Sunday 17 November 2013

Asian Pay TV Trust- Updates on Results release

Results for APTT announced on 12th Nov'13. Results and dividends distribution as per original IPO forecast. In addition, APTT also going ahead with network expansion across greater Tai Chung area in Taiwan. This expansion drive will give it access to an additional 400,000 household.

In view of it's recent price drop, APTT has declined to an extremely attractive price of S$0.77 per unit which translates to an annual dividend yield of 10.71% yield. Also, there is even more room for distribution to improve due to new potential customers which will widen it's subscriber base. 

Saturday 2 November 2013

Asian Pay TV Trust- Why its price keep dropping?

Over the past 1 week, I observed that Asian Pay TV Trust ("APTT") dropped below the resistance level of $0.80. It declined to an all time low of $0.775 by end of 1 Nov'13. APPT IPO debut in May'13 at $0.97. Based on the current price, it represents a shocking plunge of approximately $0.20 drop per unit or 20% decline in its market value within half a year. Another peculiar point is that the Sep'13 results will only be announced on 12th Nov'13....but there were sudden sell off by current investors. Is it insider trading and the results from APPT is going to be a major disappointment? 

Well, my own analysis is that APTT is a very much misunderstood stock. The market is pricing risk and reward at 10.6% yield based on $0.775 per unit.....this is crazy. I have been holding on to APTT since its Macquarie International Infrastructure Funds days which was 5 years ago. APTT had performed magnificently in terms of capital growth and dividend income (I entered into the market during the Global Financial Crisis in 2008).....for me, this has always been an excellent cash cow and I believe it will continue its stellar performance for the following reasons:

(1) There is no major change in the management of APTT. It is a team which has a consistent track record of delivering results and executing strategic plans in business development in Taiwan.

(2) Potential competitors will have a tough time competing with APTT which already has the basic infrastructures in place. It will be tough for any competitors to try to sustain operations till they achieved the same economy of scale.

(3) Content on offer by Taiwan Broadband Communications such as HBO, National Geographic, Discovery Channel etc. are solid. There are over 105 TV channels in the basic package alone. Internet download of programs are currently still somewhat lacking in content. I foresee consumers still onto paid TV for many many years. Anyway, if technology and lifestyle change, there will still be ample time to get out before it truly became a sunset industry.

(4) My valuation using the discounted dividend model arrived at close to $1 per unit. Also, net asset per unit is around $0.92. Hence based on current pricing, there is a significant margin of safety in mopping up more shares in APTT. Over the past few days, I have acquired another 10,000 units, taking advantage of the declining pricing.

(5) The cash flow is sustainable bearing any major mishap. APTT management has reduced leverage significantly over the years. They have learnt many invaluable lessons during the last 2008 recession. 10.6% yield means one will be able to recoup one's investment in less than 10 years. The current yield is very much worth the risk taking.

Of course, the main concern will be whether APTT can get their broadcast license renewed in another 5 years. Based on what APTT has built up, this should not be a major hurdle.

The financial results to be announced soon will indicate whether my analysis are on the right track. As the saying goes, no risk no gain.

Sunday 22 September 2013

Midtown Residences Review (Hougang Central)

DEVELOPER: Oxley-Lian Beng Pte Ltd

LOCATION: 1189 Upper Serangoon Road, 3 min walk to Hougang MRT

LAND SIZE: 57,047 sqft
Basement 2- Residential Car park
Basement 1- Commercial car park & Supermarket
Level 1-Duplex Restaurant & Retail Shops
Level 2-Duplex Restaurant & Retail Shops
Level 3-Facilities Deck & Residential SOHO Units
Level 4-9-Residential SOHO Units
Level 10-11-Duplex Penthouses
CAR PARK: 162 Residential lots; 87 commercial lots
ESTIMATED TOP DATE:31st December 2018

TOTAL NO. OF UNITS: 160 Residential SOHO units (3.3m high ceiling)
  • 1+Study (452sf)
  • 2-bedroom (646-667sf)
  • 3-bedroom (710-743sf)
  • 2-bedroom Duplex Penthouse (840sf)
  • 3-bedroom Duplex Penthouse (1292sf)
  • 3-bedroom Triplex Penthouse with Roof Terrace(1570sf)
    107 Shops (Including Duplex Restaurant, Supermarket and F&B Shop) 
  • Duplex Restaurant (from 700sf, 55 units)
  • Retail shops (322-344sf, 51 units)
  • Supermarket (3300sf, 1 unit)


