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 So I guess some unitholders may be unhappy that Keppel DC REIT had been replaced by Seatrium in the STI.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Manulife US REIT share price in crisis

All hell breaks loose for Manulife US REIT share price. The last time that I wrote about Manulife US REIT share price was on 17 November 2019. That was before the onset of the pandemic. Fast forward to 25 August 2023, Manulife US REIT share price plunged to a terrifying low of US$0.071 as the S-REIT fights for its life in ICU. What has gone so awfully wrong for this S-REIT?

There are investors who claim that investing in S-REITs is straightforward. Some even claim that S-REITs are relatively safe due to their investment structures. But over the years, look at what happened to Eagle Hospitality Trust, Dasin Retail Trust, EC World Trust, Lippo Mall Indonesia Retail Trust and First REIT? Investors must realize that there are risks involved, such as quality of sponsor, currency risk, portfolio concentration risks, geopolitical risks, consumer trend, etc.

Manulife US REIT share price
Manulife US REIT share price

For Manulife US REIT, investors are in for a wild ride as the S-REIT could either end up like the infamous Eagle Hospitality Trust or stage a magnificent turnaround. For sure, there are a few investors betting on a fairy-tale recovery of Manulife US REIT share price. Their convictions are not entirely based on blind faith as the counter had staged similar rebound after the US Federal Reserve slashed interest three times in 2019.

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OCBC share price peaked?

Has OCBC share price peaked? After hitting a 5-year high of $13.30 on 31 July 2023, OCBC share price declined to $12.30 as at 18 August 2023. Year-to-date, OCBC share price remains flat despite the bank delivering good financial result on the back of the interest rate hikes. What could be the reasons for the sterile form of OCBC share price?

OCBC share price

On 4 August 2023, investors got a rude shock as OCBC announced a net profit of just $1.71 billion for 2QFY2023. On a quarter-to-quarter basis, this represented a 9% decline. Among the three banks, OCBC Bank fared the worst as DBS’ net profit increased 2% while UOB declined by 6%. The weak result of OCBC’s 2QFY2023 was glossed over by the interim dividend, which was raised to $0.40, up 43% year-on-year.

OCBC attributed the second quarter income decline to higher allowances. Total allowances for 2QFY2023 were $252 million, up from $110 million in 1QFY2023. Among its non-performing assets, the largest amount came from Greater China ($829 million). Given the recent bankruptcy filed by Evergrande, investors could be concerned by OCBC’s exposure to the ailing Chinese real estate property sector. Hence, the current bearish form of OCBC share price.

According to the latest financial result, the amount of loan exposure to Greater China stood at $73 billion as at June 2023.

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AEM share price in brutal storm

As the saying goes, the darker the night the nearer the dawn. AEM share price could suffer a devastating train-wreck in the coming weeks as the Group unveiled a set of 1HFY2023 financial result that saw revenue plunged 49% year-on-year to $275 million while net profit crashed 76% year-on-year to $19.7 million. As at 11 August 203, AEM share price was trading at $3.42. Question now is whether the counter will see daylight soon?

The latest result extinguished any flickering of hopes that recovery for AEM’ semiconductor test solutions business will occur in 2023. The result also banished investors’ hope of a U-shape recovery for AEM share price. Evidently, recovery for the semiconductor industry is slower than expected as AEM management revised downward its revenue guidance for FY2023 from a target of $500 million to a range between $460 million to $490 million on the back of reduced test capital equipment utilisation levels across the industry.AEM share priceIn the face of the recent dismal financial result, it will take a miracle for AEM share price to turn the tide unless something drastically positive takes place in the near future. This is unlikely to be the case. In fact, 3rd quarter financial result could be worse as the first payment of US$9 million will be made for the arbitration with Advantest.

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DBS Group share price to rocket with $10 billion IPO!

