Monday, April 27, 2015

Borneo Oil's Ravishing Proposal

Well, I had to blog about this because I had mentioned Borneo Oil during last CNY that it was ripe for a transformation play.


a) Mathematically attractive - 6 rights for 1 share with 2 free warrants. The rights are priced at just 10 sen. Hence at 80 sen, if you bought 10,000 shares = RM8,000 ... you'd end up with 70,000 shares plus 20,000 warrants. Technically an ex-all price should be around 15-17 sen. Should it trade at that price?

Bearing in mind that the new owners (Hap Seng) has literally revamped the company by reducing its par value to 10 sen. Plus it is now profitable with the gold mine having just started ops. So, you have literally a fresh start for the counter ... little or no debt with fresh capital coming from all shareholders. The exercise could raise RM223.39m cash which is approximately the market cap currently. No baggage, established and professionally proven new owners, an uncertain sector (gold mines) but the early steps already indicated that the extraction cost can be controlled and is proving to be profitable already within just a few months. Later on we can expect better economies of scale and expertise to enhance margins further.

Hence it would take very little for the share price to go above 20 sen ex-all basis, and in all likelihood the free warrants should be convertible at par value of 10 sen, which would lend a price range of between 9-13 sen for the warrants alone.

b) Strategic - There is a lot of room for upside owing to the fact that most banks do not lend to mining concerns. Hence you would have come across a lot of mines' proposals but no bank funding. It would take an entity with the clout and capital strength to venture comfortably to extract value in the mines located in Malaysia.

I have criticised before how short sighted the local banks and Malaysian financial planners were by not adopting and making mining a strategic choice for promotion. KL could have been the capital for raising funds for the mining sector in Southeast Asia if we have a more concerted effort together. The Ring of Fire (go google it) runs right along most Southeast Asian countries including Malaysia. Yes, the mines may not be the really big ones but we keep losing the fight to Indonesia with plenty of state pension funds and long term investors keen to invest in that sector in Indonesia.

Hence it is safe to say Hap Seng would have managed to negotiate a very good value driven deal to absorb the mines and take over Borneo Oil as capital funding is sorely lacking. This is where the kicker comes in. While not much information can be obtained on details of the mines, it is rumoured to be highly attractive terms of short, medium and long term returns.

c) A Giant In the Making - Owing to the above structural reasons, there is a solid chance that Borneo Oil will be a mining giant in Southeast Asia. Because, once proven to be able to operate profitably, it can continue to snap up smaller mines via share issuance. Before you know it, some other listed companies may try to play catch up. Why do you think that decent small mines from Malaysia generally have to list in Australia or Canada, there is no support for capital funding, government promotion and tax breaks, etc... its all oil and gas oil and gas. Borneo Oil is actually showing how it can be done, without bank funding.

Plus they are not just talking about it, they are themselves putting in more than RM100m cash into it (after paying for controlling shares in Borneo Oil). 

d) Valuation - No baggage, profitable in a turnaround, massive cleanup in par value reduction recently, 10 sen par with good outlook, professionally proven owners, an undervalued sector that is ripe for harvesting in a coordinated fashion ... plus an inventive rights and free warrants exercise. I put forth a fair value range before going ex of RM1.00-RM1.25.


a) As in any mining concern, commodity price fluctuations are part and parcel of being in that business. If prices suddenly get depressed for an extended, mines will have to close temporarily to reduce cost. However, it all depends on the cost of the mining leases that they obtained. If it was deep value then they will only make less money in depressed markets. As explained above, owing to the structure of the industry locally, it is highly likely that the mining leases came at very attractive levels.

NOTE: The above opinion is not an invitation to buy or sell. It serves as a blogging activity of my investing thoughts and ideas, this does not represent an investment advisory service as I charge no subscription or management fees (donations are welcomed though). I may already have positions in the stock mentioned above. The content on this site is provided as general information only and should not be taken as investment advice. All site content, shall not be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell any security or financial instrument. The ideas expressed are solely the opinions of the author. Any action that you take as a result of information, analysis, or commentary on this site is ultimately your responsibility. Consult your investment adviser before making any investment decisions.

