27 October 2011

Will Thailand flooding with Debts after this?

Oh my god. Another disaster has occurred, and this time is Thailand's turn. Finance Malaysia would like to offer condolences to Thailand for its massive damage caused by floods. This is not an ordinary floods, please read the numbers below then you will know.

  • worst floods in 50-years!!!
  • more than 300 lives gone
  • affecting nearly 9,000,000 people

Started weeks ago at upper Thailand, the floods were spreading down to its capital - Bangkok - now. Bangkok has more than 12 million population. The situation can only get worse from here and everyone is fleeing the city, searching for higher grounds and off to vacation. People are snapping up dry foods, fresh waters and daily products, hoping to brace through the difficult periods.

Will Thailand went into recession?

22 October 2011

Budget 2012: How Does 1% more EPF Affecting YOU?

During the recent Budget 2012 announcement, one of the controversial issue is the increment of 1% contributed by employers to EPF effective 1st January 2012. This will bring the minimum contribution rate by employers to 13% from 12% currently for those earning less than RM5,000 per month.

The Fatter EPF
While employees are welcoming the new rules, many employers are voicing out their concern on the extra burden being bear by them. "This is not fair to us, especially during current scenario where businesses are bracing for more challenging times ahead", says one of the concerned boss. Although there is some sort of tax-relief for employers who contribute more, bosses are still unsatisfied by the new ruling which adds to their fixed costs.

What is the rationale behind?

19 October 2011

New Fund: Public Ittikal Sequel Fund

The Public Ittikal Sequel Fund (PITSEQ) is a Shariah-compliant capital growth fund that invests in a diversified portfolio of index-linked companies, blue chip stocks and companies with growth prospects listed on the Bursa Securities. The fund may also invest in sukuk such as sovereign sukuk, corporate sukuk and Islamic money market instruments to generate returns.

The Fund will focus its investments mainly in the domestic market, capitalising on opportunities arising from Malaysia’s resilient economic growth prospects in the medium-to long-term. Some of the sectors that the Fund may invest in include consumer, industrial, telecommunications and utilities sectors.

How about foreign investment?

17 October 2011

YTL Power to be privatized? (Oct 2011)

According to The Edge over the weekend, "rumours are swirling that YTL Group has hired local investment bankers to work on a possible corporate exercise that could result in its restructuring".  YTL Power and YTL Land, whereby YTL Corp has a 51.7% and 57.9% stake in respectively, are said to be targets for privatization or share swap exercises to align the group.

Well, if this is true, it definitely will boost the said target companies share prices. Before jumping to the conclusion, let us get the view from professionals. With that, we have a timely article from RHB Research who touched on this matter as below:

15 October 2011

RHB Cap and OSK: Largest Investment Bank in the making?

Finally, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) gave the green light for RHBCap and OSK to start negotiations on the possible merger yesterday. The approval is valid for 3 months. Indeed, the act by BNM is fast this time, signalling its commitment to consolidate the banking sector. Regional footprint is increasingly crucial for local players to counter the highly competitive domestic landscape. That's why BNM is willing to speed up the process of any merger and acquisitions that may create a regional champions.

The merger of RHB Cap and OSK will proudly creates the largest investment bank at least in Malaysia. Currently, CIMB leading the segment under the leadership of Datuk Nazir Razak. If we recalled back, RHB Securities is very famous during 90s before financial crisis. When we heard about RHB last time, it refers to RHB Securities (not RHB Bank), which is a business under the investment banking arm.

However, everything was changed after the 97 financial crisis, which left RHB with heavy debts and the business of RHB Securities lag behind without much focused by management since then. Anyway, it's good to know that RHB is trying to revive the long lost business.

Would the deal go through?

12 October 2011

Why Gold Price DROPs lately? (Oct 2011)

During market uncertainties, there are two popular safe assets which is Gold and USD. This explain why the demand for these two assets is great, resulting them to become more valuable while equity market fell. We experienced the said scenario recently and let's see the chart below to gauge the Gold price movements.

"Gold prices collapsed from their August highs in September amid a broad commodity sell-off and despite intensifying concerns over sovereign debt issues in Europe. After exhibiting a remarkable correlation to real rates this year, particularly during the swift August rally, the sharp pullback in gold prices occurred with real rates mostly unchanged."

09 October 2011

4 Interesting Questions on Budget 2012

Well, well, well... The newly announced Budget 2012 seems to be a very holistic one, which covers almost everyone (even the opposition MPs). In the budget, a total of RM232.8 billions was allocated to implement all Government development plans, which include the projects and programs under various plans, focusing on the well-being of the rakyat. But, there are a few interesting questions that Finance Malaysia would like to highlight here.

1) Is it too optimistic?
As we all know, the external environment is becoming more challenging once again due to slowdown in US, Europe and Japan (if not double-dip recession). This would definitely impact Malaysia as manufacturing sector still playing a crucial role in our country's growth. While IMF is revising downward the global growth next year, our Government is projecting a 5 - 5.5% growth this year, and 5 - 6% for 2012. I think we should be very happy if Malaysia can grow more than 4.5% for 2011 and 2012.

2) Budget Deficit to come down?

06 October 2011

OSK Strategy and Outlook (Oct 2011)

We still feel that there is downside to the KLCI although with non-GLICs supposedly close to maximum cash levels and GLICs supposedly not aggressively supporting the market up till now, further downside maybe somewhat less than our recession market bottom of 1086 points.

OSK: Normalised performance of September’s top stock picks

With Budget 2012 (to be announced on this Friday 7th Oct) around the corner, OSK has no major expectations of the budget except that it will probably be people friendly and include:

03 October 2011

New Fund: Hong Leong Hong Kong Equity Optimizer Fund

Finally, there is a new fund from Hong Leong Asset Management (HLAM). The fund is designed to capture the vibrant growth of the Hong Kong capital market. The Hong Kong market has one of the world's leading securities exchange in the Asian region which is one of the fastest growing capital markets by market activity and new listings

Hong Kong, dubbed as Asia's most liquid exchange, acts as a key platform in the internalization of the Renminbi (RMB) currency. This allows investors to participate in the RMB appreciation potential via investments in equities and bonds.

The new Hong Leong Hong Kong Equity Optimizer Fund, being a growth fund, will invest primarily in equities and equity-related securities that are listed on the Hong Kong Exchange. Meanwhile, the balance may be invested in domestic and Hong Kong fixed income securities.

RHB: Market Outlook & Strategy 4Q2011

Titled "Perilous Crossroads; Challenging Times Ahead" RHB Research painted a not so rosy 4Q2011 outlook for KLCI. Undeniably, our market are in for a turbulent times and we do not know how the year will be ended. Bear or Bull market?

Below is the excerpt from the said report:

~ The US economic recovery has slowed to a crawl, while Europe is not just lurching from one crisis to another, it is lurching into a new one before the previous one is solved. There is growing risk that sustained weak confidence could exert downward pressure on demand and business activity worldwide.