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The Dark Side of Investment Linked Policy (ILP)

investment linked policy

In relation to my previous article “My NTUC Income Life Insurance Policies”, a member requested for my opinion on investment linked policy (ILP). He also wrote that the investment linked policy that he had bought was not profitable. Is investment linked policy really that bad and is it worth your time and money?

In this article, I am going share my candid views on investment linked policy. Readers would know that I don’t mince my words, so I am going to pull no punches.

For a period of time, investment linked policy used to sell like hotcakes in Singapore because it has been marketed as a unique financial product that offers potentially high returns and insurance coverage. The commission fees for investment linked policy are usually very lucrative. Thus, obviously insurance agents would attempt to sell this type of insurance product in a bid to make more commission fees. But in my opinion, this is one of the worst insurance products for consumers and one should avoid buying it unless he is 100% sure of what he is buying into.

investment linked policy

As a matter of fact, I have examined this topic before in 2015 (Frightening Truth about Investment Linked

My NTUC Income life insurance policies

life insurance

In life, disaster often strikes when you least expect it. Of course, no one is ever prepared for a disaster but having life insurance coverage would help to put your mind at ease that your financial losses are mitigated.

During the National Day week, my family bought two life insurance policies. One was NTUC Income Limited Pay Revosave and the other was AIA Triple Critical Cover. The decision to strengthen my family’s protection and savings arose after a strategic life insurance review with my wife.

As a finance blogger, I always advocate my readers to do annual review on their life insurance coverage. This is because family situations often change, so the most prudent approach is to do timely review to ensure that the interests of your family are well-taken care of.

life insurance

In 2016, I wrote that I upgraded my family health insurance to private ward class and also bought full riders for the whole family. Boy, am I glad that I did so. Because in March 2018, Singapore government mandated the removal of full riders for new applicants of private health shields. It really drives home the importance of proactively managing my life insurance portfolio.

There are many who …

DBS share price lost gangbuster form

DBS share price

From $14 in February 2016, DBS share price went on a magnificent gangbuster form to hit a high of $31 in May 2018, representing an increase of more than 100% in two years. The berserk rise of DBS share price certainly created much wealth for shareholders. However, the bullish form was as good as it gets as DBS share price subsequently went through a correction since early May to reach a low of $24.90.

Has the bubble finally burst for DBS share price or should investors keep faith with Piyush Gupta’s team? At the big picture, the business fundamentals have not changed but market confidence have been shaken due to the trade wars currently taking place. Arising from this, data revealed that there were three waves of attacks on DBS share price in the past few months, leading to the loss of form for DBS shares. In this article, the investment merits of DBS are examined.

DBS share price in for a wild ride?

For sure, it had been a roller-coaster ride for shareholders. When you have the sort of volatility like DBS share price is currently having, you are unlikely to sleep well even if you are a long-term …

SIA Engineering share price flying high no more

SIA Engineering share price

How low will it go? From a high of almost $5.12 in 2014, SIA Engineering share price crashed to a nine-year low of $2.93 on 30 July 2018. Needless to say, it had been a devastating spell of decline for SIA Engineering share price, creating tremendous heart pain for long time investors of SIA Engineering. For sure, SIA Engineering share price is flying high no more but who in his right mind could have predicted such an outrageous outcome for this blue chip?

Investors who bought when SIA Engineering share price peaked would have lost their pants by now. However, if you had invested in SIA Engineering since 2001, the long history of dividends paid out would have more than mitigated the paper losses. But this is not to say that investors had a jolly good ride. So should investors run for their lives or keep faith with the management?

SIA Engineering share price

Aberration in SIA Engineering share price

Perhaps the impact of being booted out of the prestigious Straits Times Index (STI) in September 2017 had caused SIA Engineering share price to lose its shine. Maybe confidence has been shaken terribly after big boy, JP Morgan, sold its entire stake in SIA …

SingTel share price riding the storm

Singtel share price

What a ride! In my previous article, I wrote that SingTel share price is in for a frightening roller-coaster ride after ex-dividend day. Indeed, SingTel share price plunged from $3.30 on 23 July to $3.06 on 13 August. It could have been worse if its not for the strong institutional support in July. SingTel topped the list of institutional net buy in July, with net buy of $49.4 million.

