Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Chat in car during lunch hour:

KC: buy any shares recently ?

F: No! Dare not buy now. My friend so worried that she want to sell LionDiv when reach her cost at 1.75.

T: LionD cannot move one, LionInd up already but LionD still there.

KC: for you, you look at the -ve side of price cannot move. As for me, I see at now is very cheap & attractive. BUY LOW SELL HIGH. In fact, I have just bought it yesterday at 1.28-1.30.

P/S: What 1.30 can get? LionD 's assets of Parkson's RCSLS already worth more than 1.00 if convert to Parkson shares. LionD's NTA as at 31/12/07 is 2.70.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


Certain UMNO leaders try to manipulate the reasons why UMNO & BN did badly in March,08 General Election. The Malaysian know actually what has happen and now Zainah Anwar from 'The Star' tell the true.


The Star (27 Apr 2008)
Evolve or perish
Sharing the nation


This is the last chance for this government to get it right or else the usual 10-year electoral cycle of ‘rise and fall’ in the performance of the ruling party will be broken. It will be the fall and fall.

JUST Do It. This should have been the motto in 2004 when the Prime Minister received an overwhelming mandate for his change agenda.

But it took the verdict of March 8 to finally move Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to take substantive steps to deal with the long-standing demands from civil society and the opposition parties to redress past wrongs and strengthen Malaysia’s democratic structures and values.

First, his announcement to set up a Judicial Appointments Commission on April 17.

Then on April 21, the announcement to revamp the Anti Corruption Agency into an independent commission with accompanying new laws, enforcement powers and public procurement procedure. Over the past weeks, several ministers, new, and old ones with new portfolios, have talked about the urgent need for reform.

Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Chik and Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar have both promised more press freedom, with the latter undertaking a “re-look” at the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 to move with the times.

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin has promised to table amendments by the end of the year to the unpopular Universities and University Colleges Act1971.

The Minister in charge of Law, Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, has brought within one month more substantive change in the administration of justice in this country than what any other law minister has done in years.

He successfully pushed for the setting up of the Judicial Commission, first proposed by the Bar Council in 2003 and by Suhakam in 2005.

He remains committed to restoring Article 121(1) to its original wording as the 1988 amendment had diluted the doctrine of separation of powers between the Executive and the Judiciary.

And he has promised to review all the ouster clauses introduced in several laws in the mid to late 1980s which made the decision of the minister final and not subject to any judicial review.

The mainstream media editors and journalists are once again demanding that the oppressive Printing Presses and Publications Act be reviewed, if not repealed.

Stung and rejected by the public, the mainstream newspapers are now making up with a daily dose of often incisive and critical writing on Malaysian politics.

Reading the morning papers over breakfast could become a habit again. It takes March 8 for those in authority to realise that it is better to unleash mainstream journalism – once built on a tradition of fair, balanced, accurate, fact-checked reporting – to rebuild its reputation as a credible source of information or face the onslaught of unsubstantiated, unverified gossip and rumours turned into facts that pervade the new media.

The rakyat has spoken. They want change. The Prime Minister is beginning to institute change. The mainstream media is fast changing to rebuild its influence. And yet, many voices within Umno are pushing for the party’s self-destruction. I am amazed. For they seem to think that March 8 was just a blip in Umno’s inherent hegemonic powers. The only change they can think of is the need to replace the President and, hey presto, everything will be back to normal.

They think the only reason they lost those seats was because the Umno President and his family and coterie of advisers chose the wrong candidates and therefore the Umno machinery failed to deliver the votes.

If only the right candidates were chosen, they would not have lost the four additional states, the Federal Territory, and their two-thirds majority in Parliament. Yes, the party President must take the biggest responsibility for the damning results.

But the massive public repudiation of Barisan Nasional was not just a repudiation of the Prime Minister’s rule, but of all the corrupt, immoral, authoritarianism in BN politics and governance in its 50 years of domination.

The public has had enough. But these Umno politicians do not have it in them to see the writing on the wall.

Nor do they have the confidence, and certainly not the conviction, to deliver on the palpable demand for change – change in how they understood, used and abused power.

They seem to think that a return to sledgehammer rule under a strong leader, an appeal to Malay racialist sentiment, and spreading the patronage goodies from bigtime cronies to the divisional level cronies, would just do the trick to win them support again.

Basically, they want it to be business as usual.

That Pakatan Rakyat won votes on a platform of change from “ketuanan Melayu” to “ketuanan rakyat” and a smorgasbord of promises to make democracy and good governance work for all citizens seems to have escaped these Umno recalcitrants.

