At $135 a barrel, the world's oil bill will account for eight per cent of global economic output, twice what it was in 2006.
Robust demand for crude and a weak dollar have fuelled the rally from a dip below $50 at the start of 2007. Adjusted for inflation, oil is now above the $101.70 peak hit in April 1980, a year after the Iranian revolution.
Is the weak dollar one of the reasons?
The fall in the value of the dollar against other major currencies has helped drive buying across commodities as investors view dollar assets as relatively cheap. The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, source of more than a third of the world's oil, started to reduce oil output in late 2006 to stem a fall in prices. Fewer Opec barrels entering the market helped propel the rally. While consumer nations led by the International Energy Agency have urged Opec to pump more oil, Opec says there is enough crude in the market. Few in the group believe there is much it can do to tame a market it says defies logic.
The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, source of more than a third of the world's oil, started to reduce oil output in late 2006 to stem a fall in prices. Fewer Opec barrels entering the market helped propel the rally.
While consumer nations led by the International Energy Agency have urged Opec to pump more oil, Opec says there is enough crude in the market. Few in the group believe there is much it can do to tame a market it says defies logic.
What about speculation?
While previous price spikes have been triggered by supply disruptions, demand from top consumers the United States and China is a main driver of the current rally.
The US Department of Energy estimates that American demand will sag by just 200,000 barrels per day this year, less than one per cent of the 20.7 million BPD total.
Oil demand in China was up eight per cent in March from a year earlier, the fastest growth since 2006. The market cannot exactly do its thing in a country that subsidises fuel. Sinopec, the Chinese oil company, lost $2bn in the first quarter of this year from price controls.
While demand is the main driver now, supply disruptions do play a role? Supply of crude from Nigeria, the world's eighth-largest oil exporter, has been cut since February 2006 because of rebel attacks on the country's oil industry. Oil companies and trading sources say 564,000 bpd of Nigerian production has stopped flowing into the market.
Supply of crude from Nigeria, the world's eighth-largest oil exporter, has been cut since February 2006 because of rebel attacks on the country's oil industry. Oil companies and trading sources say 564,000 bpd of Nigerian production has stopped flowing into the market.
While there are concerns about supply disruption from Iran, another major producer, Iraq, is struggling to get its oil industry back on its feet after decades of wars, sanctions and underinvestment.
Exports of Kirkuk crude from northern Iraq are stabilising as the system recovers from technical problems that had mostly idled the pipeline since the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003.
You would think that $120 a barrel would spur oil companies to explore more. Even the most technically challenging and capital-intensive projects like the Canadian oil sands and deepwater Gulf of Mexico prospects require no more than $50 per barrel to be in the black.
But energy companies are a cautious lot. Only a decade ago oil plunged to $10 a barrel and companies are not yet willing to bet prices stay at current levels. BP, for one, still uses $60 as its price peg for evaluating new projects.
There is only so much capacity in the oil-finding business. Oilfield capital costs have doubled since 2005. Shortages of people, steel and machinery have doubled the cost of some oil sands projects in Canada.
In February 2007, ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum cancelled plans for a $7bn plant to convert methane into synthetic diesel in natural-gas-rich Qatar. According to the Middle East Economic Digest, a tonne of steel in Qatar costs $4,000 today, twice the price four months ago; cement is in severe shortage, while aggregate rock has tripled in price over five years.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
All eyes will be on the Jeddah energy meeting when market expect expect Saudi Arabia to pump more crude in the market , whether this move will help to stabilise the oil price will remain to see...
Saudi Arabia and other producers with oil to spare could agree to raise output at an emergency meeting of energy powers and consumers.
Saudi Arabia said on Saturday that it would pump more crude if the market required it in order to stabilise the price of oil, which has hit a record of almost $140 a barrel.
"We will meet demand. If demand requires more crude, we shall sell it," Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, the deputy oil minister, said ahead of a meeting of producers and consumers in Jeddah.
