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Archive for July, 2011

Apologies for erroneous post and wrongly accusations of Temasek

July 6, 2011 Leave a comment

I posted a post on Temasek losing money via investments in chinese equities. I take back my words and apologize for not reading through the article carefully before posting. The part on Temasek offering a lower price to sell off doubtful chinese bank stocks caught my eye and I wrongfully jumped into accusations. Temasek had in fact earned a nice profit from this sales despite doubtful accounts being discovered. I apologised for wrongful accusations of Temasek.

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More money lost via Temasek

July 5, 2011 6 comments

Temasek Holdings has once again taken huge money losing positions (via many sub-hedge funds) in ‘they think it’s stable stocks to ride on China’s economic growth’:

Source: Bloomberg

Temasek Holdings Pte, the Singapore state-owned investment company, is seeking to raise about HK$28 billion ($3.6 billion) by selling stakes in China Construction Bank Corp. (939) and Bank of China Ltd. (3988), two of the country’s three biggest banks.

The Singapore-based investment company is selling about HK$18.7 billion of shares in Bank of China and about HK$9.3 billion in an offering of China Construction Bank stock, according to term sheets obtained by Bloomberg News.

Shares of China’s four biggest banks fell in Hong Kong trading today after Moody’s Investors Service said banks’ loans to local governments may exceed official estimates by more than 3.5 trillion yuan ($540 billion) more than official estimates and the credit outlook for the industry could decline.

The extra liabilities, coming on top of the national audit office’s findings last week of 10.7 trillion yuan in local government debt, may fuel concern that banks will be unable to absorb losses on defaults should property prices drop.

Bank of China shares slid 0.3 percent to HK$3.86 in Hong Kong today while China Construction Bank dropped 1.2 percent to HK$6.48. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (1398) Ltd., the world’s most profitable bank, fell 0.5 percent to HK$5.93.

Morgan Stanley (MS) is managing both sales, the terms show. Jeffrey Fang, a spokesman for Temasek, declined to comment.

2006 Investment

Temasek’s Fullerton Financial Holdings Pte. Ltd. unit is offering about 5.2 billion shares in Bank of China for HK$3.60 to HK$3.67 each, according to a term sheet. That’s as much as 6.7 percent less than today’s closing price.

Temasek owned about 10.5 billion shares, or 12.5 percent, of Hong Kong-listed Bank of China, according to a Dec. 31 filing. The fund paid about $1.5 billion for a five percent stake in the lender in 2006.

Cairnhill Investments (Mauritius) Pte. Ltd. and Crescent Investments (Mauritius) Pte. Ltd., both controlled by Temasek, are also selling about 1.5 billion shares in China Construction Bank for HK$6.22 to HK$6.35 each. The Singapore fund holds seven percent, or 16.9 billion shares, of China Construction Bank, according to company filings.

Temasek, set up in 1974, bought $1 billion of stock in China Construction Bank’s initial public offering in 2005. It also purchased an undisclosed stake in the Chinese lender from China SAFE Investment Ltd. the same year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Zijing Wu in London at zwu17@bloomberg.net Cathy Chan in Hong Kong at kchan14@bloomberg.net.

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This is obviously a desperate move to dispose off questionable chinese national banks with high links with a corrupt chinese government. It’s appalling how the Financial Crisis had not taught the two megamoths GIC and Temasek that bank stocks are not exactly the best stocks to own. And they obviously takes up very risky positions (looking at how Temasek can be purchasing the same stocks via 2 other hedge funds). So who are the management of Temasek accountable to at the end of the day? The citizens deserve a clear answer and some responsibilities taken.

Listening, a skill the PAP needs to learn

July 4, 2011 2 comments

I am reposting this article from TOC. It’s a completely honest piece of work and it speaks much of how I feel too. I have mentioned in my earlier post that I do not think much  of MG (NS) Chan Chun Sing. While he came from a humble background, much of his humility had been corrupted by his smooth sailing life as a top-down speaking, high earning and powerful army high flier and politician.

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Dear MG (NS) Chan

I was one of the audience who attended the dialogue held yesterday by the YPAP and I am writing this letter directly to you to address some of the points that you have raised as it is obvious that you do not bother to read views on the Internet at all. They may sound rudely raw, but these are my most honest comments to you as a Minister in the government of the day.

May I ask if you know the meaning of a Dialogue? Is it either that you didn’t bother to check up the agenda of the session or you innocently do not know the meaning of a dialogue? For even your fellow comrades Abner Koh and Teo Ser Luck agree (after speaking to them), this one-way talking down session you conducted is certainly not one. Your presumptuous arrogance says you know it all and though your fanciful analogies make good laughing entertainment, they are disconnected and incomparable to whatever point you put across.

