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Showing posts from November, 2009

Important View On Dubai World Factor In Equity Strategy

Well, just as swiftly foreign money came into emerging markets, just as swiftly will they leave, and not even on something direct. An indirect scare out of Dubai seems to be enough reason to take the chips from the table. On Wednesday, Dubai World, the government investment company behind some of the emirate's most ambitious projects, said it was seeking to delay repayment on a tranche of its debt. The company has $60bn of liabilities from its various companies including Nakheel, the property firm behind the Palm Jumeirah, the world's biggest artificial island, and the Nakheel Tower, the world's tallest building at 1km high. It also owns DP World, the ports operator that bought P&O Ferries. Nakheel is due to make a $3.52bn Islamic bond repayment, plus charges, on December 14.
Traders feared that the request for a six-month standstill was a sign that the Dubai Government was struggling with its other debts – and that the full impact of the fi…

The Best Singing Voice Ever - Nat King Cole

I was flabbergasted when at a social setting some of my colleagues did not know who Nat King Cole was. I said he was my all time favourite singer and probably had the best singing voice ever. He died before I was even born but talent and greatness will be discovered and rediscovered by future generations. Many people will know of the song When I Fall In love, which has probably been re-recorded to death by various artistes, like I said before, if you are not going to be able to add something new to the song, forget it. The original version still is the best. There was no one who could do "phrasing" quite as splendidly as him, its clear, you never need lyrics sheet, and its almost like a lyrical musical poetic recitation.

He was born on March 17, 1917, Montgomery, Alabama, U.S.—died February 15, 1965, Santa Monica, California. His full name is Nathaniel Adams Cole. American musician hailed as one of the best and most influential pianists and small-group leaders of the swing …

China Is Aware That There Is A Bubble

As China is facing the prospect of large capital inflows from investors betting on RMB appreciation in 2010, policymakers have made it easier for mainland Chinese to invest abroad. This may be adding to the massive fund inflows other regional markets have experienced in 2009, especially China’s SARs. China’s rapid credit growth and loose monetary policies are also encouraging the trend.WSJ: A bubbly property market in Hong Kong and record gambling revenues in Macau are partially a result of capital leaking out of China through “under-the-table transfers.” GaveKal Dragonomics says that the scale of the “shady money” coming from China’s loose credit and stimulus measures “is becoming slightly embarrassing for Beijing.” Capital controls are supposed to regulate the amount of money flowing to the SARs, but offshore bank accounts and other channels allow money to flow relatively freely. (11/23/09)Michael Casey, WSJ: “[A] booming China is importing easy money from the Fed at a time when it…

HK IPOs Sizzling Hot

HK's IPO market has surpassed other financial centers by the proverbial mile this year. The liquidity arriving into HK from China and from the US carry trade have helped fuel the boom. The thing that sets this event apart is the proximity to the recent global crisis, and the pent up demand to raise cash by many large companies. Again, as I have warned before, I am quite uncomfortable with the upcoming UC Rusal IPO, a highly questionable and large IPO. Things could be derailed very swiftly if things do not go as planned.

The Standard: Hong Kong is now the world's premier destination for initial public offerings, having raised US$13.82 billion (HK$107.79 billion) in the first 10 months of the year.Shanghai along with the increasingly hot Brazilian stock exchanges as well as New York were left in the wake of Hong Kong by the end of October, according to the World Federation of Exchanges after its latest month-by-month review.Hong Kong was ranked top as the largest listing market b…

The Nasties Of Hot Money In Asia

Is there "hot money" in the system? Yes, the Fed's and ECB's low interest rates policy has already started the USD carry trade a few months back, and it could add a Euro carry trade to its banner soon. So, where do you think the money is headed or has been residing? Its Asia. The easy way to see where it has been headed over the past few months is to look at Asia's strongest currency this year. At the top of the heap was the Indonesian rupiah, followed by the Korean won and then the Indian rupee. So much so that the central banks at South Korea and Indonesia have expressed strong concerns over the inflow of hot money into their system. Beware of the current gains you have been seeing in stocks, property and currency in these two countries. They could just as easily disappear overnight. It also appears that the new favoured son by these carry trades is Taiwan.

Hence, we may well appreciate the efforts of Bank Negara a bit more over the past 18 months because Zeti …

Should The US Really Desire A Strong Yuan

The yuan has basically rise by 20% over the last 12 months against the USD. Still, many have been calling for a dismantling of the yuan's peg. The peg, they argue, offers China a competitive advantage by making its products cheaper in U.S. markets, thus allowing Chinese firms to gobble up market share and steal jobs from U.S. manufacturers. The thought is that were China to allow its currency to rise, American manufactures would regain their lost edge, and both manufacturing firms and the jobs formerly associated with them would return. Well, that is the partial truth - the fact is the majority of China's exports are actually US products, owned by US companies manufacturing in China, then exporting it to other countries. China's voracious export machinery is due in part to the foreign investments, or better known as outsourcing. If it wasn't China, it would India, or some other Asian country or Latam country. That argument does not hold water.

