31 December 2012

Is it SAFE to Invest in Private Retirement Scheme (PRS) ?

This is one of the common question asked by potential PRS contributors. First, I want to emphasize that PRS is a long-term investment for the purpose of retirement planning. In investment case, long-term means you already using the most powerful method to reap a good return. Anyway, many contributors still want to treat PRS as some kind of short-term investment. I got the answer for you.

Basically, PRS is very similar to unit trust investment. The underlying structure and investment philosophy were the same actually. No wonder many people perceived PRS is another unit trust scheme. Yes, you're correct to a certain extent.

24 December 2012

Exclusive Interview: YUMI WONG

Malaysia's upcoming popular model, Yumi Wong is the name you can't forget in the near future. She is pretty, famous and most important is very young. At the age of 23 only currently, she already features in many tv commercial, magazines, one of the most sought after model in town, and as an ambassador of many companies. Read to know more about Yumi:

  1. When were you started to join the modelling/entertainment industry? And, how?
    Still remember that when I am still in school, one of my friend got a freelance job and she needed someone to accompany her. She asked few of our friends on trying to get the job, while I'm like no harm, just try. But, in the end, only I myself got the job. This is how I started by becoming a freelancer and keep doing it until making it as my career.

  2. What's your BEST achievement so far?

20 December 2012

What are the TAX benefits from Private Retirement Scheme (PRS)?

According to Securities Commission of Malaysia, tax incentives are provided to both employers and individuals for the first 10 years from the year of assessment 2012; in addition to the tax deduction permitted for EPF contributions:
Amount of Tax Savings by individuals for PRS contributions
For Individual:
Tax relief of up to RM3,000 per year will be given for contributions made within that year. This is on top of existing tax relief already enjoyed by taxpayers. How much can you save from tax?

Let's look at the table above which illustrates the amount of tax saving an individual get after personal tax relief and RM6,000 EPF + Life Insurance tax relief.

Assuming a maximum RM3,000 PRS relief, the amount of tax saving depends on your level of income. For high tax bracket individuals, you can save up to RM780 annually!!!

For the Employer:

19 December 2012

How Private Retirement Scheme (PRS) works actually?

Many people are still in the dark on how actually Private Retirement Scheme (PRS) works. In order to clear everyone's mind, we hope this post was timely for those who may want to entitle for extra tax relief of up to RM 3,000 given by PRS before 31st December 2012. To further explain the whole scheme, Finance Malaysia Blog was glad that Alex Yeoh, a licensed financial planner is able to share with us on this matter.

From Alex Yeoh:

First, we must know that PRS is a voluntary scheme for the purpose of retirement saving. For ease of understanding, let us look at the picture above which explain the process into two parts. Initially, contributions were made by us into the PRS fund that we select. It was as flexible as  normal unit trust investments (shown in upper part). Contribute anytime any amount as you like, without any specific intervals. As simple as that.

When can I withdraw the money?

08 December 2012

New Fund: OSK-UOB Multi Asset Regular Income Fund

As investor continue to seek safe investment havens, i.e. investments that are more stable and/or of lower risk and with regular income, OSK-UOB Investment Management see opportunities in the Asia and Asia Pacific (ex Japan) region. Hence, they are now offering investors a fund that utilizes a multi-asset strategy to generate potential regular income and capital growth in a fund that invests in three yielding assets i.e. bonds, equities and REITs (real estate investment trusts) from the Asia and Asia Pacific (ex Japan) region.

The Fund is suitable for investors who:

  1. seek regular income and capital growth over medium to long term;
  2. are willing to accept moderate risk in their investments; and
  3. wish to benefit from investment exposure in the Asian and Asia Pacific (ex Japan) region.
Tactical Asset Allocation?

05 December 2012

Falling into a Dividend Trap? (Dec 2012)

No doubt, many investors prefer only invest in dividend-based counters. Malaysia is famous and already been recognized as one of the hottest spot for those looking for high dividend yields counters. But, things may changed. Why?

First, how do we calculate dividend yields? It's dividing the one year dividends declared by share price. Normally, yield which is higher than 5% was considered attractive. Just when everyone looking to hide their money from risks, yet aiming for higher returns than putting into fixed deposit (3% p.a), dividend counters seems to be their preferred selection.

