Showing posts from April, 2011

Interviewing Catwalk Guru Benjamin Toong

After interviewing Amber Chia, the Malaysia born international supermodel, this is the second episode. For those who missed the interview, please read "Interviewing International Supermodel Amber Chia" dated 11 April 2011. In conjunction with this, Finance Malaysia Blog continue to highlight some of those successful Malaysian. We strive to bring out the hidden success story of Malaysian, and we are proud to present to you Catwalk guru - Benjamin Toong.

Some profile of Benjamin Toong: Founder of Runway ProductionsCrowned as the catwalk guru of Malaysia in year 20103 years experience in runway training, fashion stylist and runway choreographersFashion stylist for local and international fashion magazinesJudge and Professional Runway Trainer for Ford model Supermodel of the world Malaysia 2009Official stylist of Jiayu Astro CH304Co-founder of AmberChia Academy
The Interview In Malaysia, many people perceived that modelling is of western culture. Can you tell us HOW and WHY you vent…

Obama and the Race to the Bottom

The results of the President's economic policies are becoming plain to see. The economy is mired in stagnation; inflation is picking up; and new unemployment claims are surging. The national debt is reaching catastrophic levels. The Fed is printing money to finance purchases of new debt (they bought 80 percent of the newly financed deficits for the past eight months). The most absurd economic policies in American history are bearing fruit. The economy is a total mess.

Obama often speaks of "the race to the bottom." Now we know what he means. The American economic engine, once the envy of the world, is now a joke, and a bad one at that. Obama's policies have strangled the private sector and broken the finances of the federal government.

So what is Obama doing now? He's beginning his re-election campaign. Wonder what part of this record he plans to defend?

New Fund: CIMB-Principle Asia Pacific Dynamic Income Fund

On 25th April 2011, CIMB-Principle Asset Management Berhad launched the first Asia-Pacific fund for this year. The fund will invest in dividend-yielding stocks from the Asia Pacific (ex-Japan) region. To brings out the "dynamism" of the fund, a "color-changing dragon" was used. For sure, the company must has placed a lot of hard work to come out with the idea and I think it is a successful example which could attracts the attention of prospective investors.

"Investors are generally back to being bullish. After 2 very good years, valuations have recovered and Asia Pacific ex-Japan markets are up. Looking ahead, slower economic recovery of the developed markets will shift investors' appetite to Asia Pacific and this positive outlook will spur further stable investments. We are confident that markets will perform positively and this Fund will satisfy investors' revived sentiments and lingering concerns", said CEO of CIMB-Principal. 
Investment objecti…

When is the BEST time to buy House? (25 Apr 2011)

Last year 2010, Malaysia property market recorded the BEST year ever. Will it be another record breaking year in 2011? Many economist and property analysts opine that this year, the property market will appreciates by another 10-15%. So, should we wait some more?
Recently, many of my friends keeps on asking the same bold questions. Should I buy house now?Or, should I wait some more?But, when is the property downturn?Good questions though, but if you ask me when is the property downturn, I really do not know. As a rule of thumb, I will rely on the stock market to give me the indication. Commonly, property market will take a blow one year after the crashing of stock market. Example, the 2008 financial crisis gave us a good timing to invest in property market. For those who buy house during that time, you should know what I am talking about and smile.

So what? How about now?
Before answering your question, I would like to throw you back a question "Are you looking for your first house?&…

ACEs are back. Be cautious? (21 April 2011)

Yeah... Our long lost friends are here again. These friends are in the limelight again, conquering the lists of most active counters lately. Punters are trading happily because of their relatively cheap price, higher volatility, and most importantly less coverage by analysts. Normally, investment banks did not cover ACE counters due to their not-so-clear business model, hence very hard for them to project their earnings and setting fair value. No estimated fair value means punters can set the "fair" ground themselves.

You Jump... I Jump
Of course, some of those ACE counters are there for certain reason, but many of them are there without any material announcement. For example, Tricubes is very active due to its participation in ETP, by investing RM50mil to develop the 1Malaysia email project. But then, why Omedia, IE, Viztel, TDEX also featured in the most active list today? Don't we have better companies to trade lately? And, even for Tricubes, a PN17 (financially-tro…

Greek Restructuring -- Sooner or Later?

