Ringgit has fallen 18% more or less but 11.6% ain;t that great
Posts Tagged ‘ASEAN’
A Hard Year for Investment Banks in Southeast Asia. Slowing economies have led to the scrapping of several initial public offerings, a drought in mergers and acquisitions, and a plunge in local currencies that has discouraged investors from buying stock and bonds issued locally.
How deals get done
NYT Dealbook also
Deals are underpinned by a trust that the prices discussed are fair and that the move is the best way to finance further growth. But sharp gyrations in the broad stock markets could unnerve the people responsible for making these decisions.
“Whenever you see this kind of turmoil in the market, it can shake people’s confidence,” said Kenneth M. Jacobs, the chief executive of Lazard. “You could see a pause until the dust settles and conditions become clearer.”
Advisers say many of the factors that have underpinned the huge boom in mergers have stayed in place. The cost of borrowing money remains cheap, letting buyers take on debt to take over their targets.
Lower share prices would not necessarily create an issue. If stocks fall to a new level, management teams would work with this new normal. It would also benefit private equity firms, who have routinely been outbid by corporate buyers able to pay more for targets. The problem is the volatility in markets. If markets are plunging one day and rebounding the next, it would make it difficult to price a takeover.
Assuming if M’sia and Indonesia decide like Russia to keep government revenues the same in local currency terms, this would suggest that the Indonesian rupiah and Malaysian ringgit are both somewhat overvalued, even after falling to 17-year lows.
They would need to let their currencies weaken (in percentage terms) against the dollar by as much as the oil price has fallen. The Saudis (and other Arabs) do things differently. Because they have foreign reserves that will last for years they peg their currency to the dollar.
The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has apologised after the old fascist-era Spanish national anthem was played for gold medallist Carolina Marin at the world championships in Indonesia.
Marin successfully defended her world title in Jakarta on Sunday against India’s Saina Nehwal.
But the version of Spain’s Royal March played at the medal ceremony was the one dating back to Gen Francisco Franco’s far-right dictatorship.
Report from BBC earlier in the week
A good joke to share on our National Day: The moon wass in the Seventh House And Jupiter aligned with Mars when we got kicked out of M’sia by the Tungku.
Mahathir, Queen Elizabeth, and Vladimir Putin all died and went to hell.
While there, they spied on a red phone and asked what was the phone for. The Devil tells them it is for calling planet Earth.
Putin asks to call Russia and talks for 5 minutes. When he is finished the Devil informs him that the cost is a Million dollars, so Putin writes him a cheque.
Next Queen Elizabeth calls England and talks for 30 minutes. When she is finished the Devil informs her that the cost is 6 Million dollars, so she writes him a cheque.
Finally Mahathir gets his turn and talks for 4 hours. When he is finished the Devil informs him that the cost is $5.00.
When Putin hears this he goes ballistic and asks the Devil why Mahathir got to call Malaysia so cheaply.
The Devil smiles and replies: “Since Najib took over, the country has gone to hell, so it’s a local call.”
The facts don’t contradict the Devil’s “Since Najib took over, the country has gone to hell”.
This week, ringgit fell to a fresh 17-year low against the dollar, the country’s foreign currency reserves plummeted below the $100bn level to their lowest level in five years. The slide comes in lockstep with the double-dip in crude prices, with oil revenue accounting for 30 per cent of the government’s revenue. (FT yesterday)
For starters, a lot less tourists from Indonesia. And upper end properties will continue to be in dolddrums.
US is the biggest source of remittances: 42.6% out of total of U$24.3bn. Remittances is 10% of gross domestic product in itself, and a vital driver of the consumer spending that accounts for two-thirds of the Philippines’ economic output.
Asia is only third as a source of remittances and the amount from S’pore is therefore “peanuts”: Money talks, BS walks.
Philip Morris International has hired investment banks, including Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse and JPMorgan Chase, to sell over US$1 billion worth of shares in its Indonesian operation,
S’pore has been ranked 97th out of 145 countries in a Global Well-Being Index survey by polling firm Gallup and “well-being solutions provider” (whatever doesthis mean) Healthways announced on June 24. Panama came in first for the second consecutive year heading the list for physical and purpose well-being, and second place for social and community.
Worse, in Asean, we ranked behind Myanmar (20), Malaysia (41), Philippines (43), Thailand (50), Indonesia (73), Vietnam (93). Cambodia came in slightly below Singapore at 99. (More details at end of the article from CNA)
The cybernuts were out celebrating this ranking (showed S’pore was a terrible, horrible place), while the constructive, nation-building media was quiet on analysis and commentary.
I wasn’t too surprised because the rankings were based on personal feelings: Responses were categorised by Gallup analysts as “thriving”, “struggling” or “suffering”. Countries are then ranked on the percentage of the population that is “thriving” in three or more elements of well-being. And S’poreans are always complaining, unhappy about almost everything.
What I found interesting is that S’pore scored well in“managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security”, Singapore was ranked ninth worldwide.
Seems delusional of the S’poreans surveyed given
— The cost of “affordable” public housing (25 year to pay morgage), leaving very little room to build up retirement savings.
— The cost of owning a car.
— A public transport system that sucks if one is working and can’t afford a car.
— Most of the gains in real wages comes via the CPF increase that employers have to gove.
— The almost 40% of the salary that is tied down with restrictions.
And they still think they are doing “managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security”.
The PAP administration must have put something into the water supply.
btw, Gallup is a very respectable polling organisation, unlike our Institute of Policy Srudies.
Survey respondents were asked ten questions and asked to rate their responses on a five-point scale. Responses were categorised by Gallup analysts as “thriving”, “struggling” or “suffering”. Countries are then ranked on the percentage of the population that is “thriving” in three or more elements of well-being.
For financial well-being, which Gallup defined as “managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security”, Singapore was ranked ninth worldwide.
Singapore was ranked 72nd worldwide for community well-being, defined as “liking where you live, feeling safe and having pride in your community”.
It scored 111th in purpose well-being – “Liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve your goals”; 127 in social well-being – “having supportive relationships and love in your life”; and 137th in physical well-being – “having good health and enough energy to get things done daily”.
The index aggregates the scores in the five categories to arrive at Singapore’s overall 97th ranking.
The buying power of trendy fashion-conscious Muslim women M’sia and Indonesia according to the FT. It should add in S’pore too.
Neither is M’sia or SE Asia. It’s Northern Asia. I blogged yonks ago that we are part of the Microsoft ecosystem.
Debt of 11.5 billion ringgit ($3.1 billion) is already uncomfortably high for an outfit expected to make 1.9 billion ringgit in EBITDA this year. AirAsia’s part-owned sister airlines, especially in Indonesia and the Philippines, owe it increasing sums: amounts due from associates were nearly 2.5 billion ringgit at the end of 2014.
The gloomy case, as made by Hong Kong’s GMT Research, is that this cannot last. AirAsia is booking profits from affiliates that it cannot collect. While restrictions on foreign ownership mean it is only a minority shareholder, it effectively controls these airlines and should consolidate their accounts. Facing up to reality would force a big equity issue.
AirAsia counters that its accounts are transparent, debt is coming down, and cheap fuel and reduced competition should make for a “very good year”. Selling and leasing back planes will help cut debt. It’s also planning to publish pro-forma consolidated accounts.
Fernandes says local partners in Indonesia and the Philippines will each inject over $80 million of fresh equity, and both units will sell $100 million-plus of convertible bonds, before floating in 2017. Some of this will be used to pay back sums owed to the parent.
Well, perhaps. But new investors in the affiliates will need to be comfortable with much of their cash going to repay debts, while also believing in a bright future for these units. As HSBC analysts note, both are sub-scale and face powerful local rivals in Lion Air and Cebu Air.
The real moral of the stories of Noble and AirAsia is that when one makes money or is in fashion, no-one cares about accounting details, But when the fashion changes, or one loses money, the daggers come out and the hyenas and vultures circle.
And don’t like a lost co, set up a website and slime away
Rothschild Exits Investment in Indonesian Coal The British financier Nathaniel Rothschild’s five-year foray into Indonesia’s coal sector has come to an end after his investment vehicle, NRH Holdings, agreed to sell its 17.2 percent stake in Asia Resource Minerals, the London-listed company formerly known as Bumi, for 23.2 million pounds, or $35.3 million.
It would be “the first and last time” he would get involved in Indonesia. He described the Asian country as “ungovernable”.
As the FT reported, he ended his quest to regain control of the miner, which he founded along with Indonesia’s Bakrie family in 2010, when the company was known as Bumi. He is estimated to have lost about £80m through the investment.
Instead he has agreed to sell his shares to an investor group backed by another Indonesian family, the Widjajas. Their £135m bid is now being backed by Asia Resource’s board. The company was once worth £3bn.
Widjajas 1 Jewish boy 0
Bakries 0 Jewish boy 0
Even M’sian successful tycoons have serious problems navigating Indonesian corporate jungles: think AirAsia.
Govt’s plan to be a lNG trading hub is a no-brainer.
In 2014, the country attracted just US$6.2bn in foreign investment, a lot less than in the rest of Asean.
This despite the strongest growth in Asean something that I’ve documented.
Looks like they are taking a cue from the Pinoys who continue leaving, not returning home.
And steal our dinner (having stolen our lunch thanks to the PAP administration)
And things are already really bad. A Pinoy “foreign law expert” wrote very arrogantly “According to our kababayans, Singaporeans really look at Filipinos as their competition given that we are diligent and speak better English. You really have to be careful about what you say. Also you have to consider that there are an average of 4 different cultures in that country: Indians, Malaysians, Chinese, and Filipinos. You have to be careful not to offend anyone with your remarks.”
Peenoys “diligent and speak better English”? And Peenoy culture ranks with our cultures?
Sorry, back to the reason why Ello’s relations will be coming here
Growth in the Philippine economy slowed in the first quarter of the year to its weakest annual pace since 2011, official figures showed.
The economy expanded 5.2% in the first three months from a year ago, which is the slowest rate since the last quarter of 2011, when growth was 3.8%.
The figure was also well below market forecasts for 6.6% growth.
The economy was hit by weak growth in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors, the government said.
Growth on a quarterly basis was the lowest in six years. The economy grew by just 0.3% in the quarter on a seasonally-adjusted basis, compared with 2.5% growth in the October to December period.
Will Ello Ello be stirring his fellow Peenoys to kick us out.? Will the PAP administration pretend not to hear?
Our economy in absolute terms is bigger than PeenoyLand. And we only slighly smaller than M’sia. Only Thailand and Indonland bigger than us in absolute terms.
No wonder the Pinoys don’t want to go home despite PinoyLand topping the economic and stk mkt charts in Asean https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/04/07/pinoys-still-not-going-home-why-not/.
Since the Philippines’ restoration of democracy in 1986, the tendency has been for its politicians to coalesce around whomever they regard as the most unbeatable presidential candidate. They trade their support for patronage. A president needs the backing of congress and local governments to wield power, while members of congress, governors and mayors need the spoils provided by a president to wield their own power through subsequent terms in office.
Any lack of administrative aptitude makes a president especially dependent on his political supporters. Policies are barely mentioned in election campaigns, appearing only later, governing coalitions form around the presidential candidate. The mainstream political parties are best understood as vehicles for sharing out campaign funds. A party’s membership balloons if presidential candidate wins and shrivels if he loses. From the typical Filipino politician’s point of view, Mr Pacquiao* is thus ideally suited to be president: he has never administered anything bigger than his own household, so he must depend on others; no policy other than general beneficence towards the people has been heard from him, so no promises need be kept; and he has plenty of money for attending politicians to share out in order to keep themselves in office.
Mr Pacquiao lacks only a political pedigree … By exploiting popular sentiment, this system can turn just about any beloved celebrity into a president, as it did for Mr Aquino. Joseph Estrada, an actor, earned enough good will by playing good guys in the movies to become the unbeatable presidential candidate in 1998. He was booted out of office, in 2001, only after he and one of the political cronies he had attracted fell out over the loot from their joint corruption.
*After he lost on points, “I don’t want to make alibis or complain or anything,” Mr Pacquiao said before doing just that, “[but] it’s hard to fight one-handed.”
Always got excuse: after the event.
Maybe the PAP should add these to its list of institutions to make sure voters make the right choices and if they don’t (think Aljunied) to protect them from the consequences of their actions, whether they reprent or not voting in the oppo (think Aljunied again). Obviously the PA system is not working in Aljunied: otherwise no need to take WP TC to court.
Ten or so other institutions will help to baby-sit the politicians, including a “National Moral Assembly” which will punish those who act unethically, a catch-all term that could be used against government critics. Three-quarters of the 120 seats in a new “National Reform Assembly” will be reserved for toadies now serving in one of the junta’s various conclaves. Their job will be to prevent any future government deviating from a legislative programme that the generals are now laying down.
It’s in deep trouble. They all have constituencies in the area.
Picking up on a warning by Malaysia’s largest bank of the risks of a housing glut in Iskandar, Johor lawmakers have cautioned against foreign investors’ optimism about the development corridor’s economic boom and population growth, saying that demand for premium homes in Iskandar has lagged far behind supply.
“There is a misconception about the demand market here … there is a clear mismatch between supply and demand,” Mr Shahrir Abdul Samad, Member of Parliament (MP) for Johor Baru, told the Malay Mail Online.
Mr Shahrir said it was only natural for developers of premium residential properties in Iskandar to be hardest-hit by the dip in prices and secondary sales, as those projects were never the focus of the region.
“You have to be fair to Iskandar, as housing was never part of its main draft. The crux of its investment was more on services, hospitality and manufacturing, as well as allocations for small- and medium-sized enterprises. The investments we are interested in are not housing, and this is why we have called in Pinewood and Legoland to Iskandar,” said Mr Shahrir, referring to South-east Asia’s largest integrated studio facility and the popular theme park, respectively.
“That is the main investment strategy, but because of all these, foreign developers think there is a demand for their properties, and that is not happening. This is what’s happening, and they have to live with it. If they are willing to take the risk, then we can’t stop them,” the senior lawmaker from United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) said.
Dr Boo Cheng Hau, Johor opposition leader and Skudai assemblyman, noted that these residential projects were launched without sufficient supporting services or industries in place to make them viable in the near term.
The Democratic Action Party (DAP) MP said the region was not yet able to accommodate a surge in tourism or fulfil the needs of foreign investors seeking to take advantage of Malaysia’s second-home schemes.
“There will be a sustainable demand for properties here, but not in the near future. It will take another five to 10 years to see a boom in sectors such as manufacturing, services and so on, (and) a more steady increase in demand for properties,” Dr Boo said in an earlier email interview.
Mr Liew Chin Tong, DAP’s Kluang MP, stressed that the rapid pace of property development in Iskandar had no real legs on which to stand, a situation that is not helped by the nationwide slowdown in the property market.
