Friday, December 31, 2010
MRCB said that after a series of discussions, MRCB and IJM Land have not been able to reach an agreement on the definitive terms and conditions of the proposed merger.
The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) is a common shareholder in all the companies involved in the merger. The EPF owns a 19.4% equity stake in IJM Corp, while it is the single largest shareholder of MRCB with a 41.63% stake. IJM Land is in turn a 62.48%-owned unit of IJM Corp Bhd.
Monday, December 27, 2010
Recently, as I was finishing my dinner at a local Italian restaurant, my waiter asked me, “May I talk to you about my mortgage?”
“Sure,” I replied.
“I haven’t paid my mortgage in over 18 months,” he said. “What do you think I should do?”
“Has the bank been calling you?” I asked.
“At first, but lately I’ve heard nothing,” he said hesitantly. “And I’m not the only one. Three of the cooks in the kitchen have also stopped paying their mortgage.”
“And what are you doing with the money?”
“We’re saving it.”
“And what do you plan on doing?” I asked.
“Wait till they take our houses,” he said. “Do you think this is a good idea?”
“I wouldn’t do it,” I said with a smile. “Why are you doing it?”
“Because the mortgage is more than the value of the house. We’re better off not paying the mortgage and saving the money. Let them take our houses.”
I didn’t agree or disagree with this man…yet, silently, I couldn’t fault his logic. Since he was 18 months behind on his mortgage, he was so far behind that he was actually ahead.
As you probably know, the mortgage mess is only getting worse, not better. Many people aren’t paying their mortgages because they don’t have a job. Yet there are a growing number of people who have jobs but who are also refusing to pay their mortgage.
A medical doctor friend of mine confirmed this growing trend. He said the doctors he works with, doctors who make a lot of money, are buying a lower-priced second home and then defaulting on their primary residence.
If this trend turns into an avalanche, the real estate market will crash again. The only people holding onto their homes are people like me, people who purchased before the bubble and don’t owe much, if anything, on their homes.
If there is another real estate crash, it’s people like me -- people who pay their mortgages -- who might be the biggest losers.
Looking at the chart, it’s easy to see the eye of the storm. The second half of the storm is about to hit.
The leading edge of the storm was the subprime mortgage defaults, the storm that hit in 2007. The trailing edge of the storm will be the defaults of people who are solid citizens, people who have good jobs and good credit.
How severe the second front of the storm will be is yet to be seen. If there are more people like the waiter and cooks in the Italian restaurant and the highly paid doctors who don’t want to pay for a house that is going down in value, the second half of the storm will be very severe.
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Dec. 26 -- China raised interest rates for the second time since mid-October to counter the fastest inflation in more than two years and more moves may follow.
The benchmark one-year lending rate will rise by 25 basis points to 5.81 percent and the one-year deposit rate will climb by the same amount to 2.75 percent, effective today, the People’s Bank of China said in a one-sentence statement on its website late yesterday.
Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News earlier this month forecast one percentage point of increases by the end of 2011. Premier Wen Jiabao is seeking to slow gains in property values and consumer prices that are making it harder for families to buy homes and pay for food. Bank lending and a wider-than- forecast November trade surplus have pumped more cash into an economy already awash with money.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Washington - Economic growth was a touch higher than previously estimated in the third quarter, but below expectations as a rise in the pace of inventory accumulation was offset by downward revisions to consumer spending, a government report showed on Wednesday.
Gross domestic product growth was revised up to an annualized rate of 2.6 percent from 2.5 percent, the Commerce Department said.
Economists had expected GDP growth, which measures total goods and services output within U.S. borders, to be revised up to a 2.8 percent pace. The economy expanded at a 1.7 percent rate in the second quarter.
But data so far suggests growth accelerated in the fourth quarter and will remain supported in 2011 by an $858 billion tax deal, which will help plug the gap from the fading boost from the rebuilding of inventories by businesses and winding down of the government's $814 billion stimulus package.
