Archive for November, 2022|Monthly archive page

La Nina record

In Environment on 28/11/2022 at 8:58 am

Further to  Rain, rain go away, did you realise the heavy rains have persisted for coming to three yrs with more expected

For La Niña to span three Northern-hemisphere winters is unusual. It has been recorded just twice before, once in the mid-1970s and again at the turn of the millennium. Its long duration is a problem. The large, persistent mass of cold air and high pressure influences wind patterns known as jetstreams across the Pacific and the Indian Ocean. Where jetstreams that blow over land from the ocean are diverted, that land loses moisture and can suffer from drought. The land to which that jetstream is diverted gets more moisture, and can be flooded.

Hear the people sing Grandpa Xi

In China on 27/11/2022 at 3:02 pm

Thousands of people in Shanghai staged a demonstration against China’s draconian anti-covid measures, Some called for the removal of President Xi Jinping. Sporadic anti-lockdown protests also broke out in Beijing. A fire that killed ten people in Urumqi, the capital of the western province of Xinjiang, has focused people’s anger. Demonstrators there blamed covid restrictions for slowing the response of emergency services. There are reports that some of the restrictions there have been lifted after people protested.

Video of Shanghai protect:

Cheap skate rich Chinese relocated here?

In China, Hong Kong on 26/11/2022 at 1:39 pm

We keep hearing from the constructive, nation-building media that the ultra rich Chinese are relocating here from HK.

Funny then that they are not spending their $ here.

I read recently that Covid-hit Hong Kong lost luxury shopping crown to New York. Fall in visitors coincides with 41% decline in average retail rents in Tsim Sha Tsui district

Manhattan’s Upper Fifth Avenue is now the world’s most expensive street for luxury shopping with Milan’s Via Monte Napoleone in third.

Cos unable to produce cars more valuable than those churning them out

In Financial competency on 25/11/2022 at 5:42 am

World turned upside down for the world’s largest manufacturers like Toyota, luxury makers like Mercedes and BMW, and even EV maker Telsa.

Why M’sia’s divides will get worse

In Malaysia on 24/11/2022 at 5:06 am

(Alternative title: Why the moderates lost out in M’sian GE)

PAS the amputee party have the most seats: 44. The secular DAP a very Chinese party (though it claims to be multi-racial, the mamas in it are second class party members) have the second most with 40 seats. Add the role of religion to that of the racial divide. Things will get worse.

Yes, yes I know Islam is the state religion, but in practice M’sia was a secular country. Expect things to change if PN forms the next govt: PAS is the dominant party in that gang.

This chart shows why liddat:

The Malays, Chinese and mamas were very unhappy before the GE.

This is worrying for the minorities in M’sia:

“Support among Malay Muslims for sharia (Islamic law), which pas endorses but umno does not, has risen from 52% in 2011 to 75% today, says Ben Suffian of the Merdeka Centre, a pollster.” Chart also from here

Btw, avoid investing in KSE stocks.

Who else trusted FTX?

In Cryptocurrency, Financial competency on 23/11/2022 at 3:28 am

Referring to Why Temasek should not have punted on FTX, let’s give Temasek and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan a break?

Even hedgies, the mortals who became masters of the universe because they are uber-cynical, trusted FTX:

Hedge funds have billions stranded on FTX, the collapsed crypto exchange, and may face a years-long wait to recover assets, my colleagues report. The direct exposure of crypto-focused hedge funds to FTX Group and FTT, the exchange’s token, amount to around $2bn. Around 25-40 per cent of specialist crypto hedge funds may have some exposure. Including firms such as Genesis Trading and BlockFi, exposure could be as high as $4bn-5bn. Many had trusted FTX to be among the industry’s most reliable operators. Oops.

FT newsletter

Compared to them Temasek’s executives are GCT’s “mediocrities”

Why Temasek should not have punted on FTX

In Cryptocurrency, Financial competency, S'pore Inc, Temasek on 22/11/2022 at 3:27 am

Temasek has written off its US$275mn stake in cryptocurrency company FTX, saying its trust in former chief executive Sam Bankman-Fried appeared “misplaced”.

Much has been written by PAP and anti-PAP paper warriors and investors.

Talking about two Canadian pension funds losing $ in two crypyo investments (one of which was FTX) this year, the FT pronounced (or should it be” pontificated”?)

Pension funds have no business investing customers’ retirement savings in a market as volatile as crypto.

