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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Why AirAsia is unbeatable among budget airlines

In terms of hurdles, AirAsia has battled government protectionism and political efficiency better than David and Goliath, for the umpteenth time. Using old Subang Airport. Not allowed. New routes such as Sydney. Not allowed. Forced to use higher fee airport. Delays in LCCT. Singapore - KL route protectionist policy. Lucrative Japan and Korea routes - many many hurdles. Even battling oil prices on their own. SARS. Earthquakes and tsunami crisis in Indonesia. Political crises in Thailand.

Today, AirAsia's investors could be really proud. If you hold it that long. I held my shares over 3 years seeing it go from $1.70 down to $1.00 to 90 sen, then up, then down. And finally the last 3 - 4 months, a glorious rally back and over the top of $2.00 to a high of over $2.60. AND beating MAS (Malaysia Airlines) price as well to boot. I could see some parallel to Genting Singapore. Being beaten down to below 90 cents, then now riding over $2.00.

Are there budget airlines to challenge this supremacy? No. Tiger Airlines is plagued with bad service reputation on Australia and now in home turf Singapore as well. JetStar perhaps is powerful from Australia standpoint. It can never grow much further in Asia, where the numbers are. I actually enjoyed flying Jetstar and Virgin Blue in Australia. So I wish them the best too and hope they will operate in years to come. Imagine I had flights from Melbourne to Sydney for $50 AUD. The bus or train cost more plus travel time.

There is a relatively unknown player called Cebu Air. It is supposed to be the second largest budget carrier in Asia.

AirAsia has made very strong roots and foothold in essential markets across the continent. The biggest country in Asean - yes over 10 cities in Indonesia is connected. Big populous country in the world - China and India. The traditional trade partners of a land before airplanes circa the 15th century. Meeting in the middle port of Malacca. And today, the ancient trade routes is meeting centrally again, in KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport) - or more aptly LCCT (Low Cost Carrier Terminal) Malaysia.

And remarkably, the host which is MAHB (Malaysia Airports Holding Berhad) wasn't so thankful to AirAsia for years. Even now. What an irony. Because if AirAsia, the historical price of MAHB had increased from $2.00 to over $4.00 doubling up in 2 years. Just like the middle-man report I wrote on SGX or in general the stock exchange firm, the middle man which is the airport will always gain when there are passengers coming in. When AirAsia introduces more and more flights. From more and more diverse Asian countries.

Practically the whole of ASEAN is connected now because of AirAsia. What a feat.

And looking at China and India - the limitless flow of passengers is a given now.

Rich Asian nations - Korea and Japan, Taiwan and Singapore all connected.

Powerful mining and closest Western First World Country - Australia with 3 destinations. What if Sydney is added? And northern small sized airports in Cairns and Darwin are added? Beautiful. Unbeatable.

Far reaching to smaller airports and boutique destinations, such as Nepal, Maldives, Bhutan.

The whole of Asia soon will have a little red dot connected. And this red dot is not Singapore. But AirAsia.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Australian Stocks Listed in SGX

Seeing the ASX-SGX merger being the talk of the two cities, here are some interesting facts. Currently, there are only 7 Australian companies listed in SGX:

- Australand is one of Australia’s major diversified property groups, with activities across Australia covering development of residential land, housing and apartments, development of and investment in income producing commercial and industrial properties, and property management.
Australand was listed on Australian and Singapore Stock Exchanges in June 1997 and was formed into a stapled group in November 2003 with the stapling of units in Australand Property Trust to the ordinary shares in Australand Holdings Limited. In October 2005, Australand Property Trust No.4 and Australand Property Trust No.5 were merged with Australand. As a result of this merger, Australand has four listed entities (namely Australand Holdings Limited, Australand Property Trust, Australand Property Trust No.4 and Australand Property Trust No.5) whose securities are stapled together and trade on the Australian Stock Exchange and Singapore Stock Exchange as the one stapled security.

Australand has been involved in property development for approximately 80 years and Australand has progressively widened the scope of its activities to satisfy the needs of an ever changing and more sophisticated client base.

Australand has three operating divisions being Residential, Commercial and Industrial and Investment Property. It employs approximately 640 people with operations in Sydney, Melbourne, South East Queensland and Perth and a sales office in Hong Kong servicing the Asian market. Australand now has development assets of $1.7 billion and owns 49 income producing properties with an aggregate value of approximately $1.3 billion.

As at February 2006, Australand has approximately 12,700 security holders and a market capitalisation of approximately $1.8 billion. Its major security holder is the Singapore based property group, CapitaLand Limited, which owns approximately 53 percent of the issued capital.


The Company is a listed public company limited by shares, which was incorporated under the Corporations Law of the Commonwealth of Australia on 10 January 1985 as Pacific Communications Holdings Limited. On 11 June 1998, the Company changed its name to Australasian Technology Corporation Limited and to its present name on 5 July 2000. The Company’s shares were listed on the ASX on 30 January 1986 and subsequently dual listed and traded on the SGX-ST on 3 May 2001.

The principal activities of the consolidated entity are as follows:-
- Assembly and manufacturing of printed circuit boards and electronics accessories;
- Design and manufacturing of industrial machinery and robotic and automated systems; and
- Investment in the potential of good commercially viable assets.

-In 1995, the Long Homes Ltd acquired AVJennings Hldgs Ltd and changed to its present name. It is a low-rise residential developer targeting second and subsequent home purchasers. The company is listed on the Melbourne and Singapore stock exchanges.

-EBB-AFG Global Masters Fund is an Australian domiciled unit Trust. Its issued by EBB-AFG Capital Management Limited, a company registered in Hong Kong on 9 January 2007 as trustee of the Fund is a joint venture company between EBB and AFG and. The Units will not be tradable on the SGX-ST upon the listing of the Units on the SGX-ST.

