Saturday, October 17, 2015

Chinese billionaires surpasses those in the United States

By The Edge Markets

The number of billionaires in China has overtaken that of the United States for the first time, an annual survey said yesterday, despite slowing growth in the world’s second-largest economy.

Communist-ruled China now has 596 billionaires, up a “staggering” 242 over the last year, Shanghai-based luxury magazine publisher Hurun Report said, surpassing the 537 Americans.

“Despite the slowdown in the economy, China’s richest have defied gravity, recording their best year ever,” Hurun Report chairman Rupert Hoogewerf said in a statement.

Real estate and entertainment magnate Wang Jianlin dethroned founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba Jack Ma as the country’s richest person, Hurun’s annual wealth ranking showed.

Wang, who founded conglomerate Wanda, saw his fortune jump more than 50% to US$34.4 billion (RM142.07 billion), helped by a surge in the stock price of a listed unit.

Wang is known outside China for a string of overseas acquisitions, including the organiser of Ironman extreme endurance contests, Swiss sports marketing group Infront, and a stake in Spanish football club Atletico Madrid.

He burst into the spotlight in 2012 by buying US cinema chain AMC Entertainment for US$2.6 billion.

Wang took the top spot back from Ma, executive chairman of Alibaba, because of a collapse in the Internet company’s New York-quoted shares, which were the world’s biggest initial public offering when it listed last year. Ma’s wealth still stands at US$22.7 billion.

Beverage tycoon Zong Qinghou of Wahaha remained in third place with just over US$21 billion while Pony Ma, founder of Internet giant Tencent which operates popular messaging app WeChat, took fourth place with a little under US$19 billion.

Lei Jun of smartphone maker Xiaomi, which is seeking to challenge Apple, jumped five places to fifth by doubling his wealth to more than US$14 billion.

Yan Hao of road builder China Pacific Construction was sixth, while the founder of search engine giant Baidu, Robin Li, dropped to seventh amid worries over his company’s huge spending to expand its business

Friday, August 21, 2015

Quek dispose of property project in Beijing, China.

By The Star

Malaysian billionaire Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan, who is known for his savvy investment moves, is selling a property development project in Beijing – held under Singapore-listed GuocoLand Ltd – to a state-owned distressed asset management company in China for 10.5 billion yuan (RM6.79bil).

In a filing with the Singapore stock exchange, GuocoLand announced that its unit, GuocoLand (China) Ltd, had entered into an agreement with China Cinda Asset Management Co Ltd’s Beijing branch Office for the disposal of all the equity, contractual and loan interests of GuocoLand group in or relating to the integrated mixed-used development.

The Singapore-listed GuocoLand is 65.2%-owned by Hong Kong-listed Guoco Group Ltd. Both stocks were suspended yesterday. Quek controls 76.12% of the latter.

The mixed-used development project is located in the Dong Cheng district of Beijing City in China and has a useable area of 91,287.7 sq m for office, commercial, apartment and underground parking lot purposes.

According to the filing, the aggregate consideration for the transaction amounting to 10.5 billion yuan comprised 4,563,116,000 yuan for the project rights and 5,936,884,000 yuan for the project liabilities.

“The said consideration is arrived at on a willing buyer, willing seller basis after arms-length negotiations and will be satisfied wholly in cash with 9.45 billion yuan paid upon signing of the agreement, and the balance payable on the last day of the 18th month from the date of the agreement or dealt with in accordance with the tax provisions in the agreement, as the case may be,” GuocoLand said in the statement.

According to the company, the net book value of the project as at June 30, 2015 was about 8.46 billion yuan or S$1.72bil. The deal is expected to generate a net gain of about 1.58 billion yuan or S$480mil.

It added that the net proceeds from the transaction would be used for the general working capital (including repayment of debts) of the GuocoLand group, and was an opportunity to realise the capital value of the said project.

China Cinda, which is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, also made a filing with the city’s regulator on the Beijing real estate asset purchase.

China Cinda is an asset-management services company that invests, disposes and manages non-performing assets and equity.

According to its announcement, the project is planned for a mix of shopping centres, an office building with twin towers, apartments and hotels.

GuocoLand is a major property developer in Singapore with notable developments in China, Malaysia and Vietnam.

