Skip to main content


Showing posts from April, 2014

Japan's Deep Seated Problems Are Finally Surfacing

Great write up from Maudlin's site:

In case you are not familiar with the GPIF in Japan, it is the largest pool of government-controlled investment capital on the planet — outstripping even the infamous Arab sovereign wealth funds. The GPIF controls ¥128.6 trillion, or $1.25 trillion.

The GPIF holds almost 70% of its assets in bonds — and the vast majority of them are of the local variety. The reason for this is because the GPIF is (and has always been) run by bureaucrats from the Ministry of Health, Labour & Welfare, as opposed to, say, investment professionals.

Source: GPIF

How did that allocation to domestic bonds do last year? Well, as it turns out, not so great:
Q1 2013 Q2 2013 Q3 2013 Q4 2013 Total 2013 Domestic Bonds -1.48 1.18 0.18 - -0.14 Domestic Stocks 9.70 6.07 9.19 - 27.05 Int’l Bonds 4.01 1.64 8.16 - 14.34 Int’l Stocks 6.14 7.13 16.23 - 32.17 Source: GPIF
Fortunately, over the last twelve years the GPIF has managed to meet its targets — by growing at an annualized rate of 1.54%. In any ot…

You Raise 'Em, We Milk 'Em

Singapore's success story, professionalism and other economic positives ... owe a substantial debt to Malaysia, or rather Malaysians who have chosen to study and/or work there. Even I was there for 3 years. I am only guessing but I think maybe one third of the upper management of the whole of Singapore are Malaysians (or ex-Malaysians). That is the big reason why, Malaysians cannot take out their CPF when they decide to move back to Malaysia to work (before retirement), they will make it as "unenticing" as possible for Malaysians to move back. Many would want to in particular if their flat is already worth S$700,000 and their CPF balance is over S$300,000. You are talking close to RM2.5m for mid level exec to move back to Malaysia. But I digress.

Singapore is laughing secretly and keeping hush ... they do not bear any cost of bringing up the kids, but at their ripest, they get to cherry pick the top 5% of the crop - where got such good deals????

You may have your reasons t…

Tribute Concert To Alan Tam

Tickets going fast. Shows on 7th and 8th May (Wednesday & Thursday) @ 9.30pm. Have dinner somewhere, miss the jam and go relax on a weeknight. Location: NO BLACK TIE, 17 Jalan Mesui, KL. Organised by poppopmusic. Cover: RM60pp. Reservations absolutely necessary, call Kylie 016-2877538.

Apple Needs New Hits

Even as the most attractive company for the past 10 years, investors will only look at growth potential. The chart shows the quarter's year-on-year growth for Apple's top products. As you can see, iPod has been on a downtrend for sometime already. So what are the runners and gym junkies using to listen to music while they work out? Or has the number of people exercising started to deplete? 

The ever popular Mac is a solid performer over a much longer period. Looking forward to the next Mac, always a design wunderbar. What is worrying is the declining, almost flat growth year on year for IPhone. The trend is worrying as the longer it stays that way, it will allow others to eat into their market share. They had better come out with a new Ipohone within the next 3-6 months, and not just cosmetic changes.

The IPad saw great acceptance two years back but is seeing a similar fate as IPhone. If Apple fails to be innovative as they were under Jobs, then they will turn into another Micro…

House of Cards, Its All Kevin Spacey

Following Breaking Bad, it was hard to try to watch anything that would generate the same amount of satisfaction. I tried Mad Men but it was a bit slow, and I always thought creative types at advertising were over-hyped anyway. But I found something almost as good, well nothing can be as good as Breaking Bad, but this one has guile. Its House of Cards (based loosely on the British series back in the 90s and on a memoir by Margaret Thatcher's right hand man) and Kevin Spacey's turn was riveting as he was as Kayser Soza in the mind blowing The Usual Suspects. We can get up to Season 2 and cannot wait till Season 3. Why is it so good ... Frank Underwood the character is so conniving, corrosive, the devil probably has to applaud. The relationship F.U. (pun intended) has with his wife (played brilliantly by Robin Wright) needs redefining, ... its pragmatic, symbiotic, evil and romantic.

While on Kevin Spacey, not many realise just how multi talented he is. Besides being a great acto…

Amazing Pencil Art By A 16 Year Old

Shania McDonagh, (16), has become an overnight sensation in Ireland, where her pencil drawing of an old man has won the Texaco Children’s Art Competition. She is a schoolgirl in Claremorris, County Mayo.
She has won first prize in her age group for many years, but her portrait of “Coleman” has the critics raving. It is almost impossible to distinguish the drawing from a photograph, so finely is it created, and she appears to have a huge career ahead as a portrait artist. She drew it from a photograph in a book called “Vanishing Ireland.” Judging panel chairman Prof Declan McGonagle, director of the National College of Art & Design, told the Irish Times her work has established her “as one of the most talented artists of her generation, and one whose skill could see her become one of Ireland’s foremost portrait artists of the future.” A major international career is being predicted for the young girl. She said it took her only a month to draw it and she will be presented with her $2,000…

Most Crime Ridden Cities In The World

Yes, we made the list again ..... (from

Tracking Murasaki

Updated recent highlighted stocks

Stock CodeStock NameHighlight Price(RM)Highlight DateLiked0151KGB 0.610 18/04/2014 09:05:24 AM 0 7212DESTINI 0.625 18/04/2014 09:04:10 AM 0 0059MMODE 0.565 17/04/2014 03:35:51 PM 0 7073SEACERA 1.050 17/04/2014 03:33:18 PM 0 9083JETSON 0.680 17/04/2014 03:31:54 PM 0 1538SYMLIFE 1.090 17/04/2014 09:04:40 AM 0 2208

Gaming Global Trends

A very interesting article from Seeking Alpha:

 Gambling Revenues (GGYs) for Selected Countries and Macau, 2013 Source: GBGC and Morss Analysis US gambling revenues are twice as large as any other country, while its per capita level is about average. Macau is a gambling "destination" site for many Asians, as is the west coast of Australia. Per capital gambling revenues in Sweden and particularly France are low. The preferred gambling activity differs significantly among our countries/region (Table 2). In Macau, most of the gambling is done in casinos, while in France and Sweden, the lotteries dominate. In Australia and the US, slots/machines outside of casinos are very important. In casinos, there is a striking difference: in the US, slots dominate with revenues almost 3 times greater than card games. In Macao, Macau, card games, especially Baccarat, are the primary gambling activities. Table 2. - Gambling Shares by Vehicle, 2013 (click to enlarge) Source: GB…