The joy of everyday living comes alive at Midtown Residences! Hougang MRT and bus interchange is a mere 3 minutes walk away. In addition, all amenities are already built up in the mature estate of Hougang Central. So one does not need further elaboration on the excellent location for this development. There are also 2 level of shops planned for this mixed development. Residents thus can enjoy much convenience with shopping downstairs whenever they get bored at home.
Units Layout
Good rectangular design which is efficient space planning. However, the unit sizes are extremely small. For example, 3 bedrooms here are only 67sqm. My sense is that the units available are more suited for rental investment rather than for family living. Good thing is that the units comes with a 3.3M high ceiling hence the volume is increased which makes living in this development bearable by increasing the space available. Mezzanine floor can be built for the bedrooms to make use of the high ceiling. Bedroom on the Mezzanine and study below design is an option to make good use of space.
Interesting Points to highlight
(1) The parking for residents is at basement 2 whereas basement 1 is for shops owners and shoppers. Problem is each unit is entitled to only 1 lot. There may be parking issues for relatives and friends. It will be kind of embarrassing to ask them to park at the HDB multi storey carpark and then walk over to Midtown. But I guess if most of the units are for rental, then the tenants will be relying more on the MRT for transport hence freeing up enough lots for visiting relatives and friends.
(2) Facilities are fairly decent such as a 20m lap pool. There is also a multi purpose court where one can play basketball.
(3) Prices after discount is still at over 1450psf.This is shocking high. However, quantum remains affordable with the small unit sizes. Less than 1 Million dollars for a 3 bedder.
Final thoughts:
There are actually still lots of potential for further capital appreciation. The huge plot of land near Hougang MRT remains undeveloped. It is being reserved for a Mega shopping mall and residential project.


Saturday 21 September 2013

Soilbuild REIT- A Race to the Bottom

The Soilbuild REIT IPO debuts at $0.78 per share on 16 August 2013. It is 5.4 times oversubscribed and raised a total of S$929 mil. I was initially very excited as I was alloted 3 lots for the IPO. Unfortunately, it tanked immediately on the first day of its debut and shed 6% by closing. It became a race to the door for many investors. This was a sharp contrast to the recent SPH REIT IPO where price went up almost 10% on the first day of trading. 

Over the next few days, I accumulated over another 14 lots which help brings down the investment to an average price of $S0.735. I thought I got a good bargain with the discount to net asset placed out and a higher annual dividend yield at 8% but fate does make sports of man.....the market fear the tapering off of easy money by the Feds and at one point, Soilbuild REIT dropped to just a mere 70 cents per share. It remained in the doldrum for many weeks despite the efforts by the stabilizing manager.

Lessons learnt:
  1. Ensure presence of strong sponsor for future REIT IPO. SPH backed REIT is a good example. For soilbuild REIT, its sponsor disappear after getting it listed. 
  2. Stay away from such IPO that is without cornerstone investors who have strong holding power.
  3. It is a myth to think that Industrial REITs are super defensive in nature. This is not true. Healthcare REITs and Retail REITs are actually more defensive in nature. 
Another interesting point about Soilbuild is that its founder Lim Chap Huat actually make many millions listing then delisting and then repackaged his assets for listing. Mr Lim has subsequently went into the market mopping up millions of shares at around S$0.73 per unit. I guess he is the ultimate winner. 

Anyway, I took advantage of the market rally yesterday and say "Bye Bye" to my entire stakes in Soilbuild REIT. Will most probably redeployed the capital to other more defensive REITS. I wish Mr Lim and his Soilbuild empire all the very best.

Tuesday 6 August 2013

Honeyed words by insurance agents- Beware!

Recently, metup with an Independent Financial Advisor ("IFA") and a tied agent from Manulife to buy life insurance critical illness policy and medical insurance for my new born. For critical illness life policy, the IFA came up with 4 products from 4 different insurance companies whereas the Manulife agent came up with only the Protector 20 plan. I compared the protection value, cash value and lifetime premiums and finally decided on the Vivolife policy from NTUC Income. The policy from NTUC Income is a balanced one in terms of protection and extremely high guaranteed cash value.

The Manulife agent was pretty upset. She persistently ring up to try to change my mind. Now, she mentioned that she has another better product called the Ultimate Protector series that can beat Vivolife and that Manulife has one of the best annual investment return out of all the insurance companies. Also, she told me that IFA also sold products that give them the highest commission and begin her pitch that IFA and tied agents are the same. Also she insisted another meetup face to face and did not want to send the soft copy of the proposal over. So, in the end, gave the agent another chance. Was almost swung by her sales pitch but due to my previous bad experience with insurance agents, my internal alarm rang non stop and I  told her I will need to take time to relook the detailed proposal.

