Thursday, 29 October 2020

Rolf’s Thoughts in Keppel 3Q / 9M 2020 Business updates?

Keppel adopted semi-annual reporting of results, meaning they are no longer obligated to report quarterly figures. Instead, they released voluntary business update today. 

So what is new? 

  • Return to profitability in 3Q 2020 vs 2Q S$697m  net loss. 
  • Still, 3Q20 profits is significantly lower than 3Q19. Note: 3Q19 attributable profit is S$159m
  • Still loss making for 9M20. Mainly due to impairments of S$919m in O&M. 
  • Group’s revenue 9M20 was S$4,818m compared to 9M19’s S$5,382m
  • Net gearing 0.96x qoq improvement from 1.00x. 

2030 Vision: 

  • Last quarter, divest S$140 million in assets from landbank and non-core assets. 
  • Secured an offshore renewables contract worth about S$600 million. 
  • Focus on Energy & Environment, Urban Development, Connectivity and Asset Management.

Energy & Environment

Keppel O&M

Source: Keppel's website 3Q announcement 

  • Revenue S$1.1b for 9M 2020 vs S$1.4b for 9M 2019
  • S$900m new contracts YTD, of which 72% from Offshore wind and LNG projects. 
  • This includes 3Q20, S$600 million contract from EPC of a vessel in renewable energy sector. 
  • Continues to face headwinds amidst depressed oil prices.
  • As at end-September 2020, Keppel O&M’s net orderbook stood at S$4.1 billion, up from S$3.5 billion as at end-June 2020. 

Rolf’s Thoughts: O&M business is not as bad as it looks since KOM still continues to win project. But the success really stems in the capability to make the renewable projects profitable, as these are pretty new to Keppel. 4B backlog is quite decent figures, but backlog is useless if it is loss-making projects! 

Renewable energy sector continues to thrive in the midst of ailing O&G markets, especially in Europe, Taiwan, and also Vietnam, Korea and Japan. Also, I personally know that more FPSO projects are in the planning pipelines for 2021 and 2022. However, all these projects will takes time to materialize. 

Keppel Infrastructure 

  • Revenue S$1.7b / EBITDA of S$119m (9M20) vs S$2.0b / EBITDA S$115m (9M19) 
  • YTD, S$2.1B waste-to-energy and district cooling contracts in SG, India and Thailand. 
  • Incl. the latest S$300m JTC contract  for a new district cooling system plant for 30 yrs.
  • Ops & maintenance of the Keppel Marina East Desalination Plant in SG continues to progress smoothly since commencement end of June 2020
  • Tuas Nexus Integrated Waste Management Facility is undergoing its design and engineering phase.

Rolf’s Thoughts: Waste and Water management are two important initiatives from SG government. If Keppel can manage the project cost properly, there is great potential of growth. However note that while there is upside, poor management of complex projects can also cause huge losses! Just look at Hyflux! 

In another news, Australia is planning to  build the world largest solar farm to power 20% of Singapore’s population. Not sure how this will help Keppel’s renewables and infrastructure business? 


World's Largest Solar Farm to Be Built in Australia - But They Won't Get The Power
Australia to power Singapore with world’s biggest solar farm

Urban Development

Keppel Land

Source: Keppel's website 3Q announcement 

  • Sold about 2,030 homes 9M20, a decrease from 3,520 homes sold 9M19. 
  • SG home sales increased to 240 compared to 190 in 2019 due to Garden Residences 74% sales
  • China home sales decreased to 1,580 homes compared to 2,330 a year ago, due to lesser projects launched and poor economic conditions.  
  • Vietnam records lower home sales due to slower approval for new launches
  • Keppel Land & TVS Emerald jointly embarked on a residential project in South Chennai, India
  • Announced divestment of project in Taicang in Oct 2020
  • Sale of a residential plot in Tianjin Eco-Cityin Oct 2020, with about S$18m gain to Keppel

Rolf’s Thoughts: Guess property sales will continue to be tough in view of the uncertain economic conditions in coming years. 


Keppel Data Centres

  • Digitalisation and WFH trends drive demand for data centres. 
  • New data centre project JV with SPH at Genting Lane
  • Keppel Data Centres collaborates with City Gas and City-OG Gas Energy Services to explore the use of LNG and hydrogen to power floating data centre park in SG. 
  • Stable EBITDA of S$202 million for 9M20 vs S$211m for 9M19
  • Postpaid customer base grew 6.1% yoy and has become the 2nd largest in SG
  • 1st operator in SG to open up 5G access 
  • Extended new MVNO partnership with MyRepublic 
  • Inked partnership with DBS to leverage M1’s 5G network to enhance customer experience and unlock new opportunities for retail customers

Rolf’s Thoughts: Not an easy environment in competition with Singtel and Starhub. So can only share the pie, and hopefully continue to have stable profits. Growth is more far-fetched! Possible divestment? 

Asset Management

Keppel Capital

  • Asset management fees grew S$123m for 9M20, vs S$105m for 9M19. 
  • YTD, Keppel Capital-managed funds secured total commitments of US$2.0 billion from investors, including US$295 million for Alpha Asia Macro Trends Fund IV
  • Strategic cooperation with the National Pension Service of Korea to explore opportunities for private infrastructure in Asia
  • Launch of the Keppel Education Asset Fund to tap the fast-growing private education sector.

Keppel REIT 

  • is acquiring Pinnacle Office Park in Sydney 



In my view, Keppel’s business will continue to be depressed in 2020 going into 2021 due the sectors she is in, aside from Data business that is looking good. If you decided to look further than 2021, then there is definitely light in the tunnel. 

Of course, the movements of share price may not immediately mimic business figures, as share price are forward looking. Therefore, I reckon that the current share price definitely has more upside than downside going into 2021.

At the very least, I think Keppel is a much better buy than SIA, as Keppel does not need to resort in borrowing billions and lay off so many employees, with an uncertain aviation outlook. 

That said, the question really lies in if there are other better stocks to buy than Keppel?  


