Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Sold 50 NXYPRB at $25.5 and Bought 50 INZ at $19/Swap Trades Last Week: Intended to Increase Cash Allocation Without Significantly Increasing Risk or Reducing Cash Flow

Paul Krugman discusses the anti-EPA agenda of the GOP in his NYT column.

True Believers excel at reality creation. Information is created to justify their beliefs. Another personality trait is that a strenuous effort is made to avoid contact with any information that calls into question their beliefs. Frequently, they go a step further and make it difficult for anyone to gather information that would contradict their reality creations.

The GOP is currently doing whatever they can to make it easy for citizens to carry concealed weapons. Houses Passes Bill Making Concealed Carry Permits Valid Across State Lines - ABC News  To be fair, there are some GOP tribe members who do not believe that citizens need to carry automatic weapons concealed under a jacket, and some do not believe it is wise to encourage the carrying of guns into bars and playgrounds.

One argument made by the TBs for liberalization of gun laws is expressed by Congressman Cliff Stearns (R), who asserted that those citizens who carry concealed weapons "have proven themselves to be among the most responsible and safe members of our community".  Cliff can make that argument because most states do not permit public access to the names of gun permit owners, so there is no way for anyone actually interested in the truth to cross check gun permit information with other data such as convictions for criminal offenses.

One state, North Carolina, does disclose the names of those allowed to carry concealed weapons. The NYT did a comprehensive study of N.C. data and found that a large number of those permit owners committed crimes, including of course crimes with their weapons.

In one example, a man was riding with his daughter on a bicycle. A hot head with a gun, Charles Diaz, pulled along side of them, berating the man and his child for riding on the street. The man got off his bicycle and moved toward Mr. Diaz, who then pulled out his gun and threatened to murder the man in front of his daughter, whereupon the man turned around. Mr. Diaz then shot him in the back of the head, and fortunately the bullet just went through the bicycle helmet just above his left ear.

The TBs do not want the public to have access to this kind of information, which should be available in every state. Shine some light on the TBs' reality creation. The public should have access to the names of gun permit owners so that the news media can cross check that information with other data involving the commission of crimes.

The Tennessee GOP was extremely proud of one of their first legislative accomplishments after gaining control of the state legislature, which was a law permitting weapons to be carried into bars, school playgrounds, and state parks.

1. Sold 50 NXYPRB at $25.5 and Bought 50 INZ at $19 Last Friday (see Disclaimer): I would view the credit risk of these two securities to be roughly equal. For about $950, 50 shares of INZ will produce $90 a year in income, while 50 of NXYPRB would generate $91.875 using  $1,275 of capital. I therefore keep my income at roughly the same amount while increasing my cash reserve by $325. The same calculus is behind several of the recent trades.

INZ is an ING hybrid security. NXYPRB is a subordinated bond issued by the Canadian energy company Nexen. NXYPRB has a 7.375% coupon (Prospectus), while INZ has a 7.2% coupon.  NXYPRB matures in 2043, while INZ has no maturity date. For me, a 2043 maturity date is likely to be equivalent to no maturity date. 

Both INZ and NXYPRB are subordinated bonds that make quarterly distributions. The distributions from INZ are, however, taxed as qualified dividends while the NXYPRB distributions are taxed as interest. NXYPRB.  

According to QuantumOnline, NXYPRB is currently rated Ba1 by Moody's and BB+ by S & P, while INZ is rated Ba1 by Moody's and BBB- by S & P.  

I am wary of ING hybrids, however, due to the European sovereign debt and banking crises. 

I made a negligible profit on the NXYPRB shares, though I did receive several interest payments. Bought 50 NXYPRB @ 25.15

The European hybrids, issued by financial institutions, are very sensitive to concerns about creditworthiness and the fear of a dividend deferral. As a result, the prices of these securities can be extremely volatile during times of financial stress, as shown by the prices that I paid for some ING hybrids during the Near Depression period. I bought INZ for example in an IRA at $7.82 and recently sold those shares at $21.21, Sold 50 of the ING Hybrid INZ at 21.21 Bought at a Total Cost of $7.82 (see snapshot of trade in Item #1 of that post). 

