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Showing posts from April, 2010

Marina Bay Sands Casino Opening

From opening accounts from the blogs, it looks like MBS is a few rungs up on RWS in terms of class, design and service. Looks spectacular.

MBS and RWS comparison
Marina BaySands / Resorts World Sentosa
Cost S$7.5 bn / S$6.6bn
Slots 1,500 / 1,300
Tables 670 / 530
Hotel Rooms 2,600 / 1,800
MICE floor 1,291,669 sq. ft. / 647,880 sq. ft.
Casino floor 161,000 sq. ft. / 161,000 sq. ft.
Retail space 800,000 sq. ft. / 330,000 sq. ft.
Restaurants 17 / 60
Non-gaming : Sands Skypark / Universal Studios Sg
Amenities: Helix pedestrian walkway / Marine Life Park

Marina Bay Sands opening timeline
17-Apr Temporary occupancy certificate granted
25-Apr Casino license granted
27-Apr Marina Bay Phase 1 (Soft opening)
- 963 of 2600 hotel rooms
- Full casino (161K sq. ft.)
- Portion of MICE and retail space
- 3 celebrity, one 24hr. restaurant, 2 noodle bars
23-June Marina Bay Phase 2 (Grand opening)
- Remaining hotel rooms/suites (2,600 total)
- Additional retail and MICE space
- Entertainment pavilion
- SkyPark (exa…

Top Equity Strategists' Targets For S&P500

Bespoke Investment has managed to tally the top equity strategists' predictions for the S&P500 for the end of the year. Like them or not, a lot of big funds do listen to them. The underlying bullishness for the 2H of 2010 is still intact, but I think we will go a bit lower before moving back up. Whats surprising is that Goldman Sach's year end target has already been reached technically. Does that mean that they will adopt a more bearish stance from now till year end in their proprietary trades? Barclays, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley have year end targets lower than present levels - if they are right, we are in for a disappointing 2010.

The consensus year-end S&P 500 price target of major Wall Street strategists surveyed by Bloomberg now stands at 1,264, which is up 3.18% from the consensus of 1,225 at the start of the year. A move to the average year-end price target of 1,264 would represent a gain of 13.34% for the full year and a gain of 4.27% from the S&P's…

The S Pellegrino World's Best 100 Restaurants

The World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards 1-100 (2010)

Restaurant Region Awards

1 Up 2 Noma Denmark The S.Pellegrino Best Restaurant in the World, The Acqua Panna Best Restaurant in Europe
2 Down 1 El Bulli Spain Restaurant Magazine Chef of the Decade
3 Down 1 The Fat Duck UK The Chef's Choice sponsored by Electrolux
4 Up 1 El Celler de Can Roca Spain
5 Down 1 Mugaritz Spain
6 Up 7 Osteria Francescana Italy
7 Up 3 Alinea USA The Acqua Panna Best Restaurant In N.America
8 Up 33 Daniel USA The Highest Climber sponsored by Cocoa Barry
9 Down 1 Arzak Spain
10 Down 4 Per Se USA
11 Up 29 Le Chateaubriand France
12 Up 26 La Colombe South Africa The Acqua Panna Best Restautant in South Africa
13 Down 4 Pierre Gagnaire France
14 Up 2 L'Hotel de Ville - Philippe Rochat Switzerland
15 — Le Bernardin …

Investors Say The Darndest Things

Many times, investors ask the stupidest question. Not to whack them but sometimes we have to sit back and think the context of our questions or comments. Some will sound absolutely silly, and it drives at our assumptions and fallacies in thought and logic. Investment is not a "you like, you play lor", it can ruin your finances. Its better for me to point them out than to have investors dumping tons of it without proper consideration.

The ones that make you roll your eyeballs:

So you think the stock you like can rise... aarrr?

Thanks for the tip, I made 10%, you think can hold on for another 5%?

Why my stocks go up so slowly but come down very fast one?

When a stock stays forever at 1.00 nobody wants it, when it moves to 1.30 they start to ask questions, when it runs to 1.80 they don't ask anymore, they just jump in. Herein lies most of investors' problems: why we cannot spot them earlier; there is a lot of danger in momentum investing without knowledge; there is no regard…

Marina Bay Sands Is Open, OMG... The Restaurants They Have!!!

Don't care much about casinos in general, but I like playing Texas Holdem poker when they have special rooms for the game. The most exciting part about Marina Bay Sands casino has to be the restaurants they have managed to lure to their premises. Mario Batali, Wolfgang Puck, Daniel Boulud, Santi Santamaria, Guy Savoy and Tetsuya Wakuda are all there. I am really looking forward to try all of them, especially my all time fav Tetsuya Wakuda.

SINGAPORE, April 27 — Las Vegas Sands, the world’s most valuable casino firm, expects to recoup its US$5.5 billion investment in its Marina Bay Sands casino in Singapore within five years, CEO Sheldon Adelson said today.

His comments came at the opening of Singapore’s second casino resort as global operators such as Las Vegas Sands and Steve Wynn’s Wynn Resorts seek growth in Asia, lured by the region’s growing wealth and Chinese passion for gambling.“The Asian people see gaming as a form of entertainment. In the West, we have a different approach…

Some Corrections On MYR & Bank Negara Strategy

My learned friend Hisham has rightly pointed out the "corrections" below:
hishamh said...'Under the government’s exchange rate regime, the exchange rate of the MYR is controlled against “a trade-weighted basket of currencies.”'

This is plain wrong - Malaysia has not followed a basket of currencies approach since before the 1997 crisis. It's also inconsistent with...

"The upward trend in the ringgit against the U.S. dollar and the revival of capital inflows into the equity market have increased central bank intervention in the FX market to support exports."

