Linked Notes, structured debt (1) - Singapore

With the fall of Lehman Brothers, some of the Notes where Lehman Brothers is swap counterparty, reference entity/reference obligation etc (for e.g Lehman Minibonds, DBS High Notes, Morgan Stanley Pinnacle Notes and Merill Lynch Jubilee Notes), suffers wipe-out in value. Many Singaporean investors suffered big losses.

Found from Monetary of Singapore (MAS): "Singapore Corporate debt market review 2007".
PDF file

From the "pie chart",
Equity Linked Notes issuance (SGD denominated): 3.7B in 2007,
is 28% of SGD denominated structured debt.
That makes Structured Debt issuance (SGD denominated, 2007): about 13.21B.

Equity Linked Notes issuance (non-SGD denominated): 2.6B in 2007,
is 15% of non-SGD denominated structured debt.
That makes Structured Debt issuance (non-SGD denominated, 2007): about 17.33B

Other structured debts besides ELNs are:
CDO, credit linked notes, currency linked notes, callable notes, asset securitised notes, convertibles etc..

We can get examples of prospectus/pricing statement of structured product from Monetary of Singapore (MAS)’s Opera under "debentures".

We can learn a lot about Linked Notes from these prospectus and pricing statements.

7 traits shared by great investors

Read an article by Mark Sellers "So you want to be the next Warren Buffett ? How’s your writing ?"
Is a good read !

The article touches on competitive advantage as an investor.
It was said that reading lots of books/magazines/newspaper, getting MBA/CFA/PhD/CPA/MS etc, experience do not guarantee great success as an investor.
The article emphasizes the importance of psychology.

The articles mentioned 7 traits shared by great investors that are true sources of advantage in investment.

Trait #1
Ability to buy stocks while others are panicking and sell stocks while others are euphoric.

Trait #2
Obsessive about playing the game (investment) and wanting to win.

Trait #3
Willingness to learn from past mistakes.

Trait #4
Inherent sense of risk based on common sense.

Trait #5
Have confidence in their own conviction and stick with them, even when facing criticism.

Trait #6
Have both sides of your brain working.

Trait #7
Ability to live through volatility without changing your investment thought process.

Intangibles - brands

Brand is one of the "intangibles" that are hard to evaluate.

Came across this "Best 100 Global Brand" report in Business Week’s website.

We can get a glimpse of how brand can be evaluated from its ranking methodology.
This is one of the many ways to evaluate value of "brand".
evaluate "brand"

Step 1
Calculating how much of a company's total sales falls under a particular brand.
Projects five years of sales and earnings tied to each brand's products and services.

Step 2
Calculating how much of those earnings results from the power of the brand.
Strips out operating costs, taxes, and charges for the capital employed to arrive at the earnings attributable to intangible assets.
Estimates the brand's effect on earnings relative to other intangible assets such as patents and management strength.

Step 3
Future earnings are discounted against current interest rates and also against the brand's overall risk profile (to factor in brand strength) to arrive at a net present value.
Factors include market leadership, stability, and global reach—or the ability to cross both geographic and cultural borders.

Some "insights":
1.The same method should be applicable to evaluation of other intangibles too, for e.g patents, management strength etc.

2.Factors mentioned in step 3 is applicable to brands. To use the same method for other intangibles, other related factors are to be used.

3. We can learn ways to evaluate intangibles and related factors to use from methodology of ranking/index. Besides this ranking of brands, also mentioned in previous posts are WEF Financial Development Report and socio-economic risk.

Rule No.1: Never lose money. Rule No.2: Never forget rule No.1.

One of Warren Buffett’s famous quote is:
Rule No.1: Never lose money.
Rule No.2: Never forget rule No.1.

Let’s look at to what extent not losing money is important in investment.

To illustrate,
if an investor loses 10%,
how much percentage does he have to earn, to go back to the pre-loss level ?

When he lost 10%, he left with 90% of his initial investment.