The Edge:
Borneo Oil Bhd has proposed a 1-for-6 renounceable rights issue of up to 2.374 billion shares at an indicative issue price of 10 sen per share, together with 1-for-2 free detachable warrants (warrants C) of up to 1.187 billion warrants, at an entitlement date to be determined later.
In a filing with Bursa Malaysia this evening, Borneo oil said it intend to raise a minimum gross proceeds of RM223.39 million, the bulk of which will be channeled into the exploration of gold and limestone mining activities, working capital for fast food operations, future investments and repayment of bank borrowings.
Borneo Oil said its substantial shareholders – Victoria Ltd (25.48%) and Hap Seng Insurance Services Sdn Bhd (16.72%) have pledged to subscribe in full for their respective entitlements, while the public portion of the right Issue will be underwritten by RHB Investment Bank Bhd.
The issuance of the rights issue and free warrants are expected to enlarge Borneo Oil’s issued capital to 3.956 billion shares from 372.319 million shares currently.
Borneo Oil is the exclusive sub-contractor for the exploration and mining of alluvial and lode gold in three districts in Pahang — Mukim Batu Yon, Lipis; Hutan Simpan Hulu Jelai, Lipis; and Hutan Simpan Bukit Ibam, Rompin — covering a total of 1,565.1ha.
The group also operates a 389.743-acre limestone mining operation in Ulu Segama, Lahad Datu, Sabah.
“In the longer term, the company harbours ambitions to become a major player in the gold mining industry domestically and regionally, with the ultimate objective of constantly expanding and strengthening its business base in order to always maximise returns for loyal shareholders.
“The board of directors is confident that, with the addition of the gold mining business starting to come to fruition, these positive developments augur well for the financial performance of Borneo Oil in both the foreseeable and long-term future,” Borneo Oil said in a media statement, adding that it expects to complete the transaction by the third quarter of this year (3Q15).
The indicative issue price of 10 sen per rights share represents a discount of approximately 41.11% to its theoretical ex-price of 16.98 sen per share, which was based on the five-day weighted average market price of 79.8 sen that was calculated up to April 21, 2015.
“For illustrative purpose only, the gross proceeds that is expected to be raised upon full exercise of the warrants C based on the indicative exercise price of 10 sen per share is approximately RM111.70 million under the minimum scenario and approximately RM118.69 million under the maximum scenario,” the group said.
Borneo Oil added that the gross proceeds to be raised from the exercise of the warrants C will be used as additional working capital.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Disaster in Our Educational System - Koon Yew Yin

Disaster in Our Educational System
Koon Yew Yin
Recently, I received an urgent note from a student who is doing matriculation in a Government school in Kedah where tuition and accommodation costs are covered by the state. I have been helping her with financial assistance for food and miscellaneous expenses since her father is unemployed and she is a deserving student from the poorer class.
Her letter reads as follows:
hi sir it's me …. sorry for disturbing sir. sir i want to ask sir something. sir i really need sir's help. sir if can sir can bank in some of the money before i further my studies in matriculation.
sir i need to buy something as preparation to further my studies in matriculation sir. so please help me sir. i really dont know who to ask help. that why i am asking sir's help. please sir. i hope sir can help me because i dont know who to ask. sir i hope sir can understand me and give me some support. thank you sir. i hope sir will reply my letter as soon as possible. thank you a lot sir.
I have shared this letter with friends not simply to provide an example of the extent of financial desperation and need that hundreds of thousands of poor students in our country face everyday in their lives.
I am also sharing it to show my concern with the standard of English proficiency of our younger generation who are going to colleges and universities. This is not an isolated example. I am sad to say that the overwhelming majority of the students that I am presently supporting have equally low standards of the English language.
These students represent the better ones among their class mates in school. I shudder to think of the standard of English proficiency of the average students in our secondary schools.
How are these students, when they pass through college or university, able to compete in an increasingly globalized employment market? How are they going to function in the private sector or the business world when they cannot express themselves in basic simple English? And what is the quality of the service or communication they will provide when they eventually find jobs?
The main culprit for this phenomenon of our present younger generation of poorly educated - unable to communicate in simple English without making grammatical mistakes - is the Government.
Barisan National has been in power for over 50 years and sorry to say, it has put the country's educational system in the longkang!
The Ministry of Education has been the biggest ministry for a long time and receives one of the largest if not largest budgets. But it appears as if donkeys and meter readers are in charge of the Ministry. Millions of students pass through our national education system and many receive high grades and the Ministry's stamp of approval. The standard of education, however, is so low that these students are virtually unemployable despite their impressive certificates.
And this is why I fear for the worse for the present batch of students that I and others have supported! Poor and deserving yes; but they have been screwed up by our rotten education system
The Government is not the only culprit. There are others culprit in our educational tragedy. I also blame the private sector educationists. There are far too many universities and colleges. Most are owned by business men whose main aim is to make profit. When I read a newspaper article commending a educationist businessman for his noble contribution to the country through his educational institution, I cannot resist a big laugh.
Most of our educationists are pure entrepreneurs. Some want to make a fast buck. Others will be prepared to take their time. More than a few are crooked or unscrupulous and are prepared to lower standards to rock bottom so that as many students as possible can enrol in their institutions.
At the same time, many private sector higher education institutions are charging ridiculously high tuition fees so that the cost of private higher education is getting out of hand and unaffordable to the lower and middle class.
Unfortunately the Higher Education Report which was released by the Government a few days ago is clueless on the concerns raised here.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Koon Yew Yin Will Be The Special Keynote Speaker @ Invest In The Future event

If you are still considering to go attend the event, this should tilt the balance. Malaysia's very own 'Warren Buffett', Mr. Koon Yew Yin will be the Special Keynote speaker @ Invest In The Future conference. Koon has consistently picked stocks that have been multiple baggers. During the event, he will be sharing some of his philosophy on investing and at the same time highlight why he is holding some of his preferred stocks now. An unmissable opportunity.

