Thursday, 14 June 2018

How to Preserve the Value of your 99 years leasehold HDB or Private Property?

The 99 years leasehold expiry issue that was recently hotly debated due to the comments from the National Development Minister is actually not just restricted to HDB. Yes, it also affects private property owners who purchased their properties under a 99 years tenure. Simply put, all leasehold properties, whether public or private, will eventually go back to the state upon expiry.

The Singapore Land Authority official stance is that its general policy will be to recover the land upon lease expiry. For HDB, do not expect all aged flats to be eligible for Selective Enbloc Redevelopment Scheme ("SERS"). This thus creates a huge national problem as approximately 80% of the Singapore population stay in public housing.

For private property owners, this issue is less acute. Unlike HDB flats, private property owners can opt for collective enbloc sales to developers such as Far East Organization, City Development, Capitaland, Keppel Land, Oxley etc. However, this is on the assumption that there is a good residential association or management committee leading the estate. This means that there must be good leaders among the residents who are financially savvy and able to organize as well as rally support to complete the requirements to push for enbloc once an estate reaches between 30yrs old to 40yrs old. 

One shocking real life example of the dreadful impact of the leasehold expiry issue can be gleaned from the private estate in Geylang Lorong 3. The Geylang private estate has a 60 year leasehold form 1960 which means that it is expiring by 2020, that is, around 2 more years. It consists of 190 private landed homes. There are around 20-30 households still remaining and living in the estate. Some of the remaining owners regretted not selling off earlier when prices were still relatively high. The owners were surprised that once 2020 comes, their properties will be worth nothing. There are no buyers right now given the circumstances as it is.

The moral of the story here is that private property owners will not be impervious to the detrimental impact of a lease approaching the end of its tenure. Given the hundreds of thousands of dollars or even millions spent to purchase a private property, one should not clung on to sentiment and should go for enbloc once the properties become old. I would think between 30 yrs and 40 yrs is the best time for the estate to group together to call for enbloc to private developers in order to preserve their property value.

For freehold private property owners who are glad that they will have no such issue, that is, unfortunately not true. The Singapore government had a track record of invoking the Land Acquisition Act which means that freehold may not be so perpetual after all. I do not believe there is such a thing as “freehold” property in land scare Singapore. In addition, once a property reaches 30 yrs old, chances are there will be many property maintenance issues regardless of being HDB, private leasehold or private freehold. Common problems will be worn out electrical fittings, water pipes leaking, pneumatic disposal system problems etc.

The key point I guess to overcome the 99 years leasehold issue is not to stay at one place for more than 30 years to 40 years to avoid the sad fate of Geylang Lorong 3 private estate. The intrinsic value of our properties is further compounded by the CPF restriction imposed on subsequent purchaser buying old estates which certainly exacerbates the problem. The old adage that property is a retention of wealth no longer holds true in Singapore with the MND announcement. This can be seen in the current resales prices of old HDB estates as Singaporeans assess the recent statements being made by the government. Of course, letting go of sentiment of staying in one’s place is easier said than done. We are human beings after all. A home holds many sweet memories of the past and present for many of us.     

Saturday, 9 June 2018

Netlink NBN Trust- From Boring Stable Counter to Jaw Dropping 8% price drop since IPO


Netlink Trust-the Fibre of a Smart Nation- dropped to a 52 week low of S$0.745 per unit on 8 June 2018 (Friday) during its mid-day trading, before recovering to close off at S$0.780 per unit. During 2018, most analysts were all setting price target of over S$0.915 per unit, but instead it dropped from the S$0.810 to S$0.745. Taking into account Netlink's IPO price of S$0.810, the Business Trust would have dropped 8% at its lowest point since the announcement of its year end results. What happened to this counter which investors used to praise for its relative stable business outlook and thus stable unit prices that was expected?  


The other mind blogging aspect is that Netlink Trust's net profit that was announced was higher than expected and so was the dividends distribution. (Please see my previous post on "Netlink NBN Trust- Boring but Stable".)

Are there changes in business fundamentals since the last announcement by Netlink?
A quick search on SGX announcement and Netlink Trust official website did not reveal any profit warning or negative business developments. However, overall market interest rates is expected to go up in the upcoming months due to better than expected US job data. Market is expecting another 2 rounds of interest rate hikes this year by the US Federal Reserve due to the better economic outlook.   

