Sunday, February 27, 2011

Further pain in the S-Chip sector; China Hongxing and Hongwei both suspended

Both Hongwei and China Hongxing are set to be suspended, following audit issues "regarding issues pertaining to the cash and bank balances confirmation" for Hongwei and "irregularities in the cash and bank balances, accounts receivables, accounts payables, and other expenses during the course of their audits of its subsidiary companies in the People’s Republic of China (“PRC”)" in the case of China Hongxing. Ernst & Young are the auditors in both cases.

We have highlighted our concerns over S-Chips in the past (see and and the latest audit problems in the case of Hongwei and China Hongxing serve to showcase that S-Chip companies are indeed poor quality companies which cannot be assessed based on balance sheet strength alone. We do not own any S-Chips and will continue to adopt a sceptical approach towards the sector, which is fraught with fraud (pun not intended). 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Added to Guocoleisure and OCBC

We added 5000 shares of Guocoleisure (at $0.685) today, and a further 250 shares of OCBC (at $9.12). Quek Leng Chan has been consistently buying back shares of Guocoleisure over the past few months, which indicates management confidence in the company's stock. In addition, oil and gas royalties have increased with rising oil prices, which should provide a boost to the company's profits.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Correction continues, adding more

Following the slump in US equity markets overnight, Singapore stocks continued to slide today. Having sold out of lower-conviction stocks in January, the correction in stock markets presents a "welcome" opportunity, and we added 2000 shares of Noble Group (at $2.00) and 1000 shares of Capitaland ($3.29) today amidst the selldown.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Market Correction - Time to buy?

In anticipation of technical downside risks in the market, we actually pared down our holdings in late January to raise cash levels to over 30% of the portfolio. This has worked out rather well as Asian markets have corrected sharply due to concerns over inflation, Chinese policy tightening, as well as fears of an oil shock sparked by tensions in the Middle East. 

We view such developments as short-term overhangs, and we have decided to add to the portfolio in incermental steps. A position was initiated in OCBC, which has a sizable insurance presence via its subsidiary Great Eastern Holdings as well as a strong private banking presence through its acquisition of ING Asia's private banking business in Singapore. While the stock is not cheap, we believe that OCBC will likely deliver the strongest ROE amongst the 3 local banks which should justify a slightly higher price-to-book multiple, and we picked up 250 shares at $9.25 today with a view to add more should the market continue to correct.

We also added 2000 shares of Tat Hong which delivered rather poor quarterly earnings for the most recent quarter. While the company currently faces some headwinds in China as well as Australia, we believe such issues are temporary and with the backing of $0.82 of tangible book value a share, we added 2000 more shares at $0.80.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Reduced Wells Fargo

From our 350 shares of Wells Fargo, we reduced our stake to 250 shares today (31 January 2011). The stock has run up a fair bit, and while we expect more upside for the stock, we believe it to be prudent to pare down one of the larger holdings in our portfolio at this juncture.