Riding the storm

SingTel share price has since recovered to the $3.10 level, probably because the intensity of the short-selling attacks had reduced and the strong support from institutional players. The less-than-glowing first quarter financial results for FY2019 could have triggered the recent correction in SingTel share price. Operating revenue dropped to $4.13 billion as compared to $4.16 billion in last year. Profit after tax sank to $826 million from $886 million recorded in last year.

Although the latest financial results had been less than stellar, there were bright spots as SingTel’s Optus powered ahead to capture market share in mobile market and recorded higher EBITDA. Regional associates like AIS, Intouch and Globe also recorded double digits growth for net profit. The upcoming IPO of its subsidiary, Airtel Africa, could …

OCBC share price ready to explode?

OCBC share price

Despite being consistently ranked as one of the strongest banks in the world, OCBC’ stock is perennially the least expensive among the three local banks. However, like DBS and UOB, OCBC share price enjoyed a dizzy spell for the past two years, storming from $7.90 in February 2016 to reach the giddy high of $14 this year.

The key reason for the bullish run of the local bank stocks should be attributed to the improving economy condition in Singapore. However, recent government property curbs and short-selling activities had pulled the brake on the surging form of OCBC share price. Can OCBC share price regain its mojo and returns to form?

The recent correction in OCBC share price is considered healthy, so investors should not panic. In fact, 2QFY2018 results had been pretty strong. OCBC reported net profit after tax of $1.21 billion for the second quarter, climbing 16% from S$1.04 billion a year ago, and 9% from $1.11 billion in the previous quarter. The robust results provided the narrative for OCBC’s growth momentum.

Due to the volatility of bank stocks, the key to making money from this counter is to have a strategy of setting the right entry and exit …

Asian Pay TV Trust dances with the wolves?

Asian Pay Television Trust

From IPO price of $0.97 in 2013, Asian Pay TV unit price had plummeted over the years to reach the current dismal level of $0.38.  Investors who had bought into Asian Pay TV during the IPO days and held the units till now would have lost their pants even if the grand total of $0.41 distributions had been factored in.

Apart from punching the wall, investors of Asian Pay TV Trust should certainly do some soul-searching. Even the most ardent supporters of this counter must be having second thoughts and wonder if this business trust can ever stage a rebound. My guess is that shareholders should hope for the best but expect the worst.

When a business trust is trading at such abysmal level, the price level may not represent value. But what is more galling for unitholders of Asian Pay TV Trust is that despite trading at such cheap level, the management did not even bother to carry out any unit repurchases from the market. The lack of action on the management’s part is obviously not inspiring, at least from the perspective of the investors.

Asian Pay TV

However, Asian Pay TV Trust is not a lost cause yet,  because it is …

UOB share price on red hot form!

UOB share price

Crisis? What crisis? UOB share price tore apart the form book by going on an explosive run following the release of an excellent set of first half results. Many investors and analysts were also stunned by the news that 70% of new launch condominium, The Tre Ver, was sold during Phase 1.

The Tre Ver was developed by UOL, an affiliated company of UOB. Previously, many investors feared the worst for UOB share price following the introduction of new property cooling measures by Singapore government.

The buoyant first half results certainly set UOB share price on fire, making it the most expensive bank stock in Singapore. Within the span of a week, UOB share price surged from $27 to $28 level. On the basis of the current bull form of UOB share price, shareholders should have that feel good feeling.

UOB share price

However, I do think that investors are throwing caution to the wind as the surge in UOB share price may not be justified. To put things into perspective, UOB is still struggling with toxic loans as a result of the exposure to the ailing oil and gas industry. As of June 2018, non-performing loans stood at $4.2 billion (1.7%), a …

CapitaLand share price ready to rocket!

CapitaLand share price

Since early May, CapitaLand share price experienced some form of bearish correction. But the stunning announcement of the retirement of CEO Lim Ming Yan on 1 June 2018 really knocked the wind out of CapitaLand share price, which collapsed from a high of almost $3.80 to $2.99 at one point. CapitaLand share price has since recovered to $3.15 level but remained under pressure.

With Price/Book Value of just 0.692 and P/E ratio of merely 9.7, CapitaLand share price is currently considered very undervalued among the blue chips. In fact, most investors perennially misunderstood this stock and thought that the property cooling measures would wallop CapitaLand share price upside down. But they don’t realize that the battle to be fought for CapitaLand is not in Singapore.

