Friday, February 24, 2017

Airasia: Most investors don't read details

Airasia just recorded a fantastic 4Q16 results as well as full year result.

The headlines however read below: Airasia posts 16% drop in Q4 profit.

Key Results for the 4th quarter. Between 4Q15 to 4Q16:
1.  Revenue / ASK (sen) improved from  14.81 sen to 15.71 sen an increase of 6%
2.  Revenue / ASK (US cents) improved from  3.38 to  3.58 an increase of 6%
3. Revenue dropped from RM2.167 billion to RM1.936 billion but it had a one off revenue item in 4Q15 i.e. recognition of lease revenue of RM727.9 million. Aircraft operating lease income for 4Q16 was RM381.2 million, which means that 4Q2015's additional one-off lease income was around RM400 - RM450 million. See below:

Included in aircraft operating lease income in the current quarter is maintenance service revenue which was not recognised previously due to uncertainty in the recoverability of the amount. With the improve clarity on the collectability of the amount, Management has decided to recognise the maintenance service revenue in the current quarter.

4. Cost / ASK (sen) reduced from 12.21 to 11.08 i.e. drop of  -9%

All of the above are the most important numbers and 4th quarter is a very important quarter as usually all airlines do well and it remains to be noticed whether the impact of competition would have affected companies like Airasia. Revenue per ASK increased while Cost per ASK reduced.

It should have been noted that

Ancillary Income Per Pax (RM) also increase from RM47 to RM 48 an increase of 2%.

Now, nobody talks of its high debt as it is getting smaller.

Now, if I am investor who look through details, I would have been delighted with the results. On the other hand, as probably expected from the headlines, it is the reverse. Stock price dropped, probably because of higher expectations (mind-boggling) and newspapers headlines.

There are 3 types of investors:
First, the institutions who will wait for the report from their analysts because probably they do not have time (because of portfolio too big). They get the first hand analysis first. But decision making is delayed because of some bureaucracy.

Second, the ones that get second hand information and in their first hand are the newspapers headlines and news. These are mostly retailers.

Third, the retailers and smaller institutions who do a lot of their own reading and research. I believe those are minorities.

Question is with that profile of investors, do you think there are still opportunities in stocks investments?

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Why I still keep my portfolio

I noticed that there are quite a lot of views on the portfolio that I keep and I thought that I owe some of the people what I do think of it - where after a long while I have not been talking about it.

Right now, the stocks that I hold through the Felice's Fund is as below:

Alternatively, you can also view them here.

One would have noticed, I seldom buy and sell as compared to some other bloggers - some of them I have been critical of. Why? Firstly, if I am to share my portfolio or how I deal with my investment, I always believe that I have to be responsible. If I trade them often, then it is unfair towards the readers. I am not stupid to see that some people do take notice and tend to have a followers mentality (although the decision to invest is ultimately the readers themselves) and just emulate.

You would notice that over the last 2 -3 years some of those stocks that I have bought, would have moved lower than my purchase price during certain times. These happened to stocks like EcoWorld, Ekovest-WB, WCE, Insas. In fact, some of these stocks are still trading below my purchase price - e.g. Tropicana and TA.

(Hence, the moral of the above paragraph is not to follow me as the stock I pick does not tend to have immediate upside. You can in fact wait.)

Those whom have read my articles, would know that in the stocks I picked, I tend to be more careful and have deep thoughts and research over them. In fact, the stocks I picked here in my blog, I am even more careful as opposed to my other personal investment account - where I tend to be more aggressive. In times where stock market is on the uptrend, generally being aggressive would bring more upside. But over the last 50 days where market have been more active, I have not even shown a single trade in my portfolio.


First of all, I am still very happy with the portfolio that I have. There could be some readjustment...for example, I could have bought more Ekovest and TA - but generally these are just as good.

You would also know that my investment horizon is over many many years to an extent that I have penned down it is a 2027 target. Basically, this means very long term investment. For those whom do not have that kind of horizon, please do not try to emulate.