Wednesday, 28 October 2020

Rolf’s Updates of Recent Stocks Buy and Sell (Oct 2020) – Reasons

Took leave today and have some time to wrote this update for September and October. 

Sinopec 386  – 3.06 
Added more of Sinopec. Read: Which Listed Oil Companies Should You Buy?

NetEase 9999 – 134.5
Already owned NetEase earlier because of my belief in the future of gaming business, due to the new generation’s transformation. Added more shares, when price tumble below the 140 mark. Of lesser important is that I like the stock code, 9999! 

Has not buy any US Tech stocks due to the uncertainty of Trump-Biden outcome. Will wait until after election. 
Fraser Centrepoint J69U – 2.32
Applied for the rights at 2.34 and added more when it falls below the “rights” price. 

SPH Reit SK6U – 0.79
Bought into SPH Reit again after price goes below 0.8 which I think is cheap. I took profits at 0.87 on average, previously. I am looking at recovery due to GRI 80% Singapore and 20% Australia, since Covid is relatively well controlled in these two countries. Committed occupancy is 98%. 

Starhill Global Reit P40U – 0.435
In my view, SGReit is too cheap to ignore with a P/BV of 0.53. Committed occupancy is 96% and geographical footprint of GRI 64% Singapore, 24% Australia, 10% Malaysia, 1.6% Japan is, suited for Covid recovery, as these countries have better Covid management than the rest of the world. The only slight concern for me is the 39.7% gearing, but this is well compensated by good property assets, of which mostly are freehold and have a decent lease lifespan.  

Gold O87 – 179
Added more Gold to hedge against stocks, and possibly depreciating USD due to stimulus? 


Alphabet GOOGL – 1600
Took profits off Google. I am less bullish on the Ads business compared to Cloud business of Amazon and Microsoft! 

Pinduoduo PDD  拼多多 – 91
Took profits for portfolio reallocation. Will re-buy if price drop, as I am confident about PDD future especially in the agricultural space rather than E-commerce space competing with Alibaba and Also bear in mind that share price slump to 70c in early October, and I am waiting for such opportunity again. In anycase, PDD is yet to be profitable, meaning still have ample of opportunity to buy.   


Saturday, 24 October 2020

What you should do if not investing in stocks? 2015 Versus 2020

Exactly 5 years ago on 24 Oct 2015, I written the below post. 

What you should do if not investing in stocks?

Let's see what has changed 5 years later. 

2015 – a year to be forgotten
The horrendous sell-off in equity was a result of China’s devaluation of the yuan due to economy slowdown. The STI benchmark was not spared. From above 3500 points in April, it dived below 2800 points in the month of September. My stock portfolio shed considerable weight as well.

2020 - Definitely a year we will remember for a long time to come, but for the wrong reasons! 
Covid-19 pandemic wreck havoc, and the fastest plunge and rise of the stock market took place this year. 
On the contrary to 2015, I created my stock portfolio this year after waiting for many years! 

2015 - Fewer activities in stock! 

2020 - Action pack activities in the stock market! 
From 2016 to 2019, I was very quiet in stocks and blogging because in that four years, I read the entire bible countless times "head to tail", written summary on almost every book, memorised countless verses, and read many other related books and videos. I also wrote countless articles and circulate within my inner circle. He made me a better person. In the process, I also become an instrument to help many people around me. 

2020 - No travelling due to Covid-19! 

2015 - Started meditating - find inner peace!

2020 - Replaced meditating with prayers and bible reading - find inner peace!

2015 - Burst training - anti-ageing! Dr Pompa!
Remember, “Fats isn’t bad in itself. It is the inability to burn fats, that is bad!”

2020 - HIIT training. Core and abs training! Anabolic Aliens and Pamela Reif!
Guess my body is more sculpted than 2015, though still far from expectations! 

2015 - More focus in work 
While my industry is getting quieter with lesser new projects, I continue to be relatively busy at work. Visiting clients, overseas colleagues visiting, traveling, internal training, conferences etc, still take up bulk of my time. I reckon this is the best time that I can deepen my relationships with clients and colleagues.

2020 - Work Uncertainty!  
Market is even worse than 2015 Oil crisis. Same as 2015, we will be experiencing retrenchment, but this time in a bigger scale. One thing stay unchanged for me is to continue to visit clients, business associates and stay connected with overseas colleagues to maintain / develop relationships! 

But one unusual sign is that both year 2015 and 2020 are my better year in terms of earnings! 

2015 - Stay engage to the financial world 
2015 is a dismal year, but we should never be disappointed and completely detach ourselves from the stock market going forward. Instead, I continue to read financial news each day. In the morning, I read Business Times and Today. At night, I watch Bloomberg TV and find time to read financial blogs/articles. During travel, I also read books.

2020 - Stay engage to the financial world 
No change. I still read my Business Times and Straits Times every morning. Every night I read Yahoo Finance news.

2015 - Other financial products
For me, this is also a good time to set sights or learn other financial products. For instance, I bought Singapore Savings Bonds which I think it is a great financial instrument. It gives almost risk free return of > 2.5% over 10 years. Precious metals are also catching my attention. 

2020 - Experiences in other financial products
In 2016, after my earlier research, I invested heavily in Gold and Silver and it became my biggest investment portfolio until this year, being replaced by shares. In early 2019, I invested in Bitcoin followed by Ethereum!  

2015 - Create a stock watchlist and plan before market plunge

2020 - Market already plunged! 
I created my new investment portfolio. Read: How to INVEST NOW and CREATE a Portfolio?

2015 - One thing lead to another – New tap of income!
I became a freelance writer to generate an additional “tap” of income!  

2020 - Blogging Income
I received meagre income from my blogging. Still, I am thankful to Google Adsense! I am still writing after 5 years! 

2015 - Rolf’s H2F3
Ultimately, I am still very focus to have a balance H2F3. Read my earlier article here (2015) on what exactly is Rolf’s H2F3! Family time with my kids is extremely important.

2020 - Rolf’s H2F3
5 years later, I am still very focus to have a balance H2F3. Read: Rolf's Updates - My Priorities in Life - Health, Finance, Family, Friends & Hobbies – 2020 3Q

So there you are! 5 years just flew by like that! 

