Wednesday, 9 January 2013

"Infinity" From Screaming Savior To See U.S. Release

Chinese symphonic black metal act Screaming Savior will see its 2012 sophomore effort "Infinity" released stateside in mid-February through Metal Hell Records. The album was originally issued in February 2012 through Mort Productions. Pre-orders for the release can be had at this location.

"Started officially in Shanghai China in 2001, Screaming Savior combines a passion of astronomy, physics and dark poetry to create an epic and technical, symphonic black metal sound. The dynamics of ‘Infinity’ are virtually unparalleled in the realm of metal and listeners are in for a exciting and memorable galaxy-spanning voyage through the Infinite cosmos.

"‘Infinity’ has been re-mastered by the band for a more powerful production and includes two bonus tracks not heard on the original Chinese pressing. An orchestral version of ‘Ocean of Asura’ and an 8-Bit classic video game version of ‘Across the Boundary of Cosmos’.

"The US pressing of ‘Infinity’ features a 16 page full color booklet designed by the band with lyrics in both Chinese and English translations."

The track listing for "Infinity" is as follows:

1. Derivation (intro)
2. Star of Fatality
3. Sanguinary Salvation
4. Wings of the Vast Sea
5. Ocean of Asura
6. Nacha the Demon
7. Pray to the Chthonic
8. Ode to the Expedition
9. Curse the Dreamland
10. Across the Boundary of Cosmos

Bonus Tracks:

11. Ocean of Asura (orchestral)
12. Across the Boundary of Cosmos (8-bit)

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Mitt Romney: savior of corporate America?

Much has been said about the tidal wave of cash currently sloshing around on corporate balance sheets and the impact it could have on markets when unleashed, but the long-standing question remains: what will unlock it?

For Morgan Stanley, Mitt Romney is the key: it believes a victory for the US Republican presidential candidate is a potential catalyst for an economy-boosting corporate spending binge.

Could Romney prove to be the key?

‘To us, the biggest bull case for US equities is based on the huge cash balances and the potential belief that they will be more actively and productively deployed,’ said chief US equity strategist Adam Parker. 

‘The biggest possibility here would be Romney winning the presidential election. Our guess is that the market multiple would expand if in fact more investors started believing Romney will win.’

But despite what investors believe will happen in November, the odds are clearly against a Romney victory, with Barack Obama the bookies’ odds-on favourite. 

And unlike Morgan Stanley, US market commentator Cullen Roche of Pragmatic Capitalism believes it will ultimately make little difference which candidate wins.

Closet Keynesian?

‘It’s an interesting observation,’ he says. ‘Romney’s a closet Keynesian and much of his “balance budget” rhetoric could turn out to be nothing more than election talk.

‘Plus, a continued Obama presidency is likely to run into further stonewalling in Congress. Romney, the stock market friendly candidate? Hard to imagine given the fact that Obama’s presidency has been unusually friendly to the equity markets in his first term.’

The figures really underline the potential if either candidate can persuade corporate America to loosen its purse strings. The level of cash on corporate balance sheets has doubled over the past five years and now stands well above $1 trillion, equivalent to between 11% and 12% of total market capitalisation.

Andrew Milligan, head of global strategy at Standard Life Investments, said: ‘The same phenomenon has been seen elsewhere though, across Asia, Europe, Latin America and the UK. The counterpart, in many cases, is low levels of debt – for example in the UK net debt/earnings (excluding financials) has reached the lowest levels for eight years.’

Sector variation

Although the total figures are high, there is a massive disparity between different sectors. In the UK this ranges from 27% for technology and 19% for healthcare down to between 4% and 6% for energy, telecoms, utilities and consumer discretionary companies. 

Mergers and acquisitions activity has so far disappointed as clearly firms are sitting back and waiting for tangible signs of a sustained rise in economic activity, but there are some positives. Broad capacity utilisation in the US is back up to 79%, close to its long-term average while for some areas, such as machinery, it is as high as 85%.