30 September 2012

How to Perform Financial Modeling - Introduction

Disclaimer: I am not involved in daily activities of financial modeling. All I write below are all my opinion in how to perform financial modeling.

You may find out some articles from this website related to shares investment. It is all about how to read financial report, and how to construct a suitable portfolio which is under your risk & return assessment.

Here I would like to share with you on some of my thoughts on financial modeling. The main purpose of financial modeling is to forecast future performance of a company. In a research report released by research houses, normally the research report would contain some estimated figures by the research analysts. And actually how/where did they derive from?

If I was the research analyst / financial analyst, I would first figure out the breakdown of the revenue product mix, cost involved, non-recurring expenses / discontinued operation, off balance sheet items and so on. The better quality of the annual report released by the listed company, the better the figure we could forecast. This is part of the CFA Level II course - Financial Statement Analysis. We can also meet up with the company during any financial result briefing.

If we use Mah Sing as an example, we can find out some variables from the reports:

  • Recurring Revenue & Non Recurring Revenue 
  • Gross Profit Margin
  • Net Profit Margin
  • Cash Flow 
  • Shareholdings

We also have to find out how the company recognize its revenue and profit too. In Malaysia, the company can use the "progressive billing" method to recognize the revenue and profit/loss. So, let's say if the company able to grab RM25B booking this year (assuming the Sales & Purchase Agreement is signed), the company would need to build the buildings in a faster pace to recognize the revenue in later financial year.

Below is the compilation of Booking & Revenue of Mah Sing's property division for passed few years:

Mah Sing Revenue, Sales, Internal Sales Target, PBT, and PBT Margin. Source: Company Annual Report
We have to analyze what made the revenue grows up and the PBT margin decrease. First from the annual report, we understand that Mah Sing was aggressively involved in commercial high rise building, specifically in The Icon, Tun Razak and South Gate which enjoyed more than 30% gross profit margin. But due to the Sales & Lease Back agreement, the group started to absorb the lease payment to the buyers of the icon, Tun Razak and South Gate since year 2010. Mah Sing also started to switch the higher profit margin projects (such as commercial buildings) to lower profit margin projects (such as residential buildings). Anyway, Mah Sing has a strong management team to diversify the product mix from industrial, commercial to residential and the region expanded from Klang Valley, Penang and Johor to Sabah. I believe the PBT margin will resume to higher level once the Sales & Lease back agreement ended this year and next year.

On top of the financial report forecasting, we can also figure out:

1. Capability of the company and the execution power of the top management

Mah Sing had set internal sales target, and they will adjust according to the market condition. For example, Mah Sing adjusted their sales target once they reach the initial target or lower down the target once they thought they cannot hit the internal target. I have keep tracked their sales target and sales record. So far they are able to achieve it on time.

Nonetheless, I am still not very convinced their goals of becoming regional developer, as they are still now having projects solely in Malaysia, although their peers are now expanding to other Asia countries or even in UK. I hope that they can start planning to move further to a higher stage.

2. Any manipulation on financial report 

The manipulation of financial report can be achieved via Management. If you notice any aggressive move by the management, such as changing financial reporting standard (e.g. revenue recognition method etc), then you will have an alert and do more homework before investing heavily in this company.

Once we have a better idea on the revenue recognition method & the variables (e.g. cost, admin fees, sales & marketing expenses etc) and we can start to do a financial modeling with our experience and interview with management, and of course we have to adjust the percentage based on the management performance to their internal target set earlier.

So, just stay tuned.

29 September 2012

Mah Sing - Malaysia Shares

I bought Mah Sing recently after it fall below RM2.00 per shares. Reasons being:
  1. With potential 15c dividend (before tax), it is converted to 7.5% dividend yield, which is considered quite attractive. 
  2. Mah Sing planned to launch around RM50B project next year, which I believe could hit about RM30B - RM40B orders next year. 
  3. Mah Sing is second largest Malaysia developers in term of Revenue Generation, just behind SP Setia. With SP Setia now controlled by PNB, Mah Sing is likely to emerge to another favorite of foreign investors. 
  4. Mah Sing forward PE 2013 could be around RM300M, which implies to 5x to 6x PE. It is considered as low PE since I invested long time ago. 
But what could cause Mah Sing to fall in shares price? 
  1. Malaysia government announced to curb the property speculation by rising the RPGT to 15% within 2 years or 10% within 5 years. 
  2. Property stocks suffered from huge volatility during pre-election and post-election period. This is part of the politic risk. 
  3. Market sentiment becomes weaker after the global economy becomes uncertain again, due to recent Spain sovereign bond rate became 6% and above. 
Attached is the recent share price of Mah Sing:

