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Sunday, September 05, 2010

A post from a long-lost blogger 57 comments

I received another of my Google Adsense cheques just recently, and was frankly quite surprised to get it because I haven't been posting for more than siz months. To be sure, I haven't been active for probably more than 2 years with my hotstocknot picks, as my last few postings were more rants on than anything else.

But this shows the quality of my blog, and I'm speaking in all frankness without bragging. The fact that people continue to come back to read my postings on various stocks several years back --- and why they should NOT buy it then --- speaks for itself. And I am pretty sure more than 90% of the hotstocknot picks have turned out to be right, based on today's prices as well as how fundamentals for the businesses have turned out. Just look at Raffles Education --- a darling when I first posted, and now a reject and a pariah stock. Or look at Lian Beng --- a construction stock which was ramped up to 60-70 cents during the heydays of the construction industry. Or how about Advanced, Autron, Biotreat, China Sun, China Petrotech, Cosco, Ellipsiz, Enviro-hub, Federal, Global Voice, Jiutian, Luzhou, Pine Agritech, Sino-Environment, Sky China, Sun East, Unifiber, Yellow Pages? All these are unmitigated "successes" of my hotstocksnot picks. My blog would, in all certainty, have been a short-seller's treasure trove.

Today since I have some time, I would just like to highlight some of the sectors in the Singapore market I'm optimistic and pessimistic about on the basis of fundamentals and general valuation, but it's up to the individual investor to decide for himself what individual stocks he would pick for the sector. Here goes:

Good sectors
- Commodities - All, especially agriculture
- Healthcare - look for niche and don't forget valuation
- Domestic consumption - check out Hong Kong market, don't forget Guangzhou Asian Games coming
- Tourism and retail - the "remaking of Singapore"
- High-end property
- Semiconductor components manufacturing and distribution
- Infrastructure builders - be selective, but many have dropped big-time already, so valuation is good

Bad sectors
- Telcos - Next generation broadband will be bad for all
- Shipbuilding - the good days are gone; come back 10 years later
- Offshore oil & gas - I give you a site: ODS Petrodata, check out the utilisation rates and charter rates for rigs and you'll be scared
- Container shipping - 40-year globalisation trend is weakening
- Construction - told you need to be selective; be careful of those dependent on building residential/commercial/Singapore-centric
- Mass market property
- Hard disk drive component suppliers

If you find a stock that is not talked about, with metrics that haven't declined too much during the crisis of 2008, and which has rebounded smartly since then, and valuation still at single-digit PE or below book, and not in any of the "hot" sectors currently, then go for it. The market is currently still in a re-rating phase and will pick new stocks to re-rate week after week. Money from a new carry trade based on the US$, plus huge capital exiting China under a loosening RMB regime with China promoting internationalisation of the RMB, all point to a magnificent bull market going forward.

That's why there isn't much point for hotstocksnot picks now, or indeed over the last 2 years!



Monday, February 15, 2010

Resorts World Casino - An Analysis 35 comments

This is meant to be an analysis of the casino demand dynamics --- not the IR. As far as I'm concerned, the centerpiece of both the developments is the casino, and everything else, including the convention centres or Universal Studios, are but secondary. The casinos are meant to subsidise all the other developments, so if they fail, the peripheral IR developments will be in trouble.

So there're "crowds and crowds of people queueing to enter the RWS casino", according to our mass media. Let's sieve out the opinions and go for the facts.

The consistent number that was reported is that there were 6,000 visitors to the casino as of 6 in the evening yesterday. The casino openeded at 12 noon. At first glance, it's hard to get your mind around this number to gauge whether that's sizeable. I read earlier that RWS was planning to open about 500 tables at opening. Assuming that all 6,000 visitors stayed inside the casino over that period of time, that would mean a maximum number of 12 at every table. But hold on --- from my experience at other casinos eg. Genting Highlands, at least half, maybe three-quarter, are likely gambling at the jackpot machines or the computerised gambling machines (you can play roulette, tai-sai, bacarrat etc at these gaming terminals with a central dealer manning the counter) --- this means maybe a likely average of 5 per table instead. Now everyone who's been to a casino will know that 5 at a table is pathetic or at best average.

And that's on the casino opening day with so much inbuilt hype.