The interest rate hikes is a factor for consideration but the price decline seems to be overly done with the dividend yield expected for FY2019 to be over 6% based on the last closing price. In view of no news of worsening business fundamentals, absence of any known significant earnings deterioration and also the cost of equity should not deviate too much, the current sell down by existing shareholders seems to be overly done. With the increasing use of fibre broadband services for day to day activities, Netlink Trust is one of the few businesses that has a resilient business model with recurring earnings. For those holding on to Netlink NBN Trust, what are your thoughts on the recent dip? 

Monday, 4 June 2018

Property Market going Crazy? Will you pay S$1,750 psf for a private property at Serangoon North?

I am flabbergasted and exasperated. Record new high created again in our Singapore Property Market even at mass market private properties. It was reported in the news that Oxley launched Affinity at Serangoon (formerly enbloc Serangoon Ville) at an average of S$1,550 psf. 110-140 units estimated to have been sold. 5 mins away, Keppel Land and Wing Tai launched their Garden Residences (Serangoon North Ave 1) at an average of $1,750 psf and they managed to move 60-90 units. Also with EC going at S$900 psf and even upcoming projected EC projected at S$1,000 psf at Punggol in 2019 (site won by City Development), the property market these days seems to be in exuberance.

What is happening? This seems like a huge bubble to me. Will our Government come out to launch additional property cooling measures soon? 

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Fu Yu Corporation- SUPER Hero cash generating abilities



Superhero strength and superhero cash generating abilities best describe Fu Yu Corporation ("Fu Yu"). Fu Yu is a business listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange focusing on fabrication of precision moulds as well as sub-assembly of precision plastic parts and components. The Fu Yu Group of companies have non-existent bank borrowings on the face of their statement of financial position. Yes.....this is not a typo error...zero borrowings from the bankers. It is even sitting on a cash hoard of over S$98.4Mil as at Q1 2018 which was built up over the years. This represented an impressive translation of S$0.131 cash value per share. Its share price is around S$0.18 per share. Hence 66% of its market value is directly supported by the fair value on its mammoth cash position. It was also giving out over 8% in dividend yield in the previous years. 

I mean that this is no simple feat considering that Fu Yu is in the business of manufacturing and having to deal with complexities such as marketing & business development to maintain the top-line, maintaining the technical edge in manufacturing competencies, sorting out raw materials purchases, review of manufacturing process cost control, managing overseas plants and human resources in Malaysia & China and dealing with very competitive rivals. Also having to deal with macro economic climate and cyclical demand for their products requires lots of versatility.    

Based on my past few years of observation, I have to conclude that Fu Yu has a very good senior management team in place and well helmed by their current Board of Directors. The core senior management team is very important for such a business as they determine how the business should response to current economic environmental challenges and also to determine the future strategic business development. The operational teams at the ground level will then implement and execute in accordance with the business unit leaders requirement. Hence the current talent pool throughout the entire Fu Yu organisation are definitely one of the very best in their respective fields.

The question will be whether Fu Yu can continue to grow its revenue and maintain its dividend pay out to its investors.   

Review of Financial and Operational Performance of Fu Yu Corporation
2017 was not a good financial year for Fu Yu. Its revenue dropped drastically in the face of competition and general lower demand in the market.

I have included a revenue, gross profit and net income trending chart from 2012 to projected 2018 (based on simple annualisation of Q1 2018 results).
The blue line represents Total Revenue and has been on a declining trend since 2012. The interesting thing to note is that the Gross Profit line have not declined drastically in line with the drop in Total Revenue. Gross Profit Margin % have in fact improved over-time. 

Saying that, the downward revenue trending for Fu Yu is worrying as it may indicate that the Group is no longer competitive or there are major disruption in certain market segments. To address this concern, we need to further delve into quarterly revenue being generated. A snap shot and deep dive into the revenue, gross profit and net income trending by quarters (using past 3 years data) as per below:

The Q1 2018 announcement has stated that revenue is higher than the previous Q1 in 2017. There are some retail investors who heralded this as evidence that Fu Yu has successfully overcome the downtrend and is on an expansion path again. However, I would urge caution against such train of thoughts as the revenue is still showing a drop against the most recent Q4 2017. 

Next, we will need to examine what the Management of Fu Yu is doing to steer the organisation forward amidst the current economic climate. In the Q1 2018 announcement, Management has listed down various key strategic initiatives. 