Another buy of INZ was made at $6.52 (February 2009).

Another ING hybrid, ISF, was bought at $4.6. All of the ING hybrids, which trade on the NYSE, have $25 par value and have fixed coupons. All of them are perpetual securities, i.e., no maturity date. They are in my terminology "functionally equivalent" so that the main consideration for choosing one over the others is the yield at my cost.  Functional Equivalence in Bond Trading (1/8/2009 Post); Item # 1  More on AEB & Exchange Traded AEGON & ING Perpetual Debt Issues: Functionally Equivalent (8/14/09 Post)

I discuss this type of security in my Gateway Post for ING Hybrids. I also discuss some relevant issues about them in a recent post, when I picked up 50 shares of IDG.  Bought 50 IDG at $18.55 (12/5/11). One issue discussed in that last linked post involves the triggering of the mandatory payment clause, an issue of particular relevance for the ING hybrid securities for two reasons discussed below.

ING is not paying a stock dividend, always a relevant issue to the owner of a more senior security whose payments can be deferred or eliminated. And, secondly, the Europeans have adopted a burden sharing policy in the event their financial institutions ever again come to their host governments for aid. The gist of that policy is that the dividends on the hybrids will most likely have to be deferred in the future, where legally possible, as a precondition to the receipt of state aid. More on EC Burden Sharing Policy Burden Sharing (see page 8 fn. 26 at .pdf)  ING is still paying back the state aid received in 2008.   

I do not intend to repeat my discussions on this subject that can be accessed in prior posts, linked in the ING Hybrid Gateway Post.  

INZ has a 7.2% coupon on a $25 par value. ING may at its option call the security at anytime at par value plus accrued dividends. SEC

The approximate yield at a total cost of $19 is around 9.47%. The recent IDG purchase was closer to 10%. 

ING Groep N.V. 7.20% Perpetual Deb. closed down 45 cents in trading yesterday to close at $18.55.

Nexen Inc. 7.35% Sub Notes 2043 rose five cents in trading yesterday to close at $25.6.

2. Increasing Cash Allocation While Maintaining or Enhancing Cash Flow: Last week, I made a number of swap trades designed to increase my cash allocation without reducing my cash flow. Any amount added to a money market fund now will earn nothing of course.

So I attempted to increase my cash allocation by close to $5,000 without reducing my income or increasing my risk significantly. The risk part of that equation is always based on judgment and could be proved erroneous by subsequent events. The exchange discussed in Item # 1 above kept cash flow about the same while increasing the cash allocation. 

Other trades last week were intended to accomplish the same objective. The income numbers are projected annual amounts, and the cost numbers include the brokerage commission:


200 of IMF Proceeds Proceeds $3,556 Income Foregone $120
300 of CMK Proceeds $2,457.84 Income Foregone $136.8
50 Aceto Proceeds $351 Income Foregone $20
50 NXYPRB Proceeds $1,267.02 Income Foregone $91.88
51 CBU Proceeds $1,371.9 Income Foregone $59

Total Proceeds:  $9,002.9
Total Income Foregone:   $427.68 


1 Telecom Italia Bond  Cost $943.6           Income  $49.5
1 Commercial Metals Bond  Cost  $955.5  Income $65
50 CSQ  Cost $421.95                              Income $31.5
50 BCF  Cost $ 541                                  Income $54.34
50 INZ Cost $950                                     Income $90
50 IGD Cost $446.95  (purchased yesterday) Income $50

Total Cost: $4,259
Total Income: $340.34

Net Increase in Cash Allocation: $4,743.9
Net Loss in Annual Cash Flow: $87.34

I will briefly discuss IGD, purchased yesterday, and included in the table above, in tomorrow's post. 

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