According to its website, it has invested an estimated US$3bil in China, with a sizeable land bank of completed and uncompleted properties amounting up to nearly 2.5 million sq m of gross floor area spanning across major cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing and Tianjin.

The company reported a 130% surge in its third-quarter net profit to S$49.5mil in the three months ended March 31, 2015.

Guoco shares were last traded at HK$86.60 (RM45.95) for a market capitalisation of HK28.49bil (RM15.12bil). GuocoLand shares, meanwhile, were traded at S$2.04 for a market cap of S$2.48bil (RM7.06bil).

Both stocks are part of the Hong Leong group, one of South-East Asia’s largest corporations.

Guoco Group holds a multitude of companies in the financial services sector, hospitality and leisure and gaming. Besides GuocoLand, it also has 66.5% in Guoco Leisure Ltd, which is also listed in Singapore, and a 25.4% stake in Bursa Malaysia-listed Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd (HLFG) and 65% in Guocoland (M) Bhd.

HLFG, in turn, has a direct 64.4% stake in Hong Leong Bank Bhd and 81.3% in Hong Leong Capital Bhd, among others.

Quek, who is Guoco chairman, had tried to privatise Guoco a few years ago but failed. This is despite him upping the offer price from the initial HK$88 in December 2012 to HK$100 in April 2013.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Lai Meng School Land up for sale again for RM400mil

Well guys, remember Magna Prima bought the Lai Meng school land back in 2009 for RM148.2mil cash? Now they are selling away the land for RM400mil and seem like they are not keen to develop the land.

By The Star Online

Magna Prima Bhd’s Lai Meng school property, located along Jalan Ampang, is still up for sale. It is looking for offers from interested buyers within a timeframe of about 1½ months.

Yesterday, the marketing agent of the real estate, Rahim & Co, put up an expression-of-interest advertisement to sell the 2.62-acre (1.06ha) parcel.

James Goh of Rahim & Co’s investment section told StarBiz: “While we have a target price of about RM3,500 per sq ft (psf), we are open to all reasonable offers.”

Interested parties can stipulate the terms and make the offer by 5pm on Sept 22.

Goh said a few big developers had called up to enquire about the sale since the advertisement came out.

At RM3,500 psf, the buyer will have to fork out about RM400mil for the land.

“The demand for development land in prime locations is still holding up well. This kind of opportunity doesn’t come by often,” he explained about the land which is 300 meters from KLCC.

The freehold land comes with approval for offices, a hotel and/or serviced apartments at a plot ratio of 1:12.

Earlier this year, Rahim & Co had managed to sell 1.87 acres previously owned by the German Embassy to Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB) for RM3,188 psf.

MRCB had paid RM259.16mil for the parcel along Jalan Kia Peng through a tender process.

That said, observers noted that the challenging market conditions might hold buyers back from making the investment.

Developers would have to make serious considerations of what they want to do with the land because there is sufficient supply of houses in the vicinity, while there is still a glut in office space in Kuala Lumpur.

But Goh is optimistic of getting a buyer due to its strategic location.

Previously, StarBiz had reported that Retirement Fund Inc was interested in buying the land in April.

The pension fund had offered about RM3,300 psf, but Magna Prima’s group managing director Datuk Wira Rahadian Mahmud Mohammad Khalil told reporters that both parties had discussed the deal but it wasn’t finalised.

With the appointment of Rahim & Co as the developer’s exclusive marketing agent, the land deal could be done in a more proper and coordinated manner, Goh explained.

Magna Prima had bought the land five years ago for RM1,350 psf or RM148.2mil cash.

Back then, Magna Prima had also transferred 5.5 acres to the Lai Meng Girls’ School Association and agreed to bear the construction cost of the new campus, which ranged from RM20mil to RM30mil.

The Bukit Jalil land had cost the small-cap developer RM10mil.

Before the land sale, the developer, which has a market cap of RM366.2mil, had intended to carry out a mixed project with a gross development value of RM1.8bil.

Dubbed the Iconic Towers, the proposed project would be made up of two 60-storey towers, one of which is a mixture of serviced apartments, a hotel and offices, while the other is a grade A office with Green Building Index features.