In the last 5 years, the fundamental things haven't change too much for me! 
However, I reckon I am better person now and definitely more matured in handling matters in life. I am also more experienced in my financial and investment skills. 

Last but not least, the most wonderful thing that has happened is the new addition of my "son" to the family compared to five years ago. Praise God that our family and close friends are all still intact! 

How about you? How is your 2015 compares to your 2020? 

Thursday, 22 October 2020

Do We Groom Winners, Or Do We Only Cheer Winners?

Following my earlier post on "Which Listed Oil Companies Should You Buy?", I received a very nice and kind email from a reader sharing the same sentiments. 

The reader highlighted about Clean Energy disrupting the Oil and Gas industries, just like Grab over ComfortDelgro, Netflix over Starhub and Singtel, Internet news over SPH, E-commerce over SG REITs maybe? 

Will Oil giants eventually be sharing the same fate as ComfortDelgro, Starhub, Singtel, SPH etc? 

My thoughts as follows. 

I guess the problem is not so much in the disruption, but the lack of innovation, lack of foresight, and lack of long term investment in those companies that lag behind, despite the "sheer size and muscles" they have! 

I also think that for Keppel and Sembcorp Marine, it will be very difficult for them to have great and major success in Renewables, because while Oil companies invested heavily already long time ago in renewables, Keppel and SCM only started to do it, when Oil market is bad. 

It is too late. 

Furthermore, I genuinely have doubts that Keppel and SCM’s management are equal or near to the calibre of top management in Oil giants, as far as  Long term Vision, Strategy, and Execution. I hope I am for once, wrong! 

It somehow resonates that most, if not all, Singapore listco, tend to invest only “where the wind blows”. We somehow proved to be just not good enough or lack of faith, hunger and conviction to anticipate the wind direction before it blows! 

It is unquestionable that Singapore is good in planning, organising, and implementing rules! But when it comes to innovation, and invest into something with unforeseeable future or something that can be potential risky, we simply are are plain mediocre or even sub-par!  

It is good to be risk adverse, but to take no risks in business? Hmmm....... *thinking*! 

Joseph Schooling’s parents sacrificed so much, and invested in their son, with commitment, money, and time, over a long period of time putting faith in him. Schooling repaid the parents with his hardwork, determination and historic Olympic Gold. 

Currently, I myself is also doing the same, being a hopeful parent that one day, my child can be a sportsperson! 

Who did the grooming more? The country or the parents?  

For perspective sake, when Joseph Schooling reach the Olympics finals, we hear cheers, good news everywhere, and even the booking of business class flights to Brazil!  

Where are all the cheers before he become a champion? 

Do we groom winners, or do we only cheer winners? 

Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Which Listed Oil Companies Should You Buy?

Oil companies all over the world has their stock prices at all-time low. 

At the time of writing this article, Exxon (XOM)’s share price of USD 34 equals March low this year, while Shell (RDS)’s share price of USD 24 is a mere 10 percent above the pandemic low. 

These prices were lowest in two-decades. 

Chevron (CVX) is the better performer. Still, the price of USD 71 is at decade-low, if we disregard March’s trough. 

China Oil giants are not spared from the price onslaught. Share prices of PetroChina (857) HKD 2.2 and Sinopec (386) HKD 3.0 both dived below March low, hitting record low in the last 15 years. 

CNOOC (883) HKD 7.3 is not too far above March’s trough and is at decade low. 

Question: Are the share prices cheap now? Should you buy now? 

Please read the disclaimer link here, before this article have any influence on any decisions you make. 


Most people will start to perform fundamental analysis going through all the metrics of the oil companies to derive predictive forward PE, PB, PCF, Cash, etc. 

In my humble opinion, I think it is not going to be very meaningful to go too much in depth into the predictive numerical analysis as nobody can predict the future oil price. 

Furthermore, Covid-19 crisis is almost an unprecedented one-off event in our history, and has negatively impacted the profits of almost all Oil related companies this year, irregardless of how good their past performances were. 

Lastly, nobody has a clue of what is going to happen, whether Covid’s future or OPEC’s decision? 

There are just too many unknowns! 

Will we find a vaccine, so that the world economy will be back to pre-covid situation in no time? Or will the world economy continue to shrink in a prolonged depressed manner? Or will renewable energy be developed fast enough so that we can be significantly less reliant on the consumption of Oil and Gas? Will OPEC come to an agreement or will they continue to increase the supply? 

Without any ability to sniff out the future, it is going to be futile to predict the future earnings of these companies! 


But I am buying! Why? 

The Oil companies mentioned earlier are all Oil Giants with huge market capitalisations. All either have ample cash, or at least have easy access to credit facilities. 

Hence, I don’t think that they will go bust because of this crisis. Or at least the chances are very minimal. 

As mentioned earlier, the prices are all at all time low and merely above March low. Personally, I do not believe a second wave will be as serious as the first. 

Therefore the chances of a “huge percentage” price dip is probably lower than the chance of recovery in my opinion. 

Read: Why Even a Covid-19 Second-Wave Will Not Crash the Stock Market by Much?

Oil and Gas is cyclical, and I do not believe these Oil Majors will just collapse and disappear in time to come! There will be times of difficulty and time of prosperity. 

Read: Is The Oil & Gas Industry Really Hopeless?

Hence, I am bullish rather than bearish in the long term. 

That being said, I am not saying that oil price or share prices of these companies have hit their absolute low and will not go lower! We simply don’t know. 


For perspective reason, below are their Trailing Twelve Months (TTM) figures as of 2Q2020. 

          TTM PE ratio (dividend)

  • XOM - 20 (10.4%)
  • RDS - negative (5.3%)
  • CVX - negative (7.1%)

  • Sinopec - 5.6 (11.4%)
  • PetroChina - 7.8 (6.5%)
  • CNOOC - 4.74 (8.8%) 

Looking at the TTM figures, Chinese Oil companies seems to have an edge over the Western ones! 

