Thursday, June 18, 2009

How to do business like Air Asia?

By the Star

AirAsia X’s latest fleet purchase has raised concerns among analysts that it is following the high debt-leverage route of AirAsia Bhd, expanding the risks to its bankers.

The long-haul, low-cost airline company’s CEO, Azran Osman-Rani, said there was a fundamental difference between the business model of AirAsia X and that of traditional airlines.

“For AirAsia X, most of its tickets are sold through the Internet and bought by customers months before their flights.
“As for traditional airlines, tickets are mainly bought through agents and paid by customers just two weeks before the flights.

“The agents may even pay the airlines after the flights,” he told StarBiz in a telephone interview yesterday. The airline has a similar business model as AirAsia as both are low-cost carriers.

“We have forward cash. In this business, what is important is cashflow. We’re holding the forward cash,” he added.

It was announced on Tuesday that AirAsia X placed a firm order for 10 Airbus A350 aircraft which carried a list price of US$2.2bil.

This follows an earlier order for 25 Airbus A330 planes for delivery between last year and 2015.

On the company’s debt leverage, he said AirAsia X’s gearing was about 200% and was not expected to increase.

The 10 planes in the latest order will only be delivered from 2016.

“It’s not like we’re buying all the planes at the same time. But it is important to place the deposits now. This is to ensure we’ll have the delivery slots. The deposit is just US$10mil, we’re not paying US$2.2bil yet,” he added.

Progressive payments will start 36 months from delivery but the bulk of payments will be made when the planes are delivered.

By the time the A350 planes are delivered from 2016, most of the borrowings taken for the A330 planes would have been repaid.

Azran said some equity analysts did not understand AirAsia X’s business model, but that was not important.

“What is important is what the banks do. If the banks are worried with our gearing, wouldn’t they be the first to run away?

“But the banks are saying they’ll fund all our deliveries this year,” he said.

AirAsia X will take delivery of three Airbus A330 planes between September and December. Financing has been obtained for these planes.

Currently, the airline flies five planes to London, Melbourne, Perth and Gold Coast (Australia), and Tianjin and Hangzhou in China.

Its most profitable routes are Gold Coast and Hangzhou because these were the first two routes flown by the airline.

“They’re more matured markets for us than London or Melbourne. It’ll take us a year to build brand awareness for the newer routes and, initially, the pricing has to be aggressive,” he said.

*Air asia set a very gd example of a business model, if any business woudl adapt/copy this model, it would surely be a thriving business. Invest in branding/advertising your promotion, cut off agents and orders are made from on9. Consumer trust is there as it is a gd brand and they would place orders in early stage with payments made, this would allow the business to collect forward cash. Its a win win stituation as consumer gets a gd discount and the company gets to secure the deal with forward cash. Think abt it, any industry can adopt this strategy! hehe..

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Public Bank selling its debts?

By The Star

Public Bank Bhd (PBB) group has made the first issuance of RM1.2bil in stapled securities under its RM5bil capital raising programme.

The RM5bil non-innovative tier-1 stapled securities programme was approved by Bank Negara on March 16 and the Securities Commission on May 4.

The programme proposes the issuance of non-cumulative perpetual capital securities of up to RM5bil in nominal value to be issued by PBB which are stapled to an equivalent in nominal value of subordinated notes to be issued by a unit of PBB.

The group told Bursa Malaysia yesterday the subordinated notes would be issued by unit PBFIN Bhd.

The capital securities portion of the issuance will qualify as tier-1 capital of PBB and the PBB group under Bank Negara capital adequacy regulations.

The tenure of the capital securities is perpetual while the subordinated notes have a maturity of 50 years due on June 5, 2059 and the first optional redemption date of June 5, 2019.

The distribution rate and the interest rate payable for this issuance of capital securities and the subordinated notes are both at 7.5% per annum, payable semi-annually.

PBB said the stapled securities are issued at par. The proceeds from the subordinated notes will be used by PBFIN to on-lend to PBB.