It is interesting to see folks saying that if the Greeks restructure their debt (meaning a partial default on their debt) that a financial Armageddon will soon follow. Since restructuring or some type of default is inevitable for Greece, I guess there must be a financial Armageddon in our future. Last week the IMF suggested that the Greeks must restructure within 12 months and now more voices have been added saying essentially the same.

What those who worry about the coming Armageddon don't seem to get is that "restructuring" or a "partial default" is inevitable for Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Italy, and Spain. Indeed, one should add Germany and France to that list since their governments and banks have backstopped the former countries with bailouts in the past 24 months.

What is wrong with a default or partial default by Greece? Nothing. Those who have made bad loans to Greece should lose money. Is there any reason that they should be insulated from their ba…

New Fund: MAAKL-HDBS Shariah Progress Fund

MAAKL Mutual today announced the launch of the MAAKL-HDBS Shariah Progress Fund, an Islamic equity small-cap fund, that gives investors the opportunity to invest in Shariah-compliant growth companies in Malaysia.

CEO of MAAKL said:"The investment objective of MAAKL-HDBS Shariah Progress Fund is to provide unit holders with steady long-term capital growth at a reasonable level of risk by investing in a diversified portfolio of small to medium capitalized Shariah-compliant equities and equity-related instruments."

Investment Style & Strategy
The fund will invest primarily in a diversified portfolio of small to medium size Malaysian equities which comply with Shariah requirements. The fundamental investment process will be geared towards identifying and investing mainly in growth companies listed on Bursa Malaysia which are not part of the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index constituents.

Various tools will be used to facilitate the valuation process, including price over earnings r…

Real Property Gains Tax (2011)

Malaysia is known as "tax heaven" of the world. Why? Because Malaysia does not impose tax on any capital gains derived from investment, such as shares, unit trust... But, there is only one type of capital gains that attracted tax - property.
Real property gains tax (RPGT) is a form of capital gains tax. RPGT is charged on gains arising from the disposal of real property in Malaysia. These so called real property is defined as: any land situated in Malaysia and any interest, option or other right in or over such land; orshares in a real property companyHow much?
Actually, we have RPGT in our tax system many years ago until 31 March 2007, when government abolished RPGT to attract foreigners to invest in Malaysia. But then, from 1 January 2010, RPGT is re-imposed at the rate of 5% on gains arising from disposals of chargeable assets in respect of real properties that are disposed within 5 years of owning.
What is real property company? It is a controlled company holding real prop…

Why Bail Out Bondholders?

Debts continue to rise in the US and in Western Europe. The so-called bailouts of Greece and Ireland simply enable those countries to get deeper in debt and continue the fiction that some day those debts can be paid off. They can't.

Over the next sixteen months, more European countries will be added to the bailout list: Portugal first, then Spain, and then attention will focus on Italy. The purpose of a bailout is to enable a country to continue to expand its debt. Is that a good idea?

Isn't it time the lenders took a loss. Why are we protecting the lenders? The lenders are sophisticated, highly paid folks, who took a risk that is not working out. They should get burned for their mistake. Why bring the taxpayers into the picture and continue to increase debt levels that everyone knows will never get paid.

It is time for a "workout," as they say in the finance world. Lenders and borrowers need to sit down at a a table and "work out" a new repayment sc…

MRT at Iskandar: Is it Viable?

When everyone talk about mass rapid transit (MRT) system at KL, it's reasonable given the terrible bumper to bumper traffic jam every working days. Certainly, it creates a buzz in Malaysia with its RM50 billion price tag. Maybe because of the buzzing topic, Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) also looking at the possibility of implementing a 500km MRT within the region which would also provide a direct link to Johor Bahru. The project is scheduled for completion by 2020. What's your reaction?

I believe many people will think the same with me - unbelievable. My jaw drops down the floor thereafter. We do not have to perform  those sophisticated calculation to judge whether the Iskandar MRT is viable or not. I came out with these 3 points.
3 Stupid Questions to ask our-self
Population KL is capital of our country, while Iskandar is a region which encompass the capital of a stateDo you think that Iskandar has more people than than the capital of KL? Some more, Iskandar is …

Sarawak state election 2011: BN to lose 2/3 majority?

