Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2011 Prediction For Markets

As the year draws to a close, I get more and more queries as to what's in store for 2011. My view is that I think we will have a super bull market in most of Asia and other emerging markets.

What we had in 2010 is by and large still muted and did not have the requisite liquidity participation by private investors. 2010 was largely dominated by funds flow and institutional rebalancing.

In Malaysia, retail participation was still low. There is no doubt that there is ample liquidity on the sidelines, although much of it is actually in properties. Those in it would have had a fantastic run over the last 4-5 years, more incredibly brushing aside the global financial crisis merrily along the way.

Having a view is easy, justifying it is harder. Even if I can justify it brilliantly, if it does not come true, its pretty pathetic to me. Hence predicting and having it come to reality is more important than justifying or arguing it well.

So, what is the basis for my views, they are not that important anyway, I could b.s. my way very well. I think its more important that the weight you attribute to a person's view is their track record and the integrity of commentary. Its been nearly 6 years, not every post was a gem, but I hope the readers will be able say to themselves "enough said, say no more".

But I am only confident of the first 6 months, I cannot tell for the second half because I believe markets will overshoot in the first half, and that could bring the markets to highly vulnerable levels then, which would make prediction useless.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Have You Been To Lan Je?

I think this restaurant needs little introduction. They have one signature dish, the steamed tilapia (fei chou yue). They do not drown the fish with much soya sauce or cooked oil. Its loaded with ginger and hot chillies. Owing to the turnover, you can bet that the produce is very fresh. You don't get the mud-after-taste which is prevalent for this kind of fish. You can have normal or spicy, trust me, take the normal, the spicy one will be way too much chilli padi all over. The over generous amount of ginger is a trademark, will make you hot but ginger is good for you anyway.

The salty prawns is a decent dish as well. As it is probably farmed prawns, the taste of the prawns lacked something but its crunchy and pretty good overall.

Or you can go to their 4 other restaurants, two in Cheras and the HQ at Rawang. The other is in Kepong I think. The other dishes worth sampling are: fansueyip, and probably the kungpo chicken (as I saw many tables ordering that).

27-28, Block C, Jalan Rawang
Gerai MPS, Batu 16

No. 10G & 12G, Jalan Kasturi 3
Plaza Kasturi
Batu 11, Jalan Balakong

Kota Damansara:
F-50G & 51G, Jalan Teknologi 3/9
Bistari “DE” Kota
Kota Damansara
PJU 5, Petaling Jaya

Now We Are On To Something ... Malaysian Football

Finally, after years and years head shaking by Malaysians whenever we talk of the national or state football teams, we now have something to sink our teeth in. Its very easy to be critical of everything when asked why Malaysian actual footballing standard is nowhere near the average Malaysian's passion for the game. First let's get some common questions/doubts/assertions out of the way:

a) the best years are behind us - that's a bullshit sentiment, it all depends on what we put in, its never too late to change or modify our ways, if we keep a negative attitude... that kind of defeatist attitude will get everybody nowhere but a dead end

b) K. Rajagopal - for the past 15 years, there is no better coach than K. Rajagopal, authorities please bear that in mind

c) racial imbalance - is there a racial imbalance in the current squad, well yes... but nobody should really complain because many Chinese do not play football after their teenage years, its worse now with the proliferation of internet and PC games, guess who will be still at the fields playing ... take the Singapore experience, they even have a pro league and Singaporean Chinese make up less than 20% of the players ... its reality. Now, the only time you see Chinese playing football in Malaysia is on weekends when the old farts play futsal.

This under-23 squad stands a good chance to make a mark as a top 5 Asian team, maybe even qualify for the next Olympics, if the cards are played right. If Japan and South Korea can be where they are now, Malaysia can certainly get there because these two teams' football standard were still lagging behind Malaysia back in the 60s and 70s.

Brief History of Malaysian Football Grandest Period

Top coaches, when we say top, we mean they were really good, 1960s coach Abdul Ghani Minhat, Dave McLaren, followed by in the 70s Jalil Che Din, M. Kuppan, Chow Kwai Lam and Karl-Heinz Weigang.

In the early 1950s until the 1960s, Malaya's best accomplishment was winning the Asian Games bronze medal in 1962 in Jakarta by defeating South Vietnam 4-1. Top players then include: Abdul Ghani Minhat ("King Football"), Arthur Koh, G. Govindaraju, Robert Choe, Edwin Dutton and Stanley Gabriel.

