Monday, April 30, 2007

Tenaga: Nobody's Child

lionfish said...

Dali,

What do you think abt the recent price weakness on Tenaga? There are a lot of call warrants on this big blue chip... Earnings are growing but the stock is a big laggard vs the KLCI... I think at current levels, the mother is trading end-2006 while the KLCI has moved up 20% YTD already...


lionfish,

yes, tenaga is a weird animal... most brokers and foreign ones esp have tnb as a buy for the longest time, its not even matching the index gains ... so there is a disconnect here:
a) funds don't like tnb's story
b) glc revamp impact not so great at tnb, maybe they have fewer kinks to start with

The biggest disconnect has to be the way IPPs have given a viable alternative for investing vis-a-vis TNB. Hence TNB's policy, or rather the govt. policies are to be blamed for being "too nice" to IPPs to the detriment of TNB. That doesn't seem to be changing much, hence the under-performance can be expected to continue.


Coffee Shop Talk Over The Weekend

Friend: Hey, I tell you something very exclusive ...
Me: Go on.
Friend: Unbelievable la...
Me: Go on or I will be going.
Friend: Maxis to be privatised la
Me: You got to be joking!
Friend: I know, some more its for 41bn ringgit
Me: If it was a stranger telling me this, I would whack him over the head already, but since its you, I'd give you the benefit of doubt. Very rarely do you find telcos being taken private because they need huge capital spending, need to tap capital market. Then they usually have a low NTA to share price as they have little real assets such as land or buildings. Their assets are in the infra they built and the subscribers they have.
Friend: Yea, its unbelievable but this source very choon-la.
Me: I guess they could take it private as Maxis is printing money, but they are also investing into Indonesia, India and Sri Lanka... which requires capital. Come to think of it, their free cash flow is sufficient to for that.
Friend: Think some more.
Me: If you are having 1-2 bn free cash, take the company private, then assemble all your foreign telco holdings and relist in Singapore, Maxis could come out in front. I mean, Usaha Tegas could come out in front. Actually since you mentioned 41bn ringgit, can see whether got some truth in it by doing some exercise.
(2 minutes later)
Me: Chee b.. , 41bn equals about RM16.20. Compared to closing RM13.00, looks real and believable. Did my computation, all covered warrants would gain 100% or near that if the news is true.
Friend: Ya la, no harm right, opening Monday buy a few hundred k Maxis-CD at 20 sen. If it turns out well, good la, if not, Maxis is not going to tank, right?
Me: Sounds OK, but I tell you, taking a telco private is rare indeed.

(Monday morning, Chee-b.. the stock suspended..)

Friday, April 27, 2007


Ahead Of The Holidays

a) Better to reduce stock holdings substantially ahead of long holidays, and ahead of the tilting Chinese markets especially when they come back after the holidays.

b) Underlying tone of market still bullish for rest of the year. Will look for lower entry levels in a couple of weeks.
c) The May Factor. To sell in May and return after October is a good rule of the thumb, especially for "long only" players. In a revealing study: an investor who placed US$10,000 in the Dow average at the end of April each year since 1950 and sold at the end of October would have a net loss of US$272, while someone doing the opposite would have gained an astounding US$534,323.

There is a familiar saying in capital markets "Sell in May and go away", made popular by author Jeffrey Hirsch who publishes the Stock Trader's Almanac. It doesn't help that most of the major corrections have taken place between May and October. A factor which has not been cited for the May-October effect is bonuses/holidays. In order to put in the good figures for year end purposes, there has always been a covergence of interests for players involved to have a solid last quarter so that bonuses in the new year will be good. Plus, you have extended holidays with the last 2 weeks of December and the first week of January - hence you need the cash and peace of mind to have some fun. Generally nothing untoward will happen during end-December / early-January because of that.... a kind of financial detente.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


From A Boiling Pot To A Frying Wok

A news report just out said that home sales in Beijing nosedived in the first three months as hundreds of thousands of investors shifted from property investing and speculation to chase quick gains in the China share market.
National Bureau of Statistics figures show that sales of completed residential properties in the capital dropped almost 60 percent year on year to 615,000 square meters during the first quarter.

Presales of uncompleted flats also slumped more than 40 percent to nearly 1.8 million sqm in the same period. This bit of news would tie in nicely with the huge number of new share trading accounts being opened so far this. Surprisingly, despite all that, the National Development and Reform Commission released figures showing home prices in Beijing increased 9.9 percent in the first quarter. While home prices in Guangzhou were up less than 10 percent in the first quarter, while apartment prices in Shenzhen jumped more than 10 percent amid a dearth of new supply. Average housing prices in the two cities climbed 20 percent last year.

There have been fiscal measures introduced to try to curb the property bubble. In February a land appreciation tax was introduced, plus better regulation and policing of foreign purchases: both seem to have the desired effect. Investors are finally convinced that there will be more fiscal curbs to come for property, adding fuel to the switch to stocks.


Looks like a substantial amount of the sharp property gains in 2006 and in 1Q2007 are now being leveraged to play the sharemarket. Seems like however you cut it, it does not paint a pretty picture, but small fortunes can be made before the fat lady opens her mouth. I believe the bulk of the players know that as well, and even know they are playing musical chairs as well - so everyone is watching everyone and you don't want to be there when they all rush for the door.

The figures would placate the government officials somewhat on the property side. Now they have a bigger problem brewing suddenly in the sharemarket. How to let some steam off boiling kettle without scalding your fingers? Its tough to be at the top.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Shanghai Dim-Sum
Tidbits Of Useful Info


a) Turnover rose past 300bn yuan (US$39bn / RM132bn) for the first time ever in a day on Tuesday. I can see the remisiers and dealers gasping at the value in ringgit! For KLSE RM3bn a day, we are already shouting that the market is over-heated.
b) Total number of new share account (A-share) opened in April 2007 alone was 3.31m. Total number of new accounts opened in 2006 was 3.084m.
c) Year-to-date, the combined markets of Shanghai and Shenzen have risen 71% as of yesterday.
d) Crazed retail activity not limited to mainland Chinese investors but international investors as well. There is a a near stampede by approved foreign mutual funds to launch new China Funds to cater to the insatiable demand from international investors who do not wished to miss the boat. AIG-Huatai has a 10bn yuan (US$1.3bn) new China equity fund. Guotai Asset Mgmt also has a new similar sized fund. China Asset Mgmt and Bosera Asset Mgmt have also launched / about to launch similar sized funds.

