Archive for October, 2022|Monthly archive page

Thank you Ho Ching

In Airlines, Financial competency, S'pore Inc, Temasek on 30/10/2022 at 4:08 am

SIA redeems outstanding zero coupon MCBs worth $3.5 bil

Edge magazine headline

reminded me that she retired from Temasek on 1 November last year.

It also reminded me that my mum and I made decent $ on SIA shares and MCBs.

My mum once had 900+ SIA shares. Why this odd number I don’t know and neither does she. It’s been there for decades.

Anyway I never got round to selling this when she transferred her shares to me for me to manage a few years ago. She’ll be 99 next year.

So when 2020 came and SIA did a “Temasek Special” (Massive and deeply discounted rights issue), I applied for excess shares and MCBs. Ended up with 3,000 shares and 3,000 MCBs.

(Applying was a massive headache because I had to use PayNow. But it was Covid time, so no-one to blame except self for being unfamiliar with this payment mode. First and last time I used it.)

And in 2021, we got another 6,000 MCBs.

I’ll get round to selling the SIA shares one day soon. And buy into SATs. There’s another pending Temasek Special that is upsetting minority shareholders.

Meanwhile an additional $3,000+ to pay for the groceries. There’ll be $100 early next from the PAP govt using our money.


Not seen this in our constructive, nation-building media

In Hong Kong, Media, Uncategorized on 29/10/2022 at 1:45 pm

HK scientists from the Chinese University of HK have developed a gut microbiome to reduce the risk of Covid-19 infections. The biome, SIM01, improves gut microbiota balance and boosts immunity.

Maybe got lost in SPH’s/ST’s new digital platform.

A-rabs getting richer

In Uncategorized on 28/10/2022 at 4:18 am

Want an Indian PM?

In Uncategorized on 26/10/2022 at 9:09 am

The price of pasta, cooking oil, chips and bread rose sharply in the UK.

Item-level price changes of lowest-price option of 30 selected everyday groceries, September 2022 compared with September 2021 (%)

But never say can lose money

In Financial competency, Financial planning on 25/10/2022 at 5:28 pm

People like these guys should be regulated.

Next Level Options Masterclass

The Singapore Savings Bonds in November offer 3.21% returns. Should investors buy this?

Not until they discover this shocking number:

According to the MAS, Singapore’s inflation rate was 7.5% in August 2022.

If your investments produce 3.21% returns but inflation eats up 7.5%…

Are you actually growing your wealth?

Most investors are losing net worth over time…

Without even knowing it!

Here’s the truth:

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It’s not property. It’s not stocks. It’s also not digital assets.

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[Disclaimer] We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, made to the contents in the program is accurate, complete or up-to-date. Past performance is not indicative nor a guarantee of future return.

We are an Education company and hence is NOT regulated or licensed by MAS as we do not provide investment services.

All forms of investments carry risks, including the risk of losing all of the invested amount. Such activities may not be suitable for everyone. You are recommended to seek advice from a professional financial advisor if you have any doubts.

Better than CPF rate

In Financial competency, Financial planning on 24/10/2022 at 5:15 pm

Ordinary account that is.

S’pore Savings Bond better for amounts up to $10,000 (likely to get full allocation). Coming issue pays 3.08% for first year. Last day for applications 26 October 2023. $2 to apply.

And if want to redeem $2.

Why self identification is BS

In Uncategorized on 23/10/2022 at 3:33 am

US treasuries yields at record highs

In Financial competency, Financial planning on 21/10/2022 at 5:16 pm

Yields on the benchmark 10-year US Treasury climbed above 4.25% for the first time since June 2008 rising as much as 0.05%age points to 4.272%, while the two-year US Treasury yield climbed as much as 0.03%age points to a new 15-year high of 4.639 per cent.

Equity markets are queasy.

Revenge of the old economy cont’d

In Energy, Internet on 20/10/2022 at 2:50 pm

Related post: Renewables thrashed Revenge of the old economy

Reason why die die must have GST rise in January to replenish our reserves?

