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Stocks

Mapletree Logistics Trust share price in trouble

Lifetime Membership What the hell. Never in my wildest dream did I expect Mapletree Logistics Trust share price to trade below its Net Asset Value (NAV). This STI constituent, supposedly a blue chip in SGX, has been a major disappointment for many SGX investors since the Fed started to hike interest rates in 2022. When can this counter ever see daylight?

Dampened by heightened geopolitical tensions and longer-than-expected high interest rate environment, the whole of S-REIT industry has been in wretched form for the last two years. Mapletree Logistics Trust is no exception. Year-to-date, Mapletree Logistics Trust share price continues its dismal form, having plunged by a whopping 20.5% and becomes one of the biggest falling stars among the STI constituents. However, the counter was in the spotlight recently when a unitholder flagged out that nearly 30% of leases are due for renewal in the coming financial year 2024/25 during the AGM. What raised a few eyebrows was that 13.2% of these leases are in China.

Mapletree Logistics Trust share price

For background, Mapletree Logistics Trust is an S-REIT that invests in a diversified portfolio of logistics real estate in Asia Pacific with the aim of providing its unitholders with a stable distribution stream. As at May 2024, it has a portfolio of 186 properties in Singapore, Australia, China, Hong Kong SAR, India, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea and Vietnam with assets under management of $13.3 billion.

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Stocks

iFAST share price gunning for $10?

Lifetime Membership Is SGX truly dead and buried? Many people claim that SGX is in a complete state of moribund. Apart from the 3 local bank stocks, many of the SGX stocks have been in insipid forms for the past two years, no thanks to the US Federal Reserves interest rate hikes. Everyone is looking for the next super-hero of SGX, one that could capture the imagination of SGX investors, like what AEM did in 2021.

Against this backdrop, investors must be holding their breath when iFAST share price seemed to return to form in February 2024 after hitting a high of $8.35. Will iFAST share price enjoy another fairy-tale run in 2024?

For background, iFAST Corp is a global digital banking and wealth management platform, with assets under administration (AUA) of $20.0 billion. Incorporated in the year 2000 in Singapore, iFAST Corp is also present in Hong Kong, Malaysia, China and UK. The Group offers access to over 21,000 investment products including unit trusts (“funds”), bonds and Singapore Government Securities (“SGS”), stocks and exchange traded funds (“ETFs”), and insurance products. It also provides services such as wealth management solutions, banking services, research and investment seminars, Fintech solutions, pension administration and investment administration and transaction services to financial advisory (“FA”) firms, financial institutions, banks, Fintech and Internet companies, as well as retail customers and high net worth (“HNW”) investors.

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Stocks

ThaiBev share price flirted with IPO

Lifetime Membership The last time that I covered ThaiBev share price was in December 2019. That was a long time ago and an SG Wealth Builder Lifetime Member has requested for a coverage on this counter, which has recently plunged into a devastating 11-year low. What on earth has happened to this evergreen Straits Times Index (STI) component?

For background, ThaiBev is Thailand’s largest and leading beverage producer and distributor. Since 2006, ThaiBev has been listed in SGX mainboard and was included in STI in 2016, having replaced IHH Healthcare. In 2013, ThaiBev made waves when the Group, under the leadership of Thai billionaire, Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, acquired Singapores’ F&N. Today, ThaiBev has a mighty presence in over 90 countries, with overseas alcoholic production facilities in Scotland, France, Myanmar, Vietnam and China. ThaiBev’s business comprises four segments – spirits, beer, non-alcoholic beverages, and food.

ThaiBev share price
ThaiBev share price

Back in December 2019, ThaiBev share price was actually trading at $0.90. Five years later, the counter has corrected by a whopping 50%, causing plenty of heart pains to many of its faithful investors. However, under the current bear market, the decline of the ThaiBev share price should not be surprising. Apart from local bank stocks, the rest of the STI components, including the S-REITs, are pretty much in bad shape due to the high interest rate environment.

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Stocks

Li Ning share price crashed 83%

Lifetime Membership Warren Buffet famously quoted: price is what you pay, value is what you get. In this context, investors must be wondering if the current Li Ning share price trading level represents value.

From a peak of HK$105 in September 2021, Li Ning share price crashed by a whopping 83% to reach HK$17.50 recently. The devastating meltdown of Li Ning share price certainly caused plenty of heart pains to its investors. Should they keep the faith or run for their lives? This must be a dilemma faced by many Li Ning investors given that rumors emerged in March 2024 that the founder of the Group was considering privatizing Li Ning. What?! At current Li Ning share price levels?