To go back to 100%, he will need to earn back the 10% he lost using what he has now, 90%.
Profit% he needs = 10%/90% = 11.11%

To generalise, if he lost x%, profit% he needs, to go back to pre-loss level is x%/ (100% - x%) .

Look at the table and graph.

we will be able to see:
as we lose more, it is more difficult to earn back to pre-loss level.
Just imagine, if we lost 50%, we need profit% of 100% to earn back to pre-loss level !

Therefore, to stress again :
Rule No.1: Never lose money.
Rule No.2: Never forget rule No.1. :-)

Economist: 张五常 Steven N.S. Cheung

Economists: 张五常 Steven N.S. Cheung
(His blog)
Strongly recommend :
张五常 Steven N.S. Cheung, a renowned economist with expertise in property rights, transaction cost etc.

Some compilations of his works (in chinese):

His blog and his articles are good read (and light-hearted too).

We will be able to gain insights on how property rights, transaction cost, supply and demand, methodology in economics theory are used in explaining and predicting real life outcome.

Some of his works are available in internet, in the format of PDF files or ebooks.

Corporate Governance, Shareholder’s Rights (1)

I have attended few shareholder’s meetings (AGMs) in Malaysia.

My general feel is that many, if not most shareholders,
do not uphold their shareholder’s rights.

In the AGMs, many shareholders merely attend to collect gifts, have meals,
become "Yes man" during votings and obstructing critical questions being asked in Q&A sessions. Unjustifiable praises are hailed on the management and Board of Directors even during cases when they should be criticised. Ridiculous questions are being applaused. Good, critical questions (sometimes being raised towards the end after finally getting their turns) are being jeered at.

One important concept is Board of Directors should act in the best interest of shareholders.
Shareholders pay them large sum of director’s fees to take care of shareholders’ interests and to act as check-and-balance for the management team. Need to make sure they do their jobs.

Hopefully this post can shed some lights on Corporate Governance and Shareholder’s Rights.

The Corporate Governance of Listed Companies: A Manual for Investors (from CFA Institute)
PDF file

One of the intangibles to look into a company when investing is Corporate Governance.

A number of studies show strong links between good corporate governance and strong profitability and investment performance (the studies are mentioned in above PDF file).
We need to pay particular attentions to the Board of Directors, Management and Shareowner Rights.

For Board of Directors,
take note of its independence, member qualifications, authority to hire external consultants, terms, related-party transactions and board committees.

For Management, take note of implementations of code of ethics, personal use of company assets and corporate transparency on executive compensation, share-repurchase and price stabilization program.

For shareowner rights, pay attention to shareowner voting and shareowner proposals.

The Manual is a great read !

Investment Guru: Benjamin Graham, the father of value investing

Benjamin Graham is considered the
"father of financial analysis",
"father of value investing".

Graham mentored (among others) Warren Buffett.

Books by Benjamin Graham or co-authored by him:
1.The Intelligent Investor
2. Security Analysis
3. Benjamin Graham: memoirs of the dean of Wall Street
4. The Interpretation of Financial Statements
5. Storage and Stability
6. World Commodities and World Currency

I only have the 1st two books.
"The Intelligent Investor" is easier to read and more affordable than the great classic "Security Analysis". English version of "Security Analysis" is very expensive. Chinese version is much much cheaper.

More elaborated list of his works
(click on "Benjamin Graham")

The Heilbrunn Center for Graham & Dodd Investing at Columbia Business School
value investing history

Some students who had studied with Graham or Murray (Graham’s successor of his course) became legends in investment management, including
Warren Buffett MS ’51,
Mario Gabelli ’67,
Glenn Greenberg ’73,
Charles Royce ’63,
Walter Schloss and John Shapiro ’78.

The Rediscovered Benjamin Graham:
has 10 lecture texts by Benjamin Graham (presented at NY Institute of Finance in 1946 – 1947).
A summary of his life, method etc.

