Archive for December, 2022|Monthly archive page

Thank the PAP govt that our hsehold debt is pretty low?

In Economy on 31/12/2022 at 2:54 pm

No not really. If our “affordable” HDB flats were really, really subsidised as the PAP govt claims, our hsehold debts would be lower. In all the countries in the chart, mortgages are a major component.

At most two cheers for our millionaire PAP ministers.


Hope they must be tested for Covid first

In Public Administration on 30/12/2022 at 6:40 am

Japan, Thailand, South Korea, the United States, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and the United Kingdom made the list of top 10 destinations outside mainland China with the fastest-growing search volume, following news of China reopening its borders to the rest of the world.

Mothership: George and Philip Yeo funded

M’sia, Japan and the US have imposed Covid test restrictions, I hope S’pore follows.

Why our millionaire PAP ministers not afraid to raise GST despite rising inflation

In Economy on 29/12/2022 at 5:32 am

Only 33% (7+26) of S’poreans think inflation is a major or serious problem.

Seriously, what surprises me that so many people in Asean are so relaxed about inflation (Number3).

PAP Old Guard at its best?

In Political governance, S'pore Inc on 28/12/2022 at 3:51 am

This had me thinking of the time when the Pay And Pay party tried to help the plebs.

This was a time rich men like LKY, Lim Kim San and Baker joined “mediocrities” (GCT’s term for those who didn’t earn a lot of $) like Dr Goh and Devan Nair to help S’poreans. Now civil servants become millionaire ministers and many S’poreans think these millionaires sneer at the plebs. Many S’poreans were upset by GCT’s remarks “mediocrities” even after his “clarification”. I’ll say this for PM, born with a silver spoon in his mouth, he doesn’t do sneering at the poor.

The environment in which the Old Guard operated:

Dr PaulA and other younger S’poreans should read the u/m book. While they rightly discount much of the LKY, SPH stuff, as propaganda, they can’t and shouldn’t discount this written by a ex-Special Branch ang moh, after he was sacked by the British. He was married to one Han Suyin and was sacked from Special Branch because of her: In 1956, she published the novel And the Rain My Drink, wherein she described the interrogation techniques used by the Special Branch against Communist suspects.  Comber has written that he was sacked (asked to resign) as Assistant Commissioner of Police (Special Branch) because of said book.

The book describes how bad things once were. A PAPpy would say they make my above bitchings petty. He could also point out that after reading the book, I sent an email to friend in his 60s who moved on from S’pore after Sec 4,”Reading this book reminds me why you did the right thing: go to London. It was a tough time, and the rhetoric from LKY wasn’t reassuring.”. My friend went on to become v.v. rich as a financier.

“I’m invested in S’pore” & S’pore in 50s/ 60s

And Devan Nair had a vision, for the workers, albeit a flawed one: NTUC: What Devan Nair got wrong

2022 shows Tech giants have feet of clay

In Uncategorized on 27/12/2022 at 4:41 am

(Netflix is no tech giant, the others are. Btw, its market value has dropped by 50% this year.)

Meta has nearly two-thirds of its value was wiped out, leaving its market capitalisation at just over US$300bn.

CSE Global: Another Temasek present (Christmas)?

In Corporate governance, Energy, Mining, Temasek on 26/12/2022 at 6:25 am

Further to Tempting fate but thanks again Ho Ching and Thank you Ho Ching, Temasek is hopefully playing Santa Claus.

In 2020 when markets were crashing, Temasek bot a 25% stake in CSE at around 46 cents. It’s a software provider and manager for mining and energy companies. Temasek’s the largest shareholder. I had the opportunity to pick-up the shares at around the same level.

I expected another Temasek special (deeply discounted and massive rights issue). I had to wait almost two years. But it pays a good dividend.

The shares traded up to 51 cents. Two brokers were bullish but the stock did bugger all trading between 46 – 51 cents (mostly closer to 46) until a few months ago. The brokers then became “neutral” on the shares and the shares broke below 46 cents (their TP was now about 44 cents). Looks like they suspected what was coming: a Temasek special.

1 for 5 rights at 33 cents raising $33.5m. The theoretical ex-price according to the co was about 40 cents. Funnily enough, taking into account the dividends Temasek and I got, that was our cost price. Btw, the rights issue was not underwritten. Temasek was playing croupier or chung kee.

Market didn’t like the rights and sold the shares down to 33.5 – 34 cents.

I applied for excess rights, got a lot (but not my full application) and my cost is now about 38 cents. Temasek’s cost is closer to 40 cents because it didn’t get excess shares. Greedy plebs like me got priority.

The shares are now trading at 34 cents.

All to play for.

And bottom fishers can come in at below Temasek’s entry price of 40 cents.

And there’s another Temasek Special on the cards: check out SATS: Temasek gives away another free lunch? More on SATS from the archives: SATS — More Dividends or a Rights Issue?

Of course things can go badly wrong: Sembcorp Marine’s right issue of 2020.

Bah Humbug: Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year

In Economy, Financial competency, Financial planning on 25/12/2022 at 5:33 am

The real world is far away from pre-Covid-19 levels

And we have serious inflation problems resulting in central banks raising rates which in turn means global recession.

But in S’pore, our PAP millionaire ministers die die want to raise GST rates from 1 January 2023.

Bull market will resume? Doubt it

In Uncategorized on 24/12/2022 at 12:37 pm

Interest expectations don’t align with Powell’s words.

