Thursday, December 25, 2014

何启斌博士专栏系列19:大马会不会破产?

2014-12-25 05:33 

最近,网上有许多有关大马将破产的预测和讨论;这些文章多数来自一些政党领袖。
他们认为大马经济、股市、令吉和石油价不断下降,政府财政必然面对压力,甚至最后会破产;即使不破产,也将有严重的危机好像1997/8年那样。
星期二晚(12月16日)我在大马电视台RTM1分析令吉课题时,就有几个人来电询问同样问题;他们也举出1997/8年的经验。
当时我回答指政府在几年前宣称“大马会破产”后被反对党“夸大宣传”。这次遇到股汇油三重抛卖,反对党又再度大炒。
问题是到底大马是否很快就要破产?所谓的破产指的是什么?是周转不灵还是真正的破产?又或是指像1997/8年那样的货币危机?
储备高外债低
看看1997/8年的劣局和今天的形势比较:1998年9月1日,我国落实货币管制前,外汇储备金只有约190亿美元,美元外债高达1500亿美元,政府外债不到200亿美元,多数为企业的外债;当时的兴业控股(RHB Holding)就借了近19亿美元。当时我国并没有破产。
股市融资占市值80%
今天,我国的储备金高达1300亿美元,对比外债不过是400亿美元;形势刚刚和1998年相反,岂会破产?
1997/98年亚洲金融风暴时,股市总借贷超过当时的股市值15倍,所以当股市急挫时,许多公司都必须再融资自救;可惜,许多也因此而倒闭,例如当时许多第二板的上市公司,借贷时令吉兑美元才2.52,虽然利率才约5%,但美元涨到4.50时,根本是还不起。
今天股市融资还不到总市值的80%,借贷外债者多是官联公司,例如一马发展公司(1MDB)和国家能源(TENAGA,5347,主板贸服股)等等,这些企业借的美元是3.5,现在令吉贬值不算大,还债能力没影响。
关闭CLOB防抛售令吉
新加坡自动撮合股市(CLOB)是当年令吉的致命伤,外资当时都在外卖马股换美元,令吉卖压大,岂能不倒?当然,涉及的数据至今未明,但肯定超出政府偿还的能力。今天,这个撮合股市已关闭,我国股市关闭在大马境内,不必再怕炒家来袭。
亚洲金融风暴时,我国国内总债务近国内生产总值的80%,不算高。
但因为令吉大泻,利息一度急升至12%;这才是企业的致命伤,许多商家因而破产,个人呆账也一样大增。
看看今天,我国的总债务是提高了,政府借贷达GDP的53%,家庭借贷也到达80%。但政府明年开始征收消费税(GST)将带来收入,燃油补贴也会取消,赤字必然下降;就算石油收入剧减,也不至于破产。
虽然未来会升息,但目前利息还相当低;所谓的8%政府担保的借贷,主要是官联公司的债务,这与政府借来开销不同。
没急速升息压力
当年(到1997年6月)安华是时任财政部长,他采用高息,被誉为“国产国际货币基金(IMF)方案”,但却没有取得国际货币基金的金援。
眼前,政府不必像当年那样,要急速升息来救市。别忘了,我们的国家银行总裁丹斯里洁蒂,多次赢得全球最佳行长的殊荣;当年的国行总裁阿末东,不能与洁蒂相提并论。
最重要的还是大马资金户头的自由兑换,这个才是整个大马资产泡沫的来源和危机的主因;从理论来看,货币危机的主因在于汇率制度。
看看1998年,整个亚洲,包括日本都几乎破产,但中国却能安然无恙,原因是中国的资金户头受到管制,资金出入都必须申批,人民币不能买卖,因此,根本没有货币被抛售或卖空的问题。
我国的汇率制度安排,只允许外资自由出入,但还要一些行政程序;令吉在外国不能自由买卖,所以令吉的波动不大。
当年的令吉和美元直接挂钩,但国行目前是采用管理浮动机制。
炒家制造假象卖空
讲大马会破产的人,肯定受到一些立心不良的人影响;这些人可能就是炒家,他们先制造破产的分析,然后再来卖空资产,包括令吉和股票。
政府的债务多数是令吉内债,政府还债的最后一招就是量化宽松。
我们的国行,其实也可以像美国或日本那样,印制货币来收购在外的政府债券,从而减少总债务。
通胀的后果还得看量化多少?
1000亿令吉的量化,政府债务马上可减至400亿令吉,而且不会带来可怕的高通胀,因为外汇储备金还很高!
●何启斌博士 金融经济学家