Its like spotting a hole in the Titanic while 99% are still partying in the upper decks.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Valid Question

rask3: Hi, Thanks for your views. I enjoy your arguments as well as your humour. :) An avalanche of statistics can be trotted out to stress the validity of a projection. Yet those statistics can fail to capture a very crucial factor or point that casts reasonable and valid doubts on the prophecy. I would like to illustrate what I mean by an example from your own blog. Several weeks ago you called a buy on UEM World at around RM4.00 or thereabouts. Correct me if I am wrong. (I made a bigger call when stock went to RM3.20) You painted a rosy scenario on how the stock could double or triple from there, before the year is out. Well, you may turn out to be right and make many people rich by your prediction. Being the cynic that I'm I checked the stock on Bursa's website. You know anyone could do that easily. What I found was, insiders of UEM were selling the stock like crazy and en masse. Knowing that insider selling is not always an ominous sign, I considered the reasons for them to do so. They may have sold them for any of the following reasons:
1) They all had better investment opportunities elswhere.
2) They all were not greedy and wanted to leave some money on the table for others.
3) They all had to meet urgent financial obligations.
4) They all were taking partial profits as an insurance, in case the market tanked and took away their paper profits.
5) Being better informed about the company, they didn't put much credence on the rosy projections made in the print media or the internet.
6) Well, there could be other reasons.

I wondered at that time why your scenario didn't point out the crucial fact of heavy insider selling. May be you weren't aware. May be you thought it was not all that significant. May be ........ Well, readers, take all investment or trading advice, be it in the print or internet media with a pinch of salt before you plonk down your hard earned money. Check out the story. Dig deeper. You owe it to your financial health. Despite the disclaimers that people who make recommendations cover themselves with, people do act on recommendations if they seem plausible at first glance. Sometimes their prophecies become self-fulfilling. Thanks and good luck. Rask

Nice job Rask. I am aware of the insider selling. Good advice too. Me, I tend to think all people should pull back and take a snapshot where they are most comfortable over the situation. You assume insiders know the destiny of a stock price. Of course insider selling is not a terribly good sign but it is also not necessarily a sell sign. Yusli can tell you that already!!! He sold at RM6.50 and then at RM8.50 ... call him up!!! I do agree that insider selling is more important when it comes to very speculative or low paid up counters, more prone to manipulation, not so much when it comes to bigger caps.

Just think of the time when you LOST the most money on a stock, think clearly, ... wasn't it because you were so close to the source, very inside already!!! 9 out of 10 times, that's the case, which is why its better to pull back and take an overall snapshot of a view. That's why Warren Buffett can operate better by not being in NY or London but Omaha. The same insiders who are selling are just as intelligent as you and me. To take insider selling as an indicator is ok.


China Shanghai & Shenzen Blues

I have mentioned before that the most dangerous external event that could rattle global equities is the Chinese markets. Extended Labor Day Golden Week holiday is coming in the first week of May, generally I would not expect the authorities to try anything silly before the mass exodus of Chinese back to their hometowns all across China.
Economic growth was a stronger- than-expected 11.1 percent in the first quarter, compared with a year earlier, while inflation hit a two-year high last month at 3.3 percent. Apparently the authorities were not happy with the recent huge growth figures and higher than expected inflation. Some ten banks were roped in by the Banking Regulatory Commission and were reprimanded that they needed to rein in their loans growth rates in order to minimise future NPLs. The 10 are Construction Bank, Bank of China, Bank of Communications, Merchants Bank, CITIC Bank, Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, Minsheng Bank, Industrial Bank, Huaxia Bank and Zheshang Bank.

I have noticed some interesting postings by Moola and MooMooCow (my that sounded like I am writing a children's book) on Shanghai. They highlighted Marty Chenard's article (in Safehaven.com) which had the chart above, thanks guys. I agree with Moola who mentioned that some of the credit card balances and mortgages may be leveraged upon to invest in the stock markets as well - very frothy. If one were to look at the performance last year, which was exceptional, and the follow through activity this year - you can get a lot of tells. There had been a deluge of new account openings this year. The two silly drops of 9% and the recent 4.5% were on flimsy rumours and fears, which is troubling indeed - lack of sophisticated institutional investors, loads of herd mentality and momentum investors and panic-driven as well when the time is right/wrong.

"
This is definitely a bubble in the making - for most stocks, positive earnings growth has been priced in until 2009," said Steven Sun, HSBC equities analyst. "At the height of the last bubble [2000-01], we saw investors opening 2m accounts a month, which is half the current rate." Again taken from Moola's blog, the fact that there are 4m new stock accounts a month being opened in China in 2007 is a very worrying trend.

If we were too look at the chart above, the triangle surges looks worrying and excessive, well 4m new accounts would do that to you. 4m new accounts a month would also seem to be IGNORING the danger signs, and IGNORING the fact that Chinese equity markets is very much a policy-driven market (i.e. things can change very fast with new fiscal measures).

Fact is 2006 was a very good year already for Chinese stocks, but the animal has been injected with glucose in 2007, just compare the volatility and gradient of the surges in 2007 compared to 2006. Does this mean I am bearish on Chinese markets? Yes and no, please read the following carefully (point (f) being my strongest conviction):
a) the markets there will need to correct
b) the authorities there is getting antsy
c) nothing will be done till after the extended May holidays, at least let them have a nice holiday before clobbering them over the heads
d) the authorities have reminded and warned players, banks and brokers numerous times already this year on the likelihood of stringent fiscal measures if the excesses are not controlled
e) probably no Asian market is that positively viewed than the Chinese markets in 2007, so excessive valuations are normal to an extent, a lot of companies are trading at 40x - 60x earnings already
f) even if you look at the above chart, which is frightening, you can drawn a line on all the low points and it points to a very BULLISH undertone for the rest of the year: so even in a 10%-15% correction (which is VERY LIKELY, VERY SOON), there will be enormous support buying activity at critical levels

If I can sum it up, a big whack down is likely very soon and that can destabilise all markets, but the overly strong undertone will ensure for a swift rebound. Be prepared for a very volatile May and June 2007.

The People's Bank of China has ordered lenders to increase the reserve requirement six times since July to remove more than 1 trillion yuan from the market. New credit growth jumped 41 percent last year, while in the first quarter new loans of about 1.4 trillion yuan (HK$1.42 trillion) were made, more than the total for half of last year. I have argued before that raising these capital reserve requirement does not do anything for the markets. Neither does the benign currency appreciation. Hence the authorities will implement some stringent fiscal measures very soon - with or without that, the self-propelling Chinese speculative activity will find a way to drown themselves very soon.

