Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Malaysia national debt increased to 50.6% of GDP

According to the reply from Prime Minister Nazib Razak to Taiping MP Nga Kor Ming (倪可敏) in the parliament, the latest national debt of Malaysia now stood at RM378.3 billion, or 50.6% of the GDP.

This means that for every citizen in Malaysia, we are bearing a national debt of RM14,000 per person on average.

The national debt has surged by 19.1 billion during the 1st quarter of 2010! Compared with the national debt at RM230 billion when RMK-9 was just began, it has increased by RM148.3 billion within just 5 year! During 1997, our national debt was just 96 billion.

If the national debt continues to grow at a CAGR of 12%, by 2019, it will eventually reach RM1 trillion!

The alarm has already triggered, and the government as well as the citizen must wake up now, if we don't want to repeat the history of what is happening in Greece now!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Main differences among Intel 64-bit processors: Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, i3, i5, i7, ...

If you plan to buy a desktop computer with Intel 64-bit processor, you will find there are plenty of Intel processor families available in the market.

Of course, their obvious differences are on performance and price. Beside that, I have summarized some of their main differences from the technical points of view:

  • Core 2 Duo (E-series) - 2 cores, 2 threads; LGA 775 socket.
  • Core 2 Quad (Q-series) - 4 cores, 4 threads; LGA 775 socket.
  • Core i3 (500 series) - 2 cores, 4 threads; LGA 1156 socket; Integrated GPU; 4M cache.
  • Core i5 (600 series) - 2 cores, 4 threads; LGA 1156 socket; Integrated GPU; 4M cache.
  • Core i5 (700 series) - 4 cores, 4 threads; LGA 1156 socket; Turbo boost technology; 8M cache.
  • Core i7 (800 series) - 4 cores, 8 threads; LGA 1156 socket; Turbo boost technology; 8M cache.
  • Core i7 (900 series) - 4 cores, 8 threads; LGA 1366 socket; Turbo boost technology; 8M cache.

The current main stream Intel 64-bit processors should be those using LGA 1156 socket. Those in Core i5 (700 series) and Core i7 (800 series) worth consideration.

Performance wise, you can always refer to the PassMark CPU Benchmarks. It seems that Core i7 860 @ 2.80GHz performs very well, and Core i5 750 @ 2.67Ghz currently has the most attractive price/performance ratio.

For current price of the processors, you can always refer to the HardwareZone Price Guide.

The world is going towards Gigabit broadband, when will we have such speed at such price?

Japan KDDI is offering the Hikari One Home Gigabit broadband at the price of ¥5460 (RM198) a month using the Fibre-To-The-Home (FTTH) technology.

In Hong Kong, Hong Kong Broadband Network Limited (HKBN) is offering Gigabit broadband at the price of US$27 per month.

South Korea is also among the countries with the fastest broadband service, and the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) is currently working on plans to make Gigabit broadband available by the end of 2012 with FTTH.

Singapore is working on their Next Generation National Broadband Network, and OpenNet is going to offer Gigabit broadband at the price of S$15 per month per residential fibre connection.

With Gigabit broadband, watching High Definition IPTV is not a big deal, not to mention having very clear IP-phone service or excellent video conferencing quality.

Meanwhile, in Malaysia, the so-called high speed broadband UniFi offered by TM is only up to 20Mbps (50 times slower than Gigabit network), priced at RM249 per month, and currently only available in very limited areas only.

I think Gigabit broadband is a crucial infrastructure, and should be led and subsidized by the government instead of leaving it to the commercial company such as TM. Providing Gigabit FTTH at a low cost is a strategic move to boost broadband penetration in the country, which is also an important factor to retain and attract foreign investment to the country. The effect to the national economy is multifold, despite TM might not be willing to implement it because they'll lost money in the short term.

So, the government has to take the lead, and pump in money to make it happen. Instead of spending money on white elephant projects, why don't spend the money on crucial infrastructure project like Gigabit broadband?

Friday, June 18, 2010

SunCity looks more attractive than Sunway REIT

The limelight in this quiet month of June 2010, beside the FIFA World Cup soccer tournament, seems to be the IPO of Sunway REIT, so-called the largest REIT listing in Malaysia.

For this IPO, Sunway City (SunCity, 双威城, 6289) will inject 8 of its investment properties with total appraised value of RM3.729 billion into Sunway REIT as shown below.

This injection will be satisfied by RM2.7 billion in cash and 1.025 billion shares in Sunway REIT at RM1.00 par. Upon the completion of the listing of Sunway REIT, SunCity will own about 35% of the issued units subject to the over-allotment option being fully exercised.

