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Showing posts from March, 2012

Texas Holdem (Ways To Lose Your Money Other Than Playing Stocks)

This is my favourite card game, and the only game I would play when I am at a casino, which meant that I do not frequent the casinos in Malaysia and Singapore. They do not have Texas Holdem for players only (the Carribean and other versions are stupid odds-favouring the casino bullshit games) because its a low yielding game. Money basically changes hands among the players themselves and the house just takes a cut after every hand. Too small for the casinos in Malaysia and Singapore apparently.

I don't undrestand that because the biggest gaming place is Macau and Texas Holdem is very big there as in everywhere else.Most people like poker, but nothing can compare to Texas Holdem because of the various possibilities. Many people who play like to think they are good players, me included (lol), just like many people who invest in stockmarkets like to think they are better than the average (again, wrong). To make money in stockmarkets you NOT only have to be better than 50% of the player…

Music Empowering Women

I still remembered the recent talk show section in BFM which focused on why women aren't climbing the corporate ladder more successfully. The world has never been treating women nowhere near fair since the beginning of time. Just pluck any cross section from historic times. We have made strides over the past 100 years or so but oh, we still are so far from being "fair".

In the corporate world, much has been said about women being represented in the board rooms and top management. The US being a much touted place for equality, and even Australia, are still poorly represented in those areas.

Do we dare to say women are not as capable? I don't think so. Look at the academic results for the past 20 years, given a fair go, women generally outperform men. Maybe success and a career in the corporate world requires more than just academic excellence, for sure actually. Leadership skills, charisma, interpersonal skills,  soft skills, high EQ, ambition, resilience of character, …

Chart Of The Year

I have always had the same chart, only instead of level of income, I had the level of development of each country. The less developed would see more corruption and so on. The chart below says the same thing but on matters that speaks clearer to us. You want to know how to get higher income per capital (i.e. the average annual income per person for that country)... yes, less corruption.
To be fair, there are a few discussion points to the above chart. Indonesia for example has an abnormally large number of islands and people living in secluded areas which may be difficult to reach or partake of the general business economic activity. They may be classified as self sustaining farmers at best, people really living off the land and sea. Hence when you average them out as well, Indonesia's real figure should be a lot higher. Same goes for China. 

To be fair, corruption exists in every country, its the level of pervasiveness and the relative amount of leakages. We know that Taiwan and Kor…

Global Capital Flows - Developing Markets

Excellent analysis piece from Bloomberg Markets, my fav biz mag, on global capital flows to developing and frontier markets. Some call it emerging markets, but we need to divide them to developing and frontier to be more precise. Following the sub prime crisis and the subsequent Euro-crisis, the trend towards more exposure for emerging markets should be increased. 

How investors allocate their funds is what we call capital flows. Owing to the size of the recipient countries, such flows can make a huge difference to these markets. As much as investors can plough into MSCI markets, they can also take out funds. Last year, the MSCI valuations dropped some 20% on the view that the Europe's debt crisis would curb global growth. In January 2012, the figure was 30% off its historical average. 

Realising a calmer settlement to the Greece-led debacle, it is fair to say that valuations and funds should start coming back to MSCI countries. However, not all will benefit in the same manner, fund…

CD Of The Year So Far

Winnie Ho has built up her repertoire well since winning the Astro singing competition many years back. Her resume include two quite brilliant albums under the guise of 2V1G, with master guitarist Roger Wang. I have been waiting for a long time for this to come out since Winnie did a few concerts dubbed as The Jazzy Sounds of Teresa Teng. Those who have been to those concerts know fully well what I am talking about. While Teresa Teng has a very special place in most Chinese music lovers, some of her tunes do sound dated, nothing much she can do about it really.

The simply ingenious music arrangement by Tay Cher Siang basically shone a warm brilliant light on Teresa's songs. Coupled with Winnie's resonating yet layered vocals, we have a wonderful album indeed. You will hear and appreciate Teresa all over again, you will fall in love with both Teresa and Winnie, all over again.