The investment objective of the Fund is the generation of strong, risk-adjusted, absolute investment returns over the medium to long term and in all market conditions.
The investment strategy of the Fund is to initially obtain exposure to a Portfolio of international Absolute Return Funds managed by some of the world’s leading absolute return investment managers. This fund of funds approach enables the construction of a portfolio diversified by investment strategy, investment manager and geography.

- MacarthurCook Property Securities Fund is a diversified, listed property fund that invests in a range of listed property trusts, unlisted property trusts and listed property-related companies registered in Australia. It was listed on the Australian Stock Exchange since 17 December 2004, established with the aim of providing investors with a diversified property-based investment offering a stable level of income with the opportunity for long term capital growth.

The Fund is managed by MacarthurCook Fund Management Limited, a subsidiary of MacarthurCook Limited, a specialist international real estate investment manager.

As at 30 June 2006, the Fund had investments in over 46 funds managed by more than 27 specialist real estate investment managers with more than 1,200 underlying properties under management across office, retail and industrial sectors as well as “non-traditional” sectors like healthcare and childcare. Properties owned by the funds in which the Fund invests are located in Australia, the United States, Europe and New Zealand.

-SP AusNet is a stapled group comprising SP Australia Networks (Transmission) Ltd, SP Australia Networks (Distribution) Ltd and SP Australia Networks (Finance) Trust or SP Australia Networks (RE) Ltd (the Responsible Entity).

SP AusNet's business consists of an electricity transmission business and electricity and gas distribution businesses. These networks are all located in the state of Victoria where they provide for the supply of energy from producers to consumers. SP AusNet is 1 of 5 providers of electricity distribution services and 1 of 3 providers of gas distribution services.

- The Company was incorporated in Australia on 17 June 1987 a public company under the name of United Overseas Securities Ltd. Listed on the “Second Board” of the Australian Securities Exchange Limited (ASX) since February 1988. The name of the Company was subsequently changed to United Overseas Australia Ltd on 12 December 1990. It successfully transferred its listing from the “Second Board” to the Main Board of the ASX in 1992.

United Overseas Australia Limited is a property developer and property investment company based predominantly in Kuala Lumpur and focuses on middle to high-end residential and commercial property development and investments in Kuala Lumpur.

The Group believes that its established track record in developing high quality residential and commercial property developments in prime locations within Kuala Lumpur have helped the Group builds brand loyalty in the “UOA” name. Its residential property developments are typically highvalue, multi-phased projects with a focus on the quality of workmanship, interior design and integrated landscaping to create an upmarket, desirable living environment aimed at attracting middle to high
income purchasers. Its residential property projects include fully-fitted villas and apartments. Its commercial property developments comprise mainly office buildings with retail space, for sale and lease. The Group is also co-operate and collaborate closely with Dats Management, which provides building management services for the projects its developed.

The Company’s business can be categorised into four principal activities:
(a) Property Development;
(b) Construction;
(c) Property Investments; and
(d) Building Management (carried out in close co-operation and collaboration with a company known as “Dats Management Sdn. Bhd.”).

Palm Oil Commodity Fight - Wilmar versus Golden Agri

Palm Oil or Crude Palm Oil (CPO) dominated the headings when oil prices were hovering over $150, as a potential alternative biofuel for vehicle usage.

And rightly so, I have been writing some articles on Lithium as a new bet for hybrid car demand. Hybrid car batteries need Lithium, and so this commodity will heat up soon.

So back to palm oil. Besides being a biofuel, the main usage is for cooking oil, basic daily consumption, making soap and many other fast moving consumer goods (FMCG). Now the toss up surely is to look at the largest palm oil producers or harvesters. Who are the players?

Wilmar is the largest, and the current price is over $7.00
Next is Golden Agri, and the current price is around 65 cents.

Both companies own large tracts of palm oil producing fields in Indonesia - Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi. Labour cost is relatively low.

Perhaps the big simple question of investing is to go for the number 1. Wilmar. My suggestion instead is to buy into Golden Agri - 10 lots of Golden Agri is equal to 1 lot of Wilmar. And when price fluctuates, the investor has an easier way to divest out of several lots instead of holding to 1 large costlier lot.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Effective tax 12 percent for Genting Singapore compared to over 39 percent in Macau

Singapore, with its two mega casinos, is unlikely to overtake Macau but may steal some "high-rollers" from China as operators shift premium business to the city-state where they face an effective tax rate of 12 per cent compared with about 39 per cent in the Chinese territory.

What this could translate is greater operating profit.
Say if there was a revenue of $1bil, after approximate after-tax profit would be 88% x 1bil = 880mil
While casinos operating in Macau will be left with just 61% x 1bil = 610mil

That 200mil saved could be used in many ways. Repaying the loan. Paying the salaries of the ten thousand employees, or a bonus to employee. Based on that number each average employee could get $1667 as a year end bonus. Why not?!

Learning from history Genting Berhad 2 year performance

The World Financial Crisis did rattle many stocks and Genting Berhad, mother stock of Genting Singapore, did experience a downturn during that period and also surprisingly another short period durng April 2009 when it was down to only MYR3.20. That translate to about SGD$1.42.

Within two years, Genting Berhad now is trading over MYR10.00 (SGD4.44) or a tremendous gain of 312%

Should this be an indicator of the trend that Genting Singapore could be heading? There are many analysis and predictions for the expected Target Price of Genting Singapore. So this take here is based on not only trend of the mother stock but also plain fundamentals.