Since the Great Financial Crisis, CapitaLand share price had been languishing between $2.00 to $3.00 bandwidth in recent years, a shadow of its former self when it was trading at $8.00 in the heydays of 2007. The recent carnage in CapitaLand share price even triggered a massive shares buyback by management, which bought back $209 million worth of CapitaLand shares. The intervention managed to prevent a massive decline in CapitaLand share price and provided …

DBS share price and that “uh-oh” feeling

DBS share price

It is that “uh-oh” feeling for DBS share price all over again as the counter got bombed-out after the release of 2nd quarter earnings report. There were claims that DBS share price came under heavy shelling because the Singaporean bank missed analysts’ forecast. Should shareholders be punching the wall?

From my perspective, the notion that DBS share price fell because of missed estimates by market analysts is complete nonsense because I never believe in what the analysts said. And for sure, market analysts never have any swaying power over share prices.

So what could be the root cause for the correction in DBS share price? After all, net profit in second quarter earnings actually surged 20% to $1.37 billion, as compared to $1.14 billion last year. Under the current challenging operating environment, to be able to deliver such a mighty result is indeed impressive. So there is no basis to claim that DBS share price tanked over poor financial performance.

In my point of view, dark forces could be behind the slump in DBS share price as 2.56 million DBS shares worth $67.5 million were shorted on 2 August 2018. In terms of short sale value, this is …

Starhub share price enjoying sunshine after the rain?

StarHub share price

Is it sunshine after the rain for Starhub share price or is it yet another false dawn in the making? From a high of $4.20 in 2015, Starhub share price went on a devastating run to languish at current $1.70 level. Only the recent appointment of new CEO, Peter Kaliaropoulos halted the stunning decline of Starhub share price.

The collapse of StarHub share price certainly caused massive wealth destruction for many shareholders. Whether this counter can stage a magical recovery is a big question mark as StarHub share price reflected not just the broad sell-down in the current Singapore stock market (StarHub is an STI component), but also mirrored its declining business fundamentals.

The carnage of StarHub share price is attributed to the triple whammies of StarHub losing popular channel for its Pay TV, fierce competition from NetFlix and entry of new MVNO players. And to top it off, the fourth telco player, TPG Telecom, has not even started business yet. No wonder investors are spooked by the prospect of Starhub.

StarHub share price

Given the current StarHub share price, the dividend yield is at an alluring 9.36%. In view of this, is StarHub shares a value trap or dividend gem? Are …

SIA share price to endure another lost decade?

SIA share price

Singapore Airlines’ CEO Goh Choon Phong should be at a loss for words. Days after collecting the prestigious Skytrax’s World Best Airline Award for the fourth time, the CEO must be watching in horror as SIA share price plunged by as much as 5.5% on 27 July 2018, presumably due to the poor Q1FY18/19 financial results.

The poor financial results came on the back of announcements of integration of SIA Cargo and SilkAir into parent airline and merger of Tiger Airways and Scoot. Despite the extensive restructuring exercise among its subsidiaries, it certainly seems that there was not much improvement in resource synergies, revenue growth or even cost reduction. What a wasted effort indeed!

SIA share price

Wretched performance

As the saying goes, one man’s poison is another’s meat. While oil and gas companies like Keppel and Sembcorp had been struggling in the aftermath of the oil price’s collapse, SIA share price had been flying high, surging from $9.80 in early 2017 to as high as $11.56 in May this year. But the magical form of SIA share price is as good as it gets as recent uptick in crude oil prices returned to haunt the premium airline.

The reason for the …

OCBC share price on ice and fire!

OCBC share price

From almost $14 in early May, OCBC share price rolled off the cliff to languish at $11.30 in July. The steep decline came on the back of an extraordinary bull run that saw OCBC share price surging from $7.90 in February 2016 to reach the giddy high of $14 this year. When a stock has this sort of ridiculous form, it is only fair to expect a healthy correction. After all, what goes up must surely come down.

But at the back of many investors’ mind must be who are the dark forces responsible for the recent meltdown of OCBC share price. As a retail investor, you must figure this out because you don’t want to be caught with your pants down when the big boys strike.

Based on the data collected, there were two groups of big boys influencing OCBC share price in the months of May, June and July 2018 – the short-sellers and institutional funds. Both groups combined to knock the wind out of OCBC share price.

Of course, OCBC shares wasn’t the only stock suffering from meltdown in recent months. DBS, UOB and SingTel shares also went through poor form lately. But against the backdrop of …

SingTel share price destined to collapse after ex-dividend day?