Li Ning share price

For the uninitiated, Li Ning is the Nike version of China. Founded in 1990 by former Olympic gymnast, Li Ning, the Group is a Chinese sports brand, operating professional and leisure footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories. Under the core strategy of “Single Brand, Multi Categories and Diversified Channels”, the Group has established an extensive retail distribution network and supply chain management in China.

The faltering Li Ning share price is not unique to just Li Ning as the overall China stock market suffers an explosive bubble burst after peaking in 2021.

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Blog updates

The Cathedral of God

Lifetime Membership For more than a decade, I have been asking myself the reason for building this blog. Is it really due to personal interest? Frankly, I doubt so as interest alone would not lead me to churn out investment articles weeks after weeks, months after months, years after years. Is it really about making money out of membership subscriptions? Honestly speaking, the amount of money I made from this blog is barely enough to pay for the blog hosting fees. In this article, I will share the story of The Cathedral of God to illustrate the vision, mission and value of SG Wealth Builder.

The Cathedral of God is loosely based on a real-life story with many different versions and interpretations.

Back in 1666, a devastating fire broke out to destroy London city. Legendary architect, Christopher Wren, was tasked to rebuild St Paul’s Cathedral.

One fine day in 1671, Christopher Wren saw three bricklayers working at the site and asked the first bricklayer, “What are you doing?” He responded “I am working hard to lay bricks.” The second said “I am a builder building a church.” When Christopher Wren asked the third bricklayer the same question, he responded with a fire in his eyes, “I am building the house of God, the mighty Cathedral of God!”

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Stocks

Mapletree Logistics Trust share price plunged to 5-year low

Lifetime Membership It has been nearly a year since I wrote about Mapletree Logistics Trust share price performance and I think its time for an update. Year-to-date, Mapletree Logistics Trust share price continued to spiral out of control, falling by a devastating 22%. At the current trading price, the counter has plunged to a 5-year low. Question now is whether the counter has truly bottomed and represents an attractive value for investors to enter.

For background, Mapletree Logistics Trust is an S-REIT that invests in a diversified portfolio of logistics real estate in Asia Pacific with the aim of providing its unitholders with a stable distribution stream. As at May 2024, it has a portfolio of 186 properties in Singapore, Australia, China, Hong Kong SAR, India, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea and Vietnam with assets under management of $13.3 billion.

Mapletree Logistics Trust share price

The dismal performance of Mapletree Logistics Trust share price saw former CEO, Ms Ng Kiat, stepping down and being replaced by Ms Jean Kam Sok Kam on 24 May 2024. Personally, I felt that the change was quite abrupt and I certainly didn’t see it coming as Ms Ng Kiat has been CEO for more than 12 years and there was no official reason provided by the Board of Directors for the change of CEO.

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Stocks

OCBC share price surged with Great Eastern offer

Lifetime Membership What a swashbuckling form! OCBC share price turned bullish following the bank’s announcement of voluntary unconditional offer for Great Eastern Holdings on 10 May 2024. Year-to-date, OCBC share price increased by about 11%. Question now is whether there is genuine intent of OCBC to acquire Great Eastern or just a cheap plot to boost OCBC share price, which had been lagging behind DBS shares in recent years?

Since 2021, I had been sharing my thoughts on the possibility of OCBC acquiring Great Eastern and the potential impact on OCBC share price. The articles can be accessed at the following:

OCBC share price in Great Eastern windfall!

OCBC share price to boom with Great Eastern sale?

OCBC share price to rocket with Great Eastern Holdings exit?

Given the voluntary unconditional offer, an SG Wealth Builder Member wrote in and asked if it is an opportunity to enter at the current Great Eastern share price. To oblige him, I will share my opinion on the voluntary offer by OCBC and also my take on whether its worth the risk to enter at current Great Eastern share price.

OCBC share price

Being the oldest insurance company in Singapore and Malaysia, Great Eastern Holdings needs no introduction.

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Stocks

AEM share price in trashy form again

Lifetime Membership AEM share price continues to break investors’ heart. Since my last blog post on AEM Holdings on 3 March 2024, the counter had somewhat stabilized at the levels of $2.30 to $2.50. However, the release of first quarter business update on 8 May 2024 caused a rupture in the form of AEM share price yet again. Year-to-date, AEM share price plummeted by a whopping 47%, making it one of the biggest falling stars in SGX mainboard.