Violence has been escalating along the Gaza border in recent weeks, and Israel's military chief disclosed on Tuesday that militants from the Palestinian coastal strip had for the first time fired a Cornet missile earlier this month and that it penetrated an Israeli tank.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
(Reuters) - Ratings agency Moody's said on Wednesday it had put Spain on review for a possible downgrade because of its high funding needs and doubts about its banking sector and regional finances, prompting the euro to slide.
However, the agency said it did not expect Madrid to have to resort to an EU bailout as Greece and Ireland have.
"Moody's does not believe that Spain's solvency is under threat and in its base case assumptions does not expect the Spanish government to have to ask for EFSF liquidity support," Moody's lead analyst on Spain Kathrin Muehlbronner said in a statement.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Genting Singapore (G13.SG) could be considering paying dividends as it is refinancing its $4.19 billion debt, says Citigroup, which has a Buy call with a $2.75 target.
According to Genting, the 7-year syndicated loan from 5 banks will give it more flexibility in using the funds.
Notes Genting currently pays SGD swap offer rate plus 1.75%, but will pay 1.6% for the first 3 months and swap offer rate plus 1.2%-1.6% under the new facility.
The existing loan was taken in 2008 to build Resorts World Sentosa.
While the refinancing is positive, investors are hardly swayed, with shares down 1.8% at $2.16 after a sustained rise over the past 7 sessions. Support is tipped at the 10-day moving average, last at $2.10.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
TA Enterprise Berhad is an investment holding public limited company incorporated in Malaysia on 13 March 1990 and has an issued and paid-up share capital of RM1,711,909,630.00. TA Enterprise Berhad is the ultimate holding company of the entire TA Group, with its shares listed on the Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad since 23 November 1990. TA Enterprise Berhad's scope of business interests include stockbroking; share financing; ESOS financing; fund management; derivatives trading and unit trust fund management.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Genting Singapore posted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of $347.6 million in the third quarter, down from $503.5 million in the three months ended June.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Insas Berhad is the investment holding and management company for the Insas Group.
The company was incorporated in the Federation of Malaya under the Companies Ordinance 1940-1946 as a private limited company under the original name of Paper Products (Malaya) Ltd on 27 January 1961. The Company was converted into a public company on 24 June 1968 and assumed the name of Paper Products (Malaya) Berhad. On 22 October 1987, the Company assumed its present name, Insas Berhad. The shares of the company was listed on the Main Board of the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange (now known as Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad) on 23 June 1969.
The group's principal businesses consist of stock broking, investment holding and trading, project and credit financing, property investment and development, IT consultancy, manufacturing and trading, car rental, wine merchant, retailer of high fashion products and operators of F&B outlets.
The authorized share capital of Insas Berhad is RM1,500 million of RM1.00 each and the issued and paid-up share capital is RM693 million. The shareholders' funds of the Group as at 30 June 2009 is RM778 million.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
LARGE CAPS. Positive. Yes, the new Congress may be pro-business. But that should favor those who can pay to play. That means big companies with cash, clout and contacts. Think: Big oil, pharma, and the Wall Street banks. Large companies boomed following the "Republican Revolution" of 1994. Large companies also have other advantages for investors today. After years of underperforming small caps, many of them look reasonably priced. Those with big dividend yields should benefit from extensions of the Bush tax cuts, which favor dividend income. And large companies are most able to benefit from overseas growth and a weaker dollar.
SMALL CAPS. Unclear. They should benefit if the Republicans follow through on plans for lighter regulations and a small business tax cut. But the biggest issue for them remains the domestic economy, still burdened by high unemployment and heavy debts. According to the Pledge, the new Congress plans to axe any remaining stimulus and cut back on discretionary spending. Will this austerity help the domestic economy in the short-term? Hardly. Look at Ireland, where the economy is in freefall. A further headwind for small cap investors: The stocks have already outperformed for a decade. The cycle may be due to turn.