I have blogged extensively about this "superman". He has founded or co-founded not ONE but THREE listed companies, namely Mudajaya, IJM and Gamuda. That would have been more than sufficient for a normal person's legacy. After retiring from the corporate world, he found a new purpose in investing. His track record is enviable to say the least, hitting more than 100% (as high as 300% in some cases) in Supermax and some smaller plantations counters. Further evidence has it that he ploughed in big time into Latitude and Heveaboard last year, and we all know how they have performed since then. Come and find out if he is still holding onto these stocks, and I am sure he will share on his newly bought counters as well. That alone is worth the price of admission. Not forgetting that we are all doing it for charity.

In his own words:
You can keep making money but there is no meaning to life if you don’t know how to spend it because you can’t take any of it with you when you die. You must use it effectively to help others and create more happiness. It’s more satisfying.
He firmly believes that education is key to escaping the clutches of poverty, having undergone such experience himself. He made his initial fortune by co-founding IJM Corporation Bhd, Gamuda Bhd and Mudajaya Group Bhd, three leading public-listed construction companies. He was also secretary-general of Master Builders Malaysia for nine years and a member of the Board of Engineers Malaysia and Sirim.

At the end of the posting are some links to my previous posting on the great man and his exploits, esp his continuous and sustaining philantrophy activities.

Objective:   Charity to benefit refugee kids' education under UNHCR located in Malaysia. 
Time:         10am-2pm  9th May Saturday
Place:         Bentley Auditorium, Mutiara Damansara (near The Curve)

To purchase tickets online (RM254 for ticketed seats, RM104 for standing room):

As for the other speakers, it is a very tough task to assemble such a great line up, as these are top professionals in their field. Here is a look at their biodata and subject matter that they will be exploring:

Speakers profile: 

 Ho Chin Soon & Ishmael Ho, Chairman & CEO, Ho Chin Soon Research: 
“Putrajaya MRT Line, High Speed Rail and Rapid Transit Systems (Property Investing Opportinities)”
  • Ho Chin Soon is a fellow of the Royal Institution of Surveyors, Malaysia. He is a registered valuer with the Board of Valuers, Appraisers & Estate Agents, Malaysia and has a Professional Diploma from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (UK) 

    He is a director of Ho Chin Soon Research, a property information company that specializes in land use and ownership maps.

    Mr. Ho Chin Soon has authored 9 books. 2 of the latest books are:
    1. “Getting Started in the Real Estate Industry” 
    2. “Greater KL MRT: Putrajaya Line”
  • Ishmael Ho attained his LLB from the UK. Backed by his legal background, he entered the property industry from the legal angle. His widening involvement in the property industry includes joining Cushman & Wakefield Malaysia, as well as being part of the research house in Sunrise Berhad before joining Ho Chin Soon Research as the company’s special project manager. He is currently the company’s CEO. 

    Ishmael Ho occasionally writes articles on real estate matters. An international speaker for events such as iproperty, propertyguru, nanyang property expo, Chinese chamber of commerce and occasionally an invited speaker for developer’s private property launch. 

    - Speaker for Asia Geospatial Forum 2013 
    - FIABCI Malaysia International Committee Member 2014-2016

Patrick Chang, Head of ASEAN Equities, BNP Paribas 
“Is ASEAN for real?”

  • Patrick Chang joined BNP Paribas Investment Partners Malaysia in May 2012. In his current role, he specializes in ASEAN equities for both Malaysian and offshore clients. Prior to this, Patrick was Senior Vice-President with CIMB-Principal Asset Management Berhad, overseeing ASEAN and specialist Asia Pac ex Japan funds. He also worked as a portfolio manager with Riggs and Co, International Private Banking in London for 3 years specializing in managing global ETF portfolios. He also worked with Hong Leong Assurance for 2 years in Malaysia. He brings with him 12 years in asset management experience.

    Patrick holds a postgraduate MSc in Finance from the City University Business School and also holds an undergraduate Degree from Warwick University, UK. 

