Insights

Lack of choice still limits water’s performance

We have been drawing up the end of year performance tables for the water stocks that we track in our Global Water Index. The full review will appear in the January issue of GWI, but the short version of the story is that Asian water stocks did very well (up 43%), and American water stocks did reasonably well (up 23.1%), while European water stocks went nowhere (up...

Is water China’s Achilles’ heel?

The final Lex column of the old year in the Financial Times predicts industrial disaster, crop failure and famine in China as a result of its failure to address water scarcity. The article is written from the perspective of 2019. “The Great Wall of Credit of 2009-12 had unleashed too much industrial capacity, consuming too much water,” the article argues,...

Are you ready for stage three of the credit crisis?

“As I see it, this crisis is going to go through three phases: firstly, it will work its way through the banking sector. Next, as banks reduce their lending, the bloodletting will move on to the business sector. Finally, as a result of rescuing both banks and businesses, the crisis will move on to the public sector.”

The above quote comes from this column...

How does ERI’s Pump Engineering buy stack up?

At first glance, Energy Recovery Inc. buying Pump Engineering Inc. is a bit like Apple buying a PC manufacturer. ERI has argued for years that it has a superior product which does well at the top end of the market. It is a West Coast technology company with a brilliant marketing vision.

PEI on the other hand has a cheaper, marginally less efficient product which appeals...

If we pay more, it will cost less

I was in Washington this week for the launch of the International Finance Corporation’s “Charting Our Water Future” initiative, developed in association with McKinsey. It is an interesting project: the management consultants analysed the gap in water resources that would arise over the next 20 years in four countries – India, China, Brazil and...

Adding liquidity to the wet water market

With water stocks becalmed, the smart money seems to be buying “wet water” this fall. Wet water means physical water rights, as opposed to “dry water”, which might mean infrastructure assets, technology suppliers, operating companies and engineering businesses.

We have been expecting some action in the sector this year because of the continuing...