Out of the RM2.7 billion cash received from this exercise, SunCity will receive net cash proceeds of RM1.2 billion, while the other RM1.5 billion will go to the other part owners of the 8 assets (mainly Government of Singapore Investment Corporation - GIC).

Although the listing of Sunway REIT will reduce SunCity's shares in the 8 properties from 60.3% to 35%, and therefore will lower down its near term earnings due to dilution of its stakes in those prime assets, the net cash proceeds of RM1.2 billion will effectively cover all its existing debts transforming its gearing ratio from current 0.49 to 0. This will save its borrowing interest cost immediately.

Sunway REIT is estimated to set an IPO price of RM0.97 to retail investors, and RM1.00 to institutional investors. Its NAV stood at RM0.97, which mean retail investors are not going to get any discount to buy its IPO. Its estimated dividend yield is 6.7%, which is comparatively lower than other REITs listed in KLSE.

As such, I think SunCity would look more attractive than Sunway REIT in this IPO. Beside being able to clear all its debt and turn to net cash position, SunCity currently has an unbilled sales of RM630 million.

SunCity is also aggressive in new property developments both locally and overseas. Their local projects including:
  • Sunway SPK 3 Harmoni (GDV RM161 million)
  • Sunway Rymba Hills (GDV RM270 million)
  • Sunway Velocity (GDV RM1.5 billion)
  • A’Marine (GDV RM200 million)
  • Converting a car park land beside Sunway Pyramid into a 28-storey commercial building with office and retail elements (proposed)
  • and more...

And their foreign projects including:
  • China - Sunway Guanghao project in Jiangyin (江阴双威广昊综合发展计划) (GDV RM492 million)
  • China – Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City project (中国-新加坡 天津生态城, GDV RM5 billion)
  • India - Sunway Opus Grand Residency in Ameenpur, Hyderabad (GDV RM1.2 billion)

Apart from these projects in China and India, the company is on the look-out for suitable land in Ho Chi Minh City (胡志明市). It also plans to undertake a joint-venture with Australand to develop 123 acres of industrial property near Sydney, worth about RM800 million.

Despite being affected by the implementation of IFRIC 15, SunCity undeniably looks attractive with improved financial position and aggressive development projects. Not to forget, they still strategically own at least 35% stake in Sunway REIT.

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.

References and related information:

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Online group purchase Dell computer at lower price with Dell Swarm

If you plan to buy a Dell computer (either laptop or desktop) with Intel processor (oops, not for AMD), you can possibly get it at a lower price in Dell Swarm website.

Dell Swarm Malaysia is an innovative website to enable anyone residing in Malaysia to group purchase computers with Dell Malaysia.

The group purchase option is called a Swarm, and will active for 72 hours (3 days) for buyers to place order. The more buyers swarm for it (up to a maximum of 15 committed buyers per Swarm), the more discount they will get. Buyers can also pledge for a lower price, and they'll get it if more buyers join the Swarm. Once the price is lowered as they wish, they'll become committed buyers then.

The price will be finalized when the Swarm ended, all buyers will get the same lowest price resulting from number of committed buyers as well as their pledging effort to bring the price further down. The buyers will get a unique coupon code via email, and they can proceed to Dell Malaysia's website to customize the items and place the order.

If you don't see a Swarm with the computer specs that you want, you can suggest for a new one by specifying your specs, and get your supporters to follow your suggestion. Every 2 weeks, the most popular suggested Swarm will be chosen to become an active Swarm.

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    Sunday, June 13, 2010

    Impact of IFRIC 15 on property stocks

    If you have any property stock in your portfolio, or you plan to buy any property stock, I have a very important message to share with you.

    Malaysia will implement a new accounting standard named as IFRIC 15, an interpretation issued by the International Financial Reporting Interpretations Committee (IFRIC) effective 1 July 2010. IFRIC has named this interpretation "Agreements for the Construction of Real Estate", which, what you guess is correct -- it will affect the accounting system of all the property developers.

    This radical change was made in response to criticisms from international investors and analysts that the current financial statements were inconsistently presented as well as being overly aggregated.
    Currently, it is a normal practice that property developer charge for progressive payments based on percentage of completion of the project, and once the developer received the payment (normally from the bank which the buyer financed for the property, or directly from the buyer if the property is bought in cash without financing), the amount of money will be booked into the accounting system of the developer as revenue received. For public listing property stocks, this revenue will be reported in their Quarterly Report, and is used to calculated their profit & loss.
    Under IFRIC 15, there is possibility that the property developer can only recognise this revenue at a lump-sum after the property is 100% completed and handed over to the buyer.

