Monday, August 27, 2018

Dangerous Liaisons With Alibaba and Tencent

Thanks to Alibaba and Tencent, the Chinese markets are headed for "something big". I cannot determine just what it will be but it will be big and probably disastrous. This all stem from the might and size of both companies. 

Just how powerful are they? They are like the genie who can determine who will get rich. Both companies have invested liberally and sporadically into almost everything internet in China.

Tencent is a bit faster in investing in viable startups, probably as an extension of monetising its 1 billion over WeChat users.

There are about 77 private Chinese internet companies valued at $1bn or more that are owned by Tencent and Alibaba. Together they have a cash hoard of over $60bn.

Here are just some of these billion dollar startups, which should be listing in the near future (within the next 2 years) that have been partially or substantially funded by the two giants:
China Literature $6.2bn (Tencent)
Didi $56bn (T & A) $9.5bn (Alibaba)
Meituan $30bn (T & A)
Meizu $4.8bn (Tencent)
VIPKid $3bn (Tencent)
Sense Time $4.5bn (Alibaba)
Pinduoduo $21bn (Tencent)
Guahao Tech/WeDoctor $6bn (Tencent)
Zhongan Insurance $6.5bn (Alibaba)

Its The Platform, Stupid

The root of the problem is the platforms that Alibaba and Tencent would afford to its investee companies. Almost immediately, the startups will get recognition, leverage, a more than critical mass market for their products, inter connected marketing push, etc.

Startups really have little choice but to take money from the two giants. The big guys' sales pitch is always (uttered or non-verbalised) that if they don't take their money, they are going to invest an even bigger amount in their competitor. What choice do they have but to say yes.

The U.S. Experience

The same could almost be said for Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Alphabet (Google Ventures). However, the US experience showed that most of them are more likely to buy them 100% outright and then assimilate them under one company.

It seems that Tencent and Alibaba are more interested to punt and play the finance/market game, whereby a listing can bring forth speculative riches to their coffers. To assimilate startups would be more difficult and work-ladened in that they will then have to work out the synergies and efficiencies.

To be fair, Alibaba is more inclined to assimilate some of the startups, but not Tencent. Their respective business models may explain that: one relies on monetising the 1 billion WeChat accounts while the other is a genuine internet commerce transactions business model.

A 20%-50% stake would allow them to exit gloriously but "business builders" they are not really in the true terms of the words.

Over Reliance

Already there have been 24 companies (over the last 2 years) which have indicated or flagged in their IPOs that Tencent or Alibaba are risk factors. Tencent or Alibaba could adversely affect the business of these 24 companies if there happens to be a fallout between the companies and the two giants (who are usually substantial shareholders as well).

To get a sense of how ridiculous the situation is. A startup will no longer say "we are going to list on Shanghai Exchange or Shenzhen Exchange"..., it would be closer to the truth if they said "we are going to be listed via Tencent/Alibaba".


Danger is the "interlocking relationships" which already give rise to collusions and manipulations. If you control enough listed companies, say 20 or 40, on one exchange, who is to say you do not "MANAGE" earnings between one or the other??!!

Another is that both Tencent and Alibaba can and will get so big with its array of 50-100 listed companies that they may end up controlling 20% of the total market capitalisation of an exchange. What if that figure goes to 30%? What if its 40%? Left unabated, its the recipe for the biggest bubble ever.


The US has a stronger regulatory regime. China needs a strong Anti-Monopolies unit to make specific recommendations. You may not be able to stop Alibaba or Tencent in investing in startups, but may could include rules that forces both of them to hold less than 5% upon listing.

That will make it more realistic for investors to view the company being listed. Or determine that if more than 50% of earnings were derived from ONE FACTOR or CLIENT, that these startups cannot get listed. 

If more than 50% of your earnings depended on being on Tencent's platform, there's really no reason for you to be listed because you cannot do without Tencent. Its more meaningful and fairer to absorb the whole unit under Tencent.