28 September 2012

E&O - Lauch RM2.5B properties

KUALA LUMPUR: Eastern & Oriental Bhd (E&O) plans to roll out some RM2.5bil worth of properties over the next 12 to 18 months in London, KL, Penang, and Iskandar Malaysia.
"In fact, half of the targeted sales value over the next 18 months will come from Iskandar Malaysia and London," deputy managing director Eric Chan said in a statement on Thursday.
The developer said its 210-acre wellness-themed township in Medini, one of the clusters in Iskandar, is targeted to see its initial launch of terrace homes in the first half of 2013.
The land was bought for RM350mil mid-last year.
As for London, E&O said its freehold Princes House property in Westminster Borough, which was acquired in April for £20.3mil (RM100.1mil), is slated for refurbishment with potential for conversion.
The firm is also in the midst of launching RM1.2bil worth of Andaman condominiums at its flagship Seri Tanjung Pinang development in Penang.
In KL, it will reveal by the first quarter of next year a RM400mil condominium called The Mews on Jalan Yap Kwan Seng.

Source: http://biz.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/9/27/business/20120927151957&sec=business

27 September 2012

Proven Facts for Stock Market Investment

  • Cut losses early and always sell worst performing stocks first.
  • Don’t make emotional decisions and show perseverance in long term.
  • Start with small investment and do some research work every week.
  • Don’t invest in volatile market as a beginner.
  • Diversify your basket but not in too many stocks because you can’t keep track of all.
  • News will tell you the opinion. Check the charts for facts and historical data.
  • In last 45 years, best stocks were at $20-30 before they went to double or triple.
  • Look for stocks with annual earnings growth rates of 30% or more and ROE’s of 17% or higher.
  • Use Accumulation/Distribution rating. A or B rating shows stocks being bought, C shows neutral and D or E shows being sold.
  • Check the stock breaks out: volume should increase 50% above its average.
  • Use “buy high and sell higher” instead of “buy low, sell high”.
  • A typical bear market will decline 20% to 25% from its peak price.
  • In bear market a “follow-through” occurs when one of the indices closes up 1% or more with a jump in volume from the day before. This confirmation will usually happen on the fourth to tenth day of the attempted rally.
  • Psychological indicators like the Put-Call Ratio can help confirm changes in the market’s direction.
  • Look for hidden value like an unusually large amount of cash in the company or property carried on the books at cost, which is below the current market value.
  • The new market leaders had P/Es that significantly exceeded the rest of the market (31 times the average).
  • Avoid stocks that have a Relative Price Strength Rating below 80 and don’t accept loss of more than 8%.
  • If the stock moves up 2 to 3% in price from initial buy and if it still looks like it is performing well, follow up and buy more.
  • Don’t sell and take a profit if your market leading stock is up 20% to 25% in only 2 or 3 weeks.
  • Sell a stock if the earnings per share show a major deceleration in growth for two quarters in a row.
  • If stock advances a significant distance over many months and has formed several bases during the process, the fourth time the stock breaks out of a base (“fourth stage” base) it probably should be sold.
  • Use Investor’s Business Daily in physical form or online.
  • Do volume-price analysis. Uptrend and Downtrend with good volume is good for long and short positions respectively.
  • Don’t enter or change the positions with low volume even the price movement is good.
  • Regularly check the open interests in Option market.
  • Stock price always tend to fill the gaps of volume.
  • RSI, Stochastic, MSI etc. work below 20% and above 80%
  • Graphs using Fibonacci series like Fibonacci retracement etc work very well these days. Very few people know about this.
  • Have a stop loss even if stocks are going up, so that when it comes back, you book some profit.
  • Don’t average when going down but build the positions when going up.
  • Check for stakeholders satisfaction level with the company, whether it is employee or customer.
  • Aggregate all the latest news and facts. Separate them in positive and negative effects. Give them importance rating and conclude the result for bullish or bearish market.
  • Companies with bonus or split shares and retaining the profits for further investment is better than those giving dividends.
Conclusion: Most of the brokers’ advises don’t work. Read newspapers and magazines in neutral way and analyze yourself. Losses will teach you how to invest in better way. Have patience and improve your emotional intelligence.
This entry was posted in Stock Market and tagged , by Jason. Bookmark the permalink.