FTX’s $8bn crunch exposes a dog-eat-dog cryptosphere

While Temasek is not a pension fund, I think that given the way the PAP govt treats our reserves (Die, die must raise GST to protect the reserves: Reason why die die must have GST rise in January to replenish our reserves? ), this principle should apply to Temasek and GIC.

Btw, while Temasek took its time admitting the cock-up, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan disclosed almost immediately that the US$95mn investment in FTX FTX collapse will have ‘little impact’ on its performance. “Naturally, not all of the investments in this early-stage asset class perform to expectations,” loss on this investment will have limited impact on the Plan, given this investment represents less than 0.05% of our total net assets.”

Why America remains great

In China on 21/11/2022 at 5:22 am

China and America are in an undeclared race to be the first to send another person to the moon after the last US mission decades ago.

But even if the US loses, it has changed the context of the “moon wars” with China.

America intends to send astronauts to the Moon in the next few years, with the long-term goal of establishing a permanent base there. As part of its Artemis programme it intends to put a space station, called the Lunar Gateway, in orbit around the Moon to act as a communications hub, science laboratory and short-term living space; it is due to launch in 2024. A series of preparatory robotic missions to the Moon will blast off in 2023. 

An extract from the Economist’s The World Ahead 2023

China is not planning or building a Lunar Gateway. It only has plans for a permanent base on the moon.

Revenge travel

In Airlines, Tourism on 20/11/2022 at 8:59 am

Further to SIA & Ho Ching (cont’d), here’s why the skies are bright airlines, hotels and touristy places like Bali and S’pore.

But don’t go cruising: Why going cruising is still a bad idea

The difference between S’pore and M’sia

In Malaysia on 19/11/2022 at 3:17 pm

We don’t do prestige buildings: unlike the M’sians. M’sia’s Merdeka PNB is the second tallest skyscraper in the world,

What black hole?

In Financial competency on 18/11/2022 at 4:49 am

The UK’s chattering, political and investing classes are all worked up about public debt and how to screw the poor to make the UK solvent.

Right on cue. the chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, delivered a budget including spending cuts and tax rises that by 2027-28 will be worth £62bn ($73bn), or 2.1% of GDP. 

Club Med countries have bigger public debt holes than the UK but are not so worked up. It’s all mind tricks.

India’s rising because it had incompetent govt not because of good govt

In China, India on 17/11/2022 at 4:43 am

Unlike China.

If demography is destiny, India will be the Asian superpower, not China.

India is reaping the benefit of incompetent govt. It like China once upon a time tried to curb population growth.

India’s attempt to reduce fertility was less successful than China’s even though it was the first country to introduce family planning on a national scale in the 1950s.

Whatever, us Chinese are more productive:

But India’s prosperity depends on the productivity of its youthful people, which is not as high as in China. Fewer than half of adult Indians are in the workforce, compared with two-thirds in China. Chinese aged 25 and older have on average 1.5 years more schooling than Indians of the same age.

All to play for in regional supremacy.

Everybody’s problem is nobody’s problem

In Energy, Environment on 15/11/2022 at 6:25 am

This is not a problem that just the oil and gas industry has” Vicki Hollub, chief executive of US company Occidental Petroleum, told a corporate leadership and net zero panel at COP27 on Friday, according to the Guardian. “Everybody that uses a product that was generated from oil and gas has a part in this and is also responsible. Your iPhone, you are responsible for that. If you flew over here, you are responsible for what you used here. The nice clothes you are wearing right now, you are responsible. If we don’t all step up and take accountability, this doesn’t happen.”

From the latest edition of the FT’s Moral Money

Ang moh tua kee even in China

In China on 14/11/2022 at 4:53 am

The most profitable tech company operating in China is not a homegrown internet giant such as Alibaba or Tencent but California-based Apple reports the Economist.

Sells a lot there:

It also manufactures a lot there:

Why going cruising is still a bad idea

In Tourism on 13/11/2022 at 5:35 am

There’s still a clear and present danger.

The Majestic Princess, a cruise ship owned by Carnival, docked in Sydney after 800 passengers and crew (about 20% of those on board) came down with covid-19.

Check out these East Asia Income Investment Trusts

In Financial competency, Financial planning, Investments on 12/11/2022 at 8:58 am

There are three London-based investment trusts that invest in East Asia that have very decent long term records for increasing dividends. See below

One is trading at a huge discount to NAV, compared to the other two. That may be a warning sign. All three are managed by pukka fund managers.

SIA & Ho Ching (cont’d)

In Airlines on 11/11/2022 at 4:09 am

Further to Thank you Ho Ching, here’s how SIA has performed compared to Cathay. And its declared a dividend of 10 cents a share.

