Wednesday, December 5, 2012

MiiF Shareholder EGM (A Personal Glimpse)

Attended the MiiF EGM shareholder meeting yesterday. The main objectives are to increase number of directors to 9 and to vote on the nomination of three directors put forward by the two requisitioing shareholders owning close to 10% of the MiiF shares. The current board is advising shareholders to vote AGAINST the nomination of the three additional shareholders.

The end result is that the three nomintations were voted down in the ratio of about 40:60 while the resolution to increase the number of directorships to 9 was carried. However, I read from the SGX report that the actual number of keypad votes are quite different. In fact, if we go by keypad counts which reflect the proportion of people in the room, then the resolutions to nominate the three additional directors is greater than 50%. If we allow the people in the room to be representative of the number of shareholders out there in related proportion to the keypad votes, then it actually suggest that more people are unhappy with the way the current MiiF is running the show and wanted a change.

I was there and you could  that the level of unhappiness with the board is quite pulsating.One shareholder virtually gave the chairman Heng Chiang Meng, an ex-PAP MP is dressing down. I find the board argument on keeping the dynamics of the board unchanged by having four independent directors and one nominated by the fund manager totally unconvincing. Independent directors exist to check on the bias of non-independent directors who repersented significant interests in the company. However, in MiiF case, non-independent directors are totally missing except for one nominated by the manager. Non-independent directors are needed because they represent substantial interests in the company and will have greater urgency to improve on the operating conditions of the company and share price. This is totally missing in MiiF. Whereas, independent directors tend to have too many directorships or even hold fulltime jobs, so they tend to devote only a small portion of their time to the company and lack genuine interest in the improvement of the company beyong collecting their directors fees and adding an extra line to their resume.
A composition of the board make up almost entirely by independent directors is in my opinion not good for the trust. A fine balance is needed and I do not find that in the current board which explain its underperformance.

I am disappointed the resolutions to add 3 non-indepndent directors were not carried.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Olam Bonds cum Warrants Rights Issue

Olam announced a renounceable bonds cum warrants right issue. It will offer 313 bonds at US$1 and 162 warrants with a execrcisable price of US$1.291 for every 1000 shares. The warrants are not exercisable fo the first three years. The bonds mature in 2018 and carry a interest rate of 6.75% with an initial issue price of 95%. Most importantly, Temasek undertake to take up 100% of any unsubscribed rights.

This means that olam will raise immediately US$750m in bond with a further US$500m if and when warrants are converted.

This exercise make Muddy Water offer to get Olam Debt rated meaningless as Olam can raise debt in double quick time even in time of stress. It also show that Olam has the 100% backing of Temasek.

For small shareholders, even if you do not take up the rights, it will not hurt you at this stage as the warrants are priced at $1.575 which is the current price. However, you may miss up on the upside later on.

By leveraging on Temasek, Olam share and bond price will be supported and shortist will most likely leave the market quietly. What is left for Olam is execution, execution and still execution.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Olam Spat with Muddy Water

The above hog the headlines for the last one week. I am vested in Olam and remain to be so. The incident actually give me a lot of opportunity to know and understand the business of Olam in greater detail than in the past.

There is no doubt that Muddy Water is acting in concert with some hedge funds to make monies out of their short positions in Olam. I think they might have made some but not significant as Olam has manage quite well to contain the crisis.

I read both Muddy Water report and Olam subsequent reply. Most of Muddy Water so called evidence are rather sporadic and incomplete. They tend to highlight certain discrepancies without being able to give the complete picture. It is often easy to pick out a piece of information to support your case but leaving out other equally information that can also invalidate your statement.

However, having said the above, I think Olam would do well to think and recalibrate its aggressive target of reaching $1b Net Profit by 2016. It may be worth the while to go slower and focus more tightly on ongoing projects.

The understanding I gain from reading both reports is that Olam typically like to pick underperforming assets at what they deem attractive prices. The assets are underperforming maybe due to bad management, lack of capital, etc. Then they wll bring in their expertise and try to turn it around. It will take some effort. If they succeed, the gains are tremendous but require hard work and a little bit of luck. Success is often not immediate or even guaranteed.

I also think Olam would need to convey more info on the 35+ initiatives a bit more clearly to investors. I do not expect all the initatives to succeed. I just need more to succeed than fail on the balance so that the overall profit objectives can be met. Among all the cases that Muddy Water bring out in their report, I would think Olam has not replied satisfactory on the Gabon Urea initiative.I like Olam to give detailed statistics on the NZ-URUGUAY diary project regularly as this is one of the project performing below plan.
I like to see EBIT numbers for Olam Tomatoes aka SK Foods.

Also, here is no need to give detailed info on all initiatives but the 'big' ones do matter. For investors, my advice is do not panic too easily. Try to understand the company as well as you can and in some cases, a crisis may be excellent an opportunity.

The stock price is not a major problem. A credit freeze would be more painful as Olam need huge capital to function being in the commodity business where they hold large liquid inventories.

Finally, I believe the worst is over between Olam and Muddy Water saga. Carson will move on to look for new targets.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

SingTel Q2FY2013

Revenue                                           = $4,572m
Underlying Profit                             = $886m
Singapore (EBITDA)                      = $541m
Optus(EBITDA)                              = $560m
Regional Mobile                              = $549m
Net Debt                                           = $8.2b
Net Gearing                                      = 26%
Net Debt/EBITDA+Assoc Profits    = 1.1x
EBITDA+Assoc Profits/Int Exp       = 23.2x
EPS                                                   = 5.45 cents
FCF                                                   = $1,102m

Note : Optus revenue declined by 4% to $2,239m

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sembcorp Q3FY2013

Revenue                       = $2,274M
Net Profit                     = $181M
EPS                             =  10.1 cents

Profit From Operations
Utilities                         = $155.2M
Marine                         = $138.6M
Urban Dev                   = $7.7M
Other Businesses          = $11.5M
Corporate                    = ($3.0M)
Total                            = $310.0M

NAV                            = 2.40
Interest Cover               = 11
ROE                             = 17.0%
Gearing Ratio                = 0.09
Free Cash Flow            = $244M (9MFY2012)


Results released on 9/11/2012.