We are not there to listen to your whinings of how unconstructive the online media is or your aspirations as a politician or the PAP’s manner of governance. That was not a Dialogue I attended yesterday, it was a Lecture. We were there to listen, not interact. If you feel like giving a speech or a lecture, please conduct one at the Speakers’ Corner. The 2 hour one-man session is at best an irritating off-topic load of hot air. Your moderator Abner Koh looks like a stupid young lieutenant standing by you waiting on you by the stage. To give you due credit, you did put in some convincing one-liners but judging from what the PAP has done in the past 10 years, it is at best unsubstantiated political doublespeak to support PAP’s agenda.

Demonizing the New Media

“How many of you are proud of the discussions we have on the Internet these days? Raise up your hands (Kee Chiu)”

Excellent question, you have fully utilized the shyness of the general audience to prove your flawed perception that the quality of New Media’s discussions we have today is shameful and not worth taking a second look at. If your purpose is to run down people and have pro-government views praising your every move, please do it on the Straits Times. You called for the audience to reclaim their space. What do you mean by “reclaiming” their space? The Internet is nobody’s space and nobody is interested in being a government mouthpiece (unless of course you pay somebody to do it).

We netizens write for an altruistic cause, serving no personal agendas and solely for the nation’s interest (Temasek Review Emeritus almost closed down this July without the $30 000 fundings it raised). Compared to the mainstream media, the New Media is just in their cause and a true Singaporean avenue for Singaporeans by Singaporeans. Teo Ser Luck told me the mainstream media have improved, yes I agree they have, but not to the standards of calling themselves “balanced” and “objective”. Without the rise of popular socio-civic websites and blogs, would the mainstream media have improved?

The PAP only realize the power of the New Media when independent socio-civic website  Temasek Review Emeritus managed to send a team into Ang Mo Kio GRC by raising $32 000 in a night over Facebook. You can continue to sideline existing netizens and deem us as an online community of daft Singaporean noises, or work with us. It is your choice.

I-know-best

Your condescending attitude towards Singaporeans’ alternative voices in the “dialogue” is putting off. We do not have to be reminded that something is in place for a purpose in the first place, and we are not calling for ALL policies to be changed overnight. Your shallow statements display how narrow-minded and ignorant you are of netizens who are already engaging in high level reasonable discussions that you are calling for. When you speak about fundamentals of Singapore, I wonder if you yourself know of Singapore 101 yourself.

You speak like as if that only the PAP has a monopoly of ideas and in-depth understanding of our society. If this has been so, would we see such deepening political division of our people? Is there any notion that only you as a PAP Elite Million Dollar Minister understand that we Singaporeans can never fathom? Your military experience has proven irrelevant to political leadership and you simply can’t lead without a disciplinary law the like of a SAF Act. We are not soldiers who will abide your every biddings and we citizens do not owe you, the government a living.

This is my very objective article I have promised Teo Ser Luck and I look forward to you conducting a real dialogue and please, for once, shut up and listen. You are not a consultant and we are not consulting you. Rather, you hold this dialogue because you are consulting us, the people, not the other way round. A dialogue is an exchange between 2 party of different interests. If you think a dialogue is a waste of time, don’t attend one. We don’t need you in any way. You deem yourself a man of practicality, but your delivery failed to achieve PAP’s self-proclamation of engaging and listening to the people. Or is listening to the citizens impractical? I urge you to learn more from Khaw Boon Wah who is working 24/7 working his head off to taking real tangible actions in implementations. Tharman, even though uncovered, has silently tightened up the foreign labor employment to create more jobs for locals. Even Lui Tuck Yew bothered to wayang by having his photos taken on buses and trains (it would be absurd if you don’t realize anyone taking a photo of you hahah) when transport fares are still going up and our public transport is still as crowded.

Your Ministry today, has made no changes for the underprivileged and sports. What have you done for the Community? We still see plenty of Singaporean elderly begging on the streets everywhere and scavenging rubbish for a living. Foreigners integration is still a problem even after the government throw $10 Million dollars at it (I am not asking you to throw more money at it, throwing money don’t solve problems). What have you done for the Youths? Most have become an apathetic lot and resigned to fate under the government(perhaps this has all along been your agenda?) Facing bleak employment prospects, rising cost of living, diminishing quality of life, an impossible retirement and other social insecurities, how can you blame Youths for being anti-PAP on the Internet?