Also, I think that China will recover faster in this pandemic compared to the rest of the world. The internal consumption will help to propel recovery for China. 


I had chosen Sinopec not because it has the best metrics. In that aspect, CNOOC fares the best maybe! CNOOC has a comparatively better ROE, ROA and profit margins and better cash over debt position! 

Nonetheless, I am more skeptical about the business of Exploration and Production (E&P), where both PetroChina and CNOOC are more dominant in. 

It is generally assumed that E&P activities are more risky and volatile compared to refinery. E&P companies will require lots of debt and are in higher overall liability position in order to finance their capital-intensive operations. And in my opinion, the non-current assets are also subject to greater risks of sharp depreciation, should any Exploration efforts fail or met with a mishaps. 

On the contrary, Sinopec specialised more in refining, and is the largest refiner in China accounted for about 40% of China’s total refinery throughput. I felt that this could also favor the local consumption model of China more than the other two! 

In terms of TTM PE ratio and dividend, Sinopec also stands out! 

Lastly, Sinopec also has two Petrol Kiosks in Singapore already! 


Imagine one day, Sinopec have more and more Petrol Kiosks all over Asia countries competing with Shell and Esso? 

Sunday, 18 October 2020

How to INVEST NOW and CREATE a Portfolio?

Earlier, I had mentioned that NOW is the right time to invest. 

Is "NOW" The Right Time To Invest?

In this post, I will reveal “HOW” to invest now? 


To reiterate on what was already mentioned in previous post, you should first set aside your emergency funds and invest the amount of monies that you are not going to use. Then decide on how much you want to invest. 

The absolute value affects your investment allocation. For example, you only want to invest 10K, then it does not make sense to have a diverse investment portfolio. In this case, you can just choose a few stocks to invest. 


On the other hand, if you have 100K or more to invest, then you should create an Investment Portfolio that comprises of different asset classes. For instance, Cash, Bonds, Precious metals (Gold and Silver), Shares etc. To simplify, you can take below as reference. 

 My advice is to have 50% shares investment for a start. Then 25% cash-bonds, and 25% precious metals (gold and silver) and crypto (maybe!). 

Also read: If I have excess 100K now, how should I invest over the next one year?

Cash / Bonds

It is always advisable to keep some cash as opportunity funds to take advantage of “stock price crash” to buy cheap during an economic crisis. If you do not like the fact that Cash generates almost no return. Then you can buy bonds. Do note that bonds issuer can default, and corporate bond price can also decline before maturity.    

Precious metals

The precious metals act as a hedge and “normally” has inverse relationships to economic crisis.  Hence, if crisis causes share prices to tumble, you can sell the higher priced precious metals to take advantage of the cheaper shares. Or at least you will not see excessive “bloodshed” in your overall portfolio during crisis. 

No hard and fast rules in allocation

There are no hard and fast rules that you definitely must adhere to the above percentage distribution. Or whether you definitely should invest in Technology or REITs. Invest and allocate where you feel most comfortable, after reading the reports, and doing your evaluation! You know yourself best, don’t be over restricted by rules! 

  • Tech Bullish: More growth, also more decline? less dividends and more risk? 
  • REITs Bullish: Hungry for dividends! More stable but not immune to decline. Covid-19 has “bloodshed” many Reits. 
  • Others: Can be Energy or Defensive stocks like Staple, Healthcare, Telco etc. 

“Defensive” stocks use to be more immune during crisis, however times have change. Covid-19! 


If every month, you have excess cash, you should invest in a progressive manner and regularly. This can average/eliminates any excessive asset price fluctuations. 

It is better to invest for long term. 10, 20, 30 years or more? Ok, too long for you… at least 5 years or until the peak before the next crisis. 

Learning when to sell is so important, although that is a separate topic altogether! 


Peter Lynch said: 

"In the stock market, the most important organ is the stomach. It's not the brain. On the way to work, the amount of bad news you could hear is almost infinite now. So the question is: Can you take that? Do you really have faith that 10 years, 20 years, 30 years from now common stocks are the place to be. If you believe in that, you should have some money in equity funds.

It's a question of what's your tolerance for pain. There will still be declines. It might be tomorrow. It might be a year from now. Who knows when it's going to happen? The question is: Are you ready—do you have the stomach for this? 

Most people do really well because they just hang in there."


Rolf's Updates - My Priorities in Life - Health, Finance, Family, Friends & Hobbies – 2020 3Q

Rolf's Portfolio - 4 Sep 2020

Rolf’s Stock Portfolio – Why more than 50 percent is in Tech Stocks?

Rolf’s Portfolio, Stocks Mix and Investment Strategy


Below are posts written more than four years ago in 2016. 


Rolf’s investment philosophy (Part 1) - Building a character!

Rolf’s investment philosophy (Part 2) – Understand the business!

Rolf’s investment philosophy (Part 3) - Building a Portfolio!

Saturday, 17 October 2020

How to Transit into a New Industry? My Wife’s New Job in a New Industry after 2 Months!

It has been two months since my wife started her new job in a completely new industry. This is after almost two decades in the MICE or related industry. Her new role is in digital and real estate. For more on the background, you can refer to earlier articles below.  

My Wife's Company Ask Her to Take 50% Paycut – What is My Advice?

My Wife Found a Better Job in Less than 2 Months - With My Advices! (Part 1). Her ex-Company Asked Her to Take 50% Paycut!

My Wife Found a New Job – The Applications, Interviews, And The Decision! (Part 2)

So far, she is very happy and have little complains in her new job. Her direct/dotted-line bosses are all very “humane”, easy to talk to, reasonable in their demands, and work hard themselves to earn respect. Colleagues give similar feedback about the bosses, and this is good assurance. I consider her ex-boss as “mentally ill freak”, who has no capability but makes unreasonable demands. Therefore, in my view, this is the most significant improvement. 

Transition from a smaller to a larger MNC also means more exposures to trainings and more cross-country dealings. This often translate to tele-meetings before sunrise or after sunset. No matter what, it will never be as bad as her previous job where she may have to work up to 18-20 hours a day until 2-3am (no joke), during days of events.  