Gross Revenue                                    = $30,553K
NPI                                                    =$29,521K
Distributable Amount                           =$15,848K
EPS                                                   =0.97 cents
DPU                                                   = 0.73 cents
Total Assets                                        =$1,752,584K
Total Liabilities                                    =$57,196K
NAV                                                   = 52.83cents
Gearing                                                = 22.7%

Thursday, November 8, 2012

US Presidential Election 332 vs 206

I highlighted an article previously that argue analytically that the just concluded US Presidential Election will not be as close as what the frantic media painted. Looking at the end result of Obama trouncing Romney with a 332 to 206 advantage in electoral votes, the author is vindicated. Nate Silver uses a dispassionate methodology that goes through all the numbers meticulously. Beat the hell out of instinct and gut feel employe by a lot of journalists and writers.

I hope to likewise to evaluate my portfolio and future stock prospects using a similar approach by looking dispassionately at the numbers, quality of the management etc rather then depening on emotions, hearsay, market opinion etc.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

SAT Q2FY12/13

Results released on 6/11/2012

Revenue                                    = $461.5m
Operating Profit                        = $52.1m
PATMI                                     = $50.3m
Underlying Profit From Ops     = $50.7M
Underlying Net Margin             = 11%
Debt-to-Equity                          = 0.12
EPS                                           = 4.5 cents
NAV                                         = $1.22
Cash & Cash Equiv                   = $325.1m
FCF (1HFY2012/2013)            = $78.1m

Key costs are Staff Costs ($195.1m) and Raw Materials (100.5m)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Article on US Presidential Election

A thoughtful article on the coverage of the US Presidential Elections.

Let validate this on the next few days. Hopefully it can help train the mind to be clear in front of all the noise made by the media ie is it really down to the wire?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

StarHub- Shrinking Nett Debt/EBITDA Ratio

Notice that Starhub Nett Debt to Annualized EBITDA ratio shrinking over the last two years.

Q4FY2010 - 0.94X
Q2FY2011 - 0.71X
Q3FY2012 - 0.63X
Q2FY2012 - 0.55X
Q3FY2012 - 0.46X

This may explain StarHub elevated share price.

Monday, October 29, 2012

StarHill Global Reit Q3FY2012

Gross Revenue                            = $46.3m
NPI                                            = $36.4m
DPU Available For Distribution   = $24.7m
DPU                                           = 1.11 cents
Total Debt                                   = $877m
Gearing                                       = 31.2%
Interest Cover                             = 4.9
Avg Interest Rate                        = 3.13%
Unencumbered Asset Ratio        = 42%
NAV (Ajusted)                          = 0.94cents
Total Assets                               =$2,808,142,000
Total Liabilities                         =$958,640,000
Net Assets                                 = $1,849,502,000
Free Float                                  = 60% (exclude YTL &AIA)

SingPost Q2FY2012/2013

Revenue                                        = $153.7M
Underlying Net Profit                    = 32.7M
Operating Profit                            = $43.273M
Net Profit                                      = $30.6M

Mail  Revenue                             = $105.5M (Profit $33.1M)
Logistics Revenue                       = $55.3M (Profit $2.3M)
Retail Revenue                            = $17.9M (Profit $3.1M)
Others (Profit)                             = $4.763M

Net Debt                                    = 0.8X
EBITDA/Interest                        = 17.1
EPS                                           = 1.540 cents
NAV                                         = 34.53 cents

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Ascendas Indis Trust 2QFY2012/2013

Results for 2Q FY2012/2013 released on 25th Oct 2012

DPU                                                      =  1.2 cents
Total Property Income                            =  $31.9m
NPI                                                        = $19.0m
Income Available For Dist                       = 1.34 cents
DPU                                                       = 1.20 cents
NAV                                                       = 0.64 cents
Interest Cover                                          = 4.1
Gearing                                                    = 22%
Percentage Fixed Rate Debt                     = 100%
Average Cost Of Debt                              = 6.1%
Debt Headroom (40% Gearing)                = $230m

Currently at S$1 to INR 44.1. Largest tenant account for 5% of portfolio rent. A $100m Private Placement at 72 cents this quarter. SGD strengthen against IDR by 16% yoy.

Suntec Reit Q3FY2012

Results of Q3FY2012 released on 25/10/2012

DPU (Q4FY2011)                       =    2.350cts
Net Property Income                    =    $38,400,000
Income Available For Distribution =    $52,800,000

Total Assets  =   $7,493,000,000
Total Debts   =   $2,955,000,000
Net Assets     =  $4,427,000,000
EPS               = 1.494 cents
NAV              = $1.946

Debt-to-Asset Ratio = 37.8%
Interest Cover          = 3.9

Corporate Rating = "Baa2"
Average All-in Financing Cost  = 2.85%

Avg Rent PSF = $10.10 psf per month. Significant drop in NPI due to AEI.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

First Reit Q3FY2012

Results for Q3FY2012 released on 24/10/2012.