The crisis of confidence among investors is understandable as the latest financial result was not only bad, but also worrying for investors. Whilst I can understand that revenue has declined substantially due to slower than expected recovery of Intel, the massive drop of 9.6% in profit before tax (PBT) margin to 2.9% befuddled me. Given that the management has already settled the US$20 million arbitration to Advantest, as well as the stupid inventory mistake in FY2023, there was really no justification for the abysmal PBT margin.

AEM share price

Profit margin is a key indicator of a company’s financial health and its ability at generating profit. The fact that AEM’s PBT plunged so much within a short time and without external factors was indeed disturbing to me.

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Stocks

AIA share price (HKG: 1299) crashed to 7-year low

Lifetime Membership Is this a good time to enter or should existing shareholders throw in the towel? Within the span of just 3 years, AIA share price crashed by a whopping 50% and is now trading at a dismal 7-year low. An SG Wealth Builder wrote in to enquire if the current AIA share price is worth entering.

Founded by Cornelius Vander Starr in Shanghai, AIA Group had been the main Asian subsidiary of American International Group (AIG). Subsequently, AIG left Shanghai in early 1949 due to the civil unrest and Cornelius Vander Starr shifted the company headquarters to New York city.

During the Great Financial Crisis in 2008, AIG was bailed out by the US government for a staggering US$150 billion after one of its business units dabbled in risky collateralized debt obligation (CDO) which almost led to its collapse. Consequently, AIG was forced to sell AIA in 2010 as part of its efforts to repay US tax payers. AIA then made its way back to Asia through a mega IPO in Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Currently, AIA is one of the biggest weighted index stocks in Hang Seng Index, with total assets of US$286 billion as of 31 December 2023.

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Stocks

Singtel share price in mood swings

Lifetime Membership For Singtel share price, it never rains but pours. The shares of Singapore’s largest telco went through some bouts of volatility lately. On 13th March, short selling volume on Singtel rocketed to a staggering 20 million and then nearly 30 million on 14th March. Apparently, short-sellers went in for the kill following the adverse news of Singtel losing its Australia court case on the financing of the acquisition of Optus.

Nonetheless, Man proposes, God disposes. Fake news on the supposedly divestment of Optus by Singtel might have caused short-sellers to suffer a horrendous short squeeze as Singtel share price surged 3.33% within the past 5 days. The turn of events might have walloped short sellers who were looking to profit from Singtel’s woes as Singtel came out to rubbish the divestment of Optus on 13 March.

Singtel share price

Bizarrely, the month of March 2024 turned out to be a particularly busy month for Singtel as a series of event unfolded to affect the form of Singtel share price (and we have not even reached the end of the month yet). On 6 March 2024, Optus was fined A$1.3 million for failing to upload the information of close to 200,000 customers between January 2021 and September 2023 to Integrated Public Number Database (IPND), a database is used by emergency services to provide location information and emergency alerts to the police, ambulance and fire brigade.

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Stocks

AEM share price in new dawn?

The darker the night, the nearer the dawn. On 29 February 2024, AEM share price collapsed by nearly 20% following the release of the FY2023 financial result. The apocalyptic drop of AEM share price must have scared the living hell out of AEM investors. Question now is: will AEM share price see light at end of tunnel in 2024?

As predicted in my previous article, all hell broke loose after the management announced the halting of final dividend for FY2023. Instead of cash dividend, bonus shares will be issued to shareholders. This is, of course, subjected to shareholders’ approval at the AGM. Whilst the halting of final dividend is within my expectation, the ensuing market reaction totally caught me by surprise.

AEM share price

To be honest, the meltdown of AEM share price is truly sobering and humbling for me. After all, back in 2021, I had talked up the possibility of AEM share price smashing $10 upon a potential Nasdaq listing. Back then, I had been very bullish on AEM share price due to its robust business performances. Looking back, it felt so surreal as the sky was the limit for the semiconductor solution provider.

However, the wheels came off the wagon in double quick time in early 2022 as the semiconductor industry tanked in the aftermath of a global chip inventory glut.