“Johor is a case of killing the golden goose too fast, too greedily. The property market is not sustained by a genuine working population with income to support their investments, while borrowing rates are surging, waiting for the bubble to burst,” Mr Liew said when contacted.
But here’s one UMNO optimist:
However, UMNO’s Pulai MP, Mr Nur Jazlan Mohamed, believes the upcoming RM53 billion (S$19.7 billion) Pengerang Refinery and Petrochemicals Integrated Development (RAPID) project will provide the needed jobs and spending capacity to revive the region’s flagging property market.
“Property in Iskandar is experiencing a down cycle, but (sales) will pick up once corporate businesses like RAPID kick-start. Once corporations set up businesses in Iskandar, things will pick up. When businesses come in offering higher job opportunities, only then will the supply (of residential property) be taken up. (Iskandar) will not become a white elephant,” he said. MALAY MAIL
Singapore – where the ratio of household debt is 75% About 75% of this household debts are mortgage loans – See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/opinion/eye-the-economy/story/spore-not-headed-debt-disaster-20141125#sthash.oh3vAXO3.dpuf
The “affordable” 25 year HDB loan is responsible for S’pore’s high household debt. And remember it’s not freehold not a 99-yr lease from the govt.
S’poreans like Brits are stupid? [T]he economists calculate that homeowners discount future benefits over the very long run at a rate of 2.6% per year. This is lower than the rates used by governments to assess infrastructure projects or by pension funds to evaluate their liabilities, and suggests that the general public is more patient than the authorities give it credit for.
Switzerland has been ranked the happiest country in world.
Singapore is ranked 24th But is tops in Asean and region. Thailand is placed at 34, Taiwan (38), Japan (46), South Korea (47), Malaysia (61), Hong Kong (72), Indonesia (74) and PinoyLand (90). China and India are found lower down the scale at 84 and 117 respectively
Ang mohs lose interest in emerging markets i.e. Asean. We’ll suffer the consequences given that our listcos often seen as safe proxies for investments in these places.
Once seen as a necessity in portfolios, investments in emerging markets have lately become less appealing because of messy politics and staggering economies, DealBook’s Landon Thomas Jr. writes. The dollar’s upward climb and the growing acceptance that the Federal Reserve will soon increase interest rates are also causing concern. Now, emerging-market currencies are suffering the consequences. The Turkish lira and the Brazilian real have touched multiyear lows against the dollar and the Russian ruble remains volatile. The Mexican peso and the Indian rupee are also under pressure.
In Brazil, allegations of kickbacks and bribes at Petrobras, the country’s energy giant, threaten to derail the economy, Mr. Thomas writes. In Russia, a war with Ukraine and President Vladimir V. Putin’s erratic ways ‒ along with a collapse in the price of oil ‒ have rattled investors. In Turkey, the country’s president has added to existing currency jitters by suggesting that the head of the Turkish central bank is beholden to foreign speculators because he has not lowered interest rates fast enough. And analysts say there are deeper vulnerabilities in these and other emerging markets that will become more acute as the dollar continues to race ahead.
But while currencies have been volatile, capital flows out of emerging markets have not yet approached the levels of a year ago. According to the Institute of International Finance, the trade group for global banks, global flows into emerging markets nearly halved last month, to $12 billion from $23 billion, with money flowing out of Brazil, Ukraine and Thailand and into Indonesia and India. Since the beginning of the year, investors in the world’s largest emerging-markets investment vehicle, the $38 billion Oppenheimer developing markets fund, have withdrawn just $400 million ‒ an amount by no means indicative of investor panic.
Go watch Unlucky Plaza (M18) at all theatres
A Ken Kwek movie not to be missed
The story: Driven to the brink of bankruptcy, hard-working Filipino restaurant operator Hernandez Onassis (Epy Quizon) takes on a motley bunch of wayward Singaporeans — a sexy, scheming scam woman, an Ah Long with a gun, a weak-kneed pastor and a motivational speaker (Adrian Pang) up to his neck in debts. Onassis’ weapons of choice: Anger and a meat chopper, which he wields with alarming accuracy.
Well put together with slick cinematography and editing, Singaporean director Ken Kwek’s latest work is the most ambitious to date marrying topicality with mass-appeal cinema. And it is done with admirable even-handedness to all sides of the debate (on the subject of foreigners in Singapore). Moral finger-wagging is kept to a minimum. Once all characters get locked up into one room for the film’s hostage crisis climax, things get cooking – John Lui in The Straits Times
This is what Ken Kwek said of his leading man Epy Quizon:
“Everyone knows that Epy is the son of the legendary Dolphy. But I had the great pleasure of knowing Epy on his own terms, and as a friend. And then I had the privilege of seeing him perform in a work that required talent for both comedy and very hard-hitting drama. I believe Epy has a greater range than his father as an actor. I say this with no less open-mouth admiration for the great Dolphy.”
Watch out … here comes Epy and his chopper.
Not telling public who posted the above on Facebook, lest Goh Meng Seng or friends are upset with the post.
Uniquely S’porean. A S’porean film, directed by a local talent, starring a Pinoy who takes on a motley bunch of wayward Singaporeans — a sexy, scheming scam woman, an Ah Long with a gun, a weak-kneed pastor and a motivational speaker (Adrian Pang) up to his neck in debts
Couldn’t we have a S’porean hero thrashing crooked FTs trying to steal his lunch or his gal? Oh I forgot Pinoys already stealing our lunch, PRCs stealing our property and money, and Ang Mohs and Indians stealing our gals, and beating taxi uncles and the gals. And all have fake degrees.
But let’s face it, the S’poreans behind the film need to make money, and I’m sure they are hoping for audiences in PinoyLand given the Pinoy’s pedigree and the script of Pinoy boy roughing up S’poreans. And who can blame them? Going by the way TRE and TOC are living hand-to-mouth, there’s no money here from the masses for things S’porean.
Born in Penang, Malaysia, before being raised in Singapore …
The founder and design director of Singapore-based SCDA Architects, Mr Chan has over the past 20 years built up a business that today employs more than 100 architects and designers.
Its past projects around the world range from luxury hotel resorts in Bali and the Caribbean, the National Design Centre in Singapore, a shopping centre in Beijing, a government building in New Delhi, to private houses from France to Malaysia.
Not only that, he got six sons.
And less of Foreign Trash like Han Hui Hui and local trash like Roy Ngerng anf Amos Yee and Lionel de Souza.
Buy Klang Valley :
Klang Valley, in particular, is preferred because of the upcoming KVMRT and LRT lines, and potential KL-Singapore high-speed rail project, which will end at Bandar …
More importantly, the strong population growth potential in Greater KL and Klang Valley – a possible 40 per cent increase to 10 million by 2020 – offers more sustainable demand for properties, it added.
And Penang instead
Err both Oppo areas.
(Above courtesy of MayBank via CNA)
Sultan of Johor will not be happy. MayBank executives (esp analysts) should avoid JB. Neither will UMNO be happy even though most of Iskandar is in a DAP consituency (MP Lim Kit Siang: he and his son came down to see LKY when the DAP won Penang. Got kow tow meh?)
Caution advised on IskandarLand
The property oversupply situation in Iskandar Malaysia, Johor, is “likely to get worse before it gets better”, said Maybank Investment Bank’s research … report, with property values in an increasingly crowded development space possibly declining over the medium term.
In a research note … (Apr 14) urged investors to be cautious about the region, noting that property transactions and prices in Iskandar have been dropping.
The value of property transactions in Johor had fallen by 33 per cent quarter-on-quarter in the Q4 2014, underperforming the country (-7 per cent) and other major cities such as Kuala Lumpur (-12 per cent) and Penang (8 per cent).
Property prices in Johor were also weaker than that of other cities, with the House Price Index (HPI) contracting 1 per cent quarter-on-quarter. In contrast, property prices in the whole of Malaysia dropped 0.2 per cent …
Residential and commercial property transaction values plunged 42 per cent and 43 per cent on-quarter in the fourth quarter 2014, respectively, compared to the 4 per cent dip by industrial properties.
“The latest statistics reaffirm our view that industrial properties are a better investment choice in Iskandar due to the relocation of small medium enterprises (SMEs) from Singapore and its relatively limited supply as compared to residential and commercial properties,” …
OVERSUPPLY AN ISSUE
… Malaysian developers have scaled back their launches and shifted their product mix to avoid direct competition with Chinese developers, and have lowered sales expectations for their projects at Iskandar.
“Judging from the number of approved high-rise projects, the Iskandar property market could be hit by too much supply of high-rise mixed development projects if there is still no coordinated planning and control – this will induce price volatility,” Maybank analyst Wong Wei Sum …
“The oversupply situation will be exacerbated by the huge incoming supply in 2015/2016, where units under construction have risen 18 per cent year-on-year in 2012 and 2013, respectively.”
“AGGRESSIVE” LAND GRAB BY CHINESE DEVELOPERS
… raised concerns about “aggressive landbanking activities” by Chinese developers in the already-crowded Iskandar region.
“Without coordinated planning and control, this could aggravate the oversupply situation and induce price wars, especially in the high-rise mixed development segment.”
For instance, Shanghai-based Greenland Holdings Group recently expanded its foothold in the space with the acquisition of a 128-acre freehold land in the south of Bandar Baru Permas Jaya. This was after its first purchase of 14 acres of land in Danga Bay in 2014. The company is also looking to acquire about 1,200 to 1,400 acres of industrial land near the Tanjung Langsat Industrial Complex, according to Maybank.
“If this materialises, Greenland will emerge as one of the largest land owners in Iskandar with a total landbank of 1,342 acres and it would pose strong competition to the local developers,” the report said.
RECLAMATION PROJECT PRESENT “HIGH ELEMENT OF RISK”
… it is “cautious” over “massive land reclamation” in Iskandar.
Reclamation works spanning 3,425 acres for the Forest City project has been given the green light from the Development of Environment. The development will spread over a 30-year period, and will consist of four man-made islands reclaimed in four phases.
“The execution and planning of such reclamation projects is complex, especially Forest City, and carry elements of risk and uncertainty. Hence, developers’ financial positions are paramount; else we may see projects being abandoned or price wars initiated to clear inventories or reduce sales risks by the developers,” …
“More importantly, the failure of any of these projects could erode buyers’ confidence and perception on Iskandar.”
… it remains cautious on property exposure in Iskandar, instead preferring developers with exposure in the Klang Valley and Penang.
Last Saturday, a freesheet published a puff piece on why it’s good to live in Iskandar and commute, and why it’s a good investment. No mention was made of the huge hikes in the tax on driving to and fro.
A day or two later M’sia again hiked it’s vehicle entry fees: by $7.25 I think. We know what the policy here is don’t we? S’pore with match the increase.
Rumour is that M’sian federal govt hiked fees last year, to warn the sultan of Johor not to to seize executive power in the running of Johor.
Will we be seeing Iskandar property ads in the freesheet?
Manila’s PSE was the top performer – with a gain of 9.8% in Q1. Thailand wa the worst, the SET pulling ahead by 0.55%. STI managed 2.4% year-to-date.
The Phi;ippines grew at an annualised pace of 6.9 per cent in the final three months of the year, far ahead of the 6 per cent expected by most analysts. The quarter-on-quarter figure of 2.5 per cent was the highest in almost two decades, according to calculations from analysts at Barclays.
TRE reader’s take on PinoyLand and Pinoys could explain why they still not going home, but prefer to stay here or come here
Peenoys overestimate themselves just because the Spore Govt gave them jobs but are in fact is using them as cheap labor. They fail to see that they are being undercut. They get cocky and boastful and are a complete discredit to themselves and their country. And they are just talk and no substance.
Why come to Spore? Because Pinoylands is built on quicksand. If your are worth your salt then go back and contribute to building your slums into a decent habitat.
After all they can discriminate against S’poreans in S’pore
Alleged discrimination based on nationality continued to top the list of complaints received last year by the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP), with the banking and information technology sectors still the most problematic.
These cases made up half of about 300 complaints in total. However, TAFEP general manager Roslyn Ten said many stem from misunderstanding and not from genuine bias, and urged companies to improve communication with job seekers or existing employees by explaining why, for example, foreigners instead of Singaporeans were hired or promoted. (CNA)
Juz wondering if getting paid less than S’porean is a legit reason for discrimination? Juz asking.
Thailand’s aviation sector is under scrutiny after an international safety audit led to a ban on new flights to China, Japan and South Korea.
Last week the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) issued an alert flagging “concerns relating to air operator certification procedures”.
Last week the ICAO issued an alert which triggered increased physical inspections of aircraft operated by Thai airlines serving existing routes to countries such as Australia and Singapore, a regional air hub, as well as a ban on airlines expanding their services.
Fly SIA and associates. Don’t be cheap skate! Can die die if fly Thai. ))))
Update at 5.30am
From CNA on Thurday
The surveillance and ramp inspections of Thai carriers’ aircraft operations in the Republic have been stepped up, said the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) in a news release on Thursday (Apr 2).
Its statement came after the International Civil Aviation Organisation(ICAO) reported “significant safety concerns” in Thai carriers earlier in the year. The Thai government has since said it would urgently improve airline safety in the country.
CAAS added it has not imposed any restrictions on Thai airlines. This is unlike other countries like Japan, who blocked new flights from Thailand last week – a move which affected charter services by budget carriers such as Thai AirAsia X and NokScoot.
In the release, CAAS said it has in place a Foreign Operators Surveillance Programme (FOSP), under which foreign carriers are required to have an Operations Permit from CAAS to operate in Singapore.
The release said that CAAS evaluates an application for an Operations Permit “using a risk-based methodology”, which takes into consideration factors such as the safety oversight capability of the State of Operator, the operational capability of the carrier and the safety records of the aircraft.
“In assessing a foreign carrier’s operations, CAAS takes into consideration safety information from other aviation authorities including the outcomes of the inspections or audits they conduct,” it added.
“CAAS also conducts periodic ramp inspections on the foreign carrier’s aircraft when they are in Singapore; the frequency of which is dependent on CAAS’ assessment of the carrier.”
The regulator assured that any major deficiencies found in the ramp inspections have to be addressed by the carrier for it to continue operations in Singapore.
“Selangor is a key state in Malaysia,” said Mr Azmin, Chief Minister of Selangor. “We will try to emulate some of the policies implemented in Singapore. I will visit Singapore soon to learn how the Housing Development Board develops low-cost houses for the lower-income group. This is one agenda I will give priority to.” CNA
So they going to stop being corrupt?
The passing of Singapore’s founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew has prompted some young Malaysian politicians to take a hard look at the kind of leaders they want to be. CNA
Update at 7.20am:
Err maybe they can learn how to make the taxpayers pay them multi-million salaries while they bitch about low pay. Doubtless Grace Fu and Jos Teo can teach them?