NAV (as at 31th 2011)  = 79.07 cents
DPU (Q4FY2011)         = 1.68 cents
Annualized DPU            = 7.17 cents
Total Assets                   = $646,966,000
Total Liability                = $147,591,000
Total Borrowing            = $97,000,000
Net Property Income      = $14,175,000
Distributable Income       = $10,615,000

Monday, October 15, 2012

K-Green 3QFY2012

Revenue                                         $17,033K
Net Profits                                     $3,534K
Net Assets                                     $659,326K
Cash & Cash Equiv                        $28,982K
EPS                                               1.81 cents (1HFY2012 : 1.25 cents)
Adjusted NAV                               $1.05 (as at 30th Sept 2012)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

SPH FY2012

Operating Revenue                           $1,292,736K
Newspaper & Mag Revenue            $1,002,762K
Property Revenue                             $191,421K
Others Revenue                                $78,730K
Net Profit After Tax                         $369,358K
Total Assets                                     $4,057,245,000
Total Liabilities                               $1,732,183,000
Net Assets                                        $2,325,062,000
CAsh Equiv at End Of Period          $372,459,000
EPS                                                  23 cents
NAV                                                 $1.39

Monday, October 8, 2012

Courts IPO - Beware

Courts is going for IPO again. I believe they were listed before and delisted at below NAV. Now, they are going to the market for more money. Their margin are razor thin for the kind of industry they are in. I see more downside than upside in this sort of IPO.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Infinite QE

Ben Bernanke proposed an infinite QE until significant economic objectives are met. He has the printing press. So do not fight the Fed. If you are still all in cash, you find have to start to find ways to prevent the dollar value from eroding. Between Ben and Draghi, I think they have effectively taken the "tail risk" of total economic collapse off the table. I also do not think they made the decisions independently of each other.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

SPH - Share Buyback

SPH started its share buyback since 2008. It purchased 500K shares at $3.96 yesterday. I believe this would support the price at around this level. I would expect yer-end DPS to be around 17 cents.

This is an underestimated stock as most people think that print media will decline due to online media growth. However, I think any decline in SPH print business in terms of revenues and profits will be muted as most of adv revenue come from display advertisements which is not easily taken over by online media. Also, SPH business is buffeted by a quasi-REIT business with low gearing and a stable magazines business. Over the years, circulation show little growth but not significant decline either. In other words, not an exciting stock but will provide stability in income and little capital erosion over time.

Monday, August 27, 2012

SPH Clementi Mall

In late 2009, SPH together with NTUC FairPrice and NTUC Income made a bid for Clementi Mall at a hefty price of $541M, a cool 41.9% above the next highest bid of $382M. SPH share price immediately took a hit as everyone unanimously conluded that the bid price is way too high. It is probably still true today that SPH overbid for Clementi Mall at the expense of shareholders.

The consolation however is the recent asset evaluation done by Knight Frank for SPH three properties (includiing site at Sengkang). KF valuated Clementi Mall at $598m based on current market conditions.Hopefully this make those shareholders feel vindicated. However, it could have been a MUCH BETTER deal if SPH had been more prudent in its bid of Clementi Mall.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Problem Of Being Not Invested

I just went to the Bank recently to create a new fixed deposit account for amount I received recently from some third-party organizaion. I did not want to invest this sum as the market has gone up a bit recently. I was quite surprised that the rate is 0.15% for 6 months and 0.25% for 12 months. I thought to myself what would have happen if I am totally in cash in the kast few years or have gotten out due to the volatility in 2010 and 2011???? What much would I have lost without being keeping myself invested??? By keeping myself invested, I would still be better than if I had been in cash even if the market got to go down by 20-30% in the next few months. The current environment simply do not reward but instead penalise heavily those who stay 100% in cash.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

SembCorp 2QFY2012

Revenue                       = $2,668M
Net Profit                     = $191M
EPS                             =  10.7 cents

Profit From Operations
Utilities                         = $155.2M
Marine                         = $170.8M
Urban Dev                   = $9.6M
Other Businesses          = $4.5M
Corporate                    = ($3.8M)
Total                            = $336.3M

NAV                            = 2.30
Interest Cover               = 13
ROE                             = 17.1%
Gearing Ratio                = 0.04
Free Cash Flow            = $35M (1HFY2012)

Thursday, August 2, 2012


Results released on 2/8/2012.

Gross Revenue                                    = $45,799K
NPI                                                    =$30,737K
Distributable Amount                           =$17,121K
EPS                                                   =0.93 cents
DPU                                                   = 0.79 cents
Total Assets                                        =$1,586,115K
Total Liabilities                                    =$370,558K
NAV                                                   = 55.74cents
Gearing                                               = 9.3%

Monday, July 30, 2012

SingPost Q1FY2012/2013

Revenue                                      = $151.6M
Underlying Net Profit                   = 36.6M
Net Profit                                    = $38.1M

Mail  Revenue                             = $100.9M (Profit $34.6M)
Logistics Revenue                       = $57.1M (Profit $3.1M)
Retail Revenue                            = $18.6M (Profit $3.6M)
Others (Profit)                             = $7.438M

Net Debt                                    = 0.6X
EBITDA/Interest                        = 18.1
EPS                                           = 1.820 cents
NAV                                         = 34.48 cents

Sunday, July 29, 2012


Q1FY2013 relaeased on 27/7/2012

Revenue                         = $275.2M
Operating Expenses       = $245.1M
Operating Profit             = $43.9M
EPS                                 = 2.4 cents\
NTA                                = 53.6 cents

Rail                                   = $25M
Bus                                    = (5.2M)
Taxi                                   = 1.5M
Rental                                = $16.2M
Adv                                    = $4.5M
Engr & Svcs                       = $0.1M

Total Assets                        = $1781.1M
Total Liabilities                   = $952M
Gearing                               = 0.15