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

何启斌博士专栏系列18:令吉莫参与货币联防


去年,当印度货币惨遭抛卖时,刚刚临时受命的央行行长Raghuram Rajan呼吁东亚国家成立联防机制,以抵抗国际炒家连番狙击。
这一招,在1997亚洲金融风暴时就曾用过,且各自吃到了恶果;庆幸去年没有国家对这位国际货币基金前首席经济师的建议有积极反应。
至少5位诺贝尔经济奖得主,发表过有关1997亚洲金融风暴前因后果的分析,但却没有一人提到当年货币联防的失策之处!
不但如此,整个东亚的央行行长并没有远离这个陷阱,反而大力推动,清迈协议(Chiangmai Initiative,如CMI)就是佐证。
国际货币基金在亚洲金融风暴后,成立了一个高级委员会来探讨其来龙去脉,成员包括顶尖货币专家、金融危机专才和市场炒家如索罗斯等41人。
问题是为何结论报告会少了对这个“货币联防”的讨论!
坚持开放市场
国际货币基金本身就是危机的祸首之一,强调资金必须自由流动,开放市场才是硬道理。
最近,我们看到这个组织虽有所改变,但只限于有条件的执行货币管制,核心依旧。但这有条件的管制由谁来决定?是国际货币基金还是受害国?
印尼、南韩、泰国和菲律宾等,都受制于国际货币基金;幸好我国早已独善其身。我认为,货币联防是金融风暴的罪魁祸首。
1996的东亚央行会议议决,当某个成员国的货币受到狙击时,其他成员必须出手相助。
因此,当泰铢1997年5月14日被狙击,之后贬得面目全非时,东亚央行一齐出手扶持泰铢。
这一出手果然有效,把近破产的泰铢,推高14%,可惜这反弹只是昙花一现,因为国际炒家较后联手狙击各东南亚货币。量子资金(Quantum Fund)前首席策略师斯丹利德鲁肯米勒(Stanley Druckenmiller)较后证实了这说法。
危机来自货币联防
事实上,许多货币危机来自货币联防。
就如当年,为了稳定汇率,欧洲设立了汇率制,后来因为德国统一时必须多印钞票来偿还给东德人民,导致利息高涨。
凡在欧洲汇率制的货币都面对升息冲击,后逐一被国际炒家狙击;索罗斯当时一天就从英国央行扶市行动中赚了10亿美元。
中非洲曾经有过法郎货币区,这是一个货币联防安排。
欧元的安排就是一种“货币联防”,以稳定区内货值,但因为不能阻挡邻国或会员国低息措施,造成各国“乱借滥贷”的乱象。
如近年的希腊、爱尔兰、西班牙,和葡萄牙等面临的信贷泡沫,较后蔓延到整个欧洲欲振乏力的局面,也是由此而来。
关注人民币开放步伐
1997年的区域金融风暴,我们几乎破产,但最后安然度过;去年,6R货币动荡,我们也置身事外;今天,历史应该不会重演,所以不需担心联防,更不必刻意安排或推广。
若明、后两年真的发生美元短缺危机,应该也不会对我国造成长久或巨大的冲击。
反而,大家要关注的是中国人民币开放的步伐。人民币开放后,可能造成最大的货币狙击,但那可能是未来10年的事了。
●何启斌博士 金融经济学家

http://www.nanyang.com/node/670739?tid=743


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Brief Notes On Current Economy Situation - Bursa Dummy


Investors are told by experts to read more investment books and financial news in newspaper.

Do I read a lot? Actually not.

I only read a few books on investment for the past 3-4 years, which includes the 2 books by "Cold Eye", one on basic accounting and another 2 books on stock market investment.

I never read a single book about Warren Buffet and other famous investors, or other famous investment books such as Millionaire Next Door etc.

I do read one book from the Rich Dad's series though. That was long time ago.

I read newspapers almost everyday, but ONLY the Sports column. I find that I'm actually not too interested to read financial news. This is bad, I know.

I may flip through financial news on newspapers a few times a week, but I mainly read local financial news only.

I am still new to those financial jargon & the law of economy. You don't expect me to read something that I don't understand, right?

I get the financial & business news mainly online from i3investor and The Edge, but I only choose a few to read, as I'm not able to get online frequently now.

To force myself to read more, I started to subscribe to Busy Weekly in Nov14 when they were doing the offer. Til now there are a few editions that I didn't even read a single page.