Genting Berhad in the old days took 3 years to build the access road up to the mountain to start the building of the resort, hotel and casino. It was estimated to take over 10 years. Very impressive but still no revenue for those 3 years and another few years more to complete the buildings.

Now fast forward to Genting Singapore. The whole resort(apart from a few other sections) is completed and running and making profit in 3 years. And at current revenue estimates, the whole cost of the resort could be paid off in 3-5 years.

One of my earlier articles projected $2.50. My other article suggested about $4.00. So with this article, it is quite solid and possible the price could be in the range of  $2.50 to $4.00 in 2 years.

Comments and suggestions welcome.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Significance of ASX and SGX merger better faster investment options

The buzz surrounding the merger of ASX with SGX is on the news daily in Australia. Every TV news update will have touch-base with this scenario. And about the sovereignty of Australia, a sensitive issue in this patriotic nation. Seeing foreigners buying properties and buying stocks and now buying up their stock exchange. But is it that bad or merely a notion of ill informed citizens?

The case in point is a merger. Not a buyout. The case is a cooperation of resources and size. Not one swallowing up the other. Therefore the outcry is not suppose to resonate much in the longer run.

Now let us look at the significance of this deal. Possibly Singapore investors or those using SGX will be able to access Australian stocks in real time. Currently if your stock brokerage firm is allowing DMA (Direct Market Access) there is a delay time of 15 minutes on stock prices. Not real time. And thus vital changes and price sensitivity advantage is clouded in that delayed relay of pricing. 

Lower fees. Perhaps a lower fees to buy and no more custodian fees on the foreign Australian stock.

I find the whole deal a positive move for investors and for market liquidity as a whole. There is better access to the precious metal and mining companies based in Australia. Remember one of my articles highlighted there are over 200 Mining and Oil stocks in the ASX. And picking up these gems will be easier. Those who are unfamiliar with commodities trading can now buy into the shares of these commodities producers and miners. A better direct investment rather than by proxy. BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Orocobre will be easily accessible to investors. There are over 20 Gold companies in ASX alone. Investors have the option now to invest in gold mining companies rather than just Gold.

Comments and suggestions welcome. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Will 2011 be like 2001 with a Dot Com Bust?

1997 and 1998 saw the Asian Financial Crisis hitting all across Asia. USA was not affected much. But 2001 saw the so-called Dot Com Bust wiping out all under-performing and superficial tech stocks, and rocking big old players such as IBM, Microsoft, Yahoo to their knees. I recall Hotmail even reduced the mail quota to 1 MB and inactive account will be suspended. Nowadays we are seeing free email services giving 1 GB of mail quota.

The lingering question could be from what I wrote before about the "trendlines" - the ten-year bust. And if that is true for 1997/1998 parallel with 2007/2008, so will the 2001 Dot Com Bust be a parallel to the "yet-to-be-named" 2011 "Bust"?

Some people are panicky. Some are shrugging it off.

What sort of financial crisis, financial burnout, financial collapse is possible? And if based on facts like "if USA didn't suffer during 1998 and then had a 2001 bust, so perhaps those who didn't suffer that much for the 2008 Financial Crisis will be the possible candidate" to get a downturn. Could it be a country? A region? An industry?

Let us see: there seems to be a housing bubble in several Asian countries including Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, China. This is a possible candidate. Housing.

Commodities. Gold going way too high. Other minerals and mining companies being propped up excessively. Possible.

Will it be another Dot Com bust - will Facebook go bust, Apple goes bad, will Cisco routers be overtaken by Huawei?

Will another 9/11 hit somewhere unexpected? Strangely 9/11 did not have much of a financial impact on the global markets.

Recent flooding has ravaged various parts of Asia that were producing the staple food rice. How significant is this?

Will oil prices go above the roof again because of demand and because of the decline in USD? Possible.

In conclusion, there is a high possibility of something crashing somehow the next 1-2 years. It may not be as great as the Financial Crisis. But this interim crash is an opportunity. If you know how to spot this opportunity, and have enough resources to buy in when everything is at a bargain for a limited time, you can win it big.

Foxwoods the biggest casino in USA was funded by Genting

Foxwoods is the biggest casino in USA and is operated by the Mashantucket Pequot tribe funded by Genting in 1992.

From harvesting lettuce and maple syrup, we have now become the most profitable casino in the world. Before Lim, we only knew poverty. It was with his faith and trust that we are what we are now.
- Michael Thomas, chairman of the Native American Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation.
Explorer's Guide Connecticut (Seventh Edition) (Explorer's Complete)Lonely Planet 1000 Ultimate Experiences (General Reference)Lonely Planet USA (Country Travel Guide)

The late Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong's legacy does not only live on in Genting, but halfway round the world in the Native American tribe of the Mashantucket Pequot.

Unknown to most Malaysians, in 1991 the late Goh Tong helped the tribe that was struggling to grow cabbage by investing in their idea of building a casino, the Foxwoods Resort & Casino, which has now become the largest casino in the world. The chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, a sovereign nation within the US located in the state of Connecticut, Michael Thomas said the tribe owed a great deal to Lim for his vision and his confidence in them.

The tribe had approached 23 lending institutions who all turned them down for funding because they were afraid the loan would not be repaid.

A very hands on person, Lim Goh Tong travelled to meet the tribe and see for himself what was this Native American tribe was about and what their ancient values were. And within 48 hours, he agreed to give his support in the form of a US$60mil (RM200mil) investment. To show the magnitude of this seed funding, the revenue for the US government is close to US$2.7bil today from the casino operations of Foxwoods.

During his passing, the tribe gave all due respect in traditional manner. Thomas said this included all buildings in the nation flying their flag at half-mast for a week, while a sacred stone called Wampum which is sourced from a clam called the Quohog would be given to the family. It was important for the world to know that it was the faith Goh Tong had in them that allowed them to succeed beyond their wildest dreams.