    Committees and affiliations 

• Thariq Ahmad, Fixed income specialist, KAF Investment: 
Funds “Power of fixed income investments”

  • Thariq Ahmad is a leading Malaysian Fixed Income Fund Manager with 20 years of experience in the Malaysian Bond Market. He started KAF Fund Management in 1997 with a seed AUM of RM10m which grew to a peak in excess of RM3.5 billion in 2014 when the fixed income business was acquired by Amundi Asset Management, the largest European asset manager.

    During his tenure as CEO/CIO at KAF Fund Management, the flagship KAF Bond Fund was the winner of the Morningstar Fund Awards for Malaysia Ringgit Bonds for 2010 and 2012 and Thariq was named among the Most Astute Investors in Malaysian Ringgit Bonds by The Asset Magazine from 2011-2013. The KAF Bond Fund, which remains under his advisory, continues to receive recognition, achieving a Recommended rating by FundSuperMart for 2013/2014.

    Thariq Ahmad holds an M.A. in Mathematics from St. John's College, Oxford

Corp Announcement and How To Interpret Them by Koon Yew Yin

How to interpret company announcements on Bursa Malaysia

Koon Yew Yin
As you know, there are daily many share recommendations from professional analysts employed by Financial Institutions. You must be careful when you read these articles because their main objective is to generate more trading business for their employers. Even if you are convinced in any particular counter, you must always check it up for its profit growth prospect from its Bursa announcements.
My one golden rule in share selection is that I must be sure the company can make more profit in the current year than last year because if the company announces poor annual profit, the share price will tumble down. Even if it is cheap in terms of NTA and P/E ratio, It will continue to come down until it shows increasing profit.
According to Malaysian Securities Commission’ rules all listed companies have to make announcements of their quarterly results and other business activities that are unusual to their daily business operations.
I would like to share with you my experience on how to interpret and take advantage of the various announcements as follows:
  1. Announcement of quarterly result: this is often a catalyst to move share price. If the profit is good, the share price will go up but if the profit is not good the price will likely come down.
  2. Announcement of purchasing a large piece of land for development eg MRCB’s recent announcement of signing the S&P agreement to buy the Germen Embassy land in KL for a few hundred million Ringgit. Many investors would think that it is a wonderful deal to be able to own and develop the property right in the heart of KL. But smart investors with some imagination must consider this purchase very risky in view of the oversupply of properties in KL.  Moreover, it will take about 7 years to complete the project from planning approval to construction and sale of all the properties before you can see the financial result. At the mean time, investors are exposed to 7 years of risk.
  3. Announcement of company share buyback is tricky to interpret. It can mean that the management wants to buy back its own shares because it is undervalued. But sometimes the management wants to prop up the price to stop the price from falling because of poor quarterly result. Investors must look at the profit growth first before buying the share. You may be tempted to buy because the chart says so. Share prices can be manipulated if the daily trading volume is small.  
  4. Announcement of right issues with free convertible warrants can be tempting to many investors. You must be careful to examine the true reason for calling the right issues. Do not subscribe blindly. Quite often due to poor management, the company has poor cash flow and the business has too many challenges. As a result, the company needs more cash. Moreover, this kind of announcement will push up the share price, offering you a chance to sell at a better price. You must remember that good profitable companies do not need to get money from calling for right issues.
  5. Announcement of bonus issues is usually a good sign that the company is able to accumulate sufficient profit to issue more shares to benefit shareholders. This announcement will push up the share price. Of course the price will be adjusted soon after the bonus issue and the price will go up again if the company continues to show good result.
  6. Announcement of share placement of not more than 10% of the total issued shares is a good sign that there is demand by fund managers to own these shares. If they buy them from the open market, it will cost more. This is reassuring to all existing shareholders because the big buyers would have studied the operation of the company in great detail before making such a big financial commitment. They should not think that their interest is being diluted. They must bear in mind that the company will have more cash for expansion which will benefit all the shareholders.
  7. Announcement of a new substantial shareholder who bought all his shares from the open market is a good sign. According to S.C. rules, any investor who owns more than 5% of the total issued shares has to declare his interest. He has also to announce if he subsequently buys or sell the shares because his action will affect the decision making process of other investors.
  8. Announcement of Company Directors’ buying or selling shares is a good indicator of the true value of the shares. All company directors have to make announcement when they buy or sell their shares. If they continue to buy more shares, it is a healthy sign, provided you know that the company is really doing well and that they are not buying them to simply push up the share price.
  9. Announcement by a contractor of securing a large multi million Ringgit contract for the construction of a big project through the open competitive tender system will often encourage investors to rush in to buy the shares in anticipation of the company’s profit growth prospect. Many would think that the contractor with additional work would naturally make more profit. You must remember contracting is a very risky business because of the open tender system. The contractor has to take a lot of risk to submit the cheapest price to win the tender. That is why there are so few really successful listed contracting companies. Very often building contractors are also property developers.
  10. Announcement of dividend is a good indicator of the company’s performance. The company that declares increasing dividend is definitely a good company. This shows that it has positive cash flow and can afford to benefit all its shareholders. This sort of company will not need to call for right issues to raise cash for expansion.
  11. Announcement of privatization of the listed company is rare but when you see this type of announcement, you can make money if you know how to position yourself. The controlling shareholders offer to buy up all the outstanding shares that they do not already own, usually at a higher price than the current market price. As soon as you see the announcement, you can buy it before the price go up to the offered price. If you consider the offer is unreasonable, you can wait until they offer a better price. You must bear in mind that the better offer may not come and it may be more advantage to accept the cash offer and use the cash proceeds to buy other shares.   
Conclusion: There are about 1200 listed companies and every day many of them have to make announcements. It is impossible to read all the announcements. After you have read the above guidelines, you can select the useful announcements to read to save time.
Under the current oversupply of real estate, I will not read announcements by building contractors and property developers because property prices can only come down.
I am not interested to know about huge land transactions and its profit potential.
I will also not read companies that have poor profit growth prospect. That includes plantation counters in view of the depressed palm oil price, even though some of them are selling cheaply in terms of P/E ratio and NTA.