Why too much rain is no good for us

In Uncategorized on 10/11/2022 at 1:35 pm

Ok, OK not us but the whinging, lazy Australians.

Further to Rain, rain go away, here’s why the Australians are not happy that its raining heavily

There’s the biological impact: overcast weather blocks sunlight, lowering serotonin – dubbed the body’s happy hormone – and affecting sleep.

Then there’s the behavioural effect: rain can stop people from getting outdoors and doing activities that give them a sense of wellbeing, achievement, or social connection, Prof Felmingham says.

“All of these contributing factors compound each other. If you’ve got really relentless rain, we have got clear evidence that can lower mood, lower energy levels and bring a sense of frustration, loneliness or boredom at times,” he adds.

What a bunch of lazy, laidback bums.

I mean look at us: it rains heavily in SE Asia.

Rain, rain go away

In Uncategorized on 09/11/2022 at 3:55 pm

Australians want to play

In Sydney

More than 2.3m (7.5 feet) of rain has fallen on the city – three times the annual average in London.

It’s been a similar story across the rest of Australia’s eastern states. Repeated, widespread flooding across all four of them has left thousands of homes uninhabitable and killed more than 30 people this year. Just this past week, two people died as towns in central western New South Wales (NSW) went underwater.

More rain in Sydney than in S’pore

Asean countries are winners from Sino-US decoupling

In China, Economy, Emerging markets, India, Indonesia, S'pore Inc, Vietnam on 08/11/2022 at 9:16 am

And we are Asean’s financial centre and a global port to boot. Our PAP millionaire ministers are very lucky that S’poreans allow them to govern us. But are they grateful? I doubt it.

LOL: Millionaire PAP ministers are really looking after the plebs

In Banks, Economy, Financial competency, Financial planning, Investments, S'pore Inc on 07/11/2022 at 5:39 am

Look at this and you’ll see that with the exception of the Chinese banks (Communism at work?) and DBS (Remember that POSB was the people’s bank?), at least $10,000 is needed for FDs. Quite a number (including OCBC and UOB) have a minimum of $20,000.

So it’s nice to know that the millionaire PAP ministers are helping the plebs to get good interest rates on fair terms via Singapore Savings Bonds.

Plebs only need to invest $500 (Same like the Commie bank, ICBC. Need $1000 at DBS) in the the Singapore Savings Bonds. The minimum one can invest in SSBs is $500 — and this can increase in multiples of $500 — but the total amount of such bonds one can hold at any one time cannot exceed $200,000. (Btw, in 2020, when the interest rate on SSB was 0.96 per annum for the first few years and S’pore was being locked down and I got very lucky, I applied for 200k and was filled. It can’t happen nowadays. The allocation is 10k nowadays. Fine by me as I don’t have $200,000 needing to find an urgent home. Btw2, I redeemed the lot in batches in 2021 and very early 2022.)

Returns on the Singapore Savings Bonds hit record highs for the second straight month, with the latest December issue offering a 10-year average return rate of 3.47 per cent. Better still, the first-year interest rate of 3.26 per cent is also the highest ever, beating the record set in the previous issue. I’ll be applying.

And there’s more:

Safe and flexible bonds for individual investors. Enjoy returns that increase over time and redeem in any month without penalty

“[W]ithout penalty”: remember that FDs can only be “broken” by foregoing the interest. But SSB only have a $2 fee when redeeming. Interest is paid up to redemption date. Pretty fair.

More at

Do remember that the govt is tightening money supply via SSBs and other interest-bearing securities. this to to try to keep inflation in check. There’s a reason for its generosity. But its also keeping the banks honest.

Not true in S’pore

In GIC, Shipping, Temasek on 06/11/2022 at 4:36 am

“The challenge is, if we want European levels of welfare payments and public spending, you cannot finance that with American levels of tax rates,” said Lord Mervyn King, former governor of the Bank of England, to the BBC recently.

As Chris Kuan, the retired chief economist of GIC and many others have said, we can have our welfare cake and eat it by making our reserves work harder.

How the PAP can help the poor, grow the economy and win votes while being “prudent” with our reserves

Budget: Consistently flawed/ Use more from Reserves meh?

And remember. WE, funded up the reserves not our millionaire ministers:

Budget: Consistently flawed/ Use more from Reserves meh?

End of piece.


IGNORE the repeats. Bit spastic in editing.

Property exposure of local banks

In Banks, Financial competency, Property, Reits, S'pore Inc on 05/11/2022 at 1:51 pm

Further to The kind of FT turned citizen that S’pore needs, I tot I’ll share this so that someone overseas can KPKB about our banks very, very large exposure to the local property sector.

