Tuesday, June 11, 2019

HK investing Thoughts

I have always thought about investing in Hong Kong shares as a form of diversification out of Singapore. Furthermore, this could increase my pool of opportunities to buy undervalued stocks since the population of choices is increased (perhaps by a lot of times) since HK market capitalization greatly exceeds that of SG.

Source: Pexels Free Stock Photos

Let me start with a disclaimer that I am not paid in any way for my post, these are purely my thoughts.

During my travels, I have been using the DBS Multicurrency Account (DBS MCA) and I realize that by creating a Hong Kong Dollar (HKD) wallet, I am able to convert SGD into HKD and buy stocks directly.

A quick check at DBS website tells me that the rate I am offered is 1 HKD for 0.1762 SGD, or 1 SGD = 5.675 HKD.
Source: DBS Exchange Rate Website

I then log on to my DBS ibanking (this is an example).
Source: My own DBS ibanking portal

Do note the deviation from the market rate and whether it is a comfortable deviation. For example:

Source: Yahoo Finance (SGDHKD)

Presuming I am investing SGD 10,000 which will equate into HKD 56,750.

So why am I talking about all of these? There is a HK stock which currently interests me, Bank of China. It is currently trading at 3.26 HKD but its NAV is 6.205 which suggests undervaluation. 52-week low is also at 3.19 which further supports this premise. Dividend payout is according to 6.2% and all statistics are from InvestingNote.

This is just a preliminary look for me and I think some of the risks here is firstly: the controversial extradition bill which caused a rally of 1 million people in the streets here. The loss of investor confidence in HK markets might be bearish for stocks and is something worth looking at. Secondly, if HKD depreciates against SGD, there will be a reduced profit. Since HKD is pegged to USD and there have been rumors of rate cuts, we might expect further depreciation of USD and similarly HKD.

These are my current thoughts now but always happy to hear new ideas about how you will invest in the HK market.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Thoughts about Prices

Back from Japan! Here is a snapshot of Yokoamicho Park in Tokyo.

In Japan, consumption is subjected to a 8% tax unless you are a tourist and you shop at duty free shops such as Uniqlo with a minimum of 5,000 yen. Therefore, when I dine, some restaurants show the before tax prices and some restaurants show the after tax prices.

After tax price:

Before tax price:

Would you prefer to see a all-in-one price or a price without taxes? Please share!

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Tariffs Thoughts

Currently I am in Osaka now but I still have some thoughts about the incessant chain of tariffs by Trump.

But first, a quick snapshot of Osaka Castle!

Now back to my thoughts...

Recently, Trump also labelled Singapore as a currency manipulator which was pretty interesting. It also mentions about high saving rates and low consumption rates in our country. I did some quick research about Singapore policy here and essentially, Singapore uses exchange rate policy to manage the economy instead of interest rates (which is left to the free market) which may explain the huge number of foreign exchange purchases with respect to GDP.

Personally I don't think Singapore will be adversely affected in the short term as we have a trade deficit with the US (momentarily sparing us their wrath) but I think Singapore will continue to be affected by US tariffs on the rest of the world. China is also one of Singapore main trading partners and if poor sentiment ensues, we should continue to see downward pressures on STI.

Going to my previous calls, SIA is at 9.11 and Suntec Reit edged slightly higher at 1.82. Both are still on my watchlist and I am quite tempted to initiate positions.

What do you think?

Friday, May 24, 2019

OCBC and Scrip Dividend News

My dad has some OCBC shares and this notice caught my eye. OCBC is offering $10.55 per share when its market price is about $11.01 now. 

Honestly, I am not very inclined to take up the offer as I believe stocks will continue to drop this year due to the continued economic slowdown and trade war.

Will you be taking up OCBC's offer? Let me know in the comments!

Monday, May 20, 2019

Trade War Thoughts

As I am writing this, the US market is slightly red and treasury yields are edging down, signifying some flight to safety assets. The drama ensues where the US decided to ban Huawei from doing business with them, which I think will be further detrimental to the unfolding of the trade war. This is extremely likely to further deteriorate bilateral relations between US and China.

Honestly, I think the trade war is indeed room for worry in the short term, but I take comfort in the fact that Trump will not be in office forever (even if he gets re-elected) and someone who is less protectionist and friendlier towards China may eventually emerge in office (maybe an exit strategy then).