As you know, our Ringgit is the lowest in the last 5 years and readers should look at announcements by companies exporting their products for US$.             

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

S&M Show Podcast


Unverified information plays a big part in all sharemarkets. Buyers and traders beware. Looked at Bumi Armada, VIS and Bina Puri.

SONG PICK:  Picking songs from my all time favourite albums, this one is in my top 5, Grover Washington Jr's Winelight. The more popular song from that album was Just The Two Of Us but I prefer the soothing instrumental In The Name Of Love.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Investing Community Gives Back


Markets are volatile now with extreme volatility in oil prices and currencies. Come and hear what the experts have to say on how to navigate through the investing storm. 

Invest in the Future – a conference organised to support the education of the refugee community in schools of Kuala Lumpur. The event will be held at Bentley Music Auditorium, Mutiara Damansara (near The Curve) on the 9th of May and will address the most up to date issues connected with investments. 

Participants will get the access top speakers in order to discover the latest investment opportunities and validate their ideas on trading and increase their network. Additionally to that, each person will be granted a one month FREE subscription to Murasaki a trade sensor tool (market value 300MYR), a set of FREE latest HCS maps and a book from HCS Research (market value 50MYR) - great support for investors in retail. 


• Ho Chin Soon & Ishmael Ho, Chairman & CEO, Ho Chin Soon Research: “Putrajaya MRT Line, High Speed Rail and Rapid Transit Systems (Property Investing Opportinities)” 

• Patrick Chang, Head of ASEAN Equities, BNP Paribas “Is ASEAN for real?”

• Thariq Ahmad, Fixed income specialist, KAF Investment: Funds “Power of fixed income investments”

• Salvatore Dali, Malaysian Finance blog, S&M show at BFM: “Stocks to avoid and follow in 2015”

The event is an unique opportunity to not only gain knowledge and encounter experience of best specialists, but also an investment in future of less-fortunate. By participating in the conference, you contribute to a great cause - accessible education for vulnerable refugee children, under the protection of UNHCR. If you believe that education changes perspective, come and help us to change their lives. 

Tickets are priced at RM254 for reserved seating and RM104 for standing room only. Book fast as there are limited seats.
* the sponsors for the event include Ho Chin Soon Research, Murasaki ts and BFM.

To purchase tickets online:

Monday, April 20, 2015

Its Not Going To Be A Smooth Ride

I do not have the time nor the resources or the inclination to dwell laboriously on the viability of Iskandar. Looking at the geography and proximity to Singapore, one should view Iskandar as a proxy play to Singapore's ascend up the value chain. Their lack of land is exactly what will ensure the long term viability for Iskandar.

However the ride to the pot of gold will not be smooth. As there is not a strong central coordinating body, land is transacted as often and as willingly possible. When there is not central planning (I know there is one but toothless when it comes to the release and development schedule) body that is effective in controlling the supply and demand, it will be rough going. 

As Singapore has to contend with its own woes in pockets of luxury housing (e.g. Sentosa), interest will be tepid. The aggressive projects by Chinese companies will also be a big headache. 

Having said that, there will come a time where the ringgit is so attractively priced or the Singapore dollar is so strong, or that Singapore property is so strong ... that eventually Iskandar will look attractive. In the meantime, the only kind of properties I think will be attractive will industrial in  Iskandar or those than pander to Singapore SMEs wanting, needing or forced to relocate to Johor.