Some of his important concepts are:
intrinsic value,
margin of safety,
Mr. Market etc..

History of CFA Institute
Benjamin Graham had proposed the need for a rating designation for analysts. The idea which eventually become CFA designation.

One of the articles on Benjamin Graham (on his life) from CFA Institute.

XBRL (extensible Business Reporting Language)

Currently when retail investor wishes to do its own financial analysis on companies, he will have to:
1.Download many quarterly, annual reports (often in PDF format)
2. Key in the financial items on spreadsheet
3.Making relevant adjustment based on financial items
4.Analyse in the format of ratio, table, graph etc.

Though steps 3 and 4 can be automated easily,
steps 1, 2 (especially step 2) are the tedious and time-consuming steps.
It becomes a deterrent for retail investor to do its own financial analysis (assume he has the knowledge on how to do one).

Imagine in the not-so-distant future:
The second when quarterly/semi-annual/annual report is available,
it can send you an alert telling you that there are new information;

you open your PC/laptop/mobile, the new data is incorporated into your previous financial analysis.
Based on pre-customised software settings. it automatically calculates ratios, draw out tables, charts etc for your perusal.
A searchable, updated database of companies (for examples those that met certain pre-defined investment criteria) is readily available.

Financial analysis on invested companies becomes common. Even a layman can do it, they just have to get a analysis software or a securities company with such software (but he needs to have slight training on that).

Came across this development in investment field that may make this possible:
XBRL (extensible Business Reporting Language)

Some presentation materials that are useful:
XBRL website
IASB website on XBRL

Read from one of the articles, Microsoft Office has already a Prototype to facilitate XBRL use:
Microsoft Office Tool for XBRL Prototype

Saw news that US and China are going to implement this XBRL.
My wishes are that Malaysia and Singapore are implementing this XBRL soon and there are securities companies who offer the analysis software to his clients free :-)

Beware of bankruptcy – bank (2)

Prevention is better than cure.
Instead of relying on getting Deposit Insurance after bank went bankruptcy,
it will be better if we can detect when certain banks are going "bad".

Found this "Examiner’s guide to Problem Bank identification, rehabilitation and resolution" from
Comptroller of the Currency Administrator of National Banks, US:
PDF file

The part "Problem Bank Identification" and "Accounting Issues in Problem Banks" are particular useful.

Some of the red flags mentioned (the "guide" teaches on details of these red flags):
1.rapid growth/aggressive growth strategies
2. deterioration in economy
3. management/oversight deficiencies
4. inappropriate limits on OCC access to bank staff and documents (applies to US, in simple term, not letting enough "regulator"’s access to bank staff and documents)
5.risk management deficiencies
6.significant off-balance-sheet exposure
7. asset quality deterioration
8.significant ALLL (Allowance for Loan and Lease Losses) and asset valuation adjustment issues
9. strained liquidity
10.insider abuse and fraud

Beware of bankruptcy - bank (1)

What if banks, where we put our money inside, bankrupt ?

Money we deposit in banks are guaranteed to certain extent by Deposit Insurance.
See below for details of Deposit Insurance for Malaysia, Singapore and US.

Note which are the institutions under cover, type of deposit products covered and amount of the coverage..

PIDM (Perbadanan Insurans Deposit Malaysia)

PIDM handbook and other resources for download
read the handbook:
total coverage is 60k per depositor per member institution;
one good thing is joint accounts held with different people enjoy separate coverage limits, wow !

Examples of calculations
Quiz have some fun:-)

SDIC (Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation)
SIDC website
coverage is 20k, aggregated (including joint account’s share) and net of liabilities.

FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation)
FDIC website
Wow, basic insurance amount is 100k per depositor, per insured bank.. Generous :-)

IADI (International Association of Deposit Insurers)
IADI website
We can find list of countries with a deposit insurance system

Beware of bankruptcy

Seeing Lehman Brothers filing for Chapter 11 protection,
it gives a chill..

