Monday, July 31, 2017

WCE's new equity raising

I am an investor of WCE Holdings since 2014 and I hold significant portion of my assets in WCE. It is no coincidence that when its Annual Report is filed, I would take no time to go through them (especially the important portion).

This time, for 2017's Annual Report which was presented today, I noticed something new and significant which no one of us especially the minority shareholders do not know.

As some would know, West Coast Expressway has 3 forms of funding i.e. Government Support Loan, Commercial Loan and equity injection. That would be in the quantum as above i.e. RM2.4 billion (GSL), RM2.5 billion (commercial loan) and RM1.2 billion (equity).

While WCE has managed to secure the loans from the government earlier on in 2014 and all the debt financing by 2015, one of the component which it was supposed to raise is the equity portion.

It is also to be noted that the Redeemable Unsecured Murabahah Loan Stocks (RUMS) is issued for RM990 million and it appears that the profit rate is 10% - quite high for my liking. This is a 40 year instrument. (If I am not wrong, it could potentially for tax reasons, it is structured this way.)

Also, would like to highlight that none of this instruments was mentioned either in the press or the AGM (which was held late August 2016) although the issuance was done on 12 Jul 2016.

Note: A reader below has highlighted that the loan stocks is issued by WCEHB to WCE Holdings. Hence, the equity issuance is still needed.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Moving from DKSH to Tunepro and Ekovest

After reading the article on DKSH, I decided to reduce my position on DKSH. In the long run, DKSH is still a strong company and I believe its business model and positioning is very strong.  It will be the least impacted by the revolution in retailing that is happening now - at a very fast pace i.e. a lot of purchases are moving towards online. Just a note, I have made more than 20 transactions purchasing things online from buying shoes to padlock to fridge this year alone. That was from zero online purchase 2 years before.

That behaviour of mine is going to affect traditional retailing as I can really see the effects that Jack Ma and Jeff Bezos are impacting the traditional business lines.

Anyway, the reason why companies like DKSH may probably not be enjoying very good growth for this year is due to the prolonged impact of GST as well as weak Malaysian currencies. In fact, the blame on GST I think is not as correct, but most probably the weak Malaysian currencies as well as reduction of subsidies are really affecting many people on the streets. This as mentioned is going to affect DKSH who is distributing goods such as milk, cheese and pharmaceutical products.

On the other hand, I am putting my money on Tune Protect which has dropped from circa RM1.60 to now RM1.12. I am also putting more money into Ekovest.

The reason I am putting money into Tune Protect is because it is largely tied to how well Airasia's volume performance. IT IS TRUE that Tune Protect is affected by the ruling to bar automatic add-ons by Malaysian Aviation, however I felt that the price dropped is already compensated by that ruling.

The general thought is that with the barring of that automatic add-ons, it has affected Tune's revenue by some 35% - 40%. The below graph by Airasia in its slide presentation says that it has dropped by 39% on a per passenger contribution basis.

With that drop, Tune Protect's travel insurance business should hence start from this piece of situation. I believe that it is now growing in tandem with Airasia's passenger volume growth which is low double digit - from 2017 onward. In the long run, as long as the travel insurance business is tied to Airasia's growth - it should be above average.

Tune Protect is also building its other parts of insurance business i.e. motor, personal accident etc. The deregulation of the motor insurance rates may provide opportunities for Tune Protect to be more aggressive and winning market shares as its business model is less complex against the more traditional insurers whom have been around for a longer period.

Anyway, lets see as I purchase 8000 units of Tune Protect for this portfolio.

I have also added 5000 units of Ekovest as I feel that the impact of IWCITY - whom may not be bidding for the Bandar Malaysia will be minimal towards Ekovest. I felt that the drop in its price is an opportunity for me to add-on to the company - and this also follows my thoughts of having Airasia, WCE and Ekovest as my 3 main holdings.

One should note that the contract that Ekovest has is for the upmost long term - up to 50 to 60 years. As in any country, once a contract has commenced - it will be almost impossible to terminate them - be it there is a government change.

The case of IWCITY and Bandar Malaysia is different as it was not effective yet - although my initial propagation was that it was not going to be terminated.

Anyway, as I can see for Ekovest it is now completing half of DUKE 2 and has already commenced Setiawangsa-Pantai Expressway.

Those will be the main revenue generator for the group in the long term to come. I also do not think the market is putting any value towards its new projects such as River of Life and the proposed highway to Klang.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Why I would buy Petron over Hengyuan

There is no doubt that I like companies that tend to be able to control their own destiny. I also like companies that are operating in oligopolistic arena, but yet they act like it is open competition. These kind of companies will tend to do well as they are competitive. Some of the petrol retailing companies are such in nature.

The downstream operations of O&G for the listed companies in Malaysia
As I have mentioned before in previous articles over here and here, Petron may have some advantage due to its competition that exists. In this business, there are 5 players (in the order of size) - Petronas Dagangan, Shell, Petron, Caltex and BHP (under Boustead). It is also quite obvious that we can see they are sized up in such order. Petronas being the local player and supported by Petronas in terms of supply. Shell has been one of the largest and earliest player. It also had a refinery which can produce 156,000 barrels per day (bpd) - which was sold to Hengyuan.