Beijing's Balance Beam

Beijing better start muscling in to regulate and govern the rise and rise of tech giants in China for its own sake. The flip side to the current trade wars is the inherently unfair practices by China over global patents and its royalties. To a large extent, that is to help Chinese tech firms grow without much baggage. The time has come to rebalance the two. Rein in your top few tech giants, and be more forthcoming and pliable with respect to global patents and royalty payments.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Story of Yanxi Palace vs Ruyi's Royal Love In The Palace

What is probably trending over half the globe. I think about 30%-40% of the world's population is currently totally enamored by two Chinese palace intrigue dramas as Ruyi's Royal Love In The Palace (airing on online platform Tencent Video) and The Story of Yanxi Palace (which has a cumulative 11.5 billion views since its release last month).  Not only in China were these megahits but across the overseas Chinese diaspora as well. Be it Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Australia, Canada, USA, etc... If you are not watching, ask yourself why. No right or wrong reasons here.
Ruyi boasts a star-studded cast including Zhou Xun, Wallace Huo and Joan Chen. It is based on a novel by Liu Lianzi and is a sequel to 2011's hit drama Empresses In The Palace, also based on the novel by Liu.
It has drawn all the attention, and surprisingly both are based on the era of Emperor Qianlong Wang during the Qing dynasty.
However, these are not pure historical pieces. The writers have taken a lot of liberty in the characters and plots. Wei Yingluo, the protagonist in Yanxi, who is also one of the main characters in Ruyi, but her name is changed to Wei Yanwan and she is a villain in Ruyi.
Comparisons between the two productions were unavoidable. So far, viewers have been saying that Ruyi lacked the aesthetics of Yanxi.
Politics Behind Period Dramas
Ruyi was shot in 2016 and was originally slated for a late 2017 release. With the Chinese government’s passing of the "limit historical drama order" in 2017, which places a strict quota on broadcasting historical period dramas on national television, the airing for Ruyi was put in limbo. 
According to the order, provincial satellite stations like Dragon Television and Jiangsu Television are only allowed to dedicate 15 percent of its airtime to historical period dramas—in other words, satellite stations could not air more than 110 episodes of historical period dramas per year.
With the restart of a new cycle, Dragon TV and Jiangsu TV finally have room to air Ruyi on their stations.
Why is Beijing so careful with period dramas? I guess they do not want the era of dynasties to be painted too romantically. Are they fearful that the public would then ask for a return to monarchies? So silly.
The fact that most period pieces take huge liberties with real events will make it very difficult for current and future generations of Chinese to separate truth from fiction anyway.
Which Is Better
During its first week of release on online video platform iQiyi, “Story of Yanxi Palace” received over 500 million hits at home and abroad. The new drama also smashed the record of iQiyi’s Taiwanese site by gaining over 1 million hits within a week.
The big success of “Story of Yanxi Palace” is partially attributable to the delay of the highly-anticipated costume dramas “Ruyi’s Royal Love in the Palace” and “Legend of Ba Qing,” which have repeatedly failed to pass Chinese official censorship.
Without divulging plots and the intricacies... I have to vote for Story of Yanxi. Thanks largely to the superb acting by the top 5 ladies. Wu Jinyan, in particular, carried the series with aplomb. You gravitate towards her. Wu Jinyan has the acting chops similar to, in my view, the current best Chinese actress Zhou Dongyu.

Both are highly watchable, esp Story of Yanxi. You will learn a lot about sabotage, mercy, resourcefulness, evils that can prevail from a person, pragmatism, deceit, alliances that matter, etc... much like your real working life. Love was never a strong endgame or consideration - strategic positioning for power and influence were.

The key attractions for most viewers, I think, are: people who are somehow fated to be in a certain environment will fight against fate, and the varying levels of hate and evil colored by shades of grey as nothing is ever black or white.
Both are rightfully splendid productions about strong women. Emperor and eunuchs are merely pawns to be maneuvered. In an era (much like now even) where men reign supreme and womenfolk were of much lower status, it is gratifying to see them empowering themselves somewhat. Never underestimate what a woman can do.

I guess that is why the creator of chess game only allowed the King to move one space while the Queen is the most powerful piece.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Funniest Visual Depiction Ever

Believe it or not, this visual was probably shared in a church setting as a learning tool for preachers and motivated church seniors. How their jobs intersect were both inspired and insidious. But it also revealing in that it forces all of us to question the underlying motives and relevance of our "jobs/mission". 

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Without Water, You Can't Cook Shit

Yes, its that time of the year again where we learn more about our history. Hari Ini Dalam Sejarah ... Many Malaysians have been misinformed and had the wrong perception that hawker food originated from the Peninsula and East Malaysia. 

SINGAPORE: Hawker culture will be nominated by Singapore for a possible listing on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced on Sunday (Aug 19) in his National Day Rally speech. 
The list, which was developed in 2008, is made up of intangible cultural heritage elements from different countries that showcase the diversity of such things from around the world. This is with the aim of increasing their visibility and raising awareness about their importance so they can be safeguarded. 