One of the worst nightmares of investing is "bankruptcy"..
It can affect our financial well-being badly, some examples:

  • company invested bankrupt,
  • critical supplier/customer of company invested bankrupt,
  • bank holding big portion of our savings bankrupt,
  • insurance company underwriting our policy bankrupt,
    ….. the list goes on…

For US,
Visual charts about different types of bankruptcy:
Chapter 7
Chapter 11
Chapter 13
Its "Troubled Company Reporter" (Asia Pacific, US, Europe) is useful..
We can look for potential problematic companies news here..
(though not sure whether the database is complete)

Web BRD (Bankruptcy Research Database)
A website to do Bankruptcy Research :-)
(to be continued….)

Country analysis : Socio-political risk

PERC (Political & Economic Risk Consultancy)

Free reports are available in its library.

Its framework of analysing socio-political risk are:

  • Domestic political risk
  • Social disorder risk
  • External risk
  • Systemic risk

Refer to any one of the Risk Monitoring Service’s reports for more detailed breakdown.
Too bad not all its updated reports are freely available.

Book : The Snowball – Warren Buffett and the business of life

"The Snowball – Warren Buffett and the business of life" is Warren Buffett’s authorised biography to be published on 29 Sept 2008.
website on the book

Thre is an article which features Warren Buffett "10 ways to get rich":

It’s a good read with condensed wisdoms.
I try to "re-phrase" the main points using my own words (after reading the "10 ways to get rich").

1. Reinvest your profits

Power of compounding;

2. Be willing to be different
Beware of "herd mentality";
Own yardstick to judge yourself, not the world’s;
Live your own life, not others

3. Never suck your thumb
Gather info/database before hand to enable fast decision making;
Set a deadline for decision;
Don’t procrastinate on decision

4. Spell out the deal before you start
Get the specifics/details before start

5. Watch small expenses
Beware of any cost that can eat into profit;

6. Limit what you borrow
Be debt free, then work on savings, then only invest

7. Be persistent
Importance of cost reduction;
Importance of negotiation;
Persistance even when in "underdog" situation;

8. Know when to quit
Beware of "mental accounting";
Know when to quit;
Learn from mistakes;
Never repeat mistakes;

9. Assess the risks
Risk analysis by using scenario analysis: best case scenario, worst case scenario;
Decision making analysis : "and then what ?" (much like decision tree)

10. Know what success really means
Success is not measured by dollars nor monuments;
Success is charity, be loved

Industry Analysis – treasure hunt using Wikipedia

Though a good insightful industry analysis may not be easy to do,
but even a layman can leapfrog his knowledge in the industry pretty fast
(much like a steep learning curve).

To illustrate the point, imagine I am a layman (I really am) to the palm oil industry and
I know nothing about palm oil except the word "palm oil". :-)

You can try it out yourself to understand my point.
Let's start the "treasure hunt" using Wikipedia.

From the Wikipedia’s external links only, we found:
1. Palm Oil HQ: (bingo, hourly updated palm oil industry news, CPO future prices, historical prices)

2. oil palm production, consumption, export, import: (bingo, can do supply/demand analysis, can know which are the big producers and users, industry concentration etc..)

3. Greenpeace report (bingo, we know one of the threats to palm oil industry)

From the Wikipedia’s references, we found industry associations like: MPOA, MPOB, MPOPC
search using Google:
1. MPOA (Malaysian Palm Oil Association)
which further leads us to RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil)

2. MPOB (Malaysian Palm Oil Board)
which further leads us to more "links" from its links.

3. MPOPC (Malaysian Palm Oil Promotion Council)
which is showing dead link but found:
MPOC (Malaysian Palm Oil Council)
This is a treasure of palm oil industry data.

Just wonder why the industry bodies are MPOA, MPOB, MPOC respectively, so funny :-)

Technopreneur’s presentation : Demo Fall 08 and TechCrunch50 Conference

Have a real feel on how technopreneurs presenting to VCs !

