Thursday, September 29, 2011

New Rules New Confidence

Effective from next year, companies listed in Bursa will have to be more transparent. Because of new rules, they have to reveal more.

In their quarterly reports, they will have to give a detailed analysis of their businesses, and inform investors how the current world scenario will affect the present and future development of their companies.

More revelation means less possibility for the management to cook their books. Corruption, cheating and fraud will also be made more difficult.

If the new rules are effectively implemented, Bursa Malaysia will get a much-needed boost. This means that not only foreigners will like it but local investors will like it as well.

Transparency and integrity are essential traits for any stock exchange to flourish. Stringent rules to curb fraud and misleading statements when introduced without fear or favor will result in Bursa getting more investment, be it local or foreign.

The public love a level-playing field. Bursa will do well to ensure they have one.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Smartag Potential of a Ten-Bagger

Mention any ACE counter, and you'll probably get a repulsive response. This is to be expected because most if not all, the ACE counters at Bursa have been performing poorly even before the recent downturn. Nonetheless, there is one stock in this category that has caught my fancy. It's Smartag.

The company has just successfully completed its pilot trial with the Royal Malaysian Customs. The article appended below is a must-read if you believe that RFID is the right technology of the present and the future:

Smartag Solutions and Customs completed successful pilot trial
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Security and Trade Facilitation using Radio Frequency Identification (“RFID”) deployed in Royal Malaysian Customs’ Checkpoints nationwide

Pilot commercial trial was successfully conducted from 1 June till 31 August 2011, achieve cost saving to the industry, and increase efficiency of Customs process by 9 times.

Pulau Pinang, Malaysia: 26 September 2011 – Total RFID solutions provider Smartag Solutions Berhad (“Smartag”, the “Group”, “智能电子标签解决方案有限公司”) together with Royal Malaysian Customs (Jabatan Kastam Diraja Malaysia or “JKDM” or “Customs”) announced the successful completion of the trial run of the RFID-based Security and Trade Facilitation System at Royal Malaysian Customs Checkpoints in the country.

Speaking at a press conference during the soft launch of the Security and Trade Facilitation System (or the “System”) at the Second Air Cargo Complex Penang, Smartag announced that JKDM jointly with Smartag have successfully completed the trial run of the Security and Trade Facilitation System and have obtained positive results and feedback from the industry users.

Under the trial, the users will be able to use the RFID seal to secure their containers when entering, leaving, and moving within the country. With the usage of the System, the users will be able to automatically identify the containers’ movement electronically via the RFID seal to the RFID readers that are set up by Smartag at the various Customs checkpoints across the country.

During the trial run, participants were able to achieve 50% reduction on time taken for customs clearance, and have obtained cost savings from the usage of the system. During the trial run, JKDM is able to increase its efficiency by 9 times as compared to using the manual process. At the same time, the system deployed is able to solve “hanging” K8 forms.

According to the Chairman of the Air Freight Association of Malaysia, Mr. Walter Culas “The industry welcomes the usage of the system as we value speed, efficiency, and time. The system demonstrated its potential to increase customs clearance's efficiency, and paperless clearance and processes. The industry is fully supportive of the project, and the nationwide implementation."

“Based on our internal cost and benefit analysis has shown that the trial demonstrated that TNT will be able to have at least 50% reduction of time taken for customs clearance and all these benefits will create multiplier effect to the economy in the country", according to Mr. Dinesh K. the Regional Network Manager Asia Road Network for TNT Express Worldwide N. V.
“PEMANDU is pleased that the Security and Trade RFID Facilitation System will be used commercially at Royal Malaysia Customs checkpoints throughout the country. This is a clear indication that the ETP is being implemented, since its launch in October 2010,” said Dr. Fadhlullah Suhaimi Abdul Malek, Director Communications, Content and Infrastructure NKEA and Business Services NKEA.

This project was one of the 12 initiatives announced by YAB Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak at the fifth Economic Transformation Programme Update in April. Amongst other objectives, the implementation of the project is targeted at improving the efficiency of container clearance using paperless RFID approach, enabling automatic detection of compromised or tampered containers, and facilitating faster and more transparent trade.

About Smartag Solutions Berhad (ACE: 0169)
Smartag Solutions Berhad (Smartag) is a track and trace solution provider that utilizes Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and other wireless technologies to enable users to have visibility, transparency and security. For more information on Smartag, go to
Smartag was lasted traded at 26 sen per share. At this price, the stock is an excellent bet. I have this intuitive feel that this stock has the potential to be a ten-bagger over time.