The truth is, according to a Singapore investigative TV program 58 Minutes (not 60 cause they are so bloody efficient and 8 is lucky), ... prior to Merdeka (which also meant prior to Singapore being separated from Malaya), hawker food of any kind ONLY existed in the small island of Singapore. This was because nobody can cook well in Malaya except in that small island. Every single dish that we enjoy now emanated from Singapore. Stop arguing already. We Malaysians were merely copying them from the start. Let's admit that and move on. Thank you Singapore.

Seriously, CBMFs ... without the water from our side, you can't even cook SHIT!!!

Monday, August 20, 2018

The Future For Equity Funds

No Annual Fee Fund By Fidelity

The biggest news to come out for a long time for equity funds has to be the announcement By Fidelity Investments that they were introducing two index funds without annual expense charges on August 1st. The ramifications were quite apparent as stock prices for Franklin Resources and Legg Mason eased significantly.

The last 15 years have seen the rise and rise of indexed funds, pioneered by Bogle's Vanguard. The future for active fund management seems to be reminiscent of Jebediah and his horseshoes cobbling business.

The no annual fee index fund by Fidelity reeks of someone scheming to pull them all in and upselling other products to them. The premise was further justified by its policy to only offer the no-fee fund to retail investors and not funds or institutions.

The trend of indexing does not look to be stopping anytime soon. In 2010, Vanguard surpassed Fidelity as the largest manager of mutual fund assets. It had in 2010 $5 trillion compared to Fidelity's $2.5 trillion. The rise of indexing was not only growing, the net effect of investors pulling out of actively managed funds compounded the effect. In 2017 alone, investors pulled $55b from Fidelity's actively managed funds.

The Indexing Trend

The trend of opting out of actively managed funds is worth examining. It is not based on the performance of the fund alone, surprisingly. Danoff, who took over Fidelity's $131b Contrafund in 1990, has seen steady redemptions by investors over the past few years despite his record of BEATING the S&P by an average of 3 percentage points A YEAR.

How is indexing affecting the rest of the fund management market? Well, hedge funds are finding it near impossible to raise funds unless they are proven and has the consistency of returns above 15% a year for at least 3-5 years. Even the 2-20 rule is almost obsolete: 2% annual management fees and 20% shares of profits.

The Lure Of Risk Aversion

Are market forces mushrooming to divert most of investing funds into indexing? Isn't that a bit average? Or is it that the risks of poor performance by pension funds outweighing the benefits of outperformance - is that driven by miss the targets, you are fired mentality... doesn't that reward mediocrity? 

The Depletion Of Alpha Returns

Or has retail investor given up on chasing the alpha returns? Or the era of personality-driven investing over???... thanks to the glut of quant trading which theoretically captures the alpha much faster. There is only so much alpha returns in the marketplace. The rise of quant trading has to deplete the alpha returns for active funds.

Studies since the late 80s and 90s have always confirmed that 80%-85% of active funds generally underperform their benchmarks. Maybe that truth has finally taken hold. It does take time for people to react to verifiable truths. I mean the banks and fund also have a lot of marketing dollars to keep the facade on that active fund management is still viable. Well, 20 extra years is long enough before investors say "hey, you're fucking us up royally".

What is the benchmark now? Vanguard should be the golden mean that everything else gravitates to. Investors in Vanguard funds pay only 0.11%-0.14% a year and they get the best of indexed returns without any stress. The rest of the industry (active and indexed) has an average annual fee of 0.62%. You can easily surmise that the 0.62% has the other indexed funds around 0.2% and the other actively managed funds at around 1%. You can almost picture the next few years how this scenario will play out, with Vanguard winning of course. (Blackrock did come out with the lowest fee of just 0.03% for an equity ETF in 2015 but that was an outlier).

Dangers of Indexing

Index funds on its own are fine. The trouble is that plenty of indexed funds are available via ETFs. If every investor in indexed funds stays invested day in day out, there will be no issue. The reality is that while many are ok with indexed investing, they also practice timing the market for indexed funds.. i.e. pull out funds from ETFs when there is calamity in the markets. When they do that in substantial amounts, this will exacerbate any market weakness as the funds will be forced to continue to dump indexed stocks in the respective ETFs.

The sad thing is that it could result in a vicious cycle which could trigger panic selling over days.

