan to save the ailing automaker from Holland's Spyker Cars. Indeed, "several parties" are suddenly interested in buying the brand, though the cynic may say this is a just a gambit designed to drum up interest. Sweden is seen as a state-run heartland of cradle-to-grave socialism, so it's interesting that the government in Stockholm took a pass on salvaging Saab, in stark contrast to Uncle Sam's recent insistence on coming to the rescue of GM, among a multitude of other ailing companies. Spyker is currently up over 33% in Amsterdam on the news, and a final decision must be made later on Monday.

Recent economic troubles in Greece and Spain have led some to suggest that the light at the end of the Eurotunnel is an incoming train. Then again, maybe not. Amtrack is often cited as a national embarrassment when compared with high-speed rail links such as France's TGV and the "bullet trains" of Japan and stimulus dollars are earmarked to establish similar service in pockets of America. Weekend woes with Eurostar suggest our continental cousins haven't yet perfected the art of rapid transit and calls have come in for the company's CEO to quit.

Cool and the Gang may have been much more cool in the '70s, but a concert the baby boomer crooners just gave in Havana is another indication Cuba is opening up. Change could come to the island sooner than many think, in which case US investors should have their portfolios prepared. Cruise companies such as Carnival Corp (CCL), headlined in Upgrades & Downgrades just last week, are one way to play, as is the Hertfeld Caribbean Basin Fund (CUBA.)

Another nation long hermetically sealed but starting to stir is Iran, where a high-profile funeral has today brought out thousands of protesters. While last week's Tehran/Baghdad tensions appear to have eased, this Monday morning stockpiling story could bode ill for oil prices ahead of an OPEC meeting in Angola tomorrow.

Change keeps coming to one of the oldest counties on earth as India's opposition party replaced its 82-year-old leader at the weekend. The India Fund (IFN) is one of several methods by which US investors can participate in one of the world's fastest growing markets.

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