Development of the project would cost a lot and the company decided to strengthen its balance sheet and re-focus on other niche projects. It also planned to sell a 20-acre parcel in Shah Alam and a seven-acre plot in Petaling Jaya.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

TA Enterprise clear out rumours on Privatization

By Yimie Yong - The Edge

KUALA LUMPUR: TA Enterprise Bhd has no plans to sell its stockbroking business, its managing director and chief executive director Datin Alicia Tiah said, but it is open to merger and acquisition (M&A) opportunities to expand its business.

Tiah said the stockbroking business is still considered a "cash cow" for the group, although its profit contribution has fallen sharply to 20%, from 80% previously.

"It is profitable... We are quite comfortable to be able to earn over RM20 million per year from this business, which I feel is a cash cow for the group," she told reporters after the annual general meetings of TA Enterprise and its 63%-owned property arm, TA Global Bhd today.

She said the group had in April this year, sold its Hong Kong stockbroking unit, TA Securities (HK) Ltd, due to stiff competition from Chinese players, but the industry in Malaysia is "not as bad".

Indeed, Tiah said TA Securities Holding Bhd is diversifying its institutional customer base and expanding its fee-based and proprietary trading businesses.

She added that the group does not rule out any M&A possibilities to expand its stockbroking business, which complements its property development business that has a longer lag time in generating returns.

There has been speculation on and off for some years that TA Enterprise was talking to K&N Kenanga Holdings Bhd ( Financial Dashboard) to sell TA Securities. TA Securities is one of the few remaining family-owned stockbroking firms, following the merged entity of Affin Investment Bank Bhd and Hwang-DBS Investment Bank Bhd.

Commenting on the outlook of the stockbroking industry, Tiah said it is "challenging", given the weaker market condition with low crude oil and commodity prices and the lower commission of stockbrokers.

Meanwhile, TA Global executive director Kimmy Khoo Poh Kim said the property developer will have two launches worth a combined gross development value (GDV) of A$290 million, within its larger A$600 million Little Bay Cove residential development project in Sydney, Australia this year.

"There will be another two launches in Sydney next year," she added.

Khoo said the new launches are expected to contribute "quite substantially" to TA Global's financials for the financial year ending Jan 31, 2017.

TA Global (fundamental: 1.05; valuation: 1.1) currently contributes about 65% to TA Enterprise's profit.

* After so many years of rumour which makes the share fluctuate, TA Management had finally come public to state that Datuk Tony Tiah  is not privatizing TA and resell it. Instead, there are not ruling out opportunity for merger and acquisition (M&A). 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Story of Kossan Rubber Industry in Malaysia

By Neerja Jetley (Forbes Magazine Asia)

Back in the 1950s and 1960s it wasn’t often that someone would find his way off the tiny island of Pulau Ketam and go on to make a name for himself on the Malaysian mainland, but Lim Kuang Sia did. He grew up as one of 11 brothers and sisters and remembers the stench of rotten fish perpetually hanging over the island. Every morning at the crack of dawn a horde of men would go out to sea and bring home the catch. When he finished primary school at age 13, he, too, was called upon to follow the family tradition. “There was no escaping,” he says. “My father did it and so did my grandfather. They had never stepped out of the village.” For Lim, however, the boats going the other way, to Port Klang on the mainland, looked more promising. “I wanted to explore and discover the world.”

Today Lim is one of the richest people in the country. His fortune totals more than a half-billion dollars, 34th highest in our annual count and up by $80 million in a year. His company, Kossan Rubber Industries, started making parts for boats in 1979 and then found the perfect fit with rubber gloves. Kossan is one of Malaysia’s Big Four manufacturers that dominate the world market for gloves; its products are sold in 160 countries. This year analysts expect net profits to jump by nearly 30%, to $55 million, on a 21% rise in revenue, to $483 million. Its market capitalization is now close to $1 billion; he owns more than half the shares.

Compared with its three rivals, Kossan doesn’t have the biggest capacity. Top Glove claims that distinction; it can churn out 42 billion gloves a year. And Kossan is not the largest in synthetic gloves; bragging rights there belong to Hartalega Holdings . In branded gloves Supermax rules with 69% of its products sold under its own brand names. Yet analysts agree that Kossan is set to emerge as the leader among the glovemakers, thanks to a business model that isn’t dependent on a small group of products or customers; its strength is in the technical aspects of making gloves and other rubber products, and in the smart way it manages risks. Indeed, its stock has far outpaced the others in the past two years, rising 219% while shares of the next biggest gainer, Hartalega, were up 67% (see table, p. 64).