Following the formation of Malaysia, there were other great players including: Abdullah Namat, Shaharuddin Abdullah, Wong Fook Chuan, N. Thanabalan, Norbit and Abdullah Zulkifli Nordin. Malaysia managed to qualify for the 1972 Olympics in Munich by beating the likes of Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the Philippines. Two years later, Malaysia once again won the bronze medal in 1974 Asian Games in Tehran after beating North Korea 2-1. Malaysia continued to be a force in Asia by qualifying for subsequent Asian Cups in 1976 and 1980.

In the mid-70s, this is where the Malaysian team was most balanced and talented. Each player is like a superstar in their own right. They include: Mokhtar Dahari, Harun Jusoh, Santokh Singh, M. Chandran, Soh Chin Aun, R. Arumugam, Shaharuddin Abdullah, Wong Choon Wah, P. Umaparan, Wong Hee Kok, Shukor Salleh, Lim Fung Kee, Wong Kou Foo, Isa Bakar, Ali Bakar, Syed Ahmad, ... If you have seen them in action, you would liken them to a very good Premier League team, seriously.

Malaysia also qualified for the 1980 Olympics in Moscow, but the government boycotted the 1980 Olympics to protest the invasion of Afghanistan. Even in the early 80s the players were still pretty fantastic, we had Reduan Abdullah, Serbegeth Singh, Hassan Sani, Chow Chee Keong, Lim Teong Kim, Zainal Abidin, Bakri Ibni ...

Wong Choon Wah (17 Feb 1970)

Shaharuddin Abdullah (12 Aug 1970)

Super Mokh deserves special mention here, in 1975, he represented the Malaysia national football team against English giants Arsenal. Malaysia won the game 2–0, with Mokhtar scoring both goals. After the game, Mokhtar was rumoured to have been offered a chance to play for the Gunners. He also famously scored a goal in a 1–1 draw against England national football team's B team in 1978, dribbling past half of the opposing team coached by Bobby Robson (almost reminiscent of Ryan Giggs' very special goal against the Gunners in that famous FA Cup semi final tie). Paul Mariner was on the score sheet for England that day.

We can all sit back and blame corruption in the local league, or the advent of subscription TV which brought fans closer to European football, as causes for the demise of Malaysian footballing standard - to be fair, there is a strong element of truth in both. It was never going to be a great way to earn a living, as a footballer in Malaysia and as our lifestyle options increased, as our country developed, we basically had a lot more things to do than play football in the fields.

When we had nothing, playing football was great and cheap and widely available ... if we had top spinning competition, badminton, sepak takraw contests then ... we would be more than capable and competitive. We just don't do much of all that now - when was the last time your kids or nephews played those games?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Blessed Christ-mass To All Readers

My favourite song for Christmas time has always been Grown Up Christmas List ever since I heard Amy Grant sang it years ago. She was the original singer even though you could find many artistes covering it now (Michael Buble, Kelly Clarkson and Natalie Cole, to name a few). The song was composed by David Foster and Linda Thompson Jenner. At a time when we are busy buying and receiving presents, or maybe take it as an opportunity to drink too much, we get lost in all the merriment. Its the birthday of Jesus, does anybody know what he wants for his birthday?

Too often the church and fellow Christians fail to share the message of Christmas, we get all caught up in the theology. While we trumpet the need to be "saved", the underlying message is to bring mankind together and lookout for each other. We try to hate the sin but love the sinner ... but at times I wonder "where is the love"? When we judge others' lifestyles, sexual preferences, ... how we treat our fellow human beings though their occupation may be maids, labourers or beggers ... where is the love that you say you possess??? .... when we burn buildings, trigger off bombs in the name religion ... where is the love that you say you possess??? I think God when he appears, might say to all: "That's NOT what I meant!!!"

In the end, its human frailty that needs attention. I loved Amy Grant's version but the recent one by Charice (though I regard her singing as a bit precocious at times) was very good as well.

Do you remember me
I sat upon your knee
I wrote to you
With childhood fantasies

Well, I'm all grown up now
And still need help somehow
I'm not a child
But my heart still can dream

So here's my lifelong wish
My grown up christmas list
Not for myself
But for a world in need

No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
and wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end
This is my grown up christmas list

As children we believed
The grandest sight to see
Was something lovely
Wrapped beneath our tree

Well heaven only knows
That packages and bows
Can never heal
A hurting human soul

What is this illusion called the innocence of youth
Maybe only in our blind belief can we ever find the truth

p/s some of you may say, its not just Christianity that wants all that ... so true, so true ... maybe its time for you to find out where's the difference.

Well, as they say, its easy to love the world, but its hard to deal with my cantankerous neighbour ... supporting big issues/causes is easy, loving someone or dealing with a difficult friend is hard. First of all, don't be "that difficult friend".