Should we follow the "professionals"?

28 November 2012

ETP update: 10 Key Achievements (Nov 2012)

Below is the 10 key achievements highlighted by CEO of Pemandu, that demonstrates the positive inroads of the ETP:
  1. Projects will be implemented within the 12 focused National Key Economic Areas (NKEA) and also implement 51 Strategic Reform Initiatives (SRI) to ensure competitiveness will flourish.
  2. Whilst Malaysia's GNI per capita was only US$6,700 in 2009, it grew dramatically by 45% in 2011. (Target is US$15,000 by 2020)

22 November 2012

EPF Flexible Age 55 Withdrawal

As all of us know, Employees Provident Funds (EPF) is meant for our retirement savings which helps us go through our golden years. However, statistic shows that most of the contributors opted for full withdrawals at age 55 and finished it all within a period of 10 years.

In addressing this issue and encouraging contributors to keep their savings longer, EPF has launched a campaign to promote awareness on their "Flexible Age 55 Withdrawal Scheme". How flexible is it? If you're one of the to-be-retiree, then this post more than relevant to you. Read on and share this with other contributors if you think that this might be useful for them.

How does "EPF Flexible Age 55 Withdrawal Scheme" works?

08 November 2012

What is US "Fiscal Cliff" actually?

When everyone thought that US and the world will be better if Obama won his presidential re-election again, world equities markets today declines with US being the most serious market by dropping more than 2%. What's the reason? Answer: Fiscal Cliff ?

Hmmm... Then, what is fiscal cliff actually which many of us on the street do not even heard about this new term before. No worry, Finance Malaysia blog did his homework over here. Share this out if you like.

Understanding Fiscal Cliff...

31 October 2012

Launching of Association of Financial Advisers (AFA)

31st Oct 2012 would be a historic day for Malaysia financial planning industry with the launching of newly formed Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) at Lanai Kijang, Bank Negara Malaysia. From now onwards, AFA will effectively represent all the Licensed Financial Advisers and Corporate Unit Trust Advisers (CUTA) Firms. The association is approved by Registrar of Societies on the 16th August 2012 with the support from Bank Negara Malaysia.

In conjunction with its launching, AFA also held its inaugural financial advisers conference titled “Charting New Frontier – FA the Future”. During the conference, audiences were empowered with up to date practices by Bank Negara and Securities Commission. Then, an interesting forum on the Future of Malaysia Financial Advisers Industry was discussed with everyone attentions. How we benchmark ourselves with other countries? We heard some success stories from Singapore and Hong Kong.

It was a successful milestone event for financial planners and CUTAs judging by the numbers of financial practitioners who attend the event. Product manufacturers, such as insurance and unit trust companies, started to realize the potential influences of financial planners and CUTAs in distributing their products and services. This signifies the bright future of financial planning industry moving forward, in line with the Capital Master Plan 2 by Securities Commission of Malaysia. There is no better time to be a licensed financial planner now.

This is a guest post contributed by Alex Yeoh, a licensed financial planner with VKA Wealth Planners. Finance Malaysia is glad to have Alex's input on financial planning matters. You may contact him via alexyeoh@vka.com.my

29 October 2012

New Fund: AmTactical Bond

Still remember one fund called AmDynamic Bond fund? If yes, you definitely knew the superb performance of that bond fund, which had became the flagship fund for AmMutual for past years. However, it was sad that, since few months ago, no more subscription was being allowed for AmDynamic Bond fund because it has reached the maximum limit set by regulators. In other words, too hot the demand for that fund. Then how?

Because of that reason, AmMutual is proud to launch another new fund, AmTactical Bond fund, which was managed by using the same strategy, but with a little bit more flexibility. The Fund aims to provide income and to a lesser extent capital appreciation by investing primarily in bonds.

How Flexible is it?

19 October 2012

New IPO: Astro Malaysia Holdings

The Return of a Pay TV Giant!!! Astro Malaysia Holdings (AMH) is poised to list on Bursa's Main Market on 19th Oct with a market cap of RM15.6bil. The largest pay-TV operator in Malaysia has a de factor monopoly, commanding a 99% market share. Are you excited, again?