Monday, April 23, 2007


Dow Jones / S&P500
Near Term Importance


Most Asian bourses are a bit wary now that almost all global markets are near or surpassing their all time highs. A lot will look towards the American markets for better guidance and confidence. Dow Jones will easily surpass the 13,000 barrier. The scenario is a bit different for S&P. Though everyone knows Dow Jones index because its been around forever, its not a true indicator of the underlying strength, depth and direction of US markets. The DJ only has 30 stocks, compared to the 500 for S&P. The trouble for S&P index is that some 30% of the 500 are in technology. Most are still some 50%-60% from their bubblish peaks during the internet-zany days. Hence for the S&P 500 to scale past its all time high would take a lot.

That's the not so good news. The better news is that all things being equal, how the tech stocks perform over the near future would determine to a large extent the vibrancy of the S&P 500. As most are still a long way from their highs, we have to examine the likely trends to get a better picture from the tech stocks. Nasdaq would provide a decent guide. Recent spate of earnings from leaders such as Google, SAP, Xerox would point things are headed north. So-so stuff from Intel and IBM are the flip side of the coin. However some concerns are there over reduced corporate spending which would hurt the tech side. So, watch for this week's release of earnings from Texas Instruments, Apple and Microsoft for further guidance.

To get a better grasp of how much more the S&P can go: from the first day of this century till now, the DJ is up some 30% (inclusive of dividends) while the S&P 500 is up around 1%. On fundamentals, the S&P 500 stocks are yielding about 6.4% while the 10-year Treasuries are clocking in at 4.6%. The gap is still there which provides good support for buyers of stocks. As cash holdings are still at an all time high for corporate America, its only prudent that they step up their share buyback programs till the spread narrows significantly. Same way, I would start getting bearish if the gap is less than one percentage point.

Besides earnings, we can expect a slew of M&A and private equity buyouts as PE firms jostled to get ahead of the pack to invest while interest rates are still favourable. These buyouts will inevitably push up prices of same industry class stocks.


Market Strategy At 1,330

At or near all time high, all equity markets will behave the same way: volatile, profit taking activity and sharp buybacks. Judging from Asian bourses' excellent closing session last Friday and European/American bourses steady gains later that evening: many would be predicting a good week ahead. However, I was a bit hesitant and afraid that players would go overboard in the morning session today. Markets have opened for more than an hour now with the KLSE registering just RM606m value traded. I think many remembered the RM3bn day which was quickly followed by disaster. The way the markets traded this morning is one of cautious optimism, which is very good. A terribly strong surge may find weak legs later. I would expect all markets to try to establish a platform and not surge away over the next few days. It is important to form a base. Judging from the KLSE movements, its not a time for big caps to move, which would be wiser to stay away from stocks requiring huge liquidity such as UEMW, MRCB and Resorts/Genting. Its a rotational wham-bam-thank-you-maam kind of market currently. If your chips are not off the table, you have not locked in your gains.

Sunday, April 22, 2007


Basis Of Commentary

Readers of this blog after a while would have surmise the basis of my kind of commentary. As I have mentioned before, its a daily blog, hence I do not want to talk too much about absolutely good undiscovered fundamentals, which may take forever to be undiscovered. I am not trying to be Warren Buffett here. I blog to have fun and share / exchange information. For cynics who find it hard to believe why I would do this for free, please read my posting on The Equaliser (29 March 2007) to get a better understanding of my persuasions.
Free and public blogs do not get much respect, nobody would want to believe that good information is made readily available. Do I buy and sell shares? Yes. Do I buy before I post? Yes. Isn't that front running? Yes and no. I have to buy before I post, its believing in what you say. No, because the amount that I buy is not earth shattering. If I buy in millions, I would be posting this from my yacht off McMahons Point in Sydney, trust me!

Back to basis. As this is a daily blog, I blog about things happening around, things that perk me up, things that make me mad, ... On stocks, I would highlight them if I think its worth highlighting and timely. I will never be the first to highlight them unless I am the one running the company or the head syndicate manipulating the shares. I will not highlight stocks moving 12 months down the road, if I do, I will tell you. I am a fundamentals person at heart, but on a short term basis, technical play a big part, but I do not spend much time on TA. I have been in the screwed up financial markets long enough to predict better when stocks move. I am a big believer in identifying catalysts for stocks to move. No catalysts, you won't find me there. I don't hold stocks forever, I don't fall in love with stocks or have a relationship with it. I will not bitch if I did not sell near the highs or did not buy cheaper. Whats done is done, move on. I hate people who say "woulda, coulda, shoulda"... I shoulda hold onto Tebrau at 70 sen, blah, blah... you should have, but you didn't, so move on. Strong markets make it easier to be "right", not a super-hero. Firm believer in that people who did not "earn" gains properly will always find ways to lose it all back to the markets (look at where 99% of the owners / syndicates / players of the mid-90s Second Board excesses are now!!??). The markets do not OWE US A LIVING. It is not there to make you rich, it can make you very poor. If you missed a stock, don't fret, the market will always be there, we are the ones who might not. Cheers!

p/s there is a new service that will alert you whenever there is a new posting from this blog, scroll to the bottom of page and subscribe to Atom Post

Friday, April 20, 2007


Last Minute Shopping

AMMB- Call Warrant

Exercise price RM3.80

Mother share RM3.90

Expiry
12 October 2007
5 covereds to buy one share
Foreign houses valuing mother share at RM4.30-RM5.00. Catalyst soon, removal of some board members and installation of ANZ people on board, bound to stir more institutional interest. Now this covered warrant is reasonably priced, buy up to 22 sen, sell above 30 sen.

Premium = 5 x 20 sen = 1.00 + 3.80 = 4.80 / 3.90 = 23%.
Gearing = 3.90/1.00 = 3.9x

The only decently priced new call warrant over the last 3 weeks.