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Stocks

SGX stocks lost their ways

Lifetime Membership On 22 February 2024, Dow Jones hit a fresh record of 39,069 points on the back of a stellar earning report by Nvidia. The stupendous form of US stock market has given investors plenty to cheer about amid the uncertain global economic condition. On the other hand, Singapore’s Straits Times Index (STI) has been in awful form for the past one year, falling from 3,282 points on 24 February 2023 to 3,184 points on 23 February 2024.  The insipid form of SGX stocks must have left many Singapore investors feeling exasperated.

What is the Singapore stock market current and near-term performance? An SG Wealth Builder Lifetime Member enquired about this interesting question. From the various articles in this blog, followers should probably know by now that I usually do deep dive on SGX stocks. I rarely gave a general overview of the performance of SGX stocks nor make forecast of the stock market performance as I want to avoid making sweeping statements.

Nonetheless, at the request of the SG Wealth Builder Lifetime Member, I shall offer my take on the SGX stock market’s current and foreseeable performance. Just a word of disclaimer: I am vested in some of the SGX stocks covered in this article.

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Stocks

Lenovo share price to sink or swim in 2024?

Lifetime Membership In my previous article, I wrote that Lenovo share price should start to fly in the second half of 2023. Indeed, the counter went on a rampage to hit a 2-year high of HK$11.00. The bullish run of Lenovo was largely attributed to the growing optimism of the recovery of the PC market, which has been in the doldrum since 2022.

During the period of 2020 and 2021, PC manufacturers had churned out more PC to meet the increased demand of PC to support remote working and online learning due to the pandemic. Post-pandemic, supply outstripped demand as consumers turned cautious in the aftermath of inflationary pressure, high interest rates and concerns of recession. Amid the challenging macro-economic environment, Lenovo’s business remained robust and resilient as the past two years had been profitable for the Group.

Lenovo share price

Given the strong business performances in the past two years, investors must be surprised that Lenovo share price had turned bearish since the start of 2024. Year-to-date, Lenovo share price dived 24% to hit HK$8.38. The key reason for the bearish run of Lenovo share price should be the release of the data for the global PC shipment. According to Gartner, worldwide PC shipments totaled 63.3 million units in the fourth quarter of 2023, a 0.3% increase from the fourth quarter of 2022.

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Stocks

Gold price: flying dragon in the sky!

In the Chinese Zodiac, the Dragon is the most powerful and auspicious symbol. In this regard, how will gold price unravel in 2024, the Year of the Dragon?

On 1 February 2024, I sold my remaining gold portfolio – a Canadian Gold Maple Leaf bullion that I had purchased from UOB Bank in 2014. The bullion was purchased at $1692 and divested for a profit of $1034. This represented a 61% return for a holding period of 10 years. The rationale for my recent bullion divestment was purely driven by the current bullish gold price.

The last time that I had divested my gold investment was in 2017. Back then, I had made a profit of 10% on the back of buoyant gold price. I had decided to cash out to consolidate my funds for the purchase of my matrimonial home.

gold price

So far, all my gold investments were made with UOB Bank. These included physical gold and gold savings account. When buying physical gold from UOB Bank, it is important to note that you must ensure that the physical gold is in its original sealed condition and the original UOB invoice must be presented. In addition, with effect from 30 November 2023, customers must be a UOB account holder in order to purchase physical gold from UOB.

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Blog updates

SG Wealth Builder Lifetime Membership

Lifetime Membership Since 2010, I have been blogging about money and stocks in SG Wealth Builder. My spouse often asked why am I doing this through the years. After all, I am not compensated for the sharing and my blogging had led to a lot of sacrifice of my family time. Indeed, if I am doing this merely for fame or money, this blog would not have sustained till now. I am talking about 14 years of bloggingnot 14 months.

Many bloggers would tell you that building a blog from scratches requires a tremendous amount of effort and time. Sometimes, after years of blogging, there is no guarantee that a blogger can find success. Along the way, I have seen so many promising bloggers giving up and turning to commenting in other investment forums instead.

The sole reason for the sustainability of SG Wealth Builder is passion. I love doing stock research and sharing my ideas with others. And I love writing because I always thought that to be able to inspire or create a change in others is a form of calling.

At certain stages in my life, I did consider giving up blogging because of my family and career commitments.

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Stocks

AEM share price in trouble!