For some more perspective.
Case 1: Genting Highlands. According to Wikipedia, in 2006, the resort had 18.4 million visitors. Assuming all are visitors to their casinos, it would mean 50,000 visitors per day or 13,000 over the similar period of 6 hours --- double RWS's numbers yesterday. And this for a casino that is decades old, with no more novelty value, and situated inconveniently at the top of a mountain.

Case 2: The Venetian Macau, of a similar scale to the RWS casino and belonging to Las Vegas Sands tycoon Sheldon Adelson, drew 114,000 people over the first 24 hours of operations in August 2007. That's nearly 30,000 over 6 hours --- 5 times RWS's numbers.

If you think about it, the qualitative economic factors underlying the RWS casino are inferior to that of Genting Highlands, from the operator's point of view. A punter to Genting Highlands is a captive customer to the overall resort development. Lim Goh Tong was brilliant in his conceptualisation of a mountain casino resort because a punter winning at the casino is likely to spend his table winnings at the variety of restaurants, retail outlets, theme park etc available in the resort --- he is likely to be emptied of his pockets no matter whether he wins or loses at the casino. RWS offers no such captive money because the psychology will be different ---somebody winning at the tables is free to take his money out, catch a cab and spend it elsewhere in Orchard Road etc. There are no natural obstacles to him doing so unlike the seclusion of Genting Highlands. More so if it's a local punter .... he can come in bermudas, punt a few rounds at the table, and catch a transport back home if he manages to recoup that atrocious levy.

If the opening reception is an indication of things to come, it might be soon when the operator will turn to the authority for concessions. Whether it is abolition of the $100 levy for the local retail audience or relaxation of controls for junket operators marketing to foreign high rollers, there will be some social tradeoff in the process.

And that's not forgetting that in 6 months' time, there is imminent competition from the rival LVS operator at Marina Bay. Good luck to Genting punters --- those in the stock, more than those at the casino, will need it.

Last but not least, happy Chinese New Year!

1) Genting Highlands link:
2) Venetian Macau link:



Sunday, January 17, 2010

Weekly Summary 11-15 Jan 10 comments


FTSE Midcap Index716.65-2.55(-0.4%)
FTSE Smallcap Index579.48-0.16(0.0%)
FTSE Fledgling Index729.56.18(0.9%)
FTSE REIT Index624.04-0.93(-0.1%)
Property Index96.420.87(0.9%)
Financials Index99.14-1.26(-1.3%)
Construction Index108.362.23(2.1%)
Commodities Index108.80-0.69(-0.6%)
Retail Index111.521.40(1.3%)
Env/Water Index101.74-1.24(-1.2%)
Energy Index170.41-1.40(-0.8%)
China Index106.88-1.69(-1.6%)
FTSE China Index307.6-3.31(-1.1%)

HotStocksNot Indices Charts
(Note: Trendline for the week is enclosed between two blue lines on the charts)

Property Sector Index

Financial Sector Index

Construction Sector Index

Commodities Sector Index

Retail Sector Index

Env/Water Sector Index

Oil&Gas Sector Index

China Stock Index

Stocks Summary
Stocks below $1: Week's Top Gainers & Losers

Stocks between $1 to $2: Week's Top Gainers & Losers



Sunday, October 25, 2009

Container living 11 comments

Some pictures for starters:

Shipping container city

Trailer trash living

A Singapore condo in development

I hate it when some "award-winner" comes up with crap and brands it as creativity, and his customer falls for it hook, line and sinker. The parallels are obvious; a picture (or rather three) tell a thousand words. I will never buy this rubbish because I won't know which way to turn when I come out of the lift.

This is not an advertorial. Hahaha....



Saturday, June 20, 2009

Remember the name Alvin Foo 5 comments

Incredible! Comparing Temasek to Berkshire Hathaway and concluding that the former has outperformed the latter!

I have no problems with an incredulous claim if there's solid evidence to support it. But like somebody else from another forum has said, how can you conveniently use Berkshire's share price as an estimate of its return when it is a function of the market, and then use another measure for Temasek which is an unlisted group? The correct way to measure it would be to sum up the market value of all Berkshire's listed stakes and do an estimate of the value of its unquoted stakes, then do an apple-to-apple comparison to Temasek. I'm sure it will be much more accurate (and uncomplimentary to the latter).

Obviously Alvin Foo doesn't have the time to do that. And it just gives me the impression that they don't have the moral/intellectual courage to justify a preposterous claim with equally compelling evidence.

I'll be watching you. Or rather, I won't be reading you after this, my Foo.