Therefore if you have ethics, values, family values, and finally believe, things can change for the better.
MGM Grand at Foxwoods Hotel Mashantucket

Late for Gold then buy Lithium

Almost everyone wants to get into Gold these days. Prices have been on the uptrend. Here I too share my oversight and it happened in 2000/01 when I was at a crossroad of investing a lump sum of my money into two investments - Gold Trust or Other Unit Trust.

Why these two? At that point of time, I had limited stock trading experience and time. What I knew from years of reading was when stocks go down, Gold will quite certainly go up because of factors like safety haven, scarcity and so on and so forth. I was at the the persuasion of the banks to "come and invest in unit trusts" - easy, and steady growth. Yes the key words were that. Growth with very nice upward trend "charts". Past 3 year charts! My mind was lingering on the Gold Trust which was at about $0.60.

So no regrets now.

Instead investment is always about looking forward. And forward looking value for some new research we would believe in. Thereby summarised in my Stock Trading Rules. (see

Therefore for the past 2-3 years I have been keeping a watch on this resource - Lithium. It started when the oil prices went out of "control" to over $150 USD a barrel. And when car companies were going crazy about been bigger and larger especially in USA. Inefficient and fuel-hungry machines. Manufacturers were thinking of alternative fuels, and fuel-cell. The downturn changed this too. Being efficient is in. Being green is in. Start to think now to change this. Some vehicle owners started with retro-fitting gas cylinders for CNG or NGV. For the longer term, hybrid cars and fuel cell cars will be more and more mainstream. And for these cars to function, the main product is lithium to store electricity inside the car.

My stock highlight for this sector is Orocobre Limited (ASX based stock).
Here is the chart. From 14 December 2007 till now, there has been a whopping 900% gain. (from about 0.30 to over $2.45) Look at the green "percentage change since" indicator.

Orocobre Limited is an Australia-based mineral exploration company. The Company focuses on lithium, potash and boron resources in Argentina. The Company’s projects include Salar de Olaroz Project, Santo Domingo Project and South American Salars Project. The Salar de Olaroz Project is located in the Puna region of Jujuy, approximately 230 kilometers northwest of the capital city of Jujuy. The Salar de Olaroz Project consists of 118 square kilometers of tenements over a salar (salt lake). The Santo Domingo Project is located in the San Juan Province. The South American Salars Project has approximately 60,000 hectares of tenements on 10 salars in the provinces of Salta, Jujuy and Catamarca. During the fiscal year ended June 30, 2009 (fiscal 2009), the Company drilled 16 vertical cored holes (1136 meters) and six monitoring holes (360 meters).

Insurance system and gambling system similarities and winners

The magic is in creating more numbers. Here are a few examples how numbers or values are being created from a system.

The insurance system is largely based on pooling money or resources together so that if one person encounters a problem, the pooled resources is able to assist that troubled person. The creation of money is also based on this pooled-resources-model. Therefore a $1000 paid, has a pooled valued, of say $100 000 - which is what the sum assured or the sum the insurance agent keeps reminding you with gleaming eyes as if you will hit it as a "jackpot"!

When you deposit 100 dollars into the bank, the bank could take 100 dollars and loan it to someone else for a 10 dollar profit. Therefore "creating" money of 100 + 100 + 10 and maybe another 5 as interest to you. So the original 100 has created a value of 215. Impressive magic.

Gambling system is partly based on this too. You put a "wager" into the machine. And a jackpot is proclaimed to be won when the numbers or pooled amount between the 100 slot machines in the area hits the value between $100 to $500. Each dollar you "wager" moves the ticker. So finally after a few hours, a lucky winner grabs the pooled resources.

You "put" a wager on an outcome. And others put in as well. But the probability is favouring the casino. Example you bet on number 12 on the roulette table. One dollar. It will pay you $36 if you win. Oh great you won this round. And the bets placed by other punters are pooled and given to you. 

The conclusion of these similarities and winning situations - among all these systems - is having a fair game. Or perhaps unfair game. We too want an unfair advantage in real life. Therefore, as you can see, insurance companies make profit, insurance agents drive unneeded luxury cars, banks make huge profits, bankers get insane bonuses, and casinos and number-forecast agencies (4D, Toto, Scratch and Win) will always win.

So buy them. Own them. Own their stocks. Finish.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Low tax for Genting Singapore means best results for investors

By 2012, Morgan Stanley expects the Singapore casino market will hit 6-10 billion in revenue, basing on the time taken by Macau to hit that same target. While it is simple to equate Macau to have a backyard of a billion China tourists, the fact is irrelevant. Perhaps some China tourists prefer to go "overseas" rather than Macau. And perhaps Singapore as a stop-point and central destination, will get better spillover effects - from Australia, from Europe, from all over South East Asia, all the flight paths just intersect there conveniently. And also family - family is essential and the Universal Studios theme park at Genting Singapore will certainly shine.

So now back to insider information, as from my previous write-up of All Things Genting - here is a short word with a very powerful financial effect - tax.

Good news is the tax regime for the casinos in Singapore is about 5% to 15%. Incredibly low. Plus wages are low too. The cost of building and maintenance is much lower compared to say an Australian Casino. And even if Macau had cheap labour, the tax regime on casinos is a high of over 39%. Elsewhere in the world too, casino operations are seen as cash-cows that are rightfully taxed to the max. But in Singapore apparently they see the benefits of creating jobs and boosting tourism and hotel industry as a better measure of successfully milking the cash cow - so to speak.