Lifetime Membership What an absolute disaster. Barely a month into 2024, AEM share price plunged by 19% following the shock announcement of a shortfall in inventories that would likely torpedo the Group’s profits for FY2023. The latest fiasco came barely 6 months after the outrageous revelation of the US$20 million arbitration settlement with Advantest. Needless to say, all hell broke loose for AEM share price. Question now is: how will AEM share price unravel in 2024?

Given the meltdown in AEM share price, investors have every right to demand accountability from the management for this awful mess. In my opinion, the current CEO should take responsibility and offers to resign. Under his tenure, Lattice Innovation was acquired and had attracted the US$20 million settlement with Advantest, causing a crisis of confidence in AEM share price for the large part of 2023. And now, the company is struggling to cope with the fallout from the inventory shortfall. To compound misery, the press releases over the past two weeks raised more questions than answers for investors.

AEM share price

As a shareholder of AEM Holdings, the inventory shortfall saga left me absolutely flabbergasted. Obviously, the incident indicated a lack of robust internal control as the management shared that “the initial investigation into this issue attributes the shortfall to human error in transactions with the Group’s ERP system during the migration of production to the Group’s Penang facility from Singapore”.

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Stocks

DBS Group Holdings share price to crash in 2024?

Lifetime Membership A brand new year! How will DBS Group Holdings share price perform in 2024? Looking back, 2023 should be a roller-coaster ride for investors as DBS Group Holdings share price surged to a high of $36.20 on 10 February 2023, only to then free-fall all the way to $30.30 on 31 May 2023. The volatility of DBS Group Holdings share price in March 2023 was attributed to the collapse of several US regional banks, sparking fear of global financial contagion.

To add oil to fire, DBS Group Holdings share price came under further pressure in April 2023 following news of $1.3 billion loan exposure to beleaguered Adani Group and the infamous service outage, which led to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) branding the disruption as “unacceptable”. Somehow, DBS Group Holdings share price managed to overcome these setbacks to end the year at a respectable level of $33.40.

DBS Group Holdings share price

As we enter 2024, questions abound if the US bank crisis is truly over. According to a paper by National Bureau of Economic Research, more than US$2 trillion of US bank asset values had been wiped off since monetary tightening of 2022. In particular, commercial real estate loans came under the spotlight due to declines in property value across US.

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Stocks

Keppel DC REIT share price in big trouble

Lifetime Membership As 2023 draws to a close, it is time to review the performance of Keppel DC REIT share price. For many unitholders, 2023 must be a watershed year for Keppel DC REIT as the data centre REIT player swims in unchartered waters, confronting a slew of uncertainties and unfamiliar challenges.

First off the bat. Keppel DC REIT was expelled from the benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) on 19 June 2023, just less than 3 years after being included in the STI. Replacing Keppel DC REIT was Seatrium, which has been loss-making for the past 5 years and showing no sign of turning around till now. On this note, the expulsion of Keppel DC REIT (an S-REIT with a strong track record of profits) from STI should come as a rude shock for many unitholders.

Keppel DC REIT share price

Of course, being listed in STI has its perks as it comes with prestige, boosts the company branding and usually leads to increased trading liquidity for the stock. In fact, shortly after being included in the STI in October 2020, Keppel DC REIT share price smashed a record high of $3.05. So I guess some unitholders may be unhappy that Keppel DC REIT had been replaced by Seatrium in the STI.

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Stocks

17live share price: rat poison or value-buy?

Lifetime Membership On 8 December 2023, 17live Group Limited made the headline news, albeit for various reasons. The technology company made history as it was the first company to be listed in SGX through SPAC (Special Purpose Acquisition Company). However, 17live share price sank on its debut, crashing by a whopping 19%. This made 17live share price one of the worst listing performers in recent years. An SG Wealth Builder member wrote to me to seek my insights.

At the point of writing, 17live share price has suffered a torrid meltdown, falling to $1.70 from $3.88. Will the counter go south further? This is very likely possible. However, in my opinion, the past 2 weeks of trading should not reflect the market value of 17live as the initial trading price was that of Vertex Technology Acquisition Corporation (VTAC), which was listed in SGX in 2022 with an IPO price of $5.00. In view of this, investors should expect plenty of volatility ahead for 17live share price as the counter continue to undergo market adjustments in the following weeks to reflect its market value.

17live share price

In fact, the performance of 17live share price mirrored that of Grab, which got listed in Nasdaq in 2021 through a US$40 billion SPAC merger with Altimeter Growth Corp.