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

SAT Q1FY2012/2013

Results released on 26/7/2012

Revenue                                    = $437.9m
Operating Profit                         = $39.3m
PATMI                                     = $41.3m
Net Margin                                = 9.4%
Debt-to-Equity                          = 0.11
EPS                                           = 3.7 cents
NAV                                         = $1.39
Cash & Cash Equiv                    = $533.8m

Key costs are Staff Costs ($194.1m) and Raw Materials (90.3m)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Ascendas India Trust 1QFY2012/2013

Results for 1Q FY2012/2013 released on 24th Jul 2012

DPU                                                      =  1.2 cents
Total Property Income                            =  $32.0m
NPI                                                        = $17.8m
Income Available For Dist                       = 1.33 cents
DPU                                                       = 1.20 cents
NAV                                                       = 0.59 cents
Interest Cover                                          = 4.2
Gearing                                                    = 33%
Percentage Fixed Rate Debt                     = 100%
Average Cost Of Debt                              = 6%

Currently at S$1 to INR 43.5. Largest tenant account for 5% of portfolio rent.

First Reit 2QFY2012

Results for Q2FY2012 released on 24/7/2012.

NAV (as at 31th 2011)  = 79.51 cents
DPU (Q4FY2011)         = 1.93 cents (include 0.34 cents from divestment of Adam Road Property)
Annualized DPU            = 7.07 cents
Total Assets                   = $649,640,000
Total Liability                = $148,525,000
Total Debt                      = $98,300,000
Net Property Income      = $13,900,000
Distributable Income       = $12,200,000
Debt to Property Valuation Ratio = 15.9%
Interest Cover                  = 11.8

Based on $8.7m gain in the Adam Road Property divestment, it amount to approx to $1.30 per shr.So, $1.30/0.34 is about 4. Hence, expect the gain to be distributed in 4 quarters starting from 3QFY2011.

StarHillGlobal Reit 2QFY2012

Results released on 26/4/2012.

Gross Revenue                            = $46.4m
NPI                                            = $37.1m
DPU Available For Distribution   = $23.3m
DPU                                           = 1.08 cents
Total Debt                                   = $860m
Gearing                                       = 30.5%
Interest Cover                             = 4.8
Avg Interest Rate                        = 3.16%
Unencumbered Asset Ratio        = 42%
NAV (Ajusted)                          = 0.94 cents
Net Assets                                 = $1,850,897,000
Free Float                                  = 60% (exclude YTL &AIA)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Suntec Reit Q2FY2012

Results of Q2FY2012 released on 19/7/2012

DPU (Q4FY2011)                       =    2.361cts
Net Property Income                    =    $45,430,000
Income Available For Distribution =    $52,961,000

Total Assets  =   $7,485,979,000
Total Debts   =   $2,934,682,000
Net Assets     =  $4,551,297,000
EPS               = 1.71 cents
NAV              = $1.979

Debt-to-Asset Ratio = 37.5%
Interest Cover          = 4.2

Corporate Rating = "Baa2"
Average All-in Financing Cost  = 2.85%

Suntec Reit is trading far below is NAV

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

K-Green Q3FY2012

Revenue                                        $22,954,000
Net Profits                                     $4,318,000
Net Assets                                     $675,504,000
Cash & Cash Equiv                        $40,551,000
EPS                                                0.69 cents (1HFY2012 : 1.25 cents)
DPU                                               3.13 cents
Adjusted NAV                                $1.04 (excluding distribution payable)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

SPH 3QFY2012

Operating Revenue                          $336,149,000
Newspaper & Mag Revenue            $261,369,000
Property Revenue                             $48,682,000
Others Revenue                                $21,789,000
Net Profit After Tax                         $99,780,000
Total Assets                                     $3,911,002,000
Total Liabilities                               $1,691,650,000
Net Assets                                        $2,219,552,000
CAsh Equiv at End Of Period          $253,900,000
EPS                                                  6 cents (YTD 17 cents)
NAV                                                 $1.33

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Higgs boson: it's unofficial! Cern scientists discover missing particle

Rejoice!!!! The standard model for particle physics is completed. Now, move on to dark matter, dark energy, string theory, unification of gravity with weak/strong forces etc. Maybe, probably beyond our lifetime, investigate at scales of close to planck's constant.Maybe notion of length, mass and time may be turned upisde down at these scales.

There comes a time in a scientist's life when the weight of evidence can no longer be ignored. That moment came today for physicists at Cern, near Geneva, home of the Large Hadron Collider, who announced overwhelming evidence for the obscure but profoundly important Higgs boson, the particle that sparked the greatest hunt in modern science.
In presentations given to a packed auditorium at the laboratory on Wednesday morning, and webcast around the world, the leaders of two research teams, who worked independently of each other, said they had spotted a new particle amid the microscopic flashes of primordial fire created inside the world's most powerful atom smasher.
Cern stopped short of claiming official discovery of the Higgs boson, even as many physicists conceded the evidence was now so compelling they had surely found the missing particle.
Formal confirmation of the discovery is expected within months, though it could take several years for scientists to work out whether they have found the simplest kind of Higgs particle that theories predict, or part of a more complex picture: for example, one of a larger family of Higgs bosons. The discovery of more than one kind of Higgs particle would open the door to an entirely new realm of physics.
"Is it a Higgs boson or not? Well, it has been found using techniques tuned for the Standard Model Higgs. A different object might have stepped in, but it is quite unlikely in my humble opinion," said Tommaso Dorigo, a scientist on the CMS experimental team at Cern. The Standard Model Higgs boson is the most simplest proposed version of particle.
The queue for the auditorium left some physicists struggling for a seat to hear the announcement. Those inside broke into applause when Peter Higgs, the 83-year-old father of the particle, entered the room. "Cern should really build a larger auditorium. The present one is nice and cosy, but it is embarrassing and sad to see many distinguished colleagues queueing up at five in the morning knowing that they have a slim chance to get a seat, after working for 20 years on finding the Higgs boson," said Dorigo.
Scientists and engineers at the lab, many exhausted from working round the clock in recent weeks, clapped and whistled as Joe Incandela and Fabiola Gianotti, the respective heads of the Large Hadron Collider detector teams called CMS and Atlas, presented their results for the first time. Both teams saw the particle, which has a mass of around 125 to 126 GeV, about 130 times the mass of a proton.
"It's hard not to get excited by these results," said Cern research director, Sergio Bertolucci.
The lab's director general, Rolf Dieter Heuer, said: "We have reached a milestone in our understanding of nature." He later added: "As a layman I would now say I think we have it" – meaning the Higgs.

