Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Use WinSCP to securely transfer files between local and remote computer

I have been using WinSCP to securely transfer files between my Windows PC and remote Linux servers for years, and is still using this handy tools until today.

Based on the implementation of the SSH protocol from PuTTY and FTP protocol from FileZilla, WinSCP is developed by Martin Prikryl back from 2000 and was probably the first ever GUI file transfer client for SSH. This awards winning open source application is licensed under GPL with the project migration to SourceForge.net repository in 2003. The project is now hosted in TeamForge since 2005 while still made available in SourceForge.net at the same time.

With WinSCP, you can connect to and transfer files with an SSH (Secure Shell) server running SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol) or SCP (Secure Copy Protocol) service. It can also connect to a normal FTP (File Transfer Protocol) server for unencrypted file transfer.

The main differences between SFTP and SCP are:

  • File transfer with SCP is generally faster than SFTP.
  • SFTP supports resume of incomplete file transfer while SCP doesn't.
  • SFTP supports file transfer bigger than 4GB while SCP supports file transfer up to 4GB only.
  • Recursive operations with directories (deletion, permissions change, etc.) is faster in SCP than SFTP.
Some interesting features of WinSCP includes:
  • Translated into multilingual.
  • Integration with Windows Explorer for drag&drop, URL detection, shortcut icons, etc.
  • Supports for scripting and command line interface.
  • Local and remote file manipulation such as create, copy, duplicate, move, delete, rename, compress, etc.
  • Compare local and remote directories.
  • Directory synchronization between local and remote folder.
  • Remote editing of text files with integrated text editor.
  • Portable version that doesn't need any installation is available.

WinSCP is also available as a plugin for file manager applications such as FAR and Altap Salamander.

Click here to go to the download page of WinSCP.

Monday, December 29, 2008

iCapital.biz Bhd (ICAP, 5108)

Established as a closed-end fund (CEF) with 140 million shares by now, iCapital.biz Bhd (ICAP, 5108) has been listed in the main board of Bursa Malaysia since October 2005.

Similar to unit trust funds, ICAP pools together money for investment in Malaysian securities and/or other permitted assets to gain revenue and profit for the benefit of its shareholders. The appointed fund manager who is in charge of ICAP's investment activities is Capital Dynamic Asset Management Sdn Bhd (CDAM) head by Mr Tan Teng Boo (陈鼎武), which has been operating for more than 10 years and manages more than 50 discreationary accounts for various types of investors.

Funds under CDAM's management have consistently outperformed the market, and recorded an attractive annual compounded rate of return of more than 20% for the period from April 1998 to September 2008. The graph below shows its performance benchmarked with KLCI.

According to ICAP's IPO prospectus, so far CDAM has never made any negative returns in any year, and registered positive returns in 1998, 2000 and 2002 despite the bearish general market.

The primary investment objective of ICAP is long-term capital appreciation of its investments, whilst dividend and/or interest income from these investments would be of secondary consideration.

Its investment policy is to allocate not more than 10% of its net asset value (NAV) in any single public listed company in Bursa Malaysia. It may also invest a maximum of 10% of its NAV in unlisted Malaysian companies. As disclosed in its 2008 Annual Report, its portfolio as at June 2008 is as follow:

The NAV of ICAP is calculated on every Wednesday and updated by the end of Thursday on their website as well as Bursa Malaysia's announcement website. Today its last announced NAV by 24-12-2008 stood at RM1.56 and its share price closed at RM1.37 on 26-Dec-2008. This mean its share price is at a 13% discount position from its NAV. The graph below shows its share price versus its NAV.

The best time to invest in a CEF is when the market is undervalued or when there is a lack of excessive optimism. If you intend to invest in ICAP, perhaps the technical analysis below can give you some clue about the timing.

Click here to visit the official website of ICAP.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for sharing of point of view only. It is not an advice or recommendation to buy or sell any of the mentioned stock counters. You should do your own homework before trading in Bursa Malaysia.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

About the Statutory Reserve Requirement (SRR)

Effective 1 December 2008, Bank Negara (BNM) reduced the Statutory Reserve Requirement (SRR) by 50 basis points from 4% to 3.5%, together with the reduction of Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) from 3.5% to 3.25%. The last adjustment to SRR rate was made 10 years ago, from 6% to 4% effective 16 September 1998.

The SRR is a monetary policy instrument available to BNM to manage liquidity and hence credit creation in the banking system. It is used to withdraw or inject liquidity when the excess or lack of liquidity in the banking system is perceived by BNM to be large and long-term in nature.

SRR is the amount of money set aside by banks (all commercial, merchant, investment, islamic banks) to be placed in their Statutory Reserve Accounts with BNM with zero interest. By lowering the SRR, the banks will have a reduced cost of funds, and can therefore help to preserve their profit margins by lending out the liquidated money and earn interest.

A reduction in SRR will inject a certain amount of liquidity into the financial system, which is expected to be lend out by the banks to finance more economic activities in the market. The recent move of 50 basis points SRR reduction by BNM is expected to release about RM2.7~3 billion ringgit back to the bank system.

Together with the 25 basis points reduction to the OPR at the same time, it is expected to have positive impact to the economy as the bank can now lend out more money to earn interest, and the business and consumer public can also borrow money from the bank with a lower interest rate following the reduction of OPR for consumption or investment purposes.

Click here to learn more about SRR.

Hint: Click on the "Older Posts" link to continue reading, or click here for a listing of all my past 3 months articles.