Being the leading light of SGX, the form of DBS Group share price has a major influence on the Straits Times Index (STI). Year-to-date, STI has increased by a mere 1.26%. Similarly, DBS Group share price has been on a sluggish form, increasing incrementally by just 1.09%. After seeing off the devastating COVID-19 pandemic in May 2022, the continuing tepid form of DBS Group share price in 2023 must have left many investors feeling exasperated as many of them have anticipated 2023 to be the year of recovery for DBS.

Since 17 March 2022, US Federal Reserve had raised interest rates by 11 consecutive times. Rightfully, Singapore banks’ business should have benefitted from the aggressive interest rate hikes by US Federal Reserves due to higher interest income. Yet, DBS Group share price had hardly moved at all for the past one year – it was trading at $34.75 on 18 March 2022 vis-à-vis the $34.25 as at 4 August 2023. Indeed, DBS Group had delivered a series of excellent financial results in the past few quarters but it’ shares had flattered to deceive thus far.

DBS Group share price

In the latest release of financial result, DBS Group had delivered a set of stellar financial result again.

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Mapletree Logistics Trust unit price in suspense

It’s the time when companies report their financial results again! On 25 July 2023, Mapletree Logistics Trust announced its first quarter financial result ended 30 June 2023. How will Mapletree Logistics Trust unit price unravel from here? As at 28 July 2023, Mapletree Logistics Trust unit price was trading at $1.73.

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 30 June 2023, it has a portfolio of 193 properties in Singapore, Australia, China, Hong Kong SAR, India, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea and Vietnam with assets under management of S$13.5 billion.

Mapletree Logistics Trust

Looking back, the past two years had been nothing short of turbulent for Mapletree Logistics Trust unit price. The mega $700 million equity fund raising in November 2021 had knocked the wind out of Mapletree Logistics Trust unit price. Subsequently, the consecutive 10 interest rate hikes by US Federal Reserve sent the counter to a low of $1.43 in October 2022. Somehow, the S-REIT managed to recover its form since October 2022 and is trading at $1.72 at the point of writing.

I bought 16,000 shares when Mapletree Logistics Trust unit price was trading at $1.96 in November 2021.

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Lenovo share price (HKEX: 992) surged 31%

The moment has arrived. In my previous article on Lenovo share price, I predicted that Lenovo share price should start to fly in the second half of 2023. True enough, as of 14 July, Lenovo share price (HKEX: 992) hit a high of HK$8.51, representing an increase of nearly 31% year-to-date. Question now is whether the rally of Lenovo share price will sustain?

Make no mistake. The current PC market is still mired in doldrums as Q1 2023 global PC shipments fell 28% year-on-year to reach 56.7 million units, the lowest quarterly numbers in the past 10 years. However, Lenovo share price started to climb steadily since late 2022, going from HK$6.40 to the current HK$8.00. The rally of Lenovo share price may be due to growing signs that the PC market has bottomed and the only way to go for the industry is upward.

Lenovo share price

According to data released by the Semiconductor Industry Association, the semiconductor industry saw month-to-month global chip sales inched upward in May 2023 for the third consecutive month, sparking optimism for a possible market rebound in the second half of 2023. The data indicated that the global inventory glut is easing off, and PC demand should gradually recover in the latter half of 2023.

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BullionStar takes on UOB Bank

10 years. In the blink of an eye, 10 years flew by since I was first approached by BullionStar to be their affiliate partner. Although a decade has passed quickly, memories of how I started my relationship with BullionStar still etch freshly in my mind. Back in 2013, I had already received a number of requests from start-ups seeking partnerships to advertise their products through my blog. For some unknown reasons, I was convinced that BullionStar would stand out from the rest of the pack.

In March 2013, I vividly recalled receiving an email from their former Regional Operations Manager (Zane Lim) while I was having a holiday trip with my family in Bangkok. In that email, he invited me to visit their former office in Marina Bay Financial Centre and to meet up with their co-founder, Torgny Persson. And I did. The moment I touched down in Singapore, I went straight to their office (much to the chagrin of my spouse). That fateful meeting sparked off a decade of partnership between BullionStar and SG Wealth Builder.


