If you're willing to put aside the political controversy surrounding WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, and read the diplomatic dispatches the group released, you'll find a number of interesting investing insights. Here are two worth acting on today:
1. Venezuela may not be producing as much oil as it claims
According to one cable that was released and posted by The Guardian, the U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela observed a "loss of a profit/production motive on the part of PDVSA" and noted that U.S. companies such as Baker Hughes
Given rising demand for oil, the revelation that oil production in Venezuela looks to be on permanent decline is one more reason why investors should expect oil prices to rise. This is good news for companies like CNOOC
Takeaway: Go long a basket of resource-rich oil companies.
2. The Chinese government sabotaged Google
A recently released WikiLeaks cable blows that theory out of the water, noting that a "contact claimed a top PRC leader was actively working with Google competitor Baidu against Google." It's long been known that the PRC government didn't like Google's resistance to censoring search results, but the revelation that China is working in concert with Baidu means that Baidu's perceived competitive advantages have likely all been artificially created. Further, Baidu is likely to lose face with young Chinese Internet users if they begin to view the company as an arm of the government. As someone who expects China's information restrictions to ease over time, I am pessimistic about Baidu's ability to maintain its market share if Google is allowed unfettered access back into China. Not only is the latter's search engine better, but its recent public battles with the Chinese government have reportedly made it quite popular with a segment of Chinese power Internet users. That means investors who believe Baidu will dominate Chinese search for decades to come are likely to end up disappointed.
Takeaway: Buy puts on Baidu.
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Tim Hanson is co-advisor of Motley Fool Global Gains. He does not own shares of any company mentioned. Google and Baidu are Rule Breakers recommendations. CNOOC is a Global Gains pick. Total is an Income Investor selection. The Fool owns shares of Google and ExxonMobil. WikiLeaks does not need to release our disclosure policy; you can read it right here.