Ultimately, I discovered that the Ultimate Protector policy from Manulife has very poor cash value upfront. The guaranteed portion is just too pathetic. If one can assume that the investment returns from Manulife is spectacular every year, then it will be unbeatable. I still prefer guaranteed portion. Also disullionised with the bad mouthing by one agent against another's pretty much a dog eat dog world it seems. The moral of the story is to be extremely skeptical when dealing with any insurance agents lest one become the ultimate fool.
Honey Honey Words.....Yummy!

Monday 5 August 2013

REITS Correction in June'13

The sharp fall in prices of many Straits Times Index ("STI") Stocks was unnerving. REITS market value slided down on fears that interest rates will rise when Ferderal Reserve Chairman Bernake announced the winding down of money printing in future due to improvement in the US economy. I sold off close to 50% of my portfolio in order to preserve my capital and unrealized profits. 

Luckily, the slide in the STI was only temporary. Market regain most of its confidence and investors went back. REITS prices corrected to a more decent footing to reflect rising interest rate risk which presented excellent opportunities for one to re-allocate their portfolio. I also offloaded the Genting Perpetual Bonds which will devalue in face of rising interest rates and use the proceeds to invest in Suntec REITS which will complete it's Asset Enhancement initiative next year. This in turn will boost rental income and I am expecting at least a 20% capital appreciation.

Sunday 4 August 2013

Jewel @ Buangkok (North East District) Review

Name:Jewel at Buangkok 
Developer: White Haven Properties Pte Ltd (City Developments Limited)
Location:Buangkok Drive / Sengkang Central       
Land Tenure:99 years from 12 September 2012
Expected T.O.P: 13 June 2017
No of Blks: 6
No of Units: 616Levels:15/16/17Site
Site Area: 18,340.7sqm (197,419sqft)
Carpark lots: 616 lots for residents comprising of the following:

  • Normal Lots – 610 Lots
  • Family Lot – 1 Lot
  • Electrical Car Lots – 3 Lots
  • Washing Bays – 2 Lots
In addition:
  • Handicap Lots – 7 Lots
  • Visitor Bays – 10 Lots
Total 633 lots.

This is the much anticipated launch that is just a mere 3 minutes walk to Buangkok MRT. The Jewel at Buangkok is just opposite The Quartz condominium and besides the EC Esparina.

The completed Esparina EC just besides Jewels

Dual Level Waterscape

Spa Cabin

Gardeners' Cabin

Pet's Lovers' Cabin

Gourmet Cabin

Adventurers' Cabin

Nature Cabin- Camping Ground!

Master Bedroom with balcony for premium 3 bedder 1195sqft

General Review:
The landscaping is just incredibly awesome for Jewel @ Buangkok. The main attraction is the unique dual-level waterscape comprising of panoply of pools and water features. Equally interesting is the Six Thematic Outdoor Cabins spread throughout the development.
Location wise, it is just a short 3 mins walk to the North East MRT Station of Buangkok which accounts for it's high pricing by CDL of around SS1,150psf on average. In terms of basic amenities, there is also a 24 hours NTUC supermarket, retail shops and food centre. Personally, I like Buangkok more than Seng Kang as it is not too congested. The many empty land around Buangkok MRT also means that those investors who dare to plunge in to get a unit will benefit in future. In Singapore, land is scarce and limited. Even if there are property market downturn, the land prices will eventually go back up. Interestingly, just 2 years back, no one thought that properties in the sub-urban areas will sell for over S$1,000psf....a simply unfathomable prospect in the eyes of mortal at that juncture.
Anyway, to make it affordable, City Development ("CDL") actually shrink the typical size of all the different bedrooms to ensure the units remain within the reach of the prospective buyers. For example, 3 bedroom sizes come in 2 main types of 81sqm (872sqft), 87 sqm (936sqft) and 100sqm (1,076sqft). For those who can afford S$1.25Mil, one would be able to get the bigger 3 bedroom premium at 1,195sqft (another 3 bedder premium at 1,152sqft). However, even then, this will only get you a unit at the low floors. That is how crazy CDL priced them. I highly recommend buyers to go for the smaller 1152sqft premium 3 bedder as the difference for the 1195sqft is they added in a balcony at the Masterbedroom.
Units Layout and fittings:
The architect of Jewel has designed it such that the living and dining areas are extremely spacious. This thus means smaller bedroom sizes. The Masterbedroom in the 3 bedder premium is a tad too small for my liking. Saying that, there are many people who prefers the extra space to be in the living and dining area. For fittings, a very special item given by CDL is the Hyflux Purified Water System to all units at Kitchen. The Purifier will be installed at the kitchen sink with a separate tap. Homogeneous tiles at Living and Dining area and laminated flooring for bedrooms.
Points to Note:
As mentioned previously, the landscape is awesome but that means that maintenance is going to very very expensive as warned by the property agent. The expect monthly maintenance fees for a normal 3 bedder is expected at be at least S$380 per month and S$400 over for the 3 bedroom premiums type. One can't have all the cake and eat it.
Overall, this CDL project look set to turn into a magnificent development. The prices slightly on the high side but then you get the MRT at your doorstep.