DOLLAR. Negative. That, at least, is the take if the Republicans follow through on the budget ideas in the Pledge to America. If so, we can probably expect skyrocketing federal deficits and maybe even a dollar crisis. The Pledge calls for trillions of dollars in tax cuts, yet offers few major plans for savings. As the free-market Cato Institute dryly noted, the 48-page document "contains more pictures of Republican members of Congress than it does evidence that the GOP is seriously prepared to cut spending." It even balked at abolishing the federal "wild horse and burro program," the Institute added. No wonder the dollar has already come down a long way in recent months, in anticipation of this and Ben Bernanke's next wave of money printing.
BONDS. Negative. The new political climate hardly looks helpful for bond investors. If taxes are cut and deficits soar, the federal government will have to issue many more bonds. That alone should depress prices. At some point it may start to undermine confidence in federal finances. And then there's the risk that political gridlock may degenerate into something worse -- political paralysis. That would hardly help confidence either. The outlook might be OK if bonds were already cheap. Instead they're expensive.
Today Uncle Sam can borrow for 30 years at less than 4% -- very cheap rates by historic standards. Lenders are taking a big gamble that inflation will stay low, and our public finances will remain strong.
GOLD. Positive. Eric Singer, manager of the tiny, offbeat Congressional Effect mutual fund, has followed the gold price since it first floated freely nearly 40 years ago. His findings: Over that time, gold typically beat stocks by a wide margin during periods of one-party rule, while stocks outperformed during periods of gridlock. What does this mean? Maybe something, maybe not. After all, it's only a few decades' worth of data. And the situation may be very different this time around. Today Mr. Singer asks the best question of all: "Will this be 'your father's gridlock'?" No one knows. The gold boom is 10 years old, which ought to make investors wary. But if the Republicans make good on the budget plans in their Pledge to America and the dollar tanks, it's hard to see how gold does badly.
On its own, probably not. But it certainly doesn't help the beleaguered greenback, which is primarily suffering from the protracted weakness in the US economy contrasted with relative strength in other major economies, especially Asian regional and other emerging markets. The price action in recent weeks highlights our view that it's relative growth prospects that are driving central bank policy expectations, which in turn are driving key currencies. As one indication, the USD index at 76.55 is only slightly lower than the 76.70 level at the time of the Fed announcement, with EUR/USD similarly nearly unchanged. Yes, the USD weakened between the Fed's decision and Friday's NFP report, but that's the point: the USD recovered after Oct. jobs surprised to the upside, suggesting improving US growth prospects. GBP/USD is only about 100 points higher than pre-Fed levels, but this stems more from the surprising resilience in 3Q UK GDP reported 2 weeks ago, which led the BOE to refrain from its own QE2 this past week. AUD and NZD have similarly outperformed both the USD and other major currencies after surprising strength in NZ 3Q employment and an unexpected rate hike from the RBA, again due to strong growth prospects and limited spare capacity.
So we hesitate to conclude that QE2 in and of itself will lead to further USD weakness. More important will be the evolution of incoming US data, and to the extent it improves, the USD has the potential to stabilize. The better than expected Oct. jobs report, while far from cause for exuberance, does hold out the prospect for further improvement in consumer confidence, and with it US consumption. Now that QE2 is out of the way, other major currencies are at risk of coming under the microscope, especially if incoming data begins to disappoint. In particular, we think EUR and GBP strength against the USD is especially vulnerable to data setbacks and the strong likelihood of slower growth in the months ahead. EUR is also vulnerable to renewed peripheral stressors (see below). On the technical side, we would note a daily bearish engulfing candlestick in EUR/USD on Friday, potentially suggesting a reversal lower, and we would highlight the daily Ichimoku Tenkan and Kijun lines at 1.4008 and 1.3951 as a critical support zone that must hold for the EUR/USD to strengthen further. The USD index also has long-term trendline support at 75.60/65 as another indicator of whether USD weakness is extending. GBP/USD has long-term trendline resistance at 1.6300/10, above which we would expect gains to extend. AUD, NZD, and CAD (to a lesser extent) seem most likely to continue to outperform (see below), not just against the USD, but also EUR, GBP and JPY. Should the USD recover more quickly than expected, rapid gains in Gold, Silver and crude oil are at risk of a sharp sell-off. We go into next week cautiously optimistic for a USD recovery overall.