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Stocks

Vicom share price crashed to record low!

Lifetime Membership The last time that I covered Vicom was on 16 December 2021. In that article, I had predicted that Vicom share price would hover somewhere between $1.90 and $2.10 within the next few years, which it did for the most part of 2022 and early 2023. However, the wheels suddenly came off the wagon as Vicom share price stunned investors to collapse to a low of $1.28 on 27 October 2023.

The volatility of Vicom share price is not common though the counter has been on a long-term bearish trend in the past few years. Therefore, I can imagine some of the investors being shaken as the train-wreck of Vicom share price came out of the blue with no warning signs. An SG Wealth Builder Lifetime Member is concerned about the sudden loss of form for Vicom share price and requested my insight.

Vicom share price

I did a quick check on the SGX short-selling activities of Vicom shares and verified that the collapse of Vicom share price was unlikely to be caused by the short-sellers. In fact, on most trading days, there were no short sells on this counter at all. Even on those days in which there were, the level of short-selling volume would not have triggered the explosive free fall of Vicom share price as the volumes were typically a few hundreds to a few thousands shares being shorted.

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Stocks

Manulife US REIT share price in horror meltdown

Lifetime Membership As we approach the end of the year, it is time to review the performance of Manulife US REIT share price, which became the talk of the town recently. Year-to-date, Manulife US REIT share price plunged by a devastating 78%. The meltdown was triggered in July 2023 after the Manager revealed that the S-REIT breached its financial covenant due to the decline in its property valuations.

Question now is whether Manulife US REIT share price will do an Eagle Hospitality Trust? This fear is not unfounded as the breach of financial covenant means that the banks have the right to accelerate payment of all its US$1,023.7 million of loans immediately. Under this scenario, liquidation of Manulife US REIT’s portfolio at distressed prices may be required.

Manulife US REIT share price

14 December will be destiny day for unitholders as an EGM will be held for unitholders to support the Recapitalization Plan. For the Recapitalization Plan to go through, unitholders must vote for all three resolutions as they are inter-conditional. The three resolutions are:

  • Resolution 1: the Proposed Divestment to the Sponsor;
  • Resolution 2: the Proposed Sponsor-Lender Loan granted by the Sponsor-Lender;
  • Resolution 3: the Proposed adoption of the Disposition Mandate.

Following the announcement of the Recapitalization Plan, Manulife US REIT share price crashed to a low of US$0.05.

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Stocks

Hongkong Land share price plunged to 14-year low

Lifetime Membership Amid the bearish market condition, many SGX stocks, with the exception of local bank stocks, have been in sluggish form. However, Hongkong Land share price stood out as it sunk to a new low recently. On 25 October 2023, Hongkong Land share price plunged to a 14-year low to hit US$3.10. Year-to-date, Hongkong Land share price sank 28%, making the counter one of the worst performers of the Straits Times Index (STI). Interestingly, Hongkong Land share price performed even worse than Seatrium, the perennial whipping boy in STI. What on earth has happened to this leading light of SGX?

For background, Hongkong Land is one of the most venerable listed companies in Singapore, with a long history of 130 years. Possibly, only Boustead, OCBC’s Great Eastern and UOB’s Haw Par Corp can match Hongkong Land in terms of pedigree and history. If you are talking about prestige, Hongkong Land is even more impressive as its parent company is none other than the famous Jardine Matheson Holdings. Together with DFI Retail Group, Jardine C&C and Jardine Matheson Holdings, Hongkong Land forms the “Hong Kong Four Tigers” that rule STI for many years.

Hongkong Land share price

Under the Jardine Matheson Group, this network of companies establishes an impenetrable fortress in the SGX mainboard.

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Stocks

AEM share price in crisis

Should AEM investors panick? The latest business update caused plenty of concerns among investors as revenue for its Test & Automation Equipment unit collapsed to an alarming low of $6.4 million in 3QFY2023 (during the 1HFY2023, the Test & Automation Equipment unit recorded revenue of $45.1 million while revenue for 9MFY2023 amounted to $51.1 million). Against this backdrop, investors should expect plenty of volatility for AEM share price in the coming weeks, or even months.

Frankly speaking, most AEM investors, including myself, had expected revenue for the whole of FY2023 to be dismal in view of the current slump in the semiconductor industry. However, I had not expected the business performance to be that bad. We are talking about $6.4 million of revenue for its Test & Automation Equipment unit. This means that from June to September 2023, the Test & Automation Equipment unit had produced just 2 to 3 test equipment only? If this is really so, the 365,000- square-foot manufacturing plant in Penang (which was just opened in January 2023) must be really empty and quiet.