So do not always agree with me. I still have many things to learn.



 

In order to become a better investor, I know that I need to force myself to swallow more world financial & economy news. It's not easy frankly.

I will write down my own view on current world economy in this blog so that it can serve as reference in the future.


Before Oct 2014, I thought that there was no reason for a bear market in 2015. The impression I get from financial news was that US & Europe were in the process of recovery.

The only concern might be China, who may face a slow down in growth.

Now with the unexpected drastic drop in crude oil price, the whole picture seems to change.

In order to eliminate competition from high-cost shale oil producers in North America, OPEC decided not to reduce their oil production.

As a result, crude oil price continue to drop.

Those net crude oil exporting countries are feeling the heat, including OPEC members.

Russia's situation is scary, with a double blow from the drop of crude oil price plus the effect of economy sanction by the West.

Its currency Ruble has crashed from 1 USD:35 RUB to over 70+RUB at one point in just a few months time.

It is a 100% drop. Just imagine if USD/MYR suddenly depreciates from RM3.20 to RM6.00...

To check the continuous depreciation of Ruble against USD, Russia central bank recently raised its interest rate from 10.5% to 17.0% overnight!

If this happens in Malaysia, I think many Malaysian with high debts including me will "mampus".


 
 
 
If Russia goes bankrupt, will it drag the whole world into recession? 
 
I remember few years back when a few small countries in Europe faced the similar threat, it seems like everyone is panic and the whole world will be seriously affected.
 
However, I read some reports saying that Russia's collapse will not affect the world much as it mainly exports energy which can be substituted by other countries.
 
So is Greece more important than Russia? I don't know.
 
One local economy & financial expert with PhD title writes a series of articles regarding current & future economy outlook. He predicts that the next 2 years will be really really bad for Malaysia. 
 
After reading those articles which seem to make sense, I feel like I should dump all my shares and hold cash for the next 1-2 years.
 
Anyway, no one can predict the market accurately, and sometimes theory is just a theory.
 
Ringgit has depreciated almost 10% in 3 months time to RM3.50. It will benefit USD-based exporters and burden the importers and those companies with debts denominated in USD.
 
How will it affect the whole country in general?
 
 
 
 
With the fall in crude oil price, Malaysia as a net exporter is expected to suffer due to its "not-so-healthy" financial situation. 
 
Petronas will cut its capex by 15-20% next year and hence government income from Petronas will also go down. 
 
Its CEO told reporters in the end of Nov14 that payment to government could be 37% lower if oil stays around USD75 per barrel.
 
Petronas contributes about half of Malaysia government's revenue, and now the oil price is even lower at around USD60. It may still go lower.
 
However, the fuel subsidy has been abolished since Dec14 and GST will kick in from Apr15. No one can be sure whether the government can sail through the low crude oil price environment peacefully.
 
If the government has difficulty to cope, then a lot of major projects have to be put on hold I guess. It will affect a lot of sectors.
 
Thus, foreign investors started to flee Malaysia. KLCI slumped and Malaysia Ringgit depreciated, while most other regional stock markets gain.
 
US and Euro markets are busy breaking new highs. Why KLCI does not follow US anymore? When US economy is good, other countries' economy can be bad?
 
Actually US did not suffer much during Asian Financial Crisis in 1997-98. 
 
 
       Dow Jones Index since 1985
 
 
In the end of Oct14, US just ended its 5-year quantitative easing programme (QE) as its economy has improved.
 
At the same time, Japan announced that it will further expand its own QE in response to an ailing economy. This makes many people planning a Japan holiday trip next year as Yen has depreciated quite a lot against MYR now.
 
China surprised everyone by cutting its lending interest rate for the first time in 2 years to 5.6% in order to tackle sluggish growth.
 
Eurozone is also hinting to implement a large scale QE to give a push to its slow recovery.
 
Because of the reasons above, aided by low crude oil price, stock markets of those economy powerhouse such as US, Euro, China & Japan are expected to advance next year!
 
 
Besides, US Fed is also highly anticipated to raise the country's interest rate in 2015 for the first time since 2006. Its current rate is only at 0.25% for quite a number of years already.
 
 
       US Historical Interest Rate
 
 
Raised interest rate in US is said to further strengthen USD, and may give further pressure to other countries' currencies.
 
Low interest rate environment means lower cost of living. People can buy houses, cars etc more easily with low borrowing cost.
 