While this new alliance is fast capturing the shifting mood of Malaysian voters to a new political centre of equitable and fairer terms of engagement among the citizens, and between the citizen and the state, and generating excitement among young voters and community groups that their voices can indeed bring change, Umno members are more preoccupied with power grabbing in the run-up to party elections in December.

They forget the goodies the winners want to lay their grubby hands on might just be in someone else’s clutches by the next general election.

But what makes Umno politics even more wretched for us looking on from the outside is the fact that so many calling for leadership change in Umno are themselves so tainted and discredited.

They might win party elections whooping their “ketuanan Melayu” battle cry, but they will cause the party to lose the next general election. The ground has shifted and they still think the old tricks will deliver them victory.

What is there then for its key Barisan partners to remain in the coalition? They are already blaming Umno and its arrogant, intemperate and relentless stomping and condoning of ethno-religious supremacy for driving away Chinese and Indian voters into the waiting arms of PKR, DAP and PAS.

To now claim that Malay political power is under threat is hubris. It is Umno that has lost its dominance. As Karim Raslan in his column on April 22 said, what the Umno leaders don’t want to acknowledge is that their monopoly over the Malay vote is gone forever.

No, the Malays are not disunited. The Malay community has evolved into a more complex, sophisticated, diverse community with diverse interests.

There are those who want a democratic and secular Malaysia with justice and equality as core values; those who want an end to affirmative action that damaged Malay competitiveness; those who want an Islamic state and syariah rule; those who want Islam as a source of social values, but not an instrument of state power; those who want good governance and forget ideology; those who want an end to racebased politics and political parties; those who want to restore our rich tradition of embracing and celebrating our cultural and religious diversity ...

Malaysian politics is taking off into an epochal transformation from race-based to issue-based.

Increasingly, Malaysians are building new solidarities based on issues, not race or religion.

Be it human rights, women’s rights, democracy, good governance, freedom of the press, detention without trial, local government, environment, land rights, anti-corruption, reviving Malay culture killed by Islamisation … it is the issue that will bring Malaysians of all ethnic backgrounds together.

The modernity that development brings can only mean more and more diverse and differentiated interests. Umno and its Barisan Nasional partners have two choices before them: evolve or perish.

For the Prime Minister, the priority now is to fulfil the Barisan Nasional promises of 2004 to bring about a more transparent and accountable government.

He needs to steam ahead to transform Malaysia’s democratic institutions and structures and begin to undo the damage of Umno and Barisan’s hegemonic rule over the past decades.

This is the last chance for this government to get it right or else the usual 10-year electoral cycle of “rise and fall” in the performance of the ruling party will be broken. It will be the fall and fall.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Nautilas bay at Sg Pinang_Penang

One of the IJM projects in Penang. 3 storey link house on leasehold Land costing more than RM800K. Really Expensive. The high rise building at my back is The Spring, quite a nice condo, I like it but too bad it has no swimming pool.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Going Up after Many Down- Where else other than Stock Market

There is a saying :Shares Market will never die, those burned to die is only the player.

This is very true, the market is always here for us to invest or punt. The regional market has been bottom up and highly possible a new uptrent has already taking place.

But for Malaysia, many retail investor still confuse / or reluctant to enter the market due to fears. Fear to lose, fear for political uncertainty (Anwar factor), and many other reasons.

Malaysia KLCI has go down for months, I believe some Big Croc or Big Sharks will re-enter to play the market/ or some counters, otherwise where else can they go other than Stock Market. They are making tons of $$$ from this Stock Market.

Pick a strong fundamental stock, a stock that can benefited from the commodity booms, a growth company that can sustain the earning in long term from the grobal market, enter the market in stages/ gradually.

But be reminded to buy LOW. To apply the principle of Margin of safety.
This might be good strategy to gain from the equity market.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Old-Fashioned Economies Ride Out a Global Tornado

Here is a big lesson of the first global financial crisis of the 21st century: Some old-fashioned economies are weathering the storm better than those that borrowed heavily to spur growth or those that bet on debt-strapped U.S. consumers.

The U.S., the economy at the center of the crisis, is dragging down world growth. On Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke gave his most pessimistic assessment to date of the U.S. economy's outlook, strongly suggesting a recession is likely.