"The kingdom's policy is based on supply and demand. If there is more demand, it is natural to offer more crude," Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said.
"Everyone knows that there is going to be more crude dumped onto the market after some kind of decision on Sunday, whether that has any effect is another question," he said.
"Most of what the Saudi Arabians have said they are going to produce in addition ... everyone knew that this oil was coming on stream, there is no new crude here.
"The reality is Opec doesn't have a great deal more oil to produce."
The meeting in Jeddah, hosted by Saudi King Abdullah, will feature Abdullah al-Badri, the Opec secretary-general.
"As many as 38 countries, four international organisations and 30 oil companies have agreed to attend the conference, at which the British prime minister Gordon Brown will give an address," a Saudi statement said.
Xi Jinping, China's vice-president, will also attend.
The Asian nation accounts for about 40 per cent of recent growth in global oil consumption.
Saudi Arabia, which is the world's biggest oil exporter, has a policy of keeping a cushion of spare capacity and has said other Opec members that can bring on extra production quickly would also discuss boosting output to try to tame the oil rally.
"The short-term policies to be discussed include the proposal that those Opec countries that have spare capacity should boost supply, just like Saudi Arabia has announced it will do in July," a senior Gulf Opec official told the Reuters news agency.
Looking to the longer term, the source also said Saudi Arabia would consider increasing its capacity beyond an existing goal of 12.5 million bpd by the end of next year.
However, Dan Lewis from the Economic Reserach Council told Al Jazeera that Opec was becoming increasingly irrelevant to setting the global oil price.
"Its importance has been exaggerated for some time," he said.
"What is interesting is that Saudi Arabia, which currently produce 9.5m barrels a day, does have spare capacity that could take it up another two million.
"But it is unlikely that they are going to put it up that much because its in their long term interest to keep their reserves in the ground as the price goes higher."
Those gains were a reversal of a heavy fall in prices following China's unexpected decision to raise the retail price of petrol and diesel by up to 18 per cent.
US July crude rose $2.69 to settle at $134.62 a barrel, off highs of $136.80. London Brent was up $2.86 at $134.86.
Forecasts the previous day had suggested that the move by China would hurt demand, but some analysts now say consumption could rise as the price increase will encourage healthier supply at the pumps.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Recently, there has been a great deal of outrage concerning the huge pay and severance packages awarded to a number of CEOs. There has been much criticism of the fact that CEOs earn 520 times that of the average worker. A great deal has been made of the scandalous actions of a number of CEOs and boards concerning the backdating of options. Sadly, a much deeper, more pernicious, more threatening problem of the future of our economy exists at today’s corporations: many corporate boards and managers are doing an abysmal job. The lack of competent leadership makes our companies less competitive day by day, causing an upward spiraling trade and current account deficit, as well as a near meltdown of the financial sector. The buildup of incompetent boards and managers is the result of poor corporate governance. Poor corporate governance now threatens more than just potential shareholder value; it threatens this country’s very economic survival.
To paraphrase Winston Churchill, "democracy might not be the greatest system there is but it is the greatest system mankind has invented so far." Many American corporations are dysfunctional because corporate democracy is a myth in the United States. They run like a decaying socialistic state. Our boards and CEOs exist in a symbiotic relationship where the boards nourish the CEO with massive stock options that are re-priced downward if the companies stock declines - making them forever valuable. They reward the CEO with pay packages and bonuses when the stock is floundering or the CEO is leaving the company. Corporate performance and the shareholders welfare seldom enter the picture. What kind of democracy is this? There is no accountability.
The inherent quid pro quo is to pay the board huge retainers for attending several meetings per year and rubber stamp ill conceived CEO proposals. In turn, a CEO can fly around the world on the company’s private jet on the "business" of visiting all the world’s greatest golf courses while he runs the company – and the value of your stock – into the ground. The average shareholder can do nothing about it. A great example is the subprime mortgage mess that has cost our economy and the populace untold billions of dollars and personal hardship. These losses did not stop boards from awarding huge severance packages to the CEOs most responsible for the current carnage.