26 September 2012

EDB - Monthly Manufacturing Performance (August 2012)


Monthly Manufacturing Performance
August 2012

Last Updated: 26 September 2012
  • On a year-on-year basis, Singapore’s manufacturing output declined 2.2% in August 2012.  Excluding biomedical manufacturing, output fell 5.4%.
  • On a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, manufacturing output declined 2.3% in August 2012.  Excluding biomedical manufacturing, output fell 2.7%.
(I) Total Manufacturing Performance
  • On a year-on-year basis, manufacturing output declined 2.2% in August 2012.  Excluding biomedical manufacturing, output fell 5.4%.  On a three-month moving average basis, manufacturing output increased 2.9% in August 2012, compared to a year ago.  On a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, manufacturing output declined 2.3% in August 2012.  Excluding biomedical manufacturing, output fell 2.7%.

(II) Performance by cluster
  • Output of the biomedical manufacturing cluster expanded 13.0% on a year-on-year basis in August 2012, led by the pharmaceuticals segment which grew 13.6%.  The medical technology segment increased 9.9% on the back of higher production of medical devices.  On a year-to-date basis, output of the biomedical manufacturing cluster was 19.9% higher, compared to the same period a year ago. 
  • The chemicals cluster’s output grew 6.6% year-on-year in August 2012.  The petrochemicals segment posted a strong growth of 33.8% in August, due in part to the low base last year when many plants were shut down for maintenance.  On the other hand, the specialty chemicals segment fell 5.5% on the back of weak regional demand, while the petroleum segment contracted 7.0% due to maintenance shutdowns.  On a year-to-date basis, chemicals output declined 3.2%, compared to the same period a year ago.
  • Output of the general manufacturing cluster increased 4.8% in August 2012 compared to the same period a year ago.  The miscellaneous industries segment increased 11.4%, supported by higher production of batteries, metal containers and construction related products, while the food, beverages & tobacco segment grew 3.9%.  On a cumulative basis, the general manufacturing cluster’s output grew 2.8% from January to August, compared to the same period last year.
  • The precision engineering cluster’s output increased 3.8% year-on-year in August 2012.  Within the cluster, the machinery & systems segment’s output grew 4.7% on the back of higher export demand for semiconductor related equipment.  The precision modules & components segment rose 2.8% on account of higher output of dies, moulds, jigs and fixtures and optical instruments and photographic equipment.  On a year-to-date basis, output of the precision engineering cluster grew 2.0%, compared to the same period a year ago. 
  • Output of the transport engineering cluster contracted 20.1% on a year-on-year basis in August 2012.  The land transport segment expanded 34.5%, but this was more than offset by declines in the other segments.   Output of the aerospace segment declined 10.0% due to a slowdown in demand for engine repair jobs from the US and Europe. The marine & offshore engineering segment fell 27.2% as a result of lower contributions from oil rig projects.  Output of the transport engineering cluster in the first eight months of 2012 increased 13.6%, compared to the same period in 2011.   
  • The electronics cluster’s output declined 7.3% in August 2012 compared to a year ago on the back of continued weak export demand.  Cumulatively, output of the cluster in the first eight months of 2012 fell 12.0%, compared to the same period in 2011.
  • The next monthly manufacturing performance media release will be issued on 25 October 2012.

Editors' Note: Updates on Monthly Manufacturing Output are available on http://www.news.gov.sg and http://www.sedb.com
For media enquiries, please contact
Mr Mustaffa Ehsan
(Tel: 68326037/Handphone: 92958025/ Email: mustaffa_ehsan@edb.gov.sg)
For further information, please contact
Mr Chong Tse Ming
(Tel: 68326677/ Handphone: 91547959/ Email: quin_chong@edb.gov.sg)

25 September 2012

Local firms move operations to Iskandar Malaysia to save cost

source: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporebusinessnews/view/1227800/1/.html

SINGAPORE: More than 3,500 Singapore businesses have set up shop across the causeway in Iskandar Malaysia over the past six years, with a cumulative investment of more than RM5 billion as at June 2012.

