March 13, 2009

Malaysia Lipper Fund Awards 2009

Below is the list of Malaysia Lipper fund awards in 2009 based on fund performance in 2008:
  • Bond Malaysian Ringgit 3 Years: AmDynamic Bond
  • Bond Malaysian Ringgit 5 Years: AmDynamic Bond
  • Bond Malaysian Ringgit 10 Years: Public Bond
  • Equity Malaysia 3 Years: AMB Value Trust
  • Equity Malaysia 5 Years: PB Growth
  • Equity Malaysia 10 Years: TA Growth
  • Equity Malaysia Small and Mid Caps 3 Years: OSK-UOB Emerging Opportunity
  • Equity Malaysia Small and Mid Caps 5 Years: Public SmallCap
  • Mixed Asset MYR Balanced - Malaysia 3 Years: OSK-UOB Growth & Income Focus
  • Mixed Asset MYR Balanced - Malaysia 5 Years: PB Balanced
  • Mixed Asset MYR Balanced - Malaysia 10 Years: PB Balanced
  • Mixed Asset MYR Conservative 3 Years: OSK-UOB Smart Income
  • Mixed Asset MYR Flexible 3 Years: Avenue TacticalEXTRA
  • Bond Malaysian Ringgit Islamic Fund 3 Years: AmBon Islam
  • Bond Malaysian Ringgit Islamic Fund 5 Years: Public Islamic Bond
  • Equity Malaysia Islamic Fund 3 Years: Alliance Dana Adib
  • Equity Malaysia Islamic Fund 5 Years: MAAKL Al-Faid
  • Equity Malaysia Islamic Fund 10 Years: Pacific Dana Aman
  • Mixed Asset MYR Balanced - Malaysia Islamic Fund 3 Years: Apex Dana Al-Faiz-i
  • Mixed Asset MYR Balanced - Malaysia Islamic Fund 5 Years: ASBI Dana AL-Munsif

March 12, 2009

AmInvestment Bank offers Berkshire warrants

A Malaysian bank offered securities that track Berkshire Hathaway Inc stock, allowing investors to bet on Warren Buffett’s company for a fraction of the price of the New York-listed shares.

AmInvestment Bank started selling so-called zero-strike warrants on Berkshire Class B shares in Asia’s first programme of its type, it said in a statement today.

For a minimum payment of 100 ringgit (US$27), investors can buy an asset listed in Malaysia that will mature in five years and reflect the performance of shares of the Omaha, Nebraska-based company.

“What we want to do is take something that is inaccessible, list it here, and make it something that people can buy,” Ng Ee Fang, head of equity derivatives at Kuala Lumpur-based AmInvestment, said in an interview.

“People are looking for alternative investments.”

A single lot of 10 Berkshire Class B shares costs US$27,400, more than four times the per capita income in Malaysia, according to data from the central bank.

Billionaire Buffett, who invested in Goldman Sachs Group Inc in the financial crisis, says buying opportunities are now appearing in the US after he scouted Europe for takeover targets last year, according to a Bloomberg Television interview aired today.

Berkshire has dropped 37 percent in the past 12 months. The benchmark Kuala Lumpur Composite Index lost 32 per cent in the same period.

The lots of 100 zero-strike warrants on Berkshire shares -- at RM1 each -- can be traded on the Malaysian stock exchange like conventional equities, said AmInvestment, which is a unit of AMMB Holdings Bhd., Malaysia’s fifth-biggest bank.

Ng said the Malaysian bank may increase its RM100 million
offering of the strikes if there’s sufficient demand. - Bloomberg

Malaysia Morningstar Fund Awards 2008

Morningstar has announced the results of this year's Fund Awards based on year 2008 fund performance. Only the funds with at least 5 years of performance histories and at least of size of RM20 million will be considered for the award. Insurance related funds and close-end funds will be also excluded from consideration. Below is the list of this year's winners:

  1. Islamic Syariah Equity: ASM Dana Al-Aiman Fund
  2. Malaysia Equity: Pacific Dividend Fund
  3. Malaysia Small Cap: AUTB Progress Fund
Fixed Income
  1. Malaysia Ringgit Bond: MAAKL Bond Fund
  2. Malaysia Ringgit Islamic Bond: Public Islamic Bond Fund
  3. Islamic Balanced: RHB Mudharabah Fund
  4. Malaysia Ringgit Balanced: Pacific Income Fund
For more info on Morningstar scoring methodology, you may refer here.

