Friday, December 02, 2022
Been following the World Cup? It’s the world’s biggest soccer tournament.
If so, maybe you saw the news that Qatar, the tournament’s host country, banned alcohol sales just days before the event began.
But there’s another story related to the World Cup that’s gone unnoticed…
It involves a six-billion-dollar order for a squadron of Typhoon fighter jets that was purchased specifically as a tournament security-measure.
This purchase demonstrates why the two-trillion-dollar global-defense market is thriving right now…
And today, I’ll reveal one of the best ways to profit from it.
Even prior to the World Cup, Qatar had a habit of making headlines.
In 2017, its neighbor, Saudi Arabia, along with other nations in the region, banned it from using their airspaces. This decision came after Qatar failed to stop doing business with Iran — a heavily Shia nation in a part of the world with Sunni-populated countries.
Though miles away, the U.S. found itself in the middle of this conflict. Qatar’s been a strategic ally of the U.S. since the first Gulf War. And it still is today.
Navigating these regional tensions has been a challenge for America. And now that Russia’s joined the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), it’s been trying to make life even more challenging for the U.S. in the Middle East.
Keep in mind that Russia’s aggressiveness toward Qatar was festering even since before the Russia-Ukraine war. And it’s unclear what the future holds.
Since 2003, four presidential-administrations ago, the U.S. has been committed to a tight alliance with Qatar.
As noted in a 2021 U.S. State Department fact sheet, Qatar contributed nearly eight billion dollars toward the U.S. Al-Udeid Air Base, located near Qatar’s capital city, Doha.
According to the State Department, this base is a nerve center for a wide range of U.S. defense and intelligence activities. It noted that “these contributions are indispensable to supporting U.S. military operations throughout the region.”
To me, the six-billion-dollar fighter jet purchase is the latest sign that the alliance between America and Qatar isn’t ending anytime soon.
And it presents plenty of profit opportunities for defense companies with strong ties to the region — like BAE Systems…
Based in the UK, BAE Systems (BAESY) may not be a familiar name to Americans. But it’s the world’s fourth-largest defense company.
BAE has a long history in the UK and Europe. It has ties to NATO, and works with various European aerospace and defense companies.
But BAE has also been a big player in America, partnering with major U.S. defense companies for decades.
The company has two big advantages over some of the big U.S. defense players. For one, its European heritage can be more attractive to potential customers. For another, its low profile means it’s often more fairly valued.
As mentioned, BAE is a global business.
In October, the company won a $143 million contract with the U.S. Navy. And last summer, it won a $1.2 billion deal to supply U.S. Marines with a new amphibious combat vehicle.
In Europe, BAE plays a significant role in supplying Ukraine and NATO members with equipment. And just last month, the UK granted BAE a hefty contract to extend support to Ukraine. The price tag? Almost five billion dollars.
Meanwhile, in the Pacific, BAE is a key contractor, doing business as tensions rise between China and Australia. The company is building out Australia’s new naval frigates and destroyers, and its new designs are being incorporated into European navies.
Clearly, BAE’s impact is felt around the world. And it figures to keep busy as alliances and threats constantly evolve.
For example, Europe is entirely different since Russia invaded Ukraine. Putin has threatened to use nuclear weapons, and there’s a concern that if he’s thwarted by Ukraine, he may turn his military eye on countries in the Baltic nations.
Meanwhile, China is becoming more interested in Taiwan, and has begun expansionary policies in the South Pacific. And don’t forget the ongoing trade war between China and Australia, impacting goods like wine and coal.
While U.S. defense firms make big money supporting Ukraine, BAE plays a global game.
Meanwhile, even with the S&P 500 down about fifteen percent for the year, BAE’s stock is up twenty-five percent. Plus, it pays a hefty 3.1% dividend.
Since global conflicts aren’t likely to end any time soon, you can bet BAE will continue to grow — and hand its shareholders profits along the way.
In the meantime, check out our “Trade of the Day” below. It’s a far different — and some might say far more entertaining — way to take advantage of what’s going on in Qatar right now.
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Cheers and Good Investing,
Chief Investment Officer
Trend Trader Daily