Singtel share price

26 July 2018 would be destiny day for SingTel share price as it will be ex-dividend day for shareholders to be entitled to the final dividend of $0.107. All eyes are on that day as shareholders brace themselves for a frightening roller-coaster ride of SingTel share price.

There had been much talks on the impending entry of the fourth telco, TPG Telecom and the emerging threats of Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO). People are concerned that these threats would demolish SingTel share price and knock it off the cliff. But to be frank, the current bearish sentiments of SingTel share price should be due to the heightened competition in overseas markets, and not Singapore market. So investors should not make a mountain out of a mole.

Nonetheless, it is not going to be smooth sailing for SingTel and I anticipate a rough ride for this Singapore blue chip. In light of recent developments, this article will share the reasons for the decline of SingTel share price and why this counter could possibly correct to $2.60 by year end. In this article, I am also going to reveal how the big boys combined to wipe off billions from SingTel …

DBS share price to storm back in style?

DBS share price

DBS share price to storm back in style or is it the start of a protracted nightmare? Under the frenzy attacks by short-sellers, DBS share price went into a tailspin, falling from a high of $30 in April to a low of $25.50 in July. The devastating decline prompted DBS to launch a rare shares buyback on 6 July 2018. For the record, the last shares buybacks by DBS was almost two years ago, in September 2016.

6 July 2018 would be remembered as Black Friday for local bank and property stocks as Singapore government sent the market into chaos with the announcement of additional property cooling measures. DBS stock retreated by 2.6% on that fateful day.

DBS share price is closely watched by many investors in Singapore because it is the biggest cap and is also the crown jewel of Temasek Holdings. Being the bellwether of the economy, bank stocks are typically sensitive to the economy and DBS share price would largely reflect market confidence of the state of Singapore’s economy.

After an incredible bull run that saw DBS share price smashing past the $30 mark, this counter is at a cross road with the recent onslaught of short-selling …

Investment verdict of NetLink NBN Trust

Frasers Property

It was supposed to be an opportunity for NetLink NBN Trust to make a statement about its investment merits to Singapore investors. But unfortunately, NetLink NBN Trust messed it up by delivering a subpar revenue performance for FP2018 that was much lower than original forecast. To add to its woes, NetLink was also slapped with $500,000 fine by IMDA for not meeting service standard for fibre service activation.

And investors did not take the above too kindly. Upon the release of the financial results, unit price of NetLink NBN Trust tumbled from $0.81 in May to $0.74 in July. The price correction led to dividend yield at an attractive level of 5.65%.

Against the current backdrop, is NetLink NBN Trust a value trap or dividend yield play? In this article, I will examine the competitive advantages and handicaps of NetLink NBN Trust.

Missed opportunity

Time really flies. It had been one year when NetLink NBN Trust debut in Singapore Exchange and I do think that it is timely for an update on this business trust. Dubbed as the biggest IPO since 2011, many investors have great expectation of NetLink NBN Trust. And rightly so. After all, it is the sole …

Noble Group to fall into abyss?

Noble Group

Since my last coverage on Noble Group in December 2017, things have taken a turn for the worse. In fact, the on-going drama is so bad that its good. Why is there any good out of this corporate tragedy if you may ask? In my opinion, there are plenty of hard lessons that investors can gain from the downfall of Noble Group.

From a former multi-billion blue chip darling as recent as 2015, Noble Group has shrunk to a mere $188 million listed company. Novice investors who are new to the game should avoid this counter if they are not unaware of the series of events that had unfolded on this counter. Indeed, there had been so many twists and turns to the Noble Group drama that one wonders if the latest alliance between Goldilocks and Noble Group is just another false dawn in the making.

Due to the volatility of Noble Group share price, existing shareholders should exercise caution on whether to dollar average their holdings or cut losses.  This article is only for information and not meant to induce or serve as a form of financial advice.

Noble Group

Holding shareholders to ransom?

In my last coverage, I highlighted …

Mapletree Logistics Trust knocked the wind out of Cache Logistics Trust

ThaiBev share price

Amid the sea of red in the Singapore stock market, Mapletree Logistics Trust shares bucked the trend and stood out like a shining beacon. The bullish form of Mapletree Logistics Trust shares could be attributed to its recent $778 million acquisitions of five ramp-up logistics warehouses from CWT Pte Ltd.

