Showing posts from March, 2008

Nomura Remain Bearish On SG Property Market.

Residential property


Our view
We retain our Bearish stance on Singapore’s residential sector, with the market moving swiftly from a state of denial to acknowledging the realities on the ground. We see asset prices being driven down further by the marginal speculative sellers, amid low transaction volumes and rising unsold pre-sale inventories.

Anchor themes
Residential rents are likely to remain firm in the short term, given the low vacancy, though rising new supply is likely to cap rental gains from 2H08F — we forecast vacancy will rise from 5.7% at end-2007F to 8.2% at end-2010F.

Luxury residential prices have risen too fast relative to rental expectations. We see the marginal speculative seller in the pre-sale market as the catalyst for asset price declines in the luxury sector of 16.9% in 2008F and 10.3% in 2009F, with the mass market not immune from asset price declines amid rising new supply.

Eye on the storm
􀁣 Luxury asset prices to fall by 32% over 2008-10F

Invest Like the Best in 2008

By Jim Sinegal

Although our all-star fund managers found themselves against the ropes with the rest of the investment community at the close of 2007, you wouldn't know it from reading their shareholder letters.Warren Buffett's advice to "be greedy when others are fearful" has become an investment cliché, but the 16 fund managers on our list have taken it to heart. Mason Hawkins and Staley Cates at Longleaf Partners (NASDAQ:LLPFX - News) see "tremendous opportunity" in the markets, while Christopher and William Browne at Tweedy, Browne Value Fund (NASDAQ:TWEBX - News) believe that "more attractive valuations" are forthcoming. Mario Gabelli of Gabelli Asset (NASDAQ:GABAX - News) believes "the most profitable investment opportunities come with blood in the streets." With Bear Stearns (NYSE:BSC - News) losing more than 90% of its market value in only a few days, there is certainly blood in the streets, but we think our expanding roster…

UBS report: Ready for a rally

􀂄 Finding the silver lining

Despite higher volatility, largely reflecting financial market stability concerns and
expectations for a US recession, there is reason for optimism in global equity
markets. Monetary and fiscal policy response has been aggressive and more is
likely on the way. Thus, a major source of ‘tail’ risk appears to have been removed.
Coupled with attractive valuations, low interest rates, and reasonable earnings
growth, we believe prospects for a more sustainable rally in equities appear good.

􀂄 Broad market support

Sectors that underperform in a sell-off also tend to recover the most. Thus, we add
to positions Financials and Consumer Discretionary. Even so, we believe a decline
in risk premiums is likely to provide a boost to market valuations making a broadbased
recovery. To reflect this more outlook we trim our defensive exposure
(Healthcare and Consumer Staples), which we upgraded in January.

􀂄 Regions and stocks

We retain our regional allocations, where we are overweight …

`Big Rally' for Stocks to Continue, Jim Rogers Says

March 19 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stocks, which surged the most in five years yesterday, will likely continue their rally this year because the ``out of control'' Federal Reserve is cutting interest rates to save investment banks from collapse, investor Jim Rogers said. The Fed's support is ``why we're having a big rally, but that's not going to solve the problem,'' Rogers, chairman of Rogers Holdings and co-founder of the Quantum Hedge Fund with George Soros, said during an interview with Bloomberg Television from Singapore. ``The system is terribly corroded.'' The central bank is helping securities firms while delaying and deepening a bear market and recession, said Rogers, who is betting against financial shares. The Fed cut its benchmark for overnight lending between banks yesterday, continuing the most aggressive series of reductions since the rate became an explicit policy target in the late 1980s. The Standard & Poor's 500…

Barton Biggs says Dow could rally 1,000 points

By Brian Sullivan and Michael Patterson March 14 (Bloomberg) -- The decline in U.S. stocks is ``way overdone'' and the Dow Jones Industrial Average may rally 1,000 points, investor Barton Biggs said. ``We're in a financial panic,'' Biggs said during a telephone interview with Bloomberg Television from New York. ``We're setting up for a really big rally. I don't mean three or four hundred points on the Dow, I mean 1,000 points on the Dow. I don't know if we're going to get it next week or the week after. But this thing has gotten crazy and is overdone.'' Biggs, a former Morgan Stanley strategist who now runs the $1.5 billion hedge fund Traxis Partners LLC, said stock markets from Germany to Hong Kong may bottom out soon after tumbling this year. Biggs's prediction in March 2007 that U.S. stocks were near a low preceded a 16 percent rally in the Dow average during the next four months. His forecast that the Dow would climb as m…

Urging for peaceful dialogues to resolve Tibet issue

Hi all

A friend sent me an email below, which I think will put things in perspective.


Dear all, A friend had sent me an email asking what's my take on the violence and how it came about. As it was on the tv news that China president Wen Jia Bao stated that the violence is organised and planned by the "Dalai group".

Initially I didn't want to send out mass emails as I am not really interested in politics. However, after some consideration, I decided that I should play a part in raising some awareness of what little I know of the Tibetan community and especially the Dalai Lama and his govt-in-exile (having stayed in India and lived among the Tibetan community for a while). Just as I think the media (esp Chinese media) is quite biased in their reporting, I too, am unable to provide a complete picture. However, I believe it is only fair to provide different perspectives so that people are better informed, and are able to reach your own conclusion …
The principle behind technical analyst David Bensimon's accurate forecasts
lies in the symmetries in markets, reports GENEVIEVE CUA

MAKING forecasts is a tricky business, as many analysts and fund managers will tell you,
but it does not faze technical analyst David Bensimon.
Some of his calls on the markets have been so precise that on one of his
speaking engagements, it spurred an impromptu bidding war among some in the audience for
an on-the-spot copy of his award winning tome on markets, Polar Perspectives.