Sooner or later this will lead to inflation when demand is more than supply. This is when interest rate hike comes in.
 
I get an impression from certain articles that US rate hike will have negative impact to Malaysia & KLCI. Will it happen suddenly in 2015, or gradually over many years? 
 
It is just a start of interest hike, should we need to worry now?
 
As Ringgit is cheap now, isn't it attractive for foreign investors to invest in Malaysia? Of course Malaysia need to be in a good shape to attract foreign investment.
 
 

For the past one year, it is obvious that crude oil, crude palm oil & KLCI all retreats from its recent peak in mid-2014.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Brent crude oil price started to drop from its peak in July14, which coincided with KLCI. However, CPO price started to trend downward earlier since Mac14.
 
 
For the past 10 years, during the bear market in 2008, all three reached their peaks in early 2008 before the massive slump which found their bottom at the turn of year 2009.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
After that, both CO & CPO rebounded and reached their peaks in early 2011.
 
From there, crude oil fluctuated around USD110 for 3 years+ until the sudden fall recently, whereas CPO price was in a gradual downtrend.
 
Nevertheless, KLCI did not follow this time. It only experienced a major correction in 2011 but kept on breaking new high after this.
 
I think it is the same for almost all major stock markets around the world.
 
So now, crude oil at USD60 is very close to its lowest level during 2008 crisis at around USD50. CPO at RM2100 now from its peak of RM3800 is also quite close to RM1600 in 2008.
 
Despite a drop of 10% from its peak in July14, KLCI at 1700 now is still far away from lowest point of 800+ in year 2008.
 
As economy has largely improved, I think it is unlikely to touch that level again in the next bear market.
 
 
 
 
 
Anyway, during the period of 1997-2000, KLCI and CPO price actually moved in different direction.
 
 
It seems like rosy outlook suddenly turns sour towards the end of 2014. This is how fast things (or emotion?) can change.
 
As an investor, I think it is important to learn from experience and do not forget our initial investment strategy.
 
If you have got a few sleepless nights or near heart attacks for the past few days, then you might need to review and change your strategy to one that suits you better.
 
When we step into the year of 2015, will things turn better or worse?
 
If it becomes better, then it's nice.
 
If it becomes worse, then it's opportunity.
 
But you need to have enough CASH of course.
 

Monday, December 22, 2014

何启斌博士专栏系列17:鹰翔龙伏熊呻吟

美国股市上周像过山车般,但之后却见道琼斯指数飞翔,达到接近18000点历史新高;标准及普尔500指数(SP500)也再冲破2000点,达到2065点高位。 单单在18日,道指劲扬了421点;美国的国宝“美鹰”飞翔天空,就如其经济增长可达4%,失业率可降至5.3%。 认为美国经济越来越好的预测,最先来自伦巴底街研究(Lombart Street)的主任CharlesDumas和Diana Choyleva。 两人在2011年出版的《美国的凤凰》中,不但准确预测美国复苏,还很准确地预测欧洲的继续慢步复苏,甚至衰退。 看看今天欧元区央行至今都不能决定量化,德国央行不断阻止;欧元区肯定再步入衰退厄运。 此书也精准地预则中国形势,中国现在的确在7%增长轨道上挣扎,随时会下行。中国许多行业已衰退,成长都得靠政府推动的大型基建,如总值约400亿人民币的北京第三机场。中国经济龙伏就是今后的形势。 现在面对新兴经济体更恶劣打击的是,号称北极熊的俄国;俄国的货币卢布(Ruble)已经贬值超过60%,还在大幅波动,毫无反弹迹象。 不但如此,俄国总统普丁18日还坦然的指责西方制造俄国困境;但外人的看法却相反:北极熊正在呻吟!人民开始恐慌囤粮油。 再下去的全球形势会如何?以下是我的见解: 美鹰飞翔蓝空中 联储局只是几句话,多几次会议才考虑增息,美国股市即刻龙飞凤舞,2天就上升600点;美元不断上升,代表美国势力日增。 除了约1兆页岩油信贷泡沫可能爆破外,美国其他行业蒸蒸日上,活力十足;页岩油泡沫不容易爆破因为美国的流动性还十分充沛,失业率不断下降,明年大概可降到5.3%,几乎到了2008危机前的地位。 中国龙伏泥泞里 中国正在大事宣传的经济改革和新常态,实际上准备群众接受经济放缓的前景。 看看大妈滥借贷来抢购股票,就看出中国人民渴望赚快钱;因为房屋地产、金融产品和商品投资大多泡水。 政府难找到更好的增长方向,所以还是走回老路,大力推动大型基建,这和1993年后的日本完全像似,不管是否有经济效益,都大兴土木。 中国的流通货币和存款M2和信贷泡沫越吹越大,经济效益却越来越低,最后变成流动性陷阱难动弹。 欧洲女神越苍老 欧元区央行原本就要尽快执行量化,却进到德国央行挡路,甚至要对前者提控。所以欧元区眼巴巴看美国量化成功后退市,并准备升息。 欧洲多数国家,包括最大的德国也因为中国等入口国放缓而大受打击。所以,现在就连德国都看到衰退,法国、意大利和西班牙等更不必谈复苏了。 欧洲失败在保守,在于社会主义的经济模式:职工会阻止任何改革,加上人口老化加速,前景可忧。 北极熊被群狼狙 俄国的故事已经传遍全球,注意俄国经济的研究员都断定该国会衰退几年。 多数人都知道俄国有高达4000亿美元的外汇储备金,却不知道实际可拿来和货币交易商博弈的有多少。 简言之,俄国迟早要采用货币和资金管制稳定金融;出了这一招后,俄国将成为“国际贱国”,受到国际基金杯葛多年,变成低声呻吟的北极熊。 1990年代,日本经济学界以“东京地产总值”可买下整个美国而自豪;几年前,中国专家也一样,认为“北京产业总值”可买下半个美国。多几年呢?纽约市地产总值可否买下“北上广深”? 何启斌博士 金融经济学家 http://www.nanyang.com/node/670558?tid=743