Therefore, I see this as a platform to enter battered stocks with good fundamentals. One of which I identified is Suntec Reit, and its current price stands at 1.81 which is still respectfully below its NAV of 2.09.Another stock which looks battered and hovering near its 52-week low (9.14) is SIA and also below its NAV of 10.36.

A quick glance at its recent financial presentation reveals a drop in operating profit mainly attributed to rising fuel prices. But since fuel prices are hedged to some extent in their presentation, the main point we should be looking at is if the volume of travelers will continue to increase and if the trade war will affect the company.

I also picked up a very insightful article here which I felt that some points here were very relevant. The basic premise here is that a trade war will cause incomes to drop which might lead to decreased air travel. Air cargo flows will also be reduced as the demand of air cargo drops due to increased costs.

These two stocks are worth considering in my opinion, but please let me know if you have any insights and/or comments. Another person's perspective is always very welcome.

Happy Vesak Day!

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Suntec Reit Ideas

Amidst the market movement this week, I have been on the hunt for any stocks to buy to add to my portfolio. I am sure the most prominent piece of news that caught everybody's attention was the two Trump tweets which knocked off $1.3 trillion off the global markets this week, where tariffs on USD 200 billion have already been effected. Recently, Trump even said 'a no rush' about the China deal. In the worst scenario, tariffs might lead to a continued slide in Singapore markets (it caused quite a drop this week) but we will see.

One stock which caught my eye was Suntec Reit, which looked cheaper as compared to its peers (it is currently trading at a price of 1.79 as of 10 May 2019.

Here is the performance for this quarter here.

Source: Suntec Reit 1Q 2019 Financial Presentation

Net Property Income dropped from last quarter, where possible reasons could be the depreciation of AUD against SGD and lower NPIs from its constituents (Suntec City and Suntec Singapore). Distribution Per Unit remains constant with about +0.04% y-o-y. Furthermore, office accounts for 66% of NPI and Singapore accounts for 85% of NPI. Net Asset Value stands at $2.09 which gives us a 30 cent discount over its current price. In terms of interest rate matters, average cost of debt is 3.04% and 77% fixed. However, I think this will largely depend on the Federal Reserve interest rates, which has yet to see a standstill with Trump.

Furthermore, looking at the occupancy numbers, Weighted Average Lease Expiry (WALE) is 2.24 years for Singapore and 5.37 years for Australia. Longer WALE might be more predictable and stable but since the bulk of money comes from Singapore (85%), a 2.24 year WALE may be worth zooming in to see if the economy will continue to strengthen beyond 2020 (or weaken).

I will be looking to buy the stock at a favorable price, where its last 52-week low was at 1.63 and I did have the intent to buy. But we will see again.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Starhub and its General Meeting

I requested a hard copy report because I prefer reading hard copy stuff which is easier on my eyes. :)

Nevertheless, it was pretty interesting reading about the company's future direction and how they manage their finances. I would also like to see if any reader here is going to the general meeting to find out more about the company.


Sunday, April 14, 2019

April Thoughts

I have been expecting some downward movement this year but it is a pity it has not materialized yet. Last night I was reading articles on Marketwatch on how the fear index is plummeting and how earnings and China have made recession a distant memory which were both pretty intriguing to me.

I have mentioned previously about the inverted yield curve and how it is used as a recession indicator. My take is this: so far the S&P 500 has returned approximately 10% from 1926 and it seems like any point of entry will not severely shortchange you (assuming the companies you buy do not go defunct).

Therefore, I have shortlisted a list of stocks which I would really love to buy. These are based on my initial interest and I will delve into the subsequent analysis later.

1) DBS
3) UOB
4) SGX
5) ST Engineering
6) Mapletree REITs

Please suggest any more stocks too, I will be happy to look at them.

Hope everyone has been investing well.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Inverted Yield Curve and Thoughts

Recently, CNBC posted here that there was an inverted yield curve, which signifies that debts in the long term have lower yields as juxtaposed to their short term counterparts. The article is really very detailed, but what is key here is that it is considered an indicator of an upcoming recession, where it was largely accurate in the last 50 years and only a false alarm during this period.

If we think about it from another view, higher short-term rates mean it is harder for businesses and people to borrow money and might lead to an economy contraction, which results in a recession.

Well, I am looking at this from a different perspective of the article, where I am camping to buy stocks at depressed levels, which this opportunity might bring about.