As usual, please remember, that whatever action you take, you do so at your own risk absolutely.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Gold, silver and other commodities tumbled

The Associated Press, On Thursday September 22, 2011, 4:37 pm EDT
NEW YORK (AP) -- Gold, silver and other commodities tumbled amid a global sell-off in financial markets.

Gold fell $66.40, or 3.7 percent, to finish at $1,741.70 an ounce on Thursday. Silver, a precious metal that has wider demand for industrial production, plummeted $3.89, or 9.6 percent, to $36.58.

Analysts said that much of the selling was driven by margin calls for hedge funds and other big investors. "We're seeing hedge funds that have to raise cash, and to do that they have to sell what has been working for them so far this year," said Ryan Detrick, senior technical strategist at Schaffer's Investment Research.

Analysts also said that silver had a harder fall because about half of its demand comes from industrial uses. "If the economy contracts at all, there's going to be a lot of excess silver that's sitting in the supply chain," said Phil Streible, senior market strategist at MF Global.

Gold is up about 22 percent for the year. Silver is 16 percent higher than at the start of the year.

Copper, a metal that closely tracks the economic cycle, fell 27.6 cents, or 7.3 percent, to $3.4885. It is down 23 percent for the year.

Oil, wheat and other raw materials fell significantly because of increased fears that a recession would cut demand. Benchmark crude fell $5.41, or 6.3 percent, to $80.51. It was the biggest drop for oil since Aug. 8, when it fell 6.4 percent after Standard and Poor's downgraded the credit rating of the U.S. Oil has dropped 29 percent since April as global growth has slowed.

Wheat contracts fell 33 cents, or 5 percent, to $6.3375 a bushel. Corn lost 35.75 cents, or 5.2 percent, to end at $6.50. Sugar dropped 1.1 cents, or 4.3 percent, to 24.81 cents. And soybeans fell 37.5 cents, or 2.8 percent, to finish at $12.83.

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Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Trading Doctor - Master Yourself Master the Markets

We come nearest to the great when we are in great humility... Rabindranath Tagore

Traders and investors alike—we are all guilty.

We have all committed the cardinal sin of exhibiting arrogance towards the markets. We must never ever think that we know more than the markets or that we can predict or that the markets care what we think. The markets do not even know who we are—let alone what we think.

If we approach the markets with pride, we will be punished swiftly and without compassion. The markets have no compassion. They want our dramas, our overconfidence, our rat-brained thinking and our money. They will gladly take our needs to suffer, be accepted, be loved, be hated or be punished--- and fulfill them without mercy and with often brutal consequences. The result is a shattered emotional and financial landscape of wealth distribution where the few take from the many. Read more.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Current estimated 1-to-16 ratio will narrow

M'sia's Iskandar plan may aid S'pore housing market 12 AUGUST 2011 , BY CHANNEL NEWS ASIA

Malaysia's ambitious Iskandar development in southern Johor may have a spin-off effect that would eventually aid Singapore's crowded housing market.

It may even help cool prices, as foreign investment meets increased demand for services and homes.

A plan for seamless connectivity from Johor Baru, Malaysia, to Woodlands in Singapore by 2018, is an attractive allure for investors.

Funds are pouring in, in the hope the development will yield economic benefit.

Singapore has invested some US$153 million (RM 463 million) into the services, education and health sector of the Iskandar Malaysia development, and analysts say further down the line, this will have a positive impact on the Singapore economy.

CIMB Research economist Song Seng Wun said: "If we do have at our doorstep an increased pool of qualified knowledge based labour force, we may be able to tap on that pool, bring them to Singapore and add to Singapore's productivity growth prospect, going forward.

"So if those two investments in those two areas were to work out over the near term, I think it could lead to more significant investment from the Singapore side.

"So I think while the outlook is positive, there are still perhaps many hurdles along the way before we can say we are going to get a significant upgrade with regard to property being moved to a higher plain in Johor.

"That could mean the pressure on property in Singapore could be alleviated because there is certainly now a much more viable option in Johor as a result of the improved communication, logistic network, the whole landscape as an alternative for Singaporeans to base themselves in Johor either for home or for business."

Singapore has already implemented measures to cool booming property prices, and the government may get some help in calming the market, now that the Iskandar project is open for investment.

Credit Suisse analyst Tan Ting Min said Malaysia will benefit from stronger investments from Singapore while Singapore could operate out of Iskandar, which has good infrastructure, and relatively cheaper land and labour.

"Hence, we expect the land price arbitrage to narrow from the current estimated 1-to-16 ratio.

"How quickly this land price arbitrage narrows depends very much on how quickly Singaporeans adopt the idea of moving their manufacturing bases to Johor," Tan added.