The Age Of Normalised Returns

The world will have to be content and contend with very average returns. We are talking of 3%-6% a year over the longest time. This scenario will be further emphasized the larger the pool of funds that are in indexed funds. Presently some 45% of US equity funds are passively managed and should surpass the 50% mark within two to three years. Imagine the figure at 60% eventually... whats the point of having CNBC, whats the point of reading FT or WSJ, whats the point of listening to quarterly results briefing, whats the point of equity research ...

The Last Bastion ...

That is why I keep telling people who want to invest on their own, that the only justification is to directly invest in SMALL CAPS only. Indexing will take care of the mid to large caps. 99.99% of indexed ETFs cannot touch small caps due to lack of liquidity. Only in small caps can alpha be discovered, its the last untouched bastion.

You can also surmise that the only actively managed funds that will succeed are those small caps funds (only thing now is to drop the bloody annual fees from 1.5% to 0.5%).

Saturday, August 18, 2018

R.I.P. Aretha ..

Aretha Franklin, what a singer, what a live performer, what a trail blazer ... just to mention songs such as Respect, Natural Woman, Think ... these were great songs that empowers. Instead of listening to her hits, I think listening to Rumer's fantastic tribute to her would be better.

I got Aretha in the morning
High on my headphones and walking to school
I got the blues in springtime 'cause I know that I'll never have the right shoes
Momma she'd notice but she's always crying
I got no one to confide in, Aretha nobody but you
Momma she'd notice but she's always fighting
Something in her mind and it sounds like breaking glass
I tell Aretha in the morning
High on my headphones and walking to school
I got the blues in springtime 'causee I know that I'll never have the right shoes
You got the words, baby you got the words 
You got the words, baby you got the words 
Aretha, I don't want to go to school
'Cause they just don't understand me and I think the place is cruel
Child singer, raise your voice
Stand up on your own, go out there and strike out
I tell Aretha in the morning
High on my headphones and walking to school
I got the blues in springtime 'cause I know that I'll never have the right shoes
But I got the words

Songwriters: Sarah Joyce / Steve Brown

Friday, August 17, 2018

Watch Big Brother

This was a Donnie Yen movie, produced by him and apparently a labor of love. He wanted to do this movie for the longest time. Much in the line of Little Big Master (Miriam Yeung), a movie dealing with the shortcomings of education.

This kind of premise can easily dissolve into cliched plots and easy solutions. However, the movie did manage to rise above that a little. Besides the tackling of real issues, Donnie did not disappoint his fight fans. There were some remarkable fight scenes, in particular, the one where he took on some MMA guys. It was ballistic and balletic at the same time.

Good movie. Go watch.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Malaysia's Gastronomy

OK, curry laksa made the #2 spot. While all Malaysians are happy to get the silver medal out of all the food experiences in the world... sort of like the Olympics of gastronomy, I think I can speak for everyone that "hey, there are other dishes from Malaysia that would have beaten the shit out of curry laksa".

The book is bound to be a bestseller with a number of notable and well-traveled chefs coupled with votes by the many Lonely Planet staffers around the globe, thus lending more credence to the compilation.

You cannot do such a compilation without it being argued and debated vigorously. Taste is so subjective but I do believe there is a distinctive tastiness curve globally. As more and more people travel, the world gets a lot smaller, in a good way.

I have often shied away from proclaiming Malaysian food is de best when I young. However the more I travel, the more I find that many local dishes are pretty excellent. Maybe its the amalgamation of a few distinctive, yet meshable cultures, a fusion pot that does not bring fusion to be a bad or distilled word that we associate with most of the time. 

In the book of 500... Malaysia had 11 entries. That's slightly more than 2%. There are 195 countries in the world. By right each country should only have 2.56 of entries in the book. Even if we whittle the number of comparative countries to 100, it should be just 5 entries per country. So we are punching way above our weight (pardon the pun).

Have a look at the other local entries. Again, all Malaysians would have a gala time debating the correct order. What was even more alarming to us was the OMMISSIONS from list. One thing for sure, the Singaporeans will be claiming that half the dishes belong to them, go fly wau la.

1. Ikan bakar (No. 60)
2. Assam laksa (No. 123)
3. Beef rendang (No. 268)
4. Wantan mee (No. 299)
5. Kaya toast (No. 352)
6. Roti canai (No. 404)
7. Char kway teow (No. 432)
8. Durian (No. 445)

9. Hokkien mee (No. 464)
10. Bak kut teh (No. 468)

Looking at the top 20 list, it was obvious that Lonely Planet wanted to be inclusive so as to offend fewer people and sell more books. Each of the 20 entries was from a different country.