Basically, to drive sustainable growth, Fu Yu management  has channeled business development resources and efforts on the following strategic initiatives:

(i) strengthening its business development team to expand market share with existing customs and make inroads with new customers (this includes embarking on digital marketing platform);

(ii) diversifying its customer base across different targeted market segments to ensure greater business stability;

(iii) focusing on products that have greater stability, longer life cycles and higher growth potential such as medical, automotive, green & security-related products and 3D printers; and

(iv) continuously improving its operations to achieve optimal capacity utilisation, high production efficiency and leaner cost structure.

The better results against prior year seems positive and encouraging. Once we have the upcoming Q2 2018 results (for half year ending 30 June 2018) released, investors will have a more concrete financial information to make a better assessment on whether the business strategies are bearing fruits to re-vitalise revenue generation.

Sustainability of its generous dividends pay out
The super impressive S$98.4 Mil in cash and bank balances is testament to the strong cash generation capabilities of the core businesses. Even though the revenue has declined over the last 2 years, the business remain profitable.

Due to the aforesaid mentioned above, there is no problem for Fu Yu to meet the cash dividends if management choose to maintain an 8%++ yield. In the absence of any surprised economic downturn or Merger and Acquisition target, the huge cash balances on hold is non-productive for Fu Yu and it makes more sense to try to return as much of it back to shareholders.
The funding required will only be in the region of S$9.9Mil extra out of previous Retain Earnings per year even if the results remain flat as at Q1 2018. This will be peanuts relative to the S$98.4Mil in cash on hand and bank. 

If the management became unreasonable and are only willing to return 100% of current year profit (and refused to utilise past Retain Earnings), then based on annualization of Q1 2018 earnings per share, the dividend yield will drop to 1.56% for FY2018, assuming a price of S$0.18 per share. However, we can see that for May 2018, management of Fu Yu had already declared a dividend of S$0.01 which is already a 5.5% dividend yield. 

In addition, another possible scenario is assuming a worst case of sudden economic downturn (Italy and EU melt-down spread to Global Economy), the dividend payout may be reduced drastically or even nil. But the size of the current cash on hand and in bank will be able to tide Fu Yu over and ride out the storm. The low CAPEX and a seasoned senior management team will be able to effectively slash the cash burn rate to conserve cash for survival mode in the circumstances as it is.
  
Valuation of Fu Yu against current market price of S$0.18 per unit (as at end May 2018)
On the subject of valuation, this becomes an extremely subjective and judgmental issue which depends on investor outlook based on the best information available at this juncture. 

On one hand, one can assume that the good old days for Fu Yu are over and the revenue will decline until the business went into the red for many years and eventually bled out. In this extreme case, the valuation will of course be near zero.

However, my personal thoughts are that based on the proven management team as well as the excellent financial track records of Fu Yu, the probability of upside are extremely high for those who choose to invest into this business. Fu Yu should be able to maintain a decent level of profitability barring major economic catastrophe on a global scale. There is also the distinct possibility of other bigger MNCs targeting Fu Yu for takeover to achieve further competitive advantage via the theory of economies of scale which surely will boost the current market value, Personally I thought its current market price is on the lower end of its intrinsic value (Net Tangible Assets per share are S$0.22 + pure cash making up S$0.131 or 66% of its current market valuation and high probability that the business will be able to make a decent profit or at least breakeven from proven track records of its cash generation ability for the next few years).

Saturday, 26 May 2018

Asian Pay TV Trust keeps spiralling downwards after Q1 2018 results. How low could it go?

Asian Pay TV Trust ("APTT") closed off Friday (24 May 2018) at a 52 weeks low of SGD 0.440. Based on the re-affirmed SGD 0.065 per unit of dividend guidance for FY2018 by the Management of APTT after the Q1 2018 results announcement, this represented a dividend yield of 14.77% (please see the previous post here with regard to analysis on whether the cashflow for dividend is sustainable) Is this a value trap? How low will APTT goes? When will the dumping of its units in open market stop?

Why did APTT plummet recently since the release of its Q1 2018 financial results?
I rationalised that the reasons for the free-fall are as follow: 

1. The market  getting jittery based on the continued erosion in its core business earnings amidst the competition. 

2. There is also the announced increase in corporate tax rate from 17% to 20% in Taiwan. I reckon that due to the pursue of populist policy by the government to reduce personal income tax,  the authority have no choice but to balance the books by milking corporations. This will make the government look good for the upcoming year end election. However, this is contradictory to the overall reduction in corporate tax rates going on in the world to boost business growth and also attracting foreign investments. 