You Are Invited To A Cringe Worthy Chinese Wedding In Malaysia

Came across this very funny posting on his 9 reasons why you know the wedding dinner you are attending is SHIT! For foreign readers who have never been to a middle class Chinese wedding, do click on the link and you will feel yourself being transported to Anthony Bourdain's worst nightmare. Its funny cos' its real. Damn the kids with the squeaky shoes!!!


www.kennysia.com/archives/2005/03/signs_the_weddi.php


Sapura Tech

Following the robust run-up in SapuraCrest, some savvy fund managers have been piling into Sapura Tech. ST is not as interesting as SC but it has what we call buffer and indirect play into SC. It has already been announced that ST will be privatised, for every one ST, they will be exchanged for one SC plus 40 sen. Hence savvy funds would be locking in a buffer of around 30 sen or 20% and get exposure to SC during a period where the EEC should be the thematic play. Downside is the 2-3 months lockup but AGM is to be held this coming Monday, which has hasten some to pile in on likely approval for the deal. Nothing terribly new or exciting but fund managers who do their homework would have a leg up on the rest. Buffer man, buffer!


Grasping At Straws
The New Media / China

As I have mentioned before, the excessive focus and deluge of coverage by the media on all things, and in our case the business world, have required us to have a more critical mindset and also layers of filters in place when coming across so called "news / commentary / analysis". Take yesterday's drop around the globe. News editors around the world would want an article written immediately; analysts will be pestered by journalists and clients for reasons for the declines; dealers will try to make sense of the whys and hows; and the general public will just pick up whatever that is being broadcasted as coffee shop talk. Note the vicious cycle reconfirming and validating the purported news / reasons. What I am trying to get at is that sometimes why the market moves like that is "nothing significant". Media and analysts claim that a sharp pickup in the pace of China's economic growth underscores the challenges Beijing faces in trying to control and rein in the country's vast, far-flung economy.

China's statistics bureau announced yesterday that gross domestic product expanded 11.1% in the first quarter from a year ago, an acceleration from the 10.4% year-over-year growth recorded for the previous quarter. All major indicators, including retail sales, factory output, capital spending and inflation, accelerated during the period, raising new worries about excesses in an economy that has grown by more than 10% a year for four straight years. Concern among Chinese investors that the government would respond by seeking to slow growth by raising interest rates sent the Shanghai Composite Index down 4.5%, even before the economic data was released, and contributed to weakness in markets across Asia.

We have to learn to get more comfortable with the volatile China and India markets. I mean, look at the silly 9% correction in early March which caused a huge round of selloff ... and what was the reason, rumours of a capital gains tax on stocks!!?? Just a rumour can send the charged up market down 9%, so I guess a 4.5% fall really indicates very minute concerns.

Just like before, yesterday's correction was mainly due to a natural cycle of the need to correct, not because of any earth-shattering change in fundamentals. Its like when you poop, and journalists surround your toilet banging for reasons why you have to poop and why now! When you got to go, you got to go, its a normal cycle! Global markets have been chugging along to retest their all time highs - its only natural to have a bit of stop-start as markets try to get past those psychological levels. So, sometimes, no need to go searching for reasons too hard.

That being the case, China has problems which they are trying very hard to control. Please re-read my previous two postings on China Calling and China Calling Again (20th & 21st March 2007 postings) to get my views on China. I wouldn't want to buy trading China markets cause I think the top officials will want to slow the growth engine somewhat by hook or crook. The predicted call for adjustments to interest rates or the currency will not yield the same textbook effect on China. There is too huge a gap between deposit rates and the lending rates: hence increasing lending rates aggressively will not see a corresponding rise in deposit rates. Property players are still willing to take up at higher lending rates owing to better capital gains. Officials have to restructure the financial system to narrow the gap for deposit rates for rate increases to have a more desired effect. As for yuan, they may very well speed up the appreciation but does not go very far to address the trade surplus. The yuan would still have a long way to go before it becomes a deterrent to attracting FDIs into the country. Mind you, more than 60%-70% of all exports from China are from foreign MNCs operating jvs or companies in China: thus they are just re-exporting back. The trade surplus looks bad as a PR exercise but officials know the culprits are the foreign companies themselves. Of course, it will impact FDI if we see the yuan gaining 10% a year, but that will not happen. There isn't sufficient political will or leadership to commit to that. The crux is the top officials know the Chinese financial system is still weak and is ladened with loads of state loans and state companies' excesses. As long as foreign banks are willing to come in and help repair the damage, improve reporting standards and financial management - top officials want to buy enough time for the financial system to get stronger before allowing the yuan to really gain significant strength. Thus their hands are tied as neither the interest rates or currency strategies will work for them. I expect more fiscal measure, even hard fiscal measures which will really let the steam out of the property and stock markets. Believe you me, I think the government is more concerned over their property side than the stock markets side of things. We can safe expect some significant tightening via fiscal measures in China soon. It could be in the form of: 50% capital gains tax for properties disposed within a year; or allow new loans of only up to 60% of property value ... you get the drift.

At the end of the day, the government is unlikely to try anything drastic as they need to keep a happy face for the world to see for the Olympics. Nothing more important than "paper face".

Thursday, April 19, 2007



Corporate Hiring Strategy

Came across this well-written "half-joke half-non-fiction" piece. Certainly applies in most of the positions I have come across in my work.

How To Hire Well
Put about 100 bricks in some particular order in a closed room with an open window.

Then send 2 or 3 candidates in the room and close the door. Leave them alone and come back after 6 hours and then analyze the situation.

If they are counting the bricks.
Put them in the accounts department.

If they are recounting them.
Put them in auditing.

If they have messed up the whole place with the bricks.
Put them in engineering.

If they are arranging the bricks in some strange order.
Put them in planning.

If they are throwing the bricks at each other, put them in operations.

If they are sleeping.Put them in reception.

If they have broken the bricks into pieces.
Put them in information technology.

If they are sitting idle.
Put them in human resources.

If they say they have tried different combinations, yet not a brick has been moved.
Put them in sales.

If they have already left for the day.
Put them in marketing.

If they are staring out of the window.
Put them on strategic planning.

And then last but not least. If they are talking to each other and not a single brick has been moved. Congratulate them and put them in top management.


Dragon & Phoenix

Can you get a more Chinese name than that?? Stocks like DNP moves maybe once or twice a year, missed that and you might as well forget about the stock for the rest of the year. Been making good inroads on the volume charts and the perky property sector makes this stock worth exploring.

NTA RM2.00
Paid Up: 314.7m shares
Wing Tai Holdings 52.9%
The principal activities of the subsidiaries, associates and jointly controlled entity are manufacture and trading of textile garments, property development and investment, project management and maintenance of properties, restaurant operator, trading and fabrication of interior building materials. DNP is a leading garment manufacturer that supplies upper market garments to international renowned fashion labels including Polo, Fila, Gap, Lee, Denim, Banana Republic and Guy Laroche. The company operates seven garment factories in Peninsular Malaysia and two factories in Sri Lanka with a combined average monthly production of about 866,000 pieces of garments. DNP Clothing Sdn Bhd, a 51% owned subsidiary of DNP, is a garment retailer with ten outlets located in shopping complexes in Kuala Lumpur.

