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Showing posts from September, 2010

APPLE Going For Number ONE

Ten years ago, if you asked 1,000 investors to pick out 5 stocks that would be possibly the biggest company in the world, I doubt very much Apple would be even on any of the shortlist. Now Apple looks likely to be near enough to overtake Exxon Mobil. Its fascinating, one company has billions in real assets in the ground and millions of tons of expensive heavy machinery. The other just have Steve Jobs. Now both are jostling for the bragging rights to be the world's biggest company in market cap.

One would have thought Microsoft had a shot 20 years ago, or even Google had a shot 3 years ago. Don't worry, you will know exactly when Apple overtakes Exxon .... all the media will be blaring out that momentous occasion.

Bespoke Investment Group: A year or so ago, Apple (AAPL) eclipsing Microsoft (MSFT) in size was starting to look possible. It became reality a few months ago. Now Apple has its sights on Exxon Mobil (XOM) as the biggest company in the world. Below is a chart of the m…

The Economic Transformation Program

My verdict: Good to Pretty Good. Liked the fact that PEMANDU is there, supposedly to ensure proper execution of the projects.

Hwang DBS: The Government held an Open Day to present ideas for the Economic Transformation Program (ETP) on various key economic sectors for the country – including oil, gas & energy, financial services, palm oil and wholesale & trade. In our view, the program, approach and selected ideas/initiatives highlighted inspire optimism. If implemented successfully, we believe the projects will be able to generate greater economic activity.

Among the key projects, we understand that the RM36bn KL MRT, which features in the Greater Kuala Lumpur plan, has received high level of commitment – increasing the likelihood ofthe project’s approval. Potential beneficiaries: Gamuda (High Conviction Pick; TP: RM4.35), MMC (Buy; TP: RM3.20).

The Rubber Research Institute (RRI) project was also included. Potential beneficiaries: MRCB (High Conviction Pick; TP: RM2.25), WCT (B…

HSBC Musical Chairs, Grow Up Old White Boys!

HSBC Holdings chairman Stephen Green (British descent) resigned from his position to become trade minister for the UK government. That's all fine and dandy. Thus the chairman's position is now vacant.

Michael Geoghegan (British descent), who replaced Green as CEO in 2006, is expecting to be promoted to the chairmanship position. However, rumours are now swirling that he might be passed over for that position and may just remain as CEO only.

The favourite to be the new chairman of HSBC is John Thornton (an American) joined HSBC as a non-executive chairman of its North American unit in December 2008, six months after division pushed the bank into the biggest writedowns in its history. The bank has since set aside more than $58 billion to cover bad loans made by its subprime lender Household International, which it purchased in 2003.

HSBC's chief executive Michael Geoghegan now has threatened to quit if he is not promoted to chairman, as the battle for the top job at t…

Warrants 'Renewal' Should Be Abolished

hng has left a new comment on your post "Islamic Finance, Malaysia's Bright Light":

Hi Dali

Can you advice on PJD and PJD-WB? i’ve bought many PJD on hope on its warrant on basis 3 for 8 as well as its upcoming dividend of 5sen (6.6% yield). PJD have slowly show some movement from 71sen to 76sen now, but its PJD-wb move much more from 4.5sen to current 7sen, a gain of >50%!?

As these PJD-wb also entitle 3 for 8 warrant, its implies market price upcoming warrant at least 20sen (7sen x 8 unit) + (2sen x 3 unit) divided by 3 unit.

What is your opinion on both PJD and PJD-WB, should i exchange in order to gain more exposure?


You are right and the market is pricing the old warrant correctly, and yes, the new warrant should trade between 20 sen-25 sen. Yes you should exchange and get more exposure. I do not follow PJD but on surface, the company is OK. Recently announced full year's net profit rose 133% to RM52.76m, and has a cash balance of RM104m.

Now lets get to the p…

Islamic Finance, Malaysia's Bright Light

There is a bright light in Malaysia's financial landscape, its Islamic Finance. Malaysia has been competing with the Middle East countries to wrangle the top spot. Malaysia held a good lead prior to the global financial crisis, and for the last 2 years have edged away from the competition to be a clear leader. The Middle East countries have had to grapple with debt restructuring of its own which weighs heavily on their Islamic Finance focus.

Its not just a matter of prestige to be the center for Islamic Finance, its a viable and attractive area of finance. Its potential is enormous. Lagging behind Malaysia are the usual suspects, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and UAE.

The most active category is sukuk or Islamic Bonds. The main difference is that sukuk does not charge interest but rather claims a portion of the issuer's profits. This year alone international borrowers have sold $9.8bn of Islamic Bonds, with 72% of that being issued in Malaysia. Similar bonds issued by the Persian…

Gambler Jumps To Death After Losing HK$5m

Gambler jumps to death from floating casino after losing HK$5m

Dennis Chong / The Standard HK

Monday, September 20, 2010

A 51-year-old mainlander jumped off a 13-deck "floating casino" off Sai Kung after losing HK$5 million playing baccarat.The gambler, identified by police only as Xu, made his fatal leap off the Star Cruises vessel SuperStar Aquarius as it sailed back to Hong Kong from international waters shortly before 9am yesterday.Rescuers searched for Xu for almost an hour before fishing him out of the water. He was certified dead by the ship's doctor.Xu apparently boarded the ship on Saturday for a two-day gambling trip. He was seen betting at the baccarat table right after dinner.According to several passengers, he gambled until closing at 8am yesterday and lost almost HK$5 million.He was seen wandering on the deck for about an hour before jumping. Crew were alerted immediately that a man was overboard. The captain sent a rescue team and notified the Hong Kong autho…

