global portfolio

Labour is lowly paid but not underpaid in Malaysia

(May 13): With the one-year anniversary of the Pakatan Harapan-led government now in the rear-view mirror, one thing is certain — much more remains to be done. In particular, the issue of the rising cost of living continues to top surveys as the biggest challenge for Malaysians.

We are adding three US consumer-related stocks based on our contrarian view

(Apr 12): Last week, I talked about why US consumers may well be the key driver for near-term global growth, contrary to widely held views. To very quickly recap, thanks to a decade of deleveraging, in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, US households have rebuilt their balance sheets. Household debt now stands at only 71.3% of GDP, down from the peak of 98.6% in 2007. Crucially, debt servicing as a percentage of disposable income has dropped to the lowest level in decades — leaving consumers with more to spend and/or save.

Stock options can be made to better align management with shareholders… but not the conventional kind

SINGAPORE (June 4): Last November, I wrote an article questioning whether existing stock option plans were good for shareholders. I have no doubt that the theoretical proposition is valid: that if the interests of senior management are aligned with those of shareholders through long-term incentives, they will work towards achieving a company’s strategic objectives to enhance value.

The question is whether the facts validate the proposition. And if they do not, why not?

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The perception and consequences of rent-seeking

SINGAPORE (May 21): The Malaysian stock market reacted far better than initial prognoses by most market analysts, on the heels of the shocking — though not wholly unexpected, if the mini rally for certain stocks during the week of May 7 is any indication — defeat of the long-ruling coalition, Barisan Nasional (BN), in the 14th general election. Even the ringgit is holding up fairly well, especially considering the external backdrop of a strengthening US dollar and rising Treasury yields.

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A once-in-a-lifetime event… an exceptionally good week for Malaysians

SINGAPORE (May 14): Words cannot begin to describe how we feel, sitting here, writing this article with tears in our eyes and hope in our hearts. We had our regular piece all laid out and ready to go. But how could we not write about this incredible, unbelievable event in history?

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A basic guide when investing for yield

SINGAPORE (May 7): Buying a high-yielding stock seems like a pretty good idea when we have heightened market volatility. For starters, companies that pay higher-than-market-average dividends tend to have mature businesses that are more defensive and hence, their share price movements are usually less volatile. Worst comes to worst, one will still get a steady income stream while holding the stock for the longer term.

The recent market correction, ­particularly for mid-small cap stocks on Bursa Malaysia, has certainly made yields more attractive.

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Nine Dragons... lowest valuation play on e-commerce

SINGAPORE (Apr 30): Stocks in my Global Portfolio ended mostly lower in the past one week, mirroring weakness in global equity markets. Investors are nervous when it comes to equities, particularly as worries grow over rising interest rates.

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Our conviction of DIP Corp remains, despite a collapse in stock price

SINGAPORE (Apr 23): A strong start to the US corporate earnings reporting season is giving beleaguered stocks a much-needed boost of confidence. Worries over geopolitical tensions, trade and regulations of tech companies remain and are likely to keep volatility at elevated levels, but the rebound is a welcome relief.

Most of the stocks in our Global Portfolio closed higher for the week, mirroring the improved sentiment. Nevertheless, total portfolio value declined 4.1%, dragged down by heavy losses for DIP Corp. 

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Our Global Portfolio has consistently outperformed in 2018

SINGAPORE (Apr 16): The past couple of months have been one of the most difficult periods to invest in recent times. The big price swings in both directions, which also include some huge intraday fluctuations, can be nerve-racking, especially after the calm we have come to take for granted.

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Stock market indices are only good for headline news

SINGAPORE (Apr 9): The global stock market selloff, which dragged many bellwether market indices into the red in 1Q2018, continued to hold sway as we entered the second quarter. With volatility staying elevated amid myriad uncertainties — notably on global trade and tech industry regulations — the question on the forefront of investors’ minds is “Are we near the bottom yet?”

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