Despite the many odd hours call now, she is flexible to plan her own 8-hour work day, and can go offline early or start later, without anyone micro-managing her, as long as the job is done diligently. 

Products and industry are new, and hence a lot of reading is necessary outside office hours. This is something she has not done for years, so needs time to learn and adapt! The in-house training helps! It equipped her with product knowledge and familiarize her with company culture quickly, and also allows her to know more people within the organization quickly.

Colleagues, as like the previous job, are so far nice to her. And fortunately that up to now, there isn’t excessive workplace politics to bemoan about. Clients are from different industry, but not a concern. This is because her previous job requires a lot of interactions with clients in diverse industry from all nationalities globally. 

While all is good so far, she still has much to learn and still require time to settle down.  


Initially, my wife is worried to transit into a new industry. From my own experience, I told her not to worry. While my industrial background is Marine/Offshore Oil and Gas, there are many times, that I need to venture into other industries. The business and people management skills are not so much different. Most important of all, is to have the correct attitude! 

After starting her new job, my wife told me that the coordination aspect, whether internal (colleagues) or external (clients) is more or less the same. The planning and the scheduling, and the dealing with multiple parties and get things aligned before executing is also more or less the same. The only thing that has more challenge is the product knowledge, but it can be easily familiarised with more reading, more talking to relevant people and more work on job execution. 

Hence, despite the new industry, correlation from previous job is probably still say fifty per cent. 


People who have an open and positive mindset to receive and learn new things will definitely have a better edge than those who are negative, pessimistic, and always complain, worry, lament, speak ill of others etc.  

The “Attitude” must be; to learn, to take action, to fail, to gain experience, to improve the next time we take action again. And repeat this process until you become better and better. 

The right attitude definitely helps to transit into a new industry better and faster. 


What is the most unfamiliar in a new industry, is likely the market, product and customer knowledges! These knowledges are important to have, whether you are in frontline, operation or backend support employees. 

For instance, I have known HR, Finance or IT personnel who have totally no clue what the company is selling, what is the company turnover or how many employees the company have, and who their major clients are, even if this information can be readily found online or within the intranet. This is so wrong! 

Having good market, customer and product knowledge in the shortest possible time will help you to settle down faster and accelerate your career progress. Beside company training, reading up online outside office hours is a must! Yet, even this extra effort can only give you surface knowledge and not in-depth ones. 


Aside from self-reading and researching, the fastest way to learn new knowledge is by conversing with experienced people who have good knowledge in the same field. It can be your superior, subordinates, colleagues, customers, suppliers or business associates. 

To begin in a new industry and settle down fast, the effort to read extensively is very important! Then you need to ask relevant questions and listen, and learn from colleagues, clients or suppliers on the job. To know the market, the fastest way is to know your customers well, be close to them and serve them well.  

Good interpersonal and communication skills leading to the ability to establish good relationships and friendships across all stakeholders are key elements of success in a company! 


The country of origin of my wife’s previous company and her new company is the same. This helps in the transition! Both have international offices in the same countries she dealt with previously. Hence, there are a lot of similarity in terms of mindset, the pace of work and communication. 

No culture shock for her! 


Sometimes, transition from local SME to MNC or vice versa can be more difficult than the transition to a new industry. 

Most, (but not all) local SME employers are very cost conscious and wanted maximum output from an employee with minimum input to the benefits of the employee. And no matter if the market is good or bad, working hours is usually longer. That being said, you may have more chance to do cross-department duties and learn more. You are also more likely to have direct contact with the company head. Decision making is also generally faster and company can be more flexible towards their business partners. 

In most MNC, you will encounter matrix organization with direct and dotted line reporting. There can be constant organizational changes. Don’t be surprise that your subordinate can suddenly become your boss or vice versa! And to make a single decision, you have to discuss with many parties to be aligned and approval is slow. Apt in corporate politics and interpersonal relationship skills are part and parcel of promotion and survival. 

Europe Vs US 

Most of us know that there is a big difference between Asia to Europe/US companies’ cultures. But not many are aware of the big cultural differences between European and American firms. 

European firms are generally more traditional and conservative. They prefer to focus on their core-business and core-expertise, rather than randomly pursue businesses “where the money is”. Europeans also like to plan way ahead of time and hate last minute arrangements. They also prefer to hire those within the same industry and who have worked for companies in the same country of origin. Typically, you can easily find staffs being 20, 30, or even 40 years in the company. Europeans also tend to be more biased towards their own countrymen and for employees who has worked a long time with them. And yes, there is work-life balance! 

American culture is different. In general (I think), they are more dynamic and pace is faster, although they can be less organised at times and have more last-minute meetings. Workhours are longer and they are very results and figures driven! If you perform, you get rewarded accordingly. If you don’t, out you go. Hire and fire is commonplace. Age is no barrier for promotion or assuming big roles. Loyalty without performance offers no safety net! American firms also have lesser qualms hiring people outside the industry to stimulate creativity. 


My wife is definitely lucky to find a new job so fast during this unprecedented time. It is “double blessings” that she has transited well in her new job for the last two months.

To me, I also feel that the finally change of luck now is perhaps also due to her ability to endure, preserve and overcome “bad luck” in her previous jobs for close to two decades. Back then, while she encountered more unfair bosses, unfair demands, unfair workhours, and unfair remunerations, she has little complains, and always just do her jobs. 

It is me who always complain about her jobs and gave ultimatum for her to resign and find new opportunity. 

Afterall, life is not all unfair. 

Your so called “bad luck now” maybe is because you have been lucky for a long time already, and you probably fail to notice or just take it for granted. And your so called “good luck” now is perhaps you have already suffered and work hard without complaints for a long time, and the “wind of change” has finally come! 


Tuesday, 13 October 2020

Can “Raffles Medical” Reclaims Past Glory by Betting on China?

Raffles Medical Group (RMG) use to be the darling stock in SGX with an exceptional strong balance sheet, growing earnings yoy, plus attractive dividends. 