The move by Mapletree Logistics Trust raised a lot of eyebrows because it was made against the backdrop of warehouses supply glut and falling rental prices in Singapore. According to 4Q2017 data released by JTC, the number of available warehouses increased quarterly by 2% to 10.4 million sqm while vacancy rate decreased slightly by 1.6%. Correspondingly, rental prices remained weak in 4Q2017, decreasing by 1.0%.

On the other hand, the mega deal also saw Mapletree Logistics Trust one-upped on local rival Cache Logistics Trust, a ramp-up logistics warehouse specialist. The latter’s competitive strength lies in ramp-up warehouses, which are limited in supply in Singapore because specialised planning and design specifications are required for such properties. The entry of Mapletree in this niche is an unwanted competition for Cache.

Mapletree Logistics Trust

Opportunistic acquisitions by Mapletree Logistics?

Investors of Cache Logistics Trust must have seen red with the acquisition. This is because all the …

Big boys targeting SingTel stock!

OUE share price

After suffering from heavy shelling for the past few weeks, SingTel stock recovered from multi-year low of $3.02 to climb to $3.24 on 10 July 2018. The latest technical rebound of SingTel stock must have left investors wondering if this blue chip has indeed bottomed out. Before rejoicing, it is important to note that the big boys, namely the institutional funds had been targeting SingTel stock for the past two months.

According to Singapore Exchange (SGX) Institutional Fund Flow Monthly report, the month of May saw institutional investors net sold an epic $1.10 billion worth of Singapore stocks.

I could be wrong but I do not recall the outflow of such magnitude from Singapore stock market in recent years, apart from the Great Financial Crisis in 2008. The net selling by institutional players continued through June, with institutional net selling $257 million worth of Singapore stocks.

A more chilling revelation in the reports is that SingTel had been targeted by the big boys as SingTel stock had consistently topped the net seller lists since December 2017. In this article, I am going to show you how the big boys play the game and why you must avoid collision path …

UOB stock to pulverise with new property cooling measures?

UOB stock

Could it be the straw that broke the camel’s back? Despite the challenging operating conditions and the toxic loans from the ailing oil and gas industry, UOB stock had an enthralling fairy-tale run, surging from $17.20 in 2016 to $30 in 2018. It certainly seemed that nothing can stop the explosive form of UOB stock price, until the recent short-selling activities and property measures halted the majestic run.

Meltdown of UOB stock

6 July 2018 would be remembered as Black Friday for local bank and property stocks as Singapore government sent the market into a devastating tailspin with the announcement of additional property cooling measures. There was chaos in the stock market as bank and property stocks suffered from carnage. Among the three bank stocks, UOB stock fared the worst, plunging by as much as 3%. DBS stock retreated by 2.6% while OCBC shares fell by 2.2%.

UOB stock

On the basis of the underlying business structure, UOB stock looks set for a terrifying ride with the property cooling measures. Unlike DBS and OCBC, UOB stock is considered a major proxy for property play.

This is because in his heydays, UOB Chairman Emeritus Wee Cho Yaw had meticulously built a massive billion …

Very scary truth of the new Loan-to-Value (LTV) limits

LTV

By now, most Singaporeans would be aware of the new property cooling measures implemented by government. While most attention is focused on the eye-popping Additional Buyer Stamp Duty (ABSD) of 12%, the more sinister aspect of the cooling measures for existing private property home owners should be the Loan-to-Value (LTV) limits. In the worst case scenario, existing home owners may be forced to do margin top ups if their property value plunged in the next few months.

Read on to find out why LTV can be so important to your home loan and why you should pay attention to this cute little rule because if property prices dropped in the coming months, you would likely to suffer refinancing nightmares. And I am not joking.

Many Singaporeans assume that property prices would keep rising. But this may not necessary be true. A lot of factors come into play but ultimately, supply and demand still play a major role. In this respect, the outlook for home prices is quite gloomy. And existing home owners may need to pay attention to the LTV ratios. Just picture the following.

LTV

Supply glut

According to URA, as at the end of 1st Quarter 2018, there was …

12% ABSD to rock the market?

absd

It seems that the government had thrown yet another hand grenade to the private property market by announcing further housing cooling measures (ABSD) on 5 July 2018, after the closure of the stock market.