Iskandar Malaysia is a special economic zone in Johor, Malaysia that was launched in 2006. It covers an area of 2,217 square kilometers and is administered by the Iskandar Regional Development Authority, a Malaysian Federal government statutory body.

Over 70 per cent of the businesses are small and medium enterprises.

Fishing equipment supplier Hong Guan started operations in its Iskandar warehouse in May.

Twice as large as its warehouse in Singapore, Hong Guan's 14,800 square feet freehold space cost about S$900,000.

Its local warehouse will shut down next month.

Hong Guan's managing director, Lee Seng Shoy, said: "Singapore will always be our HQ and the brain centre but from a business point of view, we need to be competitive and cost is always a factor. We foresee Iskandar helping us contain our costs and that is something we're leveraging on so we hope that by moving to Iskandar on the logistics side, we are actually enjoying the best of both worlds."

Similarly, Global Capital & Development wants to replicate on a larger scale in Medini, a core development zone in the Iskandar Development Region.

Global Capital & Development, the developer of Medini, is supported by a consortium which includes the Khazanah-backed Iskandar Investment Berhad.

It hopes companies in Singapore and Medini can work together as a single entity to bid for projects.

Global Capital & Development's CEO, Keith Martin, said: "We have Pinewood Malaysia Studios, Medini Media Village and straightaway we went and spoke to the Media Development Authority of Singapore and Mediapolis in Singapore. If you now add up the sum of those parts, it's a much greater proposition. And within a one hour driving radius, we have everything we need to take a TV or film production from a draft script to a full finished product."

With increasing business activity in Iskandar, other firms are moving in with the aim of gaining first-mover advantage.

Shanker Iyer, Chairman, The Iyer Practice's chairman, Shanker Iyer, said: "We think it could be two or three years before this place really starts to get up and running. Initially our main activity would be to offshore some of our less important activities from Singapore to Iskandar. That is actually becoming a need now, because the rising cost of doing business in Singapore, the immigration challenges now, the reduction in S-passes - it's beginning to affect firms like us."

But most acknowledged that concerns remain, such as crime, and the lack of a critical mass of human capital and supporting businesses.

But the authorities are confident the situation will improve.

Iskandar Regional Development Authority's chief executive, Datuk Ismail Ibrahim, said: "As we have seen today, there has been increased bilateral ties between Malaysia and Singapore, and from which the greatest beneficiary is definitely going to be Iskandar Malaysia. We would like to create an environment where both Singapore and Iskandar will see themselves as one destination, not only for investment but for people to work as well as other offerings."

Into its sixth year of development, the Iskandar region in Johor, Malaysia has seen annual investment growth of 8 per cent with Singapore firms accounting for 5 per cent of total foreign investment.

- CNA/ck

House Renovation at JB - Part 2

After the first post which I started last month, we finally started the renovation works this week. It took quite a long time for us to prepare for the renovation due to our stay at Singapore most of the time and only have free time during weekends to discuss with the contractors.

Last week we managed to choose the pattern and color of the floor mosaic at Master Bedroom Balcony and the color of the table top at Kitchen. We also learnt that with so many contractors doing their job together at the same time (we have 3 contractors, 1 is for iron-window due to security reasons, 1 is for electrical wiring and another 1 is for main renovation construction), we have to liaise with them 1 by 1 as well as to allow them to contact each others to avoid any misunderstanding. I made a small mistake by only following up with the main contractor but not contact with the rest.

We also have to be very sure that the socket wiring is at the correct location, and have a more detailed "3D" floor plan to explain the height of the socket location. From time to time, I believe we have to be there at least on weekly basis to ensure the project is going smoothly.

We went to Johor Jaya last Sunday to find electrical fan with light, but unfortunately many shops are closed. So we will go there again and check if there is any fan there. Worse comes to worst, we would just go and buy the fans from Taobao.com website. It is C2C website which allows the consumers to choose and pick the stuff they like and purchase at lower price. The only thing that we are worry about is that we might not get the stuff we purchase online.

Hopefully the project can be completed by end of November.