It is the board’s responsibility to hold a CEO accountable, and remove the CEO if he or she is not producing results. But exacting such a measure requires effort and strategic consideration, and boards are often too lazy and/or passive to rock the boat, especially since the company will continue to pay and pamper and even indemnify them under almost any circumstances. Board members receive expensive tickets to important sporting events, the theatre, and are also treated to use of the company’s fleet. Worst of all, the board itself is not made accountable because corporate board elections are generally a joke.
Board meetings are often a complete travesty. I know because I have sat and do sit on a number of boards where I am in the minority. Because of this, today our economy is in a major crisis. Many of our companies are incapable of competing. Additionally our banking system has issued mortgages that cannot and will not be paid back. We are in this situation because there is no leadership in the executive suite. Why did we get here? Because in corporate America there are no true elections. It is tyranny parading as democracy. It’s a poison running through the blood of corporate America. Perhaps, with enough public support, the lawmakers and regulators will take note.
When you rid a company of a fruitless board, the rewards are often enormous because the underlying company and its employees can be excellent. It is the top level management that hangs like an albatross around the company’s neck. Years from now historians will marvel why we the shareholders – the legitimate owners of companies – did not do something effective about removing terrible managements. We can do something about the current situation. I will discuss in future entries how simple it can be and what has constrained us from taking action.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
旅客怒斥無良：香港怎搞的？ (明報) 06月 19日 星期四 05:05AM
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
JOHOR BARU: A restaurant worker who flagged a passing car for help to save his dying mother was instead robbed and beaten unconscious by the occupants of the vehicle.
Foo: Died from an asthma attack.
By the time help arrived about two hours later, his mother had died from an asthma attack.
The incident occurred in Skudai yesterday when Moh Cheng Mau, 39, returned home from work around 3am to find his mother, Foo Yoon Yew, 63, fighting for her life.
Cheng Mau left his mother near the door of their home along Jalan Hang Jebat 52 in the care of his younger brother Seng Fong, 37, and ran to stop a taxi about 100m away from their home.
According to the victim’s elder brother, Mok Aik Kuan, 41, the taxi refused to stop and Cheng Mau then flagged down a dark-coloured car with four men inside.
“He begged them for help and got into the vehicle when they told him that he had to follow them to get an ambulance,” he said.
Badly hurt: Cheng Mau recuperating at the Sultanah Aminah Hospital Monday.
Aik Kuan said the men stopped the car near a graveyard about 300m away from the house, beat his brother unconscious and robbed him of a handphone and around RM500 in cash.
According to him, by the time his brother regained consciousness and staggered back home, it was past 5am.
Neighbours then called the ambulance and police, he said.
Aik Kuan said the ambulance took his brother to the Sultanah Aminah Hospital for treatment as his mother had died at about 5.40am.
“Cheng Mau’s face and body were swollen. Two of his ribs were broken,” he said, adding that his brother had also been repeatedly kicked and stepped on with studded shoes.
Nusajaya OCPD Supt Abd Aziz Ahmad urged those with information to call 07-221 2999.