Why again WCE

As an example again, WCE - one will not see good positive numbers until few years down the road. The only number I tend to follow is how much its development expenditure has gone up to. Through that, it gave me an indication that the project is progressing - although not the best indicator. Besides that, I also see its borrowings level. These numbers will not tell me whether the company is able to keep the construction within budget - but to me as long as it is within certain range, it is good enough for me.

WCE definitely is not a "sure thing" stock, but I have certain confidence that I think it has a good probability to succeed well. My margin of safety is the upside is huge while the downside is lower. Just to give an example (which sometimes I have mentioned before but did not elaborate).

WCE is a holding company. It holds 2 main companies - WCE, the highway which it owns 80% and Rimbayu which it owns 40%. We know that Rimbayu is quite safe as it has land and these projects are now selling albeit slower due to the slowdown in property sector - but it will get there. Whether the project is 15 years or 20 years, there are limited downside in my opinion. But the upside is not that much - perhaps slightly more than RM1 billion in total?

As for WCE, the highway subsidiary, currently the company is raising hundreds of millions to pump into the project. People who invest mostly would know that the holding company is ring-fenced against its subsidiary's bad performance. Assuming (which I do not think so), WCE the highway is so bad that it does not perform at all - something like the Seremban - PD highway. Then WCE Holding's return from WCE highway is zero. It will not be negative as they are different entities and one should note that some of the bonds are guaranteed by Danajamin. Even if WCE Expressway needs more funds injections, there are ways to get around it without affecting WCE Holdings that negatively.

On the other hand, its performance on the upside is tremendous even with say 8% IRR. I will not show you the cashflow but people in finance will be able to figure it out. Or else, just think of it this way after the completion (with an IRR of 8%), the compounding would be just crazy over 50 years. This is why I take note of the progress of the project.

What about others?

Again, most of the stocks I hold are for long term. These applies to Ekovest - which has similar trait to WCE but with more immediate return. The structure is quite different. With WCE, it is more direct, which is why I hold WCE more as well.

I do not have to put much mention on Airasia. The more I say, there are certain groups which would say I try to move the stock - but if you look at its daily volume, you would know that no 1 single individual can do anything to Airasia's stock performance. At this moment, I can say is that I admit the structure is not simple (and that is admitted by Tony Fernandes). The devil is in the detail, and once it gets simpler, many things would be clearer. Another thing is that the group does do things. They talk a lot and they do a lot as well. Some companies do a lot of talking but do not do. Airasia REALLY sells tickets.

As for DKSH, well to me it is one of the cheapest consumer stock which can have large upside. To me, DKSH has yet to perform to its ability - which is why it is my longest holding stock i.e. since I started this portfolio.

What about Ecoworld? Just purely a fantastic property company. Anyone who is in the premium property business would have wished that PNB did not do a big controlling purchase of SP Setia - because it created a bigger monster. And ironically, it competes BIG against SP Setia as well.

Insas? Inari is real and through that alone Insas is certainly cheap, just that one would wish that the controlling shareholders provide a fair deal towards its shareholders. There is a tendency for the controlling guys to do an ICap which is not fair. The only thing I can say is if one gets older - there is a higher chance they get more sensible. Insas controlling shareholders are not getting younger.

TA? Quite similar to Insas but (don't know why) I am more confident towards the attitude of the TA's shareholders. For one thing, in the past (many many years ago), TA was a darling, hot stock. Today TA is no longer that and the controlling shareholders I hope does not have that mentality. It is just that - it is true, TA did not perform well financially in the past few years and many people just does not understand its financials which can be more complex. In this case, I hope time is my friend.

Tropicana? Wow, like I have said before Tropicana has changed in its business strategy and not many people understand that. It no longer holds single individual properties all over the place but holds huge development land in attractive places. It is not Ecoworld for sure, but do go over to have a look at Tropicana's projects and you would realise that it is not a RM1.4 billion property company.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Winning the game at the expense of others

In investment, if we pick the right, well managed companies, we can take a ride for long period with the company although our picking point was not at the right optimal level. Usually, if anyone is buying a business, we do not expect (but yes we hope we do), we are going to have an immediate gain, and a month later we sell that business. That in a way is speculation. In speculation, it is often a zero sum game where we hope that we have gone in at the optimal price point, while others would pick our crumbs along the way when we sell.