What have you done for Sports? Your underperforming and overpaid Foreigners sports “talents” are not winning medals and our locals sports talents are not invested into. Singaporeans are still disinterested in sports of any kind, except soccer – not the S-League that is full of foreign player jokers of course. With this starry performance in the past 5 weeks, you are not fit to be a MCYS Minister and please scram back to the army talking down NSFs and Reservists. As your PAP comrade Lim Wee Kiak put it, you need not listen to me as I do not earn a million dollars and I don’t even have a single bit of dignity discussing policies with you.

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A Singaporean Economic Digit.

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Pte (NS) Alex Tan Zhixiang

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The PAP needs to learn to listen instead of expecting the new modern citizens to listen to them. New media is changing everything. If they think that is ‘dialogue’, I don’t see many more good years for them in the coming elections.

Uncle Tony will be Singapore’s next President

July 3, 2011 4 comments

As expected, George Yeo gave way for Uncle Tony in the running for President and Nathan is sick of being an old puppet. I don’t know about you but I honestly think that if George Yeo is to run, his chance of winning is higher than Uncle Tony. George Yeo is well liked and he had earned sympathy points during the last GE. Uncle Tony, on the other hand, is only known as one of the silver hair old guards, highly loyal and strategically placed in SPH (which is supposedly the ‘national security and media control’ in disguise), rarely seen in the spotlight.

How many of you actually believe that Uncle Tony will be impartial? While the PAP insist that they have yet to endorse any candidate and Tony Tan is running as an independent candidate, the recent waves of praise from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Long, various MPs (many whom I have never heard of their names anyway) and tonnes of ‘advertisements’ from the local media is nothing short of an official endorsement by the PAP government. Uncle Tony is PAP’s god-given. He is ONE OF THEM. Non-confrontational (since I reckon he is one of the old guards that formulate the current imperialistic system anyway) and a typical PAP leader.

All of us knows that the president of Singapore is nothing but a puppet figure. If the PAP is really keen on the idea that the President post is created to protect the country’s reserves, they should allow an independent figure, independent from PAP, to stand as President. What check is there on the PAP government if the president is one of their minions? You mean the check is only applicable to NON-PAP governments? In my opinion, the presidency is yet another scheme that should be discarded. What use is a puppet president with $3 million of tax payer’s money wasted and only appears to do charities, handshakes and parade around the stadium every national day celebration?

The idea that the next government might waste hard earned reserves by the previous government (referring to the PAP themselves) is to chastise voters as idiots who can’t make a rational choice of their preferred government. Why is only the PAP government allowed to play around with the reserves, wasting it on losses in investments and all profits never made their way back to the budget to assist Singaporeans???? The fact that the PAP is reluctant to disclose the reserves is not so much of a national security issue. It is more of a PAP-security issue as they do not want their ugly losses and wastage disclosed to the public. What a shame. This presidency episode is making me view the PAP with much more negativity.

BT reported 76% margin for some DBSS while Khaw Boon Wan said it’s ‘only’ 26%

July 3, 2011 Leave a comment

Obviously Business Times stirred up a pot of shit with this outrageous figure of 76% margin. While the new Minister of National Development is quick to correct this figure in his blog (surprisingly the controller of local media is being taken for a ride by it’s own minions), the minister cited the mistake is due to a large difference between the land cost:

“For example, it quoted a land price of $82,222,000 and a maximum GFA of 721,188 square feet for the project.  Both figures were wrong. The correct figures were respectively $178,128,000 and 682,385 square feet.  This was a huge difference of almost $100 million.  The errors led to a gross over-estimation by BT of the developer’s profit and gross profit margin.”

No matter what, the fact remains that a ‘subsidized’ public housing will be sold for close to 30% profit. And that is ridiculous. What is even more outrageous is the Sim Lian can afford to dramatically lower their price range by a difference of $100,000. It does not take a PhD to realize that the DBSS is a failed policy. If the government wants to provide public housing, it should go back to the roots of offering affordable (but then the term affordable is a relative term in this society with burgeoning Gini coefficient) housing for everyone. No point offering something in between the gray lines and charge a price most people cannot associate with the term ‘public housing’. Didn’t the government knows something as simple as product differentiation? If the government wants to provide a ‘middle class’ housing that lies between a public housing and a condominium, it should be relegated to the private sector.

Why did Sim Lian group gave a ‘misleading’ ‘indicative price range’ if they expect to sell at a lower cost, as it was asserted in the local newspaper? What use is this ‘indicative price range? Nothing except to gauge how much profit surplus the developer can squeeze from the buyers. Private developers are greedy profit driven monsters. We don’t expect them to be benevolent in selling below the maximum price they can charge. The DBSS scheme had created another money tree for private developers subsidized by citizens taxes and take advantage of extreme low elastic demand caused by the era of Mah Bow Tan.

That is absolutely absolutely absolutely unforgivable. MND and the government has helped the private developers to leech on citizens.