(Note: all price in SGD unless otherwise mentioned)

From end 2008, the share price has rose from a low of 0.6, to a peak of ~5.0 in the 2015-2016 period. In early 2016, the company announced a 3-1 share split. From 2016 onwards, RMG’s share price has been declining from 1.55 to 1.0 by the end of 2019, and a further 20 percent tumble this year. All in all, the share price has almost halved since 4 to 5 years ago. And, if you would have bought the stock eight years ago, you be seeing zero growth in share price, aside from the dividends collected. 


RMG has been able to grow its revenue yoy despite the share decline. Revenue rose 27 percent from 410 million in 2015 steadily to 522 million in 2019. Profit After Tax (PAT) is also pretty consistent from 2015 to 2018 averaging 69-70 million. 

What has caused the decline in share price? 

The company 2019 profit suffered a decline to 60 million (17 percent fall from previous year), and 1H2020 results compounded more pain due to the Covid pandemic, giving rise to a sharp decline of 41.6% earnings from 27.9 million in 1H2019 to 16.3 million this year.

Still, the fall in earnings does not justify the colossal decline of the share price. 

So, what is the reason? 

In my opinion, it is the over-aggressive expansion, weakening the balance sheet and the gestation period of several years ahead for the expansion investments to turn into earnings. 


Since 2014, RMG had undergone very aggressive expansion. In fact, over-aggressive in my opinion within a short space of time! 2014 saw S$310m spent on the extension of hospital in Singapore adding 220k sqft. The bigger facility is opened in early 2018. 

Next, the construction of a 5-storey commercial building in Holland Village having 65k sqft of gross floor area with medical, banking (DBS), retail, food and beverage services. This is another S$65m spent, officially opened end 2016. 

In 2015, it announced expansion into Shanghai with new 400 beds hospital at Pudong area. It is due to be opened by end of this year barring any unforeseen circumstances ahead. 

Then in 2017, the announcement on the development of its second international tertiary hospital in China, Chongqing costing approximately 800million yuan. The Chongqing facility opened in Jan 2019 as a 150 bedders, scalable to 700 bedders. 

RMG’s Management maintained EBITDA loss guidance for both China hospitals of S$8-10m in the first year and S$4-5m in the second year before breaking even in the third year of operation. But with Covid, breakeven will likely be longer than the anticipated 3 years. 

Due to the expansion, RMG is in net debt position with a net gearing of 1.8%. 

However, the good news is, Shanghai facility is almost completed meaning it is unlikely to require huge fresh cash injection for its construction. 

Currently, RMG is holding 152.6 million of cash with a debt of 168 million. 


Taking RMG’s Market cap as 1.47 billion, then 2019 earnings will provide a P/E ratio of 25. 

Let’s take a look at 2020.

First half year drastic fall in earnings to 16.3 million is very much due to the impact of Covid, especially China/HK region. RMG highlighted that if we excludes the results of China Healthcare Division (Raffles Hospital Chongqing, Raffles China Clinics and Raffles Medical Hongkong) which had been severely impacted by Covid in 1H2020, the Group’s PAT would have been 31.2 million as compared to 32.3 million in 1H 2019, a diminution of 3.7% (1.1 million).

The second half result is expected to improve. 

Assume 2020 earnings of 44 million as predicted by one of the analyst reports, then this will translate to forward P/E ratio of 33.4. 

It ain’t exactly cheap!


It is not all bad. The Covid situation in China is expected to improve compare to 2020, barring any unforeseen circumstances. Hence 2021 earnings are expected to improve. 

Furthermore, the group is on track for the opening of Raffles Hospital Shanghai this year with equipment ready and staffs recruited. 

In a recent interview, Dr Loo, the executive chairman and co-founder of the group said: 

“Well, we had the honour of being designated as a hospital for foreigners. But there aren’t many foreigners in Chongqing - about 5,000 but people do come to us. We are beginning to have traction with the locals with who surely must be the main group of patients we’re looking for. 

And this year we got the Yibao. Yibao is a local insurance to supplement the costs. Since then, we have been getting more traction. 

People are coming to our hospital to deliver babies, get fractures treated. Already we are better, much better known now in Chongqing and surrounding areas than a year ago.

We are here to serve Chinese patients, and expatriates are just ‘by the way’. How many expatriates in China? Two million? How many top 20 per cent people in China? About 280 million. That’s 40 times more than Singaporeans,” 

Loo also said that he believed the Chongqing and Shanghai ventures could break even in three years, and in 10 years the revenue from China could be the same, or even bigger, than the company’s earnings in Singapore.

But Loo is also being prudent. “It is a serious undertaking. I’ve seen lots of hospitals starting well and then going no where. Even if you give people free stays, they don’t necessarily want to come,” he said.


The group is betting heavily on the success of its China Hospitals. If Dr Loo is correct, then RMG earnings will grow two folds in ten years bring a double bagger share price in two years. 

Notwithstanding the growth in China, there are also risks. 

Firstly, in the next 3-4 years, earnings will still very much depends on the main Singapore business. And borders really need to open to supplement the local patients with foreign ones, since more than 30% of RMG’s Hospital revenue is derived from foreigners. 

Singapore has always planned ahead for aging and growing population, leading to over-supply of hospitals here, in the past decade. According to MOH website, there are 19 acute hospitals, 9 community hospitals, 20 public polyclinics and 2,304 private clinics in 2019. With a population size of less than 6 million, the local healthcare competition is intense and tough. 

Lastly, China is not an easy country for foreigners to set up business there, especially more in the healthcare industry. This complexity, together with competition from local Chinese Hospitals may prolonged the gestation period of RMG’s breakeven there? 

Nonetheless, Dr Loo also said that he has waited 34 years to reach where he is today: 

“I have studied China’s system for 34 years. I walked through 100 hospitals in China and made friends with hospital presidents, physicians, consultancies all over the country … we are not typical foreigners.”


Unfortunately, I bought into the shares during RMG’s heydays and have a few rounds of averaging in the past few years. Today, I am reeling from the pain of the share decline. Without saying, I am hoping for the success in China to pull the share price of RMG up. 