    Although IFRIC 15 clarifies that there is possibility for the "percentage of completion method" can be applied, it is unlikely in many jurisdictions that many agrrangements will meet the necessary criteria. Therefore, such arrangements will result in "deferring recognision of revenue until construction is complete", which affect the profit/loss booking in accounting.

    The greatest impact to property developers from this deferred recognision of revenue is that, we would see zero revenue generated in a project before its completion, and there are cost - labour, materials, project management, sales & marketing, etc. incurred during construction period. With zero revenue recorded but all the cost recorded, the P&L statement will show a red figure of lost.

    Then, when the property is completed and handed over, there will be a surge in revenue. By that time, the cost is also minimal as the construction has already completed. We will probably see a sudden big gain in the P&L then.

    Although this is a drastic change in accounting, bear in mind that there is nothing change in the fundamental of the business, as well as the cash flow of the company. This might cause confusion to investors if not handled properly.

    We can foresee that in case this happened:
    • Property developers who focus on highrise building (which normally development period is 3 years) are more affected than property developers who focus more on landed property (which normally the development period is 2 years).
    • Property developers who have large landbanks and a lot of development projects concurrently ongoing, are less affected than those with only a few projects running, as they can strategically schedule the development completion time more effectively.
    • Property stocks who also have other type of business (such as property management, plantation, mining, etc.) are less affected than those who only involved in property development.
    It is reported that the Real Estate and Housing Developers' Association (REHDA) of Malaysia has set up a task force to address and minimize issues arising from Malaysia's adoption of this IFRIC 15.

    Thursday, June 10, 2010

    My Panasonic ER417 electronic nose & ear hair trimmer/clipper

    How do you trim your nose hair? Or have you ever trimmed your nose hair? Normally we did it with a small scissors and a mirror, didn't we?

    I've just found something considerably safer, trim better and faster. Here is it.

    I redempt this battery operated Panasonic ER417 nose & ear hair trimmer with my credit card redemption points. This small and handy electronic device will provide you with a close and neat cut, thanks to its 60° blade.

    Operated with one AA size battery, it trims with its stainless steel blades that never touch your skin, which is  comfortable and safer. Its cover cap has a small mirror, allowing you to see when you are trimming on the go.

    The whole unit is water washable, but don't use boiled water.

    Pretty cool isn't it?

    Buying Dell computer online with Dell Coupon codes for more discount

    Dell Coupon is a kind of promotion code offered by Dell so that you can enjoy special discount when you place your order with them to buy new desktop, laptop, computer accessories, etc.

    The tricky part is: How and where to know what is the Dell Coupon codes? Even some people might question: Do Dell Coupon codes ever exist?

    I'll share this precious information to you now!

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    Bookmark and/or share this page with the button below.

    Wednesday, June 9, 2010

    Travel to outer space at no cost in NASA shuttle

    Do you want to fly into the space? Now, at least your photo can reach the orbit, and it is free.

    NASA is currently inviting the public to send their portrait into space aboard one of the two remaining space shuttle flights - STS-133 and STS-134.

    It is very easy to participate. Just upload your picture to NASA Face in Space website: http://faceinspace.nasa.gov. Another option, you can also just fly your name without a photo.

    You can select which space shuttle to fly - Discovery in September 2010 or Endeavor, targeted for November 2010.

    Upon successful registration, you can print and save the confirmation page with your flight information.

    After the flight and shuttle landed on earth, you can return to the website to print your Flight Certificate - a commemorative certificate signed by the Mission Commander.

    You can also check on mission status, view mission photographs, link to various NASA educational resources and follow the commander and crew on Twitter or Facebook.

    Let's fly together!

    Tuesday, June 8, 2010

    Citibank cash back platinum credit card

    I think Citibank cash back platinum credit card is the most talk-about credit card in Malaysia nowadays as this new card does offer attractive rebates on spendings and they've launched promotion everywhere, including the Innity ads-feed in my blog.

    Despite you can see information about this credit card everywhere, I'll do my best to provide you the most complete information about Citibank cash back platinum credit card here.

    Citibank cash back platinum credit card is a VISA card. Minimum credit limit of this credit card is RM10,000.

    This cash back is a limited time "promotion" with a period from 26 May 2010 until 1 August 2010. You need to apply for the card and get it approved before 1 August 2010 to enjoy the promotion offer.