24 September 2012

Equity Investment = Doing Business

Just recently, one of my friends asked me to join a home based business. She mentioned that it is a very relaxing job and you can spend more time with family after first few years efforts. I replied to her that I am actually a full time investor / trader, so I would focus on my business first instead of joining her. Her impression on investment is actually quite negative, telling me that she also had some trading experience in FOREX, but it was a high risk game. I begged to differ and told her that I could manage well if I manage the risk as well, which I  think most of the investors neglected on.

As my portfolio income (e.g. Capital Income + Dividend Income) grows bigger and my active income as a remisier is in relative smaller amount, I have to spend some time to manage my portfolio to ensure that I can still survive during the bear market (this was due to 2 main factors, firstly my remisier income would be reduced during bear market, as lesser clients would trade during this period, secondly, my portfolio also will be reduced size due to my long-only equity portfolio).

Some of the risk management I could think of is:

1. Setting up CFD account to allow me to short / hedge against my portfolio during downtrend. As I am not good in timing the market, so this is only a backup plan for me.

2. Reduce the equity portion in long-only equity portfolio and convert it to cash/risk free asset. This is based on the theory that you can adjust the risk by increase or reduce the percentage of equity in your portfolio.

3. Invest in low beta stock or low correlation stock. Low beta stock performs best during bear market and performs worst during bull market. Alternatively you could combine stocks with lower correlation in your equity portfolio. The main idea behind it is reduce the volatility of portfolio value.

All the above require you to be "actively" involved in managing your portfolio. If you are a passive investor, I would suggest you to perform regular portfolio rebalancing at least once year, so you can still maintain the percentage of the equity vs risk free asset vs other asset classes in asset allocation which you preset earlier.

21 September 2012

Iskandar Investment Bhd (IIB) to launch EduPark@Nusajaya

JOHOR BARU: Interest in Iskandar Malaysia’s EduCity @Nusajaya near here remains strong and has prompted Iskandar Investment Bhd (IIB) to embark on a second similar project.
IIB president and chief executive officer Datuk Syed Mohamed Syed Ibrahim said the second project would be known as EduPark@Nusajaya.
He said the company was in the midst of completing the planning development of EduPark and its blue print would be unveiled towards the end of the year.
“We want to position EduCity and EduPark as the leading knowledge hub in the region,’’ Syed Mohamed said in a press conference on Wednesday.
Syed Mohamed with Chew at the signing ceremony for the setting up of Raffles American School in Iskandar Malaysia.Syed Mohamed with Chew at the signing ceremony for the setting up of Raffles American School in Iskandar Malaysia.
He said this at the signing of a sale and purchase agreement between Education@Iskandar Sdn Bhd (EISB), a wholly-owned subsidiary of IIB and Raffles Education Corp for the sale of 18.47ha land for RM56mil.
Signing on behalf of IIB were Syed Mohamed and chief operating officer Khairil Anwar Ahmad while Raffles Education was represented byexecutive director Stephen Chong and Raffles American School (RAS)director Doris Chew.
The land will be used to house Malaysia’s first state-of-the art RAS, which will focus on providing a world-class education facility in partnership with International School Services.
It offers an American curriculum leading to the Advanced Placement Programme for students to matriculate in colleges and universities in the United States and other English speaking universities around the world.
Work on the RAS will start in November and targeted for phase one completion for kindergarten through Grade 12, including full boarding capacity in 2014-2015.
The campus will boast 300,000 sq ft of built-up area complete with sports, recreational and boarding facilities to cater for a capacity of 2,000 students.
“The concept of EduPark will be different from EduCity as the former will see the partnership between industries and educational institutions to produce all rounders,’’ said Syed Mohamed.
EduCity, which covers 123.42ha, will have eight universities with one specialised faculty each while EduPark has an area spanning between 161.87ha and 202.34ha.
He said IIB was confident that EduPark would be as successful as the company had received many queries from interested parties to set their operations at the yet-to-be-launched project.
Similarly, he said the company would not be rushing to accept offers made by two universities in Beijing which are planning to set up their branch campuses in Iskandar Malaysia.
“We are very selective as we only want to offer the best in class faculties from reputable universities in the world,’’ said Syed Mohamed.