“投资要趁早”是因为趁早投资，有足够的时间来累积财富。 累积财富，需要时间。 时间与风险成正比，时间长、风险低；时间短、风险高。 时间可以创造奇迹。 许多人有一种错误的想法，以为只有非常特殊的人，才有资格成为百万富翁。 其实，只要有恒心，方向正确，加上时间，每一个普通的打工仔，在退休时，都有资格成为百万富翁。
第二个数字：300令吉，为何300令吉？理由是工作第一年的月薪可能是2千令吉，拨出300令吉作为储蓄，是可轻易做得到的，不会影响生活素质。 反对为储蓄勒紧腰带 我反对为了储蓄要勒紧腰带，因为这样会影响生活素质。投资致富可以轻松做到，不需要受苦，但要有纪律。
第三个数字：12%的复利增长率，为何12%，而不是10%或15%？ 理由是12%是大部份肯化心思的投资者，都可以取得的投资回报率。 美国过去200年的股票投资回酬率为每年10%，但是大马是成长率较高的发展中国家，应该可以取得较高的回酬率，12%是可以做到的。
第四个数字：常年复利增长率(annualised compounded growth)，就是常人所说的“利上加利”。 年头投资100令吉，回报为12%，到年尾时本金加投资所得利润12令吉，下一年的本金为112令吉，如此不断地把投资所得利润加到本金去，重复下去，就叫“复利增长”。
长期以复利的方式增长，可以创造奇迹。 全球的富豪，都是通过这种方式成就的。 为什么要选择股票？ 因为现在的股票交易，每单位为100股，每个人都买得起。不像买屋子，需要一笔数目颇大的“头期”，刚开始工作的打工仔无法负担。 那么，每年要取得12%的回酬，做得到吗？ 我的经验是，如果只买五星级股票，着重股息的话，大部份人都可以做得到。 目前有不少五星级股票，周息率高达8%，如果长期持有，股票每年增值5%，就可以取得13%的回酬，超过12%的目标。
你的汽车只应占你的财富的10%，超过此数，便属浪费，有理财头脑的人不会这样做。 薪金到手马上储蓄 无法控制消费欲望是大部份人的弱点，也是理财计划的致命伤。大部份领到公积金后，在三年中花个清光，便是明证。
请坚守一个原则，每月薪金一到手，马上取出300令吉，放进储蓄户口，只花剩下的部份。 绝对不要花到月尾，才把剩余的存入储蓄户口，你会发现，未到月底已把薪水花光，结果是一月复一月，一年复一年，如王小二过年，一年不如一年，到退休时仍两袖清风，还要拖着疲乏的“老身”继续把工打下去。 你想这样吗？
Saturday, June 14, 2008
他援引之前的报道称，美林以及里昂信贷公司（CLSA）在亚洲产业领域集合大量的投资资金，这也显示了他们对亚洲经济的信心。 因此，他认为，大马今年的产业还有继续增值的空间，且不会有波动。同时，他也驳斥了大马高档产业市场存有“泡沫”的说法。” “有者认为大马的高档市场存有泡沫，但它可能只是一种迹象，我们并不能证实。”
何振顺讲解了巴生谷内的产业增长范围，并推荐所谓的“区位重心”（locational center-of-gravity）。 巴生谷续成第一发展区 他表示，巴生谷会继续成为大马第一发展区，因为它的发展与全球的都市化趋势是一致的。 “
在最新的房价索引指出，吉隆坡的资本增值率为第一，槟城位于第二，而雪州位于第三” “八打灵新市已被遴选为巴生谷未来的中心，因为它能通往其它巴生谷的区域。这一区虽没有最高的房地产价，但在十五公里内已涵盖95％的医院及医疗中心。” 在2007年里，金三角毫无疑问成为发展最为迅速的地区，它的价值在两年内增加一倍。 他建议，鉴于金三角以及满家乐是巴生谷的热点，因此，可多关注离八打灵市十五公里内的第一期建筑。
金房地产仲介行董事黄用心 先查询发展商背景 黄用心指出，民众在购买房子时，应多花时间实地研究及考察、了解了发展商的背景以及工程，而不是轻信朋友或广告就冲动地作出购屋的决定。 “很多人一辈子省下的钱就用来买房子，但买房子不像在巴刹买菜，它需要花时间、精神进行研究。产业发展商都有陈列室，购屋者不妨实地了解。此外，购屋者也不要轻信朋友或广告，冲动地作出购屋的决定。”