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Historically, the post-election period has been a good one for stocks. "So the question is, 'Did the markets go up in the midterm election years by more than average in non-election years?' Gendreau says. "And the answer is, 'Yes, by a huge amount more.'" The Dow has risen following 19 of the last 22 midterm elections.
Also, after the midterms, there is generally a more balanced share of power between the president and Congress, so the chance for compromise is more likely. "The market seems to like that," he says.
So what about this year? Gendreau is the first to admit that he's not the first economist to release a survey like this. His research just covers a longer period of time. He also notes that given the ever-increasing wealth of information available to traders today, the effects of this trend may be somewhat weaker going forward. But so far this year, the Dow has been steadily rising in anticipation of the midterms, gaining about 7 percent year-to-date.
Looking further out, the year following the midterms or the president's third year in office is usually the best year for the Dow, according to an older study by Gendreau. From 1871 to 2005, the average return of the S&P Composite Stock Index during the third year of a president's term was 10.1 percent. During the fourth year in office the index was up 7.5 percent, on average--a marked improvement over average returns in the first year (3 percent), and the second (2.7 percent).
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
This episode taught me that i didn't know enough about markets and market timing.
I thought I was smart but I didn't know better."
Thursday, October 7, 2010
source by OSK Investment Bank.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
“We see two main scenarios,” analysts led by Jan Hatzius, the New York-based chief U.S. economist at the company, wrote in an e-mail to clients. “A fairly bad one in which the economy grows at a 1 1/2 percent to 2 percent rate through the middle of next year and the unemployment rate rises moderately to 10 percent, and a very bad one in which the economy returns to an outright recession.”
The Federal Reserve will probably move to spur growth as soon as its next meeting on Nov. 2-3, Hatzius said. Expectations for central bank action have already led to lower interest rates, higher stock prices and a weaker dollar, according to Goldman, one of the 18 primary dealers that are required to bid at government debt sales.
Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and his fellow policy makers are debating whether to increase Treasury purchases to spur the U.S. economy by keeping borrowing costs low. U.S. five-year yields dropped to a record 1.1755 percent today amid signs the recovery is losing momentum.
The “fairly bad” outlook for slow growth and rising unemployment without a recession will probably be the one that occurs, the e-mail said.
Hatzius’ note reiterated comments he made yesterday at a forum in Washington, when he placed the odds of a renewed recession at 25 percent to 30 percent. He told reporters that was up from 15 percent to 20 percent at the start of the year.
Another $1 trillion of asset purchases by the Fed would probably lower long-term interest rates by about 0.25 percentage point, adding a “few tenths of additional GDP growth,” he said yesterday.
New York Fed President William Dudley, the Boston Fed’s Eric Rosengren and Chicago’s Charles Evans have all advocated further Fed action. Bernanke said Oct. 4 that restarting large- scale asset purchases would probably spur growth, after saying last week the central bank has a duty to aid the economy as unemployment holds near 10 percent.
Investors forecasting Fed purchases pushed two-year Treasury yields to a record low of 0.3987 percent on Oct. 4. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 2.1 percent yesterday to the highest level since May.
The Dollar Index, which IntercontinentalExchange Inc. uses to track the greenback against the currencies of six major U.S. trading partners, slumped 0.9 percent yesterday to the lowest since January.
1. Live Below Your Means.
Being wealthy isn't just a product of your salary or investment prowess; it's learning how to save.