I talked about the Shiller Ratio in my previous post, where Singapore shares still look pretty undervalued compared to their US counterparts, but still at a score of 15+.

Source: Barclays Shiller Ratio (Singapore)

However, if we use the 52-week low method, we do find out that not many stocks are near 52-week lows. The bottom 3 stocks which are nearest now is about 4+%. Not a lot of things to buy in my opinion...

With growth concerns looming for 2019, I doubt there is ample bandwidth for stocks to rise significantly. So instead I will be waiting for opportunities to buy when prices drop (hopefully). But of course, my guess is as good as yours.

What's your strategy? Pray tell!

Thursday, March 21, 2019

My Survey List

I received some comments about a survey list so here I go!

1) Surveyon
This is one of my favourites as the number of surveys here is quite plentiful and you get about 9,000 points per survey and some mini surveys for 100-1000 points during certain events. Minimum redemption is 20,000 points which equate USD 2.

Mode: App/Desktop
Payment Currency: USD
Payment Mode: Paypal
Duration: 2-4 days

2) Viewfruit
This is another in my list but one caveat here is that you can get disqualified in surveys pretty easily. Sometimes they give you 1-2 participation points and some points in a lucky draw (randomly). Minimum redemption is 2,500 points and in multiples of 2,500 points. 2,500 points equate USD5.

Mode: App/Desktop
Payment Currency: USD
Payment Mode: Paypal
Duration: 2-4 days

3) Rakuten Surveys
I particularly like this website as they email you when there is a new survey so you don't have to intermittently check the website for surveys. Surveys also generally have a high qualification rate. Minimum redemption is 45 points and in multiples of 45 points. 45 points equate SGD3.

Mode: Desktop
Payment Currency: SGD
Payment Mode: Paypal
Duration: 1 month

4) Milieu
I love this app too because I can (almost) get one survey per day and I think I have not been disqualified by any survey yet. There are a variety of rewards here where you can get vouchers but for those looking for the cash, minimum redemption for Paypal/Paynow/Grabpay is 9,500 points for SGD10 and 18,500 points for SGD20.

Mode: App
Payment Currency: SGD
Payment Mode: Paypal/Paynow/Grabpay
Duration: 10 working days

5) Yougov
This is not bad too but one caveat is that the frequency of surveys is just too slow. But good thing is they will email you when there is a new survey and disqualification is pretty rare. Minimum redemption is 5,000 points which equate SGD25.

Mode: Desktop/App
Payment Currency: SGD
Payment Mode: Paypal
Duration: not sure because I have not redeemed yet

I used other websites such as Prizerebel and Toluna which were pretty good last time but I think as of now, the survey generation rates are not as good so I have not been visiting these websites recently. If you do find success there, please let me know!

I would like to post a disclaimer that I am not paid or recruited by the above survey sites, I am just a pure user who is trying to give some real feedback on what I used. Moreover, please note that you might not have the exact experience as I stated here, so please keep your mind open. Lastly, I did not put the links here because I think it's quite easy to google for them. Nevertheless, have fun playing around and let me know if there are any queries :)

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Survey Taking- A worthwhile effort?

I thought I would like to share about what I have been recently doing and hear any opinions about it.

In December last year, my friend shared with me about taking surveys for some pocket money and I guess my curiosity got the better of me. Therefore, I decided to run a little experiment on my own and start to google and take some surveys to see how 'lucrative' it could be.

I have been taking surveys for 3 months and I went to check my Paypal wallet yesterday and I thought I would like to talk about the results to see if it was a worthwhile effort (or not) and whether you should consider it given the potential returns.

Firstly, I started a Paypal account back in December with a beginning balance of $0 and come March now, my balance is $183.74. The diagram further illustrates the breakdown on a monthly basis.

Secondly, I have been using mainly my travel time on the MRT to do surveys so instead of looking at photos on Instagram or surfing Facebook feeds, I thought why not monetize my free time?

$183.74 over a period of 3-4 months is about a monthly amount of $45-50. I would like to think of it as a nice amount which can pay off my phone bills. But that is how far it can go and no further.

Different readers will definitely draw their own conclusions from this post based on their very own experiences. But I will be looking forward to hear about your own experience and even advice regarding my little experiment.

And off to reading more financial news!

HK investing Thoughts

I have always thought about investing in Hong Kong shares as a form of diversification out of Singapore. Furthermore, this could increase my...