Being Greedy When Others are Fearful

The sacking of Prime Minister-elect Mustafa Abushagur, following the decidedly cool reception of his proposed cabinet last week, has handed Libya a constitutional crisis to go along with its security crisis in the wake of the killing of US Ambassador Christopher Stevens in September.

But the news is not all bad on the Libyan front, and one particular ray of hope in recent days was the takeover of the entire operations of Libya’s Al Rashad Finance and Management Advisory by Dubai's Arqaam Capital.

While Al Rashad is small and does not have a long track record, its purchase by Arqaam will make it easier for Emirati investors to gain exposure to the new Libya, and it is clearly Arqaam's intention to facilitate this inward investment.

Warren Buffett’s famous contrarian maxim, “be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful”, is true whether referring to the stock market or to risk-taking in general.

A few years into the future, with the benefit of hindsight, taking advantage of short-term difficulties may look to have been a very shrewd business decision.

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