One can also argue that th…

Love's Tapestry Coming Out On 18 December 2009

Really looking forward to another great local album. Remember 2V1G, the brainchild of Leslie Loh, and now he has assembled Roger Wang again but pairing his virtuosity with Gina Panizales (born and raised in Iloilo City, Philippines, but has been a regular performer in Malaysia). 2V1G was in Chinese, this is in English I believe and judging from the weekly updates from Leslie, this will be another excellent album by these talented and passionate mostly-Malaysians. Date of release 18 December 2009.
Updated: After the Solianos gig, I went with Leslie to his car to get a listen to the copy of Love's Tapestry. I must say that I am honoured to be among the first few to get a sampling. The songs were ballads from the 70s and 80s mainly, but taken down to a tender level, interspaced with the delicate guitar playing of Roger, coupled with the mature vocals of Gina, giving each song a fresh take. If you grew up in the 70s and 80s, you will love this album. Songs that you liste…

Demystifying Hell - Exothermic Or Endothermic

I was reminded of the funniest email I got a few years back. It must have made its way a couple of times around the world and re-enter my mailbox again. It had to be a true story because it would take so much effort to think up one from scratch.

The following was an actual question given on a University of Washington chemistry mid term. The answer by one student was so 'profound' that the professor shared it with colleagues, via the Internet, which is, of course, why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well.

Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant.

One student, however, wrote the following:
First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving. I thin…

The Malaysian Brain Drain & More Contractors Please!!!

This article is too important not to be read by more people. It is written by Koon Yew Yin. Who??? Well, if you like Mudajaya, IJM or Gamuda, Mr. Koon was one of the founders for all three companies. We certainly do not need more contractors - we must ensure that our resources are put into creating value to industry and economy, not creating layers after layers of profits being hived off.

The article was taken from Center For Policy Initiatives:
Article by Mr. Koon can be linked to:
I wish our government would take to heart what Mr. Koon has been saying. If you talk about 1Malaysia, this is the 1Malaysia most of us are thinking about - I don't know about the one some minority have in their minds. If you think the contractor article was timely, have a read of his piece on t…

Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève, 2009 edition

I am not exactly a huge fan of watches but I like them. The Zeitwerk looked extremely fetching. If you cannot match the watch images to the prize winners below, you are not a fan of watches.
The winners of the Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève, 2009 edition. Press release The 9th annual editon of the "Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève" rolled out the red carpet on Saturday, the 14th of November, 2009 at the "Grand Théâtre" the facade of which was specially illuminated for the event by the reknown Zurich artist, Gerry Hofstetter. This International Grand Prix rewards each year the best watchmaking creations. Its mission is to encourage creativity and to participate in the discovery of new talent. During the evening, eleven awards were attributed, with the prestigious “Aiguille d'Or” award going to the Lange Zeitwerk watch of A. Lange & Söhne.

Before an audience of more that 1500, Christian Lüscher et Natacha Wenger, the two masters of ceremony, made the…

Ess'kue Me, Mister Liu!!!

During the recent APEC meeting in Singapore, Liu Mingkang, China's chief banking regulator, took a cheap shot at the US and Obama when he remarked that the US Federal Reserve is fueling speculative investments and endangering global recovery through loose monetary policy. Why I think that was a cheap shot - even my blog has been saying that for the longest time. The policies Liu was refering to were the weak USD, massive liquidity and currency printing, and low interest rates by the US. Liu basically said some standard knowledge: "The US Fed is boosting speculative investments in stock and property markets and will pose new, real and insurmountable risks to the global economy."

Mr. Liu, what do you expect the Fed or Obama to do??? Raise interest rates in the US while property prices, corporate spending and empoyment are still pretty weak??? To criticise the US is so easy. Hallo... you want to talk about bubbles, just look at China's massive expansion in dubious loans…

Marketocracy Portfolio Updated - November 14, 2009

On a year to date basis, the S&P 500 recorded a 23.67% return, while the Nasdaq secured 37.47% and the Dow notched a 17.02% return. My Marketocracy portfolio obtained a 66.3% return.

Previous update:

As mentioned before, the objective of the portfolio was to beat the S&P 500 consistently over time. Modern finance subscribe to the theory that over time stocks offer superior returns - that being the case, as long as you outperform the benchmark index, you will register superior long term performance. Hence it is useful to look at the performance relative to the S&P 500. Over the last 12 months, the outperformance was by 50.96%.

The Salvador Fund (SMF) line in orange. The m100 line is the aggregate performance tracking the top 100 funds in Marketocracy. The comparison is stark but to be fair, this portfolio will…