17 September 2012

LionGold - Issue of Convertible Bonds - Conversion

Attached part of the documents by company:

The Board of Directors (the ¡°Board¡±) of LionGold Corp Ltd (the ¡°Company¡±) refers to the announcements dated 28 March 2012, 24 April 2012, 11 May 2012, 25 May 2012, 8 June 2012, 30 July 2012 and 31 August 2012 (the ¡°Prior Announcements¡±) relating to the issue of up to US$30.0 million in principal amount of 9.0% convertible bonds (the ¡°Convertible Bonds¡±) due 2015.
All capitalised terms and expressions used in this announcement shall, unless otherwise defined herein, bear the same meanings as ascribed to them in the Prior Announcements.

The Board wishes to announce that a subscriber to the Convertible Bonds (the ¡°Subscriber¡±) has on 6 September 2012, in accordance with the Conditions, exercised its right to convert S$328,640.73 in value of the Convertible Bonds into 283,800 new shares of the Company (the ¡°New Shares¡±), at the conversion price of S$1.158 (the ¡°Conversion Price¡±) for each New Share.

The New Shares have been issued and allotted on 13 September 2012. The New Shares are expected to be listed and quoted on the Mainboard of the SGX-ST on 17 September 2012, and trading of the New Shares will commence with effect from 9.00 a.m. on the same date.

Following the allotment and issuance of the New Shares, the number of issued and paid-up ordinary shares of the Company will be increased to 862,491,180 ordinary shares. The New Shares represent approximately 0.03% of the Company¡¯s enlarged issued and paid-up share capital, and will rank pari passu in all respects with the existing shares of the Company in issue.

The in-principle approval granted by SGX for the listing and quotation of the Conversion Shares is not to be taken as an indication of the merits of the Convertible Bonds, the Conversion Shares, the Company and/or its subsidiaries.

Please click here for full document.

16 September 2012

After Legoland, what's next for Iskandar Malaysia?

Legoland was formally opened to the public on 15 September 2012. It received overwhelming response from locals as well as foreigners. Iskandar Malaysia is designed to take advantage of its strategic location near to Singapore to attract Singaporean or other foreigners to invest in this zone, expecially in service industry, education industry and industrial industry.

So far, we can see an impact on property prices rising, especially in Nusajaya area.

Here I copied and pasted some paragraphs commented by JB Member of Parliament Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad on Iskandar Malaysia.

JOHOR BAHARU -- Iskandar Malaysia, an economic development project promoted by Khazanah Nasional Berhad, will give the young in Johor a better future, says Johor Baharu Member of Parliament Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad.

He said Iskandar Malaysia was "not about real estate nor higher prices of property. It’s about creating a future for the young".

"Projects that have been implemented in Iskandar Malaysia will enable the ‘new generation’ in building their working life and professional achievements in their home state.  

"If business activities and development are ‘Kuala Lumpur-centric’ with the aim of building a metropolis in the Klang Valley, youths will continue leaving their hometowns and villages from various parts of Malaysia to seek greener pastures in the federal capital.

"Without the development of economic corridors, many towns and cities may lose their importance as Kuala Lumpur will be absorbing all the young talents, the resources and interest of other states," he said in a recent interview in conjunction with Malaysia Day.
Shahrir said the Johor populace had started to take ownership of some of the Iskandar Malaysia projects as could be seen by their enthusiasm in landmarks such as Legoland Malaysia, Cruyff Court Iskandar and Johor Premium Outlet.

"In a short space of six years, Iskandar Malaysia has changed JB and its surroundings with the potential it could offer to youths through Legoland Malaysia, Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios, Newcastle University Medicine campus, University of Southampton campus as well as hospitals.  

"I’m pleased to see more interaction between the Johor and federal governments, and the private sector. With Khazanah as the prime mover for Iskandar Malaysia, such interactions will bring together ideas and culture that will see further progress to the region," the seasoned lawmaker said.  

According to Shahrir, children and students should be exposed to the achievements of Iskandar Malaysia in order for them to build affinity with the landmarks in the development corridor in the southern part of the peninsula, adding that Johoreans must realise that "Iskandar Malaysia does not merely serve as a foreign tourist destination".

"We are not building properties in Iskandar Malaysia for Singaporeans. Iskandar Malaysia and its attributes are for the people. We build for the rakyat," he explained.

