You may be familiar with the notion of the "Greenspan put" -- the idea that former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan would pump liquidity into the market whenever things looked dicey for investors. With the United Arab Emirates' purchase of PrimeWest Energy Trust
We have sent a lot of dollars over to the Middle East in exchange for precious petroleum. Some of those dollars are being spent on silly things like a configuration of man-made islands in the shape of the world's continents. The rest of those dollars are being deployed more strategically, namely to keep the good times rolling by diversifying into global energy and infrastructure assets. The recent buy of PrimeWest by state-backed Abu Dhabi National Energy Co. (also known as TAQA) is a great example.
PrimeWest is one of the larger Canadian royalty trusts, a group of firms that investors began dumping when the government started tinkering with their tax-advantaged status. Just look at the charts of PrimeWest, Penn West Energy
PrimeWest's droopy stock price provided an opportunity for TAQA to pick up producing assets on the cheap. This move follows up on recent purchases of properties from Pogo Producing
Thus, I'm led to postulate the Abu Dhabi put -- energy asset prices fall, foreign buyers swoop in, and energy investors stay happy. Protectionist hackles would no doubt be raised due to energy security concerns, but I have difficulty conceiving where else this cash might come from. While I wouldn't rely on such an underlying bid in selecting my energy investments, it's still somewhat comforting to know that these companies are firmly in the sights of foreigners with very deep pockets.