A decade of partnership with BullionStar

My conversation with the co-founder of BullionStar turned out to be nothing short of amazing. First of all, given the relatively small market size, it is very rare (and almost unheard of) for a business owner to relocate from Europe and pivots his business here.

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OCBC share price to boom with Great Eastern sale?

On 19 June 2023, OCBC increased its stake in Great Eastern (GE) to 88.4%. The venerable bank tried to privatise Great Eastern Holdings (GEH) unsuccessfully in 2004 and 2006. In the 2006 attempt, OCBC Bank managed to raised its stake in Great Eastern to 87.1%. Since then, OCBC Bank has steadily increased its stake to 87.91% as at 31 March 2021. If a privatisation does materialise, what would be the implication on OCBC share price?

Under SGX Rule 723 of the Listing Manual, listed companies must ensure that at least 10% of their issued shares must be held by the public. As OCBC currently holds about 88.4% of Great Eastern, the bank would just need to acquire only 1.6% more of Great Eastern shares in order to trigger the mandatory delisting requirement.

OCBC share price

As at 20 June 2023, OCBC share price was trading at $12.56, remaining flat after the Great Eastern stake increase. The fact that the counter did not move at all could mean that the market viewed a potential privatization of Great Eastern as “non-event” for OCBC share price. However, what if OCBC privatize the insurance and then sell it off to unlock value for OCBC shareholders?

An SG Wealth Builder member had raised the possibility of OCBC divesting Great Eastern to me lately.

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SIA share price to race past $10?

On 22 November 2022, I wrote that SIA share price could continue its bullish form in 2023. Indeed, the counter went on a rampage, surging from $5.45 to the recent $7.30. Year-to-date, SIA share price had rocketed nearly 33%, putting to rest any lingering doubts of another false dawn for the Singapore carrier.

The explosive form of SIA share price came on the back of the announcement of record profits in its 76-year history. The Group recorded a massive net profit of $2.1 billion for FY2022/23, an incredible turnaround from the loss of $948 million incurred in last year. Revenue surged to $17.8 billion, up from $7.6 billion. The ultra-stellar result led to the Group rewarding its staff with staff bonus of up to 8 months. The gesture of goodwill was to reward the staff for their sacrifice (pay cuts) made during the pandemic.

SIA share price

Evidently, SIA’s decision to shore up liquidity and reinstate capacity paid dividend as the airline was the first to capitalize on the pent-up demand for air travel. In March 2023, the passenger capacity reached 79% of pre-COVID levels. Question now: is SIA share price getting ahead of its fundamentals?

Given that the EPS is $0.35, SIA share price is currently being traded at PE of 20.9, which is on the high side.

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Sembcorp Industries share price faces stink bomb

Recently, I was reading one of my old articles on Sembcorp Industries share price written in August 2020. Back then, Sembcorp Industries collapsed to $1.80 following the demerger with Sembcorp Marine. However, I made a bold prediction that Sembcorp Industries would hit $5. Fast forward to 29 May 2023, Sembcorp Industries share price finally crossed that magical $5 mark.

To be frank, the explosive form of Sembcorp Industries share price had been nothing short of a fairy tale in SGX. Apart from iFAST, Sembcorp Industries is one of the only few SGX stocks that captures the imagination of investors. The stark difference between the two stocks is that the bullish run of iFAST shares did not last long while Sembcorp Industries share price went from strength to strength.

Sembcorp Industries share price

Given the splendid form of Sembcorp Industries share price, credit should be given to the Group CEO, Wong Kim Yin, who joined the Group only in July 2020. During his short tenure, CEO Wong has been instrumental in transforming Sembcorp Industries’ portfolio from brown to green. For the past three years, the Group secured a slew of green energy contracts. These contract wins enabled Sembcorp Industries share price back to rocket its way past the pre-pandemic levels.

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AEM share price to smash $10 in 2023?

