Saturday 29 October 2016

Dollar and Cents- Kids Golf Lessons

Just thought of sharing since i am at the range whereby my kid is taking his golf lesson,
Happy Weekend Ahead!

Saturday 22 October 2016

Dollar and Cents- Scrapping A Car

Recently, I just bid farewell to my Toyota Altis after 10 good years of service. There have been many memories but decided not to renew the COE and get a new ride.

Would just like to share the process of scrapping my car and hope it will be useful for those whom might be going the same path in the future.

As a general rule, you will usually get back around 50% of your car PARF value and a token sum for your car body upon scrapping your car.

For my Altis, I got all in around 9500 with car body raking in 800 dollars as i have changed the original colour. If not it would have fetched around 1000 dollars.

So the usual path is to drive to a scrap yard and you can actually drive in at the last day of the month of your de-registration if you want to max out your car usage. They will process the paperwork and you can get your car body value from the scrap yard while the PARF rebate will come in 2-3 weeks later from Land Transport Authority.

Do take note you have to get a transaction pin which you can do it online at the onemotoring website and will take around 2-3 working days to reach you.

I have google and checked with different scrap yards and found Absolute Motors to be more approachable (This is just my personal experience).

However, I decided to go with EC Scrap eventually as they provide me with the convenience. They will come to your place and take over the car. Moreover, they will pay you upfront in cash the PARF rebate and car body value. The customer service experience is also very pleasant. The car body value they have quoted is also quite competitive as I have done some comparisons. My scrapping deal was coordinated with Eugene and his mum Elaine.

For those, who want to keep the number plate for memory sake, guess driving to the scrap yard will still be a better option.

Happy Scrapping for those who are near the 10 years cycle.

Monday 17 October 2016

Is Deutsche Bank Heading The Path Of Lehman?

With the recent Deutsche Bank upheaval which could be a reminiscent of the Lehman crisis. Have decided to read up more and here are some of my findings.

Let’s take a look at some statistics first:
Price- 13.5 USD
DB market Cap- 18.5 billion USD
Potential Fine from DOJ- 14 billion (Fine for their part in selling toxic mortgage backed securities during Lehman’s time)
Derivatives Exposure: 42 trillion
Price to Book: 0.25
Latest Year End Loss: 6.8 billion Euros
Debt to Equity: 2.8

The current worries of the market are mainly due to the fine and also huge derivatives exposure as it beats the exposure Lehman (85 billion) had heads down. There have been talk that the fine could be negotiated down and a rumored amount of 5.4 billion was spreading through the grapevine and this caused a positive surge for DB shares.
Let's first look at the DOJ fine, which I believe could be negotiated to the extent; whereby progressive payment is doable. It would also not be DOJ's best interests to force DB to insolvency,

As for the derivatives exposures, though it looks huge and simply mind blowing. However, these may be hedged positions (a buy position will have a sell leg and this is to allow trading of the spread differentials of a nearer month to a further month). Their interest rate derivatives took up 70 percent of their exposure. My guess will be they could be executing trading strategies that are similar to Long Term Capital Management Fund ("LTCM"). LTCM was really successful at the start but things began to go hey-wire when they try to go into areas that are not their forte to drive positive returns.

Looking at the net exposure which they will take the long positions and minus the short positions and after further netting the positive and negative figures; we actually have a positive net market value of around 18 billion. In other words, if I interpret correctly, their derivatives exposure are actually netting a gain as of Dec 31 2015 annual report. However as most are OTC contracts, therefore we have to take the valuation with caution too. 

My personal opinion - The real issue with Deutsche Bank is actually profitability whereby they lost a whopping 6.8 billion Euros in 2015 due to impairments, increase in administration charges and litigation charges.

Given the current situation whereby hedge funds are withdrawing funds and even their asset management business is likely to see an outflow of funds; along with the current stagnant economic conditions, their investment banking business should not be the black knight to the rescue. The odds of a quick rebound could be unlikely.

For the path of recovery, confidence is paramount to the banking business. They may need some form of assurance from the German government to the investment community of their commitment to aid the bank if need be in order to stabilize the ship (Something like MAS's stance during the Global Financial Crisis). If not a bank run could be on the cards as they have close to 500 billion worth of deposits. There may also likely to be another round of fund raising to beef up their capital requirements.

In summary, a collapse of Deutsche Bank in the footsteps of Lehman is a low probability event. Given that Lehman's books are toxic derivatives backed by junk mortgages, the derivatives exposure of Deustche Bank should be much safer (If the valuation of their OTC contracts can be trusted) especially after we look at their net positions. However, the road to recovery is still some way ahead and it could still be the lingering negative catalyst in the near future for the global markets given the scale and reach of the largest European Bank in the world.

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