The existing glut of homes in Iskandar will be aggravated by a huge incoming supply this year and the next, which would put property values under greater pressure over the medium term, a research report by Malaysia’s largest bank showed.
Advising investors to be cautious about the region, the Maybank report said that Klang Valley and Penang were better bets. Klang Valley, in particular, is preferred because of the upcoming rapid transit lines, and the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail project that will end at Bandar Malaysia. More importantly, Greater KL and Klang Valley has a strong population growth potential — a possible 40 per cent increase to 10 million by 2020 — that offers more sustainable demand for properties, it added.
The report pointed out that the value of property transactions in Johor had fallen by 33 per cent quarter-on-quarter in the fourth quarter of last year, underperforming the country (-7 per cent) and other major cities such as KL (-12 per cent) and Penang (8 per cent).
Property prices in Johor were also weaker than that of other cities, with the prices contracting 1 per cent quarter-on-quarter. In contrast, property prices in the whole of Malaysia dipped 0.2 per cent.
There are roughly 80,900 units of approved high-rise residences in Iskandar. Latest statistics from Malaysia’s National Property Information Centre (NAPIC) showed that as at the fourth quarter of last year, there were 142,567 homes under construction in the state of Johor, with another 193,271 units planned — among the highest in all of Malaysia.
The aggressive land-banking activities by Chinese developers could also worsen the glut and lead to price wars in the high-rise mixed-development segment, the report said.
“Without coordinated planning and control, this could aggravate the oversupply situation and induce price wars especially in the high-rise mixed development segment,” said Wong Wei Sum, an analyst with Maybank who wrote the research note.
The report also gave its assessment on some of the high-profile projects in Iskandar: At Guangzhou R&F Properties’ Princess Cove project, it noted that despite its prime location in the city centre of Johor Baru, the take-up for its phase 1 residential towers only rose slightly from 46 per cent in October last year to about 60 per cent currently.
Country Garden’s project in Johor Baru’s Danga Bay area is also about 60 per cent sold. A similar proportion of projects in Danga Bay by Greenland, a Chinese property developer, is booked. “Most of the buyers are Malaysians and the three Chinese developers (including Guangzhou R&F) are offering discounts/rebates ranging from 6 to 15 per cent, we were told,” Mr Wong said.
“We remain cautious over the increasingly crowded development space in Iskandar Malaysia and think the oversupply situation is likely to get worse... This will be aggravated by ample incoming supply by end-2015 and 2016 from units which were launched during Iskandar Malaysia’s peak time in 2012 and 2013.”
Property analysts said the concerns raised by Maybank about Iskandar are valid, especially at a time when demand for homes in the special economic region has started to wane, following the implementation of property cooling measures targeted at foreign buyers and tighter lending conditions by banks. If the oversupply situation is not managed well, the vibrancy of Iskandar will be affected with a large number of homes or even entire townships left vacant, the analysts said.
Colin Tan, director of research and consultancy at Suntec Real Estate Consultants, said: “By looking purely at the economics, the Iskandar story should succeed because so long as investments continue to come in, the place should be in a good state. The question is, ‘How long will it take?’ Iskandar’s progress seems to be held back by politics.” 
- See more at:

p/s Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja is a breath of fresh air... so pretty, so lanky, so talented ... and only 21

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

S&M Show Podcast


Foreign funds have mixed views about local small caps. Plus an assessment of the call to increase the withdrawal age for EPF from 55 to 60.

Song Pick: ...have to pick this song as i fell in love with it many years ago ... plenty did it uptempo style but it should be done this way... by Caetano Veloso... its about a man who lamented about his love lost daily till he passed away, then a bird would come outside the house singing in the saddest tone leading many to say the bird was his soul still crying over his lost love

Cucurucucu Paloma

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Meet Joe Ades

Meet Joe Ades, better known in the internet world as the world's best salesman. His amazing story was that he sells $5 peelers since 1993. Naturally he made money, but he made more than enough to be living at Park Avenue, New York.

So what's so different with him ... he is tenacious, and yes he has a great product to start with but by no means a MUST HAVE product. I think he deliberately priced it low at $5 so that it becomes an impulse buy, and he knows how to push those buttons for an impulse buy - "eh... its not going to break my bank or budget for the week", "seriously it looks damn useful, even if it breaks off after one week, its still just $5 only", ...

He looks spiffy too, always in his suit. Might be overdressed for his job but thats his knack: by over-dressing, he attracts attention; by being in a suit, there is a sense of professionalism than say somebody trying to sell you things off the back of a truck; and he stays in the mode and worked in the same areas day in day out - so much so that even if you ignore and walk around him for months, you'd still somehow wonder what the heck can this guy be selling day in day out, curiosity not only kills the cat, it has a stranglehold on all shoppers.

