The Japanese Occupation – Singapore

This post would be useful particularly for students using the new Secondary Two History textbook.

The Occupation between 1942 and 1945 saw new legal tender (the ‘banana money’, that had no serial number!) and rationing (with the Japanese issued ‘Peace Living Certificates’). As there was hoarding and decreased supply, a black market grew with prices hitting the roof (hyperinflation – arguably by expansion of money supply). Eventually, death rates in the final two years jumped 100% owing to disease and poor nutrition.

The Old Ford Factory, run by the National Archives of Singapore is another place you can find out about the period.

[Kelly Jackson-Nash. (2016). Culture Shock: Singapore. Marshall Cavendish. Singapore. p.24-25.]

Politically, there was a constant climate of fear with the Kempeitai (Japanese military police) in the shadows. The purges of the Sook Ching operation (against mainly the Chinese), was described by Nicholas Tarling as “…not only a crime, but a blunder.’ A racial/ethnic based divide-and-rule policy was maintained though.

Interestingly, an airport ordered by the Japanese was completed between 1943 and 1945.

In the end, many local residents actually embraced the re-establishment of British control in September 1945.

[Nicholas Tarling. (2015). Colonial Singapore. Straits Times Press and Institute of Policy Studies. Singapore. p.73-75.]

Finally, InSing ran a piece in 2013 on food during the period (with a video to boot!). Click on the lick below : )

Wartime recipes: What people ate during WWII in Singapore

[Side note: The Ipomoea aquatica or Water Spinach is our kang kong/kang kung! It is considered a weed in the United States?! – Worldcrop website.]




SREIT – Annual Report CapitaLand 2015

Let’s get started…


  • CapitaLand Mall Trust (CMT) had 16 properties as at 31 Dec 2015. Only one (Tampines Mall) is in the east of Singapore. Seven are non-suburban i.e. in the centre. These include Raffles City (40% stake). [The only other property under incomplete control was Westgate (30%)]
  • 1.8% of CMT group assets were put into the CapitaLand Retail China Trust (CRCT)

Short term historical prices

I took a rough gauge of the unit prices (Singapore Dollar) – the price at closing on the first day of each month from 2 Jan 2015 up till 1 Nov 2016 (23 months).

  • Highest – $2.19 (only 1 episode)
  • Lowest – $1.895 (only 1 episode)

Volume traded

  • Highest approximation – 28 million
  • Lowest approximation – 1.9 million


Total leverage was 35.4%, a decline from Financial Year (FY) 2014.

Average Term to Maturity (years) [debt, as I understand it] = 5.3 years (rose by 0.6 years from FY 2014).

It has S$192.8 million (at 3.25% interest) due in 2027 though. It came after a swap with a tranche of HK$1.104 billion 2.77% fixed rate notes. [p.84]

Other costs

Directors’ fees increased from FY 2014 to FY 2015 (seven board meetings in 2015).

Management Expense Ratio = 0.7% [‘…excluding property expenses and finance costs but including performance component of CapitaLand Mall Trust Management Limited’s management fees, expressed as a percentage of weighted average net assets.’]

Is the adage ‘An eye for an eye’ viable in redressing wrongs?

When applied to international relations, reconciliation and rehabilitation have proved a better route than reciprocal punishment. We can consult the precedent of France and Germany. The bitter war of the 1870s left France humiliated. France also paid 5 billion francs in reparations to Germany. The seething anger contributed to the punitive measures of the 1919 Treaty of Versailles after World War One. Among other things, German reparations constituted 85% of its total national income. This was a victory without peace. In part, this led to World War Two which exploded in 1939. In contrast, Franco-German reconciliation after 1945 resulted in peace and facilitated conditions that propelled both countries to developed nations status. From this perspective, exacting punishments would have impeded peace. Hence, to a large extent they should be forsaken.

Dividend Investing – Mark Lin (2011)/Others – Part Two

A continuation of the earlier post from Part One.

There are several other posts on dividend investing. Simply use the Search function on the site.

Original notes on paper were made on 28 Sep 2016.

P.39 – Expounding further on ‘Dividend Safety‘, a dividend stock is either equally risky if not lower in risk than the market. [As reference,  Lin wrote that the 10 year Singapore Government Bond yield was 1.7% in 2009, and 5.7% in 1998. Do recall the economic backdrop in those periods.]

The suggested formula:

P                                 =                                                             D/(K-G)

(Reference Price)  =   (Historical dividend payments)/(Cost of equity-Perpetual growth rate of dividends)

where Cost of equity = (risk free interest rate + equity risk premium)

In the example given, the rate of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increase was used to substitute the Perpetual growth rate of dividends.

P.44 & 48 – ‘Capital Protection

Selected firm should have

  • historic operating margins [operating income/net sales – apparently this is before tax and interest payments; in my opinion these should be steadily high but not excessively lest it invites competitors]
  • low debt
  • product lines consisting more of necessities
  • (relatively) low working capital [apparently the formula for working capital ratio is the same as the current ratio; high working capital may hint at unsold goods or poor accumulation of accounts receivable – see explanation from Investopedia (no date)]
  • low capital expenditure (indicating that it is not a growth stock)
  • lengthy debt maturity duration [roughly (debt due in one year/total debt)]
  • lower proportion of debt at variable interest rates

If the company does not offer a breakdown of debt at fixed/variable interest rates, one can convert into percentage:

interest expense/total debt

A year on year rise in this estimation could point out two possibilities. First, an increase in debt of variable interest rates; second, old debts refinanced at higher fixed rates.

[Reflective note: Both reflect poorly on the firm.]

Overall, Lin suggests buying if the stock is undervalued (below the Reference Price, has low risk, and has high return). If the stock is fairly valued, at moderate risk and return, he proposes holding. (This is an extraction from his decision matrix on P.63).

Related References:

M1 (telecommunications) dividend yield in 2007 was 8%. Telekom Malaysia held 29.7% of its shares, while Keppel Telecom took 19.9%. Its market cap was SGD 1.8 billion. See UBS Investment Research – Singapore Outlook 2008. (5 Dec 2007).

Of 8 sampled S-REITS, it seemed only A-REIT had a very stringent performance fee criteria (in favour of the investor). This was 0.1% of property values when DPU (Distribution per Unit) for given FY (Financial Year) was more than 2.5%. There would be an additional 0.1% if DPU exceeded 5%. Others like SUNTEC REIT worked towards 4.5% of property income. A-REIT also charged a 2% management fee for each property – this ranked it in the lower tier. It followed the other REITS for Acquisition/Divestment fee rates.  See Germaine Tai. (Aug 2012). Singapore Property, Initiating on SREITS: Beyond Yields. Singapore. Asia Equity Research. Jeffries Singapore Limited. [You may persuse the physical copy (barring any changes) at Level 11 of the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library/Central Library near Bugis MRT Station or City Hall MRT Station. Do check with the National Library Board, Singapore for potential electronic access.]