Monday, 16 April 2018

Takeaways from Suntec REIT AGM 2018

Suntec REIT AGM 2018

Date: 16/04/2018

Duration: 2.05 - 3.10 pm

Turnout: About 90% (At least half are whom I can call aunties and uncles despite me being an uncle myself. This is a testament to Suntec's popularity as a stable REIT among this group of investors.)

AGM started with a 20 min presentation of the REIT's results in 2017 and recent progress by Mr Chan Kong Leong, CEO and Executive Director.

Questions from the floor

Q: Regarding its overseas expansion, have Suntec consider the tax implications involved such as capital gain tax and withholding tax?

A: Suntec receive advice from experts and structure their business for the most tax efficiency. However certain taxes due to regulations, are unavoidable.

Q: The same unit holder also suggested using big data and artificial intelligence for future property acquisitions to stay ahead of the curve.

A: Suntec is currently using big data for business enhancements but not A.I. at the moment.

Q:What is the board's stance on improving tenant retention ratio to 80 - 90% as compared to the current 64%?

A: Suntec do not want that high of a ratio because they and the shoppers want something new and fresh regularly.

Suntec is guided by what they and the market wants at the end of the day.

Q: How much capital distribution is left and how will future distribution payout be affected once the capital distribution is exhausted?

A: More than $100 M is left for distribution. When this is exhausted, income from the new properties such as 9 Penang Road will comes in.

Q: Suntec's rental or occupancy (I didn't catch this properly. Apologies.) is lower than that of heartland malls. How is Suntec handling that?

A: Suntec is trying to improve the fundamentals. When the fundamentals are improved, rentals will come back. This can already be seen in the latest results.

Q: Why is Suntec not investing in China?

A: Suntec is choosing to invest in Australia because of the political stability, good returns, good quality of properties, etc.

Resolutions: All passed.


The last question in above Q&A was answered by the Chairwoman, Ms Chew Gek Khim. She only replied with the above one liner and when the questioner probed further, she just said a thank you and wanted to proceed to the next agenda.

I thought that was pretty rude and came across as insincere and impatient.

Sentiments from the floor seem to concur as the resolution to endorse the appointment of Ms Chew Gek Khim (Resolution 3) only garnered 50+% approval. In other words 40 over % voted against her.

This is the lowest I've seen in the AGMs that I've attended.

On the other hand, CEO Mr Chan answered well to the questions from the floor and he came across as being candid. I thought he did quite well.

Summary and my thoughts

In my opinion Suntec REIT remains an attractive REIT trading below its NAV.

Having office, retail and MICE elements in its portfolio, it is a good proxy to these 3 sectors for an investor wanting to invest in all three instead of either one.

Forward distribution yield should remain comfortably above 5%. Although this is not the best among REITs, I like the stability this REIT offers with its high quality assets in the CBD.

Distribution yield against my cost remains above 6%.

Another assuring factor for me is the quality of the REIT manager. I have happy memories with ARA previously when they were still listed.

Among the overseas properties, 177 Pacific Highway has a 100% committed occupancy with no lease expiring until 2023 onwards.

Most importantly there is earnings visibility coming in from the new properties namely 9 Penang Road and Olderfleet. Contributions from these two properties should be meaningful from 2020 onwards.

Saturday, 14 April 2018

CapitaLand: To Sell or Hold

CapitaLand's dividend has been on the uptrend in recent 5 years, albeit in small incremental steps. Based on the latest dividend declared, dividend yield has surpassed 4% which is the minimum I set for a stock to enter my income portfolio.

Hence CapitaLand has officially join my income portfolio as its newest member. While it's nice to see the dividend growing, I actually consider CapitaLand as a growth stock too and I'm waiting to see its much delayed upward trajectory of the share price happening.

It has been doing so many things right such as the recent Ascott's deals, the launch of its own StarPay e-payment service, management deal for the Phnom Penh mall, etc.

Yet the share price doesn't reflect it.

This can probably be explained by the fact that the investments need time to reap the rewards. However the stock market is a forward looking one. I'm sure we will see a stunning run up of CapitaLand's share price soon.

I'm in no hurry to sell.

Friday, 13 April 2018

Why Say No to Free Money?

Recently someone asked me whether I have PayLah app and I told her no. After that I started to think why not? I have OCBC's 'Pay Anyone' for a long time so why not DBS's PayLah too?

I went ahead and downloaded the app. Registration is a breeze with only a few steps. And on the last screen we can enter a promo code if we have one.

So I googled for PayLah's promo code online to try my luck. Surprisingly there is indeed one that can be used. I will come to that later.

After I have completed the registration with the promo code, a $5 was immediately credited into my PayLah account. I was pleasantly surprised it's so fast. And apparently I have my own referral code as well. This is nothing new. Other apps also have this feature.

So if I may ask, you can use my referral code GTPJMM158 for your PayLah registration. By doing so both you and I can get $5 each.

If you don't want me to earn that $5, you can use another promo code STEADYLAH, which is the one I mentioned earlier. Using this code also earns you $5.

Take note that the latter code is limited to the first 40,000 successful new sign ups between 10 Aug 2017 to 31 Dec 2018.

So why say no to free money?

Disclaimer: This article is written on my own accord purely for sharing. I have not been approached by DBS or OCBC to write about their products.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Takeaways from M1 AGM 2018

M1 AGM 2018

Date: 11/04/2018

Duration: 2.30 - 3.55 pm

Turnout: Full house (I nearly couldn't get a seat until an M1 staff led me to an empty seat at the 2nd row.

Questions from the floor

Q: Explanation for the higher EBITDA and lower net profit.