In Accounting, Financial competency, GIC, S'pore Inc, Temasek on 19/10/2022 at 4:48 am

This despite inflation not abetting in this quarter, something that our millionaire ministers said would happen earlier this here.

In early July, I wrote about looming markdowns to private assets referencing the comments of Temasek’s CIO defending Temasek’s investments in private assets: Was Temasek’s CIO whistling in the graveyard? Note that GIC is also big investor in private assets.

Recently, the managers of Harvard University’s $51bn endowment have warned of substantial markdowns to come in its private equity and venture capital portfolio, predicting heavy losses for institutional investors.

Trumpets please.


Forward this to George Yeo, Kishore and other Wumaos.

In China on 18/10/2022 at 1:21 pm

Even if China manages growth of 4% a year for the rest of this decade, it won’t overtake America soon – especially given that the yuan has been falling against the greenback. If the United States continues to grow on average 2% a year and the currency stays where it is, China’s economy will still be nearly 20% smaller in dollar terms at the end of the decade.

The country would then find it harder to build the dominant military force in Asia and fund investment overseas. It would also be a less attractive model for other countries to emulate – and there would be less pressure to accept its hegemony.

It needs to supercharge growth again, but Xi doesn’t seem to be the leader who will allow this. China has indicated that it may miss its annual economic growth target of 5.5%. blaming Covid-19, but not referencing Xi’s zero-Covid lockdowns.

Cheap Asean places

In Tourism on 17/10/2022 at 6:07 am

Sure to find plenty of S’porean cheap skates.

(KL and us are expensive places.)

($= US$)

More ex places

20. Siem Reap, Cambodia 🇰🇭 $28.25

22. Kuta, Bali, Indonesia 🇮🇩 $28.65

33. Phuket, Thailand 🇹🇭 $33.18

41. Boracay Island, Philippines 🇵🇭 $35.99

48. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 🇲🇾 $39.53

82. Singapore, Singapore 🇸🇬 $63.40

White Horse: Twisting in the wind

In S'pore Inc on 16/10/2022 at 6:48 am

Or is Karl Liew being hung out to dry? LOL.

Karl Liew, facing charges for lying in Parti Liyani’s case, to undergo neuropsychological assessments

This headline reminds me of a conversation I had with a retired State Court judge about this case earlier this year.

He said in his time as a DPP (He was a very senior DPP before he became a judge), the DPP conducting the case would select a few of the charges that he or she could easily prove beyond a reasonable doubt and proceed with those. The DPP would have asked permission to stand down the other charges.

The DPP certainly wouldn’t have tried to prove so many charges as those DPPs did.

He agreed with the supervising judge’s decision to acquit the lady. With so many charges, the judge at first instance lost the plot.

Coming back to Karl, the White Horse must really be desperate to resort to the possibility of being a fruitcake to avoid jail. I’m sure he’ll rely on the fact that he was a cross-dresser. Remember his claim of owning and using gal’s clothes?

Seriously, White Horses like him give the S’porean elites a bad name. The elites don’t need enemies with children like him.

Bucking broncos on Wall St

In Financial competency on 14/10/2022 at 4:26 am

Rodeo riders need on Wall Street

What a wild ride. Down 2% at the open on not so good inflation numbers, then 2% up at the close.

Bring Pecos Bill and friends to trade the S&P: Why Wall St is a cowboy town and Cowboys riding the S&P and NASDAQ broncos

Chinese soy sauce maker treats home market consumers as second class?

In China, Internet, Japan on 13/10/2022 at 10:40 am

Japanese consumers are tua kee for it seems

It’s alleged that Foshan Haitian Flavouring & Food ‘s

 products sold in Japan have simpler ingredients and no preservatives.

Chinese netizens are not happy with the company which has 20% of the Chinese soya sauce market.

It mealy mouthy says

the accusations as a smear campaign. It says it complies with relevant food safety rules and stressed that food additives are common and don’t imply inferior quality.

Investors are selling. It has lost about US$8 billion, or 15%, of its market value in recent days.

Top 9 tourist cities in Asean

In Tourism on 12/10/2022 at 1:20 pm

Second tallest global building is in Asean

In Malaysia on 11/10/2022 at 1:18 pm

M’sia boleh.