每个购屋者在购置产业时都有不同的理念，因此，黄用心建议购屋者在购置产业前，须清楚知道本身购置产业的出发点。若购屋者的出发点并非居住，那么就得考虑产业的流动性。 “不论购买任何产业，都须考虑到它的土地产权形式是属于永久或非永久地契。” 他解释：“你必须清楚明白，任何租赁产业若要转手都需要一段较长的时期，而永久地契产业的转手时间可能仅需3至4个月。若忽略这点，未来脱售产业就可能面临问题。” 他建议，若购屋者是寻找增值的产业，可购买店铺、独立洋房以及排屋。 “一般上排屋的回酬不会太高，约2％至3％或低于这水平。虽然独立洋房以及排屋的租金回酬不太高，但却有不俗的资本增值。”
他亦透露，购屋者除了可透过发展商购置产业外，也能透过拍卖购置产业。 “市场上有不少产业是买家无法偿还贷款，银行就会透过拍卖师拍卖产业。有些产业地点不错，且比市价低20％至30％，这可能是个好机会。” 他再次提醒民众，在购置拍卖产业时，购屋者一定要先透过各种管道，了解以及探讨产业的细节。
亿达法务办事处的陈佐彬律师 了解合约及法律文件 陈佐彬律师提醒购屋者，必须了解所签署的合约以及法律文件上应注意的事项。 目前，购屋者向发展商购屋有两种形式，即先售后建以及先建后售的形式。 陈佐彬指出，根据先售后建的形式，缺陷责任期从之前的18个月变成24个月，这加强了购屋者的权益。 委托者将以信托保管者的身份，保存产业买价的5％，并确保24个月内一切完成无缺。 “消费者在购屋时，有部分的钱是交给律师管理。譬如，购买10万令吉的房子，其中5％的资金是由委托的律师保管。
当发展商在24个月后呈交房子时，买家得知房子出现裂痕或不满的地方，可要求发展商维修缺陷，事后再依据程序向委托的律师索回修理经费。” 另外，在先建后售的形式下，他称，买家只需交还产业买价的10％，其余的90％将在房屋竣工与移交后缴付。 陈佐彬说：“这个形式对买家来说会更有保障，因为它能排除发展中途荒废或停工的风险。” 不过，他透露，在先建后售的形式下的缺陷责任期也是24个月，不同在于，这个形式并没有5％的资金被委托律师扣留或保存，而是直接对发展商。 “在这形式下，若买家得知建筑物缺陷，可向发展商投诉，发展商有责任修理缺陷。若发展商不肯，买家能在自己修理后，向发展商索回修理经费。因此，这形式是直接对发展商。”
超越节息高级节息顾问王千岚 谨慎选择贷款配套 王千岚指出，大马部分人都没有谨慎选择贷款配套，而是在事后才打算以后如何处理贷款。 “贷款人签署了合约后才发现到合约的限制或罚款，变成贷款人在完全不晓得自己的权利之下，签署了一份不公平的合约。”
他说：“大马的贷款出现不透明的问题，因为大马的金融机构内缺乏两项保护贷款人的法律，分别是（一）抵押-稽查法令（Mortgage-Audit Act）、（二）不公正合约条款法令（Unfair Contract Term Act）。” “在美国存有抵押-稽查法令，而超越节息（马）有限公司用9年向有关当局争取上述两个法令，但最终还是没有结果。因此，现在只能透过教育方式唤醒贷款人对贷款的保障。” 他表示，该公司至今仍不断向有关当局争取其法令，但若成功争取，一切还有赖于有关当局的执行力。 因此，王千岚建议，购屋者在购置产业前，须在产业价值以及贷款配套进行考量。 “产业价值包括产业的增值率以及竣工率。贷款配套内存有陷阱与误导（意味着消费者将钱置放在错误的地方，省不到应省下的利息），因此，购屋者需透过专业人士的指导，以避免进入这些误区。” 至于购屋者可以如何节息呢？王千岚建议，（一）购屋者可向贷方（银行）降低利率或转换银行拿到低利率贷款、（二）部分提前还款以达到真正节息的方案。
Operating margins in 1Q08 improved to 10.9% from 8.6% in 4Q07 and 9.9% in the previous corresponding quarter.