Launched in November 2006 with an area of 2,217 kilometres, Iskandar Malaysia was identified as one of the key catalysts and high-impact developments under the Ninth Malaysia Plan and Tenth Malaysia Plan. The Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) is the federal statutory body entrusted to regulate and drive development of the region.
Shahrir said there was huge potential for Iskandar Malaysia to transform the socio-economy of Johor, noting that Iskandar Malaysia had infrastructure development in place and was flanked by three major ports and an international airport in Senai.  

He said the idea of an economic corridor was not new as it was mooted by the late Tun Abdul Razak Hussein during his premiership and launched by Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in the late 2000s.   

In line with a balanced development approach, an economic corridor like Iskandar Malaysia will enable positive socio-economic spillover.  

Iskandar Malaysia received cumulative committed investments from domestic and foreign investors totalling RM95.45 billion from 2006 to June 2012, of which 43 per cent is already realised. It is targeting to hit the RM100 billion investment commitment mark by year-end.
Boosted by its competitive edge, Iskandar Malaysia was ranked the fourth best Global Free Zone of the Future 2012/2013 by fDi Magazine of Financial Times Ltd. -- Bernama

Read more: 'Iskandar Malaysia will give the young in Johor a better future' - Latest - New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/latest/iskandar-malaysia-will-give-the-young-in-johor-a-better-future-1.144396##ixzz26dPQO1zy

Below is a video by Rentakini.TV on Iskandar Malaysia posted on August 2012

Olam raises US$500m via notes issuance

Offering priced at a final coupon of 5.75%; 130 investors place orders

OLAM International has priced a US$500 million issuance of five-year senior notes, after an intraday book-building exercise resulted in an oversubscribed order book of US$1.6 billion.
The offering was priced at a final coupon of 5.75 per cent, "well within initial guidance in the region of 6 per cent, reflecting the quality and strength of the order book", said Olam yesterday.
The mainboard-listed food commodities supplier headquartered in Singapore said that the exercise had attracted diverse participation with 130 investors placing orders.

Gas prices fuel surge in inflation as output shrinks

A JUMP in the cost of gasoline pushed US consumer prices up in August at the fastest pace in more than three years, squeezing spending on other items and threatening to slow economic growth.
At the same time, production at the nation's factories, mines and utilities dropped by 1.2 per cent, the biggest decline since March 2009, other data yesterday showed.
The sour mix of numbers was tempered by an unexpected increase in consumer sentiment in early September and signs underlying inflation pressures remained contained.
"There is a real risk that the rising cost of food and fuel may well put additional pressure on household spending power,"said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit.

15 September 2012

Battle-worn Charoen fights Beer War II

Given his record of gutsy strategy and aggressiveness, ThaiBev tycoon unlikely to let F&N go easily
CHAROEN Sirivadhanabhakdi has always been the last one standing.
Whether it was Thailand's beer war of the 1990s, an acrimonious split from Dutch brewer Carlsberg in the 2000s, or the dissolving of a partnership with Singapore developer CapitaLand in 2011, the Thai tycoon now leading a battle for Fraser & Neave has somehow always managed to outlast the field.
But his latest bid for the Singapore conglomerate is his biggest battle yet, and F&N's share price movement yesterday did not make it any easier for the man.
F&N shares shot as high as $9 yesterday before settling at $8.97, up 5 cents on the day. That is higher than Mr Charoen's offer of $8.88 per share to take F&N private.

USStocks finished higher for a second day after QE3 announcement

WASHINGTON - US stocks finished higher Friday for a second day of gains on the back of the Federal Reserve's new QE3 stimulus, tracing the earlier rises of markets in Europe and Asia.
Mining and energy shares and related industries led the way higher, followed by retailers, all buoyed by prospects for improved growth next year.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 53.51 points (0.40 per cent) at 13,593.37.
The S&P 500 added 5.78 (0.40 per cent) to 1,465.77, while the tech-rich Nasdaq gained 28.12 (0.89 per cent) to 3,183.95.
Markets worldwide were roundly higher after the Fed announced its QE3 bond-buying programme on Thursday and pledged to keep going with stimulus until the economy and jobs market showed solid signs of sustained growth.
Caterpillar jumped 2.8 per cent, Freeport McMoran 2.0 per cent, Cliff Resources 5.5 per cent, and Bank of America 3.5 per cent.
Office supply retailer Staples jumped 2.1 per cent on talk that several private equity firms are weighing possible efforts to take over the company.

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