On hindsight, the government may be forced to implement new ABSD rates because developers had refused to lower the prices for private properties even after the Qualifying Certificate and Developer ABSD were implemented several years ago. As entities, developers are also subject to the ABSD rate of twenty-five percent, an increase from the previous fifteen percent. Developers may apply for remission of this 25% ABSD, subject to conditions (including completing and selling all units within the prescribed periods of 3 years or 5 years for non-licensed and licensed developers respectively).

Though I am not planning to buy a second property nor am I vested in any SGX stocks, the latest round of cooling measures certainly came as shocking to me. This is because the new cooling measures also targeted existing private property owners through the revised LTV ratios. Whether the new measures that included an increase of ABSD rates and lower LTV ratios would be effective or is well-intended is beside the point. The issue is …

DBS share price suffered from explosive meltdown

OCBC share price

After leading DBS to achieve a record net profit of $1.52 billion for first-quarter 2018, CEO Piyush Gupta must be at a loss for words on the recent meltdown of DBS share price. From 30 April to 4 July, DBS share price plummeted from a record $31 to $26.38, a massive decline of 14.4%.

The sudden loss of form for DBS share price must have scared the living daylights out of shareholders. After all, DBS share price had been cruising along fine with its robust set of financial results. Nonetheless, the current performance of DBS share price is not reflective of underlying business fundamentals because as far as I understand, there are no business concerns for DBS at all. The culprit for the fall of DBS share price should be the work of the short-sellers.

Should shareholders run for their lives or keep faith with CEO Piyush Gupta?

DBS share price

Dance with the wolves

The current meltdown is one of the biggest declines in my recent memory of DBS share price. The last time that a correction of such magnitude was back in 2009, the dark days of the Great Financial Crisis and 2016, the peak of the oil slump affecting the …

OCBC share price to go berserk again?

OCBC share price

Within two months, OCBC share price fell off the cliff, dropping from almost $14 to $11.50. Such correction is healthy as OCBC share price had been on a spellbinding berserk run since 2017. Thus, investors should not be alarmed by the recent decline in OCBC share price. But at the back of investors’ mind must be whether OCBC share price will return to form with the impending Great Eastern Malaysia divestment. Does the current OCBC share price represent value for money or is it another value trap?

In relation to a query from a reader, many investors may be interested to know the fair value of OCBC share price. To be honest, answering this question is never easy for OCBC shares because the bank holds numerous non-core bank assets that are yet to be, or may even not be, divested in the near future.

Furthermore, even if a counter is trading at its fair value, it may not represent a golden opportunity for investors to buy on the dip. For retail investors, they must be wary of the movement of the short-sellers. You certainly don’t want to be caught off-guarded by the flipping of the whales. In recent months, OCBC …

SingTel stock price collapsed amid short-selling attacks

SingTel stock price

Class is permanent, form is temporary. On 28 June 2018, SingTel stock price collapsed to 9-year low, falling to as low as $3.08. Amid attacks by short-sellers, SingTel stock price retreated to below the psychological level of $3.10. At the rate of decline, SingTel stock price seems destined to free fall to below the $3 mark.

The devastating decline in SingTel stock price would have caused massive paper losses for many wealth builders. Investors would know the theory of “be fearful when the market is full of greed and be greedy when the market is full of fear”. Now that the opportunity arises to invest in a blue chip, would you go for it?

The long-term fundamentals of this evergreen blue chip remain intact. Henceforth, the current bearish trend may provide a good opportunity for investors to accumulate at attractive price. But having said that, it is important to be wary of the movement of the big boys because you don’t want to incur losses when these whales flipped.

Perfect storm

It certainly seems that the bears are out in full force and hell-bent on sending SingTel stock price to the bottom, wiping off $8 billion worth of market capitalization …

Singapore Savings Bond versus OCBC 360

BullionStar

Singapore Savings Bond is a new type of government bond that was launched by the Monetary Authority of Singapore in 2015. The bond is considered to be a safe and flexible product that allows Singaporeans to meet their savings and investment needs.

However, demand for Singapore Savings Bonds had been lacklustre in the initial years, presumably because products like OCBC 360, had been giving it a run for its money (literally). Nonetheless, recent developments had caused Singapore Savings Bond to be very attractive. And that led to a change in my view of this bond.

In my previous article on Astrea IV bonds, I shared that I am not ready for fixed income at this stage of my life yet. My stance has not changed. Basically, my family is looking at a safe financial product to store our emergency fund. Thus, we are looking at Singapore Savings Bond from the perspective of wealth protection, rather than wealth building.