Anyway, I digress. No better time to get to write this, before my readers all fall off their chairs, ... my all time fav Christian album. Hymns used to drown me to sleep when I attended church as a kid every now and then with my aunt. Even in a progressive church setting, singing hymns was not a welcomed thing. When I got hold of this album some 20 years ago, it was so inspiring and fun to listen. Sandi's voice was exceptional, the arrangement was brilliant, the pacing was improved for many songs. In my mind hymns are exceptional pieces of music because they are theologically correct. The ones in her album are all gems. Get it if you can, its unbelievably good.

Hymns Just For You CD

Sandi Patty Hymns Just For You Album Track Listing

1.It Is Well With My Soul
2.Fairest Lord Jesus/I'd Rather Have Jesus: Fairest Lord Jesus / I'd Rather Have Jesus
3.How Great Thou Art
4.In the Garden/Just a Closer Walk With Thee/What a Friend We Have in J: In The Garden / Just A Closer Walk With Thee / What A Friend We Have In Jesus
5.Old Rugged Cross, The
6.Lord's Prayer, The
7.Amazing Grace
8.To God Be the Glory/Holy, Holy, Holy/Blessed Assurance/Great Is Thy: To God Be The Glory / Holy, Holy, Holy / Blessed Assurance / Great Is Thy Faithfulness
9.Might Fortress Is Our God/Rock of Ages/Victory in Jesus/Because He Li: A Mighty Fortress / Rock Of Ages / Victory In Jesus / Because He Lives
10.Sweet Hour of Prayer/I Need Thee Every Hour/Just as I Am/Turn Your Ey: Sweet Hour Of Prayer / I Need Thee Every Hour / Just As I Am / Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

Marketocracy Portfolio As At 22 December 2010

price history right curve
[download spreadsheet]
graph of fund vs. market indexes
SMF m100 S&P 500 DJIA Nasdaq
Graph Period: [7 Days] [30 Days] [90 Days] [6 Months] [1 Year] [2 Years] [3 Years]
[4 Years] [5 Years] [Since Inception]
left curve recent returns vs. major indexes right curve
Beating Today MTD QTD YTD
SMF 1.02% 8.26% 13.20% 17.02%
S&P 500 0.60% 5.73% 9.76% 14.03%
DOW 0.48% 4.29% 6.40% 10.07%
Nasdaq 0.68% 6.06% 11.86% 16.76%

recent returns right curve
Last Week 1.17%
Last Month 6.82%
Last 3 Months 14.72%
Last 6 Months 20.57%
Last 12 Months 18.88%
Last 2 Years 110.06%
Last 3 Years N/A
Last 5 Years N/A
Since Inception 47.82%
(Annualized) 17.62%
Last Week 0.54%
Last Month 4.11%
Last 3 Months 9.95%
Last 6 Months 15.34%
Last 12 Months 15.41%
Last 2 Years 46.90%
Last 3 Years N/A
Last 5 Years N/A
Since Inception 4.85%
(Annualized) 1.99%
Last Week 0.62%
Last Month 2.70%
Last 3 Months 4.77%
Last 6 Months 5.23%
Last 12 Months 3.47%
Last 2 Years 63.16%
Last 3 Years N/A
Last 5 Years N/A
Since Inception 42.97%
(Annualized) 15.64%
left curve alpha/beta vs. S&P500 right curve
Alpha 15.77%
Beta 1.15
R-Squared 0.78
left curve turnover right curve
Last Month 0.00%
Last 3 Months 9.49%
Last 6 Months 29.37%
Last 12 Months 111.43%

Symbol Price Shares Value Portion of Fund Inception Return
NYB $18.35 6,000 $110,100.00 7.37% 67.50%
FMC $80.25 1,500 $120,375.00 8.06% 43.39% Details
F $16.99 8,000 $135,920.00 9.10% 53.08% Details
QSII $71.30 1,500 $106,950.00 7.16% 32.09% Details
PLD $14.26 8,118 $115,762.68 7.75% 29.26% Details MIDDLE
C $4.74 25,000 $118,500.00 7.94% 27.19%
BP $43.54 3,000 $130,620.00 8.75% 27.41%
WFMI $51.35 2,500 $128,375.00 8.60% 25.50%
GE $17.90 4,000 $71,600.00 4.79% 20.87%
UCO $12.06 6,000 $72,360.00 4.85% 17.35% Details
AFL $56.60 1,500 $84,900.00 5.69% 1.70% Details
BAC $12.98 14,000 $181,720.00 12.17% 11.20% Details