Murakami @ Versailles

I am no manga fan but I consider Takashi Murakami a great artist in his own right. There is something "not quite right" to have Murakami's creations in a place like Chateau de Versailles. I mean, look at some of the pictures, the magnificent old paintings, sculptures and architecture looked so out of place, in fact they looked rather embarrassed to be in the same room as Miss Ko. LOL ...

Naturally some critics were up in arms over this exhibition, but hey art is art. Its compelling, even disruptive, but move over kiddo ... Great job by the curator to bring Murakami there! If you look at the old masters, sculptures ... they seemed to be saying "get me outta here, this is so discomforting".

Murakami's creations are fun, they make you feel "young", they are vibrant and in your face. Great stuff!!!


Miss Ko

Murakami has written:“For a Japanese like me, the Château de Versailles is one of the greatest symbols of Western history. It is the emble…

IHT and NYT Interview Lee Kuan Yew

I was engrossed reading the following article. We all have our opinions on the man. I think he is an outstanding pragmatic statesman. Singapore would not be where it is without his vision, strategies and execution ability ~ though we may not fully agree with all the things he did, overall, it has been top notch. You don't gain many things without sacrificing some. The interview below did more than shed some fresh light on Mr. Lee ... how he faces adversity, death and the humanity of it all were illuminating and gives him a more down to earth persona.--------------------------------------------
The following is the transcript of the interview Seth Mydans had with Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, for the New York Times and the International Herald Tribune. The interview was held on 1 September 2010.Mr Lee: “Thank you. When you are coming to 87, you are not very happy..”Q: “Not. Well you should be glad that you’ve gotten way past where most of us will get.”Mr Lee: “That is my troub…

Do Not Buy Fur Products

The following videos are a must to watch. Its gruesome but stark reality. How we treat animals reflects on our sense of fairness, compassion and character. For those who cannot protect themselves, we should be their protector. If we numb our souls to this, we will lose our sense of priority of what's important in life, we will lose sight of our "value on earth".

Country Equity Markets' Performance YTD

Global stock market country's performance on a year to date basis yielded some interesting observations. The respected Bespoke Investment Group has featured the table below recently. The average year to date change for all 82 countries is 5.39%.

The S&P 500's year to date change of -1.24% is obviously below both of these. The US currently ranks 53rd out of 82 in terms of 2010 performance.

At the top of the list is Sri Lanka with a 2010 gain of 73.69%. Bangladesh ranks second at 49.37%, followed by Estonia 41.94%, Ukraine 40.86%, and Latvia 40.26%.The bigger emerging markets have not fared so well. India has been the best performing BRIC country so far this year with a gain of 4.33%. Russia ranks second at 1.42%, Brazil ranks third at -2.43%, and China is down the most at -18.97%.
The developed markets have also fared poorly so far. Canada is currently the top G7 country with a gain of 3.26%. Germany and Britain are the other two G7 countries that are up year to date but o…

Snippets Of Travel To Macau/HK

First time ever taking Air asia as its the only airline flying to Macau. Thought I would take that route as I have not been there since the big casinos were built. Will then take the ferry to HK. First thing first, the LCCT was efficient, sort of like a cleaner (for now) Puduraya ... but somebody should really do something about the flies.

Caught up on some business reads, came across some interesting factoids:

- Did you know that for every 100 hardcover / softcover book that Amazon sells, they sold 180 e-books of the same version. That is an amazing adoption rate (e-reader, iPad, Kindle, etc.) despite the fact that many still prefer to hold a book in their hands, flip the pages, dogear them and stack on their shelves to project the "learned reader image" ... sigh ...

- Despite the casinos, Macau is still a pretty dead town.

- When will the shoe drop??? ... According to media statistics in CHINA, they found that there are 64.5m urban electricity meters registering ZERO consumpt…

Tsai Ming Liang, Asian Filmaker of the Year

September 02, 2010 SEOUL, Sept 2 — South Korea’s most prestigious film festival said yesterday it has chosen Taiwanese director Tsai Ming Liang as its Asian Filmmaker of the Year.The Pusan International Film Festival praised Tsai’s (picture) work over the past three decades for pioneering unexplored areas that overcome the limitations of the art film industry.“His 30-year-long devotion to filmmaking has greatly influenced Asian cinema and made considerable contributions to enhance the global status of Asian cinema,” it said in a statement.“He is renowned for seeking fresh ways of communicating with his audience... We can find the root of his endless spirit of challenging himself and the borderlines of art in his earlier works in the 1990s.”Sarawak-born Tsai is best known for “Vive L’Amour” that won the Golden Lion (best picture) award at the Venice Film Festival in 1994, and “The River” that won the Silver Bear/Special Jury Prize at the 1997 Berlin International Film Festival.The 52-y…