Malaysian glovemaking is a fiercely competitive world. Corporate brochures sometimes have the feel of tout sheets, and hyperbole is common as companies try to stand out. Lim, 62, became a success without the swagger or bombast. “I am hardwired to be an engineer,” he says. “All I know is to roll up my sleeves, apply my technical skills and make things work better.”

It took three years for Lim to escape from Pulau Ketam, or “Crab Island,” before he found his way to high school in Kuala Lumpur. “At school I discovered my head for science and a love for learning that went beyond course work,” he says. “I was a self-starter, a voracious reader, bound by a sense of duty to excel in school. Sometimes a life of hardship fuels fire in the belly that those with excess can never know.”

That took him to Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, where he immersed himself in polymers, resins and solvents as a chemistry major. “It fascinated me why certain chemicals are so volatile and others are [not], and how they can be combined to solve problems,” he says. A diploma in chemical engineering from the University of London followed and then a master’s from Imperial College London. That was enough college: “I wanted to solve real problems.”

So he returned to Malaysia in 1977 to be the research-and-development chemist at a small company making engineering blueprint paper. And he married his high school sweetheart, Chow Cheng Moey, also a chemical engineer.

In 1979 opportunity knocked. A friend was looking to make the rubber bearings used in boat propellers. Malaysia was a country of boats, yet nobody was making such a part; they were imported from Singapore. One look at the sample and Lim knew he could make it cheaper and better. As a fisherman he had used it in his own boat. As a chemist he could devise his own rubber formulation. As an engineer he could craft a superior product. In less than a month a prototype sat on his table, alongside a letter of resignation. Lim went on to make rubber rollers for the printing, steel-rolling, textile and other industries.

In the 1980s the AIDS epidemic hit, leading to a spike in the use of disposable latex gloves in health care. Malaysia had a natural advantage–it was the world’s biggest rubber producer–and Lim figured this was the perfect time to start producing gloves. He went to Taiwan, an Asian pioneer in the industry, for a firsthand study of the mechanics of glovemaking. He returned with equipment in hand and orders in pocket. In 1988 he shipped his first batch of gloves, 10 million to California.

But it was a false start. Small latex-glove factories were sprouting up everywhere. From 1987 to 1990 the Malaysian government issued 300 permits for glove factories. Demand slackened, however, and by 1991 only 30 plants survived. Kossan shut its glove division, moving workers back to making its high-precision rubber products for industrial use.

Then Lim took a second look. Demand was still robust, and disposable gloves were an irreversible trend in medical examinations, dentistry and operating rooms. He regrouped and returned to glovemaking: “1989 was a great learning experience. It taught me to keep an ear to the ground, diversify risk and prepare for tomorrow.”

As the use of rubber gloves increased, some patients and health care workers began having allergic reactions, creating another crisis. Once again Lim’s technical skills came in handy. He donned his chemist hat and came up with hypoallergenic latex gloves. He moved on to patent a new generation of synthetic gloves that are free of chemicals that cause allergies. “Lim’s biggest strength is that he is both a chemist and an engineer,” says QL Resources managing director Chia Song Kun, who has known him for more than 30 years (and ranks 29th on the list). “He is a master of the tools in his trade, and that sets him apart from his peers and makes him the industry leader.”

Kossan has been adding capacity and now can make 22 billion gloves a year; in three years that will be 32 billion. Visitors to the newest of its 15 factories can watch a conveyor system carrying thousands of glove molds through ovens, liquid tanks and cleaning brushes to yield 45,000 gloves an hour.

“Kossan is likely to be the least impacted by the inflow of new capacity because it has the most balanced rubber-glove product mix, with 55% [synthetic] and 45% in natural rubber,” says analyst Eing Kar Mei in a CIMB report. In comparison, Top Glove devotes 80% of its capacity to rubber gloves and Hartalega 90% to synthetic gloves, making them more vulnerable to higher raw material prices, demand shifts and competition.

To avoid the risk of depending on a small number of buyers, Kossan sells to some 300 distributors, and none account for more than 5% of sales. And while Lim’s rivals are overwhelmingly focused on the health care sector, Kossan not only makes other rubber products but also is increasingly supplying gloves for food, household and safety applications. In 2012 it acquired 51% of Cleanera HK for $3 million, giving it access to the company’s manufacturing plants in Dongguan, China, to make gloves, masks and wipes for the electronic and electrical industries.