Close Date Type Symbol Shares Net Avg. Price Net
Oct 29, 2010 Sell SUN 3,000 $37.4391 $112,317.29
Oct 28, 2010 Buy AFL 1,500 $55.6517 $83,477.58
Oct 21, 2010 Buy BAC 5,000 $11.75 $58,750.02
Aug 17, 2010 Sell POT 1,000 $140.3169 $140,316.93
Aug 12, 2010 Buy F 8,000 $12.4259 $99,407.51

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Empire@Subang Jaya and Di Wei

The newish Empire shopping mall @ Subang is one snazzy place. Its not too big and parking is not too bad (for now). There are not that many chain stores which gives the place a bit of character. There's the hair salon on 3rd floor that gives you an iPad to play with while getting your hair done (yes, they have more than a few laying around). The Loaf is there at the foodie floor and you must check out the other end, a little cafe that serves great coffee and macaroons and stuff. There is a place called Vanilla on the top floor that serves the best lasagna, ready made for take home as well.

Then there is this funky Chinese restaurant Di Wei (Royal Taste/Cuisine). Its modern Chinese decor will unsettle your senses but the food is usually good to pretty good. They have an unbelievable Christmas set dinner - tell you the price at the end.

This has to be the tastiest lormaifan ever, its very light and mini, could have 3 of these.

There's your veggies and pork rib (the cod fish ran out). Decent.

Thin turkey chop in black pepper sauce, surprisingly very good. There's also the prawns dish which was forgettable.

Are we in a museum? The chairs a bit modern, the longest chopsticks you have ever used, and wait till you see the lighted catwalk in the middle.

Abalone, wukai, dried scallop and meat - very very soothing. This soup alone I'd be willing to pay RM35.
The whole shebang: RM98++ ... but will last till 23 Dec only. They even let me substitute the dessert for my fav ginger tea with sesame tongyuen and my companion switched to thunsuetyee, great tasting. Oh, and you also get a glass of red or white wine, I told you this was modern Chinese!!! Merry Christ-mass!!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

US Trade Deficit and China

While many have been harping about the US trade deficit and the role China has in it, that has been the key argument to support a stronger yuan. However, the reality is quite different. I have said before that about 60%-70% of China's exports are actually produced and manufactured by foreign companies operating in China. The WSJ has a brilliant article on the iPhone trade imbalance and perception. Two academic researchers estimate that Apple Inc.'s iPhone—one of the best-selling U.S. technology products—actually added $1.9 billion to the U.S. trade deficit with China last year, officially.

How is this possible? The researchers say traditional ways of measuring global trade produce the number but fail to reflect the complexities of global commerce where the design, manufacturing and assembly of products often involve several countries. A distorted picture is the result, they say, one that exaggerates trade imbalances between nations.

Trade statistics in both countries consider the iPhone a Chinese export to the U.S., even though it is entirely designed and owned by a U.S. company, and is made largely of parts produced in several Asian and European countries. China's contribution is the last step—assembling and shipping the phones.

So the entire $178.96 estimated wholesale cost of the shipped phone is credited to China, even though the value of the work performed by the Chinese workers at Hon Hai Co. accounts for just 3.6%, or $6.50, of the total, the researchers calculated in a report published this month.

"What we call 'Made in China' is indeed assembled in China, but what makes up the commercial value of the product comes from the numerous countries," Pascal Lamy, the director-general of the World Trade Organization, said in a speech in October. "The concept of country of origin for manufactured goods has gradually become obsolete." Mr. Lamy said if trade statistics were adjusted to reflect the actual value contributed to a product by different countries, the size of the U.S. trade deficit with China—$226.88 billion, according to U.S. figures—would be cut in half. To correct for that bias is difficult because it requires detailed knowledge of how products are put together.

Based on U.S. sales of 11.3 million iPhones in 2009, the researchers estimate Chinese iPhone exports at $2.02 billion. After deducting $121.5 million in Chinese imports for parts produced by U.S. firms such as chip maker Broadcom Corp., they arrive at the figure of the $1.9 billion Chinese trade surplus—and U.S. trade deficit—in iPhones. If China was credited with producing only its portion of the value of an iPhone, its exports to the U.S. for the same amount of iPhones would be a U.S. trade surplus of $48.1 million, after accounting for the parts U.S. firms contribute.

Other economists say some aspects of the researchers methodology may have led them to overstate their case. The study, for example, assumes that companies such as Toshiba Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co. that make components for the iPhone wholly assembled them in their home countries. But many of Apple's suppliers have manufacturing facilities in China, so it's likely that some portion of the components they build for the iPhone are made in China as well.