We one of one of two Asia Pac markets in +ve territory

In Financial competency on 10/10/2022 at 10:19 am

Christmas came early/ But so did the Gringe?

In Financial competency on 09/10/2022 at 1:20 pm

In late September, I pointed out that Goldman Sachs year end target (3600) for the S&P was coming early: S&P 500: Last chance to buy the dip.  On September 30th the S&P closed at 3,586, a month in which the index of large American stocks fell by almost 10%. 

Then in October it rebounded fast. But a rout on Friday erased most of the gains of an early-week rally, albeit markets still ended the week higher by 1%. 

The Gringe is the America’s labour market, It slowed slightly (but probably not enough to satisfy the Fed) in September as aggressive rate rises aimed at reining in inflation have cooled the economy. Official data recorded 263,000 new jobs, which was fewer than the 315,000 positions added in August, but this was better than expected. This may mean further tightening from the Fed at its next meeting on November 2nd. Hence the reversal on Friday.

Tua kee energy traders

In Energy on 07/10/2022 at 4:37 pm

 I didn’t realise that Shell and BP are such big energy traders. I tot Trafigura and Vitol were the tua kees.

Gunvor has under a quarter of Shell and BP’s volumes.

Btw, Exxon and Chevron don’t do trading. The Brits are different

The mighty S$

In Currencies, Financial competency on 06/10/2022 at 5:41 am

As a S’porean, I’m surprised that M$ is doing pretty well against the US$. It’s not a banana currency.

Seriously, I’m surprised that the rupiah is so firm. Likewise the rupee.

Asean airlines ranked

In Airlines on 05/10/2022 at 5:15 pm

Once upon a time the Russians were buying US$

In Currencies, Energy, Financial competency on 04/10/2022 at 3:00 pm

Shows that Putin is a lousy chess player.

Hard to believe she was once a PAP cadre

In Media, S'pore Inc on 03/10/2022 at 3:01 pm

Former SPH senior editor delivers scathing remarks on state of journalism in Singapore

Maybe my many ST newsroom contacts were fibbing that she was a tua kee cadre in the PAP’s women’s wing?

Maybe she really was a PAP cadre who had a Pauline type conversion after she retired? Saul persecuted Christians but had a sudden conversion which made him a Christian zealot and, ultimately a saint?

Or maybe she’s just one of those people who start biting the hand that once feed her: no sense of decency? Quite a few around from the constructive, nation-building media: she’s not alone. Think this guy: Another running dog turned self-appointed tribune of the HDB plebs

Back to the lady


Dear people in the media,

You DO realise what is happening to you right? You are being sidelined by the biggest newsmaker in Singapore, the G, which also happens to be supporting your operation with State funds. You’ve never had much of a say in media-G relations, but god knows your predecessors tried. And we were lucky that politicians at the time know the value of a credible media, even as they try to hem us in in other ways. They know that they need to get out there and answer questions. They were quick to hold press conferences (as opposed to the briefing which is a kind of gag order which the media doesn’t seem to know how to negotiate). They were okay about taking questions at the sidelines.

Now they ignore you entirely, in the hope that no answers mean no story. They tell you to look at their FB which you do so dutifully because you’re afraid to miss any pearls of wisdom. They go on TikTok and have their own mock interviews on YouTube done by their ministry minions. They hold “doorstop’’ interviews so as to look casual but we all know it’s only because they have something to say – not because you have something to ask.

Now it looks like you’ve lost the fight and are completely resigned to playing the role of publicist. Not only that, you seem to have forgotten basic journalistic principles and I mean stuff like grammar and housestyle and getting the 5Ws1H. You’ve descended to repeating press releases which are themselves badly written. I was very concerned with the deterioration of journalistic standards, the ability to write a story with a strong angle, clearly and concisely. I wondered if journalists forgot that the news is “out there’’, the need to build a network of contacts and how reporting is the basis of all your writing. I sure hope you don’t believe your own propaganda about how wonderful you are at your work. I will say you are clearly deluded if you think so.

