Subtle Love

Love needs not be showy
Love touches each other in a subtle way
A gentle touch, a quick glance at your eyes
express a message of I care

We share an umbrella with you at my side
Staying a step behind on the up-escalator
Allow for proximity to share an intimate space
reduce the distance between us

As we grow older and familiar with each other
We change in our physical appearances
Our quirks and flaws on full display
accept each other as the real us

Occasional disagreements happened
Temper and frustration are natural
We watched these to subdue
let negative feelings pass

We cared even more when one was sick
Reminded each other about unhealthy food
Took more walks to count the steps
stay healthy for the sake of the other

Copyright © 2018, limkimtong for Living Investment

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“Sea of Strangers” by Lang Leav – A Book Review

Let me be honest. I picked up this book on prose and poetry by Lang Leav because she is an internationally established writer of poetry and a bestseller fiction titled Sad Girls.

I have always wanted to know how poetry is structured and written. How one’s poetry differs from another? Besides trying to come up with rhyming words, are there other rules of writing one?

When Lang Leav wrote Poetry and Prose, she wrote:
“Prose says to me, let’s build something long and lasting.
Poetry takes me by the hand, and whispers,
come with me, let’s get lost for awhile.”

Beautifully articulated and I read her book through her eyes and with her heart. You must experience this strong sense of your inner feeling before you can put words to it to express it in a way people can feel it too. This is not going to be easy, if you yourself did not encounter similar feelings.

I read Sea of Strangers in two days. I just read and turned each page wanting to read more. Sea of Strangers is devoted to the theme of Love. You will be love-struck at the end of the book.

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“A Murder is Announced” by Agatha Christie – A Book Review

This is a Miss Marple Mystery. A murder was announced to happen at 6.30 pm in the home of Letitia Blacklock. It was printed as an invitation by Blacklock in the Gazette of the village she lived in. Who would in their right minds play this kind of a joke? That was the start of the story.

The author Agatha Christie led me on a chase for clues and motives of the murder. The actual scene of the murder was only revealed towards the end of the book. Miss Marple and the police inspector explained all in the last chapter. There were moments of obvious clues (but I missed them) and brilliant idea at that. There were also moments of subtle clues that would have made a difference in solving the murder mystery. Being subtle, the author would only disclose it in the last chapter of the book to reveal the event that actually occurred on the night of the murder.

I was really off the mark in trying to solve who was the real murderer.

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Analysis of STI Component Stocks – 15 February 2018

The Straits Times Index (STI) went through a sharp correction recently. But the index was still up 1.2% since the start of this year. What stocks did well and what stocks dragged down the STI?

Stock 29/12/2017 15/02/2018 Change Remarks
DBS 24.85 28.28 13.8% CD
Venture Corp 20.47 22.91 11.9%  
Keppel Corp 7.35 7.94 8.0% CD
SIA 10.67 11.38 6.7%  
SembCorp Ind 3.03 3.22 6.3%  
Comfort Delgro 1.98 2.05 3.5% CD
OCBC 12.39 12.78 3.1% CD
UOB 26.45 27.04 2.2% CD
ST Engr 3.26 3.33 2.1%  
Jardine Matheson (USD) 60.75 61.98 2.0%  
City Dev 12.49 12.72 1.8%  
CapitaLand 3.53 3.57 1.1%  
SATS 5.20 5.20 0.0%  
SGX 7.44 7.37 -0.9%  
SPH 2.67 2.63 -1.5%  
Hongkong Land (USD) 7.04 6.91 -1.8%  
Wilmar Intl 3.09 3.03 -1.9%  
Golden Agri-Res 0.370 0.360 -2.7%  
JSH (USD) 39.58 38.33 -3.2%  
Genting Singapore 1.310 1.240 -5.3%  
YZJ Shipping 1.470 1.390 -5.4%  
Ascendas Reit 2.72 2.57 -5.5%  
UOL 8.87 8.34 -6.0%  
Sing Tel 3.57 3.33 -6.7%  
Jardine C&C 40.67 37.90 -6.8%  
Thai Bev 0.92 0.85 -7.6%  
CapitaMall Trust 2.13 1.95 -8.5%  
StarHub 2.85 2.57 -9.8%  
CapitaComm Trust 1.930 1.740 -9.8%  
HPH Trust (USD) 0.415 0.350 -15.7%  
         
STI ETF 3.45 3.46 0.3%  
STI 3,402.92 3,443.51 1.2%  

The big gainers were DBS (+13.8%), Venture Corp (11.9%), Keppel Corp (+8.0%), SIA (+6.7%) and SemCorp Ind (+6.3%).

The big losers were HPH Trust (-15.7%), CapitaComm Trust (-9.8%), StarHub (-9.8%), and CapitaMall Trust (-8.5%).

I noted that the Real Estate Investment Trusts (Reits) were hammered down due to potential increase in higher credit costs in the future. The Telcos (Singtel and StarHub) did badly too.

SPDR STI ETF remained relatively stable thanks to the outlier performance of DBS and Venture Corp despite gloomy performances of the bottom-performing stocks.