AMH is the leading media entertainment group in Malaysia with 3,100,000 customers and one of the largest in South East Asia. It is primarily engaged in the creation, aggregation and distribution of content over multiple delivery platforms including TV, radio, publications and digital media within Malaysia.

What's the different from the then delisted entity?

15 October 2012

New Fund: TA Total Return Fixed Income Fund

Just another new fund from TA Investment Management (TAIM)? Think again... In fact, this is the first bond fund launched by TAIM and it will take on the other bond funds in the market with a "Wow" effect. Why? Believe me, you gonna put this fund into your radar of unit trust investment. And, you will know why after reading this post.

The TA Total Return Fixed Income Fund is a feeder fund which invests a minimum of 95% of its NAV into the PIMCO Funds: Global Investors Series plc - Total Return Bond Fund (SGD Hedged) and the balance in liquid assets. What? PIMCO !!! Yup, it's the leading global investment management firm, especially on fixed income investment.

5 Reasons Why you should invest into this Fund?

12 October 2012

Should we learn from Robert Kiyosaki from now on?

When news broke out that "Rich Dad, Poor Dad now a Bankrupt Dad", everyone was so excited to share it out to their circles of friends. Maybe thanks to the interesting news title created to attract the attention of us. In fact, it succeed (because it reaches Finance Malaysia attention now). Well, since we're a financial related blog, we must blog about this hyped news without second thought. Should we learn from Robert Kiyosaki from now on?

About the Bankruptcy...
According to UK dailymail, "the financial guru behind New York Times bestseller Rich Dad, Poor Dad has filed for bankruptcy on one of his companies after losing a $24 million judgement." Read carefully... It's on one of his companies, not under his own name. Meaning, Robert Kiyosaki didn't bankrupt. Then, what's the difference?

10 October 2012

Plantation: Start of a sector 'SELL-OFF' or CPO prices to recover? (Oct 2012)

While CPO prices have declined 20% over the past one-month to M$2,300/t, share prices of our upstream plantation universe have not reacted materially moving by -8% to +3% (-3% to +3% for our top picks) Key question hence is whether this raises the risk of a further sell-off in plantation stocks or will CPO prices recover?

Key reasons for the CPO price fall:
1) High inventory levels amid the current high output season.
2) Some easing in demand (though not materially) mainly from slower bio-diesel production.
3) Softening crude oil prices.
4) Better soybean supply prospects with improved weather.

Will CPO prices weaken further?

09 October 2012

RHBRI Market Outlook & Strategy 4Q2012: Stormier Outlook

RHB research institute (RHBRI) is of the view that it could still be a choppy few months for the equity market in the 4Q given weakening economic fundamentals in the major world economies and fears of an imminent general election on the home front. Whilst more rounds of quantitative easing have been unveiled in the developed world, the big question in investors’ minds is how all these quantitative easing measures will translate to better global economic outlook. Having said that, equity still stands up vis-a-vis the unappealing returns of the alternative asset classes, such as cash and bonds and any good news is still likely to prompt a rally in equities.

How was Malaysia fared?
And, what's the strategy now?

07 October 2012

New Fund: AmIncome Flexi

In view of current uncertainties still lingering around investment universe, bond was considered as one of the asset class that most investors seeks to preserved their asset value, albeit lower risk. Just as the name of the fund, it's a flexible bond fund which has an interesting early repayment features. Let's have a look.

The Fund is a 3-year close-ended bond fund that aims to provide annual income distribution throughout the duration of the fund. To achieve the investment objective, the fund intends to invest its NAV in a portfolio of domestic and/or foreign sovereign issued bonds and corporate bonds.

03 October 2012

Budget 2013: What's the view by Foreign research houses?

Hmmm... Yup, the title is correct. We at Finance Malaysia blog would like to hear the views from Foreign analysts only this time. Why? Because they tend to be more independent (we think), and we know that readers like you can easily access to local research reports. So, we made the decision to only show you what is written by foreign analysts as below:

Phillip Capital Management: An earnest & all-around Budget?