It is often said that to win in the stock market, you must buy low and sell high. Yet when a stock goes into a free fall, it takes an investor with incredible gumption to buy the stock. AEM share price (SGX: AWX) is currently in that predicament. After hitting a high of $5.25 in 31 December 2021 due to the pandemic-induced technology boom, AEM share price collapsed to the current $3.40 at the point of writing.

The rise and fall of AEM share price (SGX: AWX) are indeed intriguing yet gut-wrenching for investors. In this context, the high volatility of AEM share price (SGX: AWX) means that this stock is not suitable for retail investors looking for stable returns. Despite so, it is certainly not the endgame for the semiconductor test equipment company. Investors must realize that AEM Holdings operates in a highly cyclical industry and its business is affected by the slump in the sector.

AEM share price

The latest financial result only confirmed what it already known to many investors – recovery of the semiconductor will likely to take place only in the latter half of this year due to the inventory glut across the industry. In view of this, AEM share price (SGX: AWX) faces a blistering winter ahead.

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Restructuring my Singapore Savings Bonds (SSB) portfolio

Recently, I have restructured my Singapore Savings Bonds (SSB) portfolio by divesting two tranches of SSB which were bought with cash at 2.57% and 2.63%. The funds, consolidated with the proceeds from the sale of my previous house, were then parked in several fixed deposit accounts with an average interest rate of 3.75%.

Separately, I have also bought Singapore Savings Bonds (SSB) at interest rate of 3.07% using my Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS). I had wanted to purchase Mapletree Logistics Trust (MLT) using the SRS funds but decided not to after observing the declining unit price for the past one year.

Singapore Savings Bonds SSB

Admittedly, I was late to the game as both the fixed interest rates and Singapore Savings Bonds (SSB) had started to decline in recent months. Previously, the inertia to restructure my Singapore Savings Bonds (SSB) was because I was expecting the rates to keep rising against the backdrop of the US Federal interest rate hikes. Henceforth, I was caught by surprise that the 10-year SGS yield declined so drastically since March 2023 (Singapore Savings Bonds (SSB) interest rates are based on the average SGS yields the month before).

Apparently, the market is expecting that the US Federal interest rate hike on 4 May 2023 to be the final one as the financial market is in jitters following the swift collapses of four US regional banks and the demise of Credit Suisse Bank.

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Singtel share price (SGX: Z74) in trouble

Could Optus’s cybersecurity attack become another Bharti Airtel for Singtel? In November 2019, Singtel posted its first quarterly loss due to the $1.93 billion pre-tax share of Bharti Airtel’s one-off charge in India. That India saga saw Singtel share price (SGX: Z74) plunging from $3.40 in late 2019 to a low of $2.00 in October 2020. The turmoil also saw the departure of former CEO, Chua Sock Koong in December 2020. Against this backdrop, investors must be holding their breath on the unfolding class action suit against its wholly-owned subsidiary, Optus.

On 21 April 2023, Singtel announced that “a class action against six (6) Australian Optus entities was filed in the Federal Court of Australia”. According to a Straits Times article, it was alleged that more than 100,000 current and former customers had joined in the class action suit. In my opinion, given the severity of the incident and the scale of the cybersecurity victims, the potential costs and fines may be at least US$1 billion based on Bharti Airtel saga. Of course, this is just my personal opinion and I could be wrong.

Singtel share price

Last year, several analysts had predicted that the data breach could cost Singtel hefty costs of about US$500 million, to which Singtel had rubbished as “speculative”.

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AEM share price (SGX: AWX) rocketed 10%

From $3.00 on 29 March 2023, AEM share price (SGX: AWX) rocketed 10% to hit $3.30 in recent days. Given the global economic slowdown and continuing downturn in the semiconductor industry, what could have propelled AEM share price (SGX: AWX)?