2. Bounce Back From Defeat
With nearly 15 million workers unemployed right now in the U.S., it's easy to get discouraged. Don't! Most successful and wealthy people have overcome obstacles and failure along the way. Steve Jobs was ousted from Apple when he was 30. Today, he's a billionaire and a legend. Plus, after getting fired, he created another billion-dollar media company, Pixar.
Regardless of the profession, the rich and successful tend to have a strong sense of self-worth — key to skillfully navigating an upward career path. Mark Hurd, who was ousted as CEO of Hewlett-Packard in August, couldn't be kept down for long. Using his business skills and connections, in September, Hurd was named president of Oracle.
4. Have Street Smarts
Bernie Madoff lived the high life for decades, scamming unsuspecting clients, with a money-making formula that proved too good to be true. Only afterward did we learn that with a little due diligence, most clients could have easily uncovered the fraud.
5. Buy Cheap
The rich can afford to splurge, but that doesn't mean they do.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
The bank cut the overnight call rate target to a range of 0 percent to 0.1 percent, the lowest level since 2006, from 0.1 percent, it said in a statement in Tokyo. Policy makers will set up a 5 trillion yen ($60 billion) fund to buy government bonds and other assets, inflating the balance sheet at a time when U.S. and U.K. central bankers are contemplating similar moves.
Friday, October 1, 2010
OCBC Investment Research on Friday raised its target price for Genting Singapore to $2.38 from $1.85 and maintained its "buy" rating.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
In a research note on Wednesday, Sept 22, it continued to see the beneficiaries being those involved in infrastructure development, including Gamuda (TRADING BUY, FV: RM4.00) and MMC Corp (TRADING BUY, FV: RM2.59) for the MRT and MRCB (TRADING BUY, FV: RM1.80), which may be involved in land development around KL.
“Do note that all these stocks have minimal or no upside to our fair values, and are very much Trading Ideas riding on positive sentiment from economic reform,” it said.
Morgan Stanley expects share price to be capped by lack of growth this year but still keeps Overweight call on view Wilmar remains most vertically integrated plantation play. “In addition, Wilmar has significant direct exposure to China and India, which makes it a rare emerging market play,” says research house. Shares +0.2% at $6.35.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
” Ireland’s credit rating was cut one step by Standard & Poor’s to AA-, the lowest since 1995, on concern the rising cost of supporting the country’s struggling banks will swell the budget deficit. Sales of new homes in the U.S. probably held at a 330,000 annual pace in July, the second lowest on record, according to a Bloomberg survey before today’s report. Japanese Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda pledged to take “appropriate action” to halt the yen’s rally.
“The flood of money into bonds reflects expectations of low inflation, low interest rates and low returns on equities and encapsulates a very cautious view of global growth, raising fears that this is the next bubble ready to burst,” David Hufton, managing director of London’s PVM Oil Associates Ltd., wrote in a report today. “Bond yields are in many cases at record lows, inviting predictions of a price collapse. This money is betting on a very muted global GDP growth at best.”
Saturday, August 14, 2010
"To be clear, I am not advocating a tight monetary policy," Kansas City Reserve Bank President Thomas Hoenig told a town hall meeting organized by the Lincoln, Nebraska, Chamber of Commerce and U.S. Representative Jeff Fortenberry.
"I am advocating a policy that remains accommodative but slowly firms as the economy itself expands and moves toward more balance."
Hoenig has been the lone dissenter on the Fed's policy-setting panel, which on Tuesday repeated the U.S. central bank's pledge to keep interest rates extraordinarily low for an "extended period."
The Fed also said it would begin reinvesting cash from maturing mortgage bonds to buy more government debt. The decision reflected its concern over the slowdown in the economic recovery it helped bring about by cutting rates to near zero in December 2008 and buying nearly $1.3 trillion in mortgage-linked debt to shore up the housing market.
However, Hoenig said on Friday he believes the economy "barring specific shocks and bad policy ... should continue to grow over the next several quarters."