They have worked hard and long for this day. The particle, which is unlike any other known to exist, was proposed 48 years ago, when physicists worked on the laws of nature with pen and paper instead of the sleek, high-end laptops they carry around today. The hunt has spanned decades and occupied thousands of researchers from tens of countries. For some, this has been their life's work.
There is never a bad time for good news, but Cern will be relieved to have made the breakthrough before the machine shuts down for almost two years at the end of 2012, when engineers move in to carry out work for the accelerator to run at its full design energy.
The discovery of the Higgs particle ranks as one of the most important scientific advances of the past 100 years. It proves there is an invisible energy field that pervades the vacuum of the known universe. This field is thought to give mass to the smallest building blocks of matter, the quarks and electrons that make up atoms. Without the field, or something like it, there would be no planets, stars, or life as we know it.
While scientists work to understand the new particle, the discovery raises a quandary for the Nobel committee that must now decide who deserves credit for the work. Traditionally, Nobel prizes go to no more than three people, but six physicists published papers on the theory in 1964, and others laid important groundwork beforehand or developed the theory later.
Peter Higgs at Edinburgh University was the first to point out in 1964 that a new particle, the eponymous boson, was a by-product of the mass-giving field. That was a crucial step, because it gave scientists a smoking gun to hunt for in their experiments. One of the original gang of six, Robert Brout at the Free University in Brussels, died last year. The others are Francois Englert from Belgium, Tom Kibble from the UK, and Dick Hagen and Gerry Guralnik in the US.

Peter Higgs said: "I am astounded at the amazing speed with which these results have emerged. They are a testament to the expertise of the researchers and the elaborate technologies in place.
"I never expected this to happen in my lifetime and shall be asking my family to put some champagne in the fridge."

According to the theory, all of the particles in the newborn universe were massless and hurtled around at the speed of light. But one trillionth of a second after the big bang, the Higgs field switched on, turning the vacuum of space into a kind of cosmic glue.
Some particles feel the Higgs field more than others. The quarks that make up atomic nuclei feel a lot of drag from the field, and become heavy for subatomic particles. Others, such as electrons, feel less drag and gain much less weight. Particles of light, called photons, feel no drag at all, and so remain massless and keep moving at the speed of light.
To find the Higgs particle, physicists at Cern sifted through the subatomic debris of more than 1,000 trillion proton collisions inside the Large Hadron Collider. Occasionally, these collisions might create a Higgs boson, which immediately disintegrates into more familiar particles. To spot the boson, the scientists have to look for unusual excesses of the particles it decays into, which appear as bumps in their data.
Particle physicists use a "sigma" scale to rank the certainty of their results which ranges from one to five. One and two sigma results come and go and are often no more than statistical fluctuations in the data. A three sigma result counts as an official "observation", but five sigma is usually needed to claim a discovery, amounting to less than a one in a million chance that it is wrong.
Evidence for the Higgs boson has risen sharply in the past seven months. In December, the Atlas and CMS teams at Cern reported what appeared to be hints of a Higgs particle weighing about 125gigaelectronvolts (GeV), roughly 130 times heavier than a proton.
On Wednesday, that evidence became overwhelming. The Atlas team reported a particle at 126.5GeV with a confidence of five sigma, while the CMS team found a particle with a mass of 125.3 GeV with a 4.9 sigma confidence.

At the end of the announcement, the room erupted into a standing ovation of whoops, cheers and whistles. Peter Higgs, reached for a tissue and wiped a tear from his eye.

Sunday, April 29, 2012


Results released on 30/4/2012.

Gross Revenue                                    = $45,565K
NPI                                                    =$30,857K
Distributable Amount                           =$15,008K
EPU                                                    =0.82 cents
DPU                                                   = 0.69 cents
Total Assets                                        =$1,607,707K
Total Liabilities                                    =$374,827K
NAV                                                   = 56.62 cents

Friday, April 27, 2012

SingPost Q4 FY2011/2012

Results released on 27/4/2012.

Underlying Profit                    = $26.8 M
EPS (Q4 FY2011/2012)         = 1.553
DPU Q3 FY2011/2012           = 2.5 cents
Net Gearing                            = 0.766x
EBITDA to Interest Expenses = 17.2x
Total Liability                           = $770.4M
Borrowing                               = $505.7M
Cash & Cash Equiv                 = $617.4M
Net Assets                               = $659.8M
NAV  (as at 31th Dec 2011)    = 34.93 cents

Domestic Mail                         = $96,370,000
Logistic                                   = $53,959,000
Retail                                       = $18,154,000

Ascendas India Trust Q4 FY2011/2012

Results released on 27/4/2012

Total Property Income                         = INR 1353m ($34.3m)
Net Property Income                           = INR 765m ($19.4m)
Profit Before Tax                                 = INR 554m ($14m)
Distributable Income                            = INR 442m ($11.2m)
DPU                                                    = INR 57.5 (1.46 cents)
SGD/INR FX Rate = 39.5

Interest Cover                      = 4.0
% Of Fixed Debt Rate          = 100%
Gearing                                 = 29%
Weighted Abg Cost Of Debt = 6.2%
NAV                                     = 0.71 cents

CMPH - Q1FY2012

Results released on 27/4/2012.