For its property business, the company has undertaken residential development projects namely Taman Bukit Minyak Indah and Taman Seri Impian in Seberang Perai Tengah, Penang. When completed, the freehold 45.5-acre Taman Seri Impian will have 750 units of terraced houses and semidees. Taman Bukit Minyak Indah is a freehold 28.5-acre project comprising 450 units of terraced houses and semidees. The project is planned in four phases and will be completed in two years.

Forthcoming projects for DNP include mixed development project in Hulu Kelang, Kuala Lumpur and a 38-storey service residential apartment in Johor Bahru. DNP also receives rental incomes from its investment in Lanson Place Kondominium in Ampang Hilir and Lanson Place Ambassador Row in Kuala Lumpur. DNP will see strong contributions from its major property projects in the Klang Valley, including the 110-unit The Meritz luxury condominium and 125-acre Sering Ukay project. DNP also plans to launch a new RM400m luxury condominium project in Bukit Ceylon, Kuala Lumpur in the first half ofthis year. The land parcel was bought early last year from Petaling Tin for RM59 million. The property division is DNP's largest earnings contributor, with plans toinvest nearly RM1bn to develop 3 high-end residential projects in the KlangValley this year.

What a lot of people doesn't know is that DNP is controlled and majority owned by Wing Tai Holdings. In Singapore, Wing Tai is known as a developer of high-end condos and serviced apartments as well as commercial properties in the Orchard Road area. It is also developing the 30-storey Menara DNP on an adjoining freehold 1.50-acre site on Jalan Ampang. The project is scheduled for completion in 2010. Wing Tai has increased its shareholding from 50.24% to 52.85% in January 2007 alone. Other substantial shareholders have also increased their buying over the last 3 months. Just an overall rerating for property exposure makes DNP a shrewd stock to follow.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


High Anxiety

One of my favourite movies by Mel Brooks, and that's an apt heading for today's markets. The climb up was easier but not when you reached the peak, what now? To be cautious as the market tries to stay above the peak is good but also silly as the ones unwinding their positions are not blue chip buyers/holders or index stock holders/buyers but rather speculative trading type of shares. Geez, you are playing with half-rubbish and you like to think and trade like a blue chip investor??

Just remember how we got here, we were here before until the scary movie part 1, 2 and 3... read previous blogs please. So we have reconsidered the gravity of those so called risk and have basically brushed them aside, we have been here before. Scaling this further is not a big problem at all. China meltdown, brushed aside after looking at reality. Yen carry trade, over-exaggeration. Sub-prime, bears on a drunken rampage. These 3 were much bigger and real risks. Breaching all time highs, profit taking activity will be there but they will also be shallow and swift this time around. If the 3 tenors already came and did not conquer, the road ahead is relatively clear. Even Greenspan said yesterday that his fears of a recession has receded.

Though I think we are moving into the 3rd stage of a 4 stages bull run, I have to admit that the bulk of the bullishness is part money supply excessive growth in many countries - which brings down overall quality of this bull run but makes the current bull more sure-footed also. Sure-footed in that things like liquidity is there; silly premises such as shrinking scrip supply due to buybacks and private equity buyouts as not really productivity enhancing - so quality is not there but the surefootedness of this bull is there.

So,,guys, buyback those shares cause the blues ain't gonna fall. If the good guys are not going down, why are the little ones running for cover? Come out to play.

Monday, April 16, 2007


Oil & Gas
Dialog, SapCrest...

Dialog has gone up too much even though there are reports seeing the stock hitting RM2.60 or higher even. The 2008 PER is already in the 32x-35x range, which is why investors and institutional players are keener on Sapura Crest with its PER for 2008 at just 25x. Market cap for market cap, Sapura Crest has a long way to go and judging from inherent assets, Sapura Crest looks attractive still. Oil & gas plays has room to go because:
a) oil prices is stubbornly above US$60 per barrel, this gives oil companies a huge buffer to spike up their drilling activities, and even to consider drilling difficult wells
b) the reinvestment in drilling and exploration activities will compound in 2007 compared to 2005-2006
c) The spike in oil prices over the last 2-3 years has alerted companies that they have under-invested before and now needs to do a lot of upgrading work, maintainence work, finding new reserves and building of new facilities
d) Following Nusajaya dreaming, and the Kedah-Kelantan pipeline, the oil and gas play is basically centered on the next government plan to be unmasked for the Eastern Economic Corridor. Following South Johor, the government will soon be releasing details for that area. Dialog has been running as it is a jv partner with Petronas in Kertih Terminals and is the main supplier of base oil to Petronas Carigali, ExxonMobil and Shell for formulation of drilling mud. Sapura Crest should get new pipe installation contracts from Petronas Carigali. Which is also why Hong Leong supremo has bought strategic stakes in Petra Perdana
e) Contract awardment momentum is gathering speed as Petronas has already awarded a floating production facility contract to MISC for the Gemusut oilfield off Sabah. Petronas has already issued tender for 23 new offshore vessels, and another contract for 30 offshore vessels soon.

My best underdog pick, which is currently under the radar, is EPIC. At the current price its 2008 PER is just 16x compared to the above two, its a steal. Plus its relatively well managed, paying the best dividend yield among the oil and gas players for the past 2 years. It is also the most politically effective counter for the Eastern Economic Corridor project as it is Trenggannu's main state vehicle for oil & gas with control over the Kemaman Supply Base.
Share Capital: 165m
Perbadanan Iktisad Terenggannu 43.1%
Lembaga Tabung Haji 34.3%
Free float 22.5% or 37.125m shares
The EEC will see Petronas plonking RM44bn over the next 5 years. While much of the action has been in Dialog and Sapura Crest, its more a matter of paid up which has attracted institutional interest. For those running small funds or smaller fortunes, EPIC looks like a no brainer. So much so that the state government has already upped its stake in EPIC from 39.8% to 43.1% just over the last 3 months. I expect RM3.00 for the stock just before the release of the detail of EEC and could touch RM4.00 during the frenzied feeding. Looking at Dialog and Sapura Crest, I'd rather buy and hold the quiet achiever in EPIC.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Thai To Remember, And If You Remember ... Then Follow ...