Saturday 27 April 2013

Slave to Condominium?

I have friends who told me that they known of people living a frugal lifestyle in order to support substantial monthly repayment of over $3k in mortgage for $850k of bank loan for private condo. They told me this is very sad as they felt that this is not a healthy way to live life. Also if interest rates were to raise by just 1%, monthly installment will go up further. These friends also told me what if recession comes and both the husband and wife got retrenched. Also a home for staying is not income generating albeit the price can give rise to capital appreciation. My thoughts on such lifestyle choice is to strike a balance. 

The other extreme end would actually be people who can afford to stay in private condominium but choose to stay in HDB. Also such people do not own cars as they proudly proclaim that the 4 wheels are depreciating assets. They prefer to save the money for investment so as to generate even more cash. The respectable financial guru and millionaire Mr Dennis Ng Kah Wan 吴加万 (RIP on 26 Jul 2012 at the age of 43) is one such person. Make no mistake, I used to be deeply influenced by Dennis Ng's philosophy as what he advocates makes perfect sense and makes one wiser financially too. But his death at such a relatively young age makes me wonder whether it makes sense to live so frugally till we miss out on so many of the finer things in life. Such is life which is pebbled with uncertainties and just unpredictable.

First and foremost, it is important to build up a stream of passive income. This will reduce the stress of holding on desperately to one's job to finance a condominium lifestyle. Also, my views are that in time of crisis, one can also rent out rooms in the condo unit for a year or two to tide over any cash strapped situation. Next, buy a condo unit that is reasonably priced and affordable. The Sky Habitat at Bishan is an example of overpriced condo that one should avoid. It is more suitable for the ultra rich folks. Make choices wisely and live life to the fullest without regrets in the future. Enjoy it with our loved ones ya.

Sunday 17 February 2013

Danger of investment linked products

Recently, the STI shot above 3000 mark and I decided that it is time to surrender my Investment Linked Policy (ILP) with Manulife. This was a balanced fund investment using my CPF investment account during 2006. The return was around 4.5% per annum on average which is very amazing.....amazing in the sense that the Singapore government is also paying the same rate for money left in the special account. I figured that I have been screwed as I took on market risk but the end result was that it cannot beat the risk free interest rate. So time to surrender and send the funds back to the CPF board and say bye bye to Manulife.

The problem with surrendering the ILP is that it is only effected 1 working day after you submit your application. 1 day is a very long delay as history has proven that stock market can drop a few hundred points during economic crisis. 

Another unique feature of ILP is that even if the funds made losses, you still need to pay them management fees. This is tantamount to rewarding people for poor performance. 

Last but not least, ILP always come with extra insurance that one does not require. This is a scam to hide the additional charges. Investment and insurance are two vastly different subjects in financial planning. Mixed them into one product and what you get is as clear as mud. 

Sunday 6 January 2013

La Fiesta review (NorthEast District-Sengkang)

Details of this project
Developer: EL Development.
Property Address: 50-76 Sengkang Square Singapore 544830.
Site Area: Approximately 22,497.6 sqm or 242,164 sqft.
Type of Development: Full condominium facilities.
No. of Blocks: 13 blocks of 15 Storeys comprising of a total of 810 units.
No. of Car park lots: 810 (one for one as per agent); 2 level of basement parking.
Tenure: Leasehold 99 years commencing from 3 September 2012.
Expected T.O.P date 30 June 2017.
Expected Legal Completion Date 30 June 2020.