Demo Fall 08, San Diego.
(The Launchpad for Emerging Technology)
Date: September 7-9, 2008

  • Click on "DEMOfall 08" for lists of videos showing technopreneurs presenting their products/ideas/companies.
  • Click on "Demonstrator" to have a quick view of what are the new startup companies/products/competitions/industries etc.

TechCrunch50 Conference 2008, San Francisco
Date: September 8-10, 2008

  • Click on "Companies" to see the shortlisted companies and their presentations.
  • Click on "Experts" to see some examples of Venture Capitalists.

Financial Development Report by World Economic Forum

Came across this Financial Development Report by World Economic Forum.
Financial Development Report link

Financial Development Index 2008 ranking.

We can learn a great deal from the report:
components of financial development, weak and strong points of each country etc..

The Financial Development Index is divided into 3 categories, 7 pillars:
Categories are :
factors, policies, institution – pillars 1 to 3
financial intermediation – pillars 4 to 6
capital availability and access – pillar 7

1st pillar: institutional environment
2nd pillar: biz environment
3rd pillar: financial stability
4th pillar: bank
5th pillar: non-banks
6th pilllar: financial markets
7th pillar: size, depth and access

Singapore is at rank #10 . Malaysia is at rank #20.
Maybe we can see what our country is weak at and learn from the best in class.

From Table 2 (page 14):
Wow, Malaysia actually gets #2 position in "bank", what a surprise !
Singapore gets #1 position in pillars 1-3, all the pillars related to policymaker !

Malaysia detailed report is at page 156, Singapore at page 204.

Seems like Malaysia’s bank is good at "financial information disclosure" (rank #1).

Technical Notes and Sources (page 331 onwards) provides information of where to get data for all the indicators for the Financial Development Index. Great resources to do country analysis, economic analysis !

Manage your energy

Came across this concept of "manage your energy, not your time" from one of the Harvard Business Review (HBR) article.

In the website, there is a "test" to check whether how well you are managing your "energy".
energy test
It touches on aspects below:
physical energy (body): sustainability
emotional energy (emotions): self-worth
mental energy (mind): self-expression
spiritual energy (spirit): significance

After the test, you will be able to read 3 related HBR articles in brief with great insights:
1. extreme jobs: the dangerous allure of the 70-hour workweek
2. manage your energy, not your time
3. overloaded circuits: why smart people underperform

Good read ! Good to ponder whether your job is too "extreme" and whether you manage your "energy" well.

The concept is from this company called Energy Project.
Energy Project website

Professional Skepticism - Beware of financial reporting fraud !

One of the important pillars of investment analysis is company analysis.

Let's say we analyse the account, we find that the account is audited by some famous audit firm. Everything points to a "strong buy". Can it be wrong ?

Yes, it can go wrong, even extremely wrong too.
We will be surprised by how many cases of accounting frauds that are uncovered (not counting those that are not surfaced yet).

Areas of reporting most susceptible to fraud
report pursuant to section 704 of Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002

In this SEC study, areas of reporting most susceptible to fraud, inappropriate manipulations and earnings management mentioned are:

  • improper revenue recognition,
  • improper expense recognition,
  • improper accounting in connection with business combinations,
  • inadequate disclosure in MD&A & elsewhere,
  • failure to disclose related party transactions,
  • inappropriate accounting for non-monetary & rountrip transactions,
  • improper accounting for foreign payments,
  • improper use of off-balance sheet arrangement,
  • improper use of non-GAAP financial measures.

The number of cases in the report can shock you. Real cases for different types were mentioned.

Fraud risk factors
Frauds take time to be uncovered.

Often when it is uncovered, it is already too late for the investors. Share price plummets, "trapped" investors suffer big losses.

It is better to avoid them in the first place.