After the breakup of his third marriage, and a period of residence in Ireland, Ades followed his daughter to New York City,[3] taking up residence in Manhattan.[1]

From 1993 onward, Ades sold $5 Swiss-made metal potato peelers.[4] Known for his engagi
ng sales patter and demonstrations in places such as Union Square Greenmarket, while wearing $1,000 Chester Barrie suits and shirts from Turnbull & Asser.[1] Ades never bothered with a license, meaning that he was often moved on by the New York City Police Department.[1] His pitches and lifestyle eventually meant that he became so famous that he was the subject of a Vanity Fair article series.[5]

Ades sold enough peelers to enjoy cafĂ© society at the Pierre Hotel, on the Upper East Side, and lived with his fourth wife, Estelle Pascoe–November 17, 2007)[6] in her three-bedroom apartment on Park Avenue.[7]

“ Never underestimate a small amount of money gathered by hand for 60 years ”

Unfortunately, he (Joe Ades) passed away February 1st 2009, only one day after learning he had finally been granted American citizenship. Now his daughter does the same. He worked hard enough selling this that he was able to pay for a three-bedroom apartment on Park Ave. in NYC .  Ades  died on February 1, 2009,[3] only a day after being informed that he had been granted American citizenship.[1]

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

S&M Show Podcast

The Lucky Sperm Syndrome

Do family-owned companies make good investments?

Song Pick:  Younger people may only know Rod Stewart as a crooner of American Standards, but in actual fact, he has had a fantastic career in rock and roll. One of his best albums ever has to be ANight On Town, and the best song from it The Killing Of Georgie.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

American Pie Dissected

Who doesn't love the song American Pie by Don Mclean? Yet we all have differing versions of the meaning of the 'insurmountable' lyrics. You may begin to have a better than educated guess if you had a close affinity with American popular culture from the 50s till the 70s - otherwise it would be lost on you, much as it did for the Brits (in a stiff upper lip accent "what in God's name is he singing").

Well if you have a couple of million dollars, you could bid for the entire manuscript (16 pages) which would resolve most of the lyrics behind the composer's thoughts.

Below was the great article from BBC.

BBC News:  As the original manuscript for Don Mclean's 1971 classic goes up for auction, fans may finally discover what the "Song of the Century" is really about. So what are the popular theories?
When people ask Don McLean what does American Pie really mean, he likes to reply: "It means I never have to work again."
His eight-minute-long "rock and roll American dream" became an anthem for an entire generation - who memorised every line.
Their children in turn grew up singing it - fascinated by the mysterious lyrics with their cryptic references to 50s innocence, the turbulent 60s, and 70s disillusion.
Who broke the church bells? Who was the jester who sang for the king and queen? And what really was revealed "the day the music died"?

Don McLean
American Pie is the longest song ever to top the Billboard Hot 100, at eight minutes and 36 seconds

There are fan websites entirely dedicated to solving these mysteries, where literary detectives pore over the clues, line by line.
The song's 69-year-old architect has always remained tight-lipped.
But now at long, long last, his inspirations behind "The Song of the Century" are to be revealed as McLean puts his original manuscript up for auction on Tuesday.
These 16 pages of handwritten notes, which have lain hidden away in a box in his home for 43 years, are expected to fetch $1.5m (£1m) at Christie's in New York.
But for McLean aficionados there is a greater prize.
The drafts, unedited, reveal the creative process behind American Pie "from beginning to end", according to Tom Lecky of Christie's.
"You see great moments of inspiration, you see him attempting things that then didn't work out. The direction that he was going in that he then didn't want to follow.
"Those words that we all know so well weren't fixed in the beginning."

American Pie manuscript
McLean's original notes, unedited, are 16 pages long and give clues to his thought process

As the singer himself said recently: "The writing and the lyrics will divulge everything there is to divulge." 
For McLean scholars with pet theories, there could be bad news on the doorstep. This could be the day that they die.
But before we sing bye bye, and in honour of the American Pie fans everywhere, the BBC News Magazine takes a nostalgic trip back through the song's six enigmatic verses, and the popular theories that have grown up around them.

"So bye-bye, Miss American Pie..."

Buddy Holly
Buddy Holly's death was a "personal tragedy" for the 12-year-old McLean

Contrary to popular rumour, "American Pie" was not the name of the plane that rock and roll legend Buddy Holly died in, says Jim Fann, author of Understanding American Pie.
Miss American Pie is "as American as apple pie, so the saying goes," he argues.
"She could also be a synthesis of this symbol and the beauty queen Miss America."
Either way, her name evokes a simpler, optimistic age and McLean bids her farewell.
"The day the music died" refers - of course - to Holly's untimely death on 3 February 1959, which McLean mourns as the end of the entire 50s era.
But if you think this is "what American Pie is about", you would greatly disappoint McLean, who is on record that his song has so much more to say in the verses that follow next.  "Do you believe in rock and roll? Can music save your mortal soul?"
Into verse two and the swinging 60s have arrived. "Faith in the music now replaces faith in God," Fann observes.
The religious imagery that emerges in the second verse becomes a powerful and recurring symbol of loss throughout the song.
From "the sacred store" to the broken church bells, from this point forward, "whatever is couched in religious terms can be seen as referring back... to the happier innocence and faith of the 1950s," says Fann.
The fickle girl who McLean saw "dancing in the gym" no longer cares for his "pink carnation and pickup truck", leaving him "out of luck".