Read my previous articles: 

Why is Raffles Medical Great? – Facts & Figures

Why is Raffles Medical Great? – A tale of personal experience!

Meanwhile, do you believe in RMG’s narrated success story in China? 

Will you consider to add the shares of RMG into your investment portfolio? 

Please read disclaimer as follows and please click disclaimer tab "here".  

This blog and its contents contain the opinions and views of the author. It is intended to be used and must be used for informational purposes only. The author cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information contained herein the blog and its contents. You should independently research and verify, any information that you find on this website. The contents of this website is not a recommendation to buy or sell the stocks of any of the companies or investments herein discussed. It is very important to do your own research and analysis before making any investment based on your own personal circumstances. Consult a professional if needed. 

Sunday, 11 October 2020

Rolf's Updates - My Priorities in Life - Health, Finance, Family, Friends & Hobbies – 2020 3Q

Click here for what does H2F3 (Health, Hobbies, Family, Finance and Friends) means. 

Refer here for my last H2F3 update in 2020Q2.

The Covid situation has become quite boring and dreadful over time. It is almost half a year of working from home now. In October, we are back in office in two shifts and I think it is great meeting up with colleagues again. While I have many video calls with colleagues and clients overseas in my work, the “feeling” is nowhere compared to the physical setting foot to other countries, the face-to-face meetings, and the after-work meals together.  That said, kids have no problem adapting to the new normal, unlike adults. My kids are always happy, despite the hassle of wearing masks in schools. 


Thank God. All my family members are healthy and safe during this time. My health has not been tip top with a few occasional sickness, but it is still decent with no major illness. 

My workout rate dropped compared to last quarter. I exercise on alternate days for my “older” body to recover rather than six day weekly workout in the last quarter. While abs and core muscles become stronger due to workout, fats began to accumulate due to the lack of discipline in food, eating away chips and supper while watching Netflix. Will need to do better. My weight is maintained at 78 Kg.

Spiritually, “doors” continue to open for friends to come my house to share His greatness together. An ex-colleague got converted in the process. 


We definitely had more family outings after circuit breaker! The kids are always filled with laughter during family outings. My wife and me also went for more date nights in cosy restaurants. 

Vue restaurant at OUE Bayfront. Fantastic view. 

Prive restaurant at Keppel Bay. Good food and good view. 

A lot of time is also spent on my kids on table tennis be it, professional or self-coaching. I believe that Table Tennis is a game that truly engage our brain, bringing out creativity and focus, speed and reflexes! It also has comparatively lesser injury and it is a game for life even during old age. I met so many friends in this sports! Occasionally, my kids and friends’ kids will also have friendly spar, while the adults have their chit chat. 


My company’s short term future is secured with fresh funds injection. But retrenchment is imminent with ongoing restructuring. The culprit is neither Covid-19, nor the downturn in businesses in the past years. Instead, it is due to poor project management of several big projects incurring losses in the magnitude of hundreds of millions. 

Fortunately for me (or unfortunate maybe), my job is guaranteed, and most likely my fellow Singaporeans’ colleagues as well. In fact, I received a commendation letter from our CEO with small incentive attach to it. I was flattered, in times of crisis like this. 

But a new boss and changes in job role is unavoidable.  It will be my tenth direct report in the last five years, excluding the dotted line report! The work environment is unhealthy, rife with office politics and uncertainty. Anyway, I just have to continue to survive…. Survival is something I did well during the last oil crisis, when the my entire office’s colleagues got laid off except me, the lone survivor back then.  

My wife started her new job for two months now. With my advices, she resigned from her last job just before sixty percent mandatory pay cut took effect. The new employment turn out to be extremely well, with higher salary, more exciting job scope, better boss, better colleagues and lesser workhours.  


My Wife's Company Ask Her to Take 50% Paycut – What is My Advice?

My Wife Found a Better Job in Less than 2 Months - With My Advices! (Part 1). Her ex-Company Asked Her to Take 50% Paycut!

In the past few months, I continued to increase the purchase of shares in my overall portfolio regularly. 

Currently, my overall portfolio as follows. 

  • Shares – 54%
  • Cash + Bond – 22%
  • Precious metals – 24%

My shares portfolio as follows. 

Expenses - Read: Rolf’s Household Expenses to Household Income


Unlike in the last quarter, I hosted many house family dinners with friends over the weekends. I also went over to my friend’s place, or just simply meet many friends over coffee or meals. It is really nostalgic to catch up with my secondary, university friends as well as ex-colleagues.  During working days, I also arranged many lunch or coffee meetings with business associates to make working from home less boring. While work is not as happy (as explained earlier), meeting with people makes me happy! 


Working out keeps me feeling young and refreshed. I love it! It can be weights training, HIIT or swimming. I have not been playing table tennis with friends as much as I wanted. Nevertheless, I still have my family table tennis session weekly. 

I had been watching too many Korean Netflix series. Mostly Thrillers or comedies. It helps me to relax and keep me intrigued, without me thinking too much about any unhappy things. Some to name lately, Whisper, Defendant, Stranger, Money Flower, Mr. Sunshine, Good Manager, Dr Prisoner, Remember etc. My all-time favourite Korean TV series are “Signal”, “Voice”, “Tunnel”, “You are all surrounded”, “Vagabond”. 

Writing/Blogging is also something I love doing and it improves my mental state of mind. Writing crystallize my thoughts and help me to think through problems better. It also improves my communication in work or when I talk to friends. In fact, there are so many benefits of writing. One relevant and distinct benefit, as research show, is that it helps in dealing with anxiety and depression better, especially during this Covid pandemic. 


Health – Decent, not fantastic. No increase in weight but fats accumulating through supper. Need to cut it down.   

Family – Great and very close relationship! 

Financial – Investment Portfolio is doing well. Careers are at least guaranteed in the short run. Wife’s new career looks promising. Mine requires more breakthrough in a very difficult environment! 

Friends – Very good. Hosted many good and old friends’ families at my home during weekend. Regular meetup with my personal friends outside on weekdays. 