AEM share price

The plunge in revenue could be attributed to the lack of volume ramp from Intel, which is traditionally the largest revenue source for AEM.

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Stocks

iFAST share price in explosive return!

Lifetime Membership Christmas comes early for iFAST investors! Within a month, iFAST share price rocketed 22%, surging from $5.60 as of 2 October 2023 to the current $7.00. On 15 January 2023, I wrote that iFAST share price may recover in 2023. On the basis of the current bullish run, it seems that the stock has indeed recovered as iFAST share price increased by 18% year-to-date. But is the counter getting ahead of its fundamentals?

iFAST share price became stuff of legend in Singapore stock market when the counter rocketed from $1.00 in 2020 to an incredible high of $10 in 2021. The meteoric rise of iFAST share price must be surreal for iFAST investors.

iFAST share price

For background, iFAST is an online platform company offering investment products to retail investors. At the same time, financial institutions and banks can distribute their investment products through iFAST’s platform. The supersonic boom of iFAST share price in recent years was due to the award of Hong Kong ePension scheme in early 2021.

Nonetheless, the wheels came off the wagon for iFAST share price in 2022 as the series of interest rate hikes by US Federal Reserve and the Russia-Ukraine war combined to knock the wind out of global stock market.

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Insurance coverage; medical shield; financial planning; personal finance

Careshield Life Supplement

Lifetime Membership According to data from MOH, 1 in 2 healthy Singaporeans aged 65 today may suffer from severe disability in their lifetime and need long-term care. This is indeed a very scary figure. Enough to nudge me and my wife to enhance our Careshield Life plans.

In this article, I will share my insights on Careshield Life and what actions that my family undertakes to strengthen our financial safety net. Specifically, I will share my motivations for buying Singlife Careshield Plus. Note that this article is not sponsored by Singlife nor am I giving any form of financial advice. I am just sharing my personal experiences. Readers should engage financial consultants if in doubt because everyone’s financial situation and needs are different.

Careshield Life

The last time I wrote about Eldershield, Singapore national long-term insurance for people suffering from severe disability, was in 2017. In that article, I have pointed out that the Eldershield scheme should be enhanced to that of lifetime payouts instead of lifetime coverage of up to 6 years. Perhaps, the authority may have read the article as Careshield Life – the upgraded version of Eldershield – was subsequently rolled out in 2020.

For Singaporeans who are born in 1980 or after, they are automatically covered under CareShield Life from 1 October 2020.

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Stocks

AEM share price in US$280 billion funding

Lifetime Membership Is it light at end of tunnel for AEM share price? The past two years had been an absolute nightmare for investors as the AEM share price crashed from a high of $5.26 on 31 December 2021 to the current $3.70 level. The correction of AEM share price was largely caused by the slowdown in the semiconductor industry. However, AEM share price appears to have bottomed recently as the counter rose 6.7% year-to-date. What could be the driving factor behind the recent revival of AEM share price?

In my view, the recent spike in AEM share price could be attributed to events unfolding in a small Central American nation – Costa Rica, which is Intel’s only assembly and test operations in the West. On 30 August 2023, Intel announced that it would invest US$1.2 billion in the Costa Rica plant over the next two years. Now, how would this affect AEM if you may ask? Let me provide my insights and the resulting impact for AEM share price.

AEM share price

The Costa Rica facility was closed down in 2014 as Intel shifted its assembly and test operations to Asian countries such as China, Malaysia and Vietnam. However, the US-China chip war has led to Intel restarting the assembly and test operations in Costa Rica since 2020.

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Stocks

Singtel share price stuck in quicksand

Lifetime MembershipSingtel share price is stuck in quicksand! One year ago, Singtel’s Optus had suffered a devastating cyber-attack in which 1.2 million of its customers personal data were leaked. Subsequently, another unit of Singtel, Dialog suffered cyberattack that compromised personal data of its employees and clients. The biggest irony is that in 2015, Singtel had splashed out US$810 million to acquire Trustwave which is supposedly a leading cybersecurity company. Yet Singtel stood powerless in the face of the brutal cyber-attacks.

