Sunday, June 16, 2013

Kini Biz Asked ...

"could Halim Saad have done it on his own?" ... in light of his lawsuit ....

my take ... "Could George Bush Junior have done it on his own???"

Happy Fathers Day

My friend, Roger Wang, who also happens to be one of the country's finest guitarist ... has composed a lovely song for his daughter. Plus he sings, OMG ... that is so rare. The video sets with the lego pieces, must have been such a labour of love ... Wonderful Roger...

This is the most important song I have ever written. 

It's also my first vocals outing and first music video that I created myself.
The song was inspired by my daughter's obsession with fairy tales and being a princess. It sums up a lot of my feelings about being a father as well as the hopes and lessons I have for her. 
It's often hard for a father to relate to dolls and the way young girls play. Playing Lego together was one of the few activities that we shared. All those hours helped bond us. This video was made with those Lego sets and mini-figures. They became the best way for me to express this song visually.
This song and video come from a very personal place, but it goes out to all fathers and daughters out there, regardless of age.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Biz News Snippets Worth Following

I read, almost religiously, my favourite business magazines, in order of preference ... International Business Week, Fortune and Bloomberg Markets. I do read Forbes now and then but its such a slanted Republican thingee its like Harakah. I think to see how people from various sides and various places look at and view business and investments help to broaden our perspective no end. 

Since my almost weekly sojourn to Singapore, its also fun to read what the little island's papers are saying about business and investments.


The mood is good for Iskandar. They highlighted how well Affiniti Residences sold last weekend, noting that the price was RM850 to RM1,000 psf. They compared that to 1Medini which as launched in January 2012 and sold for just RM450 psf. Hmmm... whetting yand stirring up Singaporeans to further look at Iskandar as a great investing or flipping hotpot. They seemed focused on the Medini or rather the E&O branding, and they also seem to like Puteri Harbour.

Over the next 3-5 years there will be another 13,500 condos to be sold or built in Iskandar. Compare that to just 8,000 units launched between 2000 and 2012, you get what I am saying. Obviously, the powers to be in Singapore have tacitly approve of Singaporeans to invest big into Iskandar or else you won't be getting big spreads with lovely pics in the papers there. Possibly that is to quell the over investment into Singapore properties, which is already way out of the hands of most Singaporeans.

The supposed mulling over a special property tax by Johor state government seems to have little effect. Its not just Singaporeans though, a Japanese investment fund just bought an entire tower of 285 units at Medini at Iskandar Residences ... somehow I don't think they will be staying there. I wonder, how many will?

My view is that all is well and good for at least the next 12 months when big guns start to launch their flagship property projects. It is the sub-sale and resell or flipping that goes on that is the crux. Will there be people buying on the resale market for 20%-30% higher than the launched price just 6 months ago? It will be very hard to see that happening because of the number of projects that are coming on board. If all are pricing higher at RM900 and upping them to RM1,100 psf because of anticipated demand ... and we are not talking of just 5 or 10 extra condo developments... we  are talking about 30 to 40 a year ... its a tough ask to see it snowballing much further. I suspect RM1,300-1,500 psf would be the peak as people will start comparing with prices in Penang and KL.

The optimists will say look what Singaporean and foreign buyers can do to Sentosa property prices. Well, yeah, do you know how big is Iskandar compared to Sentosa?

The Real QE Poser

Why is the probable end of QE frightening markets? It has to do with interest rates. The selling now has largely been in REITs and dividend yield plays (which include a lot of blue chips). As rates rise from near zero, the yields of these counters will be reassess

ed relatively to the higher risk free yield. What we are seeing is the global portfolio rebalancing. Many funds are reducing their holdings in the above counters appreciably. The other side of the coin is that big banks should benefit from better net interest margins as they usually have a large pool of inert savings, which will not be so easily or swiftly adjusted in the rates. However, we are not seeing a proportionate flow of funds into big banks yet, although it should happen very soon.

We are not going to see a massive correction, in fact, we are already correcting. The markets are discounting all that ahead of time. Markets has to discount what it can forsee or roughly anticipate. In fact, higher interest rates will force funds out of dividend yield plays and into riskier instruments. All said, it is also May June July we are talking about, remember Sell In May Come Back In August ... actually its also summer holidays for a lot of people in the investing field although I doubt that will be as true as the markets are getting more and more global, not US or Europe centric.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Wednesday S&M Show Podcast

Share buybacks ... not all good.