何启斌博士专栏系列16:澳元上演滑铁卢?

2008年11月,澳元兑美元从0.98直泻到0.60,之后冲上兑1.1美元后又回跌至0.81。 为何澳元会波动这么大?相对令吉又如何?是否还会继续长期下降? 分析和理由如下: 商品转熊市 澳洲是个典型的商品经济体,68%所赚的外汇都是靠矿石、油气和农业产品,但三个领域却仅占经济35%。当商品超级牛市狂冲时,澳元也跟着高涨,现在牛市转弱变熊市,澳元即刻随着大跌,看来,这个跌势还在继续,澳元必将软弱多年,因为熊还会肆虐! 超级牛市的来源之一是美元,美国正在回收高达3兆美元的现金,美元兑澳元走强。美国和澳洲的贸易来往不很大或很重要,但商品超级牛市也和中国井喷式增长有密切关系。 中国改革新常态 现在中国的增长形势倒转,所以澳元也跟随转而下跌;中国在2008至2012年间注入的4兆人民币,可说严重伤害了命脉;新领导正努力通过所谓的改革新常态来收拾残局,后果是成长压低,不能再大手购买澳洲商品。 俄国货币金融危机 国际基金大多看坏商品经济体的货币,尤其是澳元。石油输出国组织(OPEC,简称油盟)和美国页岩油商的博弈,对澳元带来严重的伤害。俄国继续陷于危机,因此澳元不可能在近期反弹,反之或会再下探。即使是油气业开始反弹,澳元也未必能收复失地。 套息交易角色被取代 金融历史上,澳元曾经是重要的套息交易(Carry Trade)货币,交易商一般会借低息的日元,再转向放在高息的澳元上。最近交易商也借低息美元转借给中国的商家,赚取利润。现在形势大转,交易商都在卖澳元转买日元或美元,澳元就即刻快速下跌。 来往账项续恶化 虽然澳洲的出口已多元化,却还是以矿为主。这也是拉倒澳元原因之一。从1971以来,该国的贸易逆差每年平均高达5亿澳元。 澳元重振不易 澳元下跌是短线或长期走势?一起看看澳洲经济的基本面。 商品超级牛市终结,根据历史,熊市会长达10年,现在全球(除了美国)都正在挣扎,澳元很难重振。 澳洲这十多年蓬勃发展,但景气已来到尽头,除了矿业,许多领域都在下沉。 该国失业人口急速增加,而且许多专业人士,包括牙医,工程师等都开始外移,就连公务员也被裁。 澳洲的地产业会继续低潮,之前的旺景主因是中国买家带动;如今,中国地产正在急降,许多买家可能必须壮士断腕,廉价抛售澳洲地产自保。 虽然农业还可以稳定,但看来最好的农业科研维持成长,却无法重演2008年前的高价位;澳洲如今仅剩的就是教育可多赚外汇。 澳元兑令吉应当下降 对于大马人,尤其是有孩子在澳洲留学者,最关心的问题是澳元兑令吉会如何? 澳元和令吉相对美元都在跌,但澳元跌得更快,因此,我们可以预测,澳元兑令吉应当下降,大概介于1澳元兑2.6至2.7令吉之间。 贸易盈余和来往账项是外资紧抓的数据,只要两者同步降,令吉就会应声跌。 我国的经济早已多元化,出口收入也一样,更重要的是,我国仍然维持高额的贸易盈余和来往账项,令吉兑澳元趋强,因此,大家不必急着买入澳元。 ●何启斌博士 金融经济学家 http://www.nanyang.com/node/670348?tid=743