Btw, interesting that Robert Kuok disagrees with the idea that ministers should be paid millions, and that pigs (he and LKY are pigs) are greedy by nature
M’sian and Cambodian among the 10 finalists that cied vied for the US$1m prize.
Guess that’s the reason why our media didn’t report it. But why didn’t the anti-PAP cybernuts report this huge failing of our world class education system? Err maybe they rely on our MSM for their news of world affairs?
The award has been created by the Varkey Foundation, the charitable arm of the GEMS education group, as a high-profile way of demonstrating the importance of teaching.
The attention-grabbing top prize is meant to show that teaching should be recognised as much as other high-paying careers, such as finance or sport …
Among those supporting the project have been Bill Gates, UK Prime Minister David Cameron, UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the vice-president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai.
The 10 finalists were:
Nancie Atwell, US
Guy Etienne, Haiti
Jacqueline Jumbe-Kahura, Kenya
Neang Phalla, Cambodia
Stephen Ritz, US
Azizullah Royesh, Afghanistan
Kiran Bir Sethi, India
Madenjit Singh, Malaysia
Richard Spencer, UK
Naomi Volain, US
Following complaints from Singaporeans about the inconsistent housing policies in Iskandar, Johor’s Chief Minister said that he makes policies “that look after the interest of Johor people”. He has the interests of his people above the interests of foreign investors he claims. But given that large sections of the Chinese population in Johor vote for the DAP, they don’t believe him.
Likewise, many S’poreans (self-included) doubts that PM and his PAP administration put the interests of S’poreans above that of FTs even though PM said in 20111 the intake of foreign workers contributed to the Republic’s 14.5% economic growth last year, and subsequently led to the budget surplus and Grow & Share package.
Around the time of the Spring Festival celebrations began, the Foreign Trashes managing SGX (president and head rechie are FTs, CEO is leaving) boasted that SGX was planning to attract Chinese cos here. Remember that in Asean, the Thai exchange raises more money than this global financial centre.
Well looks like the FTs still running SGX are hoping that S ‘poreans have forgotten that they lost money in S-chips.
Here’s a reminder that the Cina have not cleaned up their act. During the Spring Feitval hols, London-based directors of Naibu Global revealed they had suspended shares in the Aim-quoted Chinese sportswear maker because executives in China had refused to update them on the co’s finances. Err maybe now that the Spring Festival is over, they’ll contact the London directors. Somehow I doubt it.
This S’pore-based co was founded by Forrest Li, an American educated PTC. A foreign talent indeed.
Since starting in 2009, Garena has rapidly expanded into multiple product lines. It started off creating software that linked people up for multiplayer games, then ventured into game distribution.
In 2010, it launched a mobile social network called Garena+, and more recently unveiled a couple of chat apps (BeeTalk is one) and a payment network called AirPlay. It has even launched its own venture capital firm to invest in startups. Garena has invested in Redmart, an online supermarket in Singapore.
The company claims to have 17 million monthly active users on the PC and 11 million on mobile. Most of its users come from Southeast Asia, but it has expanded into Taiwan and Hong Kong as well. It made S$31 million (US$22 million) in revenue in 2012, growing three times from the year before, according to Garena’s financial documents. In 2014, its annual revenue reached US$200 million.
The company is said to have become the top games publisher in Southeast Asia after itreceived an investment from Chinese internet giant Tencent, which also gave Garena an exclusive license to distribute League of Legends in the region.
According to the Financial Times, the OTPP investment values the company at over US$2.5 billion. Garena wouldn’t confirm the valuation figure.
It has reecently raised a new round of funding, led by The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) with participation from existing investors.
In China, e-commerce sales make up more than 10 per cent of total retail sales, according to RHB, a Malaysia bank. That compares with only 1 per cent in the 10 countries of Asean, of which Indonesia is the largest, followed by Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia.
RHB says there are “no clear dominant regional [Asean] players at the moment” but that the market is “about to take off” given rapid growth in internet penetration and the adoption of mobile technology by young people among the 620m Asean population.
UBS, the Swiss bank, says that most internet traffic in Asean comes from mobile devices as the traditional PC has been circumvented by the arrival of 3G services.
Garena is among a new group of regional online gaming and e-commerce companies that have moved rapidly into Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Myanmar with mobile-based applications for gaming and messaging. They include OffGamers, Asiasoft and Nasdaq-listed MOL, a Malaysian group.
Internet-based retailers have also made inroads, including Lazada.com, which has said it aims to be the Amazon of Southeast Asia.
But this lack of Asian experience shows that the directors think that the main priorities for the bank are to shore up capital (rights issue coming) and mending ties with US regulators. He has great credentials for these tasks. Temasek seems to agree. it welcomed Mr. Winters, who “brings with him considerable experience, as well as an excellent reputation for building good teams.”
(*Btw, “inspired choice” is FT’s description)
Still the lack of Asian experience could become a major issue because there is expected to be an exodus of experienced managers. He may find replacements but changes will be disruptive if not problematic.
STANDARD CHARTERED OVERHAULS LEADERSHIP The British bank Standard Chartered responded on Thursday to shareholders’ calls for change, announcing a sweeping management overhaul including the departure of its chief executive, its chairman, the head of Asian markets and several directors, Jenny Anderson and Chad Bray write in DealBook. In a move that surprised many, it named William T. Winters, the 53-year-old former head of JPMorgan Chase’s investment bank ‒ who was once seen as a candidate to succeed Jamie Dimon ‒ to take the helm.
Mr. Winters, who will join the bank on May 1 and become chief executive in June, will succeed Peter Sands, one of the longest-serving chief executives in British finance. He will receive a base salary of 1.15 million pounds, or about $1.8 million, as well as a pension and other benefits. As the bank’s leader, Mr. Winters will not have it easy. The bank has been hurt in recent years by regulatory fines and investigations and by its focus on emerging markets. It has slashed thousands of jobs, closed its stock trading and underwriting unit and is looking to cut $400 million in costs. Impairments for bad loans, including in the mining sector, have soared.
But Mr. Winters, an American, appears up to the task. In a call with reporters, John W. Peace, the chairman, said that Mr. Winters had “great respect among regulators, clients and the market” and a solid understanding of the global regulatory environment. Temasek Holdings, which owns almost 18 percent of Standard Chartered, declined to comment on whether it had pressed for management changes. But it said that it welcomed Mr. Winters, who “brings with him considerable experience, as well as an excellent reputation for building good teams.”
Related article: http://blogs.reuters.com/breakingviews/2015/02/26/stanchart-board-clearout-is-only-the-first-step/
Funny people M’suan developers. They miss fears of a property glut in Iskandar http://business.asiaone.com/property/news/housing-glut-worries-over-johors-mega-projects saying that the Chinese from China (not S’pore) will buy the properties.
Well there is a very influential group of Malays in UMNO (the top dog in the ruling National Front) that has a problem with local Chinese. They’d freak out over an influx of real Chinese buyers living in Johor. They are likely to view such buyers as a fifth column for the Chinese enclave off Johor>
And for the developers to assume that the potential buyers are clueless about the racial tensions is an assumption too far.
The British bank HSBC is facing battles on multiple fronts. Already forced to apologize for helping clients hide their income from tax authorities, the bank also had to explain on Monday why its chief executive, Stuart Gulliver, went to lengths for years to hide his bonus, at least from his co-workers, Jenny Anderson writes in DealBook. On top of all that, HSBC, which generates much of its income from Asia, reported abysmal results for 2014, saying that its profit fell 15 percent, to $13.7 billion, compared with $16.2 billion in 2013.
The Guardian newspaper reported late Sunday that Mr. Gulliver held at least 5 million pounds, or $7.7 million, in a Swiss account through a Panamanian company until 2003. Mr. Gulliver said on Monday that the account was legal and that he had paid all the required taxes, but his maneuvers nevertheless compound a problem for the bank’s reputation, which is still dealing with the fallout from efforts by its Swiss private banking arm to help wealthy clients evade taxes, Ms. Anderson writes.
Mark Gilbert of Bloomberg View writes: “The cascade of recent revelations suggests HSBC still hasn’t learned its lesson and is more of a social menace than a social good. Mr. Gulliver’s personal tax arrangements may not be illegal, but they are surely ill-advised and inappropriate.” Unless Douglas Flint, HSBC’s chairman, “pulls off an Oscar-worthy performance at Wednesday’s parliamentary hearing, HSBC will only have itself to blame if the authorities decide the bank is too big to regulate and respond by seeking its dismemberment.”
Update on 26 Feb 2015 at 6.30 am
More than a tax problem : http://www.bbc.com/news/business-31590613
Major shareholders getting cranky: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-31618032
Morgan Stanley is recommending going long on the US dollar against the Singapore dollar, the Thai baht and the South Korean won and a long position in the rupee against the Singapore
Of course MS’s assumption is that US raises rates. Didn’t happen lasy yr when that was conventional wisdom.
But India looks pretty good: As Rivals Falter, India’s Economy Is Surging Ahead Long considered a laggard, India is seeing a lift in its stock market as multinational companies look to expand operations there or start new ones, The New York Times reports.
And according to Credit Suisse, India is a major bet for global EM managers these days. Funds on average hold over 15% of their portfolios in Indian companies, double the benchmark weighting. Gd for them: in USD terms, India’s up 41%
The Indian rupee, the Philippine peso, Thai baht and Taiwanese dollar have strengthened against the US dollar, making repayment of dollar debt easier in these places.
Btw, still long Ascendas India Trust.
Pay ministers millions for this type of economic management?
What do you think?
Don’t know about you, but I could smell the haze in the early morning. today. First time in February, though there vwere quite a number of days in January that I smelt it.
Smell disappears after the sun starts shines.
Indonesia it seems is still burning. Or is it the smoke from Parly? Plenty of smoke from both sides these last few days.
Below is an extract from a FT report in late January on the sterling performance of Pinoyland. And the low price of oil means that it’s likely to do better. So gd that “The Philippines’ economic resurgence, driven by domestic demand and economic reforms, has led to renewed interest from Singapore as well as Singapore-based companies,” said Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry Lim Hng Kiang. “As the Philippine economy continues to grow, demand for consumer goods and infrastructure development in sectors such as transportation and housing will rise in tandem.”* (CNA 4 th February)
Yet the Pinoy PMETs still prefer to come here. Tells us a lot doesn’t it?
The Philippines has defied regional trends by recording a pick-up in growth in the fourth quarter, as a bounce in government spending gave a fresh boost to one of Asia’s fastest-growing economies.
The Southeast Asian country grew at an annualised pace of 6.9 per cent in the final three months of the year, far ahead of the 6 per cent expected by most analysts. The quarter-on-quarter figure of 2.5 per cent was the highest in almost two decades, according …. Barclays.
A rebound in government spending was a key driver of the higher growth rate. Exports also proved strong, with manufacturing growing 10.7 per cent year on year, while the agricultural sector also performed above expectations.
The Philippines has been among the brightest economic stars in Asia since … 2010. Although the annual growth figure of 6.1 per cent is the lowest since 2011, the economy remains one of the fastest-growing in the world.
The acceleration in growth last quarter contrasts with a slowdown in many regional economies, including India, Indonesia and China.
Investors have given the Philippines a clear endorsement in both the bond and equity markets this year. The Manila index briefly rose above 7,700 points for the first time on Thursday, having clocked up a string of record highs in recent days.
This month the Philippines became the year’s first sovereign issuer in the US dollar bond market, selling $2bn of 30-year debt while paying a record low yield. Unlike Indonesia, all three major international rating agencies now regard the Philippines as investment-grade.
Investor demand has helped make the peso the best-performing currency in Asia in the past three months, during which time it has risen 1.5 per cent against the dollar. No other currency in the region has strengthened against the dollar over that period.
The Asian Development Bank expects the Philippine economy to grow 6.4 per cent this year, the highest in the region after China.
However, some analysts say lower oil prices and the unexpected uptick shown in the latest data suggest the economy may grow even faster.
Research from Capital Economics highlights the country as the world’s biggest beneficiary of the lower crude price.
“The outlook for the rest of the economy is promising. Consumer spending should remain strong on the back of falling oil prices, which will boost consumers’ purchasing power,” … Capital Economics
*More: Bilateral trade between the Philippines and Singapore hit S$15 billion last year – a 2-per cent increase from 2013. For the Philippines, Singapore is its fourth largest trading partner worldwide and top trading partner in ASEAN.
IE Singapore said there is great potential for Singapore companies to partner both the Philippine government and private sector, especially in developing infrastructure.
Under the Public-Private Partnership Programme introduced by the Philippine government in 2010, several projects have been successfully tendered by Singapore firms such as SMRT and MSI Global.
IE Singapore also said local firms are starting to explore opportunities beyond the capital city Manila into regions such as Cebu and Clark.
“Singapore at the moment is our second largest investor in investment projects. It’s also the third largest in terms of direct portfolio investments,” said Mr Guillermo Luchangco, the Philippine co-chair of the Philippines-Singapore Business Council. “We do have a very active investment incentive programme. Depending on the type of industry you bring in, it can get a lot of tax incentives and there is ease of bringing in people.”
The Philippines also has one of the highest household consumption expenditure in ASEAN, with a population of 96 million people. This offers considerable opportunities in consumer sectors, across the F&B, fashion and retail categories.
The CEOs of Llyods and HSBC UK are reported to be hot favourites according to Bloomberg http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-01-28/lloyds-hsbc-executives-seen-as-favored-for-stanchart-ceo-role. Both are Portuguese. And the latter is gayhttp://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/jan/18/hsbcs-antonio-simoes-says-being-gay-was-key-to-career-success .
Wespac’s CEO is also in the frame.
Another report says that our very own Gupta (FT turned new citizen) is also a possible candidate.
Given that StanChart is big in M’sia, Hk, India and Indonesia, and wants to be big in China, I somehow don’t think appointing a gay is on the cards
FT’s Lombard thinks that “ex-StanChart guy Alex Thursby” will get the nod.
Alex Thursby, who went on to run ANZ’s Asian businesses and is now the CEO of National Bank of Abu Dhabi. In his current role, he is trying to drive a bank that will become multinational by following trade within the emerging world – what he calls the West-East corridor. But when asked if this looks a lot like a StanChart model, he says: “I think this has similarities with the Standard Chartered of old. The Stanchart model has changed over the years since I was there, and whether it’s changed for better or worse is for others to make a judgment on.”
Thursby’s words are carefully chosen but he’s clearly referring to StanChart’s ventures into financial markets businesses that it used to leave to the pure-play investment banks. And it is notable that the financial markets business is the one that is causing the problems in the bank today; the warning today says that division is the “main challenge” facing the bank and that everything else is in line with expectations. The head of that business, Lenny Feder, is to take a 12 month sabbatical for personal reasons, the bank says, and will not return to that role afterwards.