In this article, I will share my insights on how Singapore Savings Bond can play a part in strengthening your wealth portfolio through passive income and how it fair in comparison to the popular OCBC 360 account.

Locked-in Interest rates

The first …

SingTel and StarHub stock prices sank on MyRepublic’s debut

StarHub share price

21 June 2018 would be remembered as a day of reckoning for local telco players as MyRepublic set the mobile market on fire by offering one of the most innovative and competitive data plans in recent years – Smart 35. On the day of the launch, SingTel and StarHub stock prices got bombed-out. Whether the corrections are knee-jerk reactions remain to be seen but MyRepublic certainly debuted in style.

It would be sweet revenge for MyRepublic which had lost out to TPG Telecom in the bidding for the fourth telco license back in 2016. Despite losing the spectrum bid war, MyRepublic vowed to make a comeback back then. And it certainly did. With a bang.

Without having to make heavy investments on the network infrastructure, Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) like MyRepublic is seriously giving incumbent telco players a new dimension of challenge. The biggest winner out of this telco war is of course the consumers. But should investors be punching the wall as SingTel and StarHub stock prices suffered melt-down?

StarHub stock

MyRepublic turn on the style

Smart 35 comes with 7GB data, 1000 minutes free talktime and 1000 SMS. There is no contract needed and customers may change …

StarHub share price plunged to 13 year low

Asian Pay Television Trust

On 21 June 2018, StarHub share price plunged to a 13 year low. Trading at $1.64, this popular stock is a shadow of its former self. Even during the dark days of the Great Financial Crisis in 2009, StarHub share price had never dipped to such abysmal level.

Certainly, nobody could have predicted Starhub share price would suffer from such a devastating run. When it comes to technology disruptions, it is always a wild card. In the good old days, StarHub can bank on SMS, IDD and Pay TV for growth. But the advent of technology has significantly eroded margins from these former cash cows for telco players.

StarHub’s recent payment row with American entertainment giant, Discovery Channel, also casts a dark shadow over Pay TV business outlook amid stiff competition from video streaming players like NetFlix.

For those who bought StarHub shares at $4.20 in 2015, they would be staring at massive paper losses, even if you factored in the dividends issued during that period. Incoming new CEO, Peter Kaliaropoulos certainly have his work cut out for him when he takes over in July 2018.

But before writing this stock off, it should be highlighted that the current StarHub …

Does Hyflux deserve a comeback like OSIM?

Hyflux

Can Hyflux stage an incredible comeback like OSIM? Or rather, does Hyflux even deserve to be rescued? The embattled water treatment specialist has obtained a court protection to restructure its outstanding debts. It has also stopped payment of distribution on its $500 million 6.00% Perpetual Capital Securities which was due on 28 May 2018. The swift turn of events caught shareholders by surprise and marked a treacherous chapter for Hyflux.

Under current circumstances, investors who pumped in their hard-earned monies on the shares and perpetual bonds have every right to be angry with the management of Hyflux. How on earth did the former A-list company end up in such a sorry state is beyond me.

Whether Hyflux can emerge stronger and leaner from this embarrassing fiasco remains to be seen but the corporate drama is so bad that its good, at least from my perspective. When this counter reopens in six month time, investors should ask themselves whether they should run for their lives or risk throwing good money after bad.

Hyflux

I wish I did not have to write this but those who are vested in Hyflux shares or bonds should hope for the best but expect the worst. Check …

SingTel share price plunged to six year low

Singtel share price

After leading SingTel to achieve an impressive record net profit of $5.45 billion for FY2018, CEO Chua Sock Koong must be stumped for words when SingTel share price plunged to a six year low on 18 June 2018. At $3.17 a piece, SingTel share price is technically entering into a bear mode territory. In the context of the current SingTel share price, is this counter a value buy or could it be a falling knife?

Many investors had pointed that the entry of fourth telco player could have played a part in the sharp decline of SingTel share price in recent months. But then again, the earnings from Singapore mobile market is significantly much lesser than that from its Australia Optus and Indonesia Telkomsel. In this regard, the current headwind should be due to its poor performance from its regional associates rather than the heightened competition in Singapore market.

Falling SingTel share price

At current dividend yield of 5.5%, SingTel share price is indeed alluring if you compared it to the coupon rates of the recent Astrea IV bonds and Singapore Savings Bonds. Barring unforeseen circumstances, the Group expects to maintain its ordinary dividends of 17.5 cents per share …

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