The placement exercise, with an initial launch size of RM1bil, had been upsized to RM1.2bil due to increased investor demand, said PBB.

Investors that participated in the offering included insurance companies, asset management companies, private bankers, government agencies and financial institutions, it said.

* Is this wat we call the money market?

Monday, June 01, 2009

Australia as your 2nd home?

By The Star

Buying interest in Australian properties by Malaysian as well as other foreign investors has been on the rise the past six months and this trend is expected to continue for some time, say real estate agents and developers.

Jalin Realty International Pte Ltd, a real estate agent that specialises in properties abroad, expects a stronger demand for Australian properties this year.
Chief executive officer Ian Chen said the company was seeing encouraging response for properties Down Under this year, especially from Malaysian investors.

“We are definitely getting a lot of enquiries,” he told StarBiz in an interview before the launch of the Artists apartments promotions here recently.

The Artists apartments, located in Fitzroy, Melbourne, have a gross development value of about A$100mil and is expected to be built by late 2010.

Only 30%, or 50, of the total 173 units are now available and priced from A$600,000 at about A$700 per sq ft. The average size of the two-bedroom apartment is about 860 sq ft.

Chen said because of the good response by Malaysian investors in its previous launch of the Milano Service apartments on Franklin Street, also in Melbourne, last year, the company decided to continue with the promotion of Australian properties here.

He said there were several reasons for the higher uptake in Australian properties.

“Clearly the weaker Aussie dollar against the ringgit is the main factor, which makes Australian residential properties very attractive, especially in this current economic environment when property prices are depressed due to the downturn,” he said.

Chen said there was potentially a 25% upside to the properties in Australia over time and generally properties there had a compounded growth rate of 8% to 10% per annum, depending on the states.

An Australian real estate agent from LJ Hooker said there was stronger buying interest in Australian properties this year.

“The bulk of the foreigners buying Australian properties is from Britain. There is also an increase in interest and purchase of properties from Asian investors, including Malaysians, compared with previous years,” he said, but declined to give numbers.

A spokesman from another Australian property agent said Victoria appeared to attract more foreigners than other states, possibly because of its incentives.

He said that besides federal funding to prop up the property market in Victoria, property buyers in the state would pay a lower stamp if they could choose to buy the land first and pay the full amount when the building was constructed.

On property investors, he said there were mainly four classes – those that buy to invest for capital gain, those that migrate, those that buy for their children to live in and affluent people attracted to a lifestyle of having homes in different countries.

Australian property developer PDG Corp sales manager Charles Vraca said the company was very bullish about properties in Australia, especially Melbourne, going forward.

“Purpose-built properties in choice locations in the inner city with a strong theme should sell well,” he said, adding that developers needed to understand the buying power and needs of the community first before starting construction.

PDG was the developer for the Milano Service and Artists apartments which were 70% sold before their construction.

Vraca said another reason locals and foreigners were attracted to Australian properties was the ease of getting loans to purchase residential homes.

“Generally they can get 70% to 80% financing for their property purchase,” he said.

A local property analyst, who declined to be named, said the Australian government was very supportive of the property market by coming out with a slew of incentives to stem the loss of confidence due to the global economic meltdown.

The Australian government made several interest rates cuts to lower the cost of mortgages for property, pumped in A$10.4bil to prop up the property sector and gave first-home buyers A$21,000 initially to buy their homes and has now extended the programme to June next year.

“There is also a good chance that the amount of assistance for first-home buyers could be significantly increased further,” the analst said.

Moreover, in another positive development, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd recently announced a whopping A$42bil allocation (in stages) to extend the broadband network reach across the country, which will help support the property sector’s growth.

“All these positive moves done by private sector initiatives in tandem with government funding and support help tremendously to strengthen foreign investors’ confidence in the value of Australian properties,” said the analyst.

*Wow, the rich gets richer! Jz imagine, your money is componded in Aussie dollar with 8% - 10& per annum. Do u think an avg income earner will be able to afford a unit? Quite intereting if u got the money!