When a foreigner was caught for defacing pictures of the Thai monarch, it made headline news globally. It made headlines again when the Swiss man was convicted and jailed for 10 years. The global press basically insinuated that the punishment was grossly excessive to the act. We are controlled by the powers of the media, and the media powers is Western-controlled, and hence the line of reporting has that line of bias. Westerners may not get what I am trying to say here, but its OK.
Not all kings are the same, a king in Netherlands, a king in Britain and a king in Thailand are not the same. The same king in Thailand is respected like you would not believe. Imagine the "goodness" of Einstein, Mother Teresa, Gandhi and JFK all rolled into one (I am not saying King Bhumibol is that kind of person, but if you appreciate the gravity of the respect, maybe you can understand a bit about how he is viewed in Thailand) - now that is the kind of respect we are talking about, add benevolence, compassion and empathy for the people: now you get closer to how he is viewed in Thailand.
One cannot and should not legislate respect, and I am sure King Bhumibol does not really want that either. Hence, after all the hoo-hah, King B has decided to pardon the Swiss vandal. And how is that news being captured globally??? Probably you heard it first from this blog?? Unbelievable. Media has the responsibility to follow-up on their journalism. One should not just choose what they want to report or sensationalise, then fail in its follow up for a proper conclusion and overall meaning of the story.

Maybe foreigners feel that the "respect and love" accorded by the Thais to their King is excessive or overboard - that's cultural differences. You go to a country, you must respect their ways or at least try to understand them, not challenge them. Foreigners living in Asia must immerse themselves, not just watch the people go by.

South Johor Being One-Upped By North Kedah

While everyone is doing Nusajaya Dreamin', things are happening up north (no, I am not talking about the shootings in southern Thailand). There will be an oil pipeline to be constructed across northern Malaysia, and the project has been signed, sealed and delivered. Due to start work on August 2007. The aim is to avoid the pirates-ladened and congested Melaka Straits.

The pipeline will cost RM50bn (US$14.5bn) and 70% will be from foreign sources. A large portion has been promised by National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC). The big losers here include Singapore and the US. Iran is not a close buddy of the US, Singapore is. The pipeline will divert stock away from Singapore thus lessening Singapore's influence and hence US strategic pawns in the region. Washington -Teheran ties are strained to say the least. Malaysia, always seen as the neutral-Islamic factor, can play the best of both hands. The ties that bind, the friend you need.

Refineries will be built in Yan and Bachok, touching Kedah's west coast and Kelantan's east coast. The 320km pipeline will also service downstream industries planned along the pipeline (e.g. shipyards, slipways, lubricant plants). Already 3 jvs have been signed. One for each of the refinery and one for the pipeline. The Yan refinery will be built by NIOC and SKS Ventures Sdn Bhd. SKS Ventures Sdn Bhd has just signed a US$16bn deal to develop 2 gas fields in southern Iran. The Bachok refinery will be built by Merapoh Resources Corp as the lead team. The pipeline will be built by Trans -Malaysia Petroleum. Foreign investors having signed up include Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Japan, following after Iran being the biggest jv partner. Kedah and Kelantan will have a 5% stake in each of the jv.

Once operational the pipeline can ship 800,000 barrels a day or about 10% of the daily volume handled by Singapore. Currently, nearly half of the world's oil go through the Melaka Straits. The plan while ambitious, is doable and will bring about downstream industries as planned to the industry-starved northern Malaysia region. Naturally environmentalists will go ballistic over the forest area the pipeline will cut through.

Cryptic Stock Tip

p/s I have to apologise for the puzzle, it seems to be more difficult than I anticipated. Got too many calls from my friends and readers. So, I will release additional clues/answers every ten minutes...

In my dream, I was walking in a lovely garden. The beautiful weather seems eternal, been like that forever. There is only one tree in the garden, couldn't make out the type but its the fruit bearing type. Then a wise looking man appeared from behind the tree and asked "What are you doing here?"
I replied, "Am I dead? Can I _BUY_ more time?"
God: What do you think this place is, like playing bacarrat in _GENTING_ ? (this cannot be "casino" because it would have to be "the/a casino", so its a proper name)
Me: If I am dead, I am sure you have the _POWER_ to do something about it.
God: You are not dead, go back and do better, where I _PLANT_ you, you have to bloom well. (for something to bloom, it has to be planted or a plant)
I woke up, was motionless for a while, and only then I realised I had been talking with God in ____. (the final clue shall not be revealed, it is NOT "heaven", clue in the first para)

p/s Sorry readers, had to do this cryptic stock tip cause I kinda promised someone that I cannot blurt out the stock tip that bluntly. Just fill in the 5 missing blanks and scramble the words around to make the "stock tip sentence". The stock is a vg trading tip, good luck!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

26th HK Film Awards
Live This Weekend

Best Film
Fu zi / After This Our Exile,
Fong juk / Exiled
Hak se wui yi wo wai kwai / Election 2
Man cheng jin dai huang jin jia / Curse of the Golden Flower
Huo Yuan Jia / Fearless
Deserved To Win: Fearless
Personal Choice: After This Our Exile
Most Likely To Win: Fearless / ATOE

Best Director
Patrick Tam Ka Ming (Fu zi / After This Our Exile)
Johnnie To Kei Fung (Fong juk / Exiled)
Johnnie To Kei Fung (Hak se wui yi wo wai kwai / Election 2)
Zhang Yimou (Man cheng jin dai huang jin jia / Curse of the Golden Flower)
Jacob Cheung Chi Leung (Muk gong / A Battle of Wits)
Deserved To Win: Patrick Tam
Personal Choice: Patrick Tam
Most Likely To Win: Patrick Tam / Zhang Yimou

Best New Director
Law Wing Cheong (Tin sun yut dui / 2 Become 1)
Daniel Wu (Sei dai tinwong / The Heavenly Kings)
Patrick Kong (Duk ga si oi / Marriage with a Fool)
Deserved To Win: Daniel Wu

Best Actor
Aaron Kwok (Fu zi / After This Our Exile)
Lau Ching Wan (Ngor yiu sing ming / My Name Is Fame)
Tony Leung Chiu Wai (Seung sing / Confession of Pain)
Chow Yun Fat (Man cheng jin dai huang jin jia / Curse of the Golden Flower)
Jet Li (Huo Yuan Jia / Fearless)
Deserved To Win: Lau Ching Wan
Personal Choice: Lau Ching Wan
Most Likely To Win: Aaron / Lau Ching Wan