29 September 2012

Budget 2013: Election or Rakyat centric?

General election is around the corner. External environment was not so promising, following the no ending of European debt crisis, world economic slowdown, and recent tension between China and Japan. I believe all of these would be some key factors being taking into consideration to formulate the Malaysia Budget 2013.

Goodies? Bonus? Cash handout?
Themed as "Prospering The Nation, Enhancing Well-Being of the Rakyat: A Promise Fulfilled". Our prime minister, who is also Finance Minister, tabled the 2013 Budget at Dewan Rakyat yesterday. Over here, Finance Malaysia blog would only touches on some key points:
  • Economic growth projected to expand between 4.5% - 5.5%
  • Federal Government's revenue in 2013 is estimated to increase to RM208.6 billion
  • Continuation of BR1M of RM500 to households earning not more than RM3,000 a month and also extended the aid to cover a payment of RM250 for single unmarried individuals aged 21 and above, earnings not more than RM2,000 a month
  • RM 16 million a year group insurance scheme for registered hawkers and small businesses for coverage of up to RM5,000
    • FM: Once again goodies were dished out to created a feel-good factor for govt and we doubted whether Msia could achieves the 4% budget deficit target in 2013. Anyway, govt could still succeed by increasing the revenue by using these goodies. How? Very simple, that's to entice the non-registered self-employed and businesses to registered so that they are accountable for their earnings.

21 September 2012

Do you understand the PRS Framework and its Lingo?

Before jumping into the bandwagon of private retirement schemes (PRS), we should understand the PRS framework first. What is the structure behind the scene? Does our invested money in safe hands? Who are the regulators? These were the few typical questions we should find out. No worries, all of these will be answered here... (yeah, give us a "Like")

  • Manufacturer?
    PRS are offered by approved PRS Providers. Each PRS will include a range of retirement funds from which individuals may choose to invest in, based on their own retirement needs, goals and risk appetite.
  • Book-keeper?
    The PPA functions as a record keeping and resource centre for data on all transactions performed by contributors. It will facilitate transactions and promote efficient administration. The PPA will also act as a resource centre for data and research relating to the PRS industry in Malaysia.
  • Safe-keeper?
    The assets of each PRS will be segregated from the PRS provider and held by an independent Scheme Trustee under a trust. Yes. It must be "independent" to safeguard investors money.
  • Regulator...
    All of the above mentioned parties, namely the PRS providers, the PPA, the Scheme Trustees and distributors of PRS were being regulated and supervised by Securities Commission (SC). This was to ensure the proper functioning of the PRS industry and protects members, via prudential and investor 
    protection requirements.

After all, still blur about the term used above? No worries. Finance Malaysia Blog take the initiative to explain the PRS lingo against that of Unit Trust for ease of understanding:

Source: Private Pension Adminstrator (PPA)

For more PRS info, you may contact Alex Yeoh (alexyeoh@vka.com.my), a licensed financial planner who can distributes products from multiple PRS providers. Thank you.

17 September 2012

What is Private Retirement Schemes (PRS) ?

Are you ready for your retirement life? If not, what and how are you going to do before it is too late? These are a few critical questions Malaysians should ask us without further procrastination. With increasing life expectancy and rising living standards, many Malaysians find that their savings are inadequate to meet their retirement needs.

Private Retirement Schemes (PRS) form an integral feature of the private pension industry with the objective of improving living standards for Malaysians at retirement through additional savings of funds. As long-term investment vehicles, PRS are designed to help enhance adequacy and expand coverage of retirement benefits to all segments of the population. It complements Malaysia's mandatory retirement savings scheme - EPF.


13 September 2012

New Fund: OSK-UOB Focus Bond Fund - Enhanced

In view of the current volatile markets culminating from the Eurozone debt crisis, investors are concern about the contagion effect on the domestic and global economies. Amid the recent volatility, some believe there are opportunities arising from bond investments that will offer consistent and regular income to investors. Hence, OSK-UOB now offer investors an enhanced bond fund that has the potential to provide higher regular income^ during the tenure of the Fund and capital appreciation at its maturity date from a concentrated portfolio of global debt instruments / bonds and from an option structure to provide the potentially higher income.