何启斌博士专栏系列15:美国可废掉人民币

2014-12-21 00:47 这次美国经济恢复元气,美元升不停,表示美式帝国资本主义的强势兴旺,而不是许多专家所形容的正在崩溃中。 这次美国在全球将发生美元短缺现象时,如何削弱,甚至是废掉一些货币的功力,包括人民币? 看看以下的例子,可以推论:现在,俄国卢布已经重创,兑美元贬了60%至70%。不管普丁有多强势,俄国和卢布已经是跛脚鸭,卢布还可拉下许多反美国的新兴国。 欧元区成立前,美国专家纷纷看淡,甚至还蓄意制造理论来破坏欧元;2000年9月,欧元被国际炒家击垮,兑美元直泻到0.80欧元。美国出手护持,才逐步稳定上升;欧盟不敢和美国正面冲突。 越南和美国同意在2007年一月完全开放越南盾,越南盾和资产随即高涨,最后却泡沫爆破,经济陷入不振;这几年,甚至被美元取代,商业交易不接受越南盾,最近才开始稳定下来。越南肯定会和这位老大联手对抗中国。 2006年11月,中国和美国达致协议,要在2007年开放人民币,但后来副总理胡仪改变立场,虽然之后中美“交恶”,但却是不幸中的万幸,否则中国很可能步越南后尘,并受制于国际货币基金。 2003年,沙旦胡先宣布要以欧元买卖石油;当时联储局主席表示,美国开战时为了“石油。。。”我还以为是价钱谈不拢,后来才知道是石油美元(Petrol Dollar)的关系。日本最强时是1996/7年,曾经在国际货币基金会议前说要创立日元债券区,当时的敦马哈迪和印尼的苏哈多总统即时表示支持。 击垮所有反对美元的言论和计划,就是美国时任副财长劳伦斯萨默斯(Lawrence Summers)在东亚兴风作浪的动机。 以上的几个重要例子并未加入1994年墨西哥危机,1990年的欧盟兑换率机制危机和1980年代的拉丁美洲危机。 如果再度详细分析这些危机,我们很可能也看到美国的影子无所不在。美帝国主义的两大支柱就是其军力和美元。任何要取代或削弱美元的言论都必须被摧毁!人民币就是美国的最大假想敌。 美国几时出手? 明年全球可能发生美元短缺危机,是中国在20多个国家换汇不能解决的。 这一次,美国会如何趁机出手? 以下是一些考量:虽然有专家说:因为石油价崩,联储局转变成鸽派,美国绝对会继续升息,这个才是制伏许多反美国势力的策略棋子;人民币肯定受到影响。 沪港直通热钱短暂 美国升息,美元继续高涨,在中国的热钱已流出,且还会继续流出,虽然沪港直通车暂时引来一些热钱,但随时会撤离。 一些人估计,在中国的热钱超过1兆美元;现在中国的地产和多数产业都极快下降,这些钱肯定会随美元上升而逃;后果是,中国的外汇储备金将减少。 中国开水喉无效 中国要护持经济成长,就会大开水喉,继续注资,还放松货币政策等等。加上美元不断走强,资金外流;假如继续增加已达国内生产总值2.2倍的M2和增加举债,中国将越搞越沉。 研究显示要生产1单位,需要5倍资金!中国必将面对当年日本的现金陷阱和苏俄的过渡资金惨况。最后结果是人民币弱点暴露,现在中国逐步搞国际化。 2006/7年时,美国失去了削弱人民币的机会;中国明年就会逐步开放,而美元又不断上升,全球资金都大幅回流美国,美国就有机可乘(什么策略?)。 我在2013年11月中国亚太年会上,向大会询问:无人能答这个“全球资金回流美国,中国搞上海自贸区开放人民币,策略何在?” 现在我们看到李克强这位经济博士,大胆的推动沪港直通车,后果如何?美国又有什么新招数来削弱人民币? ●何启斌博士 金融经济学家

何启斌博士专栏系列14:中国泥菩萨过江?