    The spending cash back rebate offered by this credit card are:
    • 5% on petrol - any petrol station, limited to max RM30 rebate per month (equilvalent to RM600 petrol spending)
    • 2% on pharmaceutical - if you swipe the card in Watson or Guardian only.
    • 2% on  grocery - if you swipe the card in Tesco, Giant, Carrefour or Cold Storage only.
    • 2% on phone bills - if you pay the bills of Celcom, Digi or Maxis by using Citibank One Bill autopay service or Citibank Online Internet banking service.
    • 0.3% on all other retail spendings, NOT applicable to items such as balance transfer, flexi-payment plan, cash withdrawal, chargeable fees, interest payment, etc.
    Cash rebate shall be credited into your account when the accumulated cash rebate for a particular month reaches RM50, otherwise the cash back will be carried forward to the next month.

    • Available to resident in Malaysia only.
    • NOT available to existing card holders of  any Citibank Cash Back Card (Platinum, Gold and/or Silver).
    • Existing card holder of other credit card for more than 1 year with credit limit more than RM8,500
    • Annual income greater than RM60,000.
    Annual Fees:
    • RM195 for principal card, RM100 for supplementary card.
    • Government tax of RM50 for principal card and RM25 for supplementary card is applicable.
    • 1st year annual fee is waivable if you swipe the card more than 3 times within 60 days after you received the card.
    • For subsequent waiver of annual fee, call Citibank to negotiate.
    • RM60 rebate if you sign up for at least 1 autopay service (One Bill) within promotion period (before 1 August 2010).
    • RM50 government tax rebate if you apply the card from Internet or in certain roadshow.
    • Free gift (a trolley bag worth RM250, picture below) if you applied for 2 cards, or 1 card with Balance Transfer. The Balance Transfer rate is 3.99% per annum for 9 months.

    Other benefits:
    • Complimentary retail protection plan - new retail purchases are automatically protected against theft or accidental damage within 30 days from the date of purchase.
    • Exclusive KPJ Healthcare package - 30% discount for KPJ's Executive Screening Packages; 15% discount on walk-in hospital room rates from RM120 and above; 1 complimentary blood cholesterol check per year. 
    • International concierge service by VISA International.

    For more information, click on their ads in my blog when you see it appear below.

    Sunday, June 6, 2010

    Hush Puppies warehouse sale 2010 @ Puchong

    Just come back from the Hush Puppies warehouse sale at Puchong. As usual to the previous warehouse sale, most of the items are selling for at least 50% discount to market price.

    This warehouse sale is held by Shoe Connection Sdn Bhd in Kinrara Industrial Park, Bandar Kinrara, Puchong. They have this sale event occasionally. This time, it started from 4 June to 13 June 2010, 10am-7pm.

    Items on sale this year are more than last year. As usual, there are apparels for men, women, children and todders, which include Hush Puppies shirts, casualwears, pants, underwears, socks, etc. This year also include shoe items, bed-linens, luggages & bags, soft toys, etc. Beside Hush Puppies brand, there are also some items in other brands as well.

    And there is good news to Maybank credit card and/or American Express card holders, you are eligible to get an additional 5% discount, except for footwear.

    Here are the items I bought and their price.

    For more detail, you can make a call to 603-80758899.

    Tuesday, June 1, 2010

    Sell your used items for instant money in CA$H CONVERTERS

    Wonder what to do with your old PC, old laptop, old printer, old fax machine, old handphone, old television, old CD player, old PlayStation, old camera, old massager, ... after you upgraded them with better, more powerful, latest technology one?

    Well, you can probably:

    • Keep the old one in your storeroom
    • Give the old one to your friend, relative, neighbour, charity house, etc.
    • Dispose the old one into recycle bin
    • Sell the old one for some cash
    There are a few ways to sell out used items for cash, including:
    • Sell to your friend, relative, neighbour, etc. on COD basis
    • Sell in the Internet auction websites or forums
    • Sell to a shop

    CA$H CONVERTERS is an international franchise dealing with used items. Their retail shops buy used items as well as sell used items.
    You can find CA$H CONVERTERS in these 3 Southeast Asia countries:
    • Singapore - Admiralty, Ang Mo kio, Bedok North, Jurong East and Toa Payoh.
    • Malaysia - Ampang Point, Klang, Sunway, Taman SEA, Plentong and Sri Selayang.
    • Thailand - Pattaya
    The advantages to sell your used items in CA$H CONVERTERS including:
    • You are very unlikely to be cheated (compared with selling in Internet and other methods)
    • You can get rid of your goods and collect the cash right away in the shop
    If you are moving house and got a lot of used items to dispose off, you can even call CA$H CONVERTERS to collect them onsite and pay you instantly.

    On the other hand, if you don't mind buying 2nd hand or used items, you can probably get some from their shop at a lower price than brand new one.

    Click here to visit the website of CA$H CONVERTERS for more information.

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