The OSK-UOB Focus Bond Fund – Enhanced (“the Fund”) is a 3-year close-ended, income fund which aims to provide regular income during the tenure of the Fund and capital appreciation at its maturity date primarily from a concentrated portfolio of global debt instruments / bonds. Generally, the Fund aims to achieve its objective through a two-fold strategy.

08 September 2012

RHBRI 4Q12 Market Strategy: Stay Defensive And Buy On Dips To Outperform The Market

Given the persistent headwinds from the external sector and general election overhang on the home front, we are of the view that the market will likely be stuck in a range-bound trading pattern in the 4Q. Consequently, we believe investors would still need to accumulate fundamentally-robust stocks on weakness in order to outperform the market, while staying defensive on the core holdings will provide greater stability to the portfolio performance.
In addition, as the search for yield will likely remain a key driver for both retail and institutional investors in the 4Q, high divided-yielding stocks will also continue to outperform the market, in our view. A list of our top picks is reflected in table below, which includes “buy on weakness” tactical stocks.

05 September 2012

New IPO: IGB Reit

IGB REIT comprises of Mid Valley Megamall (retail; 1.72m sf NLA) and the Gardens Mall (retail; 0.82sf NLA) with a total appraised value of RM4.6b. Currently, Mid Valley Megamall is 99.8% occupied and the Gardens Mall is 99.7% occupied. Based on the IPO price of RM1.25, IGB REIT’s market capitalization would be RM4.3bn, making it the largest pure retail M-REITFollowing closely behind IGB REIT in terms of market capitalization size is Pavilion REIT (RM4.08b), Sunway REIT (RM4.02b) and CMMT (RM3.02b).

What are the key selling points for IGB REIT?

01 September 2012

Can Malaysia Trust 'Mat Rempit'?

First of all, Happy Merdeka to all Malaysians. Yup, we love peace and prosperity as mentioned by our beloved prime minister. 55th years of independence would not come true without unity of people from various races. No doubt, we Malaysians are from various background. Yet, we have come together, good or bad, to shape our nation until what we already achieve today. Anyway, Finance Malaysia hopes our nation can transform itself by realizing the 2020 vision "Developed Nation".

Just when everyone was celebrating today, I came across one news titled "Mat Rempit to help fight crime" and my writing instinct once again being activated. Fighting crime by collaborating with Mat Rempit? This is the first reaction I believed many readers would asked!!!

Don't we know that Mat Rempit were those who rides their motorcycle dangerously?
Don't we know that Mat Rempit were those riders that endangered the life of other road users?
And, I really don't know how and why our government came out this "think-out-of-the-box" idea!!!

Two Immediate Side Effects

21 August 2012

What's wrong with Malaysia in terms of GDP per Capita? (2012)

Addressing the issue, which Finance Malaysia thinks was critical at a time of globalization heats up, Malaysia needs to formulate and take action immediately without much hesitation. But, before we jump into action, we need to know the root of the problem. Right?

Exactly, we must find out the reason why we left behind other countries in terms of GDP per capita, which refers to the country's gross domestic products at purchasing power parity (PPP) per capita. According to Wikipedia, it was the value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given year divided by the average population for the same year.

Why not using nominal GDP to measure national wealth?
Comparison of national wealth are also frequently made on the basis of nominal GDP, which does not reflect differences in the cost of living. Using a PPP basis is arguably more useful when comparing generalized differences in living standards on the whole between nations because PPP takes into account the relative cost of living and the inflation rates of the countries, rather than using just exchange rates which may distort the real differences in income.

Singapore is now the richest country in the world.
Where is Malaysia?

18 August 2012

New Fund: AmGlobal Sukuk

After AmMutual's asia pacific dividend fund early this month, AmIslamic also don't want to lag behind its sister company by introducing AmGlobal Sukuk. The Fund aims to provide capital appreciation by investing primarily in Sukuk both locally and globally.

To achieve the investment objective, the Fund will undertake active management to enhance and optimize returns from investing in sovereign, quasi-sovereign and corporate Sukuk. The sectorial weightings may be adjusted to maximize the performance. There is no minimum rating for a Sukuk purchased or held by the Fund.