Revenue                                         = HK$370,127K
Net Profit After Tax                        = HK$179,502K
Net Profit Attributable to Company = HK$112,184K
Non-controlling Interest                   = HK$67,318K
EPS                                                = HK 13.13 cents
NTA                                               = HK$5.02

Thursday, April 26, 2012

StarHill Global Reit Q1FY2012

Results released on 26/4/2012.

Gross Revenue                            = $46m
NPI                                            = $37.3m
DPU Available For Distribution   = $23.3m
DPU                                           = 1.07 cents
Total Debt                                   = $859m
Gearing                                       = 30.4%
Interest Cover                             = 4.8
Avg Interest Rate                        = 3.26%
Unencumbered Asset Ratio        = 42%
NAV                                         = 0.94 cents
Net Assets                                 = $1,859,927,000
Free Float                                  = 60% (exclude YTL &AIA)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Suntec Reit Q1FY2012

Results of Q1FY2012 released on 24/4/2012

DPU (Q4FY2011)                       =    2.453cts
Net Property Income                    =    $49,000,000
Income Available For Distribution =    $54,877,000

Total Assets  =   $7,500,419,000
Total Debts   =   $2,941,490,000
Net Assets     =  $4,558,929,000
NAV              = $1.987

Debt-to-Asset Ratio = 37.4%
Interest Cover          = 4.2

Corporate Rating = "Baa2"
Average All-in Financing Cost  = 2.78%

Suntec Reit is trading far below is NAV.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

First Reit Q1FY2012

Results for Q1FY2012 released on 20/4/2012.

NAV (as at 31th 2011)  = 79.99 cents
DPU (Q4FY2011)         = 1.93 cents (include 0.34 cents from divestment of Adam Road Property)
Annualized DPU            = 7.76 cents
Total Assets                   = $654,773,000
Total Liability                = $151,557,000
Total Debt                      = $97,373,000
Net Property Income      = $13,867,000
Distributable Income       = $12,138,000
Debt to Property Valuation Ratio = 16%
Number Of Units in Usse             = 629,104,828

Based on $8.7m gain in the Adam Road Property divestment, it amount to approx to $1.30 per shr.So, $1.30/0.34 is about 4. Hence, expect the gain to be distributed in 4 quarters starting from 3QFY2011.

Monday, April 16, 2012

K-Green Q1 FY2012

Profit After Tax                 = $3.5million
EPS                                   = 0.56 cents
NAV (at 31 March 2012)  = $1.07
Cash Generated from Ops = $11.7 million
Revenue                             = $19 million
Net Assets                          = $671,186K
Net Liability                       = $15,005K

Friday, April 13, 2012

SPH Q2FY2012

Revenue                           = $302,786K
Revenue (Newspaper & Magazine) = $234,534K
Net Profit After Taxation = $83,864K
Total Assets                     = $3,690,750K
Total Liabilities               = $1,463,212K
Net Assets                        = $2,227,538K
Cash & Cash Equiv          = $244,324K
EPS                                  = 0.05 cents
NAV                                 = $1.34

Monday, April 2, 2012

DBS-Danamon Dilution Estimate

I did a quick calculation on the impact of dilution on DBS share price for the other shareholders other than Temasek. Since Temasek own 29.5% of DBS and will receive its 67% stake in Danamon entirely in stock at $14.07 apiece, we can ignore Temasek in our calculation as it is a matter of transferring ownership from right hand to left hand. The stock dilution for the other shareholders is around 1.07B for the excess paid over market price in DBS stock to Temasek (2/3 of (4.8-3.2)).

For the other shareholders of Danamon, they will receive cash for the remaining stake for a sum of $2.2B. Since this value is calculated at a premium of 56% over the last trading price of Danamon before the announcement, the excess value paid over the market price is 0.77B. The market capitalisation of DBS (excluding Temasek) is around 20B (estimate at $14.18 before announcement).

If we will to assume that the excess value is shared by the remaining shareholder of DBS (excluding Temasek) is 0.77*2/3 = 0.52, then the total dilution is estimated to be around (0.52+1.07)/20 = 8%.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

DBS to buy Bank Danamon

This is the big announcement today. As I hold DBS shares, of course I am interested in the details of the deal. From what I gathered, two thirds of the deal will be financed by issuance of new shares and one thirds through internal cash and senior debt issuance. I have serious reservations about the price of the deal as I think Temasek may be the main beneficiary at the expense of other shareholders. The proposed purchase price at a book value of 2.62 is too high although lower than the Dao Heng's 3.33 (which was evidently overpriced). However, since the major portion of the deal is financed in stock at a share price of $14.07, it may provide some support to the share price at around $14.

DBS, controlled by Singapore’s state-run Temasek Holdings Pte , said it will pay its parent company 45.2 trillion rupiah ($4.9 billion) in new shares for its 67 percent stake and buy the remaining stock from other shareholders for 21.2 trillion rupiah in cash. Temasek will increase its stake in DBS to 40.4 percent from 29.5 percent.
DBS will issue 439 million new shares at S$14.07 apiece to buy the stake from Temasek. DBS will offer to buy the remaining shares at 7,000 rupiah each, a 52 percent premium from Danamon’s closing price of 4,600 rupiah on March 30. That amounts to 2.62 times Danamon’s book value, higher than the median of 2.2 for deals worth more than $1 billion in the global banking industry over the past five years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The transaction would be DBS’s biggest purchase, eclipsing the $5.4 billion it paid for Hong Kong’s Dao Heng Bank Group Ltd. in 2001. In that deal it paid 3.33 times book value, according to Bloomberg data.