The STI was up a mere 1.2% after losing the 6.0% gain made on 24 January 2018.

Copyright © 2018, limkimtong for Living Investment

The material presented is intended to be general and written in layman’s language as much as it is possible. The author shall not be liable for any direct or consequential loss arising from any use of material written. Please seek professional advice from your financial advisor or financial institutions on material written covering financial matters.

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Comparison of DBS, OCBC and UOB – FY 2017

All three local banks had released their full year financial results for 2017.

Banks Q4 Profit ($m) Change (%) Year Profit ($m) Change (%)
DBS            1,194 31 4,371 3
OCBC            1,033 31 4,146 19
UOB              855 16 3,390 9

For Quarter 4, net profits of DBS and OCBC increased by impressive 31%. Net profit of UOB increased by 16%. It was the weakest among the three banks.

In terms of full year results, OCBC did best at 19% increase in net profits.

Banks NAV ($) Share Price ($) P/B Ratio
DBS 17.85 28.28 1.58
OCBC* 8.96 12.78 1.43
UOB 20.37 27.04 1.33

Note: * Net Asset Value for OCBC was before valuation surplus.
Share Price was taken at 15 February 2018 and was cum dividend.

Price to Book (P/B) ratio of DBS was 1.58 times. This was expensive relative to OCBC (1.43) and UOB (1.33).

Banks ROE (%) EPS ($) Share Price ($) PE Ratio
DBS 9.7 1.69 28.28 16.73
OCBC 11.2 0.976 12.78 13.09
UOB 10.2 1.99 27.04 13.59

DBS had a low Return on Equity (ROE) at 9.7%. OCBC was best at 11.2% followed by UOB’s 10.2%.

Again using historical earnings per share (EPS) to compute the Price Earnings Ratio (PE), DBS was expensive at 16.73 times. OCBC had PE of 13.09 and UOB’s was 13.59. They were comparable.

Banks Dividend ($) Share Price ($) Dividend Yield (%) Last Year Dividend ($)
DBS 1.43 28.28 5.1% 0.60
OCBC 0.37 12.78 2.9% 0.36
UOB 1.00 27.04 3.7% 0.70

Notes:
Special dividend of DBS = 50 cents
Special dividend of UOB = 20 cents

DBS proposed a special dividend for 2017 of 50 cents on account of celebration of 50th anniversary.

The table shows dividend yields that exclude special dividends.

Banks Dividend ($) Share Price ($) Dividend Yield (%) Last Year Dividend ($)
DBS 0.93 28.28 3.28% 0.60
OCBC 0.37 12.78 2.89% 0.36
UOB 0.80 27.04 2.95% 0.70

DBS still highest on dividend yield. All bank stocks are now expensive based on dividend yield ratios.

Copyright © 2018, limkimtong for Living Investment

The material presented is intended to be general and written in layman’s language as much as it is possible. The author shall not be liable for any direct or consequential loss arising from any use of material written. Please seek professional advice from your financial advisor or financial institutions on material written covering financial matters.

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This Chinese New Year was different

In the past, my generation of brothers and sister took an active role in family reunions on Chinese New Years. My eldest brother and sister-in-law made reservations for reunion dinner at a restaurant. I would drive my mother to the restaurant. The following morning on the first day of Chinese New Year, we then gathered at my mother’s home for lunch. My third brother would cook longevity noodles and my sister would take care of hard-boiled eggs to go with the noodles.

This had been the way we celebrated Chinese New Year for many years until this year. For this year, we had decided that my sibling’s generation would leave the planning and organising of reunion meals to our next generation.

This was a big change and we were happy that we had passed on the responsibilities to our children. It was even a happier occasion where ALL family members were present for this Chinese New Year get-together.

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Chinese New Year would be different this year

Chinese New Year this year would not be the same without the presence of my mother. Every year, Chinese New Year was a big event in our family. One to two months before the actual date, my mother would fuss over buying things to stock up for Chinese New Year… New Year goodies, dried mushrooms, longevity noodles (长寿面), Mandarin oranges.

Why the excitement over the arrival of Chinese New Year? Well, she sat on top of our family tree with 33 children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. It was a grand affair every year to dine at a restaurant on New Year’s Eve and then a brunch makan session at her home on the first day of Chinese New Year. Imagine all 33 of us gathering at her two-room rental flat at Ghim Moh Road! She would give out Ang Pow packets to so many of us and we had to help her keep tab of who had not been given the red packets.

This tradition did not change for the longest time except for last year when she did not give out Ang Pow packets. She kept the pre-prepared Ang Pow packets safely in her cupboard and refused to give them out. We did know why. Perhaps it was the onset of her old age. She was 93 years old.

My mother will not be with us this year. The long-standing tradition went with her. We would start a new routine this Chinese New Year. Perhaps, some will not be changed like the reunion dinner on New Year’s Eve. But it would not be the same without her.

This is life as normal as breathing. We embrace life and move forward with living in the present. On this note and on this eve of the Chinese New Year, I wish all a Year of Happiness and Good Fortune. May all be 旺 in this Year of Dog!

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