Mr Bensimon: Asia is in for a prosperity-driven inflationary era

One of the bidders paid for his copy with a gold coin. Worth about US$700
then in November, it was about equal to the price of the book. But the coin
has since appreciated, as Mr Bensimon notes with amusement.

The book last year won a gold medal as the 'best book in finance/
investment/economics' at New York's annual independent publishers awards.

Mr Bensimon's fundamental view is that most of t…

Bearing the Bad News

by Ben SteinLet me be the first to agree: The finance news lately is bad.The collapse of venerable firm Bear Stearns in the past few days has been dazzling. The company was supposed to be worth a bare minimum of $80 per share. It turns out to have been worth one-fortieth of that -- a catastrophe for its employees, whose fortunes lay largely in Bear's stock (a super-good lesson in diversification for everyone).That a business with a stellar reputation for measuring risk got it so wrong is a bad augury for other Wall Street firms. It turns out that the Street has been run largely as a gigantic casino, only a casino in which the house could lose big.Waiting for the Other ShoeObviously, we're all wondering when the next shoe will drop, or if there will be another one at all.
In this environment, bank lending is curtailed and the legitimate work of Wall Street -- financing business investment -- slows down drastically. This, and not the collapse of Bear, is what will hurt the econom…

Outwitting the Bear

by Paul MerrimanTen ways to crash-proof your investmentsEverybody's a genius in a bull market, the old saying goes. But a bear market creates fear, uncertainty and costly mistakes.The conventional definition of a bear market is a decline in stock prices of 20% or more, lasting at least two months. As markets have become more diverse, experts have developed other measures, too. Whether or not Wall Street is in a bear market, every investor can have his or her personal bear too. Your personal bear market is an unbearable price fall in the value of your nest egg.You can experience two types of bear markets, temporary and permanent. Markets tend to go up and down and then back up. In a temporary bear market, you lose 20% or more but eventually recover. In a permanent bear market, you lose 20% or more and you never get it back. All the historical evidence I've seen indicates that a properly diversified portfolio has never suffered a permanent bear market. Unfortunately, some common…

Risk of global financial contagion: IMF's Singh

WASHINGTON - A MOUNTING global credit crisis could result in financial 'contagion' that could wipe US$800 billion (S$1.1 trillion) of value from the books of United States and global financial institutions, a senior International Monetary Fund official said.

Mr Anoop Singh, IMF director for the Western Hemisphere Department, including the US and Latin America, cited a high likelihood of a US recession and said he sees losses from the US subprime mortgage market crisis resulting in widening losses for European banks.

'This is clearly a period of exceptional uncertainty,' Mr Singh told a conference in Brazil on Monday. A copy of his speech was made available in Washington.

'The distribution of risks for the US outlook is wide and skewed clearly toward the downside, and the probability of additional shocks leading to a US recession is quite high,' he said.

'All in all, current estimates suggest that the global financial system could be facing losses of close to US…

Irrational Times Call for Rational Measures

by Ben Stein
This is going to be a bit controversial. Bear in mind that I often make mistakes and could be wrong about some of this, but it's all food for thought.Irrational PessimismFirst of all, markets are made up of human beings, and human beings can be irrational. They can be irrational on the upside, they can be irrational on the downside.We saw "irrational exuberance" in the late 1990s, and it led to a crash. I believe we're now seeing highly irrational pessimism in the markets, especially the credit markets. The gloom comes from the bad results that banks and other lenders got when they loaned money on mortgage obligations in the form of collateralized mortgage obligations. These instruments were never meant to be as safe as AAA bonds, but they were thought to be much safer than they turned out to be.Beware of Cold StovesThere have indeed been major defaults in mortgages. Just as important, there's been wild speculation on indexes tied to mortgages, and th…

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Hi all,

An inspiring speech by Steve Jobs relating his personal career and life challenges of the extremes.

This is the text of the Commencement address by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, delivered on June 12, 2005.

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I've ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That's it. No big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots.

I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?

It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything wa…

5 ways to stay calm in a down market

When stocks are falling, take these steps. They'll keep you from doing things you'll be sorry for later.
1. Paste this to your computer

Had you invested in an S&P 500 index fund in August 1997 and sat tight for 10 years, you'd have racked up an 88% return. Had you missed just the 20 best days in the market over that period, you would have had a 20% loss, according to Chicago's Altair Advisers. Moral: Stock returns come in bursts. Step out of the market, even temporarily, and you may miss the whole point of owning stocks.

By Janice Revell
2. Get your emotions out of the picture

Invest via an automatic plan that moves money into mutual funds every month. Then have your portfolio rebalanced automatically - lifestyle or target-date retirement funds can do the job. Some 401(k) plans offer a rebalancing service.

3. Focus on what you can control

That would be costs. Assuming an 8% annual return, if you invest in an actively managed fund with a 1.5% expense ratio vs. an index fun…