A: This is due to higher amortisation* for new investments such as narrow band internet of things (NBIOT).

* rightfully EBITDA should be before amortisation.

NBIOT is largely for B2B. Earnings from this segment takes time as things like smart meterings, smart lamp posts, smart flood monitoring, etc takes time to develop.

Q: How will M1 defend against the new Telco entrant?

A: M1 will continue to invest in their Telco business. However they do not intend to engage in price war.

Q: Can M1 diversify from its traditional source of income to reduce its vulnerability?

A: M1 is actually quite glad that they are not in the pay-tv segment due to players such as Netflix.

M1's fixed services grew 24.5% and M1 is pushing on that area.

M1 is not sitting just on mobile. They are looking for opportunities such as acquisitions.

Q: Can M1 lower their CAPEX than that of TPG's?

A: TPG stated their CAPEX as $250 M. However M1 estimated the figure should be $500 M instead.

Moving forward M1's CAPEX will be around $100 - 120 M.

Q: How does M1 intends to deal with the ~$200 M spectrum fee paid?

A: Amortise it over 15 years.

Q: How will M1 handle the high cost of interest payments to avoid affecting the dividends payout?

A: M1 has short term facilities to use.

Rights issue is not likely unless it's a last resort.

M1 used bank loans as those have the cheapest cost among all options including bonds.

Q (interesting as it tells us the operational readiness of TPG): Status of TPG now?

A: TPG has 200 base stations now. Some of them are interconnected.

M1 has 2,500.

Q: M1 already has a $450 M bank loan. How does M1 intends to fund the new spectrum?

A: M1's gearing is still low compared to the Telco industry. They can still borrow from their short and medium term facilities.

Q: How does M1's board feels about M1's future in the next 5 years which are challenging?

A: Acknowledged that next few years are indeed challenging.

They will be controlling costs.

M1 also has avenues to increase revenues but these take times.

The suffering revenue from mobile segment can hopefully be covered by these new sources of revenues, which might even be more than that of the mobile segment.

Q: How does M1 retains customers instead of them porting around?

A: Through sunrisers for high spenders, sunperks points and multisaver discounts.

M1 is also the Telco of choice for MPA due to their superior 4.5G network.

Q (this is my favourite question among all): What is the growth plan of M1? Does M1 intends to venture overseas? There's only one new entrant and yet M1's share price has fallen by half from its peak.

A: M1 is apprehensive about the start up costs of venturing overseas.

Telco industry is high cost, not like setting up a bank overseas.

Telco industry is also a highly regulated one to enter.

M1 has to be realistic about their financial capability. To raise funds for overseas venture, M1 has to ask money from the shareholders and the 3 major shareholders have to agree first.

However there are many ways to expand abroad. One way is through partnerships. E.g. to bring M1's IoT capability to the overseas market.

Q: CAPEX is high last year. How does M1 intends to arrest that?

A: M1 is investing for the future. And that is reflected in the high CAPEX and acquisitions.

Moving forward, estimated CAPEX will be lowered to $100 - 120 M per year.

Comment from one of the shareholders: M1's website is old-fashion and doesn't appeal to the younger generation.

Resolutions: All passed.

The above are what I have garnered. I have probably missed out some questions as I was focusing on the replies from the board. I have also left out some which I feel is not that important.

Summary and my thoughts

M1 is reluctant to expand overseas to be a full fledge Telco like what TPG has done in Singapore. This is due to their financial capability.

This in my opinion, is a double-edge sword. 

By doing so they are limiting their growth as Singapore is only this big. However this also limits their risk to external environments of which a single mistake might wipe out all the cash generated so painstakingly especially since their financial capability is not big.

For M1, their focus now is controlling costs and continue to build on to their mobile base. Growth comes from their new initiatives such as the IoTs which I personally find promising in terms of being a new revenue driver for M1.

Personally I will continue to stay vested in M1 since the dividend yield is still attractive while I awaits the contributions from the new sources.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

US and China Trade War

In an unsurprising move, China has published its own list of 128 US products on which it will impose tariffs ranging between 15 - 25%.

The full list can be found here.

This is obviously a retaliation against US which recently announced tariffs on US$50 billion worth of Chinese products - a true business man fashion by Trump.

The effect of this trade war between the top two economies in the world can be seen in the jitteries felt among the various markets in this week.

Our local STI has dropped 72 points to close at 3,339.70 at this point of writing after hovering around the 3,400 region.

While this has caused a drag on my portfolio, it has also presented opportunities to pick 'durians' cheaply. Some of my targets have already fallen to attractive prices.

So what does that spells for me?

For now I will continue to monitor the news on this topic which I don't think will end anytime soon. Staying on the side line before taking the plunge is my strategy now.

Monday, 5 March 2018

Jan and Feb 2018 Updates


Received the first round of dividends for this year as follows.

SingTel dividends S$490

Suntec dividends S$104.16

CCT dividends S$164

Viva dividends S$92.85

MLT dividends S$152.42

Total dividends received: S$1,003.43.


Just closed the accounts for my new company after venturing out on my own last year. Managed to achieve ROI within the first year of operations. Shall continue to work harder to grow the business.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Happy Lunar New Year 2018

To all readers, here's wishing you and your family a very Happy and Prosperous Chinese New Year. May you and your loved ones stay Healthy and Happy always!

Those with the dog zodiac sign are not having the best of luck this year apparently. And I'm one old doggie too. Luckily I don't believe too much in the zodiacs.

To all fellow doggies I wish you the best of luck. For myself I look forward to another fruitful year ahead.

Woof woof.