"When the jester sang for the King and Queen, In a coat he borrowed from James Dean"

Enter Bob Dylan, the court jester who becomes the revolutionary leader of the 60s generation, knocking Elvis, the king of the 50s, off his pedestal: "While the King was looking down, the jester stole his thorny crown."
The jacket Dylan "borrowed from James Dean" can be seen on the iconic cover sleeve of his 1963 album The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan.
But by the end of the decade, we see that Dylan's "rolling stone" is gathering moss, in fat quantities.
"The old cliche is turned on its head, reflecting how the wholesale rejection of conventional values had become commonplace by 1970," as Fann interprets.

Bob Dylan

But if you think the case is closed on the true meanings in this third verse, think again - "no verdict" has been returned.
One alternative theory casts McLean's "King and Queen" as Pete Seeger and Joan Baez, the folk giants of the early '60's whose crown Dylan ultimately stole.
Another has the monarchs as President John F Kennedy and the First Lady Jackie Kennedy, with Lee Harvey Oswald as the "jester who stole his thorny crown".
Whichever way you peer at it, "the world [McLean] once knew is changing," concludes Fann.

"Now the half-time air was sweet perfume, While sergeants played a marching tune"

As the 60s reach their turbulent climax in verse four, and nuclear tensions rising, the Beatles have become the "sergeants" leading the march of counter-culture, leaving Dylan behind as "the jester on the sidelines in a cast" after his near-fatal motorbike crash.
But just at the peak of the sweetly marijuana-perfumed Summer of Love in 1967, the tension boils over into civil unrest. "We all got up to dance, but we never got the chance," sang McLean.
He looks on as the "players try to take the field; But the marching band refused to yield".
There are almost as many theories for this line as the single has sold copies (more than three million in its first year). One has the marching band as the police blocking civil rights protesters, another as the Beatles preaching non-violence with their 1967 hit "All You Need Is Love".

"Do you recall what was revealed the day the music died?" This could be the song's most ambiguous line of all.

Some suggest it refers to a John Lennon and Yoko Ono album cover. Another popular theory is the Miss America contest of 1968 where feminist protesters had supposedly "burned their bras".
But the most likely reference, Fann believes, is the 1968 riot at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, where police brutally cracked down on demonstrators.
What was revealed? "The dark underside of one of our most cherished institutions," he argues.
But perhaps "what was revealed" has nothing really to do with any of these events, and is really a harbinger for the tragedy that follows in the fifth verse...

"And there we were all in one place, A generation Lost in Space"

A giant gathering of people, all high on drugs. It has to be Woodstock, right? Not so, say Pie connoisseurs.
The lyrics more closely match the tragic concert at Altamont Speedway in December 1969, where "Jack Flash sat on a candlestick".

Altamont Festival
An estimated 300,000 revellers came to Altamont to see the Rolling Stones and Jefferson Airplane

"No angel born in hell could break that Satan's spell"

The Stones' frontman Mick Jagger really did appear on stage that night dressed in a flowing red cape, singing lyrics inciting fire and rebellion.
Meanwhile at the stage perimeter members of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang - hired as security - engaged in bloody clashes with the rioting audience.
Jagger was later accused of failing to halt the performance, infuriating McLean's narrator: "I saw Satan laughing with delight; The day the music died".Just as Woodstock was heralded as the landmark of the counterculture movement, "Altamont was the event that signalled its demise. Reality steps in," says Fann.
The tragedy served to finally "burst the bubble of youth culture's illusions about itself," wrote Todd Gitlin, an eyewitness, in his book The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage.
And in the final verse of McLean's parable, when he "goes down to the sacred store, where I'd heard the music years before" he finds that sadly:

"The man there said the music wouldn't play"

And these words are not just symbolic. "Literally, the music stores that had once provided listening booths for their customers were by this time no longer offering this service," writes Fann.
But even more so, "the cynicism of this generation had annihilated the innocent world the narrator had grown up in."
That kind of music simply wouldn't play any more.
Forty-three years later, it would be nice to think that - whatever the revelations to come from McLean's original scribbled notes - they will not burst the bubble for the millions of fans who still dream of Chevys, whisky and rye.

Don McLean
Don McLean: "You will find many interpretations of my lyrics, but none by me. Isn't this fun?"