"I think we are realistically talking about something that is still in the works, perhaps a decade or more before we can really talk about Johor as a real hinterland," Mr Song said.

KPMG corporate finance partner Vishal Sharma said: "I think in terms of the land price arbitrage I expect you would see the Iskandar land prices going up.

"I don't particularly envisage Singapore land prices... coming down so the arbitrage will narrow but I don't think that it is ever going to go away. But yes, I expect that the arbitrage is going to narrow."

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Why only palm oil?

By Zaidi Isham IsmailPublished: 2011/08/31

THE next time you go to the shopping mart to buy a food item, take a look at the ingredients label.

Chances are it will say the generic term vegetable oil rather than soyabean, rapeseed or palm oil.

Labelling of vegetable oils in the US, Europe and Malaysia has been accepted as the industry norm due to health reasons.

However in other parts of the world, such as Australia and New Zealand, the vegetable oils labelling is not carried as there are no laws requiring food manufacturers to do so.

Since 2009 however, some of Australia's lawmakers have been taking steps to change all that. They want to ask food manfucturers to specify the vegetable oil content, especially palm oil.

This has riled up Malaysia, which sees the move as unfair and discriminatory and can be seen as a non-tariff barrier on palm oil.

Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok said it is okay to label palm oil on food products but Australia must compel other vegetable oils to do the same.

The playing field must be fair.

"Why just palm oil? What about the other oils? if you just single out palm oil, people will be asking, what's wrong with this product? We want to put things right from the start. Palm oil poses no danger to health at all."

Isn't it good to label palm oil? The oil is already known for its health benefits. So what is there to fear?

No problem, if the labelling is based on health grounds.

But Malaysia sees the whole labelling issue as a front by the non-governmental organisations to weed out which food manufacturers use palm oil and which do not.

Once it is able to identify the company which uses palm oil, it will launch an attack on the food company to stop its imports, like what they did to Cadbury and Kit Kat.

Their campaigns were so intense that both companies have stopped using palm oil.

NGOs will also link palm oil to forest degradation and the destruction of orang utan habitats.

It is because of this, Dompok led a 10-day trade mission last July to woo Australian parliamentarians not to support the initiative.

The Australian Parliament is due to convene this September to debate the "The Truth in Labelling - Palm Oil Bill", passed last month by the senate and is now on its way to the house of representatives.

The Bill is spearheaded by the independent senator Nick Xenophon and has received strong support from the Greens, the World Wildlife Fund, Zoos Victoria and Greenpeace as well as crucial backing in the senate from the coalition.

Dompok said the Malaysian Government will continue to negotiate with Australia's lawmakers by sending envoys in the coming months to talk them out of it.

Dompok said the Bill threatens the livelihood of 570,000 smallholders in plantations and a further 290,000 in downstream industries.

Out of the four million hectares of oil palm estates in Malaysia, 40 per cent is handled by smallholders.

"The industry has helped a lot of our people to come out of poverty. We have almost reached the point where we can't go much further with palm oil plantations," said Dompok.

He said Malaysia, which has national parks and world heritage sites, is very conscious of its need to preserve its own forests, which cover 55.7 per cent of its total area, well above the 50 per cent it guaranteed to retain at the 1992 Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit.

Besides arguments by NGOs that it destroys the habitat of Malaysia's 11,000 orangutans are baseless as the primate can only be found in Southeast Sabah and Southern Sarawak, which has been gazetted as forest sanctuary and are far from oil palm estates.

There are no orang utans in Peninsular Malaysia.

Malaysia's land used for agriculture, including for palm oil, is governed by strict laws and must be registered and licensed by the Malaysian Palm Oil Board.

"The move to label and and penalise palm oil has the potential to reverberate globally," said Dompok.

He said the labelling will also be cumbersome to Australia's food makers which can cost up to A$60,000 (RM186,000) just to label palm oil on a single food item.

Dompok said the government is deeply disappointed that the Liberal, National and Greens parties and Senator Xenophon have chosen to put politics ahead of the mutually advantageous relationship between Malaysia and Australia.

"This legislation undermines the spirit of our co-operation, especially now when our two countries have forged an asylum seeker deal."

All is not lost for Malaysia however. Should the Bill be passed, Malaysia can take up the battle at the World Trade Organisation where Malaysia can present its case against Australia's discriminatory move on palm oil.

Malaysian Palm Oil Council chief executive officer Tan Sri Dr Yusof Basiron said Malaysia has to fight all the way as NGOs are using Australia and New Zealand as their testing ground to see whether the Bill can be passed.

"Should it be passed, the NGOs know that if they can do it in Australia, it can also be done in the US and Europe," said Yusof.