Look for the warning signs and red flags.
If we see the warning signs and red flags, if we are in doubt, avoid the firm.

3 conditions generally present when financial reporting fraud occur:

  • incentives/pressures
  • opportunities
  • attitudes/rationalizations

Refer to Appendix (page 300-7 onwards) of the following document for list of fraud risk factor.
"(AICPA SAS 99) Consideration of fraud in financial statement audit"

(AICPA is American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.)

Though "areas of reporting most susceptible to fraud" and "fraud risk factors" are mentioned, be always aware that the list is not exhaustive. New instruments, new environment, make possible new ways of frauds. Buyer bewares !

Professional Skepticism

Today I will blog on something light-hearted. A story, instead of data or resources.
I like this insightful story very much. I read it in a book titled "Wisdom of Jews" (a chinese book).

One day, a man went to visit a Jewish Rabbi trying to seek on knowledge from the Rabbi.
Below were their conversation:

Rabbi: "This event happened in 12th century in United States of America. One day, two men came down from the same chimney. One’s face was smeared, the other’s face was clean, which one would wash his face first ?"

Man: "The one with a smeared face."

Rabbi: "No. It’s the one with the clean face, as he saw the other man having a smeared face."

Man: "Oh ya. That’s right. I understand now."

Rabbi: : "This event happened in 12th century in United States of America. One day, two men came down from the same chimney. One’s face was smeared, the other’s face was clean, which one would wash his face first ?"

Man (feeling confused): "Of course it’s the one with the clean face, as he saw the other man having a smeared face. Why do you ask again ?"

Rabbi: "You should ask, "Why both men came down from the same chimney, yet one face is clean, the other face is smeared ?""

Insights from the story:
When the man answered the smeared-face man would wash his face,
his scope : the one with smeared face

When the answer is the clean-face man would wash his face,
his scope: both men and their interactions (seeing each other after coming down)
questioning the implicit assumption : the one with smeared-face would wash his face first

When the question is raised about the impossibility of one smeared-face man, one clean-face man,
scope: both men, same chimney
questioning the implicit assumption of: one smeared-face man, one clean-face man, coming down from the same chimney

When we get whatever data/knowledge/model, we would need to know the scope and think hard on its implicit assumption. Be professionally skeptical on data you get !

There is continuation from the story…

Rabbi (asked again): "This event happened in 12th century in United States of America. One day, two men came down from the same chimney. One’s face was smeared, the other’s face was clean, which one would wash his face first ?"

Man (feeling confused again): ……

Think deeply on it… Would you be able to answer the Rabbi’s question ?
(Note: the answer is not: "Why both men came down from the same chimney, yet one face is clean, the other face is smeared ?")
(Hint: Go one more level up…)

Think again before mouse over the following paragraph..
Answer: The event didn’t happen at all. United States of America was non-existent in 12th century. It was founded in 1776.
Scope: the time it happens, 2 men, chimney
questioning the implicit assumption of: what the Rabbi said is true
We need to question the validity of the medium carrying the data/knowledge/model too !

Industry Analysis - using prospectus

Prospectus has a great amount of information. Any novice can learn a great amount from prospectus.

To illustrate the point,
let say we choose: Sime Darby (listed in Malaysia)
Sime Darby's prospectus

We can find information such as:

  • risk factors,
  • industry overview,
  • business,
  • information on substantial shareholders, directors, management,
  • financial information

Many are self-explanatory. Some pointers:
1. Pay particular attention to the risk factors
This "risk factor" is a very interesting section.
The company will honestly cover every angle to tell you what can go wrong with the company, as if trying to convince you not to buy shares of the company :-)
With this information, we will know what can affect the company’s performance in the future.
We can get information useful for Porter’s 5 forces analysis (briefly discussed in this post)

2. "Industry overview" and "business" sections. It may provide some data/insights by industry bodies to substantiate some statements. Note down the industry bodies so that we can go to them directly for data in the future.

