Value Ideas Blog
Banque Privée Edmond de Rothschild


The overall banking business model is simple. Banks receive money from clients which are depositors and the capital markets and lend to other clients which are borrowers, therefore banks make a profit from the interest spread. If a bank borrows money from a depositor at 4 percent and lends it out at 6 percent, the bank has earned a 2 percent spread, which is called net interest income. Furthermore banks also earn money from basic fees, assets under management (AUM) and other services, which is usually referred to as income from fees and commissions or simply noninterest income. If we combine net interest income and noninterest income we end up with the net revenues of a bank or its top line. A further point which is less obvious is that consumers are actually paying for the liquidity services as well.

The center of banking is, due to my experience of working for a bank, one thing: risk management. Banks have to deal with three different types of risk: credit, liquidity also known as “Fristentransformation”, and the interest rate environment. Borrowers and lenders pay banks through interest or fees because they are unwilling to manage the risk on their own, or because banks can do it more cheaply. There are only a few other business in the world where you can take money from people and effectively charge them to take it off their hands. That’s the banking and insurance business model in a nutshell.

But there are many banks, asset managers and insurers out there, most of them in the same country and the same business segment and after all, financial products and services tend to be generic. Despite this fact most of the banks and the finance industry earn some decent returns for themselves and their investors, which is a first sign of a potential moat.

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This is the continuation of our analysis of the Vetropack Holding.   At first, we will show you the strategic positioning of the company by giving you a geographical overview including Vetropack’s and competing sites. Keep in mind that for most products the maximum transport distance is 150 km. We also added the total sales per country in mio pieces. It has become clearer that Vetropack is in good company at almost every production site. That explains why the management announced they were not able to push thru price adjustments, competition is strong enough in most regions.   MAP   Furthermore, as you probably know, political events in the Ukraine have influenced its currency risks and Ukraine may need a devaluation in order to pay its debt and re-establish its exports.   read more
Today I would like to present you a long post and the work of the team from the European Business School for the German CFA Research Challenge Final. The team members are Vincenzo La Banca, Yun Du, Attila Menyhàrt, Jan Werst and me.   We were one of four teams which reach it to the Final round, unfortunately we did not win (perhaps this was due to our low price target of around 63€ per Kabel Deutschland share (ca. 40% lower), but we still think that this price is much more reasonable than the takeover price of 87€ per share and it is not the first time taht vodafone paid to much for a german company(Mannesmann AG)). At the Moment the Valuation of Kabel Deutschland is at a staggering 51x Equity Value/FreeCashflow. Foodballfield   But let us now go into the details: read more

So, is there “a puff left” now?

In order to answer this question we need to take closer look into the structure of 3U Holding (3U). As the name suggests, 3U Holding holds a series of stakes in other companies. Benefits of this approach include synergies in terms of purchasing, facilities, legal, accounting and business administration, plus the possibility to add up profits and losses, and so save taxes. However, as blog readers have already commented rightly, the overhead costs for management and shared central functions are significant, i.e. roughly 3.5 million per year (0.10  Euro per share per year). read more
Today we want to take a look at 3U Holding (ISN: DE0005167902, Symbol: UUU). It’s a small cap enterprise that caught our attention. The book value at the end of Q3/13 was about three times the current shares price, i.e. 1.29 EUR (by our calculations) vs. 0.42 EUR on Jan 10, 2014! In the chart below you can see that the company is today 80% equity financed, up from 36% in the year 2006. So, let’s take a closer look to find out if this is an investing opportunity from a value investing point of view or a potential value trap… (This is the first part of the analysis, keep in mind that you should do your own research and that this is not a selling or buying advice)    Equity development   read more

Company Overview

Today we want to take a look on a company that meets our criteria in several approaches, as you will see soon. We are talking about the Vetropack Holding Ltd., one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of packaging glass. With a rich variety of glass packaging products to offer the beverages and food industry, as well as a broad spectrum of services, Vetropack truly delivers “tailor-made glass”. This motto describes Vetropack’s wide-ranging capabilities in designing and developing, together with their customers, glass packaging solutions which in formal and visual terms best embody the product idea and marketing strategy while also fully meeting the needs of consumers. Their services range from package design, production and just-in-time delivery to consulting and support services in the area of packaging analysis, bottling, conditioning, closure technology, decorative refinement and labeling. This end-to-end service is the fundamental reason for Vetropack’s position as market leader in its six home markets, namely Switzerland, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia and Ukraine. As part of its corporate strategy Vetropack targets its product ranges and services especially for each market. Since 1991 Vetropack has been investing consistently in the Eastern European market – a region which is becoming increasingly important for the international food and beverage industry. read more


Industry Overview

Today we want to take a look on a company that is in the retail business, which is normally a place where the competition between the several players really hard. We are talking about the Hornbach Baumarkt AG, one of Europe’s leading and Germany’s second biggest DIY-Stores operator. DIY stands for the Do-It-Yourself Industry. But where does the high competition come from? If you take a closer look at the DIY Industry in Germany, you will clearly see that you can find nearly always two or more DIY stores next to each other, and that is the case in nearly every bigger city in Germany. Until a few weeks ago there were 4 big competitors in the German market which have a market share greater than 10% each and furthermore there are numerous other players in the market. In the next chart you can see that OBI is the biggest player in the market with 24,2% of sales followed by Bauhaus 17,5%, Hornbach 12,3%, Praktiker 12%, Hagebau 10,5% and Globus 6%. Another interesting fact is that Praktiker lost over 9% of its market shares in only 5 years. (The sales numbers are out of a couple of sector magazines and annual reports, Hornbach itself says that they have a market share of about 10%, due to the fact, that they take also some companies into account, which are not clearly in the DIY industry). Furthermore you can find some regional brands. shares    read more
Sto AG is the leading manufacturer and distributor of products for heat insulation, constructing and products for the renovation of building facades. The company was founded in the year 1955 by Wilhelm Stotmeister and was the inventor of organic bonded render. The equity of the company is divided into 4.320.000 bearer shares and 2.538.000 preferred stocks. The founding family is still in charge of the company and holds all of the non-public traded voting equity. As an investor you can only invest into the preferred stocks of the company. The company divides itself in to three different segments, the first and biggest segment is face-systems. Under the roof of face-systems we can find the core business Wärmedämm-Verbundsysteme (WDVS) (in WDVS Sto is, up to its annual report, the leading producer) and vorgehängte Fassadensysteme (VHF) which represent 49.6% of the total revenue of the company. The second segment is surface coating which represents 24.5% of the revenue and in which the businesses around rendering and painting/coating are grouped. The last big segment is indoor products, render and colors for indoor usage, which represents 13.2% of sales. In addition Sto manufactures and distributes ground and floor lamination which represents 12.7% of total revenue. read more