In June 2003, Temasek and Deutsche Bank AG (DBK), Germany’s biggest bank, through Asia Financial Indonesia, paid 3.08 trillion rupiah for a 51 percent stake in Danamon. Temasek now owns all of Asia Financial through Fullerton Financial.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Create Pluripotent Human Stem Cells

An article from the economist.

A PARTICULAR sheep has haunted stem-cell researchers for years. In 1996 Ian Wilmut, of the Roslyn Institute, in Edinburgh, removed the nucleus of an ovine egg cell and replaced it with that of an adult cell. The resulting hybrid was grown into a tiny embryo known as a blastocyst, implanted into the womb of a surrogate mother, and went on to become Dolly, the world’s most famous ewe.
This trick—cloning an adult mammal by nuclear transplantation—has never, as far as anyone knows, been repeated on humans. Apart from the technical difficulties, the ethical objections have dissuaded most serious researchers from even trying. But those researchers would like to get to the blastocyst stage, because that would allow them to make what are known as pluripotent stem cells, which are cells that can go on to turn into a wide variety of other cell types. In the immediate future, such cells might be used (because they are genetically identical to known individuals) to screen drugs for gene-specific side effects. In the longer term they might yield transplantable organs with the same genotype as the recipient, thus eliminating the problem of rejection.

This week Scott Noggle of the New York Stem Cell Foundation, a charitable research institute, and his colleagues report a step towards that goal. In a paper in Nature they describe a way of creating pluripotent human stem cells (albeit imperfectly, since the cells in question end up with two sets of chromosomes) by nuclear transplantation. Intriguingly, they seem, at the same time, to have dealt with one of the ethical objections to this sort of work. This is: how do you get your hands on enough human eggs to do it in the first place?
Doing well by doing good
In America, fertile women sometimes sell eggs to sterile members of their sex for reproductive purposes. Such sales are not frowned on if no coercion is involved. Bioethicists have, however, been reluctant to sanction egg sales for research. Indeed, California and Massachusetts, two important centres of stem-cell science, forbid the practice. Dieter Egli, one of Dr Noggle’s co-authors, once tried to get round this restriction by asking women in Massachusetts to donate eggs to a project he was undertaking in that state. He and his colleagues advertised extensively and received many calls. But when the inquirers learned what was involved, most of them shied away. The main deterrent, it turned out, was the lack of payment.
In 2006 the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) suggested a possible solution. Scientists might pay for eggs, they opined, so long as a suitable committee monitored the exchange. The money, the ISSCR suggested, should not be enough to provide “undue inducement” for women to sell their eggs.
In the study they have just published, Dr Noggle and Dr Egli tested this idea out. They worked in New York state, which has, since 2009, allowed the use of public funds to buy eggs for research. And, to be sure there was no undue inducement, they approached only women who had already decided (in order to help another woman’s fertility) to sell an egg. They offered these women the same price, $8,000, to sell their eggs for research instead.
It worked. And, armed with 270 eggs, the researchers got down to business. They swapped some of the eggs’ nuclei with those of adult male skin cells—basically, the same procedure Sir Ian used to create Dolly. Using a pulse of calcium ions as a stimulant, they persuaded the cells to start dividing. However, the process of division stopped abruptly when between six and ten daughter cells had been created.
That, Dr Noggle and Dr Egli reasoned, might be caused by problems linked either to the adult cell nucleus, or to the process by which the egg’s nucleus was extracted. To test this, they took some of the remaining eggs and did a different experiment. Instead of enucleating them, they kept them intact and inserted the adult cell’s nucleus alongside the original one. In this case, development proceeded apace, resulting in a blastocyst. Dr Noggle and Dr Egli were then able to create pluripotent stem cells from their tiny embryo—but these had chromosomes both from the egg and the skin cell, making them useless for therapy.
Despite that wrinkle, this piece of research marks a turning point. The next step is to try to create stem cells without the leftover chromosomes from the egg. If that can be done, the new method may take over from the existing lash-up by which pluripotent stem cells with the genomes of particular individuals are made using transcription factors. A transcription factor is a molecule that regulates gene activity, and a particular combination of four of them has been found to turn ordinary body cells into something that looks remarkably like a pluripotent stem cell. “Remarkably like”, however, is not the same as “identical”. The route Dr Noggle and Dr Egli are taking may deal with that distinction.
Which is not to say that there will be no further controversy—at least, in the United States. The laws in California and Massachusetts, for example, have not been changed, so in those states eggs will continue to be in short supply. Moreover, America’s National Institutes of Health will not pay for research on stem cells, such as these, that are derived from embryos created for research. Other countries may not be so squeamish. China, for one, is particularly interested in stem-cell research. No doubt its scientists are reading Dr Noggle’s paper with interest.

Hype Over Hope

An article from the economist on hype over hope.

THE unrelenting pace of scientific accomplishment often outstrips the progress of moral thought, leaving people struggling to make sense, initially at least, of whether heart transplants are ethical or test-tube babies desirable. Over the past three decades scientists have begun to investigate a branch of medicine that offers astonishing promise—the ability to repair the human body and even grow new organs—but which destroys early-stage embryos to do so. In “The Stem Cell Hope” Alice Park, a science writer at Time magazine, chronicles the scientific, political, ethical and personal struggles of those involved in the work.
Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent: they have the ability to change into any one of the 200-odd types of cell that compose the human body; but they can do so only at a very early stage. Once the bundle has reached more than about 150 cells, they start to specialise. Research into repairing severed spinal cords or growing new hearts has thus needed a supply of stem cells that come from entities that, given a more favourable environment, could instead grow into a baby.

