Sunday, 14 May 2017

Confidence in Ascendas Hospitality Trust Paying Dividends?

I first took note of Ascendas Hospitality Trust following their failure to sell their business. At that time, I was  looking for REITs/TRUSTs with business operations across the Asia-Pacific region, instead of in Singapore only. My consideration for the hospitality sector is that Singapore was projected to have an increase in supply of hotel room over the next few years, and it is impossible to be certain whether more tourists would come to take them up.
Out of curiosity, I decided to go through AHT's financial statements. Besides having a good balance sheet, their exposure in Australia and Japan drew my attention as I believed both countries have the right business conditions such as low interest rate and then-depreciating currency. Moreover the share price was below my target buy price. Not difficult to guess what comes after that right? 😜
Here is an brief overview of AHT's business:
Credit: AHT 4Q FY2016/17 Financial Results Presentation
So how did AHT perform in FY2016/17?
Credit: AHT 4Q FY2016/17 Financial Results Presentation
Based on their 4Q FY2016/17 report on 11May, AHT have performed very well by clocking a record Distribution per Stapled Security of 5.68cents. Their Net Asset Value has also risen from S$0.85 in Dec 2016 to S$0.92 in Mar 2017.
 Credit: AHT 4Q FY2016/17 Financial Results Presentation

Credit: AHT 4Q FY2016/17 Financial Results Presentation
Net Property Income is an important indicator to determine a property portfolio’s profitability. I am interested to find out the breakdown of AHT's NPI by country, as the tourism business is geographical-dependent. 51% of AHT’s NPI comes from Australia and 29% from Japan. To this end, both countries have registered a rise in NPI of 12.9% and 24% respectively. 
Final Thoughts
Glad that my investment in AHT has gone well so far and I remained hopeful for more dividends to come in future. A key risk that I am monitoring closely are potential business disruptions such as AirBnB which has affected the business of traditional Japanese Inns and are gaining much popularity in Australia. Staying alert to the global trends remains important to me as these disruptions could snatch away our "lunches" really quickly!
Together, let us all Go & Huat ah!

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Thursday, 11 May 2017

Rationalising Mapletree Logistics Trust ...

Mapletree Logistics Trust is one of the best performers in my portfolio. My interest in MLT lies in their well-managed business across the Asia-Pacific region and backing by a strong sponsor - Temasek. I managed to sieve out 5 key indicators from their 4Q2016 & FY2016/17 results which could be useful to note:
  • Business performance, in terms of available Distribution Per Unit, has increased by 0.8% Year-on-Year.
  • Increase in Net Asset Value from S$1.02 to S$1.04.
  • Aggregate leverage fell from 39.6% to 38.5%. This could potentially provide MLT with the capacity to borrow more to fund further acquisitions.
  • 81% debt hedged into fixed rates & 72% of income stream for FY17/18 hedged into SGD.
  • Slight rise in portfolio occupancy rate to 96.3% in Mar 17, from 96.2% in Mar 16.
My confidence in their recent acquisitions in Australia and Vietnam has been rewarded, as these properties have been fully leased and are contributing well to the overall Net Property Income. I also like MLT's strategy to divest the old warehouse in Toh Guan, given its limited potential for re-development into a modern facility. The money from the sale can then be reinvested in other warehouses with greater potential. Overall, I still find MLT's business to be well-managed and a quality investment. 
So what’s next? I saw this article on Colliers International for USA and thought that it could potentially serve as a guide for the future Asia-Pacific region.
Extracted from: Colliers International, Knowledge Leader
As the e-commerce in the Asia-Pacific region is expected to keep growing, my view is that this would likely to continue fuel the demand for warehouse spaces in the next few years.💪 What do you think?
Together, let us all Go & Huat ah!

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Saturday, 29 April 2017

9 tips for saving in Singapore! [Part 2]

We hope you have enjoyed Part 1 of our series for savings tips. We, TripleHuat, will once again bring you Part 2 of the series in this post!