3. "Information on substantial shareholders, directors, management" is useful to analyse on corporate governance and quality of management.

Industry analysis - industry classifications

Companies can be segregated into different industry classification for ease of discussion and analysis.

Two of the more popular industry classification methods are:
1. Industry Classification Benchmark (ICB) which is developed by Dow Jones and FTSE.
ICB website
PDF file

ICB classification is in the format of :

DJ Indices and FTSE Indices are following ICB classification.

2. Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS) which is developed by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) and Standard & Poor (S&P).
GICS website

GICS classification is in the format of :
industry group

MSCI Indices and S&P Indices are following GICS classification.
GICS classification comes with code, for example: semiconductor (45205020)

free online learning

Sometimes, we may not have the money or time to attend formal lectures/talks/seminar.
However, we can learn through online learning at our own free time, own pace.
Many of these online lectures/talks are free :-)

MIT OpenCourseWare
MIT OCW website
MIT courses' materials for many disciplines are put online..
Look for Economics, Sloan School of Management

MIT World
MIT World website
Look for Business/Leadership, Economics, Innovation/invention etc.
This website has lots of video by great speakers..
On business alone, we can find Jack Welch, Carly Florina,Peter Senge, Negroponte, Muhammad Yunus, LesterThurow, Bill Gates.... wow :-)

OOPS website
this is the chinese version of OpenCourseWare..
course materials for many other universities too..

OOPS video
OOPS video website
Chinese version of "MIT World" + video of presentationin Taiwan..

Open Learn
Open Learn website
UK version.

Industry Analysis – get data from MICE

MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibition) information is a good source to do Industry Analysis.

Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Directory
Look for calendar of events .
It shows a list of events, conventions, exhibitions that have been held and are going to be held.
We can get a lot of information from Industry Exhibition, for e.g
  • Industry participants (industry leaders, challengers, numbers of main participants etc.)
  • Buyers
  • Suppliers
  • Industry publications, magazines, newsletters
  • Industry groups
  • Regulators
  • Industry experts
  • Talks/seminars (sometimes presentation materials are available)
  • Products, niche markets etc…

Take for example, from Calendar of Events,

choose ISF 2008 (17 June – 20 June 2008)
go to ISF website (International Security & Safety Expo & Forum) (click on the logo),
you can get "e-brochure" (can find related Ministry, industry body, lots of industry participants can be found inside).

The logo shows the sponsors (usually important industry players), industry publications etc.

We will be able to get even more information about the industry cluster (to use Michael Porter’s word: "cluster") if we continue to search for the sponsors, industry publications, professional bodies etc.
We have not even set foot on the real Exhibition and already got so much information :-)

Malaysia - 2007 Auditor-General Report

Jabatan Audit Negara Malaysia

2007 Auditor-General Report (only Malay version available as of now)
2007 Auditor-General Report
(going a level up will be other Audit Report)

  • It comes with :
    Penyata Akaun Awam & Pengurusan Kewangan
    (can see how Ministries, government agencies’ financial accounts are managed)
  • Pengurusan & Aktiviti Kementerian/Jabatan dan Pengurusan Syarikat Kerajaan Persekutuan
    (can see what are the activities carried out by Ministries, their structures, new projects etc.. a good source of information)

From (a), (Sigh) What a mess ! Lots of rooms for improvement !

Page 20: Table showing weaknesses of expenditures for development
(subsequent pages showing the details and amount involved. )
Page 74-75: "scores" for financial management of different Ministries, Departments
Page 115: Conclusion

Both reports also have some photographs showing examples of what need to be improved.
Seems like this Audit is really painstakingly done.

Hopefully, those weaker Ministries & Departments can buck up as soon as possible and improve themselves in financial "governance".

Related Posts with Thumbnails


The opinion post on this blog is personal and is not an inducement to buy or sell any investment products. The author of this blog will NOT be held responsible for any losses incurred due to the reliance on any content of this blog for investment decisions.