Libertango (I've Seen That Face Before) - Grace Jones

Happy Father's Day - Let The Man Be The Man He Is

I never thought a simple posting like this could have struck so many chords. We all love our mums, and rightly mums get most of the accolade, Mother's Day is always bigger than Father's Day. This posting got xx FB likes, I still cannot believe so many felt the same way. Its like we are so connected in what's deepest in us. I may not know all my readers personally, but I feel so humbled to know you all feel the same way. Its not easy to be a blogger, if there are 100 readers, there'd be 4 or 5 who will just hate your guts and they will post nasty comments to let you know that - even though out of the 100 70 or more may like you, but most will not bother to write and tell you nice things, thats the reality when you put yourself out there ... hence reading the comments for this posting was very shocking and restored my faith in humanity. I thought I had to say this, made me realise what I thought was something simple was probably my most important posting because so many people really cared.
I had a good chat with a friend about dads growing old. I assume we are all filial sons and daughters. When our dads grow older and older, maybe some will have retired from their careers by now. I wonder how many of us "love our dads" in the way that allows him to continue to be the man that he is.

Dads who are now retired are dads from a different era. Most of our dads are the strong silent types, not like many of the younger dads nowadays who will try to be good friends with their kids. 

A man of the house usually takes the lead in the household. He takes care of the paycheck. He calls the shots in many areas of the household matters. When they retire, they may not have access to as much "money as before" - gee, do you ever wonder why, thats because he has brought you guys up, send you guys to further your studies, even finance your first car or even your first home, down payment for this and that. Flying you back from overseas, etc... 

Now he may be pushing 60 or 70, he may be living primarily off what you kids give him. We somehow think if we give them a few hundred or a thousand or two ringgit a month, we have done our part. Your dad is still the man he was, faults and all. He used to call the shots, ask you guys where you like to have dinner, ask you guys what you want for your birthdays.

Now, he has to take money from you guys. Funds may not be so "loose". When you guys take him out to dinner, he doesn't have the "right" to pay for you guys anymore. Heck, he may even shy away from ordering whatever he likes from the menu or dictate where he wants to have dinner. He may not even be able to just take your mum wherever they wish to go for holidays. 

In these very many small ways, he is not "allowed to be the man he used to be". We as children should empathise with that. If we can afford it, we should give him more than what he needs to survive. We should allow our father to be the father he still is. 

A person's spirit is the hardest to please and easiest to break. Love comes in many disguises. Love is not just money but our attitude as well. Reconsider how we love our dads. Mine is no longer around. If your dad still is, be thankful, and be the better son and daughter. Love your dad better.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Have A Good Look At Cypark Resources

The market has been focused on oil & gas, marginal oilfields, Iskandar plays and even Penang's Second Bridge plays. Running out of ideas? So are the analysts. Still, there are gems to be found, and one of them is in Renewable Energy, Cypark Resources.

Cypark Resources Berhad is a Malaysia-based company engaged in the provision of environmental technology and engineering solutions to both the private and public sectors. Its services include transforming neglected, degraded or contaminated land into sustainable and manageable fields. Its projects include the restoration of a disused mining land in Cyberpark, Cyberjaya, and the Taman Beringin Safe Landfill Restoration project in Kuala Lumpur. 

It has three segments: landscaping, which is engaged in the provision of landscape services for public parks, public amenities and other landscaping developments; maintenance, which is engaged in the provision of maintenance services for public parks, public amenities and other landscape developments, and environmental, which is engaged in the provision of nature conservation and environmental amelioration. In September 2011, it acquired Cypark Suria (Sua Betong) Sdn. Bhd., Cypark Suria (Kuala Sawah) Sdn. Bhd. and Cypark Suria (Bukit Palong) Sdn.

The company is pumping up the revenue platform, hence if you focused solely on reported numbers you may miss the bigger picture. 1Q13 revenue rose by 20.6% to RM51m due to the start of Cypark's solar farm in Pajam and higher revenue from its waste-to-energy projects. At the same time, total costs rose by 26.8% to RM39.7m as the company is aggressively putting up RE projects around Malaysia. Management aims to add 15MW of  RE capacity in FY13, mainly in 2H. This will increase Cypark's total RE capacity by 83% to 33MW by end-FY13. The higher start-up cost has offset Cypark's top-line growth, leading to a 6.4% decline in EBIT to  RM10.1m.

The stock could be catalysed by the successful rollout of new renewable energy (RE) projects and signing of the Ladang Tanah Merah landfill concession. In addition to its MoU in Myanmar, Cypark can replicate its 
RE model in other Asean countries such as Thailand, which already has a feed-in-tariff mechanism in place.

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Consult your investment adviser before making any investment decisions.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Action, Reaction, Inaction ... Karmatic

This video is about an island in the ocean at 2000 km from any other coast line. Nobody lives, only birds and yet, you will not believe what you will see here.

Please don't throw anything into the sea. Unbelievable, just look at the consequences.