...which implies a different sort of currency regime entirely.

In any case, watch changes in reserves as a signal of intervention. If trade and capital inflows were attracting central bank intervention to absorb upward pressure on MYR, then you would expect an increase in international reserves...which isn't there. Taking into account revaluation loss from the MYR's appreciation, then change in r…

Goldman Sachs & God

In financial markets, Goldman Sachs is like a god. Goldman Sachs was about the only big investment bank that did well during the subprime financial crisis, JP Morgan did OK as well. But both went about doing alright in very different ways. Now people are complaining that Goldman Sachs cooperated (conspired?) with a hedge fund hustler in John Paulson (maverick or genius depending on whom you are talking to) to assemble and sell "synthetic collateralized debt obligations" that everyone involved, except maybe the purchasers knew would probably fail. The hedge fund hotshot made $1 billion.

I think Goldman Sachs did what a great investment bank should have done anyway. If you are smarter than the rest, you do the smart thing. Its a for profit entity, Goldman Sachs made most of its money by trading anyway, not by marrying trades.

Goldman Sachs is a convenient pinyata for those wanting to point out and punish those who behaved unethically and profited from the crisis. What GS did wa…

Who Should Replace Alex Ferguson?

If you are a Chelsea, Liverpool or Arsenal fan, please stop reading and please forget about putting in suggestions - we don't need to hear from you lot. It was surprising to hear Ferguson saying that he wanted David Moyes to get his job. According to the bookmakers, they have Jose Mourinho as the favourite.

Well, what can you say about Jose, you will only love him if he's in your team, or he is with the team that helped beat your biggest rival.

David Moyes may be Ferguson's choice because of his Glaswegian roots, I don't know. Never know how close men in kilts are. Ferguson's choice could be shaped by him wanting a British to take over the reins. I do think that that is a critical factor - to ensure Manchester United being able to retain the culture and traditions befitting a great British football club, I think its vital that the manager remain a British.

As good as Arsenal became under Wenger, it lost a lot of its culture, just look at the mix of players they have.…

SGD Appreciation Bodes Well For Other Asian Currencies

Busy these couple of days, saw an interesting article, thought you all should read it:

RGE: On 14 April, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) made an aggressive policy tightening move. The MAS re-centered the SGD target band at the prevailing level of SGD’s nominal effective exchange rate and changed the band’s slope from a zero percent appreciation to one of “modest and gradual appreciation.” Judging from past experience, we believe the slope of the new target band is likely to be around 2% a year. Source: RGE, Bloomberg

The MAS’s move reflected the growing confidence about the strength of the recovery as well as concerns about inflation risks associated with domestic demand later this year. The MAS has just revised its GDP growth forecast for 2010 from 4.5-6.5% to 7-9% and its CPI projection from 2-3% to 2.5-3.5%. RGE fully shares this view. Singapore’s growth and inflation have surprised significantly on the upside and the recovery is broad-based led by the rebound in manufactur…

Possibly The Best Economist In Asia

Get this book and almost overnight you will find yourself a whole lot smarter about macroeconomics. Richard is highly logical and writes in a careful train of thought which allows the reader to follow his arguments, points and case building. He makes economics understandable, he is highly persuasive. I was at Nomura Securities back in the late 80s while he was at Nomura Research Institute (he joined in 1984), and even then he was already highly respected by everyone at Nomura. Till today, he is still at NRI. I am sure he could have gone anywhere if he wanted to but NRI allowed him a lot of room to do what he does best. He had been a significant advisor to the last 2 prime ministers on ways to get Japan moving again - he also elaborated why the understanding is there but the political will and vested interests made it hard for the then prime ministers to push things through (sounds familiar?!).

p/s I know many Malaysian readers reading will be wondering if Richard Koo is a Malaysian (ag…

Looking For Mr Goodreason

Markets are dwindling not because of the Goldman Sachs issue. The markets were all waiting for a good reason to correct, they certainly found it in the Goldman Sach case, plus in itself will drag down financials, which makes up most of the gains in US markets. Its likely to be localised in the US, which will not hamper financials in other markets, but once the tide has turned, better to wait for a proper rally rather than to hope and pray that suddenly things will turn very bullish overnight. Ties in well with Sell In May & Go Away mantra.
Goldman Sachs is facing fraud charges for the first time in its history as a public company, setting the stage for the Wall Street powerhouse's biggest-ever showdown with the US government.On Friday, the US Securities and Exchange Commission charged Goldman with hiding from investors the involvement of a prominent hedge fund manager in helping it structure a subprime mortgage debt product that he was betting against.The incipient swoon in th…

29th HK Film Awards

Hard to look at stocks with good upside at current levels, so look at movie awards to be presented this weekend. My wish list:

Best Film: Bodyguards & Assassins
Best Director: Ann Hui, Night & Fog
Best Screenplay: Accident, Szeto Kam Yuen, Nicholl Tang
Best Actor: Simon Yam, Night & Fog
Best Actress: Zhang Jing Chu, Night & Fog
Best Supporting Actor: Fung Tsui Fan, Accident
Best Supporting Actress: Michelle Ye, Accident
Best Action Choreography: Ku Huen Chiu, 14 Blades
Best Asian Film: Departures

獎項 Awards 提名名單 Nomination List 最佳電影 Best Film 十月圍城 Bodyguards Assassins
Director: Teddy Chen
Actor: Donnie Yen, Leon Lai, Nicholas Tse, Tony Leung Ka Fai, 赤壁:決戰天下 Red Cliff 2
Director: John Woo
Actor: Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Hu Jun, Chiling Lin, Zhang Feng Yi, Vicki Zhao Wei, Zhang Zh 竊聽風…