Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2016

Passengers - Go Watch It

Passengers. Brilliant story telling. Visionary yet believable. Like Martian, only better. Space travel, science, romantic, desolation, philosophical, mortality n its devastation, spectacular imagery. Being human n humane. 9.7/10






Casinos In Japan - An Assessment

This was considered unimaginable 15 years ago, but a group from LDP finally managed to push through the new bill. The new bill proposes allowing large-scale projects that will combine casinos with hotel, shopping and conference facilities. Attracting tourists is one of the key economic policies of Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and supporters say these developments will bolster the country's flagging economy and help support tourism after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The law urges the government to prepare legislation within one year to deal with problems connected with casino resorts, including gambling addiction and ways to prevent the involvement of organized crime groups.


Likelihood To Go All The Way:Despite a 2-1 disapproval by the public, the likelihood of this plan to come to fruition is very high. As you know to even get passed the Lower House would have required a lot, a lot of stamp signatures and collusion. Hiroyuki Hosoda, head of the main pro-casino parliamentary gr…

Covered Warrants - The Not So Silent Killer

One should never never punt on warrants with less than 1 year to expiry, especially covered warrants. I can safely bet that anyone who trades in covered warrants in the course of a year will have a 90% chance to sustain losses. 

Unfortunately, our markets have been in the doldrums for the past 6 months or so and that has caused some die hard players to only consider covered warrants, esp those index covered ones, in particular the highly volatile HSI covered (which kind of acts as a proxy to the even more volatile China exchanges).

Just have a look at the daily volume rankings, its always the covered warrants for the past few months. Strange as it may seem, if things continue, our local exchange will be trading mostly other countries' covered index warrants for the longest time - esp if the big guys introduce the Nikkei covered as well.

Why investors will lose big in the long run:

1) Time Value - These covered warrants are usually short in terms of time to expiry, usually less than 12…

Long Weekends

Law & Dis-Order ... Must Watch

I like TVB series generally but most are nothing much to shout about. But I must strongly recommend this one, Law Disorder ... about a bunch of lawyers in a firm. Its conniving, devious, thrilling, plot thickening with every episode and plot twisting till your stomach turns ... a place where no one is obviously the hero, a place where no one is entirely blameless or evil. 

I must commend on the new bunch of writers. Human relations are callous, no more Mr. Nice Guy TVB feel-good touchy-feely stuff here, everyone has their inner motivations and not all are grand and altruistic at all. There are no permanent friends or enemies, its gripping... if only every boardroom meeting in reality were like that.

Morality is always not set in cement, values can be argued, and there is no black or white, just different shades of grey. Watch it it, its better than Suits and Boston Legal.








ASSET CLASS RETURNS AS AT 31 JULY 2016

What can we surmise from the major asset classes table below? A lot. Bear in mind that these returns are priced in USD, which has generally performed well against most currencies this year.













































Major developed equity markets had a largely rough first few months in 2016, thanks to Brexit. However the recovery was quite sharp too in July, compared to the overall YTD performance. Are there anything the markets are not afraid of anymore. There is a running theme across the asset classes - negative interest rates in some developed nations. You can literally see that impacting across the board.

Emerging markets equity had an even better performance YTD, and rallied alongside developed markets last month. When priced in USD, it also meant that the actual returned were further enhanced in local currency (for most).

Where you find the greatest impact of the negative interest rates theme - REITs, foreign, US and emerging markets bonds... look at their YTD gains in USD.

As you are beginning to see the m…

Bad Moms - A Surprisingly Good Movie

This was a surprisingly good movie... Thought I give it a chance to see Mila Kunis, the lovable Kristen Bell and the ever gorgeous Christina Applegate ... but its Kathryn Hanh who stole the show as the loose single mum who's game for anything. Its 18+ so you know its a lot of fun. Tackling real issues with brutal honesty and there were plenty of laugh out loud and long moments. Touching piece at the end when all the stars talked with their real mothers. Excellent 9.5/10.

Cold War II - Best 'Cop/Drama/Thriller' Movie Ever?

Chinese movies are right up there with the very best when they put their hearts and souls into them. Take the cops/thriller/crime category, some of the best include Infernal Affairs, Cold War I, the amazing PTU series by Johnnie To Kei Fung ... all were amazing and right up there with the very best. So it would be a big thing for me to pronounce Cold War II as the best ever, bettering those that I have just mentioned.

It is not essential to have watched Cold War I, but if you did you will appreciate the underlying motivations and bad blood among the characters better.





Why was the movie so good... good vs evil, when they are not so clearly defined, its varying shades of gray, no one is completely blameless, even the good guys. The conversation was well scripted, it builds the mystery, the gravity of the situation .. so good. The storyline was magnificent, at every crossroad there were plenty of options the director, writer could have taken ... You get the nuances, you feel for the charac…

Brexit - The Aftermath

Yes, Brexit was a disaster for capital markets ... but mainly because most traders did not hedge their positions for such an eventuality. Most traders assume the Brits would never do something so silly. Yes, it is silly because Britain has a 75% export market and depends on the union in more ways than one. 


London as the financial centre has been magnified for the past 10-15 years thanks to the free movement of labour, capital ... the flow on benefits of that cannot be minimised.


WHAT IS LIKELY TO HAPPEN

- REGRET: More and more Brits will regret their decision. There will be movements to garner sufficient support for a second referendum - even though that is not written in stone, it could be debated in Parliament if there is sufficient pressure.


-  POLITICAL WILL: Cameron did what I considered the smartest chess move, and swiftly too, by resigning immediately. He is basically saying, you want to eat shit, then I am not going to be the one to open the door and scoop the shit. No wonder Bor…

Why Proton Probably Cannot Compete

If one were to ask why Proton should no longer exists ... or why Proton is finding it so hard to make money after such a long time ...: Most will cite the fact that we were uncompetitive (design, research, economies of scale, talent, domestic market). If thats not enough to convince you, well, look at the GLOBAL CAR INDUSTRY, and then see what you can CONCLUDE FROM THE PICTURE:






















































Conclusion: Look at 99% of the auto makers, they are under ONE BIG UNIT. How in HELL or HEAVEN can Proton compete with these units. They will be able to share research costs, design costs, management processes, share backoffice expenses, sourcing economies of scale, buying power over suppliers and even distributors ... with the array of products, they can even "negotiate with leverage with governments and unions" to get tax breaks, incentives and cheap land for assembly and manufacturing. Naturally the bigger the grouping, the better the ability to attract and reward genuine talent.

Even when you try to…

Debunking The Myth & Aura Of French Wines - Its Just Prejudice & Self Inflated Ego

Every ten years or so, we will see the nouveau rich clambering over themselves to get a heady collection of French wines and try to outbid each other for the latest release from the first growths in France. I find it a bit infantile and elicit a lot of head shaking from the over-enthusiasm over French wines.

Its not that they are not great, they can be. Its like fuckers who smoke cigars and just stick to Cubans because popular culture tells them thats the only thing worth smoking - BULLSHIT ... same with French wines - they are very good but you would miss out on so many wonderful nuances of wines from other countries if you held onto your biases.

So, who perpetuates the myth that French wines are superior? The French themselves of course. the whole French language and character of the country cause a romance that stirs the air. Their well known arrogance and pooh-pooh anything not-French kind of exacerbated the snootiness - which I don't understand why the rest of the world stupidl…