Saturday, July 30, 2011 Bhd (ICAP, 5108) year 2011 Annual Report

ICAP,  managed by Mr. Tan Teng Boo (陈鼎武), which is the one and only closed-end fund in KLSE, has just published its 2011 Annual Report.

As disclosed in the annual report, this is the current portfolio of ICAP as at 22 June 2011.

ICAP has finally sold out all MIECO (5001) and removed it from the portfolio. If you want to criticize ICAP, this is the failed investment which has caused a 59.22% or RM1.2 million lost to its share owners. MIECO was sold out at an average price of about RM0.5257 (RM857,876/1,632,000), which was not a good timing and near its lowest price. MIECO has once gone up to RM0.83 in March 2011, and even gone up to RM0.97 one day before the 6th AGM of ICAP held last year. In fact, during the AGMs of past few years, share owners had been asking Mr. Tan Teng Boo about why MIECO was still kept in the portfolio despite horribly performed in its EPS as well as share price.

To my surprise, within the year, ICAP has bought and also sold 1,360,000 units of COASTAL (5071), making a profit of 12.12%. Why COASTAL is such a short term investment/speculation, despite its fundamental still looks good?

You will notice that PADINI (7052) has increased by 5 times in the portfolio. Actually, this is due to share split exercise of PADINI. ICAP has not changed its holding in PADINI since 2008.

ICAP currently only invested in 10 counters only, which is the lowest number since inception. The cash position has increased to RM115 million. This shows Mr. Tan remains cautious to the investment environment, especially when he quoted John Donne's "no man is an island, entire of itself" in this annual report.

Anyhow, despite the failed investment in MIECO and lowering of invested position, the NAV of ICAP still keeps on climbing and is now at its historical high. This shows that overall, ICAP is still a well performed closed-end fund, and Mr. Tan remains a remarkable fund manager trusted by some 3,200 share owners, including foreign financial institutions such as The Bank of New York Mellon, Credit Suisse, etc.

I have produced the table below to show the change in portfolio of ICAP from 2006 to 2011.

MSC (5916) was highlighted during the 6th AGM of ICAP last year, and ICAP has bought in another 1 million shares of MSC after that. SURIA (6521) was another highlighted counter during last AGM, and ICAP has also increased its position in this counter. However, the share price and trading volume of these 2 counters still remain dull until now.

The NAV performance of ICAP over the year is mainly contributed by blue chips such as F&N (3689) and PETDAG (5681) bought a few years ago.

Well, see you in ICAP 7th AGM and 2011 Investor Day on 1 October 2011.
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.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The end of CIMB credit cards weekend cash rebate promotion

If you hold a CIMB or Direct Access credit card, you might have been enjoying their weekend cash rebate promotion since 2009.

This had been an attractive cash rebate promotion, whereby 5% cash rebate was given to weekend retail transactions in Tesco, Giant, Cold Storage, Sunshine, Guardian, KFC, etc. There was also 10% cash rebate rebate for weekend transactions made in Burger King.

At first, this weekend cash rebate applied to both Saturday and Sunday. Later, it applied to Sunday only. Anyhow, this was among the best credit card weekend cash rebate promotion, and more attractive to similar programme by Citibank Cash Back Platinum Card (2% rebate only for groceries transactions in Tesco, Giant, Cold Storage, etc., although not restricted to weekend) and UOB One Card (also 2% rebate only for groceries).

However, after the last promotion period ended on 30 June 2011, there is no news from CIMB about any new weekend cash rebate promotion for their credit cards. It seems that this attractive cash rebate programme from CIMB has finally come to an end.

Meanwhile, OCBC Titanium Credit Card also offers 5% rebate for groceries transactions, which is now the most attractive cash rebate credit card at the moment.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The 2nd Integrated Content Development Programme (ICON2) by MDEC

If you are a Malaysian and wanna enter into mobile apps development for iPhone/iPad or Android, or you want to setup a content/knowledge website, you should know about ICON2 which can provide you training, financial and facility support to bring your dream to reality.

The Integrated Content Development Programme (ICON) commenced in 2009 was aimed for MDEC to provide support and assistance to Malaysian content developers in creating quality web and mobile apps. 96 projects has already benefited from this programme.

ICON2 just launched earlier this month (July 2011), is an extension of ICON, and initiated under the Communications Content and Infrastructure sector, identified by ETP as one of the growth engine in the 12 NKEA. This round, it is targetted for iPhone/iPad and Android apps development projects.

There are 3 components under ICON2.