The worldwide glove market will continue to boom, says Allied Market Research, driven by increasing health care spending, hygiene awareness, aging populations and new health threats. And the Asia-Pacific region will grow the fastest, propelled by trends such as medical tourism, wider insurance coverage and better distribution networks. But Lim is cautious, as always. “I have seen too many big businesses fail. One day they are on top, and the next day they get buried, only because they did not anticipate risk. I may be the glove king today. Tomorrow somebody will surpass me. That is the law of nature and the way of the world.”

* It was a great article written and made me understand Kossan Rubber Industry company is more than just a rubber gloves producing company. A boss with a diverse knowledge in boats, chemical, risk management, hybrid business model, etc.. 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Maybank 2 card (Amex) revised 5% cashback to dining transaction

The rumour on Maybank 2 cards (American Express) to revise the 5% weekend cashback to allow only for dining transactions had come to an end, Maybank had confirmed. A quick check on their website confirmed they had revised the weekend 5% cashback effective 1st of August 2015.

Dining transaction with the following qualified Merchant Category Codes (“MCC”) captured in Maybank’s system are only able to enjoy the 5% cashback on weekends:

Hence, use your Maybank 2 cards (Amex card) wisely during your dining on weekends to be eligible for the 5% cashback.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Great Eastern Smart Extender Max

Well, you if have been reading newspaper lately, you may come across Great Eastern launched their new product called Smart Extender Max. They promoted heavily "RM 1 Million Medical Coverage Extension for RM100 a month!"

So what is Smart Extender Max?
Is an extended/stretch coverage for your medical expenses limit (Annual limit/Lifetime limit) on your existing medical card (regardless of any other insurance companies).

So how does it works? Let's give you an example

Mr.X had a existing medical card with annual limit of RM100K. He purchased Smart Extender Max (SEM) with RM100K deductible and was admitted into hospital in Aug, Sept and Oct with medical bill of RM40K each month totaling to RM120K. The first RM100K will be paid by Mr.X existing medical insurance and the remaining RM20k will be payable under SEM100K.

As a consumer standpoint, what is the catch?
Simple, if so happen you have max-ed out your existing medical card lifetime limit and you admitted again next year with a medical bill of RM50K, Smart Extender Max will not be payable because the deductible amount is RM100K. In short, Smart Extender Max is payable (on remaining amount) medical bill above RM100K.

Drop me an email if you're interested to know more:

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

How to sign up for Private Retirement Scheme (PRS)

How do i come across PRS?
I joined a bank recently and usually banks will payout 3-4% extra as employer contribution towards EPF for their employee, so happen this bank will take the extra 3-4% and put in into PRS instead of EPF employer contribution. Story short, so:

What is Private Retirement Scheme (PRS)?
Private Retirement Scheme (PRS) is a voluntary long-term investment scheme designed to help individuals accumulate savings for retirement. It complement the mandatory contribution:

PRS provides - Investment Banks/House will use your contribution to invest in PRS unit trust and provide returns to you at the end of the day. You get to choose which PRS unit trust you would like to invest.

Private Pension Administrator (PPA) - acts as an administrator for PRS, something like Bursa malaysia who administrate the shares.

Suruhanjaya Sekuriiti/Security Commission (SC) - regulates and supervises all intermediaries in the PRS industry.

What are the Benefits?
1) Tax relief of up to RM3000 max for a period of 10 years
2) Youth incentive - Government will contribute RM500 into your PRS accounts if you have accumulated RM1,000 within a year AND you must age between 20 -30 yrs old. *From year 2014 to 2018

How to open account for Private Retirement Scheme (PRS)?
1) Open an account with Fundsupermart. - Doable online.
2) Open an PPA account here. - Photocopy ID and Reg form.
3) Choose your PRS funds you would like to invest in.
4) For step 2 and step 3, you need to provide original signed copy to fundsupermart. - mail or dropby their office.


Things to note:
1) Withdrawal is allow only when:
    a) Reach the age of 55 - partial/full withdrawal.
    b) Permanent departure from M'sia.
    c) Death
2) EPF monies are not allow to withdraw and contribute to PRS.
3) PRS is the same concept like unit trust, there are sales charges incurred too!