1) Utilising SAF Credits. If you are still an active NSF or NSmen, you will have SAF e-mart credits. Instead of letting the credits idle until the next In-Camp-Training or until its expiry, why not use them to buy some sports equipment for yourself? If you are working in the corporate world, do consider getting their black shoes & socks. You can purchase a pair of sports shoes for your girlfriend too!

2) Earning Online Cashback. The e-commerce world is getting more and more prevalent. You don't have to step out the comfort of your home to do your shopping. Go online and make your purchases! Make full use of ShopBack or/and credit cards to earn cashback. 

3) Be A Savvy Shopper. For shopping at international brands, always compare prices between online vs. local physical stores. For example, because of online sales, some items on the Victoria’s Secret US website are being sold for less than 50% of the price in local SG stores! Even before the sale, it can be about 20-30% cheaper online. Remember to check delivery options though! Besides cashbacks, making payments using credit cards that give you extra points/miles for online payments, such as UOB’s Preferred Platinum Visa card, will also ensure that you’re stretching every dollar. 

4) Leveraging on SalesFor new couples, you can explore buying items at Great Singapore Sales or warehouse sales which are occasionally held at SG Expo, Sia Huat or online platforms such as Taobao, Qoo10 or simply finding second-hand items on Carousell. Make sure you do your due diligence to check on vendors' reputation & items' condition! This would save you a huge sum which you can use for other purposes such as traveling. 

5) Buying Household Items from Chinatown. Little known to many, there is a corner in chinatown at New Market Road with shops that sell household items at cheaper price than many heartland shops. The first floor is made up of hawker stalls while the shops occupy the second floor onwards. You can buy household items or even items for chinese wedding there. Some of the more well-known shops are Swanston and 海洋.

Couple Time

6) Dating. Going out dating with your partner can cost a lot in a day. Instead of spending money and time to eat, watch movie, shopping, why not go out exercise to keep fit together, take a stroll at our UNESCO site - Picnic at Botanic Gardens, bask in the sun at East Coast Park, go on a hike at Coney Island, take a day trip to Kusu island or go for cycling in Pulau Ubin. There are many inexpensive activities you and your partner can do. It's the company and quality time that matters!

7) Visiting Malaysia. We heard that scores of people have went over to Malaysia to purchase many useful, bargain-hunting and affordable items to take advantage of the favourable SGD-Ringgit currency. But do be mindful of the borer restrictions and various taxes! For couples, you can consider a less expensive staycation in Johor Bahru or take a coach from Lakin to various parts of Malaysia. Hotel in a good location is likely to cost less than SGD100 per night during non-peak seasons.

8) Console Games. If you and your significant other are into console games, buy a good RPG game that can keep the both of you engaged for at least a month or two - save on eating out and dates! You can sell the game once you're done to recoup some of the initial outlay. The common option is to do this on Carousell, but there are some shops out there that let you sell back the games that you bought from them once you're done - one example is Qisahn. 

Personal Skills Development

9) SkillsFuture Credit. Every Singapore Citizen aged 25 and above will receive $500 worth of credits where we could use it for skills-related courses. If you want to stay relevant in this ever-changing world, it's time to take charge of your self-development and career progression. So go forth to plan your learning journey with your SkillsFuture Credit!

We hope you enjoy Part 2 of our saving tips! Keep a look out for more tips from us soon!

Huat ah! Happy Labour Day in advance!

Cheers, TripleHuat

Thursday, 20 April 2017

7 tips for saving in Singapore! [Part 1]

It's common to hear people lamenting that Singapore is such an expensive city to live in. The prices will only go up and not down. Aiyoh... money not enough leh. If you are willing to spend the time and effort to search for good bargains, there are still many ways to save a couple of dollars and cents which will add up to be a lot of money over time!

In this post, we the 3 Huats - EzHuat, GoHuat, YoloHuat - will share tips on how we can save money. We have compiled a list of items that will be useful for minimising the daily expenses in our lifestyle and through this post, we hope to share what we know. If you have other tips, we would be keen to find out more from you too!