ICONapps is a mobile apps development programme for team of 2-4 Malaysian developers. It provide funding assistance through reimbursement for training in iOS or Android development, any purchase of development platform and devices, purchase or license of 3rd party SDK, and also reimbursements for any 1st year developer registration fee.

In short, you can start up your mobile apps development by getting free training, free computer, free development phone, free development tools, etc. from MDEC by applying to this ICONapps programme. I believe this is a perfect programme for university/college students and/or free graduates and/or any Malaysian who would like to develop mobile apps to kick start with.

ICONdap is a developer assistance programme that provides funding assistance for those who have innovative ideas and concepts to come out with POC and prototype. The funding covers all direct costs incurred for the proposed project. At the final stage, MDEC will also assist you for Business/VC/Angel matching.

ICONeX is a digital content hosting and exchange facility targeted at SMI/SME and individuals which require bandwidth for online content, applications and services. This is a datacenter server hosting and/or co-location facility at a competitive price.

Click here for more information and application form download of ICON2.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Android game: Strategy to play Pirates and Traders

Pirates and Traders is a single-player strategic role-play game for Android phones and tablets. It is developed by MicaByte Systems,  surprisingly just a 1-person company based in Norway.

As informed by its developer, Pirates and Traders is a homage to Sid Meier's classic PC game, Pirates! It would be remiss, however, not to mention other influences on the game - most notably Pieter Spronck's "Space Trader" (for PalmOS), David Braben and Ian Bell's "Elite", and the Richard Berg boardgame "Blackbeard".

The game started by bringing you back to year 1650 in the Carribean sea, where you'll start your adventure.

Here is the strategy I found out, after playing with this game for a few hours:
  • Befriend with British, Dutch and French. Get the Letter of Marque from their Governors and only attack the Spanish ships and ports.

  • In the beginning of the game, borrow money from the Governor and use the money to upgrade your ship as soon as possible.
  • Make sure to repay back your loan as soon as possible once you are able to earn more than 10,000 doubloons (gold coins) , otherwise your debt will grow with interest.
  • You will be able to attack and win the combat with larger warship once your ship got all the necessary upgrades. Seize the larger warship and upgrade it again. With larger warship, you have higher chance to win battles, and you'll have enough capacity to carry more crew for port attack.

  • Remember to recruit specialist crew (Master) found on the ship you captured. You have higher chance to encounter them when you play the game in easier game levels, and harder to find them in harder levels.
  • The fastest way to gain a lot of doubloons is to attack and plunder enemy ports. Start your attack to ports with smaller army. If you are outnumbered, use the "cunning" attack strategy. You'll also need a high cunning skill.

  • The types of ship in this game, and their capacity before any upgrade, are listed as below. Once you acquired the Flag Galleon and fully upgrade it, you'll be quite invincible, especially in easier game levels.

  • When you start feeling boring due to no comparable opponent, click the Retire button to end the game.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The 4 pillars of IT security management

When we talk about IT security, we have to ensure that all the following 4 areas are well covered and non are missed out:

  • Availability - information must be available and usable when required, and the systems that provide it can appropriate resist attacks and recover from or prevent failures.
  • Confidentiality - information must only observed by or disclosed to those who have the right to know, and well protected against unauthorized access and use.
  • Integrity - information must be complete, accurate and protected against unauthorized modification.
  • Authenticity - business transactions, as well as information exchanges between enterprises, or with partners, can be trusted

Information Security Management must consider the following 4 perspectives:
  • Organizational – well defined security policies and staff awareness of these
  • Procedural – well defined procedures used to control security
  • Physical – controls used to protect any physical sites against security incidents
  • Technical – controls used to protect the IT infrastructure against security incidents
Does the IT security of your organization has all these in place?

Who are the one afraid of BERSIH 2.0?

BERSIH 2.0 (a.k.a. Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections) is a civil coalition currently endorsed by 62 non-government organizations (NGO).

If you support BERSIH 2.0, you simply agree and support the following 8 demands to reform Malaysia's electoral processes:

  1. Clean up the electoral roll to address irregularities
  2. Reform postal voting
  3. Use indelible ink
  4. Establish a minimum campaign period of 21 days
  5. Ensure free and fair access for all political parties to the media
  6. Strengthen public institutions
  7. Get rid of corruption
  8. Put a stop to dirty politics
Yes, BERSIH 2.0 is about reformation, for the sake of goodness. Anyway, what's wrong with the word "reformation"? If certain party afraid of "reformation", how about using the word "transformation"? After all, the aim is to "change" to a better state.