'It now appears likely that gross domestic product will not grow much, if at all, over the first half of 2008, and could even contract slightly,' he said in testimony before the Joint Economic Committee of Congress. Mr. Bernanke said the Fed projects slower global growth over the coming quarters.

But beyond the U.S., the impact of the downturn is uneven.

Countries like Australia, Brazil, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar are still expanding smartly, although down from 2007, because they have rich veins of oil, iron ore, alumina and copper. Old-line industrial-goods makers such as Germany and Japan are riding out the problem because they have diversified their markets for heavy machinery.

Meanwhile, consumer-goods exporters of Asia that rode to prosperity by trading with the U.S. -- Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia and even China -- are seeing their lofty growth rates sag. And the Baltic countries, Hungary and Iceland, which borrowed heavily to finance growth, are now watched by international financial institutions to see whether they will become unhinged by the credit squeeze that began with troubles in the U.S. housing market.

Imagine the crisis like a tornado. It formed in Florida, California, Nevada and other states where housing markets crashed. It picked up power as securities tied to mortgages produced immense losses by major financial firms in the U.S. and Europe. That has battered the U.S. economy, dried up credit in the U.S. and some parts of Europe, prompted the U.S. Federal Reserve to slash interest rates and weakened the dollar. Now, the financial tornado is coursing its way around the globe, battering some places while leaving others largely unscathed.

The health of the global economy will be at the center of discussions in Washington over the coming week as finance ministers gather for the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank starting on April 12. On the agenda: what steps to take to revamp global financial regulation, ease the global credit squeeze and boost growth.

'The remarkable difference between this period of financial upheaval and those in the past is the performance of developed and developing countries,' World Bank President Robert Zoellick said in a speech on Wednesday at the Center for Global Development, a Washington think tank. 'Not only has the epicenter of the quake shifted [away from developing countries], but so far the tremors have shaken markets differently.'

Right now, the global economy looks well positioned to weather the turmoil, but that could turn out be a faulty prediction if the U.S. falls into a deep, lingering recession. The global economy is expected to grow 3.8% this year, compared with 4.7% a year earlier, according to numbers to be released Thursday by Peterson Institute for International Economics, a Washington think tank.

Resource-rich countries -- including Russia, Brazil and Australia -- are poised to keep prospering. Vast appetites for raw materials in China, India and elsewhere give commodity producers alternatives to the U.S. market, and have lessened the chance of a commodities crash.

In Australia, Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto PLC is progressing with a $1.8 billion alumina-refinery expansion in Queensland, while its rival, BHP Billiton Ltd., recently authorized $850 million in spending as part of a large natural gas project off the Australian coast. Last month, Apex Minerals NL, in Perth, said it successfully raised about $56 million in a share placement with investors in the U.S. and elsewhere for a gold-mining project in Western Australia.

Russia, a center of the previous global financial crisis in the late 1990s, now touts its economy as a 'safe harbor' thanks to surging prices for its oil, gas and other commodity exports. Brazil, another late '90s loser, has become a new economic pillar thanks to soaring demand for iron ore, coffee and sugar.

Brazil's interest rates are heading downward after years in the stratosphere, giving Brazilians relatively inexpensive credit that they are plowing into new homes, cars and small businesses. General Motors Corp. sold a record 499,000 vehicles in Brazil last year, even as the company struggled in the U.S. Big U.S. investment banks are expanding in Brazil to take advantage of a record number of initial public offerings and other deals.

'So far, Main Street Brazil is untouched by the crisis,' says Luis Largman, the chief financial officer of Cyrela Brazil Realty, a São Paulo-based home builder. Last July, just as the subprime crisis was beginning, his company scrapped plans for a bond sale meant for U.S. investors. It turned around and raised the funds, about $285 million, among Brazilian investors at nearly the same cost. The company is now posting record sales.

For some commodity producers, the biggest danger is overheating. Middle Eastern oil producers are sinking their new wealth into government-financed roads, airports and new oil and gas field development. But all the new spending is stoking inflation. That is exacerbated by a sharply falling dollar, which raises the price of imports in Persian Gulf nations that peg their currencies to the dollar.

In Qatar, inflation is running at 14%. In the United Arab Emirates, inflation has triggered a series of violent protests by expatriate laborers angered by their falling buying power. In response, some governments in the region are lifting customs duties on construction materials and food imports, and boosting government salaries by as much as 70%.

A number of world economies may be in for pain -- including Turkey and the parts of Eastern and Central Europe that have borrowed heavily on global markets to finance heavy spending on consumer goods and real estate.

Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and the Baltic trio of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia could now face a drying up of credit. That raises the risk of a replay of the 1990s financial crisis, when Latin America, Russia and Southeast Asia couldn't repay their foreign-currency debts, causing banks and companies to fail and plunging economies into recessions.

One of the newly vulnerable countries is tiny Iceland. At the end of last year, its foreign debts, held mainly by banks, amounted to 430% of its gross domestic product, several times the level in, for example, the countries of Eastern Europe. The global credit crunch means Iceland's banks must pay higher interest now to borrow funds abroad that they can lend at home. That will force local companies and households to curtail their borrowing and spending. Iceland's policy makers say the country will escape ruin because banks still have ample funds to service their debts. They also say the economy is set to earn export revenues following recent investments in aluminum smelting.

Still, the country's currency, the krona, is under heavy pressure and the cost of buying insurance for debts owned by Icelandic banks has shot up to the highest levels for any country's lenders. That usually means investors believe a debt default is a strong possibility. Iceland's Kaupthing Bank says it is considering legal action against the investment bank Bear Stearns Cos. for publishing research that compared Iceland unfavorably to Kazakhstan, and for helping to organize a trip to Iceland earlier this year by a group of hedge funds. The bank suspects the trip may have been part of preparations for a speculative attack on the country's financial system, say people familiar with Kaupthing's thinking. A Bear Stearns spokeswoman declined to comment.

Many investors also are dubious about Baltic countries' ability to fund their huge deficits in trade and other foreign income, known as current-account deficits. Latvia, for instance, had a current-account deficit equivalent to nearly 23% of its gross domestic product -- compared with about 5% for the U.S. -- driven by cheap credit, a real-estate boom and its citizens' voracious appetite for imports.

Asian consumer-goods exporters also face a slowdown because their economies' fortunes are tied so tightly to U.S. consumer spending, which has been slumping. A replay of the 1990s financial crash in the region is very unlikely, though, because Asian nations have built hoards of cash reserves and steep current-account surpluses, which they could use to pay off foreign debts.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Thailand lifted itself from poverty by attracting foreign companies to build cameras, televisions and refrigerators there and then sell them to consumers in the U.S. Over the past few years, Thailand's exporters have been trying to wean themselves off dependence on U.S. shoppers. But it isn't easy. Exporters in China, Vietnam, Malaysia and elsewhere in Asia are trying the same thing, deepening competition. Plus, the patterns of global trade are so complex that it's not easy to steer products to a particular destinations.

Today, a component made in Asia is frequently plugged into a television or mobile phone being assembled in China, then sold on to the U.S. and other markets. Hana Microelectronics PCL in Bangkok sells electronic components to big U.S. firms, which sell finished goods across the world. 'We sell to global markets through American customers, so there's not much of an adjustment we can make. We can't flip from one market to another,' says Terry Weir, Hana Microelectronics' chief financial officer.

Low-cost manufacturers in China are also having problems coping. The slumping dollar is pushing up the value of China's currency, which used to be locked at 8.3 yuan to the dollar, and making Chinese exports more expensive in dollar terms. After gaining 7% in 2007, the yuan is up another 4.3% so far this year. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has declared himself 'deeply worried' about the U.S. economy. Export manufacturers are an important source of the 50 million new jobs he has promised to create over the next five years.

In Shengzhou, a city south of Shanghai that claims to make 40% of the world's neckties, Taishen Necktie & Costume Co. says it sells 70% of its output to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. But the company's owner, Zhang Jienan, worries that he will be priced out of the market because of the rising yuan. 'I could feel the declining orders from the U.S. since early this year. I think that could be caused by the decline of the U.S. economy,' says Mr. Zhang. Overall, for the first two months of 2008, China's export growth has dropped below 20% for the first time in recent years.

Wall Street's woes have already helped take some of the air out of the Shanghai Composite Index since the Chinese benchmark stock index peaked with other global markets last October. It has dropped 40% since then. That hasn't yet appeared to damp consumer sentiment, though: China's retail sales have continued to expand by around 20% in the first two months of the year, even accounting for higher inflation.

European consumer-goods companies are also feeling the pinch. Emerging economies are churning out their own simple products less expensively. A declining dollar has made Italian clothes, French wine and German cars more expensive for U.S. consumers.