To be fair to the current CEO, Kuan Moon Yuen, Trustwave is a flop acquired by the previous CEO, Chua Sock Koong. So it would not be reasonable to attribute the blame to the current CEO. Nonetheless, the cyber-attacks vindicated Trustwave is not only a white elephant, but also a toxic asset that had caused Singtel to bleed hundreds of millions annually. For FY20/21, the losses incurred by Trustwave amounted to $166 million while FY21/22 saw losses amounting to $145 million. For FY22/23, the losses from Trustwave stood at $133 million.

Singtel share price

Under the leadership of Chua Sock Koong, Singtel share price had plunged to a low of October 2020. The crisis of confidence in Singtel share price subsequently saw the retirement of the CEO.

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Stocks

BYD share price walloped by Warren Buffett

BYD, China’s leading electric vehicle (EV) maker and rechargeable battery producer, is on a roll. In the first seven months of 2023, the Group sold 1.5 million new energy vehicles, an increase of 89% year-on-year. According to data from the China Automobile Association, in the first half of 2023, the market share of the Group’s new energy vehicles further expanded to 33.5%, an increase of 6.5 percentage points compared with 2022. Despite so, the strong business performance has not been reflected in BYD share price. Why is this so?

The 52-week low of BYD share price was HK$161.70 while the 52-week high was HK$280. The volatility of BYD share price could be due to the sell-offs by legendary investor Warren Buffett. Back in 2008, Warren Buffett acquired 225 million of BYD shares for HK$1.8 billion (US$230 million). That worked out to be HK$8 per share. Given the current BYD share price, Warran Buffett’s profit would have been at least 40 times of his initial investment on BYD!

BYD share price

Warren Buffett’s investment in BYD in 2008 demonstrated his vision and brilliant foresight. Let’s be clear about this. In 2008, we had the global financial crisis roiling the stock market upside down.

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Stocks

OCBC share price in Great Eastern windfall!

Lifetime MembershipBeing the oldest insurance company in Singapore and Malaysia, Great Eastern needs no introduction. The holding company of Great Eastern is none other than OCBC, which holds 88.4% stake in the insurer. Despite the relationship between the two entities, OCBC share price and Great Eastern share price took on different trajectories in recent years.

Prior to the pandemic, the oil slump of 2016 impacted all three local banks. As a result, OCBC share price peaked in 2018, falling from a record high of $13.75 in April 2018 to a low of $8.35 during the global market crash in March 2020. Subsequently, the recovery from pandemic and aggressive interest rate hikes by US Federal Reserve led to the return of the form of OCBC share price. As at 7 September 2023, OCBC share price was trading at $12.60.

OCBC share price

On the other hand, Great Eastern share price has declined considerably for the past five years, falling from $31 in May 2018 to the current $18.20 (as of 7 September 2023). In June 2023, Great Eastern share price collapsed to a 5-year low of $16.90, which was even lower than the $17.30 mark seen in March 2020. The meltdown of Great Eastern share price since 2018 could be attributed to the insurer having to contribute a whopping RM2.0 billion to the B40 National Protection Scheme in lieu of complying with the 70% foreign ownership requirement imposed on its subsidiary, Great Eastern Life Assurance (Malaysia) Berhad.

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Stocks

Comfortdelgro share price under attacks

It is that “uh-oh” feeling for Comfortdelgro share price again. On 8 June 2023, Comfortdelgro share price plunged to a record low of $1.00. Notably, the collapse of Comfortdelgro share price came shortly after the release of a dismal 1QFY2023 business update on 18 May 2023 that saw operating profit collapsing 52% to reach $32.8 million.

In my previous article on this counter, I had expressed my concerns on the long-term prospect of this company. And the devastating crash of Comfortdelgro share price in June 2023 certainly vindicated my thesis. Should investors run for their lives?

Comfortdelgro share price

Comfortdelgro is a transport company with a total fleet size of about 34,000 buses, taxis and rental vehicles. SBS Transit, a listed company, is a subsidiary. Vicom, another SGX-listed company, is another subsidiary. For the past decade, Comfort Delgro has spread its wings overseas, with operations in Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, China, Ireland and Malaysia.

Many investors must be feeling disgruntled at the terrible form of ComfortDelgro share price, which had declined substantially for the past 5 years. For sure, the explosive meltdown of the counter led to poor returns for many investors. As at 1 September 2023, Comfortdelgro share price was trading at $1.27.

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