Petron exists from its acquisition of Exxon Mobil's (merger from the two) retail operations. Caltex is a unit of Chevron and understandably it gets its supply through import. BHP is a smaller unit owned by Boustead where it purchased from BP (British Petroleum).

From above, it sounds like it is a crowded market. It is true that it is a crowded market especially if one does not have the supply and support. Hence, I believe that all the players have their own supply support. It is also known that Petron's supply comes from Exxon as highlighted below.

Hengyuan bought the refinery which on paper can produce 156,000 bpd from Shell Refinery. In that exercise, Hengyuan took over a RM1 billion debt from Shell from that operation. In return, Shell which still operates more than 900 petrol station in Malaysia promises purchase contracts so that its supply is guaranteed. What Hengyuan now needs to do is to make sure that its petrol is Euro 4M compliant and it has to meet that deadline by next year.

It is also a known fact that if the sale to Hengyuan did not materialise, Shell could have converted the refinery into a storage facility. That was a drastic business change and this could also mean that Shell was not willing to invest further in Malaysia. Having Hengyuan picking up and willing to invest have changed Shell's direction. It is now buying the refined oil from Hengyuan for its Malaysian operations. This also means that it trust the quality that Hengyuan's produces.

I have also wondered what makes Shell not interested in the refinery but it will continue to operate the retailing business. Like Exxon, it could have also sold the Malaysian retailing arm - but understandably this is not the direction Shell's went for.

That could mean that the IRR is not attractive enough for an oil giant such as Shell but good enough for Hengyuan, a smallish refinery back in China. At the same time as well, Chinese companies are busily acquiring assets overseas and they could have good support from their government.

Although it looks like quite similar, the two exercises - Petron and Hengyuan - have vast differences in terms of post exercise strategy.

Petron will need to obtain the trust from the final retail customer as the brand is not a name which we are familiar with. It needs to work on many things on the B2consumer front. On the other hand, Hengyuan needs to invest more on the refinery - getting good margins from the crack and sell to Shell at a predetermined price (MOPS).

Needless to say Petron, while still needing to get its refinery efficient as well, will have the harder task. The reward however is more fulfilling as it "can control its own destiny" better. The more it gets consumer trusts, the better it will become. As the final price at the pump is now based on a certain formula - largely following MOPS, margin volatility could also be lower for Petron - as it is less dependent on the demand and supply of crude at any point of time as its produce is sold at the final pump price.

Hengyuan on the other hand is like the furniture manufacturer for Ikea where Ikea controls the supply and demand. Raw wood will be supplied by Ikea - the furniture manufacturer will try to manage the costs - and later sell the manufactured furniture to Ikea back. I do not like this kind of position although one can also make good money.

I like the position where one buys the raw crude from Exxon and I determine myself how one sells its finished products. Do I go aggressive by signing more commercial contracts and opening more stations or do I go slower.

At the end of the day, if I sell the produce where my brand is carried that should worth more money. This is like if you are a Nestle and carry your branded products rather than being white labelling company providing processed chilli sauce for Maggi brand - which you think would be more valuable at the end of the day?

Of course, to sell your own brand - it is a different strategy altogether. Hence, I do not think one should do an apple to apple comparison based on a similar PE.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

It will take a big "Leap" for people to show their net worth

I am reading the new third board that Bursa is introducing. I feel that not many people would be bothered as it is only open to people of High Net Worth and the definition is as below.

Although the full detail is yet to be unveiled, I can almost be sure that the above which is open to high net worth individuals is there. One can read the full article, on the Star here or below.

Market works best when it is open to the public - not a certain group of individuals. When there is lack of liquidity, there is little market. I know of a certain work (given to and managed by Cradle) that is done to attract high net worth individuals to invest into tech startups and they will get to enjoy tax breaks. That has not done well. Firstly, even in today's age, very few people is going to share their net worth - and moreover these investors will find their investment having little opportunity to be cashed out.

On top of that, if I can invest anywhere in the world, why would I be bothered to let my income and net worth be known. There are enough areas and platforms to invest into if I have the means and knowledge.

The traditional public listing in Bursa, the arranger will charge a high fee for one company to get into the market. In the "Leap" case it will be lower as mentioned below - but I doubt that it will be low either. Startups or SMEs will not be willing to pay anything more than RM500,000 to get their fund raising. This platform is moving towards that kind of fees.

Investment is also a place where there is competition. And I will compete in places where I have a higher chance to win. Leap is not that place.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Collusion between MAS and Malindo?

As an investor, I do look at pricing to understand where some of the companies stand (Airasia especially). I have been following pricing by Malindo and MAS as well besides Airasia. As previously mentioned, I notice that pricing by both Malindo (soon to be Batik Air) and MAS (Firefly) has actually gone up since 2014. These trend is actually going the opposite direction against oil price which has dropped around 40% from then on.

Recently, there is this trend where there seems to be pricing collusion between Malindo and MAS (I say Malindo because it seems to be the bigger airline flying off Subang). Two - three weeks ago, I noticed that Malindo was pricing its tickets at RM129 while MAS was pricing them at RM128.

Today it is RM139 by Malindo and RM138 by Firefly (owned by MAS). See below.

Malindo's minimum pricing for its ATR flights

Firefly's flight pricing
Does the Malaysian Competition Commission really exist?