Skip traffic, fly home by JetpackSave
By Christopher Adams
Picture this. It's 5.30pm in Beijing, or possibly Shanghai. Workers are preparing to head home from the office, but the traffic is apocalyptic.
The man dubbed "China's Elon Musk" reckons he has the solution - and it involves New Zealand's Martin Jetpack.
Liu Ruopeng, chairman of the Martin Aircraft Company's major shareholder, Hong Kong-listed Kuang-Chi Science, reckons there's scope for people to skip the traffic by flying a jetpack home.
"Mega-cities are all gridlocked with traffic," he told the China Daily in the lead-up to a public demonstration of the jetpack in the Chinese city of Shenzhen last weekend.
"Imagine on a rooftop one or two people wearing jetpacks - they can simply fly from one building to another, saving all the time they would be trapped in terrible traffic."
It's a nice idea, albeit an expensive one, with the personal version of the jetpack set to have a price tag of around US$150,000.
But surely Liu's just been watching too many science fiction movies?
Martin Aircraft chief executive Peter Coker, however, said his dream could become a reality.
Watch the test flight of the jetpack in Shenzhen.
"When you look at some of the challenges in the major cities, there's no doubt that it could be used in a transport-type capability in the future," Coker said. "It's a matter of working with the China aviation authorities, which Kuang-Chi Science already have really good relations with."
On Monday the company, which expects to begin selling aircraft during the second half of next year, announced the signing of three agreements for the delivery of 100 manned jetpacks and 20 simulators in China.
Martin Aircraft shares closed at A83.5c on the ASX yesterday.
It didn't take long for CBL Corporation to bust through the $2.30 price target UBS analyst Marcus Curley placed on the stock last month.
Shares in the financial risk insurer closed at $2.31 yesterday, having gained 49 per cent since they listed at $1.55 in October.
Curley put his $2.30, 12-month target on CBL on November 23, when the stock was trading at around $1.85.
UBS, whose investment banking arm advised the CBL float, has a buy recommendation on the insurer's shares.
Will troubled investment firm Pyne Gould Corporation manage to file its well overdue annual report by Christmas?
That remains unclear as the company is keeping its cards close to its chest.
A spokesman told Stock Takes this week that there was no update on when the report might arrive.
"When there is anything, we'll announce via NZX," he said.
The company first said its accounts would be late in September, when it blamed the delay on a slow handover of information from its previous auditor, PwC, to Grant Thornton. On November 3 the firm said it would file the report by the third week of that month, but that never happened, with the company saying on November 23 that it was still working through "one remaining technical matter" with its auditor.
It's the second year in a row that PGC has been late in filing its accounts.
PGC shares last traded at 24.5c before they were suspended from trading in October.
Market will stay volatile, warns Craigs
Craigs Investment Partners is warning clients to prepare for ongoing equity market volatility next year.
Rather than being a short-term dynamic, the ups and downs of 2015 could simply be a return to a more normal environment after a few unusually settled years, the sharebroker said in its latest News & Views report.
"In 2015, we have seen moves of more than 1 per cent in either direction for the S&P 500 26.7 per cent of the time. That is a substantial increase from the average of 16.7 per cent that prevailed in the three preceding years and goes some way to explaining why markets have been somewhat of a rollercoaster this year."
The US Federal Reserve's monetary easing programme has provided much support to equity markets since the global financial crisis. "With this flow of market-smoothing liquidity slowing, and with [share] valuations at elevated levels, the volatility we have experienced in 2015 is likely to continue," Craigs said.