What's so special about this Sukuk Fund?

14 August 2012

New Fund: CIMB Islamic Al-Azzam Equity Fund

Launched on the same day with AmMutual new fund, the CIMB Islamic Al-Azzam Equity Fund is an open-ended fund that aims to achieve consistent capital growth over the medium to long term.

The asset allocation strategy for this Fund is as follows: 

  • between 70% to 98% (both inclusive) of the Fund’s NAV will be invested in Shariah-compliant Malaysian equities; and 
  • up to 30% of the Fund’s NAV in other Shariah-compliant investments and Shariah-compliant liquid assets, with at least 2% of the Fund’s NAV to be maintained in Shariah-compliant liquid assets.

For this Fund, the investment into Sukuk must satisfy a minimum credit rating of “A3” or “P2” by RAM or equivalent rating by MARC; “BBB” by S&P or equivalent rating by Moody’s or Fitch. In line with its objective, the investment  strategy and policy of the Fund is to rebalance the portfolio to suit market conditions in order to reduce short-term volatility and provide consistency in capital growth.

More on Investment Strategy...

13 August 2012

New Fund: AmAdvantage Asia Pacific ex Japan Dividend

Wanted to diversify your investment portfolio especially on dividend based investments? You may look into this newly launched fund by AmMutual named AmAdvantage Asia Pacific ex-Japan Dividend Fund, a fund managed by AmInvestment Services Berhad.

The Fund is a feeder fund, which will invest into the  HSBC Global Investment Funds  – Asia Pacific ex Japan Equity High Dividend (the “Target Fund”), a sub-fund of the  HSBC Global Investment Funds domiciled in Luxembourg. The Fund seeks to provide income and long term capital growth by investing in the Target Fund which has an investment focus on Asia Pacific ex Japan equities.

The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing a minimum of 95% of the Fund’s NAV in the distribution share class in the HSBC Global Investment Funds – Asia Pacific ex Japan Equity High Dividend at all times. This implies that the Fund has a passive strategy.

More about the Target Fund

21 July 2012

How to calculate EPF investment withdrawal amount?

Although EPF members investment scheme was launched years ago, yet many Malaysians still do not know the existence of it. Follow by next question: "How to calculate the withdrawal amount?". Hope this post can give all of you an insight on this matter.

First, we must know that EPF members investment scheme only allows eligible members to withdraw eligible amount to EPF-approved investment schemes. The schemes was being monitor closely by EPF authorities, by reviewing it every year, in order to protect the interest of EPF members.

Am I eligible?

10 July 2012

Maybank Silver Investment Account

After the successful launching of Gold Investment account, Maybank had come out with another innovative option for mass market --- Silver Investment Account. This would be part of its portfolio of precious materials being offered to consumers. Yes, Maybank was the 1st bank in Malaysia to offer a silver investment passbook account, allowing deposits and withdrawals in silver at a daily price in ringgit at any of its branches nationwide.

How about the return? Of course, it all depend on the silver price fluctuations. For ease of recording and maintenance, all the transactions would be recorded in the customer's passbook. It's simple, transparent and affordable.

More about "Silver Investment Account"

06 July 2012


There are numerous interest scheme being offered to public to participate for the past few years. It heats up when investors are looking to various ways to grow their money after the 2008 global financial crisis.

However, before we participate in these scheme, do we really understand what is "Interest Scheme"? Who's interest? Lol...

Interest Scheme is a way of doing business in Malaysia. It involves the pooling of financial contribution from the public in exchange for an interest in a particular scheme. Such interest includes the usage of the facilities and services provided under the scheme or profit or returns, depending on the nature of the scheme.

Strict Rules and Regulations

03 July 2012

RHBRI: Market Outlook & Strategy 2H2012

In our view, the equity market will likely be stuck in a range-bound trading pattern for now, but will likely trend up as global economic uncertainties clear out towards the later part of the year. Investors’ key worries include :

  1. worsening of the euro-debt crisis that remains unresolved
  2. fears of China’s and India’s economies crashing down into a hard landing; and
  3. the risk of US falling off the “fiscal cliff”.