The financial markets business in StanChart parlance includes some things that others might consider mainstream, like foreign exchange, but it also houses equities and commodities, among other things. Peter Sands, speaking about the reduced performance, said today that the business was being hit by falling volumes in rates, squeezed margins, regulatory changes, and the fact that less business is done in a low-rate environment.
None of which would have had much impact on the Standard Chartered model of old. Which raises a further question: perhaps this most storied and reliable of institutions should get back to doing what it’s good at. It might be boring. But it works.
It jus shuttered its cash equity biz, if you must know.
As the charts below show, real interest rates here are still +ve (juz), and deflation is a’coming. Retirees should love a bit of deflation. But if got mortgage https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/12/16/why-oil-price-falls-bad-for-mortgagees/
The Sunday Telegraph reported that Temasek and Aberdeen (between them they hold 30% of StanChart) had told chairman Sir John Peace that he must find a replacement for Mr Sands within months or stand down himself.
FT reports the bank is looking to replace Peter Sands this year and has hired a headhunter to look for a successor ASAP. It says that Temasek and Aberdeen hold him responsible for not responding fast enough to a reversal of StanChart’s fortunes.
After all neither the PRC developers nor their M’sian partners have good reputations for reliability. And then there is the issue of escalating tolls. I heard an interesting story that M’sia raised its tolls (which led S’pore to follow) because the federal govt wanted to send a message to the sultan of Johor to behave. Remember the row when there was an attempt to extend his executive powers? There was a plan to allow him personally senior officials of a Johor state agency invvolved in land development.
The latest is on the east side of Causeway http://business.asiaone.com/news/new-jb-waterfront-city-facing-spore
Here’s a good ST graphic of the various projects
All built on sand: an interesting take on the importance of sand http://www.harvarddesignmagazine.org/issues/39/built-on-sand-singapore-and-the-new-state-of-risk
Malaysia … have to cope with lower tax revenue from energy, minerals and other commodities. In Thailand, the central bank is hoping for a lift in public spending to revive growth; but the military-backed government is finding it hard to spend the 2015 budget.
Thailand will need monetary stimulus this year.
Relatively young countries like Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines drag down the average age.
[T]he private sector in Asia-Pacific now owes 1.5 times the region’s combined annual output, according to the Bank for International Settlements. As a big chunk of the borrowing is in the opaque shadow banking system, particularly in China, the debt could be even larger. Either way, servicing the loans requires incomes to increase quickly. Yet, real GDP growth is slowing almost everywhere in the region.
The threat of slowly rising consumer prices slipping into outright deflation is making things worse. Producer prices are sliding across Asia-Pacific. Falling energy costs provide a convenient excuse for margin-starved employers to skimp on pay hikes, just as they did in the late 1980s. That makes the situation harder for borrowers in Malaysia, Korea, Thailand and Singapore, all of which have high household leverage. Persistent lowflation will leave borrowers with higher debt burdens than they expected.
Demographics aren’t helping. Japan, China, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand are ageing rapidly.
Homeless people who attended a government-run event in Malaysia were given household appliances as gifts, it’s reported.
Munirah Abdul Hamid, founder of the Pertiwi Soup Kitchen in Kuala Lumpur, …”Some of them came up to me and asked if I would like to buy the appliances as money would have been more valuable to them,” she says, adding that food or clothing would have made better gifts. The federal territories minister, Tengku Adnan, concedes the event wasn’t perfect, describing it as a “trial-and-error experience”, and doesn’t mind if people sell the gifts for money. “They can do as they please,” he says. “Next year, we will improve and give something else to the homeless.”
(Panama sounds interesting)
And given the strong S$ and the value of property here*, we S’poreans got options to move on and yet remain nearby. Yet people like Goh Meng Seng and Andrew Loh die die want S’poreans to live and die here. They should let S’poreans decide, not insist that real s’poreans sgould stay home.
*Surely the PAP administration has shumething to do with these?
(Or “Pinoy Pride at work: OK for Pinoys to threaten, insult S’poreans but not vice versa)
The Filipino embassy told a Filipino nurse to be “extra careful with his social media usage”*, days after the nurse, Edz Ello, made some insulting and threatening comments about S’porean on social media. He has alleged that he did not post the comments, alleging that he was hacked.
An intelligent TRE poster (glad to see more of them posting: too many fools talking cock posting rubbish) pointed out the difference between the official Pinoy response and the official Chinese response when a PRC juz flamed S’poreans:
Sunny Day: During dog incident, one of PRC embassy staff Madam Zhou gave stern rebuke to Sun Xu, had asked him to apologize to Singaporeans, NUS, his teachers and friends and everybody. So contrary to Pinoy govt response. You can be sure that Filipino govt soft action means they don’t disagree with ezo ello totally.
I’d add that China is a regional power and is seen by the US as threatening its regional and global hegemony; yet its officials knows how to behave towards a host country. So unlike the Pinoy officals here, whose country has to run crying and grovelling to the US whenever the Pinoy govt threaten China and get kicked in the face by China for their threats against China. And they still wanted in 2012 Chinese tourists to come gamble in Manila? Btw, Chinese said the country is not safe.
What accounts for the arrogance of the diplomats and Ello here? They think they own the place juz because they think the first “P” in the “PAP” stands for “Pinoy”?
Whatever it is, we know where people like Ello get their inspiration: their diplomata, who refuse to condemn threatening and insulting behaviour when made by Pinoys but are quick to KPKB about“the few Singaporeans” who have lashed out, and condemned the blog that suggested abusing Filipinos.
“I think it was unfair and racist and discriminatory,” he said, adding that the blogger had still not been identified.
(My take on the interview https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/01/01/pinoy-tua-kee-gives-the-finger-to-govt-meng-seng-2/)
Well shouldn’t he condemn the language used in Ello’s Facebook (even if Ello alleged it wasn’t him), by saying that guests must respect their hosts? Instead the embassy merely tells Ello to be “extra careful with his social media usage”: this could simply mean “keep yr threats and insults about S’poreans among the Pinoy community”?
Maybe the diplomats are like this
We Filipinos are famous for being onion-skinned or easily slighted at perceived insults. While it’s perfectly normal for us to taunt and criticize others, we can’t handle the same when it’s being hurled back at us. Incidents showcasing our extra-sensitivity to insults usually involve a foreigner making either a bonafide racist remark or a humorous jab at us Filipinos. True to form, our reactions would range from righteous indignation to excessive grandstanding. While it is alright to feel incensed, throwing a fit in front of the world would inevitably do us no good at all.
*The Philippine embassy in Singapore has told a Filipino nurse to be “extra careful with his social media usage”, days after disparaging remarks about Singaporeans appeared on his Facebook account, which he said was hacked.
The Facebook post called Singaporeans “loosers” (losers) and expressed hope that “disators (disasters) will strike Singapore”. The Tan Tock Seng Hospital nurse has reported to the police that his account was hacked.
The Philippine embassy added that it has reiterated its previous advisories on the use of social media.
“Since the matter is under police investigation, the embassy advised the person concerned to cooperate fully with the SPF (Singapore Police Force).”
Tan Tock Seng Hospital has said it is working with the police on the investigation.
Double standards of the Pinoy leader in S’pore?
The Philippines ambassador to Singapore, Antonio A Morales … expressed concern about “the few Singaporeans” who have lashed out, and condemned the blog that suggested abusing Filipinos.
“I think it was unfair and racist and discriminatory,” he said, adding that the blogger had still not been identified.
(My take on the interview https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/01/01/pinoy-tua-kee-gives-the-finger-to-govt-meng-seng-2/)
Well, how about the ambasador expressing concern and condemning the fact that Pinoy Ello Ello wants to drive out S’poreans from S’pore and replace them with Pinoys? Or at least since Ello Ello is alleging he was hacked, to remind Pinoys here that they are guests here, not the governing master race, and behave appropriately. The fuuny thing is that in their home country, the American military are the governing master race: their dollars talk.
But let’s not be too unkind to the Pinoy leader here, when we have someone like William Wan:
Given the PAP administration love of FTs, one wonders why he never was made NMP. Maybe PAP found his love of FTs over S’poreans a tad too much with an election pending?
When S’poreans complained to Tan Tock Seng Hospital that a Pinoy radiologist there had ranted about S’poreans on his Facebook page, the hospital reported on Facebook, “Dear all, the staff concerned is one of our nurses. He has reported to the police that his Facebook account has been hacked. We are cooperating with the police on the investigation. Thank you for the alerts and concern.”
Three points about the alleged hacking:
— So easy to hack Facebook meh? My understanding is that Facebook’s defences against hacking are pretty robust and only sophisticated hackers could do such a hacking.
— So why would a sophisticated hacker waste his or her time on an unknown Pinoy FT? Making it seem as though he was insulting S’poreans?
— Seems that anti-S’porean comments have been posted on the now “hacked” FB page in the past. You mean Ello the Pinoy never reads his own FB page? So page has been “hacked” and Ello only juz realised it. He is as clueless as a certain drum-major* from Cathoic High, whose band is alleged to have ignored him because they knew he was wrong, not them?
Seems to me that Ello the Pinoy would be more believable if he had claimed, “Not my page. I’m being fixed.”
Seems to me the Pinoy ambassador who talks provocatively of Filipinos … moving into more sectors of employment at a time when there is mounting concerned that FTs are favoured over locals in the job market has a lot to answer for: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/01/01/pinoy-tua-kee-gives-the-finger-to-govt-meng-seng-2/
Pinoys will undoubtedly play the victim, citing fear. Let me remind these professional victims and theit allies like Kirsten Han: there are no goons with guns here. That is the Pinoy way, not the S’porean way.
An Indian FT loves PinoyLand. Why doesn’t he relocate to Manila instead of living here? Maybe no goons with guns here, no traffic jams?
Where can investors hide if emerging markets get into trouble?
In Asia, the country that comes closest to a sanctuary is the Philippines. Growth is rapid, and government finances are in much better shape than before. In a 2015 beauty pageant, the Philippines might lose out to some larger economies which could reap a reform-led bounty. Still, India and Indonesia are risky bets, while South Korea is flirting with deflation.
But he has a point: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/01/03/three-asean-mkts-in-top-10-performing-mkts-of-2014/
More on why emerging markets can get into trouble in 2015
Emerging markets follow the biblical rule of seven lean years followed by seven rich ones, according to Harvard University economist Jeffrey Frankel. Every fifteen years, a crisis erupts.
By that measure, a rout is almost due. Developing economies have seen six years of brisk credit growth, fuelled by cheap global money. Private and public debt has ballooned. Since the end of 2007, the surge has been 90 percent of GDP in China, 30 percent in Brazil, and 40 percent in the Czech Republic.
These types of excesses typically stop abruptly. Seven years of frenzied petrodollar recycling in Latin America ended with a debt debacle in 1982. A seven-year boom preceded the 1997 Asian crisis. The trigger for the next rout could be an uncontrolled rise in U.S. bond yields, leading to an exodus of capital from developing nations.
The Pinoys should go home if they really are proud of their country. Maybe coups are gd for the stock market (Egypt, Thailand)
Remember earlier this yr, when GMS, Gilbert Goh and various anti-PAP paper warriors were proclaiming victory when the Pinoys called off their “trespass” (taz how GMS spun a Pinoy plan to hold a party at a public space in Orchard Rd)?
They were cock-a-hoop, trumpeting their “victory”. Pinoy pride was badly hurt.
Very recently, the Philippines’ ambassador to Singapore Antonio A Morales says that Filipinos are moving into more sectors of employment
The estimated number of Filipinos working in Singapore tripled in the past decade to about 167,000 as of 2013, according to Philippines census data.
Filipinos are willing to take on jobs for lower salaries, with working conditions unacceptable to Singaporeans.
The trend has made Filipinos “easier to exploit”, disadvantaging both them and Singaporeans, said migrant rights activist Jolovan Wham.
And this at a time when the PAP adminitrastion is saying that it,s tightening FT employment rules. If so how come Pinoys are are moving into more sectors of employment
So it seems the Pinoy colomisation of S’pore continues despite what the PAP administration and Meng Seng says.
What do you think?
Btw here’s more about the PAP administration love of FTs, and Pinoys sliming us. I wrote this in July 2014 but decided not to publish it as I didn’t want to come across as anti-Pinoy (I like being served by Pinoy service staff), nor did I want to be associated a man who helped ensure the PAP’s preferred candidate won the presidential election (I had no issues with the Pinoys partying at Orchard Rd if they could meet the requirements).
But since the ambassador is raising the temperature with his comments (the embassy has form in this respect), I’ll add my my two-pence worth on the issue of Pinoys sliming us and the PAP’s administration love of FTs.
Pinoys vilify us
The education minister said last week [week before 26 July] it is important to go beyond understanding the “main races”.in embracing diversity.
“Singapore has thrived because of our openness to international trade flow, knowledge and cultures, all of which have brought us opportunities and progress. As Singapore moves towards a more diverse landscape, it is important that we continue to embrace diversity,” said Mr Heng.
“We also need to go beyond understanding the main races to respecting all people regardless of race, language or religion, who live and work in Singapore – for the happiness, prosperity and progress of our nation.”
Given that there are about 200,000 Pinoys working here, the largest group outside the “main races”, one can only assume, he is trying to tell us to be nice to the Pinoys.
No wonder there are Pinoys who think that the PAP stands for “Pinoy Action Party”.
It’s the Pinoys in PinoyLand who should learn to understand S’poreans.
Two recent examples of Pinoys defaming us.
Singaporean officials* has assured the Philippines their government is taking steps to address the hate campaign on Filipinos working there.
The assurance was made by the Singapore delegation who participated in Informal Consultations on the Philippines-Singapore Action Plan (PSAP).
Hate campaign against Pinoys meh?
So how come they were laughing and chatting away last week-end at Lucky Plaza. And Goh Meng Seng is still in HK, and quiet? Juz like Gilbert Goh. Surely if there is a hate campaign, these two men would be shouting themselves hoarse?
What more Pinoys in PinoyLand want? An excuse to burn our flag in PinoyLand and then give us two fingers? They not happy no get visas to come here to earn money and live in a place without fearing goons with guns. Are they being stirred by Pinoys here unhappy that what they tot were the Pinoy Action Party, Pinoy Minister, Pinoy Minister’s Office and Pinoy Police Force they make sure that Pinoys could party in a busy shopping area on a Saturday afternoon. https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/07/04/pinoys-still-ng-kum-guan-about-8-june-fiasco/
And this vilification of us is only the latest. A few weeks ago, former ambassador Roy Seneres said the OFW Family party-list will file a protest with the International Labor Organization for violations of relevant ILO conventions relative to the right of workers to decent work and to be treated as human beings not as slaves and/or chattels.
Seneres, founder of the party-list, was reacting to reports that Filipino service workers in Singapore are being put on display in malls in the city-state to attract prospective employers.
