Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Accordia Golf Trust

I didn't see much views about the potential privatization of sponsor by MBK.

Reading about the tender offer, offer a few insights that I think are important but not reported by the various news agency.

1) “Year 2020 problem”
It means a problem that may cause a reduction in golf demand in circumstances where a majority of postwar baby-boomers who lead the current golf demand will be over 70 years old.

My thoughts: It is a direct conflict with AGT's management claims that the seniors have more time to play golf and it is a opportunity. Also, 70 years old is arbitrary figure isn't it? 2017 could well be the problem if 67s are not healthy enough to play golf.

2) It is stated that "MBK Partners Group was interested in investing in the Company, had agreed to the Company’s management model including the Circulating Business Model".

The Circulating Business Model consist of the asset light strategy, but the focus is on the upstream expansion of golf courses and upgrade of existing courses, and also with a look to overseas expansion for strategic alliances.

So, if the sponsor-to-be if going to buy assets at a quickened pace, the greater the probability of asset injection, isn't it? That is when the puzzling statement came in:

"However, after the implementation of the asset-light strategy using the business trust, although the Company prepared for selling to AG Asset the golf courses owned by the Company, because the unit price of the business unit of AG Asset remained low, and it took time to discuss and coordinate with related parties, AG Asset is unable to raise funds for acquiring the golf courses owned by the Company"

Stripped off the corporate structure, AG asset basically refer to the Accordia Golf trust. It is very obvious management 's intent is to raise funds through placements or rights, instead of debts. Otherwise, why does the low unit price matters?

My final thoughts:

Will MBK be able to find partners? Will AGT become a dumping ground? A strong sponsor is good only as far as it willing to be fair to shareholders. Case in point is the difference the past LMIR and Ascendas Reit. Both have strong parents. Look at Ascendas's recent acquisitions, while the purchase price might appear pricey, there are reasons to explain it. Lipuit Village, anyone? 4-5 years after it is acquired, it occupancy still did not cross the nation average of 85%. But Kemang Village is finally yield accrretive.

AGT's price has been retreating abeit very slowly while STI is going strongly.

I thought such pessimism is rather uncalled for. First, the privatization might not go through, the major shareholders just owned less than 30% of Accordia Golf Japan.

Assume the deal goes through, it will again take a while before the "upstream" actions flow "downstream".


Saturday, December 3, 2016

Random thoughts: Human capital

Human capital? 

What comes to your mind? 

The amount of money your skills and network can generate, payoff? Right? In simplicity, our work. 

My work for the year 2016, is drawing to a close, as usual,I am going to review my human capital.

When I started 2016, I wrote E3. I want to do be effective, efficient and engaging in my teaching. I think I done all three. I do not want to review how effective, neither do I want to put a value to it, I know I have make a conscious effort in these areas and I made progress. Period.

That is the capital part.

Now the human part. 

That is the high point.

I never thought I would almost break into tears talking about a pupil. She did very well for my subject. In the past, she would already be a asset to my KPI, a plus, a cause for joy. But because she did badly for the rest, she couldn't get into even normal stream. Whenever I think of her, my heart aches. Human... 

I have a colleague just gotten married. We discuss work even late into the night, and it will go on to philosophical views on teaching, people and expectations etc. 

On the day after her wedding, she texted me to thank me for attending the wedding. She told me she felt like crying when she saw me. 

She said she wanted to take a picture with me, made me feel like her father. Human... She said she really appreciate the trust and confidence I have on her regarding her work.

On the last day of school day, my co-form organized a class party. My pupils ask me for ice-creams LOL.
I remembered jumping with joy when running towards them at the canteen. Human... I felt like a little kid again. My pupils start bringing food to me, some told me their mother prepare it with them, so just wanted me to taste more food. I felt like a star.

I remember telling a mother during end of year meet parent session, that her daughter is visibly unhappy from semester 2 onwards. And in term 4, even more visibly so. I was rather afraid that I might make things worse. But luckily the mum felt apologetic and when I checked with my pupil the next day, she told me her mum did sayang her and told her that she is sorry for pushing her so much. But the weirdest thing is, I felt no positive energy from her. 

I even manage to have some exchanges about work, life, philosophy about academic pursuit with a parent, something that never happened in my past decade as a teacher. She even send me videos about a wonderful teacher, how that teacher touched life. That video is how we use human capital not to prosper, but help others. 