It is ridiculous for certain parties, and their helpers/servants/bondmen/slaves to attempt to defame BERSIH 2.0 or to mislead people by tying BERSIH 2.0 with:
  • the opposition politic parties - well, the opposition can support BERSIH 2.0, so does the ruling one. Does BERSIH 2.0 rejected or unwelcome the ruling parties to be part of them in the first place?
  • communist - in my understanding, communists don't need election. It is more likely for those afraid of BERSIH 2.0 to be communist supporter instead.
  • troublemaker - well, in their eyes, BERSIH 2.0 is really a troublemaker for them. That's why they are so afraid.
Why they are afraid of BERSIH 2.0? Probably because they have totally no confident to win the game in a fair manner.

A student would not need to cheat in the exam if he/she has confident to pass. A worker would not worry about being sacked if he/she is ethical and well perform.

If you are afraid, you know you have weaknesses. The right way should be to reform/transform/adjust/correct your points of weaknesses, instead of fortify your weaknesses.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Updating Samsung Galaxy Tab from Android 2.2 (Froyo) to Android 2.3.3 (Gingerbread)

Android 2.3.3 (Gingerbread) is available for Samsung Galaxy Tab now.

In order to perform the update using the "official" way, you need a computer installed with latest version of Samsung Kies.

Launch the Kies application in the computer, then connect your Samsung Galaxy Tab to it with the USB cable. Set the connection type to be "Samsung Kies".

Kies will detect the Samsung Galaxy Tab and automatically inform you the availability of Gingerbread update.

The process starts with downloading the update file to your computer.

After that, you are given a chance to backup your data in the phone to Kies. Although this update will not cause any data or setting lost to your Samsung Galaxy Tab, it is always a wise choice to perform a backup, just in case.

Then, your Samsung Galaxy Tab will be automatically rebooted into download mode, and the update file will be transferred from your computer to the Tab.

Once the transfer is completed, the update process will begin. Then, your Tab will be rebooted again. It will take some time during its first boot up after the update.

You will be advised by Kies to disconnect the USB cable, reboot the Tab again, then connect back the USB cable. Your computer will then update its USB driver to connect to your Tab with the new Android Gingerbread ROM.

Among the new things after this update are 2 new apps installed in your Tab, namely Sketch Memo and Pulse. Sketch Memo is a pretty handy app that worth a try, but it doesn't come with any widget, which I think it should.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Clarivue matte anti-glare screen protector for HTC Incredible S

Although HTC Incredible S comes with Corning Gorilla Glass, I think it still need a screen protector that can reduce fingerprint, smudge and glare. So far, I found that only the matte kind of screen protector can fulfill this requirement.

However, the trade-off of using matte screen protector is that, it will reduce the transparency of the screen, and you will see distortion of colourful tiny grains shown up, especially on white background.

Actually, before I went for Clarivue, I've been looking for the SGP Steinheil Ultra Optics screen protector which claims to allow more light transmittance from the screen, as well as minimize the graining effect of its matte surface. But SGP didn't have a clear schedule on when they will produce Steinheil Ultra Optics screen protector for HTC Incredible S, so I ended up using Clarivue instead.

Both SGP and Clarivue are expensive kind of screen protector costing more than US$10 per pack. Actually, screen protectors are just a piece of plastic and should not be more than US$1 when come out from factory. However, a lot of cheap matte screen protectors manufactured in China (and probably distributed from Hong Kong) are of low quality and bring a lot of visual distortion (graining effect) to the screen. So, sometimes we have to pay the premium to get the screen protector from a trusted brand in US (probably manufactured in Japan). In addition, Clarivue Anti-Glare and Ultra-Clear screen protectors come with "lifetime warranty". You can always have a replacement for your screen protector from Clarivue at a handling cost of US$3 for regular shipping.

Clarivue can be ordered online from their website, and they provide free shipping worldwide for their HTC Incredible S matte anti-glare screen protector. Purchase with coupon code "clarivue1210" and you will get a 10% discount directly. I waited about 2 weeks for it to come all the way from USA to Malaysia.

The package of Clarivue comes with 2 pieces of screen protectors and 1 pre-moistened cleaning tissue pack. It is very easy to apply on the phone.

Although there is still some tiny grains on the matte screen, I find the overall screen display is still OK with Clarivue matte screen protector applied on it.

This is how the screen of HTC Incredible S with Clarivue anti-glare screen protector looks like, with the brightness setting to "auto". Note that the vibrant colour from the WVGA Super-LCD screen is still intact. The multi-touch screen is also as responsive as before.

And this is how the screen looks like when I set the brightness setting to 0%. Even at this extremely dim level, the screen is still viewable.

Therefore, I have no complain to Clarivue matte anti-glare screen protector other than its price.

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