Food & Drinks 

1) Coffee. Are you a coffee addict? If you are, it's time to do a caffeine check. One cup of Starbucks coffee can easily cost $6 or more. If you need a cup everyday, you would spend $42 a week, $168 a month, $2,016 a year! Imagine what you can do with $2,016! Maybe it's time to search for cheaper source of caffeine fix. How about kopitiam coffee? It probably cost below $2. Or you can buy the coffee powder and make your own beverage!

2) Eating at Hawker Centre. Instead of eating at restaurants, why not eat at hawker centres which cost lesser and the food can be as yummy too! A meal at Hawker Centre should cost between $3-$8 while a meal in restaurants will likely cost at least twice or even more than that. So go for value-for-money meals at hawker centres and you get to support our hawker heritage too! 

3) Cooking at Home. If you are sick and tired of eating out, you can consider cooking at home. Home-cooked food always taste better than outside food because it's cooked with love. It is also a good and healthy bonding session for couples or families to come up with new recipes together! All we need to do is plan your menu and buy the groceries at nearby supermarket. 


4) Don't buy a Car. We live in a consumerism world. To own a car in Singapore is definitely not going to be cheap - with a significant amount going to the Certificate Of Entitlement (COE). Instead of spending a 5-digit sum for that piece of paper, why not take public transportation or use Grab/Uber? Besides, we can also make full use of Grab or Uber promo code. It's definitely cheaper than owning a car which you would have to pay for road tax, car insurance, petrol, parking, maintenance, ERP, etc. 

5) Free MRT rides. If you are an early bird at work, you can wake up earlier to take the free train rides if you tap out of the 18 designated stations before 7:45am on weekdays. The scheme has been extended to 30 June 2017. Not only do you get to avoid the crazy peak hour crowd, you also get a free ride! You can check out the 18 designated stations at this link.

6) Grabbing a Bicycle. Instead of driving cars or taking public transport, why not explore using bicycle to travel within a short distance. You can consider to buy second-hand bicycles or take up bike-sharing initiatives from companies such as Zaibike, ofo, Obike. Alternatively, you can explore purchasing a personal mobility device too. Save the planet!

7) Tapping on Travel Websites. Ever wonder whether you could enjoy a vacation while saving a bit more? Well it is possible if you are aware of all the available flight options and choose the less costly ones. Websites such as Skyscanner or Kiwi are useful platforms for us to tap on to quickly find out these info. Do sign up for budget airlines' mailing list too! Sometimes they do offer good promotions at different seasons or occasions. Essentially you can still travel but spend lesser at more affordable prices!

That's all for Part 1 saving tips. Keep a look out for Part 2!

Huat ah!

Cheers, TripleHuat

Friday, 7 April 2017

5 Key Reasons for buying Singtel now

Over the past few months, share prices for my shortlisted REITs/TRUSTs have been rallying beyond my target buy price. And so, I decided to explore whether there are other potential shares that could also fit well into my overall investment strategy. After going through a long process of analysing several potential companies such as ST Engineering, Sheng Shiong, SGX, etc, I was rather glad to find Singtel to be a suitable fit and thought that it will be useful to share my 5 key reasons here.

Reason 1: Singtel’s Earnings & Net Asset per share have been on a steady up-trend over the last few years. While there are risks of increasing competition from the 4th telco (TPG) or companies with other disruptive technologies, my view is that these should not affected Singtel’s earnings much in the foreseeable future as the competitors will likely not be mature enough.

Source: Singtel

Reason 2: Singtel has sound & stable business fundamentals with high dividend payout at 60-75% of their Net Profit. Its current dividend yield is around 4.5% which is relatively high.

Source: Singtel

Reason 3: A key business risk - foreign exchange rate - has been relatively well-managed.