Retrenchment and Plant Closures at National Semiconductor

SANTA CLARA — Faced with a steep decline in sales, chip maker National Semiconductor Corp. said Wednesday it will eliminate more than one-quarter of its work force, or 1,725 jobs.

The company said it will immediately begin trimming 850 positions worldwide in its product, marketing, manufacturing and support businesses. An additional 875 jobs will be lost with the shuttering of facilities in Suzhou, China, and Arlington, Texas, over the next few quarters. National Semiconductor has about 6,500 employees.

The Santa Clara-based company said the layoffs will cost $160 million to $180 million in severance and other charges, $130 million to $145 million of which will likely be recorded in this fiscal quarter.

The cuts came as National recorded a 71 percent decline in its third-quarter earnings, posting a profit of $21.1 million, or 9 cents per share, compared with $72.9 million, or 29 cents per share, a year earlier.

Sales fell more than one-third to $292 million from $453 million.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected a loss of 5 cents per share on sales of nearly $296 million.

"The worldwide recession has impacted National's business as demand has fallen considerably," Chief Executive Brian L. Halla said in a statement.

National Semiconductor said it expects another 5 percent to 10 percent sequential decline in sales, which would put its fourth-quarter revenue between $263 million and $278 million. Analysts were expecting revenue of $293 million.

Shares of National Semiconductor fell 32 cents, or 2.7 percent, to close at $11.38 Wednesday.

The company also said its quarterly dividend would remain 8 cents per share and will be paid on April 14 to shareholders on record as of March 23.

Source: Newsvine

Comments: National Semiconductor has a plant in Melaka. Anyone has any news whether this latest cut has any impact on the Malaysian plant?

March 10, 2009

RHB China Averaging Capital Protected Fund

It's basically a 3-year capital guaranteed fund that invest at least 85% of the funds in a safe investments and up to 10% of the funds in China stocks for upside potential. Some of the details of the fund are as follow:
  • Initial investment: RM5,000
  • Subsequent investment: RM1,000
  • Service charge: Up to 3.5%
  • Minimum holding: RM5,000
  • Repurchase charge: Up to 1.5%
More details about this fund, click here.

Malaysia Second Stimulus Package

Malaysia announced the RM 60 billion Second Stimulus Package to be spent over 2 years in view of deterioration of Malaysia economic prospects in the near future. Among the points that are worth to note for the rakyat are as follow:

  1. 163,000 training opportunities and job placements to be conducted/absorbed by the Government agencies and private sectors.
  2. Companies that hire retrenched employees will be given double tax deduction on the amount of remuneration paid, up to RM10,000 per month and limited up to 12 months of employment per employee.
  3. Fill up 50,000 vacancies in Federal Agencies.
  4. Additional 13,000 contract jobs with the government agencies.
  5. Government will subsidize tuition fees/research grants of RM10,000 for Master's degree and RM20,000 for PhD degree at local institutions. [UPDATES] Only for 500 graduates.
  6. Additional RM200 million to build low cost housing by SPNB.
  7. House buyers will be given tax relief on interests paid for housing loans up to RM10,000 a year for 3 years. [UPDATES] Only for those houses of which the S & P signed between March 10, 2009 and Dec 31, 2010. Total tax relief is up to RM10,000 for 3 years and only limited to ONE property. Properties that are rented out will not be eligible for this tax relief.
  8. A total of RM5 billion of Government Savings Bond will be sold to all rakyat above 21 years old, with the minimum investments of RM1,000 up to a maximum of RM50,000. The bond will pay 5% interest annually.
  9. Tax exemption of retrenchment benefits increased to RM10,000.
  10. Deferred repayment of housing loans for retrenched employees for one year.
  11. Discount of RM5,000 for those who trade in old cars (> 10 years old) for purchasing of new Proton and Perodua cars.
  12. 50% reduction of landing charges for all airlines in Malaysia - hopefully this translate to lower ticket fees.
  13. Office renovation can claim for capital allowance up to RM100,000 within 2 years. [UPDATES] Only from March 10, 2009 to Dec 31, 2010.

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