External Volatility And Impending Election 2 Key Headwinds

29 June 2012

New Fund: AmDynamic Sukuk

After the spectacular performance of AmDynamic Bond fund, AmInvestment Services Bhd would like to replicate the success of the conventional fund into this newly launched shariah compliant fund.

The Fund aims to provide capital appreciation by investing primarily in Sukuk both locally and globally. To achieve the investment objective, the Fund will undertake active management to enhance and optimize returns from investing in sovereign, quasi-sovereign and corporate Sukuks. The sectorial weightings maybe adjusted to maximize the performance. There is no minimum rating for a Sukuk purchased or held by the Fund.

More about the Fund

27 June 2012

How Can A Profit-Guaranteed Investment Be Risky?

Investment professionals love complicating things.
Trust me on that. I was once like that.
You don’t believe me?

The next time you meet people from the investment industry, try asking them to give you a definition of the word “risk”.

Investopedia defines “risk” as “the chance that an investment’s actual return will be different than expected...risk is usually measured by the standard deviation of the historical/average return of a specific investment.” 

Don’t get me wrong. This is actually a pretty good definition of "risk”... that is if you speak finance. But most people don’t, and if you are like most people, you probably struggled to understand even the first sentence (actual return vs expected return...huh?). Good luck attempting to measure risk!

Then, what does RISK mean?

25 June 2012

New Fund: OSK-UOB Asian Income Fund

If you have a medium risk appetite and are seeking for an investment opportunity in the Asian region, you may want to take a close look at OSK-UOB Asian Income Fund, a balanced fund which was newly launched by OSK-UOB Investment Management Berhad on 5 June 2012.

The fund is a feeder fund that aims to provide income and capital growth over the medium to long term by investing in one target fund, i.e, the Schroder Asian Income (fund's inception date: 24 October 2011 and is denominated in Singapore Dollar), which primarily invests in Asian equities and Asian fixed income securities.

More about Schroder Asian Income

21 June 2012

New Fund: PB Dynamic Allocation Fund

Another new fund for the month of June, Public Mutual launched PB Dynamic Allocation Fund which allows the investor the opportunity to participate in tactical asset allocation strategy where instruments are allocated between the difference asset classes of equities, fixed income securities and money market instruments based on a flexible investment mandate. The fund may capitalize on potential investment opportunities if the market outlook is positive while reducing its equity exposure when weakness in the equity markets is expected.

As such, its equity content may range between 30% to 98% of the NAV of the fund. The balance of the fund's NAV may be invested in fixed income securities and liquid assets which include money market instruments and deposits.

Investment Strategy

18 June 2012

What is Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Local Participant?

Recently, Bursa Malaysia launched its Derivatives Local Participants Recruitment Drive to have more derivatives traders, so that a more vibrant and dynamic derivatives market can be seen in Malaysia. Anyway, what is it actually? I guess many of us, either yourself or investors or traders, also doesn't know the exact answer...

Again, it's time for Finance Malaysia to do Bursa Malaysia a favor to educate the public. A Local Participant (Locals) is a professional derivatives trader who trades for his/her own account. In essence, a self-employed trader. With the recent easing of entry requirements, those who aspire to be a Local Participant are not required to pass the licensing examination, show the relevant academic qualification and industry experience.

What is the benefits of being a Locals?

15 June 2012

New Fund: AmConsumer Select - Capital Protected

AmInvestment Bank is launching a new capital-protected fund and it is optimistic of a good take-up rate for this RM100mil new fund. According to its CEO, the launch of the fund is timely in view of the current macroeconomic uncertainties. Since it is capital protected, the fund offers a safe haven for risk-averse investors looking to hedge against the uncertainty in the global market, she adds.

The Fund is a close-ended fund which aims to provide regular income with an investment horizon of 2.5 years (30 months) whilst providing capital protection on Maturity Date. The Fund seeks to achieve its objective by investing in ZNIDs and/or MGS and an over-the-counter option linked to the price movement of a basket of five (5) consumer related stocks.

For the purpose of the Fund, consumer related stocks refer to stocks of companies that produce products/services that are consumed by individuals. Selection of consumer related stocks is based on fundamental strength of the companies through internal research and brands that the Manager considers to be widely known among investors.