Reason 4: Looking ahead, I found Singtel’s investment in the 5G network to have a lot of business potential, especially with Singapore’s push to become a Smart Nation. The 5G network infrastructure should become an essential backbone in enabling faster and smarter connections - Internet of Things. All these would likely give Singtel a greater competitive edge over their rivals in the future.

Reason 5: Singtel is preparing their fibre broadband unit NetLink Trust for an IPO before Apr 2018; which should translate to a much higher share price in near-term or higher dividend pay-out. See extracts from Straits Times below: 

 Source: Straits Times

So what have I done?

Using both cash and CPF OA, I have made several rounds of purchase last month. Currently, Singtel forms around 7.5% of my cash portfolio and I am likely to buy more share in the next few weeks. 

Will the outcome be as what I have assessed above? I certainly hope so, but we will never know until it truly happens! 

Together, let us all Go & Huat ah!

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Why should we ever use our CPF OA for investment?

Whenever I bring up the topic of investing the money in my CPF Ordinary Account (OA), my dad will always remind me that the primary purpose of our CPF is to support our retirement purposes; and I should consider very carefully if I decide to use them to invest in stocks/bonds/gold. Well, he is not wrong and there is little reason to disagree with him. The present CPF OA’s 2.5% interest rate is actually not too bad and most importantly, it is risk-free. So why should we ever use our CPF OA for investment?
Our triggering point came last year when it dawned on my wife and I that all of our CPF OA will soon be wiped out by HDB. We started to ask ourselves whether this move will fit well into our investment strategy. A few questions sprung to our mind:
· What is the purpose of the money in our CPF OA? I think this is the most fundamental question that we should ask ourselves. If we are not convinced, we would just let HDB flush away our CPF OA as clearing our loans should be the safest bet, right? Well, one potential use-case is for the purchase of a 2nd property in future. The money in CPF OA would be useful in providing extra firepower to our “cash-on-hand” to fund the purchase.
· What are my options to prevent our CPF OA from being flushed out? Based on my research, they include: (Option 1) Transferring the money from CPF OA to CPF Special Account (SA). (Option 2) Use the CPF OA money to invest in stocks, bonds, gold and/or etfs.
· What are the pros/cons of Option 1? The SA account yields a higher, risk-free 4% interest rate return. This interest rate is much higher than the 2.6% HDB loan rate which means that I could earn an additional “1.4%” and more each year. However, in the near term, I might have to use some “cash-on-hand” each month to cover the loan if my monthly OA contribution is unable to. Another consideration is that this money could only be withdrawn around 20 years later.
· What are the pros/cons of Option 2? This option will allow us to hold our money in CPF OA so that when the opportunity arises, we can use it for our future purposes. The downside is that there is a potential likelihood for the OA money to get stuck in a paper-loss situation. We will also have to take on the investment risk fully by ourselves instead. 
So what is our final decision after all these brainstorming?
We decided to adopt a hybrid approach using Option 1 and 2. The current interest rate for HDB Loan is 2.6% and I believe that it is not too difficult to achieve an investment return that is higher than that. My aim is to at least achieve a minimum of 3% returns per year in order to be higher than the 2.6% loan rate after deducting all transaction cost. I focused our portfolio on 2 strong companies - Singtel and OCBC so that even if we get ourselves into a paper-loss situation, their annual dividends should still be stable enough to maintain throughout. 
Over the past weeks ago, my wife and I have purchased and are adding more Singtel, OCBC which we think are suitable at this point; and also STI ETF shares into our CPF portfolio. Once we have used up our CPF OA until its remaining S$20K, we are likely to transfer a portion of the S$20K into SA; after taking into consideration all other payments such as the remaining 5% downpayment (staggered downpayment scheme).
Moving forward, we are keeping a close watch on the HDB loan rates. This is important as any drastic increase could potentially change our approach, though we believe that the chances of this happening should be relatively low. Still, no one can ever predict the future and we should just get ourselves prepared.
Hope you enjoyed this sharing and so, What will your approach be if you are in a similar situation ?
Together, let us all Go & Huat ah!

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