The competition Las Vegas Sands has just ramped up. But how big a competition is it against each other? I doubt so. Casinos are casinos. Visitors do not visit one because it is "cheaper" or prettier. Well they may do if one casino is offering more winnings on the roulette table like 39 to 1 instead of 36 to 1! Competing against the government. 2-0 score - not only government is supportive, even the tax regime is helpful. Competing against Macau. Target market is very much different. Macau could be just for China tourists and hence very China oriented. While in Singapore, it is a multi-cultural experience. There are tons of cheap Indian food, international flavour and multi-level Chinese dialect food.

So lastly, a quick look at some charts. Here you can see how the stocks stack up in their respective market. No surprise that Genting is moving upwards. While a look at Las Vegas Sands is rather astonishing. From a high of over $100 to current levels of $30.

A good point to note is that in the NYSE or US stocks in general, the trading lot is 100 units. While Genting Singapore is trading at 1000 unit lots. Therefore, currently LVS is trading at say USD3.00 or about SGD4.00. Comments, suggestions, welcome!

SGX and ASX merger

In Australia, there is a big buzz surrounding a possible merger between SGX and ASX (Australia Stock Exchange). Trading was halted. It is a friendly deal and would create the world's 5th largest exchange. Local investors welcome the offer and ASX price closed 18% higher.

But some events never get halted in Australia, horse racing event Cox Plate still went on. And So You Think has won again. This top winning runner is owned by Dato Tan Chin Nam.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto and Over 250 Mining Shares in Australia

The international business news usually features the biggest companies doing super-mega projects, costing billions of dollars and doing industry-changing projects, plus showing off super-supernormal profits. Therefore BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto are some common names we hear all the time, and once during the 2008 peak prices of over $150 a piece of share.

While do you know that there are over 250 more other mining shares and energy shares in Australia? There should be some value in some of these smaller companies that are looming behind the scenes. Therefore it is worth doing some homework and fact finding to look for gems here, if you are bullish about commodities and bullish about the Australia economy, and bullish about the Australia dollar. Recent forecasting by research houses have even point to a $1 to $1 value for the Australian dollar against USD. 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Genting Plantations double up in a year

There has been too much chatter regarding Genting Malaysia and Genting Singapore and everything related to casino and Integrated Resorts. For a change, let us still look at Genting but another sector that they excel in. Here's a chart of how Genting Plantations performed for the past 5 years.

Amazing or not, the stock price of Genting Plantations has doubled from a low of 3.00 RM to almost 8.00 RM in a year plus. The price did drop from the all time high of 9.00 RM to 3.00 RM. Percentage wise that is 66% down. Compared relatively to the current gains of 260%. 

And this not happened to Genting Plantations. Quite a number of stocks in Singapore and Malaysia that I am aware of and or investing in, had doubled up. The downturn caused those stocks to diminish to less than half their all time high, and that only lasted for a year or so. Then it gained back and went even higher. This peculiar behaviour is something to think about. In a positive way, that should be a clue as to when is the best time to re-invest. At the downturn. Which happens and lasts not too many months or years. And the gains are returned within a year or two.

All Genting Related Inside Corporate Information

Here is a quick summary of all-things-Genting! .
1) Genting Berhad - Wright Quality Rating: ACC3
Business Description:
Genting Berhad is an investment holding and management company. The principal activities of the subsidiaries include leisure and hospitality, gaming and entertainment businesses, plantation, the generation and supply of electric power, property development and management, tours and travel related services, genomics research and development, investments and oil and gas exploration, development and production activities. The principal activities of its associates include the generation and supply of electric power, resort, property investment and property development. The Company has over 4,500 hectares of prime resort land and about 134,000 hectares of plantation land. In December 2009, it completed the disposal of its subsidiaries, Oakwood Sdn. Bhd. and Genting Highlands Tours and Promotion Sdn. Bhd., to Genting Malaysia Berhad. In April 2010, it acquired Peak Avenue Limited and Newquest Ltd. In June 2010, the Company acquired Aurasun Resources Sdn Bhd.
2) Genting Malaysia Berhad -Wright Quality Rating: AAA1
Business Description:
Genting Malaysia Berhad, formerly Resorts World Bhd, is involved in a tourist resort business at Genting Highlands, and its activities cover leisure and hospitality services, which comprise gaming, hotel, entertainment and amusement. Its subsidiaries are engaged in property development and management, leisure and hospitality services, investments, time share ownership scheme, tours and travel related services. The Company operates in two segments: Leisure & Hospitality, which includes the gaming, hotel, entertainment and amusement businesses, tours & travel related services and other support services, and Properties division, which holds the land held for development of the Company and is involved in property developments. Genting Berhad is its immediate and ultimate holding company. In December 2009, Genting Berhad disposed of its subsidiaries, Oakwood Sdn. Bhd. and Genting Highlands Tours and Promotion Sdn. Bhd., to the Company. In May 2010, the Company acquired High Valley Limited.
3) Genting Hong Kong Limited - Wright Quality Rating: CBNN
Business Description:
Genting Hong Kong Limited, formerly Star Cruises Limited, is an investment holding company principally engaged in the operation of passenger cruise ships in Asia Pacific. The Company, together with its jointly controlled entities, NCL Corporation Ltd. (NCLC) and its subsidiaries (the NCLC Group), has a combined fleet of 17 ships cruising to over 200 destinations in the world, offering approximately 30,000 lower berths. The Group operates under the principal brand name of Star Cruises while the NCLC Group operates under Norwegian Cruise Line brand. Star Cruises operates seven ships offering various cruise itineraries and calls destinations primarily in the Asia Pacific region. Norwegian Cruise Line operates 10 cruise ships offering cruises in North and South America, Hawaii, Caribbean, Alaska, Europe, Mediterranean and Bermuda. The Company's subsidiaries are principally engaged in the business of cruise and cruise related operations and leisure, entertainment and hospitality activities.