Immediately after the announcement of the birth of Dolly the sheep—the clone of an adult ewe whose mammary cells Ian Wilmut had tricked into behaving like a developing embryo—American scientists were hauled before the nation’s politicians who were uneasy at the implication that people might also be cloned. Concern at the speed of scientific progress had previously stalled publicly funded research into contentious topics, for example, into in vitro fertilisation. But it did not stop the work from taking place: instead the IVF industry blossomed in the private sector, funded by couples desperate for a baby and investors who had spotted a lucrative new market.
That is also what happened with human stem cells. After a protracted struggle over whether to ban research outright—which pitted Nancy Reagan, whose husband suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, against a father who asked George Bush’s advisers, “Which one of my children would you kill?”—Mr Bush blocked the use of government money to fund research on any new human embryonic stem-cell cultures. But research did not halt completely: Geron, a biopharmaceuticals company based in Menlo Park, California, had started “to mop up this orphaned innovation”, as Ms Park puts it, by recruiting researchers whose work brought them into conflict with the funding restrictions.
Meanwhile, in South Korea a maverick scientist claimed not only to have cloned human embryos but also to have created patient-specific cultures that could, in theory, be used to patch up brain damage or grow a kidney. Alas, he was wrong. But a Japanese scientist did manage to persuade adult skin cells to act like stem cells. If it proves possible to scale up his techniques, that would remove the source of the controversy over stem-cell research.
Three months after he took office, Barack Obama lifted restrictions on federal funding for research on new stem-cell cultures, saying that he thought sound science and moral values were consistent with one another. But progress has been slow: the first human trials in America, involving two people with spinal-cord injuries who have been injected with stem cells developed by Geron, are only just under way. The sick children who first inspired scientists to conduct research into stem cells in order to develop treatments that might help them are now young adults. As Ms Park notes, the fight over stem-cell research is not over, and those who might benefit from stem-cell medicine remain in need.

Stem Cell Research

An article from the economist which I am to be very interesting.

FOURTEEN years ago James Thomson of the University of Wisconsin isolated stem cells from human embryos. It was an exciting moment. The ability of such cells to morph into any other sort of cell suggested that worn-out or damaged tissues might be repaired, and diseases thus treated—a technique that has come to be known as regenerative medicine. Since then progress has been erratic and (because of the cells’ origins) controversial. But, as two new papers prove, progress there has indeed been.
This week’s Lancet published results from a clinical trial that used embryonic stem cells in people. It follows much disappointment. In November, for example, a company in California cancelled what had been the first trial of human embryonic stem cells, in those with spinal injuries. Steven Schwartz of the University of California, Los Angeles, however, claims some success in treating a different problem: blindness. His research, sponsored by Advanced Cell Technology, a company based in Massachusetts, involved two patients. One has age-related macular degeneration, the main cause of blindness in rich countries. The other suffers from Stargardt’s macular dystrophy, its main cause in children. Dr Schwartz and his team coaxed embryonic stem cells to become retinal pigment epithelium—tissue which supports the rod and cone cells that actually respond to light—then injected 50,000 of them into one eye of each patient, with the hope that they would bolster the natural supply of these cells.
The result was a qualified success. First and foremost, neither patient had an adverse reaction to the transplant—always a risk when foreign tissue is put into someone’s body. Second, though neither had vision restored to any huge degree, each was able, four months after the transplant, to distinguish more letters of the alphabet than they could beforehand.

Whether Dr Schwartz’s technique will prove truly useful remains to be seen. Experimental treatments fail far more often than they succeed. But the second paper, published in Nature by Lawrence Goldstein of the University of California, San Diego, and his colleagues, shows how stem cells can be of use even if they do not lead directly to treatment.
Since 2006 researchers have been able to reprogram adult cells into an embryonic state, using proteins called transcription factors. Though these reprogrammed cells, known as induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, might one day be used for treatment, their immediate value is that they are also an excellent way to understand illness. Using them, it is possible to make pure cultures of types of cells that have gone wrong in a body. Crucially, the cultured cells are genetically identical to the diseased ones in the patient.
Dr Goldstein is therefore using iPS cells to try to understand Alzheimer’s disease. The brains of those with advanced Alzheimer’s are characterised by deposits, known as plaques, of a protein-fragment called beta-amyloid, and by tangles of a second protein, called tau. But how these plaques and tangles are related remains unclear. To learn more, Dr Goldstein took tissue from six people: two with familial Alzheimer’s, a rare form caused by a known genetic mutation; two with sporadic Alzheimer’s, whose direct cause is unknown; and two unaffected individuals who acted as controls. He reprogrammed the cells collected into iPS cells, then nudged them to become nerve cells.
In three of the four Alzheimer’s patients these lab-made nerve cells did, indeed, show higher levels of beta-amyloid and tau—and also of another characteristic of the disease, an enzyme called active GSK3-beta. Since he now had the cells in culture, Dr Goldstein could investigate the relationship between the three.
To do so he treated the cultured cells with drugs. He found that a drug which attacked beta-amyloid directly did not lead to lower levels of tau or active GSK3-beta; but a drug which attacked one of beta-amyloid’s precursor molecules did have that effect. That is useful information, for it suggests where a pharmacological assault on the disease might best be directed.
In the short term, at least, iPS-based studies of this sort are likely to yield more scientific value than clinical experiments of the type conducted by Dr Schwartz, even though they are not treatments in themselves. That will, though, require many more pluripotent cells. And at least one firm is selling a way to make billions of iPS cells for just that purpose. Its founder, appropriately, is Dr Thomson.