Exports account for about 70% of the sales of Look Cycle International SA, based in Burgundy, France, and the U.S. is one of its biggest markets. Late last year, Look cut the euro prices it charges its U.S. unit for importing bicycles by 15%, so its bikes' prices wouldn't soar in U.S. shops. That cut into its own profits, it says. Now that a dollar is worth barely 63 European cents, Look doesn't bother to swap its U.S. revenues for euros. Instead, it keeps the dollars in a bank account and hopes the dollar will strengthen.

But European nations that are big exporters of capital goods -- such as the heavy tools and machinery used in manufacturing -- are faring better. Companies in Germany, Switzerland and parts of Italy have so far managed to blunt the effects of the rising euro by diversifying away from the U.S. market. Unlike their consumer-goods counterparts, these manufacturers are still able to rely on sales to emerging economies. Machinery sales also depend on quality of engineering, where some European companies may be perceived to have an edge.

More than 40% of Germany's total exports of euro970 billion ($1.513 trillion) in 2007 were capital goods. Overall, the German exporters' association expects exports to grow by 5% this year. That is down from more than 8% in 2007 but it is still a vital prop to Europe's largest economy. Energy-rich Russia has become Germany's fastest-growing export market.

Marcus Walker / James Hookway / John Lyons / James T. Areddy

Thursday, April 03, 2008




• 越俎代庖的美聯儲
• 摩根大通加大籌碼 貝爾斯登水漲船高
• 房利美和Freddie價值幾何

經濟學家埃德•亞德尼(Ed Yardeni)對客戶說:“能在最後時刻施以援手的政府部門(財政部)正與最後的貸款機構(聯邦儲備委員會)合作支撐住房和信貸市場﹐以避免出現第二次大蕭條。”

首先﹐在聖帕特里克節那個週末﹐聯邦儲備委員會(Fed)和財政部強力促成美國第五大投資銀行貝爾斯登(Bear Stearns)以極低的價格出售給摩根大通公司(JP Morgan Chase & Co.)的交易﹐這個價格引發了股東的反對﹐從而促使摩根大通提高了價格。為了誘使摩根大通同意該交易﹐Fed同意為貝爾斯登投資組合中價值290億美元的證券提供擔保。這一舉措的結果會影響到Fed上交財政部的數額﹐因此這是納稅人的錢﹔正因為這樣﹐Fed才要征得財政部長亨利•鮑爾森(Henry Paulson)的同意。

隨後﹐Fed又首次直接向華爾街的證券公司發放貸款。迄今為止﹐Fed只直接貸款給傳統意義上的銀行﹐即吸納普通民眾存款的銀行。那是因為銀行被認為扮演著獨特的經濟角色﹐而且應該比其他類型的貸款人受到更嚴密的監管。在當前這個新時代的頭三天里﹐證券公司平均每天從Fed貸款313億美元。那可不是小數目 ﹐正因如此﹐鮑爾森又批准了Fed檢查這些公司的帳目。

在接下來的日子里﹐身為共和黨人的財政部長依靠兩家為股東所有但卻得到政府特許的公司──聯邦國民抵押貸款協會(Fannie Mae, 簡稱:房利美)和聯邦住房貸款抵押公司(Federal Home Loan Mortage Corporation, Freddie Mac)──來籌集資金﹐而這兩家公司的董事會並不想這麼幹。作為交換條件﹐政府監管機構允許二者增加財務槓桿﹐以便多購買2,000億美元的抵押擔保證券。


雖然一直保持低調的聯邦住宅貸款銀行(Federal Home Loan Banks)比房利美和Freddie的資金狀況還要糟﹐但其監管機構卻表示﹐它們可以買進的房利美和Freddie抵押貸款擔保證券較此前批准的多了一倍﹐也就是1,000多億美元。


不過﹐暫且不論我們怎麼走到了這步田地﹐眼下在住房、抵押貸款和信貸市場的問題已給整個經濟領域帶來了侵襲﹐這種顯而易見的危險是無法被忽視的。上個世紀 30年代的大蕭條非常嚴重﹐原因是政府最初做出了錯誤的反應。Fed主席貝南克整個學術生涯都在學習如何避免重蹈大蕭條的覆轍。


根據歷史上的標準來看﹐目前的息差仍然很大﹐不過已經較之前有所收窄。FTN Financial的數據顯示﹐3月6日﹐30年期定息抵押貸款較同期國債利率高出2.92個百分點﹔週三息差收窄至2.22個百分點。正常情況約為 1.5個百分點。貨幣市場仍面臨著壓力﹐因為銀行等金融機構囤積現金和超安全的短期國債。





David Wessel