4) Genting Singapore PLC - Wright Quality Rating: ABNN
Business Description:
Genting Singapore PLC, formerly Genting International PLC, is an integrated resorts development specialist engaged in developing, operating and/or marketing casinos and integrated resorts in different parts of the world. Its principal activities are development and operation of integrated resort; casino operations; international sales and marketing services, and information technology (IT) application related services. It operates in two segments: leisure and hospitality, which is engaged in the provision of sales and marketing services and information technology related services to leisure and hospitality related businesses, development and operation of integrated resort, and casino operations and investments, which is engaged in investing in assets to generate future income and cash flows. In July 2009, the Company incorporated Genting Singapore (HK) Limited as its wholly owned subsidiary in Hong Kong. In September 2010, it acquired Genting Singapore Aviation.

5) Genting Plantations Berhad - Wright Quality Rating: BAB9
Business Description:
Genting Plantations Berhad, formerly known as Asiatic Development Berhad, is a Malaysia-based company engaged in plantation, investment holding and provision of management services. The Company operates in four segments: plantation, which is engaged in oil palm plantations; property, which is engaged in property development and the operation of a golf course; biotechnology, which is engaged in genomics research and development, and others. During the year ended December 31, 2009, the Company produced 1.16 million metric tons of fresh fruit bunches. In 2009, the Company planted a total area of 60,007 hectares with oil palms. As of December 31, 2009, the Company's subsidiaries were Genting SDC Sdn Bhd, Genting Plantations (WM) Sdn Bhd, Genting Tanjung Bahagia Sdn Bhd, Landworthy Sdn Bhd, Kinavest Sdn Bhd, Asiaticom Sdn Bhd, Genting Oil Mill Sdn Bhd, Genting Property Sdn Bhd, Technimode Enterprises Sdn Bhd, Genting Land Sdn Bhd and Genting Green Tech Sdn Bhd, among others.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Low Cost Airline Jetstar in Australia

The low cost airline Jetstar has given Australian a fair choice for a good fare for years. Meanwhile, new comer Tiger Airways have a very bad reputation in Australia. The news and management news has always been good news for Tiger Airways and expansions in Australia to the media in Singapore. But here, I am taking Tiger Airways and the standards or lack off are appalling. Last year I took a flight from Sydney to Melbourne to connect to a midnight international flight by another operator. I booked a flight with a 6 hour lead time to the connecting flight. Normally, Australian airports have a shower room, using them is one way to feel fresh for a long haul journey.

Everyone was eagerly checked in and awaiting at the departure gate. Then came an announcement. The flight has been delayed 3 hours, because one of the flight attendant is reported to be sick. There is a minimum number of crew to be able to legally operate this aircraft. A replacement crew is on the way but have to wait for her connecting flight! Fine. Then we realise there are 2 other Tiger Airways flights to Melbourne leaving in the next 45 mins and another.

Perhaps it is not as simple as we could imagine, but common sense would have arrange a swap so that those on the first flight is given the go ahead with the crew from flight 2.

Another flight I did was Perth to Melbourne. The flight arrived 6am. It was terrible cold. The arrival hall was a gated cage outdoors! Yes, with the cold winds and rain. During that flight, I had to change seats willingly because the person behind me was too large, and was pushing my seat forward. He was complaining all the way.

Then when I tuned on the Australian TV, there was a news documentary featuring problem with budget airlines and in particular Tiger Airways Australia. Some of the complaints are not valid such as wanting to change flights at the last minute for the Promo Fare that are usually non-refundable. So I understand. But many times it was about other service issues.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Best time to invest in US Stocks

Recent surges in Asian stock markets to all time high, gives two branches of investors. One, is this is the maximum from historical data. Thus it is good to wind down. Two, is that this is a continuous bull market and upsurge will last as long US and Europe is weak, meaning investors there must channel their funds to more potentially profitable markets with growth. Both are valid. 
US Dollar is going lower and has since fallen across the board an average of 10% this year.

So another way to look at a big picture and rethink the investment strategy is to look at the market that seems to be weak or going to be. Look at stable tech stocks that are listed in US Nasdaq. Microsoft, Nvidia, Cisco, are unbeatable stocks in their own right. Therefore they have the stability to overcome time. And imagine $20 USD for Microsoft 7 months ago, now it is still around $20 USD. BUT - you're paying a 10% discount assuming you're basing your home-currency or base-currency in Asian currencies - such as Singapore dollars, Malaysian ringgit, and Thai Baht. 

How low can it go is anyone's guess. We can look at historical data for some leads. And the lowest stable time was before 1997. Which is fast approaching a reality for the USD against all or most Asian currencies. 

US government policy is to weaken the USD further with quantitative easing. And at the same time making nuisance call to China to appreciate the yuan astronomically. These politicians don't have the slightest idea how money market works and how impossible for it to "revalue" a currency. That is the main reason and a laughing stock joke by foreign dignitaries - and China mentioned it spot on. You have to solve your own problems, and not blame others. 

Take for instance - revaluing a currency. If it is that simple, then Zimbabwe could "revalue" their currency to 1 ZWD = 10 USD? Or 100 USD? Why not Singapore revalue the Singapore dollar to 1 SGD = $100 USD?! Yes why not? Then everybody could just go and buy several properties, own dozens of US stocks and corporation? 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010 - was researching Sydney Bus 400 to Burwood

Was researching how to take a bus out of Sydney from Terminal 2. And one method is to walk to Terminal 3, and then take Bus 400 to Burwood and the other direction will get into Sydney City.