The Strategy...

12 June 2012

IPO: Gas Malaysia

Gas Malaysia Berhad (GMB) was established to sell, market and distribute natural gas and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG). GMB is also responsible for the construction and operation of the Natural Gas Distribution System (NGDS), which is a system comprising 1,800km of gas pipelines and stations within Peninsular Malaysia owned by GMB. NGDS is connected to the Peninsular Gas Utilisation (PGU), which is the gas transmission pipeline across Peninsular Malaysia owned and operated by PGB.

GMB’s core business to sell, market and distribute natural gas to industrial, commercial and residential customers in Peninsular Malaysia via NGDS. In other words, GMB purchases natural gas from PGB and sells to GMB’s own customers at a profit margin. There are currently two players in Peninsular Malaysia’s natural gas distribution industry, comprising GMB and PGB. However, both serve different sets of customers, whereby GMB’s customer base consists of users that initially consume less than 2 MMScfd, whereas PGB supplies to PETRONAS customers consuming more than 2 MMScfd. Customers that initially consume less than 2MMScfd but subsequently increase their consumption exceeding 2MMScfd will remain as GMB’s customers.

Like a toll road?

07 June 2012

Euro 2012 Football Championship: Poland's Economy Scores

It's football season again. This round we have EURO 2012 Championship which will kick off on 8th June 2012. Are you ready? Before that, let us look at the championship from financial perspective. Don't care who will win the championship, Poland already emerged as the winner financially. Why?

The UEFA European Football Championship has taken place every 4 years since 1960. For the first time in history, Poland and Ukraine have scored the chance to co-host the Euro 2012 Football Championship. Despite high set-up costs for the two emerging economies, both countries are likely to experience long-term economic benefits.

05 June 2012

OSK Research: 1Q2012 Report Card and Strategy (June 2012)

In the recently concluded 1Q2012 reporting season, a similar number of companies under our coverage underperformed, at 31% versus 32% in 4Q2011 and 34% in 3Q2011. The percentage of companies that outperformed fell to 14%  from 17% in the previous quarter (see Fig 1) and 15% in 3Q2011. Surprisingly, there were more earnings letdowns among the big caps, with 27% missing estimates versus 17% in the preceding quarter while among the small caps, more companies trumped estimates - at 20% - compared with 12% in 4Q2011. The notable positive surprises among the big caps were Maybank and JCY while the negatives were from MAS, the Genting Group and MISC.

Steel, plantations and oil & gas disappointed.

28 May 2012

2012/2013 List of Unit Trust Funds for EPF Members Investment Scheme

Last week, EPF announced that it has published the revised list of Fund Management Institutions (FMI) and unit trust funds for 2012/2013 for EPF Members Investment Scheme (EPF-MIS). For the period of 2012/2013, a total of 223 active unit trust funds from 24 FMIs are offered under EPF-MIS, details of which are as follows:

"The list of funds under EPF-MIS is reviewed annually based on a set of evaluation criteria that focuses on the consistency of fund performance, as approved by the Ministry of Finance. The evaluation process is carried out together with the Federation of Investment Managers Malaysia (FIMM) which represents the unit trust industry," said EPF General Manager for Public Relations.

When would it be effective?
The revised list will be effective for the period of 1 June 2012 until 31 May 2013. 

List of EPF approved funds from some of the popular Fund Management Institutions:

23 May 2012

Europe’s Woes Flood Wall Street—But Not the Economy? (May 2012)

After months of buildup, Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis has finally wreaked havoc on the U.S. stock market, as a wave of anxiety has prompted a major sell-off on Wall Street. We’ve seen a dramatically “risk off” environment with the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropping 3.52% — the biggest one-week decline since November — and the S&P 500 falling 4.3%. Among the hardest hit stocks were small caps and tech, with the Russell 2000 and the Nasdaq Composite falling 5.4% and 5.3%, respectively. To further underscore the risk-off environment, the yield on the 10-year Treasury still appears to be searching for a bottom, finishing at 1.702%, but falling below 1.700% intraday this week — a modern-era low.

Spring Swoon?