2004年3月,中国首席经济师林毅夫教授在大马研讨会上说:中国在1997/8年亚洲危机时,稳住人民币,没有跟着贬值为亚洲带来了货币稳定。 我当时在场反驳说:中国在1994年改革双轨汇率制,人民币贬值40%,已带来竞相贬值的开始。 后来,林毅夫出任世界银行副总裁和首席经济师;不過,他从没对中国当年的角色加以说明。 最近,他开腔说:“中国在2008/9年放出4兆人民币,为全球带来了成长。”他感到很自豪,却忘了如果中国不大力刺激保八,中国可能产生社会动乱,因为当时超过2000万个职业消失,还有更多公司破产。 发改委和宏观经济研究学院分析员都异口同声指,中国在2009年至2013年浪费了超过6.8兆人民币的投资。 现在回头看看当时4兆人民币所结的果,几乎变成了李克强的“噩梦”,不知如何来消化那些废置产业,如鬼城等。 今天,中国的全部债务高达国内生产总值的2.5倍,多来自这个4兆人民币的后遗症;中国的广义货币M2(流通货币加存款)达国内生产总值2.2倍,超越全球所有国家。 全球商品几乎崩盘的主因之一是中国已经超级饱和,不但不能吸纳新商品来源,连旧的存货都还要许多年才能消耗;难怪今天商品经济体全都要叫救命! 中国好像只关心自己如何阻止经济快速下降,所以才不断降利息、减储备金、注水拨款等等,来确保经济增长,有如泥菩萨过江。 2008/9年全球金融海啸时,一些中国教授,包括来马开讲的中国十大经济师李稻葵教授也说了类似的话:中国为亚洲带来了稳定。 我们这些小国弱国的普罗大众,好像是旱鸭子听雷,不知这些中国专家在说什么? 更为重要的是,亚洲国家,尤其是大马将面对来临的流动性危机,中国又如何来稳定局势?沪港直通车为的是中国需要刺激方案,需要逐步开放人民币,未必是考量稳定整个亚洲。 事实也如此,中国的任何政策都以中国为前提。以下是一些分析: 地政借贷过高 中国的地政借贷超过15兆人民币,中央可以吸纳,但这过程会产生许多冲突;李克强等好像还是束手无策。 房地产近崩盘,地方政府如何偿还?只好再借新贷还旧贷,加利息就越滚越大! 影子银行无数 中国到底有多少影子银行? FitchIrca的Charlene Chu公开说影子银行总借贷超过15兆。这个报告不但被高盛采用传给顾客,连中国领导也邀请Charlene Chu讨论。 国企财务近跳崖 中国的企业借贷,已高达国内生产总值的1.2倍,这才要命;中国的国企已到了跳崖的边缘。中央一定要搭救,但如何救? 一份研究显示中国的企业和国外子公司,大多借了巨额外债,可能高达1兆美元;这些国外借贷可能连中央都不知道,因为他们都是在岸外避税天堂执行。 私企债券近违约 中国私人企业的债券已接近违约,这次全球基金经理开始转移投资阵地,放弃新兴国债券,中国的企业(多为房地产)竟然占了全球的三分之二,吓坏了投资者。 虽然全球都知道中国拥有超过4.5兆美元的储备金,却不知道当中有多少是灌水的,多少是热钱?已知的只是中国的总外债超过官方数据。 如果只靠贸易盈余和外来投资,其储备金不可能到达4.5兆美元,当中有多是无法兑现的外国债券? 实际上,如果跟着沪港直通车后完全开放人民币,又被国际炒家狙击,中国人民银行可拿出多少储备金来抗战? 看来这次酝酿中的全球缺美元危机,中国更像是泥菩萨过江,自身难保啊! 何启斌博士 金融经济学家 http://www.nanyang.com/node/669981?tid=743

Some Good Furniture Companies in Bursa kcchongnz


“I try to invest in businesses that are so wonderful that an idiot can run them. Because sooner or later, one will.” ―Warren Buffett