A zero sum game is when we win, another person will lose. Almost all the people that invests hope that it is a positive sum game. That is if I win, our fellow investors will win as well. The business turns out to be getting stronger and stronger and eventually dish out strong consistent dividends. That has always been the hope of a long term investor. However, if one is to decide to pour part of their savings into Magnum, Berjaya Toto (not the stocks but the tickets) then it would be really a negative sum game.

Over the last 2 years in Malaysia, I noticed an alarming state. There are just too many whom have introduced stocks at a seemingly low price, picked them up and call for a short term gain (by asking other people to buy). There will be a group of people whom will just follow. This is what I called - a hit and run and where they will never come back anymore. The ones that picked up the crumbs will often lose to the ones that call for the stocks in the first place.

In theory buying underpriced stocks is definitely not a wrong doing but the way it is done is really not right. Calling it, when other people were still buying for that person to sell is really irresponsible but unfortunately it is vastly happening.

So how do we avoid that from happening. We can't. In most likelihood, it is the role of the other investors themselves to weed those irresponsible(s) out. The best way is to really test out their facts and understanding of the matter. As an example, if one is to say the below for example, you know there is really something wrong in the person who says it:

"Actually, many people do not understand what is Share Premium Account and it's intended use. And because of this, many retailer miss out on potential corporate exercise that can benefit them.

So, how does this share premium account appear? Let me give you an example. Let's say the company Par Value is RM 0.50, but the company do a private placement at RM 1.00, so there is a Premium of RM 0.50. That RM 0.50 will then be stored inside the share premium account, and it cannot be simply used for normal operation such as company operation. The money here can only be utilized for corporate exercise such as Bonus Issue. When the company do bonus issue, it will then capitalized the money in the share premium account into share capital, and can utilize them for company day to day operation."

I am perplexed when someone can get away with totally wrong facts, and there will just be people who follow.

In today's world there are so many reliable sites where we can check the facts - and for those who really want to get tips, please really check and recheck them. Your money is your responsibility!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Interview with CEO of MAS

Please click on the short 10 min video which was an interview by TheEdge (Nadia Hassan) and the CEO of MAS.

To understand Airasia's competition (Why Airasia? Because I own its shares and also MAS is not listed), one has to know where MAS is heading. The below video shows that MAS is not going to fight on price anymore as opposed to previously. This is bad for me as a consumer but good for me as an investor. I remember I took a lot of Firefly flights between Penang - Subang at RM39 - RM45. Those tickets are not available anymore despite fuel price still cheaper (than 2 years ago).

MAS is now acting just like a full-fledged airline - they should as they do sometimes have a captive market - i.e. government employees (Yes, Govt employees usually take MAS as compared to Airasia). Additionally, since MAS has its own plan of getting to profitability (presuming it is going into the IPO market by 2019), it will have to be more discipline in pricing its tickets. It will be much less getting into price war - which is good for the airlines generally. Yes, MAS is also much tighter in terms of its costs structure - but generally from the interview you would notice that Airasia has a much earlier headstart as it was able to have better and proper planning against MAS which was struggling for a long while.

Also, I would like to highlight although people would have thought that Malindo is a major competitor to Airasia, it is not actually. Malindo gets its planes from Batik Air (owned by LionAir) which is a full fledged airline in Indonesia. You would have noticed that Malindo sells business class seats (and has IPTV screen) compared to Airasia which does not. Hence the costs and pricing structure are different. This makes what Tony Fernandes says i.e. Malindo is more of a competitor to MAS than Airasia is somewhat true.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

WCE: Raising funds at the right price

Having idled for more than 2 years, WCE has just experienced a good climb from RM0.90 beginning of the year to RM1.27 in just over a period of 40 days as it is possibly getting ready to raise further funding. We know that to complete the expressway and due to the condition from its funding, it will need to make up its equity portion to RM1.2 billion. Since WCE Holding owns 80% of West Coast Expressway, that comes to it needing RM960 million.