Best Actress
Teresa Mo Shun Kwan (Daai cheung foo 2 / Men Suddenly in Black 2)
Rene Liu (Sun yat fai lok / Happy Birthday)
Isabella Leong (Isabella)
Angelica Lee Sin Je (Gwai wik / Re-Cycle)
Gong Li (Man cheng jin dai huang jin jia / Curse of the Golden Flower)
Deserved To Win: Isabella
Personal Choice: Lee Sin Je
Most Likely To Win: Gong Li / Lee Sin Je

Best Supporting Actor
Gouw Ian Iskandar (Fu zi / After This Our Exile)
Simon Yam (Hak se wui yi wo wai kwai / Election 2 )
Nick Cheung Ka Fai (Hak se wui yi wo wai kwai / Election 2 )
Jay Chou (Man cheng jin dai huang jin jia / Curse of the Golden Flower)
Liu Ye (Man cheng jin dai huang jin jia / Curse of the Golden Flower)
Deserved To Win: Gouw Ian Iskandar
Personal Choice: Gouw Ian Iskandar
Most Likely To Win: Gouw Ian Iskandar

Best Supporting Actress
Kelly Lin (Fu zi / After This Our Exile)
Isabella Leong (Mon seung / Diary)
Candice Yu (Ngor yiu sing ming / My Name Is Fame)
Zhou Xun (Ye yan / The Banquet)
Kristal Tin Yui Lee (The Mother Is a Belly Dancer)
Deserved To Win: Isabella
Personal Choice: Isabella
Most Likely To Win: Isabella / Candice Yu

Best New Performer
Gouw Ian Iskandar (Fu zi / After This Our Exile)
Huo Si Yan (Ngor yiu sing ming / My Name Is Fame)
Pei Pei (Dog Bite Dog)
Sun Li (Huo Yuan Jia / Fearless)
Matthew Medvedev (Rob·B·Hood)
Deserved To Win: Huo Si Yan
Personal Choice: Huo Si Yan
Most Likely To Win: Gouw Ian Iskandar / Huo Si Yan

Best Screenplay
Patrick Tam Ka Ming & Tian Koi Leong (Fu zi / After This Our Exile)
Sylvia Chang, Mathias Woo & Theresa Tang (Sun yat fai lok / Happy Birthday)
James Yuen Sai Sang, Jessica Fong & Lo Yiu Fai (Ngor yiu sing ming / My Name Is Fame)
Yau Nai Hoi & Yip Tin Shing (Hak se wui yi wo wai kwai / Election 2)
Felix Chong & Alan Mak (Seung sing / Confession of Pain)
Deserved To Win: My Name Is Fame
Personal Choice: My Name Is Fame
Most Likely To Win: My Name Is Fame / ATOE


BS Galore!
Grow Up Fast

BS#1 - The share split of one 50-sen share into five 10-sen shares had made the counters more accessible to retail investors. In the past, its share price of around RM40 made it difficult for retail investors to buy into as a lot of 100 shares would cost RM 4,000. The surge in share prices was also liquidity driven as there were more shares in the market. The number of Genting shares became 3.69 billion while Resorts has 5.61 billion shares after the exercise.
How-da, people who never study will think like that, but if there are enough people who think like that, you get the silly price jumps in a stock split event. A stock split is a non-event, not a life changing, nor value-added, nor fundamentals improving, nor intelligent corporate strategy move. Brady-hell, if you cannot afford RM4,000 go play 4D-lah. Already Bursa accomodated by allowing 100 share lots, still not low enough, how about 10 share lots then?? Then can we stop the stupid stock splits!!! It makes me angry when shallow thinking dominates proceedings. Good for you if you make money on them, but the premise is just too shoddy, to say the least.

BS#2 - In terms of valuation, Resorts, which is a pure play in gaming and casino operations, is still trading at a lower price to earnings ratio (PER) of 21.7 times compared with other casino operators at other bourses at PER ranging from 25 times to 30 times. Genting is also cheaper as it was trading at 21 times, even though its current PE is above its historic 15 times. Singapore-listed while Genting International was trading at 87 times, Las Vegas Sands 71.4 times, MGM Mirage 33.3 times and Harrah Entertainment Inc. 30.48 times.
When people want to push stocks, silly diatribe like these gets circulated. Resorts is no Genting. RW is a hilltop casino with limited player growth (look at the road winding up to RW). The Sentosa thingee and Stanley Leisure are held elsewhere. RW has a 7% stake in Genting Int'l. Genting Bhd has a 57% stake in Genting Int'l. Genting Int'l holds 100% of Sentose IR, Maxim's Casino and Stanley Leisure. RW is half the PER of others because NO GROWTH, not because it is undervalued. RW is a dividend stock only with the biggest hotel in the world. That's all. Don't try to sell RW on comparative valuations, its shallow and uninformed.

BS#3 - The charade continues in the covered warrants. Genting-CD now trades at 13 sen. You still need 50 to convert into one share 50 x 0.13 = $6.50. Pay another $7.80 to convert = $14.30. Premium 14.30/9.15 = 56%. Gearing 9.15/6.50 = 1.4x. Isn't that the lowest gearing you can get on the bloody thing??? Oh, expiring in Sep 28. Watch this one implode. Current fair value 5-7 sen for the covered.
Enough already, people already think I have a vendetta against Genting or Resorts. Not true at all. Nothing is the mgmt's fault, its the market's naive investing behaviour which pisses me no end. We need to grow up... fast!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Eurovision Winner
The nice table was nicked from a popular blog by Paul Kedrosky. It is highly significant that the market cap of Europe has now gone past the US. Usually these sort of things indicate a deeper under-current and long term trends. The Euro-zone economies should grow at about 4.2%, assuming 2.2% inflation in 2007. US GDP may grow at 2.2%. This rate is not just for 2007 but if you have a look at the past few years, the differentials are there already.
In Europe you have pockets where growth is huge and others a bit more sedated. These pockets of economy operating at various stages of an industrial life cycle affords the region a lot of room to manouvere. Outsourcing becomes a higher art form. Assuming Europe’s biggest companies grow profits at 8% in 2007, there could be a 12%-14% rise for the S&P Europe 350 this year. At the same time, big companies are putting more money into dividends, buybacks and acquisitions than capital expenditures. While the same thing is happening in the US as well, a lot more "market cap" has been taken off the table by the huge private equity firms. Hence, seen in that light, the market cap thingee may not be a very good indicator as chances are very high that these privatised companies will return to exchanges within a few years after being retooled.
The shift in market cap is also due to the weak US dollar as the market cap is calculated in US dollars. Even if everything stays the same, the US dollar would be depreciating at least 2% or more a year for the past few years, and probably for the next few years.
That being the case, there is another underlying factor which would have shifted the European figure even faster - the fact that there is much higher proportion of companies being listed in the US than Europe. In Europe a large portion of big lucrative companies are still held privately. If that factor is equalised, European market cap would have gone past the US a few years ago. The long term trend has been set a couple of years ago and not just now. Europe will be a more important center for fund and capital raising vis-a-vis the rest with London taking an increasingly important stature as "the" financial center that matters.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Pay Me Well