Revenue surged to $979.3 million in the three months to June 30 compared with $120.1 million a year ago, according to a filing to the Singapore stock exchange today. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, or Ebitda, were US$513.9 million ($700.1 million), with margins of 52%, the statement said.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
The Fed yesterday said it would maintain stimulus measures to support a weaker-than-anticipated recovery. China’s industrial output rose the least in 11 months, retail sales growth eased and new loans climbed less than estimated, adding to signs that the world’s third-biggest economy is slowing. Growth in oil demand will decline in 2011, the International Energy Agency in Paris said, citing “significant” risks that the global recovery will falter.
“We’re in a world-wide soft patch and investors wonder why the Fed didn’t do more,” said James Swanson, chief investment strategist at Boston-based MFS Investment Management, which oversees about $197 billion. “People are dumping stocks because they’re afraid earnings will decelerate and the economy is losing steam.”
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
A company filing with Bursa Malaysia showed the global investment management firm had acquired 28.28 million shares as of Aug 2.
GMO is a private partnership and as at June 30, 2010, it managed more than US$94 billion in client assets, US$32 billion of which was in asset allocation strategies.
Monday, July 26, 2010
Delta Petroleum Corp. -- which earlier this month had a major planned asset sale fall through -- said Monday it has reached a new deal to sell off another package of assets for $130 million to pay down debt.
The Denver oil and gas company (NASDAQ: DPTR) said it has reached agreement with Wapiti Oil & Gas LLC to sell various "non-core assets." The deal is expected to close next month, Delta said.
Friday, July 23, 2010
The global rebound is “fragile” and shocks could push the world toward another recession, according to Government of Singapore Investment Corp., manager of more than US$100 billion ($137 billion) of the nation’s foreign reserves.
Risks to the global recovery have increased due to Europe’s debt turmoil, continued deleveraging in the US and protectionist pressures, Tony Tan, deputy chairman of GIC, said in a speech in Singapore today. The fund is ranked the world’s sixth-largest state investment company by Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute in California.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
The Bank of Thailand raised its one-day repurchase rate to 1.50% from a record low of 1.25%, as expected, and analysts said another increase in August was likely to curb inflationary pressure in Southeast Asia's second-biggest economy.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
“Don’t panic!” was good advice provided by Lance-Corporal Jones to his commanding officer in the 1970s BBC comedy series “Dad’s Army”. Perhaps it should now be directed to central banks and increasingly jittery investors.
The last six months have witnessed a roller coaster as markets and policymakers have alternated between euphoric optimism and crashing pessimism with bewildering speed.
Many seem convinced the world’s major economies are poised on either the brink of liquidity-induced inflation; a renewed descent into recession and deflation; or perhaps both at different times, with near-term disinflation is followed by an upsurge in inflation later.
But what if policymakers and investors are overestimating the likelihood of extreme outcomes? Past experience suggests outcomes are much more likely to fall somewhere in the middle, as the economy “muddles through”; the likelihood of extreme outcomes being realized is actually very small.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Wilmar is willing to spend as much money as Sucrogen, acquired for A$1.75 billion ($2.08 billion) from CSR Ltd., needs for its expansion plans, Chief Executive Officer Kuok Khoon Hong told reporters at a conference in Singapore today. Wilmar plans to build 200,000 hectares (494,210 acres) of plantations in Indonesia’s Papua province within 5 years, Kuok said.
3A remains focused on its core strength in the Food & Beverage industry through its wholly-owned subsidiary, SSSFI. SSSFI is one of the leading Food & Beverage ingredients manufacturers in the country with products ranging as follows:
- Caramel Colour (Full Range)
- Glucose Syrup; High Maltose Syrup
- Soya Protein Sauce (Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein; HVP)
- Natural Fermented Vinegar; Distilled Vinegar; Rice Vinegar
- Caramel Powder; HVP Powder; Soya Sauce Powder