The revival of AEM share price (SGX: AWX) should be due to the recent good news from its most important client – Intel, which provided its business update on 30 March 2023. After four delays over two years, Intel finally launches its much-anticipated 4th generation Xeon processors, Sapphire Rapids for both laptops and servers. According to Intel, this is the highest quality data center CPU the company has ever delivered, and the ramp is continuing aggressively.

AEM share price

But what made the recent Intel’s announcement so special for AEM share price (SGX: AWX) was the series of upcoming product launches by Intel. Following Sapphire Rapids, hot on the heels will be the launch of Intel’s 5th generation Xeon processors, Emerald Rapids in 4th quarter 2023.

And that’s not all, Sierra Forest and Granite Rapids will be released by Intel in 2024. The series of product launches showed that Intel is determined to regain its market share in the data center CPU segment.

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Mapletree Logistics Trust in shopping spree

Amid the challenging operating environment, Mapletree Logistics Trust (SGX: M44U) bucked the trend and embarked on yet another round of asset acquisitions, acquiring new logistics assets in Japan, Australia, South Korea and China. Total cost of acquisitions came up to about $1.122 billion.

For a moment, my heart sunk upon seeing the announcement as the thought of another mega rights issue would be on the way crossed my mind. Thankfully, it turned out that the management has opted for a combination of private placement ($200 million) and bank loans ($746.8 million).

Mapletree Logistics Trust M44U

The private placement will see placement of between 121,285,000 and 124,223,000 new units at an issue price of between $1.610 and $1.649 per new unit. In connection to the private placement, a distributable income of 2.502 cents per unit will be paid to unitholders for the period from 1 January 2023 to the day immediately prior to the date on which the new units would be issued.

Year-to-date, Mapletree Logistics Trust (SGX: M44U) unit price increased by about 9.5%. The counter was featured in the February SGX Top Ten Institutional Net Buy Stocks, with net buying value of $14.3 million. Looking back, the past one year had been torrid for most S-REITs due to the relentless interest rate hikes by US Federal Reserves.

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DBS Group Holdings share price in trouble

Troubles come in troops for DBS Group Holdings share price (SGX: D05). The recent online service outage caused an uproar in Singapore, with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) saying that the disruption was “unacceptable”. The MAS will also be taking actions against DBS after investigation is completed. In light of this mess, what will the implication be for DBS Group Holdings share price (SGX: D05) in the coming months?

For DBS Group Holdings, it is a case of lightning strikes thrice as the 29 March 2023 service outage was actually the third time for DBS. The previous incidents took place in November 2021 and July 2010. For the 2021 incident, the MAS has imposed an extra capital requirement of $930 million on DBS. This was four times higher than the amount imposed on the bank for the 2010 incident. Evidently, the extra capital requirements had not been effective as the latest outage took place just 16 months from the 2021 incident.

DBS Group Holdings share price

Will the MAS impose a significant civil penalty on DBS? It remains to be seen as analysts had claimed that the MAS is likely to impose another round of extra capital requirement on DBS, albeit at a much higher amount than the 2021 version.

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Gold price to hit US$3,000 in 2023?

In my last article on gold on 4 December 2021, I made the argument that gold price was set for a big fall in 2022 due to the possibility of US interest rate hike. I also highlighted that a drop in gold price would represent good buying opportunities for bullion investors. Indeed, gold price had a major decline in 2022, falling from US$2,040 per troy ounce on 8 March 2022 to a low of US$1,628 per troy ounce on 3 November 2022.

Admittedly, I had not practised what I had preached as I had not bought bullion when gold price collapsed in 2022 (my funds were tied up in the purchase of a new home). Nonetheless, I was shocked that Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) had done so in late 2022.

According to the MAS website on International Reserves and Foreign Currency Liquidity, the volume of gold held in our national reserves in December 2022 was 4.94 million troy ounces. As at January 2023, the volume of gold held surged to 6.38 million troy ounces. Thus, the increase in gold held in Singapore reserves represented about 30%. This means that within the span of just a month, MAS had increased gold bullion by a significant quantum.

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