Coming this Saturday, 16th April 2011, the Sarawak state elections will be held and Malaysians will be watching closely on the outcome. Of course, I do not know the outcome yet. In fact, I am afraid to predict it, as the "not so good" result will jeopardize my share investments. I am not a Sarawakian either, what should I gauge against? As Chinese said, outsiders tends to be clearer than insiders. As such, Finance Malaysia refer to the following article taken from Credit Suisse as a reference, a view from foreigners.

BN's 'fixed deposit' will be put to test? The Sarawak state elections will be a key barometer for Prime Minister Najib to gauge the support for Malaysians for the incumbent Barisan Nasional (BN). While previous state elections were seen to be non-events, as Sarawak has always been BN stronghold, these particular polls will likely be the most hotly contested. This round, for BN to lose the 2/3 majority, it will need to lose 24 seats or an additional 15…

KLCI: What the Hell is going on? + Invest Malaysia 2011

Thinking that yesterday's 13points drop is enough? Today, KLCI slumps again for the 2nd day in a row. Are you expecting it? Personally, I don't think most of us can predict the future. But, what I can say is that many investors like me would positioning our money very well, anticipating some good announcements during Invest Malaysia 2011 Conference today and tomorrow. If you're thinking the same way, Good Luck!!!
Any BAD news? Excluding foreign news, NO bad news at all in Malaysia. But, investors see the opposite side now - no good news = bad news!
Profit-taking activities set in on Malaysia market beginning this week. If you're not the one who cash out yesterday, you would probably forced to stay on holding until the "tsunami" is over. Money is washing away from the market, flowing overseas (capital outflow by foreign funds). That's why banking stocks, Genting, Petronas Chemicals took a beating today, pulling down KLCI as a result.

While many investors are …

Yellen and Dudley

Academic economist Janet Yellen, now President of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank and Bill Dudley, long time Wall Street (Goldman Sachs) economist, now president of the New York Federal Reserve, have both chimed in on inflation in the last 24 hours. They don't see it coming. The Fed, in their view, should continue to expand its balance sheet to historic levels, effectively printing massive quantities of new dollars. Why?

Well, in their collective view, the economy is still weak and the incredibly surging commodity prices will soon be reversed. Maybe they should be trading, not running FRS banks. Their views and analysis show the poverty of economics as a science. Both Yellen and Dudley are staunch supporters of President Obama. He doesn't see any inflation coming, so neither do they. It's that simple.

Once again, the Yellen-Dudley theme is that government knows best. In this case, the government's agent is Ben Bernanke, whose famous utterance in 2007 that…

Interviewing International Super Model Amber Chia

Finance Malaysia is very pleased to be able to interview Malaysia's Super Model Amber Chia, who had already making a name for herself in Modeling. When given the chance to interview, Amber Chia had always been Finance Malaysia's mind. In fact, Amber is an icon of the industry nowadays. She even forays into international scene, bringing Malaysia's image with her.

Amber's Story From her small town roots in East Malaysia to her domination of the local modeling scene, Amber Chia embodies the classic fairy tale rise to fame. After moving to Kuala Lumpur at the early age of 17, Amber was quickly able to make a name for herself within the local modeling scene. Her charming personality and distinct look hastily ensured her place amongst the countries elite. Amber proved her international appeal by securing a contract with Guess Watches International in 2004 and has since used this as a platform to propel herself into other mediums such as movies and television. (

Sound and Fury ...Signifying Nothing

The budget impasse is a lot of drama over very little. A $ 40 billion spending reduction shows that neither political party understands the depth of the US's national debt problems. It will likely take a failed treasury auction before the politicians on either side of the aisle understand how serious the US situation is. We are not that far from a Greece debacle or a Portugal debacle....and the European Central Bank is not available for our needs. Perhaps Obama should go ahead and take his Virginia vacation this weekend as planned. He doesn't really understand what's going on anyway.

By contrast, the victory in Wisconsin for Scott Walker is a true victory for fiscal sanity. Things look brighter in Wisconsin, but they remain pretty dim for the US taxpayer.