To minimise the risks of future pricing mismatch, Ornasteel has adopted a monthly pricing basis instead of the usual quarterly pricing basis. The move will help protect margins from further cost increases.
Additionally, demand for cold rolled coils (CRC) has strengthened in the last quarter. Sales for CRC enjoyed a strong 23% y-o-y growth to RM187.9 million, accounting for some 55% of total sales. This has helped pick up the slack in sales for galvanised steel (GI) and pre-painted galvanised steel (PPGI).
Demand for the building materials appears likely to decline further with the slowdown in property and construction projects. The shift in sales mix — CRC accounted for about 47% of sales in 2007 — also helped boost overall margins. Margins for CRC are much higher than those for GI and PPGI at roughly 10.4% and 4.7%, respectively in 1Q08.
Positively, Ornasteel’s close relationship with its controlling shareholder, China Steel Corp (CSC), gives the company a competitive edge. Ornasteel sources about 60% of its HRC requirements from CSC, including high-grade interstitial atom-free steel that is difficult to obtain in the open market.
The better quality raw material enables the company to produce higher grade CRC, the bulk of which are currently imported. In fact, about half of our country’s CRC consumption is currently imported, suggesting plenty of room for substitution.
Ornasteel has proposed to change its name to CSC Steel Holdings. The move will enable the company to capitalise on the established brand name of the Taiwan-based steel maker.
Fairly valued with higher-than-market average yields The stock is trading at about 6.7 times our estimated 2008 earnings, which is fairly consistent with the average valuations for steel stocks. Net tangible assets stood at RM1.88 per share. Given prevailing positive sentiment for the steel sector and Ornasteel’s higher-than-market average yields, its downside appears limited.
Ornasteel ’s share price is likely to be supported by its attractive dividend yield, which is among the highest given by listed steel companies.
It declared a gross final dividend of 12 sen per share for year ended Dec 31, 2007 (FY07), translating into a yield of 7.9% based on Friday’s closing price of RM1.53. The ex-date of the dividend falls on 26 June 2008 and payment is on July 11 2008.
Ornasteel’s balance sheet is in good shape. Net cash increased to RM75.4 million at end-1Q08 from RM53.8 million at end-2007. With minimal capital expenditure planned, its cash position should improve further.
Hence, shareholders could expect relatively generous dividend payouts in the current year
Monday, June 9, 2008
I have bought in 5,000 shares of YNH at RM2.04 and 5,000 shares of Sapcrest at RM1.40 today........
Malaysian has another heart attack again on last Thursday when our beloved PM announced a hefty 40% hike in petrol price, another great achievement by Pak Lah. Again same comments made by the BN government i.e our oil price still cheaper compare to oil price in Singapore and Thailand really make rakyat mad with them.
Wake up lah Pak Lah. Singapore has an efficient transportation system. Not like KL. Why don't Malaysian minister take a ride of public transport in KL and get experience of what they so call an integrated transport system.
We understand that oil price has hit US$138.00 and according to Morgan Stanly it might hit US$150 soon and hence the petrol price hike is unavoidable. Nevertheless, price hike can be done gradually. The chain reaction of the 40% is too venom.
We just want to know, with the saving subsidies of RM13.7 billion, how is the government going to spend it. If we were to recall the last RM30sen price hike, according to Batu Gajah MP Ms.Fong Poh Kuan, the money spent as below:-
1. RM 100 million on renovation of Parliament building and leaks thereafter;
2. National Astronaut Programme - RM 40 million;
3. National Service Training Programme - yearly an estimate of RM 500 million;
4. Eye on Malaysia -RM 30 million and another RM5.7 million of free ticket
5. RM 4.6 billion, ’soft-loan’ to PKFZ
6. RM 2.4 million of indelible ink
Has the rakyat benefited? No No No.......
We need a transparent and accountable government.
Don't ask rakyat to change our lifestyles when most of us are struggling to pay off our bills with our meagre take-home pay.
Pak Lah , that is only one world that I can tell you
"Please step down...... You don't derserve to be our PM"