They keep ignoring his words  Jerome Powell said that policymakers had no plans to start lowering rates until they were confident that inflation was moving down to 2%. “The historical record cautions strongly against prematurely loosening policy,”

When the stockmarket peaked in America on January 3rd, bond markets thought that the upper bound of the Fed’s policy rate of 0.25% would rise by just 0.75 percentage points by the end of the year. In the event, it stands at 4.5%.

China will not be happy

In China, India on 24/12/2022 at 9:06 am

Taiwan’s Foxconn said on Dec. 8 that its Singapore unit had invested $500 million in its India affiliate.

Foxconn plans to quadruple the workforce at its iPhone factory in India over two years, Reuters reported on Nov. 11, citing two government officials with knowledge of the matter. It plans to boost the workforce at its plant in southern India to 70,000 by adding 53,000 more workers over the next two years, the report said.

Will China send its navy and air force to exercise off Taiwan to express its displeasure?

Covid-19 in Shanghai

In China on 23/12/2022 at 5:19 am

Int’l media reports that a hospital in Shanghai reportedly told staff that it expects half of the city’s 25m people to become infected with covid-19 by the end of December. 

Wonder if the head of the hospital is now in jail? Will the hospital recant?

Related post: Covid (aka Nemesis) says hello to Grandpa Xi’s Hubris

Covid (aka Nemesis) says hello to Grandpa Xi’s Hubris

In China on 19/12/2022 at 3:36 am

After his triumph of becoming paramount leader and Helmsman II, Xi is now facing the the possibility that China’s Covid wave could kill as many as 1.5m people. Only 1m Americans died.

Residents of Shanghai, Shenzhen and other cities say that pharmacies have sold out of fever medicine and Covid tests. Social media images contrast long queues outside Covid clinics with otherwise empty streets.

China’s lack of preparation after authorities reversed strict pandemic controls is showing. Even the Brits and M’sians did better in preparing for the reversal.

Btw, in the context of China’s population, 1,5m deaths are “peanuts”.

Still this isn’t the triumph of the Chinese way v the American way that Xi crowed about when 1m Americans died.

Time to declare victory on inflation?

In Uncategorized on 18/12/2022 at 3:41 am

And move on?

Brave new world: higher interest rates and scarcer capital

In Financial competency, Financial planning on 17/12/2022 at 4:23 pm

One of the world’s better investors,  Howard Marks of Oaktree. thinks interest rates will not come back down to the levels of 2007 to 2021. He’s surely is going to invest on the basus of higher inflation and higher interest rates? But he says, “Oaktree’s investment philosophy doesn’t prohibit having opinions, just acting as if they’re right.”

S’poreans affected by inflation

In Economy on 15/12/2022 at 4:20 pm

I suppose the 1% that don’t feel any impact at all include our PAP millionaire ministers and president?

DBS loves industrial Reits, so do I

In Economy, Property, Reits on 14/12/2022 at 3:35 am

Of the 11 industrial Reits they cover, DBS has a “buy” call for 10 of them and a “hold” call for Sabana. I hold four of the “buy” recommendations. I’ve been holding two of them (non TLCs) for years, collecting the payouts and smiling. Likewise the one TLC I own. I bot the 4th (non TLC and really cowboy) in March 2020. It’s been a wild ride especially since I opted for scrip not cash. Now marginally underwater, Lower US interest rate increases should help Reits in general.

It’s Asian, not British

In China on 13/12/2022 at 5:28 pm

Burberry is a quintessential British brand.

But it’s really Chinese who buy the brand. Burberry made £1.3bn (US$1.6bn) last year from Asia, almost half its total. But sales in China, its biggest Asian market, have been hurt by the country’s zero-covid policy. The opening up of China is good for it.

Why UK workers are striking

In Uncategorized on 11/12/2022 at 1:55 pm

S’pore: Gig workers are paid “peanuts”

In Economy on 08/12/2022 at 4:15 pm

No Chinese

In China, Tourism on 06/12/2022 at 4:48 pm

1.6bn, is the number of international tourist trips forecast to take place in 2023, still 200m fewer than in 2019 reports int’l media

One in ten tourists was Chinese before the pandemic. Their numbers will double in 2023, to 59m, far below the 155m recorded in 2019.


Apple/ Foxconn show limits to help CCP can give

In China on 04/12/2022 at 4:37 am

Earlier this year, when Foxconn’s workers fled the world’s largest iPhone factory in the Chinese city of Zhengzhoum. local governments recruited villagers to restore Foxconn’s iPhone production after staff exodus, And they were looking for workers to fill factories ahead of peak holiday sales season (now).

But all this help wasn’t of much use

Separate unrest at the world’ subsided after the local government lifted a five-day lockdown on Tuesday. Worker protests over Covid restrictions at the Foxconn campus had resulted in violent clashes with police. FT reporters spoke to plant workers who witnessed the chaos. Foxconn is struggling to staff assembly lines at the peak of Apple’s pre-holiday high season, highlighting the vulnerabilities created by a reliance on China’s manufacturing model.

FT’s newsletter

When the Chinese people are angry, the CCP has problems.

More on DBS

In Banks, S'pore Inc, Temasek on 03/12/2022 at 2:09 pm

Further to The kind of FT turned citizen that S’pore needs, here’s more on why DBS is a favourite among ang moh investors.

And the CEO is paid peanuts compared to JP Morgan’s CEO and the CEOs of the other banks referenced in the chart. Mamas provide cheap labour.

Btw, my banking exposure here is in UOB via Haw Par: Haw Par: Rediscovered yet again

This year’s US market in historical perspective

In Financial competency on 01/12/2022 at 2:43 pm