The latest results are broadly similar to analyses made by the Personal Computing Industry Center at the University of California, Irvine, of the trade and manufacture of another Apple product, the iPod. That research also found that Chinese labor accounted for only a few dollars of the iPod's value, even though trade statistics credited China with producing its full value.

Read more:

p/s of course the other fascinating thing is how much an iPhone actually cost to produce, ... even if you lock in another $100 for advertising and marketing, Apple is enjoying incredible margins before appointing the "die hard telcos" wanting to work with Apple.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Great Fish Head Meehoon Soup

Some of you have commented that I only feature expensive eating places. Not really, if you scroll back, you will find Shin Kee beef noodle @ Petaling Street, Ah Sang bak kut teh @ Sungei Way, Hing Ket grill house @ Klang, etc.

This time, I am recommending this great place for premium Fish Head Meehoon soup. Its at Damansara Kim.

Location of GPS listed below.

The soup base is just right, the fish head is of a high quality hence the premium prices. Try their grilled salmon as well, its very juicy and delicious. Remember to order a plate of fried fish skin to put into the meehoon soup, its a must.

GPS Location:
N 03'08.089'
E 101'37.747'

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

What IMF and ECB Talk About In Private

IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn (left) talks to ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet during a euro zone finance ministers meeting in Brussels December 6, 2010.

IMF Khan: Its OK, them throwing stuff at you does not mean they don't like you.

ECB Trichet: I hate my job, I should have just retired and watch football, I don't need this crap. You told me this was a cushy job dude,... I hate you too.

IMF Khan: Look at it this way, don't you feel good to have people begging you to do stuff, pleading you to give them money ... at our age, its good to be needed.

ECB Trichet: Yeah, I guess so ... but there is so much work, one country after another... Greece was OK, cause nobody really cared about Greece, and I probably get to buy a holiday home at Mykanos much cheaper next year too ... but the Irish whinge and whinge .. I told them that their banks need their bondholders to agree to haircuts... and guess what, the French and Germans started shouting into my ears that if we do that, they would not approve any bailouts for Irish banks.

IMF Khan: You should know better, German and French banks hold a lot of bonds in Irish banks (and other smaller country European banks as well)... if you want them to have a haircut, that would wipe out their equity in those banks, of course they would not agree to that kind of bailout.

ECB Trichet: You can say that again ... that means the ECB will have to bailout any EU country now that needs money or else we would be deemed as unfair and biased.

IMF Khan: Shit man, that means you guys will have to be printing a whole load of money now and in the future ... I better sell off my properties in Basel and Zurich quick, and that South of France holiday home. The Euro is going to tank. You know Ireland and Greece are just small potatoes, the ECB is going to be in deep shit when Spain gives you a call!!!

ECB Trichet: I know, I know, and in my position I cannot short the Euro futures. Can you get me a chairmanship position in IMF Asia when I resign, and make sure that I get paid in renminbi... pleaaseee...

IMF Khan: I will see what I can do .... btw, why are we holding up the cupboard?

ECB Trichet: Its our ECB's gold vault, we need to make sure its tight and secure as we have very little gold left inside!!! .... Oh btw, did you manage to get me the Tongkat Ali I asked for?

Monday, December 06, 2010

Hajime, Still My Fav Japanese Restaurant In KL

Some may have thought it was going to be tough for an all Malaysian operated Japanese restaurant to survive for so long, and at premium prices to boot. Be prepared to spend RM180-250pp and you will have a triumphant dinner. I am there at least twice a month and my visit last Saturday was sublime.

This may look like a dirty/sexy picture to some, but actually is half the scallop as a sushi.

I initially though this was a waste of toro to be done in a soup, but this toro-leek broth presents a wonderful way to taste toro.

The very seasonal asago fish.

Extremely delicious snack, grilled stingray bones.

The shima aji was sooo sweet and fresh.

Possibly the best black sesame ice cream anywhere, with tons of freshly roasted black and white sesame seed, you can taste the essence of sesame through and through. Their pomelo sorbet is another you must have, its like the whole pomelo in one scoop and they even incorporated the sensual bitterness of pomelo skin into it as well.

Just look at the size of the scallops.
The hard to get hiramae. The hirame fin sushi, which is more crunchy.
The larger than normal sized prawns sashimi, before.
The after, break off the heads, pour some hot sake and suck/crunch the whole head - heavenly.
The huge Japanese oysters freshly shucked.

Taken from eatdrinkkl, I didn't have this recently, but did before and thought it should feature: the hedonistic salmon belly-foie gras with truffle oil.