Singapore must come out with a clear-cut statement that they have stopped the despicable practice or else the OFW Family party-List will file a protest with the [ILO]” on the matter.
He obviously doesn’t read the newspapers or if he does, doesn’t trust what a S’pore-based diplomat said, or the S’pore govt.
This report appeared a day earlier in the same newpaper.
The Singaporean Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said a Filipino diplomat in Singapore cast doubt on an online news report that Filipina household workers were being displayed for sale at some of the city-state’s malls.
In a statement, MOM responded “to recent Filipino media reports, based on an online Al Jazeera story, about the treatment of Filipino foreign domestic workers (FDWs) while they are placed with employment agencies (EAs) in Singapore.”
The statement said “we note that when contacted by The Straits Times, the Filipino labor attaché in Singapore, Mr. Vicente Cabe, was quoted as saying that based on his observations, the online article ‘doesn’t seem to have basis’ and that while he saw some FDWs sitting on one side of a room at some agencies, waiting to be interviewed by clients, “ . . . it seems a bit exaggerated to say that there is anything wrong with that.”
The MOM said it visited the EAs in the two shopping centers concerned and did not find any inappropriate “displays of FDWs.”
Its statement added that “the Al Jazeera story also mentioned that some FDWs could be seen demonstrating household or care giving chores within the premises of EAs. As some EAs have training facilities in the same premises as their front offices, it is not unreasonable for FWDs to be performing such chores at the EA’s premises.”
Furthermore, “the same story also suggested that some FDWs were not treated well while in their EA’s care. MOM’s rules are clear that EAs have to ensure the well-being of FDWs in their case.”
The ministry said “inappropriate display of FDWs” at EAs’ premises or advertising them as being “available for hire at cheap or discounted prices” are unacceptable practices. MOM requires EAs to be responsible and accord basic respect in their practices to both their clients—the employer and the FDW—and expects them to exercise sensitivity when marketing their fees or services.”
Btw, S’poreans don’t go round decribing mixed-parentage S’poreans as mongrels. Pinoys call mixed race Pinoys “mongrels”.
Juz go home pls: Bank president Jim Yong Kim has described the Philippines as the next “Asian miracle” and a global model in fighting corruption, as it emerges from decades as a regional economic laggard.
Related post: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/05/31/event-planning-pinoy-style/
*I pass no comment on whether our officials agreed there was a hate campaign. I sincerely hope that our officials will always defend S’pore and S’poreans against such comments.
Golfing while his country is flooding: PM Najib was criticised as photos emerged of him playing golf with President Obama on Christmas Eve.
Our PM and Najib are sons of PMs who are highly regarded as effective, strong leaders. But, they bit like this guy? The grandson of another effective, strong leader?
The Pinoys got it right when exporting. it exports people, not exhaustible resources. For full-year 2014, total remittances are likely to hit a record-high USD 23bn. – See more at: http://sbr.com.sg/economy/asia/philippines%E2%80%99-overseas-foreign-workers%E2%80%99-remittances-reach-79#sthash.bKDMWDaQ.dpuf
Getting cheaper by the day: both prices and M$*.
Soon Fandi will beable to afford to retire in M’sia. But he might find the tolls too expensive: S$13.10 to JB and S$12.40 at Tuas, and another S$7.70 (M$20) from next yr according to M’sian govt.
*Updated at 5.45pm
The Singapore dollar continued to weaken against the US dollar on Friday (Dec 19). While currency strategists are anticipating the downward trend to continue – with the US Federal Reserve expected to hike interest rates – they also see the Singapore dollar maintaining a strong position against some of its regional counterparts.
The US economy is showing strong signs of recovery as indicators like growth and jobs continue to gather momentum – that is helping to drive up the greenback as the US Federal Reserve tightens its monetary policy.
The Singapore dollar has been on a steady downward slide in recent months and currency strategists expect it to end the year fairly stable at around S$1.31.
Mr Khoon Goh, a senior FX strategist with ANZ, said: “For the Singapore dollar, we are expecting it to be fairly stable going into the year-end. Based on current levels, it will probably end at around the S$1.31 level. Heading into the next year, we are expecting a further depreciation of the Singapore dollar. We are forecasting a year-end 2015 target of 1.33.
“This is a fairly modest depreciation against the US dollar, and that is partly because we expect the Monetary Authority of Singapore to continue to maintain its policy of a modest and gradual appreciation of the SGD NEER basket. Against other regional currencies, however, I think that is where the SGD is set to outperform.”
Against regional currencies, the Singapore dollar has hit historical highs against the Malaysian ringgit and Indonesian rupiah. It has also gained ground on the yen due to monetary easing by the Bank of Japan.
“In that sense, the Singapore dollar has held up quite well against these currencies, but the Singapore dollar has also underperformed against the likes of the Thai baht, Philippine peso and Chinese currency,” said Mr Sim Moh Siong, director and FX strategist at the Bank of Singapore.
“The ‘middle of the pack’ ranking will likely stick as we head into next year. If you look at the Singapore dollar relative to its basket, it has been pretty stable, even amidst the emerging market turbulence led by the big drop in the Russian rouble and oil price decline,” he added.
Amid current volatility linked to oil price declines, the Singapore dollar has been relatively stable compared to currencies of oil exporting economies. With its strong fundamentals, it is being seen as a safe haven among regional and emerging market currencies. Therefore, market watchers said that it remains attractive to investors in times of financial market uncertainty.
In November this yr, mgr was quoted as saying the fund was looking expensive.
Remember a “PAP is always right” man KPKBing when StanChart was charged that the reulator was a “rogue regulator”. StanChart then made the dean of LKY School look dumb, really dumb, by pleading guiltyy
Double confirm that StanChart is a rogue bank and the PAP apologist is a fool because now: The management of Standard Chartered is facing renewed pressure after being placed under fresh scrutiny by US regulators.
Two years after being fined more than £400m for breaching US sanctions towards Iran, the bank revealed that a two-year deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) that was imposed at the time was being extended for three years.
The US authorities are now investigating whether Standard Chartered breached its sanctions rules beyond 2007, the period when the previous offences for which the bank was penalised took place.
Looks like Santa didn’t bring Ho a nice Christmas present, giving her a turd instead. Juz look at share price chart from FT. [Chart added at 11.30 am]
Unlike me, a friend’s friend has done his research on retiring in M’sia. Renting a place is the biggest expense (like me he doesn’t believe in buying in M’sia*) and the cheapest place to rent in a near-to-S’pore urban environment is Malacca or Penang.
This is because S’poreans who invested in apartments there have serious problems renting them out. They forgot that land is plentiful even in Malacca and Penang.
So do yr fellow S’poreans and yrself a favour, go retire in Penang or Malacca. And there is the added advantage of easy access to first-world medical treatment at M’sian prices.
Btw, he calculates that a couple can live in Penang or Malacca very comfortably at S$2,500 a month. To retire to Cameron Highlands (my fav) is more expensive (S$3,500). Rent is expensive there as development is controlled.
Singapore took a tumble on the list of 50 Most Inspiring Cities in the World, down from number two last year to number 21 this year.
The GOOD City Index describe itself as a celebration of the 50 cities around the world that best capture the elusive quality of possibility.
The index looked at eight areas; hub for progress, civic engagement, street life, defining moment, connectivity, green life, diversity, and work/life balance.
Hong Kong took the top spot on the list this year, climbing up from the 24th position last year.
Other regonal cities on the top 50 list include Delhi, Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai, Seoul, Shanghai, Taipei, and Tokyo.
*latest example of capriciousness of M’sia’s rulers: the Malacca state govt is planning to seize property that the Portuguese, Dutch and British handed out.
Below is a piece from a broker on smaller cap O&M plays.. My view is don’t play, play. Buy two of Temasek’s Fab 5 and ride the upswing and sleep peacefully if oil prices remain low for a long time.
according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Sembcorp Marine Ltd. (SMM), the world’s second-biggest oil-rig maker, is down 29 percent this year, the index’s worst-performing stock.
Keppel Corp. Ltd. (KEP), which earned 69 percent of its revenues from the offshore and marine sectors in the quarter through September, is down 20 percent, the third-worst performer.
Many of the stocks in report posted by a friend on Facebook cannot survive prolonged period of oil at present levels.
OFFSHORE & MARINE (OVERWEIGHT)
Could Yesterday Be Capitulation?
Singapore oil and gas (O&G) stocks dropped 5-16% yesterday when Brent crude
fell 2% intra-day to USD67.50/bbl. A capitulation? We see at worst a 10-15%
short-term oil price downside from here before bumping up against marginal
deepwater costs, which form the oil price floor from a fundamental
perspective. The market’s fear is palpable, creating a positive environment
for mid-term returns for investors who can ride out the volatility.
What’s the downside? Today, global oil production stands at c.92m
barrels/day, c.70% onshore, c.20% shallow water and c.10% deepwater. Oil
demand is still growing 1.5% annually, while US shale supply has exceeded
forecasts. To maintain this production level to meet demand, deepwater
sources with marginal costs at USD40-80/barrel (bbl) must remain
profitable. Using the range’s mid-point, prices could go 10-15% lower in
the short term before a physical supply crunch. Oil traders know this and
will likely not extend shorts beyond USD60/bbl.
The oil market is heavily-speculated, too. Investors tend to forget that
the oil market is a human one too, prone to overreaction to peaks and lows.
Oil-related stocks now appear to be swinging in response to oil traders’
moves, which completely ignore company fundamentals.
What is made can be unmade. Cheerful media articles are now talking about
oil going to the USD36/bbl range (financial crisis low) or the USD12/bbl
range (in the 1980s when Saudi Arabia last defended market share). They
ignore the fact that the financial crisis low was caused by a global credit
crunch, forcing traders to take liquidity out from any source. The 1980s
environment was that of a global recession when oil demand fell 10%
cumulatively and when 90% of the oil was produced onshore. Such conditions
do not exist today. The recent price fall was more or less engineered by
the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) decision to
maintain production, which takes a simple production cut to undo.
Our Top Picks at USD70/bbl oil. Oil prices at this level will hit
ultra-deepwater hard, but shallow-water fields (at USD25-50/bbl) remain
strongly profitable and production-related work are unlikely to be
significantly affected. We continue to like selected Singapore O&G stocks
that entered this correction with starting valuations already low, which
have since become 35% lower. Our Top Picks are Giken Sakata (GSS SP, BUY,
TP: SGD0.65), Ezion (EZI SP, BUY, TP: SGD2.65), Nam Cheong (NCL SP, BUY,
TP: SGD0.61), Pacific Radiance (PACRA SP, BUY, TP: SGD1.55) and Marco Polo
Marine (MPM SP, BUY, TP: SGD0.60). They have strong 12-month earnings
growth and low valuations, unique industry positions and a focus on
shallow-water operations that can lead to a strong re-rating when the
market stabilises. We are negative on Vard (VARD SP, SELL, TP: SGD0.57) and
PACC Offshore Services (POSH SP, NR) for their deepwater exposure.
And watch out.
Swiber and Ezra Holdings Ltd. are scheduled to repay S$720 million ($552 million) of notes within the next two years, or three-quarters of the borrowers’ market value, after funding expansion.
Swiber, with a market value of about $150 million, has raised the equivalent of $289 million in four bond sales this year, three in Singapore dollars and one in offshore yuan. The October 2016 notes issued at par in April traded at 92.99 cents Nov. 27, while the June 2016 bonds sold in May were at 94.65.
Swiber had negative operating cash flow of $5.3 million in the quarter through September, according to its latest results, and total bonds and loans climbed to $1.23 billion at Sept. 30 from $837.7 million at the end of 2013.
“The company is aware of current market concerns surrounding the oilfield services sector as a result of the recent weakness in oil prices,” a Swiber spokesman said in an e-mailed statement. “Swiber has developed good longstanding and supportive relationships with its banks, and is confident of its ability to meet existing debt obligations when these come due.”
Ezra Holdings’ total liabilities were $2.2 billion at the end of August, a 22 percent leap from a year earlier. Its 2016 bonds issued in March dropped more than two cents in as many months, Bloomberg compiled prices show.
Oil’s correction should be temporary as a lack of substitutes will ensure strong demand, said Eugene Cheng Chee Mun, chief financial officer of Ezra Holdings.
“We are proactively looking at refinancing options,” said Cheng Chee Mun. The company is at the peak of the capital expenditure cycle and should start increasing free cash flow next year and hence start to deleverage, he said.
Backgrounder from NYT’s DealBook dated Monday
Oil prices have come under pressure as global output of crude oil exceeded demand this year. In particular, domestic oil production has soared more 70 percent over the last six years, to roughly nine million barrels a day. The country is still a net importer, but with production growing by more than a million barrels a day every year, it is importing less and less almost every month. Imports from OPEC producers have been cut by more than a half in recent years, forcing increasing competition among Saudi Arabia and other exporting countries seeking to replace the American market with Chinese and other Asian markets. The tumbling price in oil has produced economic hardship and potential political problems for OPEC producers like Venezuela and Iran.
How low can oil prices go? Tony Roth, chief investment officer at Wilmington Trust, told Reuters, “Crude seems to have no floor right now, and we could easily see the price drop into the low $60s.” Ed Morse, global head of commodities research at Citigroup, told The Wall Street Journal, “There’s lower prices ahead.” On Monday morning, benchmark futures in New York and London slumped as much as 3.7 percent, before making up some of those losses. “It’s clear that a production war is on and it will be survival of the fittest,” Phil Flynn, a senior market analyst at the Price Futures Group in Chicago, said in an email to Bloomberg News.
The second biggest shareholder in Standard Chartered (after Temasek with around 27%) is standing by the embattled Asia-focused bank, continuing to buy the stock and insisting that nothing is “fundamentally wrong” with the company.
Martin Gilbert, chief executive of Aberdeen Asset Management PLC, said that funds run by his company have been “buyers of the stock in a fairly modest way,” despite a series of profit warnings that have sent Standard Chartered’s share price down 33% this year.
“We do not think there is anything fundamentally wrong with the bank,” said Mr. Gilbert, during a call to discuss Aberdeen’s results. He said that revenue growth had slowed but added that he would prefer the bank’s existing management team, headed by chief executive Peter Sands, to “sort it out” rather than looking for a replacement: “They have to really get on with it, I would say, and have a look at the costs.”
Aberdeen owns 7% of the bank, according to Factset, and, as of Oct. 31 2014, that had not changed since last year. Some Aberdeen funds have “topped up” their positions this month however, according to an Aberdeen spokesman.
The value of Standard Chartered shares held by the emerging markets-focused fund manager slid from a peak of $5.1 billion in February last year to $2.6 billion in October, according to Factset data. Part of that was due to an 8% reduction in the size of Aberdeen’s stake at the end of last year, but most was due to the bank’s falling share price.