Its close to an abomination that the following dishes did not make the list:
nasi lemak
apom balik
sarawak laksa
prawn mee

All said, we can tell tourists that if you came for the 11 dishes, we have probably another 11 (and more) which are even better.


1 Pintxos in San Sebastián
2 Curry laksa in Kuala Lumpur
3 Sushi in Tokyo
4 Beef brisket in Texas
5 Som tum in Bangkok
6 Smørrebrød in Copenhagen
7 Crayfish in Kaikoura
8 Bibimbap in Seoul
9 Pizza margherita in Naples
10 Dim sum in Hong Kong 
11 Ceviche in Lima
12 Pastéis de nata in Lisbon
13 Oysters in Tasmania
14 Cheese in France
15 Jerk chicken in Jamaica
16 Lamb tagine in Marrakech
17 Chilli crab in Singapore
18 Moules frites in Brussels
19 Peking duck in Beijing
20 Pho along the Hau River in Vietnam 

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

The Ultimate Guide To Ipoh Ngah Choi Kai

I cringe every time someone said that they had the best ngah choi kai in Ipoh at Lou Wong. Ask anyone from Ipoh and nine out of ten would never eat at Lou Wong. I guess if you are out station folks, you may need more guidance in locating the real deal.

We Ipoh folks take the dish seriously. After all, you buy any tofu or bean sprouts from Ipoh markets, they are already very good. How not to have good hor fun when you live in Ipoh?

Oh, please do not ever, ever mistake kaiseehorfun with ngachoykai. The former is made with prawn head stock, has chicken slices and gauchoy. 

The Best Of The Lot ....
So, what makes the dish stand out from being average to being brilliant. Well, at least they must have the best hor fun and bean sprouts to start with, not difficult. Then its the soup base, here is where quality comes in, how much "stuff you put in and how long you boil it for". We always can taste some "MSG" at Lou Wong although they will always deny it.

Then its the chicken, it is not whether they look golden yellow (that is a cheap trick of bringing out a nice colour). The test is how smooth and easy they detach from the bone. Test: can you pop a chicken wing into your mouth and easily spit out the entire bone, seriously.

The final test is the soy sauce/cooked oil mixture, it has to be just right, not too salty and has that special something (which I think is fried chicken fat).

The locations of the 5 outlets are on the linked map, thanks to a reader:

There are 5 places you would know (or should know):

Soup base: 7/10
Chicken: 8/10
Soya/oil Mix: 7/10

Soup base: 7/10
Chicken: 7/10
Soya/oil Mix: 7/10

Soup base: 8/10
Chicken: 9/10
Soya/oil Mix: 7/10
+ a tip here, they also serve probably the best stewed chicken feet, even better than Cowan Street outlet

KAM HOR (Ipoh Garden)
Soup base: 8/10
Chicken: 8/10
Soya/oil Mix: 8/10

COWAN STREET (#44 Cowan Street, random opening hours, priciest)
Soup base: 9/10
Chicken: 10/10
Soya/oil Mix: 10/10

There you have it, the ultimate guide. If you look at the scoring, you would know why we cringe when you say Lou Wong is sooo good.

Restaurant <span class=

p/s: photos stolen from various food bloggers, who always want to lynch me ...

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Can We Have Updates On Turkish Investments Please

Turkey is resembling Thailand back in 1998, only much worse. Have a look at the Turkey lira against USD. I took a 5-year chart because Malaysia has invested in a few big assets there.

 Khazanah has some exposure there, and wanted to sell their holdings back in February 2018. What's the update? Did Khazanah hedge their investments? How did the demise of the Turkish lira affect the investments over the past 5 years?

Avicennia, the insurance holding unit of Kuala Lumpur-based Khazanah, bought 90 percent of Acibadem Sigorta for $252 million in 2013 from founder Mehmet Ali Aydinlar and Abraaj Capital Ltd. It bought the remainder after the company stopped trading its shares on Borsa Istanbul.
In 2012, the sovereign wealth fund’s IHH Healthcare Bhd. arm bought 75 percent of Acibadem Saglik Yatirimlari Holding AS, which was also founded by Aydinlar. The deal for Acibadem Saglik, then Turkey’s largest hospital chain, valued the business at $1.68 billion.
Next, MAHB:

Bloomberg  on Friday reported that Turkish Airlines was bidding to buy an 80% stake in Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (ISGA) in Turkey, which is wholly-owned by MAHB. The report, citing people with knowledge of the matter, said Turkish Airlines offered 750 million euros for the stake.
Malaysia Airports was part of a consortium that won a 1.9 billion euro contract to operate the airport in 2007. In 2013, it agreed to raise its holding in ISG to 60% by acquiring a 40% stake held by Indian partner GMR Infrastructure Ltd for 225 million euros.It bought the remaining 40% from Turkey’s Limak Holding in 2014 for 285 million euros.

