Michael Mountford and I sat down with the Michael Vels, the CFO of Hydro One as well as Omar Javed, the Director of Investor Relations also at Hydro One today (Aug 11, 2016) for a unique one on one meeting. Below are some of the highlights from our meeting:
We continue to like the global infrastructure story; in particular Brookfield Infrastructure Partners (BIP) which engages in utility, transport, energy, and communications infrastructure businesses. In today’s market environment infrastructure is one of the few places that seem to provide steady returns.
Several members of our team recently visited different parts of the US but came back with the same observations. “We’re Hiring” and “Help Wanted” signs were literally everywhere and much more prominent than previous years to the same locales. Restaurants, big box retailers and manufacturers alike had signs, banners and radio and TV commercials looking for employees. I was talking with a gentleman from Ohio who told me he and his coworkers are being asked to work triple shifts at the steel company that employs them because they can’t find skilled workers. Food prices are higher although the price of gasoline was extremely low. In our view, the anecdotal evidence indicates that perhaps the Fed is behind the curve with respect to raising rates. Today’s blowout jobs numbers in the US is further evidence that the Fed may need to act sooner rather than later despite moves by the Bank of England to stem post Brexit disruptions.