What was interesting was the tips was written by this site and the owner's site is

So I went to take a peek. It's an interesting read!

Monday, October 11, 2010

YTLe vs YTL Comms plus YTL Power prospects?

The weird corporate structure situation aside, the big question is can YTL Communications promise what they can achieve and be on par with Green Packet? And with the impending situation be: YTL Communications vs Green Packet or 4G (Wimax) vs all the other telcos? Will there be a consolidation and 4G will win?

Now with the impending launch, the expectations are mild. First, when Green Packet launched, it was with great fanfare. Then subsided because the incumbent telcos, Maxis, Digi, Celcom and monopoly TM boosted more packaging and repackaging of internet and voice. TM was even given the national broadband monopoly (again). Streamyx service did pick up and became more stable. What a surprise? Why wasn't that so for 10 years?

 Green Packet was like caught with a torrent of competition from established players and then were consumed with the pent up demand.

So for now, Wimax players have been pushed to the back. Telcos and 3G players will dominate for now.

YTL did say they are preparing very well and testing to make sure they are no hiccups. And they did promise big. They will have voice service. Meaning they will directly challenge voice operators. Just as what they are doing with internet on HSPA and Edge and 3G. What can we think of the fight?

Firstly, telcos will finally be able to forgo their internet exorbitant fees (10 sen per 10 KB is crazy). To compare apples to apples, we won't be looking at Singapore. Instead look at Thailand. Internet on mobile phone by DTAC (Happy DTAC) is based on usage time. So you subscribe 5 hours for 50 Baht (5 RM or 10 Baht per hour). It is on Edge. So on the phone we will be say checking briefly Facebook or Gmail. That takes just 30 seconds or 1 minute. And thus when you disconnect, that is all you used. Even if there was a 200 K photo displayed, you just merely used 1 minute. And surely nowadays, photos are everywhere. For basic usage and replying Facebook and Gmail it may cost just that or 100 Baht per month usage on the phone. This is reasonable pricing. Users can choose to be power users or not. And power users can subscribe to unlimited packages.

In a country of inefficiencies, will finally Wimax be pushed away as what happened with Time Telecommunications, the biggest fibre optics ever laid in Malaysia and a disaster of sorts of wastage?

Or will Wimax players triumph, and thus the end of 3G and regular telco?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

IPO Malaysia Marine and Heavy Engineering Berhad (MHB) M2U eShare

IPO Watch: Malaysia Marine and Heavy Engineering Berhad (MHB) - closing on 14th October 2010. Recent IPO activity in Malaysia this year had created big buzz and over-subscription status. But many of the IPOs such as Maxis and CMMT (Capital Malls Malaysia Trust) have not been "performing" as what the sentiments wanted: go up. Maxis share price even went down after the listing date. CMMT has just started to pick-up speed. Investors and speculators that were hoping for 20% premium seems to have been caught off-guard and expectations have changed their mindset. Perhaps in a good way, this is a sign of maturity from the old savage method of Apply-List-Sell. Speculators now have to think twice less their cash horde will have to be locked into a stock for months or years. Investors meanwhile, should just focus on good strong fundamental picks. And apparently Marine and Heavy Engineering has that. 
Share Issue Number:501
Share Name:Malaysia Marine and Heavy Engineering Holdings Berhad
Issuing House:MIH
Opening Date:6 October 2010
Opening Time:9.00am
Closing Date:14 October 2010
Closing Time:5.00pm
Unit Price:RM3.61
Minimum Unit:100
Only IPOs available for Internet subscription are listed in You may also apply for shares at Maybank ATMs or submit printed forms. 

A fast, convenient way of applying for IPOs (Initial Public Offerings) online via

Application fee: RM1 per IPO (non-refundable)


  • Easy application online with straight-through processing
  • View e-Prospectuses anytime, anywhere
  • Add, delete and update your CDS accounts
  • Check your application status online

Being the Middleman Bursa and SGX wins at every roll of the dice

That friendly property agent who sold you your dream house last year is again smiling today after selling a strategic condominium to your brother. Your house was transacted at $250 000, and the condominium at $250 000 too. The agent's so-called industry-accepted fee: a cool 2% of those transactions. Today you sold your house for $400 000, and our friendly agent is here to pocket another 2%.

The more you sell or buy, the more the middleman will profit. If you are inactive, and have not sold nor bought any properties, then our middleman gets zilch.

Now back to trading and making in the stock market and looking at Malaysia. Bursa Malaysia is the middleman. If you buy shares, you have to pay them a Clearing Fee of 0.03% on the total value transacted. Two lots of AirAsia at $2.00 will be $2.00 x 2000 x 0.03% = $1.20. Doesn't seem too much?! It is a numbers game just like how a profit of 5 sen for a kilogram of flour is to the trader.

Take a quick reminder peek at FTSE Bursa Malaysia KL Composite Index for the past 5 years. During the economic crisis, the volume of shares transacted traded increased, due to panic, due to greed, due to interest, due to expectations, due to many more factors that ultimately means Bursa Malaysia profits. The more transactions are made, the more of that $1.20 is being made. The red bars on the bottom are the volume traded. And obviously the more panic or euphoria, the higher the bar goes. Looking slightly back from December of 2006 until January 2008, the market was picking up exponential momentum. Oil prices were sky rocketing.

The stocks that will not close-shop (See my Trading Rules Number 1), are the ones you can rest in peace knowing you can buy them they will never fail you. And middleman stocks like SGX and BURSA, are gems that have keep going upwards, be in the rolling good times, or the terrible downturns. They make, and they MAKE - money!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Global GDP Chase of Finite Resources Will Herald World Armageddon

My title is shocking. The first part of the sentence with these words - Global - GDP - Chase - simply sums up the aspiration of every sovereign nation in this modern world. Every developing country judges themselves, AND others by GDP and GDP growth. GDP is Gross Domestic Product.