DBS estimates that approximately 44%-50% of Singapore banks’ loan books are exposed to Singapore properties via residential mortgages and via lending to REITs or other private vehicles may be captured under “financial institutions, investment and holding companies”

As the PM’s Mrs made me $ (Tempting fate but thanks again Ho Ching), and I’m not one of those PAP running dogs from our constructive, nation-building media who turn on the PAP like hyenas and jackals once they no longer get paid (Another running dog turned self-appointed tribune of the HDB plebs ), I’ll just keep quiet and look at my bank statement.

I also got exposure to UOB and UOL (via Haw Par: Haw Par: Rediscovered yet again) and Reits.

I’ve never voted for the PAP. But to quote the FT minister, “I’m invested in S’pore”and that is the way I show my appreciation of what the PAP does to keep me in prosperity.

The kind of FT turned citizen that S’pore needs

In Banks, Financial competency, S'pore Inc, Temasek on 04/11/2022 at 4:03 am

Gupta makes DBS Great. Previous ang moh or pseudo ang mohs made it a laughing stock. CEOs Btw, he’s another Citibanker

Our other two banks are also looking good. Eat your heart out, the overseas based anti-PAP paper warrior. U should bot into them.

Which reminds me of a clueless tai tai (Tai tai’s luck runs out, heading for Woodbridge?/ Tai tai forgot this ), sold her SPH shares her elderly husband gave her when they married in the 90s, sold them and bot DBS when she panicked in 2020. She then sold DBS because she said UOB paid more in dividends (What an ass). Then sold UOB to buy SPH when it spiked from 1.20 to 1.90 last year, then sold out in panic when it weakened before it rebounded

. Her husband told her to buy back the UOB because it was cum dividend and there was 80 cents in it.

She didn’t sitting on cash. Then going into Hang Seng and Chinese techs: Tai tai keeps losing money

Tempting fate but thanks again Ho Ching

In Energy, Financial competency, S'pore Inc, Temasek on 03/11/2022 at 3:40 am

This reminded me that I forgot (Thank you Ho Ching) to also thank her for another Temasek special (massive rights issue at a huge discount to the existing price) that’s looking good.

Sembcorp Marine announces change in terms of Keppel O&M transaction

The share price tanked last year (It was already sick because of a previous Temasek special in 2020, followed by a really bad results) when Temasek did another special.

As I wanted good quality TLC penny stock exposure to the offshore marine and energy sectors, I bot a few shares and then applied for lots of rights shares at $0.08. I got filled to the gills.

The shares have been on a wild run: up to $0.138 and then back down to -$0.11 recently. I regretted not selling out at +$0.13. But I was going for $0.16 or more. After the above announcement, they are back to +$0.13. Riding the tornado like Pecos Bill: GameStop in charts: Riding the tornado

Usually when Temasek does a special, shareholders or new investors who participate make $. It’s money for jam. The downside is finding the cash to fund it. Not like Temasek. Need $, make a call to MoF and PMO if dividend income not enough.

Not always, Sembcorp Marine did an earlier rights issue at $0.20 in 2020. Everyone lost $ when it had a really bad set of results. Hence the 2021 rights issue. At that time I didn’t want exposure to the offshore marine and energy sectors, so I missed a bullet. Praise the Supreme Being. And yes, I made a charitable donation.

But I really shouldn’t be counting my chickens, tempting fate or the gods. Not taken profits. And no immediate plans to. I’ll ride the whirlwind on this ($0.19 says a broker) and hope to come out alive or belter still smiling. Why Wall St is a cowboy town.

Minority shareholders (those who participated in 2020 Temasek special) might reject the deal (one reason why the terms were changed).

And pray that I remain lucky. I’ll be getting more SembCorp Marine shares via Keppel distribution. Might sell these.

Investing tip: back Temasek’s corporate moves. More on this soon. Meanwhile think SATS: SATS: Temasek gives away another free lunch?

More on SATS from the archives: SATS — More Dividends or a Rights Issue?

Chinese politburo has diversified talents

In China on 02/11/2022 at 4:55 pm

OCBC has an interesting angle on the politburo of 25 members.

More diversified than our cabinet of 37 millionaire ministers.

When investors fall out of love with biz models

In Financial competency, Internet on 01/11/2022 at 10:11 am

The movers, streamers and creeper ,,, all turn out to face the same main pitfalls: a misplaced faith in network effects, low barriers to entry and a dependence on someone else’s platform.