Temasek is one of the shareholders pressing for a change of mgt, other reports claim.
But no need to panic or curse Temasek*: Standard & Poor’s says bank is going through times but it still among world’s most creditworthy commercial lenders.
It has some big exposures to heavily indebted clients, such as India’s Ruia brothers, who control the Essar Group, and Indonesian billionaire Samin Tan.
But the facts won’t stop Philip Ang, TOC’s and TRE’s star analyst, from cursing and ranting: he’s so bad that in a piece on a GIC, London investment, he left out the rental yields out of his calculation because he said that the income was “peanuts” (my word, not his). Well commercial property yields are a gd 6%, and have been as high as 8% in some yrs recently.
OK it’s Thailand but given the performance of ex-genewrals like BG Yeo, NOL’s CEO and SMRT’s CEO (still can’t fix security issues, let alone get the trains to run on time), if SAF stages a coup after a freak election, we’ll be like Thailand in no time..
Six months after the military coup in Thailand
The latest GDP figures have eked out small increases, leading the government’s economic forecasting agency to predict growth of just 1% this year.
Worryingly, since the coup, tourist numbers have fallen by 20% as travel warnings issued by governments have deterred some visitors.
Top bosses at Standard Chartered admitted the bank’s performance had been disappointing as they announced plans to close 100 branches in a $400m (£250m) cost-cutting drive to win back support from disgruntled investors.
The admission was made as the bank’s top management team began three days of presentations to investors, who have endured a 30% drop in share values. There are also concerns about whether the bank has enough capital.
At the start of the three-day presentation, the new finance director, Andy Halford, said: “We recognise our recent performance has been disappointing and are determined to get back on to a trajectory of sustainable, profitable growth, delivering returns above our cost of capital.”
The Thais can blame the political problems there. Govt here blames the “deft” locals for insisting that govt cuts back on its uber liberal immigration policy? To be fair, we’ve the only developed country in Asean, so lower growth rates are par for the course. Tell that to TRE ranters and other anti-PAP paper warriors: they blame the PAP for everything that isn’t “right” here. .
Coca-Cola to Buy Stake in Indonesian Unit for $500 Million. Coca-Cola will come to the aid of its Australian affiliate Coca-Cola Amatil by taking a 29 percent stake in a struggling Indonesian business for $500 million, Reuters reports. The deal effectively values the Indonesian unit at $1.7 billion.
Above is FT’s headline for today.
Ho, Aberdeen, Blackrock and L&G baring their fangs? TRE ranters and other anti-PAP paper activists, pls note that Temasek has been pushing for a succession plan for some time.
But they can rejoice ’cause sharesclosed at £9.39 on Friday – down from £18 less than two years ago.
They will be celebrating.
Last Saturday, Today triumphantly proclaimed
For the second year running, Sentosa has been named Southeast Asia’s most expensive island destination by TripAdvisor in a cost comparison report.
The TripIndex Island Sun Report 2014 by the world’s largest travel site looked at the cost of an overnight stay in a four-star hotel, dinner for two, beers, a one-hour massage for two, and bicycle and kayak rentals at 16 popular island destinations across South-east Asia in its study.
A massage for two costs S$315.33 on Sentosa, three times more than Boracay in the Philippines (S$93.11) and six times more than Phu Quoc, Vietnam, where it costs S$50.67. Bicycle rental on Sentosa for two costs S$90, but only costs S$10.94 in Lombok and S$5.29 in Bali.
Hotels were the most expensive item on the list, making up about half of the total cost for most islands.
It then realised that this wasn’t putting Sentosa in a gd light and swerved, as bwfits a constructive, nation-building newspaper, The Singapore island had a very different value proposition from the other South-east Asian islands and that TripAdvisor’s findings did not give a full and accurate representation of its value-for-money offerings.
“A two-course meal for two with drinks can be had for less than S$50 at some of the dining venues on the island. Guests to Sentosa can also enjoy good value through our PlayPass, which gives them the flexibility to choose from various attractions on the island at affordable rates,” he said.
“Locals who sign up for our Islander membership programme also get to enjoy unlimited entry to Sentosa all year round, in addition to many other discounts and privileges.”
And spun on, TripAdvisor also noted in its report that Sentosa offered world-class attractions, despite the higher cost in comparison with the other more affordable islands, and that it was home to a diverse selection of themed attractions and leisure experiences that appeal to guests with different interests and of any age group.
Those attractions included Singapore’s first integrated resort, Resorts World Sentosa, which operates South-east Asia’s first Universal Studios theme park, the S.E.A. Aquarium, Maritime Experiential Museum and the Adventure Cove Waterpark, said the travel site.
Universal Studios Singapore and the S.E.A. Aquarium were also given 2014 Travellers’ Choice awards.
The value propositions are, At the other end of the spectrum were Gili Trawangan (Indonesia), Bali (Indonesia) and Koh Samui (Thailand) — the three most affordable islands in the region. Gili Trawangan offered the best value for money, costing travellers no more than S$300 for a day on the island.
Is StanChart a rogue bank?
Standard Chartered Plc (STAN) fell for a fourth consecutive day in London after U.S. prosecutors reopened investigations to determine whether the bank, which entered into a deferred prosecution agreement in 2012, withheld evidence of Iran sanctions violations.
The U.S. Justice Department, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. and Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of New York’s Department of Financial Services, are all reopening their original inquiries into the London-based lender to determine whether it intentionally withheld information from regulators before the 2012 settlements, according to two people briefed on the matter, who asked not to be identified because the probes are confidential.
Temasek wants clear succession plan at StanChart
Standard Chartered has announced a 16% fall in operating profit because of a restructuring of its South Korean business and an increase in bad loans.
The Asia-focused lender said pre-tax profits fell to $1.5bn (£930m) in the July-to-September quarter compared to the same period a year ago.
Standard Chartered also warned full-year earnings would fall because of weak trading activity.
FT reports that some of the major shareholders have been pressing for the CEO to be sacked if things don’t improve soon. It also reports that Temasek is “pressing for a clear plan of succession”.
No, not authoritarian govts always “fixing the Oppo.
After all, M Ravi, the go-to, kick-ass, take-no-prisoners constitutional lawyer for a drug mule who think the world owes him a living, hooligans who think human rights is the right to disrupt YYMCA activities and tell lies, and a gay that homely gays don’t want to be associated with, said recently that S’pore is a “democratic society”. No I’m not joking, M Ravi said recently, “We are instructed to place on notice our client’s profound sense of regret that in a democratic society like Singapore, her Constitutional rights and freedoms have been curtailed so drastically on a premise that in her submission is flawed, and all her rights are reserved.”
Coming back to the title, seriously what S’pore, Vietnam and Cambodia have in common is that citizens are by and large banned from gambling in casinos in their own country.
And why isn’t Cambodia studying the laws on allowing locals into Cambodian casinos. After all the Oppo-fixing PM admires our very own LKY.
Ros Phirun, the government’s spokesman on gambling and casinos, says no new decision have been made that would allow Cambodian citizens to wager in Cambodian casinos. He does offer however that the ruling Cambodian People’s Party has been studying legislation in America, the Philippines, Vietnam and China, as it prepares to draft new laws to improve casino governance. With better laws, there might be less harm done in letting Cambodians gamble away their savings. “In general, our management of the gambling industry has not been thorough because we have not had the right laws in place …
S’pore’s rules don’t work in a poor country.
One suggestion is to follow the Singapore model. Casinos there charge residents who wish to enter a casino a cover fee of about $80 per day. Alternatively they may buy annual passes for about $1,600 each … But the same pay-to-play fee structure would be ludicrous in Cambodia, a country where the minimum wage is stuck at about $100 a month and mean disposable income is not greater than $120 per month.
Interestingly, the blog says of S’pore’s law: Dubious thinking has it that only those Singaporeans who can afford to gamble in the first place will be willing to pay the entrance fee.
Vietnam Spearheads Frontier Market Investing With a young population and a growing middle class, Vietnam is a popular market for private equity investors, The Wall Street Journal writes.
Next stop Selangor?
LKY’s Operation Trojan Horse” of owning M’sia via the DAP is coming thru? Huat Ah!
Let me explain. Sometime back, I pointed out that S’poreans own Iskandar. True the Johor state govt and federal govt are messing us up. Even Johor’s royalty is joining in. But at least the founding father of the DAP is now MP of much of Iskandar.
And his son, Penang’s chief minister now says, Penang is vying to become the next hub for Singapore companies’ regional expansion, with the state government open to more opportunities for bilateral partnerships, its Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said on Tuesday (Oct 14).
“We are putting ourselves on the map – that Penang is open for business, and you can set up your plants here at very attractive rates,” said Mr Lim, who was in Singapore to unveil BPO Prime, a S$500 million mixed-use development project led by Singapore investment giant Temasek Holdings and Penang Development Corp (PDC) – the state’s development agency.
“We can complement the role played by Singapore. We have a technology and electronics cluster, and I believe you should use our core competencies in manufacturing to grow your services sector. The key is convergence,” he said.
“Singapore’s investment into Penang jumped from RM61 million (S$23.8 million) to RM622 million between 2012 and 2013. We feel there is room to grow – and what better way to grow than working together? That’s why we have asked Temasek to come in, not just as an investor but also as a player,” …
BPO Prime and Penang International Technology Park (PITP), the two Penang projects outlined in a memorandum of understanding that Temasek and PDC signed in May, will have a total development value of about S$4.4 billion.
The developments will be funded via a joint venture that is 49 per cent owned by Temasek.
BPO Prime will break ground in the first half of next year and construction will take two to three years. When completed, it will offer 1.6 million sq ft of residential and commercial space. The commercial element will focus on business process outsourcing.
“Penang’s outsourcing sector saw more than a 20 per cent increase in revenue last year. BPO Prime is a priority project that is part of the state government’s plans to transform Penang into an international outsourcing hub,” Mr Lim said.
Penang can be a sound alternative for Singapore companies to expand in Malaysia at a time when all eyes are on the nearby Iskandar region, said Mr Philip Yeo, chairman of Economic Development Innovations Singapore (EDIS), the project’s master development manager.
“I’m looking for skilled workers, in which case Penang has a better advantage … Iskandar is near enough – but I’ll go where the skill is,” Mr Yeo said, citing his own experience as a chairman of aerospace component manufacturer Accuron, which is planning to grow its workforce of 800 to 1,000 in Penang.
“I believe talent will be a strong selling point for Penang, where spaces such as BPO and PITP will be ideal for high-end activities from Singapore and elsewhere,” he said. CNA
Btw, it’a fact that Penang became a DAP state, the xchief minister came down to S’pore to brief LKY. He said so in a seminar I attended.
Maybe, S’pore’s hegemony over Iskandar and Penang is the real reason why LKY’s Merger radio talks were reprinted. A subtle joke that he’s having the last laugh.
Ilan Solot, EM currency strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman, lists three variables to look for: currencies that have levelled off after devaluation; low inflation; and large exports. Asian economies such as the Philippines, Malaysia and South Korea fit the bill. (FT on Monday)
Last Sunday, I reported reported https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/10/05/spore-msia-not-attractive-indonesia-is/
In a late Sept report, FT reported that the Barings Fund mgr managing an Asean fund is cautious about topping up his exposure to Singapore and Malaysia due to fears about their economic growth prospects.
Mr Lim has large underweight positions in both countries via his $592.4m Asean Frontiers fund, which targets members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Singapore makes up almost 30 per cent of the portfolio, compared with 33.7 per cent within the benchmark MSCI South East Asia index. The manager has just over 19 per cent in Malaysia, against the index’s 26.5 per cent.
In July, data showed the Singaporean economy had contracted on a quarterly basis for the first time in two years, while Malaysia is going through a process of budget deficit reduction and may miss its 2014 target.
“Singapore and Malaysia are more developed than the rest of the Asean countries … This makes them more expensive and in the long term they don’t have as good growth potential.
“In terms of size, Malaysia is much smaller than the countries we favour, such as Indonesia, so it is less likely to expand rapidly.”
Mr Lim said he can still find selective opportunities in Malaysia, but ones which do not necessarily rely on the domestic economy. Tune Insurance, an online travel-insurance provider based in the country, is one of the latest additions to his portfolio.
“Tune allows us to access the tourism market without investing in airlines, which have to deal with a lot of regulation and are [involved] in price wars,” he said.
In general, he finds growth companies in Indonesia and the Philippines more enticing.
Baring ASEAN frontiers … holds a 3 per cent overweight position in Indonesia. He is confident 2015 will be a strong year for the country, given that the macroeconomic environment has improved.
Investors had been wary of Indonesia as they awaited the results of presidential elections in July. However, as Joko Widodo has been elected and interest rates are expected to rise next year, Mr Lim said there is now a positive outlook.
… had mixed feelings about Thailand, which makes up 15.1 per cent of his portfolio. This is in line with the benchmark.
“Thailand has a higher risk than the rest of the countries in the region, as there remains a lot of political uncertainty around the constitution,” …
In July, Thailand adopted an interim constitution ahead of the October 2015 elections. This constitution preserves the military-led government, called the National Council for Peace and Order.
There are media reports that Sichuan Sanjia is trying to sell its project site in Iskandar. This follows news that PRC developers and buyers are wrecking the condo market in Iskandar. http://business.asiaone.com/news/concern-over-china-firms-launches-iskandar
After complaining that the PRC developers and buyers are spoiling the condo mkt in Iskandar, FD Iskandar, president of Malaysia’s national organisation of developers, the Real Estate & Housing Developers Association (Rehda), tried to spin the story in favour of buying M’sian property.
But Iskandar is bigger than Nusajaya or Danga Bay, he said, adding that demand for landed homes still “looks very strong”.
Mr Iskandar noted that many Singaporean buyers prefer to buy from Singapore developers or reputable Malaysian developers.
There has also been much interest from Singaporean investors in industrial as well as commercial properties.
Meanwhile, other hot property spots in Malaysia such as Penang and Greater Kuala Lumpur are likely to be shielded from the supply glut in Iskandar as strong population growth in these areas is still supporting fundamental demand for housing, according to Mr Iskandar.
[Qn: what happens if PRC developers start moving into Penang and KL? Sure spoil mkt?]
Kuala Lumpur’s population is six million and could grow to 10 million by 2020 through demographic growth, urbanisation and intra-state migration.
Mr Iskandar estimated that this would translate to some 170,000 homes to be built each year, based on the assumption of four persons per household.
Investment yields from residential properties in Penang and Kuala Lumpur are likely to hold up in the region of 5 to 8 per cent while commercial properties could reap higher yields, Mr Iskandar projected.
The retail segment has also emerged as a strong component, with Kuala Lumpur being ranked by global news network CNN as the fourth-best city in the world for shopping after New York, London and Tokyo.