3. Market interest rates are expected to keep going upwards. There is again some uncertainty by the market over the interest expenses on huge loans taken out and its financial impact on APTT. Just to add on, the interest rates on the bank loans used to be over 8.5% during the Macquarie Infrastructure days. Since then, APTT has restructured the bank loan with a drastically lowered interest rates. The interest rate is based on interbank offer rate plus 2.3%. The latest loan of NT$29 billion taken in Oct 2016 will only be due in Oct 2023. Out of these, NT$16 billion has been hedged using interest rate swaps from floating rate to a fixed rate.
4. Losses in Q1 2018. This was actually due to the one off deferred taxation charge of S$11Mil taken into the books from the increase in corporate tax rates from 17% to 20%. I have mentioned in my previous post (pls see here) that there is no cashflow impact on the application of deferred taxation in FY2018. The tax view and accounting accrual view overcomplicated the situation and may have casted an aspersion on the future financial performance on top of the worsening key business indicators in pt 1.

5. Cancellation of Korean America Summit in Singapore on 12th June 2018 by US President Donald Trump? The Business Times mentioned that Asian stocks were jittery over the uncertainty of the Summit in Singapore. 

Review of key Business Metrics of APTT
The 2 key operational metrics of APTT are namely, (i) Revenue Generating Units (RGU) and (ii) Average Revenue Per User (ARPU). In its presentation deck to shareholders, the management of APTT often put down ARPU as "stabilising".  

For example, for previous year Q1 2017, APTT reported ARPU stabilising. 
Then again in the recent Q1 2018 presentation to investors, APTT again used the term "ARPU stabilising". 

The ARPU is thus actually far from being "stable". The blood bath have not halted. ARPU is still sliding downwards almost every quarter. The Premium digital cable TV business segment is suffering from pricing challenges due to competitive pressures from the unlimited wireless data offerings from mobile operators. ARPU had lowered due to promotions and discounted bundled packages being offered to generate new RGUs and to retain existing RGUs.

The only good news is that the RGU are indeed stable and the blood letting in terms of decline financial performance is really due to unfavourable pricing that is adversely affecting their profit margin.
  


As to how serious is the declining ARPU or whether it will indeed eventually reached "stabilisation", investor will have to make up their mind on the future outlook. One will have to wait for the upcoming Q2 2018 results to have better visibility since the ARPU in Q1 2018 is still declining.  

Valuation using the Dividend Discount Model
The Dividend Discount Model is a method of valuing a company's stock price based on the theory that its stock is worth the sum of all of its future dividend payments, discounted back to their present value. Since many investors seems to treat this as a high yield stock, I reasoned that the DDM will be a useful tool for us to do some mathematical valuation to see the fair value per unit expected.
P = D1 / (r -g)
P= Current Price based on summation of the infinite series;
D1= Dividend Payment per unit (S$0.065)
r= Cost of Equity (assume 14.77% based on 25th May 2018 closing price)
g= Dividend Growth Rate (assume zero in APTT's case) in perpetuity.

Based on the above, we have P = S$0.440 if the Cost of Equity is 14.77%

Now, if we assume that the Cost of Equity, based on the previous  month of around 12.26%, then P = S$0.530. The risk premium and expected return from investors have increased further ever since the release of the Q1 2018 results.

If we assume that the dividends going forward to be cut by 25% due to one's view that APTT will cut price further or lose more subscribers while maintaining 14.77% as Cost of Equity, P= S$0.35.

Hence based on one's outlook, we see that the price range can be from S$0.35 to S$0.53. Analyst target price based on the discounted cashflow projection (another valuation methodology) priced APTT at S$0.52. Based on the slowing quarterly losses in ARPU, I will say the fair value should be around S$0.40 and with probability of favourable upsides or stabilisation in view soon. Loan facility due in 2023 means that short term continuity of the business is not likely to be a major issue as the ability of the business to service its debt is not an immediate issue yet but there is a risk by assuming no major surprises in its current revenue generating abilities.

Please do share your views and outlook for APTT. Will it drop below S$0.40 or is it already oversold and represents a good opportunity right now to invest in APTT?

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

The increase in tax rate to 20% led to HUGE LOSSES in Q1 2018 for Asian Pay TV Trust? Myth or Fact?

With the release of Q1 results by Asian Pay TV Trust ("APTT"), I begin to see a lot of weird comments on investment forum from how they interpret the results. Some of the folks on the forum frantically advocated an immediate sell off due to the huge loss incurred for Q1 2018 by APTT. Some remarked that "Taiwan tax is so scary that it makes a profitable company into a loss making company overnight". Others were skeptical on why APTT management only focuses on EBITDA and did not place emphasis on the net losses incurred. 