My supervisor ask me, what is my high point. I told her help my colleague get a good appraisal grade and see her smile when I told her she finally made it... 

The dark side of human.

I lost quite a bit of self-confidence, self-doubts about my capabilities as a manager has set in. 

I remember, only ticking "communication and team building" as strength in the list of areas in my review paper. I can't honestly think of other strengths.

In fact, this post on review of human capital, I can't find anything else to write, except people. Can't write results, systems set up, culture etc. 

But it's ok. Its what that matters most to me. 

How has your work been? 

Thursday, November 24, 2016









我很欣慰, 不过无法控制心魔的我,










Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Random thoughts: my pupils' dream job

It is winding down to the end of the year. 

I introduce Windows Publisher to my pupils, and asked my pupils to do a business card for themselves.

I told them upfront, choose something u want to be, u like, dun worry about money, forget about your parents ' expectations for a while. It is just a fun exercise, think of a job that will make you happy!

If really being a lawyer or doctor is what you want, go ahead. 

My top class has the most pupils wanting to be doctors. It is still the most popular job. But it is very interesting that it of a class of 32, the second popular job is to be a singer and a piano teacher.

I told my class my first choice since I was a little kid is to be a teacher, second choice, singer! They laughed. One pupil ask me to sing. LOL

But surprise, surprise! They is so much creativity! I enjoyed myself. So what are the top few creative/interesting  jobs my pupils aspired to be?

1) Hacker ( love this P6 guy, super beng, but he not say say only ok, he showed me some "coding", and my jaws dropped)


2) Pokémon Trainer ( LOL, well, I think that's cool)


3) Rami burger chef 

4) Ice-skater ( She is only P4, after she finished her business card, she watch a u-tube on skating. I asked her if she knows all those stunts, she told me she could, she already won 2 golds, and her coach told her she has to wait 2 years before she can take part in international competition! "Got eyes cannot recognize Tarzans") 


5) Writer

6) Anime creator 

Then I did some cheapo chit chat. I ask, "if I am sick, will u take care of me and give me a discount?", some doctors aspirants readily said yes! Some pondered  a long time and said "ok la". I tease them, "how much discount would I get? " She said "10%" Hmm... I think I need to emphasize generosity more.

I had fun! I thought I got to know my pupils better in this 1 "bo Liao" session than the whole year for most of them. 

When I printed out the name cards and gave it to them, one P6 girl was elated! And she kept it in her wallet, very proud of her name card. Made my day. 

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Random thoughts: Pokémon exhibition at SEA

My weekend outing.
It is quite a ex exhibition, for $8, u get a pokeball, and u can use it interact with 4 machines to get clues on what Pokémon is hidden in it. There are 8 machines, some with clues like height or weight is just a waste of time.

The funny thing is, when u use your pokeball at the end to reveal the answer, you pokeball is actually reset and u can play with the various machines again, like clue on their voice, shadow etc.

So, if u really want to have fun, go in a group, solve the puzzle, but do not tell each other the answer. Once u reset the ball and gotten your answer, swop it with your friend and play it again. 

LOL... cheapskate I know ... 

The photo taking session with pikachu is at 430 pm if u are interested. 



Friday, November 11, 2016

Ascendas Reit: A weird share price pattern?

I am writing here because I felt there might be some "pattern" in Ascendas Price movement.

Granted, all industrial reits are facing some weakness with fear of interest rate hike and spike in industrial vacancy.

But lets start with this picture.

If only this is the chart for its share price. You can see from here, with the exception of GFC, A-reit has an unblemished track records for raising DPU. Of course amount available for distribution grow much faster than increase in DPU, due to dilution of shares. And we are going to have the ECS issue overhang now, beyond the macro issues of Interest rate hike and vacancy.

But what I want to point out is there is always a fall in price following an announcement of placement and then followed by an recovery in price. 

I would like to give credit to A-reit Website, it made tracking of its performances a breeze.


Here are the placement dates:

11August 2016
18 Dec 2015
9 December 2015
19 March 2013
14 March 2012
11 April 2011
31 March 2011
11 August 2009
15 Jan 2009

2011 is the furthest I can go with Ascendas Website, I can go further with Yahoo chart but I decided to stop.

Ascendas is a active manager who acquire and divests properties. Given that the DPU is generally raising lets say they pass the acquisition test, so have they divests at a loss?