The definition of Gross Domestic Product: total market value of goods and services produced by workers and capital within a nation's borders during a given period, usually 1 year.

To simplify concepts, let us assume GDP is measured in simply units.
If Country A produced 100 units of GDP last year and this year it is 110 units. There is a GDP growth of 10%. So far so good. So far reasonable. Reasonable and logical that a person or a country wants to "improve" and producing more will show a "positive" growth. And if Country A has been comparing with Country B (FACT of LIFE: everybody is comparing with everybody else!), Country A could be satisfied if finally the GDP growth was more than Country B. So if Country B registered a growth of 5%, Country A could have a feel-good time, attracting applause, confidence, curiosity from other neighbours, and potential investors. Investors then make some calculated risk and decided to invest in Country A.

Country B: I must keep pace with Country A. Look at them now. They have a newer bigger airport that will bring in more tourists and potentially more disposable income being spent by them in Country A's tourism and property industry, making them grow again with a better GDP performance! I can produce more? Hm. Let me try a tested method. Let us go to WAR! Waging a war is just a stage. Basically we will have to produce more shoes, food packages, bags, helmets, and vehicles for the war to take stage. Therefore, our GDP will improve too. So that country has been artificially increasing their GDP for many many wars. And during the ancient times, the winner takes it all. Including the natural resources such as oil (no surprise) and gold and jewels!

Well that is one way. Another way is to strive to improve, sell the benefits of investing to investors. Give tax breaks. Good infrastructure. Building efficient infrastructure too is contributing into GDP.

In a supposedly more civilised world, countries cannot simply wage war. So this is good. Peace to the world. Just try to be better than the other nations. Better working conditions, bigger ports, cheaper labour, tax breaks, attract talent with expat packages. Dozen other methods. Good good good. Look at Singapore. Small but the per capita GDP is 3-4 times of Malaysia. Singapore readers will naturally feel good.

Now let us take a microscopic view of how goods are produced. Producing. Say producing a packet of instant noodles. Maggi noodles. Or Korean Noodles?! Think about it for a while. There are flour mills to produce the flour used for the noodles. And before that, there is the requirement to grow them. The grains need to be harvested and stored. The plants need to be planted, fertilised, at growing plots or farmland. Many stages of these production need a inconspicuous ingredient. Oil. Petrol. Gas.

Be it for the trucks, or the machines. The electricity. All comes from this solar-stored-valued card. A prepaid card of energy. Pre-made card. Thanks to dead dinosaurs and zillions of decaying microbes (yes this is another fallacy we didn't know - dinosaurs contributed only a certain portion not all) that parked the sun's storage energy into hidden valves for centuries deep deep down underground.

But alas, it is a finite source. Eventually this chase of GDP growth will mean an accelerated thirst for using more of this finite resource, since keeping up with the Joneses in a macro way (country to country scope) has became the de facto way of ranking a country. Be it progress, social, political - this so-called measure of achievement has created the mad rush, mad chase all around the world.

I make funny short stories and so here is one as an analogy:
There was this story: There were 5 grasshoppers and their mom stored food enough to last through the winter in their hideout. If they ration it well, they will all be able to survive the winter and look forward together to an abundance in spring. Unfortunately now, every one of these grasshoppers want to consume more of the stored grains to grow. Everybody gets greedy and over-consumed. Overeating. Finished. The final 10 grains will be a bloody fight. Perhaps no one will see spring - it is possible?

An addendum:
GDP, the measure of an economy was actually adopted by USA just merely in 1991. And why is everyone else behaving just like a lemming?
As President Sarkozy points out: "We will not change our behavior unless we change the ways we measure our economic performance."

My book recommendation can be found on this page by Amazon:

Mismeasuring Our Lives: Why GDP Doesn't Add Up

In February of 2008, amid the looming global financial crisis, President Nicolas Sarkozy of France asked Nobel Prize–winning economists Joseph Stiglitz and Amartya Sen, along with the distinguished French economist Jean Paul Fitoussi, to establish a commission of leading economists to study whether Gross Domestic Product (GDP)—the most widely used measure of economic activity—is a reliable indicator of economic and social progress. The Commission was given the further task of laying out an agenda for developing better measures.

Mismeasuring Our Lives is the result of this major intellectual effort, one with pressing relevance for anyone engaged in assessing how and whether our economy is serving the needs of our society. The authors offer a sweeping assessment of the limits of GDP as a measurement of the well-being of societies—considering, for example, how GDP overlooks economic inequality (with the result that most people can be worse off even though average income is increasing); and does not factor environmental impacts into economic decisions.

In place of GDP, Mismeasuring Our Lives introduces a bold new array of concepts, from sustainable measures of economic welfare, to measures of savings and wealth, to a “green GDP.” At a time when policymakers worldwide are grappling with unprecedented global financial and environmental issues, here is an essential guide to measuring the things that matter.

About the Author

Joseph Stiglitz is a professor of Economics at Columbia University and the recipient of the John Bates Clark Medal and a Nobel Prize. He is also the former Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank. His books include Globalization and Its DiscontentsThe Three Trillion Dollar War, and Making Globalization Work. He lives in New York City.
Amartya Sen is Lamont University Professor, and Professor of Economics and Philosophy, at Harvard University. The author of numerous books, including Identity and ViolenceRationality and Freedom, and Development as Freedom, he is also the recipient of a Nobel Prize in Economics. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Jean Paul Fitoussi is a professor of economics at Sciences-po and the president of OFCE (Sciences-po Center for Economic Research, Paris). He lives in Paris.

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