Special Report from Colombia

Written By Brian Hicks

Posted March 13, 2007

Dear Orbus Intel reader:

One of the benefits of being the executive publisher of 12 investment newsletters is that I get to live vicariously through my younger, 20-something editors.

Sam Hopkins provides an excellent example.

I sent Sam to Cartagena, Colombia to attend the Biofuel Americas conference and do some research on the booming renewable energy industry in South America.

Yesterday, Sam sent me an email declaring that he’s found a new beer. He even sent a photo. And when I saw it, I immediately knew that Sam’s new choice of favorite suds had nothing to do with its taste.

You see, the 6-pack carton is graced with 5 beautiful Colombian women in bathing suits.

I replied…

"If that’s the picture on a 6-pack… Hey, bring your boss back a case!"

But as visually appealing as the visual fruit of Sam’s beer search is (and I promise you, it is), I have an even better image for you. It’s the chart of Sam’s Libyan stock play:

 

(image) Chart

 

Yesterday the stock made a new record high… nearly breaking above $12.

Sam recommended the stock last November when it was trading for $4.70. Investors who purchased it at the recommendation date are sitting on a 138% profit.

And here’s the thing. Libya is just one hot spot for the future of energy. South America is also shaping up to become a major region on the renewable energy scene… and a major source for the U.S and its fuel needs.

Sam just filed a report straight from the conference in Colombia. I urge you to read it immediately. And to read Sam’s Libyan oil report that is making Orbus Investor premium subscribers a fortune, click here: http://www.angelnexus.com/o/web/920

Good investing,

briansig

Brian Hicks

 

 

Special Report from Colombia

Un Nuevo Mundo. Even if your Spanish is limited to Mexican menu literacy or Ricky Martin lyrics, you probably understand this phrase. It translates as "A New World," and it bears great historical importance for the past, present and future of the Americas.

In the days of the first Iberian explorers and conquistadores, the New World was thought of as a dark place. Terra incognita–unknown land. That was around 1492, when hope was centered on the pursuit of spices and gold, with no regard for life.

Here in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia’s Caribbean cultural capital and the site of the third Biofuels Americas conference, the pervasive mood is one that welcomes a new, hopeful world of clean energy.

And though their goals are green, the leaders of this drive are not green to the world of business. Gray-haired men, some balding, many of whom have worked in the fossil fuel industry, are among the most vociferous proponents of the trans-American transition to biofuels.

This Tuesday morning, fresh from a pleasant sleep with the sounds of Caribbean waves lapping against the shore outside my bedroom window, I listened carefully to the Spanish-language talk of the Colombian Minister of Mines and Energy, Hernan Martinez.

Just last week I was ankle-deep in condensation inside a Mexican gold mine, but today I was much more interested in the energy side of Señor Martinez’s title. On Sunday, as President Bush breezed through Bogotá, the Colombian capital, Martinez and President Álvaro Uribe (who will deliver the conference’s keynote address) discussed Bush’s new plans for revitalizing regional and world trade agreements.

Fertilizing the World Economy

As the Doha round of world trade agreements withers on the vine, Bush knows it needs fertilizer. Agricultural subsidies are the crux of the matter, and biologically-derived fuels provide a way forward.

During Bush’s first stop on his current five-nation South American trip, he inked an agreement with Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva promising to blaze a trail for biofuels.

Brazil and the United States currently produce 90% of the world’s ethanol, an alcohol made by fermenting plants with high cellulose content. However, though the U.S. would like to be paired with Brazil in the forefront, the primary U.S. domestic feedstock–corn–requires twice the amount of land to produce the same amount of fuel as Brazil’s sugar-based ethanol.

But this is a new world of business, and competition is healthy and essential.

It may be that Brazil’s comparative advantage in ethanol will persist. The United States must then stick to its free-trade guns and innovate rather than continue the unfortunate tendency to lobby for protectionist tariffs and legislation.

The Colombian case displays the manifold nature of biofuel development. As a country plagued by the narcotics trade, Colombia’s agricultural industry is essentially held hostage by narcoterrorism.

The Relative Threat

As Bush arrived in Colombia, televisions aboard Air Force One signaled unease.

According to reports, the monitors read, "Colombia presents THE MOST SIGNIFICANT THREAT ENVIRONMENT of this five-country trip!"

Nevertheless, I came. And as Minister Martinez spoke, he emphasized the importance of biofuel development in the face of the drug thugs who control much of the country’s cultivable land.

Martinez did not qualify the enemy of Colombia’s progress with a prefix. He called narcoterrorism simply "terrorismo."

For this country, al-Qaeda is not the most immediate threat. Though global trouble figures heavily in oil prices and the desire for energy independence, the interplay between agriculture, jobs, fuel, and international standing is intricate in Colombia.

It is "especially important for our country," Martinez told us, to use biofuel development as a counterbalance to the "cultivation of illicit crops."

Martinez, a businessman who used to work with Exxon, was echoed in his comments by Jorge Cardenas, head of the industry group Fedebiocombustibles (biocombustibles means "biofuels" in Spanish).

Cardenas said that 300,000 people would eventually be employed directly and indirectly by the Colombian biofuel industry, many of them agricultural types whose livelihoods are currently too easily swayed towards the unsavory reliance on illicit substances cultivation.

My friends, you will tell your children about the week when George W. Bush became the most ardent champion of clean fuel in the Western Hemisphere. This represents a shift in social, foreign and economic policy that cannot be ignored.

Let’s welcome President Bush to the New World.

Regards,

sig

Sam Hopkins

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