In 1996, Lee Kuan Yew said that low salaries will not attract able men who are or can be successful in their professions or business. Now they will be upping the peg of ministerial pay in Singapore to the top private sector earners again. Currently ministers earn just S$1.2m (US$1.836m) per year, and the repeg will put them at S$2.2m (US$3.36m) or higher if you are more "senior". Since 1994, the salaries of Singapore ministers have been set at two-thirds the median pay of the 48 best-paid bankers, lawyers, accountants, engineers, and executives in multi-nationals and manufacturing firms.

Naturally, there is a big outcry from the general public in Singapore. Bulk of who survive on a household monthly income of between S$2,000-S$6,000. Here are some thoughts:

a) Nobody is really deriding the repeg, just the quantum I guess. To peg to the TOP private sector earners is to imply that the ministers are also the top quartile. Is that the reality?

b) Another reason is that they are clean and the salaries are needed to eliminate corruption or the need to be corrupt. Doesn't that say something inherent with the mentality of a normal person: that a person will be more likely to be corrupt if he is paid below average. Hmmm... does that mean that the majority of people in prison now may not need to be there if they were paid well enough in the first place???

c) If you are paying for being "efficient", "competitive nation building" and "corruption-free"... Singapore ranks #5 in the world, Norway ranks #2 and their ministers get about 20%-25% what their Singapore counterparts are getting. I thought Norway has a higher cost of living index than Singapore. Hmmm... maybe Singapore can outsource for cheaper and better performing ministers from Norway. Even at half the new package, Norway ministers would jump at the offer.., plus now no need to pay foreigners CPF right??!!

d) Actually I do agree that salary plays a big part in nurturing the right behaviour. Most Asian nations pay their ministers pittance (let's not single out specific countries, you-know-I-know lah), and those countries that do so have also the highest incidence of corruption. These are smart people (most anyway), these are also people being given immense power, and the likelihood for abuse is also high: if you pay them pittance, the attraction and need to find extra sources of income are very high.

e) You have to pay well if you want to eliminate the distractions of wanting to feather one's nest or to accumulate for a sufficiently nice retirement income. Hence you will find many politicians thinking and finding ways to benefit themselves instead of doing nation building stuff. I think Lee & Lee have a strong argument here. You don't want ministers spending half their time having meetings about "special projects", "specially awarded jobs", "meeting important and connected people for the wrong reasons", etc...

f) The angst among the public is when they compare with what the general public is getting, or rather what they themselves are getting. Its a bit like begrudging the MNCs CEO pay packages. US listed companies regularly pay their CEOs between US$5-50m a year all in (basic, options and bonuses) - of course, the companies have a pretty big market cap to contend with. Even smaller US companies (those with market caps of US$1-5bn will pay between US$1-10m. OK, let's bring it back to listed Singapore companies as a better yardstick, the top CEOs of the top 50 firms should be getting packages of S$1.5m to S$5m easy, no questions asked. Why is it so difficult for the public to accept that their ministers are paid like the CEOs of the top 100 companies in Singapore?? Surely the way they have been handpicked, proven themselves continuously, and before that having to accumulate top notch degrees and recognised academic excellence - all must count for something. These are the people leading the nation. I would be proud that they get what they are getting, and they deserve it too. Is it easier to run a nation than a big company? Like I have said before, Singapore is a very well run company.

g) Plus, we are not talking about 1,000 or 2,000 ministers... its just a select bunch. You pay S$600,000 a year and get dubious characters like TT Durai (the NKF scandal). So, obviously S$600,000 is way, way, not enough. Look at the new apartment launches, you have to make it affordable for the ministers as well. If ministers have problem buying, who else can buy?

h) Sure, the comparisons with US, UK and Japan ministers will be a sore point. Maybe Singapore is doing it correctly, and the rest are doing it wrong. Must remember that ministers in those countries are also known to "need to pave the way later" when they get out of office - not to say they are corrupt but they do "plan" to have other sources of income later in life.

i) The one thing which the senior government must rein in is the way retired/former ministers get on a lot of important boards, and gets paid very well. In order to maintain better integrity, maybe retired/former ministers should NOT be sitting on more than 2 boards (either private or public) because they way it is now, the retired ministers could get paid even more than the ones in service now in some cases!!! For example, ex-Foreign Affairs minister S Dhanabalan is now the Exec Chairman of DBS Group, Chairman of Temasek and Director of GIC. (like they say in Singapore... "walau-wey"). The ex minister for Defence Yeo Ning Hong is the Exec Chairman of PSA, Director of DBS Group and Director of Singapore Press. There's another very busy ex-minister Lim Chee Onn (ex-minister without Portfolio, my my... look at his portfolio now) - the Exec Chairman of Keppel Corp, Chairman of Keppel Capital, Chairman of Keppel Land, Chairman of MobileOne, Director of Temasek, Director of k1 Ventures, Director of Singapore Airlines, and Director of Natsteel (where got time , man!?). Then there is Goh Yong Hong the ex-Commissioner of Police. He is the Exec Deputy Chairman of Singapore Turf Club, Chairman of Singapore Pools (not the swimming type OK), Director of Dragon Land, and Director of Premas (a unit of Capitaland).

j) The ministers are mostly picked from the business sectors and their evolutionary process are quite different from politicians of other countries. Few are the grassroots types or cikgus/teachers/municipal leaders/etc... Hence the yardstick for apples to oranges applies here.

k) What about working for the benefit of the nation? Let sleeping dogs lie, its tough enough to remember the Singapore anthem in Malay-man, one thing at a time lah. Like I say, the way Singapore is run, its like a corporation, hence the pragmatism. Live with it, its good for the country.