With the upcoming high-speed rail between Singapore and Malaysia expected to cut travelling time from 51/2 hours to just 90 minutes, both Kuala Lumpur and Singapore will benefit from greater inter-city travelling and cross-border investments, Mr Iskandar said.
Still, he is not asking potential buyers to completely snub Iskandar that he believes to be a “highly investable location”.
But Mr Iskandar has a piece of advice: “Please look at the quality of the developers. Be savvy investors. If it’s for owner-occupation, there’s no worry whatsoever but if it is for investment, you need to do due diligence before buying.”
When I started work in broking in the late 80s, ex-Japan, HK and S’pore were the leading stock mkts. Today, we are not even the leading exchange in SE Asia. Thailand has a bigger exchange despite its political, economic woes.
I note SGX is led by two FTs, an ang moh and and Indian Indian. any surprise if “S’poreans hate Foreign Trashes to pieces”.
LMIR Trust to acquire Jakarta mall for 3.6 trillion rupiah
Lippo Malls Indonesia Retail Trust (LMIR Trust) plans to bulk up its portfolio by acquiring a five-storey shopping centre in southern Jakarta, Indonesia, for 3.6 trillion rupiah (S$385.7 million) which it plans to pay with cash and new units.
The acquisition of Lippo Mall Kemang (LMK) from PT Almaron Perkasa – a company incorporated in Indonesia which is 92 per cent indirectly owned by the trust’s sponsor PT Lippo Karawaci – could potentially raise the trust’s portfolio by 27 per cent from S$1.42 billion as at end-June to S$1.8 billion.
LMIR Trust’s manager, LMIRT Management, has proposed to issue up to 301.37 million new units to PT Almaron Perkasa, which under the conditional sale and purchase agreement signed on Sept 14 will receive 3.18 trillion rupiah in cash and 420 billion rupiah in units for LMK.
The firm deemed the deal to buy LMK, which enjoyed a high occupancy rate of 93 per cent as at June this year, a “strategic acquisition of a prominent retail mall” located close to residential apartments, a hotel, a wedding chapel, a school and a country club. LMK also serves as the podium of the proposed JW Marriott Hotel, Pelita Harapan school campus, a planned hospital and three condominium towers. (BT this week)
From now till end-March 2017, acquisition strategies will be executed in full swing by Accordia Golf Trust (AGT).
The first Singapore-listed business trust with golf course assets in Japan, and also Asia’s first golf trust, AGT currently manages 89 golf courses in Japan, with a combined value of about 160 billion yen (S$1.89 billion).
Together with its sponsor company, Tokyo-listed Accordia Golf, they own 133 golf courses in Japan, and they are the largest golf operator in Japan, with a 5.5 per cent share of the market.
In a media briefing on Monday, chief executive officer Yoshihiko Machida said the trust is now poised to acquire an additional 50 billion yen worth of golf assets, with a preference for 19 golf courses currently owned by Accordia Golf, of which AGT has the first call options right to purchase. (BT this week)
I own a bit of the former and and still thinking of the latter. The issue with these is the strong S$. (Yen was at an all time low against S$ this week).
Examining recent price trends, India has stabilized in dramatic fashion following its dismal performance in 2013. With superior demographics, a skilled work force, and pro-business leadership, India could prove to be an excellent growth engine over the coming decade. However, investors should also bemindful of the higher than normal price volatility and look to hold any new investment with a long-term viewpoint.
Circling the globe and focusing in on to the Pacific Rim, Indonesia has had a stellar year following a major decline of over 20% in 2013. The Market Vectors Indonesia (IDX) is currently up 26.5%, yet appears to still have a lot of room to run to reach its all-time highs. This ETF is weighted primarily towards large and mid-cap financials, consumer staples, and consumer discretionary stocks.
Indonesia stands to build on excellent GDP growth rates that exceed 5% on a year over year basis. Two thirds of their economy is driven by domestic consumption, which could continue to perform well given their stable democracy and large middle class. Indonesia also boasts one of the lowest debt to GDP percentages in greater Asian region, which should allow the government to continue its key investments in infrastructure.
Finally, stocks in the Philippines are beginning to show signs of life, with a year to date return of 23.4%. The iShares MSCI Philipines (EPHE) is dominated by 42 large cap stocks primarily centered around the financial, industrial, and telecom sectors.
Although the Thai protests last year pushed the region into a state of disarray, the Philippines has managed to overcome those fears and has held up relatively well. The Filipino economy is poised to continue its 2014 run on the back of robust economic growth, increased tourism, and a strong fiscal balance sheet.
In addition, the Filipino peso has been very strong relative to the U.S. dollar and other emerging market currencies. As a result, GDP growth has exceeded 6.5% over the last two years. These two factors bolster EPHE’s chances of trending higher in the near-term, even despite the country’s moderate levels of wage inequality and foreign investment restrictions.
Three-month flows into Singapore exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are on course to reach the most since Markit Ltd began tracking the data in 2009. Investors took money out of the stock and bond funds for five straight quarters through June, the Markit data show. The benchmark Straits Times Index has rebounded 13 per cent from this year’s low on Feb 5 and Singapore’s sovereign debt returned 3 per cent this year.
Singapore shares are the most attractive among Asia ex-Japan and emerging-market equities, beating Hungary, Chile and China, according to a Morgan Stanley study using measures from earnings to corporate governance and technical indicators. The investment bank predicts companies in the South-east Asian city-state will beat consensus earnings forecasts after the economy expanded at a quicker-than-expected pace in the second quarter.
“The Singapore market is somewhat undervalued for a pretty strong growth environment with positive earnings revisions,” said Jonathan Garner, Hong Kong-based head of Asia and emerging-market strategy at Morgan Stanley. “We also like the fact that the market scores very highly in terms of our political risk and corporate governance model.” BT on Tuesday)
Hmm maybe our anti-PAP cyber warriors should take a leaf from Thai oppo.
Thailand’s military leader and premier, Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha, has accused critics of using black magic against him, it’s reported … Prayuth addressed his critics: “If you still want to fight on and go underground, bring it on. If you resort to performing rituals, just bring it on.” … Magical symbolism has long played a role in Thai politics. During the last big wave of protests in 2010, anti-government demonstrators splattered buckets of their own blood outside the PM’s residence as priests cast a curse on the authorities. http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-29075681
Maybe anti-PAP cyber-warriors need to splatter their own blood, given that their curses posted on TRE etc don’t have any effect. But then they don’t even bother to turn up at their heloos’ rallies.
Malaysia Airlines’ 19,500 staff operate a fleet of 108 aircraft, while SIA operates 103 aircraft with 5,000 fewer employees. The result is that over the past nine years the Malaysian carrier has lost a net Rm3.56bn ($1.1bn), while Singapore Airlines has made S$8.86bn ($7.1bn) without a single year of losses.
Says a lot about how S’pore Inc and M’sia Inc do things.
This time, it was at the official opening of an agro-food outlet called Agrobazaar Malaysia, located at Sultan Gate in the historic Kampong Glam district. The 464 sq m bazaar, which sells Malaysian produce such as fruit, sauces and coffee, is Malaysia’s first overseas branch of Agrobazaar.
During the opening ceremony, visiting Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak presented his Singapore counterpart Lee Hsien Loong with a gift of durians, specifically the popular “musang king” variety, as well as an oil painting of them enjoying the spiky fruit during the April retreat.
The arbitration process to settle a dispute between Singapore and Malaysia over development charges on certain parcels of former Malayan Railway land in Singapore has reached its final stage…. a spokesman from Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) revealed that the decision of the arbitration tribunal was expected “in a few months”.
This paves the way to potentially settle an outstanding issue in the Points of Agreement (POA) on whether Malaysia needs to pay Singapore a development charge on three parcels of land in Tanjong Pagar, Kranji and Woodlands.
This charge is a tax that is payable to the Singapore government to change the use of a land parcel. Singapore believes this tax must be paid, while Malaysia has argued otherwise.
The matter was eventually referred to the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Hague, after Singapore and Malaysia reached an arbitration agreement in 2012.
Singapore and Malaysia have agreed to accept the arbitration award as final and binding. They also agreed that the decision would not affect the implementation of the POA …
Number of foreign visitors received in 2013
- Thailand – 26.5 million
- Malaysia – 25.7 million
- Hong Kong – 25.6 million
- South Korea – 12.1 million
- Japan – 10.3 million
- Indonesia – 8.8 million
- Vietnam – 7.5 million
- Myanmar – 2 million
I’m surprised that Indonesia has only 8.8m visitors given the popularity of Bali.
Still Mynamar is the place to invest in the tourism biz. Opportunities there from recent BBC article.
Well the Thai jumta now has its very own version.
The army men in charge of the new dictatorship say their aim is to build a “Thai-style democracy”. Their intervention looks more interested in reviving a system of tutelary democracy, in which a bunch of royalist elites control the state, though the new regime denies it. Their alternative explanation, based on a notion of Thai uniqueness, seems to have been pulled out of a hat like a rabbit.
There is an obvious resemblance to the concept of “Asian values”, such as were espoused by Mahathir Mohamad, who ran Malaysia for 22 years. That idea tends to preclude robust democracy, and to justify itself on the back of economic development. It has proven useful to governments like Singapore’s and these days its champions tend to point approvingly to China.
Banyan (19th August 2014)
And of course, the govt here claims that China is juz following S’pore.
When I saw the above table, I tot of the Deaf Frog’s “Cheaper, Better, Faster”. There is always somewhere cheaper as above from FT article shows. And MNCs will move there: now moving from Jakarta and Vietnam to central Java. (Btw, $ + US$)
“Cheaper, Better, Faster’
The apologist version of what he meant by a website funded by a organisation headed by one Philip Yeo after being approached by one BG Yeo (taz the rumour). With credentials like these how not to believe meh?
In 2007, Lim coined the phrase to exhort Singaporean companies to increase their competitiveness.
Companies have to be cheaper and better than their competitors internationally, because those who used to be cheap (China) are now getting better, and those that used to be good (United States) are now getting cheaper as well. Hence, Singaporean companies have to be cheaper and better than them, and yet turnaround faster.
He obviously didn’t do an MBA: it’s accepted wisdom that one cannot have all three, only two. Attempts to have all three results in failure. This should cheer on TRE posters: Swee Say is urging a policy doomed to failure.
If you go to link below, and click around, you will find that S’pore’s ranking on happiness (70) is very close to that Laos (69) and Burma (67) despite being way ahead in development rankings. M’sia is also at 70. The Thais and Indons are happiest in Asean (80).
So in Asean, S’poreans are about the norm happiness wise. And on par with HK which is at around our lrvel of development.
So juz as there is something wrong with netizens’ perceptions about material prosperity, they got happiness wrong too? TRE posters and other netizens must the exception to reasonably happy S’poreans? Born losers in happiness as in prosperity?
Any wonder then why govt commissioning a new study to find out what the people want, for retirement, and for health needs? Can’t rely on the noise from cyberspace for accurate feedback? Born losers here (self-included). S’pore Notes bitching on new govt study.
But then I’ve been called a PAP mole and worse by TRE ranters.
Especially those TRE posters (loonies?) who shout that the Oppo will win the next GE*. They ever tot that if the PAP is as bad as what they claim is the case, the PAP won’t steal the election Cambodian style?
Last yr, in a closely fought election, the governing party (the PM says LKY is a hero of his) won a majority of seats in the parliament. The Oppo alleged fraud and refused to take their seats and called for fresh elections. The govt passed laws to its satisfaction in the absence of an oppo in parly.
Now a deal has been struck. The electoral commission is at the heart of the deal. The CPP-dominated National Election Committee—widely derided as a puppet of the government—is to be overhauled, which requires that the constitution be changed. The two major parties will now have four members on the committee, with a ninth independent member to be agreed on by both sides.
The timing of the deal, so near the anniversary of the contested election, might not be a coincidence. Both sides were feeling the public pressure to reach an agreement. For the opposition, the question was how long they could keep operating as a political force with only rallies and public protests to bind them together, while laws were passed without them in the assembly. The government was faced with the prospect of having to keep defending that one-party parliament to the international community.
The violence the government employed to disperse protesters drew a steady stream of criticism throughout the year. Security forces beat and arrested demonstrators, and at least seven were shot dead.
Just as S’poreans should be watching developments in Thailand,
we should follow developments in Cambodia. There are lessons to be learner especially about the importance of the election organisers (here under PMO).
Interesting the Thais have introduced a law banning gatherings of five people or more. They learnt that from us?
*None of the Oppo parties believe this is possible. Ask SDP, NSP, People in light blue, SDA, JBJ Remebrance Party, Chiams, TJS Team and Pwee Gang.
Wonder why land is being reclaimed in the Johor Straits? S’poreans it seems love waterfront properties. So waterfront properties are being created. And this is adding to the supply of land in Iskandar, where there are already problems for S’poreans what with Johor and Federal taxes and restrictions.
The fixation over waterfront properties in the Iskandar region, which has led to frenetic land reclamation, is threatening to undermine the prospects of the growth corridor launched in Johor eight years ago.
Iskandar Malaysia’s value proposition – polished further by its proximity to Singapore – remains intact, but may not do so if development there is left unchecked.
At 2,217 square kilometres, Johor state’s southern development corridor is thrice the size of Singapore; in sports parlance, that is about the size of 400,000 football fields. (BT report last week).
Meanwhile the development caravan keeps on moving: now to Batu Pahat. Property being built to attract S’poreans further North.
Reminds me of what the bandit chief in the movie Manificent 7 said, “If God didn’t want them sheared, he would not have made them sheep.” He was talking of the farmers he was stealing from at regular intervals: he was harvesting them at regular intervals..
He could be referring to S’poreans who keep on getting fleeced in Johor.
Me, I’d rent there, if I wanted to live in a bungalow, and rent my property here.
Asean’s has huge e-commerce potential. Seems contrary to the usual data cited, Asean has internet penetration of 32%, not the accepted wisdom of 10%. Smartphones have multiplied as has their use to access the internet.
http://blogs.ft.com/beyond-brics/2014/07/08/asean-nears-its-ecommerce-moment-report/ (Free but need to register)
Earlier this yr, China’s Alibaba Group has signed an agreement to invest S$312.5 million (US$248.88 million) for a 10.35 percent stake* in Singapore’s postal service, SingPost.
The funds injection will see Alibaba-subsidiary, Alibaba Investment, acquire 30 million existing ordinary shares and 190.096 new ordinary shares, said SingPost in a statement. The two companies signed an agreement that would also allow them to assess the possibility of setting up a new joint venture related to global e-commerce logistics.
*Alibaba bot roughly 190 million new Singapore Post shares and 30 million existing treasury shares for S$1.42 apiece, an 8.4% discount to SingPost’s closing share price of S$1.55. Stock cheonged to the 1.75 level where it remains.