Myth: The increase in tax rate to 20% led to huge losses in Q1 2018 for APTT. Taiwan tax is so scary that it makes a profitable company into a loss making company.

This is not true. The main reason for the turning of results to loss is due to a one time <S$11Mil> deferred taxation charge to the Profit and Loss statement. Note that a deferred taxation charge represents only a timing difference to smoothen out the accounting profit and loss else it will lead to a skewing of year by year financial results. There is no cashflow impact. Neither does it represents an increase in actual tax expenses to the Taiwanese Tax Authority with the one time deferred taxation charge. The effect gets reversed out over subsequent financial years and is a creature that exists due to the prescription under the International Accounting Standard.  

To better illustrate how this works, let's look at the following simplified scenario. Assuming S$100K of Computer Equipment were purchased and under tax law, it allows for accelerated tax depreciation of 100% within the first year, all S$100K will thus be eligible for tax deduction filing. 

From the accounting perspective, the Computer Equipment purchased has a useful live for 3 years. Hence the annual depreciation rate booked into the Profit and Loss statement will be S$33.3k on a straight line method. 

Next, we assume a business can generate S$150K of revenue every year and the only expenses for the purpose of this theoretical exercise is the depreciation charges for Computer Equipment. Also prevalent income tax rate let's assume is 17%.  


As you all can see, without the Deferred Tax adjustment, the current tax for the first year is only S$8,500 whereas for Yr 2 and Yr 3, the current tax expense payable to the Tax Authority increased significantly to S$25,500 respectively. This will lead to drastic differences in the Net Profit and Loss for Yr 1 relative to Yr 2 and Yr 3. It is only with this creature known as "Deferred Taxation" being created that leads to the same Profit and Loss over the years from the accounting perspective to resolve the timing differences between tax and accounting view.  

There is thus no direct cashflow impact from the application of deferred taxation. Hence one should only consider the impact of the revised increment in current taxation payable to the Taiwan Tax Authority and exclude the impact of the deferred taxation with regard to the assessment of Q1 2018 performance of APTT.

In my next post, I shall do a quick review of the Q1 2018 APTT business results as well as a valuation of the business to compare against the market unit price.  

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Refinancing for Investment Property/Residential Property- 3 things to watch out for to avoid PLAY OUT by the bankers.

The servicing of the housing loan is one of the major expenditure items for most Singapore households. A properly executed refinancing can free up much needed cash-flow for savings or investments.

1. It is not enough to just keep in mind the date of the lock in period of your housing loan. The required notification period is also of paramount importance if not more essential.


One will need to read the terms and conditions of your loan contract clearly in particularly for the portion on the notice period required. Generally, it is one month notice for partial repayment and 3 months notice period for full repayment via cash repayment or refinancing from other bank. 

This is similar to an employment contract. You cannot just happily decide to resign suddenly and disappear the next day from work. Your employment contract contained a clause that states clearly your notification period to Employer before your last day of work and failing which you will need to pay compensation in the form of cash in lieu of short notice. 

1(i) What if one forgets to give notice? 


This will mean that generally, you will have to pay the standard higher interest rates compared to the special rates under lock in period. This can lead to a huge jump in interest expenses until the end of the notice period. This can range from a hundred dollars to couple of hundred dollars  per month depending on the quantum of your housing loan. DO NOT give the bank an excuse to earn that extra from you. 

Also, once saddled with the threat of higher interest, one may panic and just decided to quickly re-contract another 2 to 3 years package with the same bank without looking into the market for better packages from other banks to get the best deal.

Always set an alarm on your mobile phone or write a post slip note and stick it on your refrigerator door or home notice board 4 mths before the loan is due. Be very "KIASU" over it. We are talking about the biggest household expenditure where most of us spent decades servicing it and the savings from a well executed refinancing can save thousands of dollars in 2 years. Do not expect your banker to care about saving as much money as possible on behalf of you. Their interest is not aligned with us. 

The refinancing procedures with the new bank should ideally take place 3.5 mths to 4 mths before the last date of the locked in period. This is to give adequate lead time for yourself to study and compare various housing loan packages available and also for your new banker to get the whole bunch of documents from you and then process internally for the letter of offer. After the letter is signed off, only then will the other bank's solicitor write in on behalf to your current banker to serve notice and to commence the administrative settlement of inter-bank debt. For those who are unfortunately stuck in the paper work and could not complete this on time, please serve notice personally to the bank via a formal written notice.   