But now I can’t blame you if you lose heart in the news-gathering process (as well as the freedom to decide how to put the news across) and decide to quiet quit, or just plain quit.

For Singapore, the plethora of laws and the demise of some alternative media only serve to make sure that one voice remains as the purveyor of truth and collective opinion. A voice that isn’t “moderated” by anyone. Increasingly, journalists don’t think it’s their place to ask certain questions or to bother officials, in case they are being tagged as “unfriendly’’. And there are no other types of journalists to irritate the G into responding. (They moved abroad or lost heart)

I find it ironic that despite being a public trust, you’re not looking to get the public on your side. I thought any deterioration of professional standards could be reversed at least slightly since the public trust is not so closely tied to the fortunes of the parent company and its board. But the opacity of your operations and governance process only serves to confirm that it is business-as-usual…and thanks for the money.

The 4G isn’t on your side. They want only their messages heard loud and (un)clear. I bet that they see the media as a hindrance if it goes about doing the job they are supposed to do. Now I think they see the media as a wonderful mechanism to convey any message or narrative that they see fit. That’s why they hold closed door dialogues etc and continue to trot out that old chestnut about how having reporters will stop people from being frank – as though it’s something to be encouraged. And they think they are doing everyone a favour by giving a briefing on what happened later. Or they summarise the “findings’’ in a report or they tell you how many pieces of “feedbacks’’ they have. And you duly repeat that there has been extensive public consultation and intensive reviews. You have no part to play in building a community of civic minded citizens unafraid to speak up. In fact, you have to be an MP to get questions answered.

As for the 4G leaders’ constant exhortations about the need to build trust, I ask that they look at how the media plays a role in building trust. The G can cite its track record, mouth platitudes about honesty and good governance. Remember that we only know the G from what we READ everyday, and that most people do hope that the media plays the role of asking questions that they themselves might have. The more “cut-and-paste’’ there is, the faster the erosion of the credibility of the media. And when the media can’t even spell right or is sloppy about the details, then they aren’t even good enough to be a teaching tool for language.

I ask that the journalists hold the line, and put professional principles into practice. You do NOT always have to do what the G says. You should tell readers about the obstacles you face in getting information. You should list the questions you want answered. You should behave like a public trust, not a public agency. And that is actually IN the G’s interest too.

These are things that she seemed to be doing when she was gunning to be ST editor. She never got the job. Maybe that’s why she casts herself as a Jedi: she failed to be a Sith Lord.

Hwa Hong: When losing is really winning

In Financial competency, Property on 02/10/2022 at 6:36 am

It’s sweet revenge for the hapless and clueless Ongs who lost out to another family member, Ong Choo Ong: Hwa Hong: Ongs have no stomach for Mexican standoff.

Ong Choo Eng and private equity friends are now in a bad place because of the problems in the UK: volatile sterling and rising interest rates. When he was MD, Choo Eng was always adding to Hwa Hong’s property portfolio UK (mainly London) residential property: Thinking of London property? Think Hwa Hong?. Written in 2014.

The useless Ongs (and me) are looking at our bank statements and smiling.

Meanwhile Ong, Asia Dymon and his other allies will be contemplating higher financing costs and collapsing property prices in the UK. And their clueless M&A adviser and financing bank must be wondering what they all got themselves into.

But don’t need to cry for the winners and their bank: they bot the shares at a 25% discount from its RNAV: Reported NAV is a lot of BS. At the time, it was a good deal for them and a fair deal for me.

Now they need that buffer not to collapse too much, so as not to lose money. UK residential property prices are expected to fall by at least 10%.

SATS: Temasek gives away another free lunch?

In Airlines, Financial competency, S'pore Inc, Temasek on 01/10/2022 at 4:02 am

Big opportunity to make serious money by buying into SATS if they have rights issue.

Buy “small” amount of shares cum and apply for excess (lots).

Those who did this for SIA and Semb Marine (last round) still sitting on good profits if they didn’t cash out already.

Temasek usually prices its rights “right” to make easy $, post rights for those buying into its rights issues.

But it got it wrong in earlier Semb Marine rights.

But whoever said share investing is riskless is an idiot.