In its latest ASEAN equity strategy report (written before the presidential polling date ), Morgan Stanley said that it prefers Singapore over Indonesia, global cyclicals over domestic consumption stocks, and defensives over domestic cyclicals. But on its buy list is a stock that is based in Indonesia.
Back to Morgan Stanley’s report. It argues that based on profitability trends that Singapore and global cyclicals stocks’ profitability has likely bottomed out, while Indonesia and domestic consumption stocks’ profitability has likely peaked. “We believe the trend in quarterly profitability, particularly in Indonesia and Singapore, is likely to be the key incremental catalyst over the next 1-2 months. Signs of cracks in margins have emerged in Indonesia and early signs of improvement in Singapore’s profitability were observed in Q1. Consensus expects profitability to deteriorate in Indonesia and stabilize in Singapore in Q2.”
Although they said that macro developments will continue to play an important role in driving equity markets, the authors believe that incrementally, investors are likely to turn their attention to the outlook for profitability.
Consensus is expecting improvement in Singapore’s profitability in 2015 and 2016, but Morgan Stanley is more optimistic. It expects (for the stocks they cover) expect a Singapore margin (ex REITs) of 7.5% 2014, compared to consensus’ 6.9%.
Similarly for the Morgan Stanley coverage universe, the analysts estimate 7.6% for 2015, compared to the consensus estimate of 7%.
SingTel, Singapore Airlines and Indofood Agri Resources are among the stocks on its buy list.
For SingTel, it ss expecting margin improvement mainly from Optus in Australia.
For SIA, it expects operating margins to improve on yield and load factor improvements. Near-term yield drivers should come from:
i) healthy domestic market and North Asia demand, particularly from China, Europe and Australia;
ii) strategic moves to focus on mid-haul North Asian routes to avoid competition with low cost carriers on short haul, and
iii) effective capacity management to shift capacity from weak demand routes like America/Africa to Europe, Australia and North Asia.
Longer-term yield improvement from FY15 onwards should stem from i) introduction of premium economy class in 2H15, and ii) retrofitting a new cabin design on 19 new aircraft in 2015 and 2016.
As for Indofood Agri, “operational difficulties in South Sumatra are behind us” and yields in the last two quarters since 4Q13 have shown solid improvement”, which supports the call for a recovery.
“In addition, 2Q14 earnings may surprise on the upside as the Street has not fully factored in the gain from inventory destocking, we believe.”
Here’s the best analysis I’ve come across on today’s election on the difference between the two candidates. The election matters to us because one of the candidates has stressed the importance of military might, saying international respect is based on prowess. Given that the Indonesian governing elite has outstanding grievances against S’pore (largely out of frustration, anger that we don’t kow tow to them), if he gets into power, relations will be tenser than normal. No gd for economic ties.
“You cannot understand these two figures [meaning the two candidates, Joko Widodo, known universally as Jokowi, and Prabowo Subianto] without placing them in the context of ten years of SBY,” the acronym by which Indonesia’s current president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, is known …
But Mr Yudhoyono’s rule has been exceptionally disappointing for many Indonesians. Mr Winters identifies Mr Yudhoyono’s two major flaws as “his inability to follow through and get things done, and his incapacity to show leadership and make tough decisions.” To compensate for the first failing—which Mr Winters described to me more succinctly as “great PowerPoints, no action”—Indonesians have Jokowi, whose reputation first as mayor of Solo and then as governor of Jakarta rests on nuts-and-bolts administrative competence. As has been amply demonstrated during his campaign, he appears to be incapable of making an electrifying speech. Instead, he likes systems and solutions: as he explained, “I go to the ground, I go to the villages, I go to the riverbank, I go to the market to meet the people. I ask them what they want and what they need and we give solutions.” He wants to move as much of Indonesia’s governance online as possible as a way of avoiding, and thus trimming the power of, Indonesia’s incompetent and sticky-fingered bureaucracy.
Unfortunately, “systems and solutions” is not exactly a to-the-barricade rallying cry. And that is where Mr Subianto comes in: he compensates for Mr Yudhoyono’s second flaw, his indecisiveness, by presenting “a message of firm resolve and calls for national dignity”. He is a former soldier, and his rallies often have a military mien. Where Jokowi is calm and low-key, Mr Subianto has shouted himself hoarse during the campaign. His speeches are full of references to “foreign stooges” and “all of you who have a vision of Indonesian broken apart, a poor Indonesia”.
It’s a close race.
S’poreans should hope the doer wins as a rich, growing stable Indonesia is better for us. Foreign investors certainly prefer him: Deutsche Bank reports that if Mr Prabowo wins, 56% of investors surveyed would sell their Indonesian assets and just 13% would buy, while a Jokowi win would cause 74% to buy and just 6% to sell.
True, if the shouter wins the dirty money will keep on flowing. But there will be more rows and tantrums with S’pore. Mr Subianto (Shouter) has stressed the importance of military might, saying international respect is based on prowess. In addition to the uncertain economic climate that these rows will generate, the rows will give the PAP the excuse maintain and even spend more on defence.
And the full potential of Indonesia’s potential middle class will remain untapped. If the Indonesian middle class expands and grows richer, S’pore will benefit as they come here as tourists and gamblers.
(Or “What else can the Thais teach us about military rule”)
Further to https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/06/15/freak-election-training-manual-for-safs-paper-generals-and-us-40-sporeans-too/ based on what is happening in Thailand, when there is a freak election result (2016 as TRE posters are predicting) and the SAF’s paper generals stage a coup to
restore the PAP protect parliamentary democracy, S’poreans will be detained for reading Orwell’s Animal Farm and 1984, and handing out food packets to passer-byes.
In Thailand, a man was detained for reading Orwell’s 1984 outside a shopping mall, while others have been detained for preparing to hand out sandwiches.For some reason, giving out sandwiches is considered a protest against the coup, not other food though.
In S’pore, the public reading of Animal Farm and 1984, will be illegal as well as sharing food. I’m also sure that bloggers who refer to Animal Farm will be prosecuted, and their blogs closed down: for defaming pigs.
But looking on the bright side, the SAF generals may do what the Thai generals are doing: spend money that Thailand may not have
IT DID not take long for Thailand’s ruling junta to discover the first lesson of building popular goodwill: when in doubt, spend. The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), the ruling junta led by General Prayuth Chan-ocha, has occupied itself in its first month in office airing out government coffers with a high-powered leafblower. It paid nearly 92.4 billion baht ($2.8 billion) to rice farmers under a subsidy scheme implemented by the deposed government of Yingluck Shinawatra. It is pondering ambitious transport schemes estimated to cost more than $72 billion.
It has also promised to clear a $21-billion backlog of projects awaiting approval from the Board of Investment (BOI)—of which Mr Prayuth has appointed himself chair. At the BOI’s first post-coup meeting, on June 18th, it approved 18 projects worth $4 billion.
The bad news is that investors don’t like coup as the above link tells us.
So the news may be that our paper generals may juz except a freak election result: so long as they can play with their toys.
Restrict HR, recruitement jobs to true-blue S’poreans
Because people tend to look favourably on candidates similar to themselves, a significant reduction in discrimination in the labour market may require the hiring of new recruiters in order to increase diversity among those who screen applicants. However, this study suggests that there is trouble ahead if prospective recruiters are to be evaluated by the current ones.
So if the govt is serious about restricting the growth of FTs here, it should not allow businesses to employ FTs in HR and recruitment posts. Plenty of stories about Pinoys flooding mgrs with only Pinoy applicants. M’sian Chinese and Indian Indians too are allegedly big offenders. As are ang mohs. PRCs got good record here as only $ talk, blood doesn’t.
No wonder S’pore NSman is a rare and endangered species in the corporate suite. AWARE wimmin will be very happy, esp for their FT partners.
MoM’s data proves that liberal FT policies hurt S’poreans
On 14 June, BT reported that
In April, MOM had put the preliminary figure of March’s jobless rate at 2.1 per cent.
But in its Labour Market First Quarter 2014 report released yesterday, MOM noted that its final figure for March was still higher than that of December.
It attributed this to more Singaporeans – particularly the less educated – joining the labour market seeking employment because more jobs with higher wages had opened up, thanks to the tightening of the tap on foreign workers.
Salaries in the private sector grew 5.3 per cent on the back of a tight labour market and improved economic conditions last year, up from 4.2 per cent in 2012.
Taking into account lower inflation, real total wages rose by 2.9 per cent in 2013, after declining by 0.4 per cent in 2012, according to the latest report on wage practices released by the Ministry of Manpower’s Research and Statistics Department.
As of December 2013, 77 per cent of private establishments with employees earning a monthly basic salary of up to $1,000 gave or intended to give wage increases to these employees in 2013, up from 60 per cent in 2012.
This included the 57 per cent that gave at least $60 built-in wage increase as recommended by the National Wages Council in 2013, up from the 28 per cent that gave at least $50 recommended in the preceding year.
Rank-and-file employees received a basic wage increase of 5.4 per cent, the highest in 16 years and up from 4.3 per cent in 2012. This was the first time since 2002 that the basic wage increase for the rank-and-file exceeded that of the non rank-and-file at 4.7 per cent.
DBS economist Irvin Seah said that the salary growth was in line with his expectations. “In terms of real wage growth, it is quite a significant improvement as inflation was actually higher in 2012. This reflects an improvement in productivity and a tighter labour market,” he said.
Toby Fowlston, managing director of Robert Walters Singapore, said: “There has been an increased focus on hiring local talent, resulting in greater competition for this limited talent pool, especially in certain sectors with high demand. This drives wages up, but not for every industry.”
And flexi-wages remain a WIP
The MOM report also revealed that there has been a general uptrend in the implementation of flexible wage measures. In December 2013, 86 per cent of private sector employees worked in establishments which had at least one of the flexible wage components recommended by the tripartite partners – employers, workers and government.
Having a narrow maximum-minimum salary ratio was the most common wage recommendation adopted at 63 per cent. This was followed by linking variable bonus to Key Performance Indicators (51 per cent) and having the Monthly Variable Component (34 per cent) in the wage structure.
Bonuses did not go up as much as basic wages in 2013 as the annual variable component in the private sector averaged 2.21 months of basic wage in 2013, up by 0.9 per cent from the 2.19 months in 2012. Consequently, the annual variable component formed a slightly higher share of total wages at 15.6 per cent in 2013, than the 15.4 per cent in 2012.
Cham Hui Fong, assistant secretary-general, National Trades Union Congress, said that the labour movement will continue to push for the Progressive Wage Model to be pervasive in all sectors.
“This will not only raise productivity and upgrade skills, our workers can also look forward to better wages and better career progression. We also call on employers to tap on the various funding schemes and programmes, so as to achieve higher productivity growth,” she added.
Economists like Selena Ling, head, treasury research and strategy at OCBC Bank, added that the wage growth is expected to continue.
“The economic and business cycle is picking up globally, albeit at a choppy pace, and it is not unexpected that more firms are turning the corner. Real wage growth should be sustained this year, especially since inflation is subsiding. It will be very encouraging if the wage share increases over time as well,” she said.
No Country for above 40s
49% of unemployed S’poreans are above 40
MoM’s Labor Market survey showed that there were 29,000 unemployed residents older than 40. This is equivalent to 49% of the 59,300 unemployed residents for March 2014.
There are also more older residents who suffer from long-term unemployment. MoM’s data showed that out of 12,900 residents who had been looking for work for more than 25 weeks, almost 8,700 were older than 40.
The Philippines, it seems, is the emerging SE Asian economic power house.
The Philippines presents one of the most spectacular comeback stories in recent times. The country, which had been lagging far behind its regional peers, is now making its presence know among the world’s most vibrant economies, and is now spoken of as a ‘tiger cub’ and ‘Next Eleven economy.’
… a revival in domestic and international business confidence for a nation that once was second only to Japan in prosperity. Need proof? The Philippines recently hosted the World Economic Forum on East Asia, where corporate leaders, policymakers and the press from across the globe met to talk business.
The Philippine economy has witnessed a tremendous transition to growth over the last decade. It has managed stellar returns and amassed huge foreign exchange reserves while keeping inflation and interest rates under check. Despite Typhoon Haiyan (known as ‘Yolanda’ in the Philippines), which hammered the country in 2013, the Philippine economy grew by 7.2% last year, making it the fifth-largest in Southeast Asia. That compares to to a 4.7% average from 2008-2012. According to research by IHS Inc., the Philippines economy is projected to have a long-term economic growth of 4.5-5% (per year) from 2016 to 2030, reaching $1.2 trillion by 2030.
So whty do the Pinoys keep on going abroad? Maybe they don’t believe the above? And prefer working overseas?
Or maybe working overseas is safer than at home?
Whatever BS they propagate out feeling unsafe in S’pore, S’pore’s a lot safer than home. No goons with guns here.
No goons with guns abroad, a gd reason not to go home or remain at home now that economy is going to be the Asean powerhouse?
Back to investing
In fact, the Philippine market has been in an extended uptrend over the last four years, and has withstood global headwinds and weakening confidence in emerging markets. The market’s PSEi Index posted YTD returns of over 16% as of early June 2014, led by sectors such as business process outsourcing (BPO), cement and consumer products.
The availability of a skilled and educated work force that is proficient in English – along with low labor costs – make the Philippines a preferred BPO destination. The BPO sector is expected to grow rapidly and offer employment to approximately 110,000 additional workers over the next two-to-three years. Interestingly, there is no publicly listed company that derives the bulk of its revenue from the BPO business. Instead, investors can allocate to companies that merely benefit from BPO, such as real estate. Leading names in this category are Robinsons Land Corp. (RLC), SM Investments Corp. (SM), SM Prime Holdings, Inc. (SMPH), Megaworld Corp. (MEG) and Ayala Land, Inc. (ALI).
Rising infrastructure investment, along with need to rebuild after last year’s typhoon and earthquakes (the nation sees frequent seismic and volcanic activity), means that cement companies could be a good play. Companies like Holcim Philippines, Inc. (HLCM) and Lafarge Republic, Inc. (LRI) stand to benefit.
And in a nation of roughly 100 million people, the consumer products sector should not be ignored. Companies to study include Universal Robina Corp. (URC), Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines, Inc. (PIP) and RFM Corp. (RFM). Similarly, energy producer First Gen Corp. (FGEN) should be considered.
By 2050, elderly (65 and over) almost 40% of population
Next to Japan only. But no robots here, only FTs.
Japs smarter than us in avoiding the problems that FTs bring, like pushy Pinoys, wanting to change PM from Prime Minister to Pinoy Minister and SPF to S’pore Pinoy Force. But then they have friends like William wan, Kirsten Han, AWARE and Maruah. Their only public opposition is Gilbert Goh and Goh Meng Seng.
The govt should remember that when the Pinoys burnt our flag in the 1990s and it protested, the Pinoy govt gave the S’pore govt the finger, telling it nothing wrong with burning our flag.