1(ii) Some housing specialist at bank branches mentioned refinancing does not need to serve notice at all as it is a different case. Only partial repayment or full repayment in cash need to serve notice. Is this statement true? What if the officer at the branch refuse to accept serving of your notice?


If the terms and conditions clearly state so, then this must be adhered to. No way out of it. If the officer does not accept, please write down in black and white and emailed them back. Yes. the officers at the bank do screw up as some of them may be new joiners and not familiar with the internal procedures. I experienced it a few times myself with such bank officers. This brings me to my next important point on documentating everything formally, which will be extremely useful during times of disputes or screw up by the banks.

2. Ensure you document down the exact communication with the Bank's Housing Specialist. This is even more so if many conversations took place over the phone. Write an email to document what had been discussed in order to protect your own rights or as evidence in the event of future dispute.


I will share one nasty experience here with one of the banks with regard to my personal housing loan taken out a few years back.

It started with me looking out to refinance my investment property and I wrote in to the Housing Specialist of the bank asking for the latest fixed rate interest loan package available as I was worried over rising interest rates (I got a phobia on this as I paid before over 4% interest expenses on my first investment property and the monthly servicing of interest expense was just crazy). 

The bank officer replied and listed down the packages. I looked at them and wrote back in black and white to say that I want a "fixed" interest rate package. The officer then recommend the package to me and then send the revised loan contract with a new 2 years locked in period for my signing off. 

Strange thing is that after 10 months, I noticed that my monthly installment payment are not similar and is in fact creeping upwards. I was devastated and realised that I have been mis-sold on my loan package. I quickly called up the bank and explained the situation. However, the reply I got back from the bank was chilling. If I had disagreed on the package on offer, why did I sign off on it without reading through in detail? As far as the bank is concerned, the contract is legally binding. Now, the contract has many clauses which are just too technical for me to understand and I have mainly relied on the email instruction to convey on what I wanted over for the loan package. Never would I imagine such a screw up by the bank officer to occur which led to the predicament I found myself into. The bank officer kept insisting the package was fixed rate. Later I found out that his definition of "fixed" for him is referring to a stable benchmark rate that based on historical trend, should not increase much overtime.

Given the unjust incident, I went back to my email account and dug out the email correspondences and wrote in to complain the unfair handling of my case. All the while, I was praying that I have not deleted them. Luckily for me, I managed to retrieve the emails albeit spending a few hours on it. The bank then re-looked into it and then mentioned that "out of goodwill" (since I can produce the supporting correspondences), they will let me re-finance to the prevalent fixed interest rate package which was at an all time high of 2.38% compared to the initial point in time 10 mths back, without penalties. However, they required me to re-lock in another 2 years from the point of the new package on offer. I had no choice but to accede to their condition as I was at their mercy. I simply did not have the financial resources to mount a lawsuit over this case of mis-selling by the bank which had plenty of financial muscle to bulldoze over me. 

Hence the importance of the email documentation in terms of black and white. Of course, the other main take away from this is that besides the formal email correspondences to be filed, one must not take things for granted during signing off on the loan agreement and to press for details on any part that one does not understand or do not have adequate comfort.

3. Re-financing to lower interest rates may not be always worth it. There are upfront legal fees (S$2K to S$3K) and valuation fees (around S$500).  Also be THICK-SKINNED and asked for freebies.
For example, if the new desired loan package chosen is 2 years and lowered interest expenses by only S$100 per month, this will allow you to save a mere S$2.4K over 2 years relative to the best offered loan package from your current bank, then the total additional cost of S$2.5K for legal fees and valuation fees plus the time spent to go through all the hassle will simply not be worth it. 

Also, be thick skinned...ask for shopping vouchers, legal fee rebate, or free home fire insurance. You never know how much extra you can squeeze out of the banks or their sales agent. Banks are making lots of money out of the interest expenses that you are servicing. Any such "freebies" will be peanuts to them.


Summarising, I seems to be always unlucky in terms of having unpleasant and strange encounters financially with banks and also insurance companies (Pls see "My Struggle with Insurance Policies" post here). I can only say that growing older does make one wiser. Also, thanks to the Invest Bloggers Community, the online readings have certainly shorten the steep learning curve in terms of my personal financial management.