About a year ago, I did an analysis of some furniture design and making companies listed in Bursa basing on the principle of the Magic Formula Investing Strategy as shown in the appended link here:
http://klse.i3investor.com/blogs/stock_pick_challenge_2013_2h/40360.jsp
Since then, all these furniture companies have been doing quite well. Most of them have their profit increased for the last one year by more than 35% for the past one year. Table 2 in the appendix shows their trailing twelve months financial performance as at 30th September 2014.
The share price of those furniture companies have also increased by huge amount ranging from 40% of Homeritz, to 98% of Latitude. For the same period, the broad market KLCI dropped by about 5%. Those who have invested in some of these furniture companies should be laughing all the way to the banks. Table 1 below shows the increase of share price of those companies in the last one year.
Table 1: Share price increase of some furniture companies
Company
Homeriz
Lii Hen
Latitude
Hevea
Poh Huat
Price 8/12/13
0.575
1.65
1.81
0.950
0.910
20/12/2014
0.805
2.72
3.58
1.60
1.31
Gain
40%
65%
98%
68%
44%

The question is, are they still worth investing, and if so which one is a better buy?
For value investors, the answer to the above questions are straight forward. The question lies on a combination of which has the best business, and which  business is offering the best price.
In this article, we will first deal with how to identify which is a better furniture company. We will deal with the price issue in the next chapter.

Profitability Analysis
Profit Margins
Table 2 in the appendix shows their trailing twelve months financial performance as at 30th September 2014. Latitude has the highest revenue and net profit of RM650m and RM62.6m respectively, whereas Tafi is the smallest furniture company with the lowest revenue and net profit of RM30.8m and RM1.9m respectively.
The first step to identify which appears to be a better company is its margins.

Figure 1 above shows that Homeritz excels in profitability by a wide margin. Its gross margin of 43% is way above the rest, all of which are below 20%.  This is due to its different business model in its light asset model in designing and manufacturing upholstered home furniture such as leather and fabric-based sofas, dining chairs, bed frames etc. whereas the rest are mostly manufacturing of wood-based furniture.
In the more important profitability measure in operating margin, Homeritz also has the highest operating margin of 20%, trailing way behind by the second contender Latitude Tree of 11.2%. The rest have their operating margin of less than 10%.
 Homeritz is the only one which has a double digit net profit margin. It is close to 20%. Three other companies have their net profit margin above the benchmark of 6.4%; they are Latitude (9.6%), Hevea (7.6%), and Eurospan (7.1%).

Profitability ratios
It is important to measure a company’s ability to generate earnings relative to the amount of money invested. A company making a profit of $15m a year using $100m capital is far better than one earning $50m by utilizing $1 billion in assets. The former returns 15% while the latter only 5%.


The high net profit margin of Homeritz boost up its return on assets (ROA) to a high 0f 21%. Its  return of equity (ROE) and return on invested capital (ROIC) are also the highest at 24% and 42% respectively. Latitude Tree did well too with ROA, ROE and ROIC of 12.5%, 19% and 23.6% respectively. Two other companies performed well too with ROE well above their cost of equity, Lii Hen at 15.4% and Poh Huat at 13.8%, while Hevea barely meets its cost of equity at 12%.

Ranking in Goodness
With the size of the companies, their past year profitability and efficiencies, I would rank the companies from the best according to the following order:
  1. Homeritz
  2. Latitude
  3. Lii Hen
  4. Poh Huat
  5. Hevea
  6. Eurospan
  7. Tafi

Conclusions
Most of the furniture companies mentioned above with the exception of the last two, Eurospan and Tafi, are doing very well recently in their business with high ROE and ROIC. Homeritz appears to be the best company with the highest margins, ROE and ROIC and its asset-light model. Latitude performed extremely well too with its high volume and high expected growth of its business. It  also has very attractive margins, ROE and ROIC way above the bench marks.
I have given my opinion of the ranking of the companies in term of their goodness. What is yours?
A good company doesn’t necessary to be a better investment, provided the price is right, and vice verse. We will explore the price issue in the next chapter.

For enquiry, please email ckc13invest@gmail.com

KC Chong (21st December 2014)

Appendix

Table 2: Revenue and net profit of furniture companies
Company
Homeriz
Latitude
Lii Hen
Poh Huat
Hevea
Eurospan
Tafi
Revenue
127176
649701
378813
370394
412383
63237
30772
Gross Profit
54381
106126
57340
65392
63127
12656
4085
EBIT
25473
72983
33940
27097
37146
5948
1519
Net profit
24303
62632
24319
22852
31187
4486
1933