From its earlier funding, profit from construction and properties (Rimbayu) and sale of several assets, it probably has managed to gather around RM700 million. If that is the case, WCE will still need around RM200 - RM250 million depending on the performance of the company over the next 2 years.

The biggest question is how it is going to do the fund raising and at what price. Looking back at what WCE had done over the last 6 years in its preparation for the project, it has done 3 rounds of fund raising. The first one a private placement pricing its shares at RM1.22 back in 2011 (see below).

Ironically, when the project was confirmed, it did another round of private placement - this time at a price of RM1.11 in 2013 (see below).

Then, one year after that it did a rights issue pricing the stocks at RM1.08 in 2014. (One could argue that it was a rights issue and every shareholder has the right to participate)

What is ironic from above is that the closer it has gotten to the fruition of the project, the price it did its fund raising just went lower and lower.

Now that it is possibly doing another round in the near term, question is will it wrongly price its new shares offering, hence diluting further the current shareholders unfairly? One should note that one of its major shareholders, MWE bought a 22% chunk from Tan Sri Chan Ah Chye at RM1.35.

Because of the continuous under-pricing of its transactions, it would be really weird if another round of funding is done at below RM1.35 - wouldn't it be? And this is yet to take into account that the project is getting closer to completion (2 years time) and the holding costs of all those people whom have been subscribing to the earlier issuance.

Who seriously in their right mind, among the current set of major shareholders would agree to a low pricing?

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

How Much Do You Really Need to Start a Small Business in Malaysia?

This article is by CompareHero.

Life is getting harder with the inflation rate outperforming our wage growth, which is expected to be gloomy in 2017 according to a projection by 2016 MEF Salary surveys for executives and non-executives. This is one of the reasons millennials are opting to start their own business today: to fight for a larger income source.

There are a few questions you need to think about before taking the first step to actually start your own business. One of the most significant questions is: how much do you actually need to start a business?

Based on’s research, here are several types of common businesses in Malaysia and the estimated costs to start one.

Business type
Estimated Initial Capital (RM)
RM300 – RM1500
RM500 – RM2000
(depending on product)
Hawker Stall
RM2000- RM5000
RM60,000 – RM100,000
RM500,000 – RM600,000

Take note that these figures are the estimated cost to start your business and excludes the first six months of operating costs such as the electrical bill, rental, material costs and more. If you intend to keep your business afloat before it starts registering positive cash flow (depending on your strategy), you must prepare additional funds of at least six months operating cash flow. For example, you want to start a hawker stall with an initial startup cost of RM4,500 and roughly RM400 monthly operating costs, you will need to prepare RM6,900 in advance before you actually start your business.

This will help you to have enough cash flow to handle your business financial needs before your operational income starts generating enough cash flow to support itself, or breakeven. Thus, it is important to monitor and adjust all your expenses for your business.

With adequate preparation, you can avoid unnecessary wastage and achieve better returns for your business investment. Over time, you must optimise your capital carefully so that every ringgit is spent on business decisions with high returns.   

If you have already figured out a number of funds for your business, the next question is where to get the funds?

Most people will opt to borrow money from their friends and family or personal savings. However, some may not have these options. Don’t be discouraged as you can still get a personal loan from local banks to fund your business!

By comparing the best personal loan in the city, you can get the loan you need for your business with the lowest interest rates and preferred banks.

Another question entrepreneurs may encounter is: “Should I choose a credit card or a personal loan to fund my business?” We like to think both products offer different features and are applicable to both situations. So, why not use both?

Using a credit card to deal with some of the light to medium sized operating expenses is actually ideal, where you can get the best value from the corporate finance activities such as procurement and automated utility payments.

You can enjoy savings through cash back rates offered by respective banks or get rewarded with gifts by accumulating rewards points on your credit cards. That being said, you also get to enjoy features and benefits with a credit card which cash and cheque are unlikely to provide!
Just remember not to over-rely on financial products as overloaded debts can make it harder for your business to grow. is dedicated to raising financial literacy in our country and to helping everyday Malaysians make smarter and well-informed financial decisions in life. Visit their blog to learn more!