What was the holding cost? What were the losses or profits suffered thus far? Were there any efforts to hedge the position over the past 5 years? How did the demise of the Turkish lira affect the investments over the past 5 years?

Friday, August 10, 2018

Best Cheesecake Ever - Jaslyn Cakes

Not a sweets person really but I think I just tasted (or devoured more like it) the best cheesecake ever in my life... baked or otherwise ... ever!

You know how something is so good that you had to share it to everybody you know immediately. This is it. 

Plus I have had lots of cheesecakes... very good ones in Sydney, Melbourne, NYC, HK ... 

After posting it on FB, friends commented about other stuff that Jaslyn has that are to die for:

Butter cake

The funny thing is I have yet to visit the shop even though its in Telawi. Friends tell me it has opened for over 4 years now, ... I told you I am not a sweets person! Lol.

7A, Jalan Telawi 2,
Bangsar Baru,
59100 Kuala Lumpur
03-2202 2868
Jaslyn Cakes
Opening hours:
Monday: Closed
Tuesday - Friday: 1100 - 1900
Saturday -Sunday: 1100 - 2000

Thursday, August 09, 2018

EPF - Stay The Course

Do not break the mould or change the wheel if it is not broken. EPF must stay the course and not try to fix what is not broken.

As expected but pleasant news nonetheless, was EPF's 6.9% declared dividend for 2016. All the more so in the present correction phase for global equities. 

The Comparison With UK & European Pension Funds

In the UK, the average fund ended 2016 up 15.7 per cent. The last time pension funds returned more than 15 per cent was in 2009, when recovery from the 2008 crash saw average growth of 22 per cent.  It represented a 13 percentage point increase on pension fund returns of 2.6 per cent in 2015 and the fifth consecutive year of pension growth, after the 4.6 per cent loss in 2011.

Comparison with UK pension funds is not really fair or comparable as their fund allocation usually are more aggressive, and they may also lack access to local government bonds inherent "structure and returns, and maybe safety". But I brought this up to show how volatile the returns can be, in the case for UK pension funds. 

The same can be said for the European pension funds. I'd rather see my country's pension fund making around 5% a year, year in year out, than to see volatility. We need our pension funds to be dependable, not flamboyant.

Look at the returns for EPF below, in particular for 2008/2009 or even 1998/1999. During the former period, we had the subprime financial meltdown. In the latter period, a more relevant Asian financial crisis prevailed, but EPF maintained decent dividends. EPF deserved a lot more credit than what they get from Malaysians in general. It is so difficult to maintain a return of around 5% a year for over 20 years. A lot of it has to do with their objectives, and the structure that they have laid out and the way they executed decisions. Their independence MUST and SHOULD never be compromised (read between the lines). 

As the size of fund grows, over the last 3 years in particular and onwards - it has gotten more difficult to maintain similar dividends as basically, you are running out of ringgit assets to invests in. Hence their decisions to invest more overseas and even in regional/global private equity are necessary. 

On that note, it is imperative that "sustainable, proven, stable, sizable" assets such as PLUS should never leave the stable of EPF. Even if the price offered is tremendously attractive, say at a forward PER of 40x, because such a high price will and can only come back to haunt us via higher toll rates.

Kadar Dividen
          Peratus             (Simpanan Shariah)
        Peratus            (Simpanan Konvensional)
1997 - 1998
1988 - 1994
1983 - 1987
1980 - 1982
1976 - 1978
1974 - 1975
1972 - 1973
1968 - 1970
1965 - 1967
1960 - 1962
1952 - 1959

For a better case study, just go and research and compare the similar HK Fund or the much maligned but steady CPF. Below is the volatile HKMPF returns. We don't such volatility for a pension fund.

Countries Stock market's Capitalisation As A % Of GDP

 Why is the figure important ... if you can strip out foreign listings and non related listings (inclusive of SPACs) and maybe some REITs th...