Using the same method, 

With the exception of  Block 5006 Techplace II, where there is no mentioned of premium or discount of sale price (lets assume it is a discount) the rest of divestment is from the lowest of 5% to double of it purchase cost.


I would think the manager pass its test in execution. 

But there are still 2 risks, in buying this business/ manager. 

1) Overvaluation, 2009 onwards is a bull-run for the stock market. 

2) Track records start from 2009, it stumbles in 2009 although it did recover

3) Track records especially that of manager's performance has more correlation to future performance than otherwise, however, that is assuming Singapore's economy is not going to the dogs. Also, there is no "track records" in Australia.

4) Given its sheer size of managing industrial properties. It is impossible for it to grow by just buying 1-2 properties. It need to either do an "Australia Stunt" or for the general industrial rents and occupancy to improve. 


Well, A- Reit has a prudent capital management system, one can wait for the price to fall further to reduce overvaluation risk. Assume A-reit can at least maintain the DPU for the next 2 years, it is yield of 6.6% at current price, definitely not Crisis level valuation but I would think it is good enough. (Annualize 1 H would have beat this DPU of 15 cents)

As for risk 2 and 3, I think thy are valid. I am not implying that it will go up soon post ECS, just that I thought the placement issue seem so recurring and predictable that I share this weird pattern. Is the "rights/placemnet is bad" for Reit Myth so entrenched, that whenever it happens, it is going to fall, regardless of what is happening in its business foundations. Granted, placement is usually done with a discount, but it should happen at announcement not completion.

I did a tracking of placement's discount some year back, with the exception of 2009, it is usually in the range of 5-9%

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Random thoughts: A 3-part lesson about thinking out of the box

SMOL keep writting about his teachers; it gave me the itch to write about my teaching. 

There is a chapter about Lim Bo Seng, our War Hero. Instead of the usual lesson, (it's after exam), I ask the pupils to extract info from the text to make into a pamphlet .

I told them to choose sides, if u are Guerilla fighters on Lim Bo Seng side, what would write in the secret pamphlets  about his death? If u are Japanese imperial Army, what would u write in the Phamplets? 

In this exercise, I challenged this top class that it is easier to write from Lim Bo Seng's Side perspective. I am glad quite a few tool out the challenges and wrote from the perspective of Japanese Army.

When I explained their "errors", I did not focus so much of the content, but the target audience, the setting, era which the pamphlet should be in and most importantly the "purpose" of writing this pamphlet. The purpose of writing from the side of Japanese is lost for those who wrote in that angle except for 1 boy. 

I told them to think about issues from different perspectives. 

The third lesson, it was a vocabulary revision exercise. Given this is a top class. They do not have problem. 

I have this decoding game (through answering quizzes) where the pupils decode and key in to code to a tinyurl page and it will lead them to a page with a Pokémon creature ! They are supposed to do a screen shot and the creature is considered "captured" 

There is this mad rush to decode for the prize to 6 pokemons. This is so much excitement.

After I have the prize to the fastest player, and ensure every group has at least one player with 4 creatures captured, I change the challenge.

Every one in the group must have at least 4 creatures. I told them to think out of the box. 

I saw every group frantically trying to solve the puzzle with those already done telling them the answers. Some groups just stick to themselves and continue to solve the puzzle as soon as possible. 

It took about 5 min for 2 groups to complete the task. I told them I can do it in 10 seconds. "How?" They asked. I said, just take photos of the 1 player's work, and all of you will have the "creature" at the photo gallery, isn't it?

One boy protested loudly," see! I told you, Cher! I thought about it but he said it is cheating!"

I ask the pupils to think about "cheating" as the bell went. 

The following day, I ask them about cheating, think about perspective, and what is their take. I gave my take on the whole thing. I also link it back to the topic about Japanese and Guerilla fighters and ask them who is right and who is wrong. Why is it wrong? They said killing is wrong. I ask them, you mean the Guerilla fighters did not kill Japanese? Is it if you are Japanese, you fight for Japanese, if you are Chinese, you fight for Lim Bo Seng? Is that right? I saw confuse faces.

The sad thing is, I felt that the whole thingy is a flop. As I only see "spark" in one person's eye, and a few pupils "pondering hard" about what I said. Most pupils gave me the "huh, never mind, this is not examinable" or "totally lost" look. Then the usual deadly "ignorance   Noding of heads" LOL.

But no regrets. I had fun.