Personal Income Tax 2010: Residential Property

With effective from Year of Assessment (YA) 2009, Malaysian resident who acquired any residential property are given the specially designed tax relief of up to RM10,000 a year for 3 consecutive years from the first year the interest is paid.

Residential property means a house, condominium unit, apartment or flat which is built as a dwelling house. This kind of tax relief was given by the Government to counter the property market downturn, or to spur the property mart after the 2008 global financial crisis. It has proven to be a success in Malaysia for the past 2 years, where property prices skyrocketed to a not so comfortable level for most of Malaysians. People are crying foul on the high price to own a house nowadays.
What is the Terms and Conditions?
To qualify for the tax relief, the following conditions must be met: the taxpayer is a Malaysian citizen and a resident;limited to one residential unit;the sale and purchase agreement is signed between 10th March 2009 and 31st December 201…

New Fund: OSK Indonesia Equity Growth Fund

To join in the Indonesia Theme bandwagon, OSK launched its own version of Indonesian Equity Growth Fund, which aims to achieve medium to long term capital appreciation through investments in securities of companies with high growth potential that are listed on the Indonesian Stock Exchange and/or companies listed on other exchanges whose business are substantially in Indonesia.

This fund is suitable for investors who: wish to participate in the potential and investment opportunities of the Indonesian economyare willing to accept higher risk in their investments in order to achieve potentially higher returns in the medium to long termseek capital appreciation rather than income8 Answers to "WHY invest in Indonesia?"
Impressive equity market performanceJakarta Composite Index gained 46% in 2010The 7th year in which Indonesia has outperformed Asia ex-Japan over the past 9 years (Source: CLSA Research January 2011)Strong economic growthExpected growth of 5.7% to 6% in year 2011Grow…

Personal Income Tax: Child Relief

When we are having children, it's a gift from God. And, Malaysia is a blessed place to live, a place where no earthquake and volcano. Although we once hit by tsunami, but it brings minimal effect to us. Thank God.

In line with the effort to increase Malaysian workforce, in achieving self-sustainable economy with strong domestic consumption, Government has laid out several tax relief especially meant for child. Dubbed as one of the "major investment" of family, a child could easily cost a family few hundred thousands (if not millions). Let's take a look at some of the tax advantages of having a child.
Child Tax Relief Married couple can claim child relief of maintaining any child. The children can be their own child, step child, or legally adopted child. Then, there are subdivided into 4 different categories.

Generally, parents can claim tax relief of RM1,000 per unmarried child per year, until he or she turns 18. An unmarried child who is over 18 and continuing full-time…

Personal Income Tax 2010

It's the month of April again, and it's time for us to file our personal income tax. Usually, people would wait until the last minute to do perform their once-in-a-year task (I myself is one of them). To encourage taxpayer to do e-filling earlier, Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia (IRB) said that those early birds can get their tax return money in 3 days. I don't know whether this is can be true, but I would like to give a try this year.

For you, readers, Finance Malaysia will write more about topics related to Personal Income Tax this month. Welcome to the "Month of Tax", and we hope that the info posted here could help you to file your income tax confidently, error-free, and wiser.
Generally, any amount paid by the employer to the employee in relation to having or exercising an employment will be taxed. This refers to employment income such as salary, bonus, gratuity, commission, allowance, director fees and many other forms of remunerations. In contrast, the phra…

OSK Stock Picks for April 2011

After being hit by a few Black Swan events, markets rebounded in March with the KLCI ending 1Q in the black. Moving into 2Q, we still see some short term volatility but are confident of an eventual rally to close in on our year-end KLCI target of 1680 points. We advise investors BUY Big Caps on potential rebounds while focusing on the more defensive Small Caps given their superior performance over the past few months. The favorite sectors remain Banks, O&G, Property and Construction in the mid-to-short term while the longer term buys are Media and Healthcare. This strategy is reflected in our April top buys as well.

Timber the BIG winner... For March, timber stocks were actually the big winners, including names such as Suber Tiasa, Jaya Tiasa, TaAnn, WTK and Lingui, on hopes for better timber demand in view of reconstruction efforts in Japan. Nonetheless, these counters are not part of the FBM100. Instead, among the FBM100 constituents, media player Media Chinese and Petronas compan…