The very special name of La Fiesta means "The Festival" in Spanish.The actual launch will be on 15th January 2013. This project location is superb as it is just besides Sengkang MRT and Compass Point shopping mall. The location is even better than neighbouring plot of Luxurie by Keppel. EL Development will also build a shelter linkway to connect to the overhead bridge thus integrating La Feista with Compass Point and Sengkang MRT. As such, the pricing is also out of the world and will set another record high for Sengkang. Tentative launch price will be between 1050psf to 1280psf (depending on facing and floor + unit type). There are also numerous interesting facilities such as Tea Garden and Candlelight Dining Pavilion. The water feature at the drop off point and the mini waterfall along entrance driveway makes this already very impressive development very magnificent.

Private Preview of Showflat-5 Jan 2013
Crazy crowded till it was claustrophobic. Plus one needs queuing within the showflat to enter the units on display....this is going to be a hot selling project! Heard that many cheques offered for 1 balloting required on 15th January 2013 (Tuesday).
People Mountain People Sea.

Squeeze mates!

Notice the guy in orange- He is the unofficial protector of the miniature model.

Queuing to view the showroom of the 3 bedroom compact and dual key 4 bedder.

Home buyers crowding around the miniature La Fiesta model

Main entrance depicted on the miniature model

Drop-off area- Note that the circular fountain in brochure has beautiful water jets shooting upwards

The sheltered linkway from La Fiesta to the overhead bridge to Sengkang MRT and Compass Point
Super large playground for the little ones and tennis court.
Big plot of land and even jogging track included in this development!

Parting shot of the main entrance and side gate link to overhead bridge

Clean cutting modern facade
Dinning area for the 3 bedder Compact (893sqft)

Note: For compact 3 bedder, there is one bedroom room which can only fit a single bed.

Master bedroom for the compact 3 bedder on display

Wardrobe for bedroom

King size bed can fit nicely into the master bedroom.

Master bathroom with marble finishing for floor and wall plus mosaic tiles on one side of wall.

Wash basin in Master bathroom.
Location and Amenities
What more can be say? Sengkang MRT and Compass Point shopping mall just a stone's throw away. This is a dream home for many families. In addition:
  • Reputable schools such as Nan Chiau Primary school and Nan Chiau High School (accorded SAP status recently).
  •  Quick accessibilty to Tampiness Expressway (TPE) and Kallang Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE).
  • Seletar Aerospace, Wafer fabrication near Yio Chu Kang/Jalan Kayu and Sengkang Hospital in development which will boost rental demand in the vicinity.
  • Walking distance to Kopi Tiam food centre and Seng Kang Community club
  • Extremely near distance to the Seng Kang neighbourhood police post- safe neighbourhood
  • Access to cineplexes in Sengkang West (Seletar Mall); Serangoon (NEX); Punggol (Watertown Mall).
  • Plus many many more.......simply too many too list down here.
Site plan and facilities of La Fiesta 
This plot of land is huge. Being 242,000sqft, there is even a jogging track built within the development. There are also many type of gardens in line with the Spanish Festival theme. The one that caught my eyes is the Sinful Garden! There are 2 main pools for La Fiesta with a whole array of water facilities such as Social Pool, Aqua Gym, Spa Pool, Water Play Zone and 50M lap pool.


Showflat and finishing + Unit Layout
The finishing given by EL are decent here. Homogenous tiles for living and dining room. High quality laminated flooring for all bedrooms. Okay, the best part is this: Marble finishing given by developer for the Master bathroom for flooring and walls. In addition, Mosaic tiles given for the wall directly with showerhead which adds to the grandeur feel. For even better finishing, one can consider getting a unit next door at the Luxurie by Keppel.

There is no penthouse units in La Fiesta. All the units are quite small in size actually...which is a strategy by EL to ensure the quantum is affordable (due to high PSF being marketed) to all.

Initially, I was skeptical before I visit the showflat at how liveable a 893sqft apartment can be....turns out that the use of space was extremely well planned and efficient except for the A/C ledge of 6sqm which is the same size as the balcony. At S$1,100psf, this compact unit will be approximately S$982K which is affordable in terms of quantum.

 Despite the small size of the units, the efficient planning by the architects ensure decent livable space. I would recommend for families size household, they should aim for at least the 3 bedder compact unit type. The 4 bedder will be approximately 1098sqft and will be in the region of S$1.2Mil onwards (getting pretty expensive for 4 bedder and above layout). The location for this project is excellent and offer investors room for further capital appreciation once developments for the D19 area completed. Facilities on offer are also impressive.  If EL can lower the price and launch at S$1000psf, this will be a sell out within a day. Anyway, let's wait for 15th January to see how fast EL can move units at it's asking price of S$1100psf onwards.