Its always dangerous to do full covers of just one artiste, and one such as Teresa's stature which i…

Smart Fund Raising Move By Khazanah

This is a smart fund raising by Khazanah, well advised by the investment bankers involved. This enabled Khazanah to lock in better than zero rates funding. It is also potentially giving up its stake (i.e. selling around current price) in Parkson Retail. Only when PR moves much higher will bond holders exchange into PR shares, technically at least 5%-7% upside from here before they consider switching. Its a good strategy if you think PR does not present much further upside (more than 20% over the next 2-3 years). Even so, locking in better than zero rates has to be worth something much more, Khazanah would be paying at least 2.5% I think, so thats a $7m savings a year at least.

The other consideration is the USD exposure. Make your own conclusions. Some listed Malaysian companies may want to consider such equity-exchangeable bonds as alternative fund raising - of course if its in the same listed vehicle, then its actually a convertible bond. Some companies hold lesser stakes in other li…

Who Is Yu Heng?

Well, for once my banner has eclipsed my "Malaysia Finance" tag line, and for good reason, the poster is for promoting a showcase concert for a true blue Malaysian singer songwriter, Yu Heng (pronounced as "Yue Herng"). If you have not heard of her, well, take it from me, you are looking at a future superstar. Earlier in her career, she was under a Taiwan label, but sadly was mis-managed and had to spend two years in Beijing doing nothing, but she confessed that she did write a lot of songs during her enforced period in Beijing.

Her songwriting ability is exceptional, in fact she has written hit songs for many, including Liang Jing Ru (Fish Leong). After the debacle with her previous label, she had to do it all again from afresh, starting her own production company, her own label. 

If you talk about Malaysian singers who have made it big in Taiwan, there is Kuan Liang, Ping Kuan, Fish Leong, Penny Tai... to name a few .. seriously, I think Yu Heng is more talented th…

Let's Move Our Country!!?? - Kiribati

Kiribati, possibly one of the loveliest place for scuba diving, is under serious threat. So much so, they may have to move the country!!!

Fears that climate change could wipe out the entire Pacific archipelago of Kiribati. Photo: AP Fearing climate change could wipe out their entire Pacific archipelago, the leaders of Kiribati are considering an unusual backup plan: moving the populace to Fiji. Kiribati President Anote Tong said yesterday that his Cabinet this week endorsed a plan to buy almost 3000 hectares on Fiji's main island, Viti Levu. He said the fertile land, being sold by a church group for about $9.6 million, could be insurance for Kiribati's entire population of 103,000, though he hopes it will never be necessary for everyone to leave. Advertisement: Story continues below Sea water washes across the foreshores of climate change threatened Kiribatui. "We would hope not to put everyone on one piece of land, but if it became absolutely necessary, yes, we could do it,&q…

Calvin & Hobbes On Some Companies

Some of you should have come across this cartoon before. It was originally meant for the US auto industry and its subsequent bailout. Heck, could this also portray MAS, AIG,  Indah Water, Konsortium Perkapalan, PSC, etc... (click on cartoon to enlarge)

RBS signs MOU with CIMB to sell part of Asia-Pacific business

CIMB continues to make the right moves to expand across the region. FINANCE ASIA: The potential sale will include the UK bank's cash equities, ECM, M&A and corporate finance divisions in Asia and Australia.

After six weeks of trying to find a buyer for parts of its Asia-Pacific business, Royal Bank of Scotland yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding with Malaysia’s CIMB Group. The aim is to finalise a sale and purchase agreement during the next few weeks that will cover the cash equities, equity capital markets, M&A and corporate finance divisions in Asia-Pacific, including Australia, a source said.

The MOU was confirmed by CIMB and RBS in separate statements, but neither party provided any further details. CIMB said the MOU will allow it to negotiate exclusively with RBS to finalise the scope and terms of a sale.
There has been no information about what price CIMB may be paying or what kind of arrangement it is prepared to offer for the existing employees in these busi…