Hobbies – Regular workout and writing. Netflix series also help me to relax!   

Friday, 9 October 2020

Invest in Companies That Are Sustainable!

Fossil fuels takes millions of years to form, and human race has been using them for just over two hundred years. Experts have estimate that if we keep burning fossil fuels at current rate, depletion may take place by 2060. 

The oil and gas is still one of the largest industry today in terms of revenue generated. Oil is the most in demand and hence fastest depleting, and it is NOT sustainable to keep consuming oil. 

We need clean and renewable energy to be sustainable.  Some of the sources of renewable energy are Wind, Solar, Hydro, Biomass, Geothermal, Ocean waves and currents. 

According to statista website (click here), China has the highest investment in clean energy globally, spending USD83.4 billion into clean energy R&D. The US is second investing USD 55.5 billion followed by Japan at USD 16.5 billion. These three countries account for approximately 71 per cent of the total clean energy investments. 

source: statista 

According to a global research, Ørsted  is voted the most sustainable company in the world in 2019. The Danish giant is owned majority by the Danish government. It is formerly known as Danish Oil and Gas Natural Gas (DONG), and has shifted in the past decade from using fossil fuels to renewables and now urges all countries and companies to reduce carbon emissions.

The company has reduced carbon emissions caused by energy generation and operations by 83% since 2006 and aims to be completely carbon neutral by 2025. Its wind farms supply power to more than 13 million people and the company says it plans to provide energy to 50 million people by 2030.

Ørsted is listed in Denmark. Another Danish company is Vestas Wind Systems (VWS), manufacturer and seller of wind turbines that was founded in 1945. 

Other renewable energy companies includes: 


Xinyi Solar Holdings Ltd (SEHK: 968) - manufacturing and sale of solar glass.

GCL-Poly(SEHK: 3800) - world’s largest producer of solar wafers used to make solar panels. 

Goldwind (SEHK: 2208) – manufacturer of wind turbine. Likewise, Sinovel (SSE: 601558) 


Brookfield Renewable Partners (NYSE:BEP) - one of the world's largest listed renewable energy companies. It operates a global, multi-technology platform, which includes hydroelectric, wind, and solar energy generation facilities, as well as energy storage assets.

Atlantica Sustainable Infrastructure (NASDAQ:AY) - Atlantica is a sustainable infrastructure company that owns and manages renewable energy, efficient natural gas, transmission and transportation infrastructures and water assets

First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) - is one of the leaders in developing thin-film solar panels. These larger modules produce electricity at a lower cost per watt than traditional silicon-based panels. They also perform better in hot and humid conditions as well as shed snow and debris quicker. Those characteristics make them ideal for utility-scale applications.

NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE) – one of the largest utility companies that generates solar energy in the world. 

Then there are also General Electric, Siemens, Taiwan Semiconductor etc. 

Question: Will you invest in these companies? 

Tuesday, 6 October 2020

Why Did CRCT Share Price Increase By More Than 5 Percent In The Last One Week

CapitaLand Retail China Trust (CRCT) – Stock Code: AU8U


Shares of CRCT fell to ten year low of SGD1.10 last week, if we disregard Covid-19 March slump of SGD0.92. The price had plunged more than 50 percent since YTD peak in January 2020. This is in spite of China’s fast economic recovery from the pandemic. No doubt  shoppers’ traffic and tenant sales are not yet to pre-Covid levels, BUT they are expected to improve in 2H2020. 

Therefore, I had been accumulating CRCT shares in the last two months, as I feel that CRCT is greatly undervalue. Earlier in August, I had also cited several reasons why CRCT is attractive. 

Read: CapitaLand Retail China Trust (CRCT) – Why it is a Dividend and Growth Gem & Why It Is Greatly Undervalued Compared to the Rest of SGX REITs and Trusts?

Some of the reasons of my "buy" stem from good financial metric compared to other SGX REITs; positive growth outlook of China focusing on local consumption; and why the leasehold status of CRCT is of little concern. 

Over the last few days, CRCT shares have been steadily increasing and closed at SGD1.17 today. This is likely attributed to the recent announcement of “expanded strategy”. 

Quoted from CRCT’s announcement: 

“CRCT is a Singapore-based REIT established with the objective of investing on a long-term basis in a diversified portfolio of income-producing real estate and real estate-related assets in China, Hong Kong and Macau that are used primarily for retail, office and industrial purposes (including business parks, logistics facilities, data centres and integrated developments).”

With the expanded investment strategy, CRCT will be better positioned for growth as it will be the dedicated Singapore-listed REIT for CapitaLand Group’s non-lodging China business, with acquisition pipeline access to CapitaLand China’s assets.

CRCT will also be able to gain exposure to an expanded universe of third party assets of various asset classes that CRCT would independently source and identify. This will allow CRCT to seize new opportunities in the growing China real estate market and enhance the Manager’s ability to provide long-term and sustainable returns to Unitholders.” 

3 Key benefits as stated in the announcement summarised as follows: 

  • Expand Investment Opportunities: To explore other asset class beyond retail sector.
  • Sector, Revenue Stream, Asset and Tenant Diversification: To have a sector diversified portfolio to reduce risk of sector concentration
  • Enhance Ability to Deliver Stable and Sustainable Distributions to Unitholders: Different asset classes have varying cycles of rental growth, occupancy rates, and other market specific risks. A diverse portfolio will provide CRCT with a more balanced and stable rental revenue for sustainable distributions. 

CRCT has a 5.6 percent dividend yield at current price based on 2020 DPU. 

Will the stock continue to rise or fall? 

PS: I own stocks of CRCT at the time of writing. 

Please read disclaimer as follows and please click disclaimer tab "here".  

This blog and its contents contain the opinions and views of the author. It is intended to be used and must be used for informational purposes only. The author cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information contained herein the blog and its contents. You should independently research and verify, any information that you find on this website. The contents of this website is not a recommendation to buy or sell the stocks of any of the companies or investments herein discussed. It is very important to do your own research and analysis before making any investment based on your own personal circumstances. Consult a professional if needed.