Thirai Thiraviam

tamiliam | Joined since 2011-10-28

Investing Experience Advanced
Risk Profile Moderate

I was formally trained as an engineer, and was the CEO of a mid-sized GLC until recently.





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User Comments

2 days ago | Report Abuse

> To me, PBBANK is a Warren Buffett stock, where our favorite holding period should be "forever". This is because of the bank's long term historical track record of growing its EPS and DPS and as a result its NAPS.

While Public Bank is probably the best run bank in Malaysia (based on its Net Margin that is above 50 %, NIM of 2.86, ROE of > 12.5 %, and cash to debt ratio of 1.55), it has been recording a single digit growth of less than 5% for over 10 years now.

As to the dividend yield, it appears high now only because of the slump in its share price over the last two years. Until recently, it was the banking stock with the highest PE. (Historical median PE: 14.8.) No longer. I sold out in mid-2022. Now, I find Public attractive again -- compared to its alternatives.


3 days ago | Report Abuse

> if investors aim for dividend + growth in share price for banking sector. RHB & MAYBANK are far better than public bank at this moment. Public bank yearly dividend cant even cover current margin interest compare to MAYBANK & RHB

Consider this: The PER, Dividend Yield, and Payout Ratio for the three banks in question are as follows:

1) Maybank: 12.87, 6.01% and 0.76
2) RHB: 8.43, 7.23%, 0.61
3) Public: 12.25, 4.53%, 0.41

Of these three, RHB is the most attractive. Public comes second. Maybank appears to be the most richly priced at present. While Maybank pays a decent dividend, its payout ratio is very high, almost twice that of Public Bank. (Note: I have positions in all three.)


3 days ago | Report Abuse

> what you meant by "True, it is not that strong, financially, but so are other banks in Malaysia."?

Over the last ten years, the Revenue per Share of HLFG has grown from RM 4.24 to RM 5.47. During the same period, the Tangible Book per Share has almost tripled from RM 8.16 to RM 22.67. Which raises questions (to me, at least) about the quality of the assets that are being accumulated.

Now, I also look at the Cash & Equivalents over the same 10-year period and compare it with Total Liabilities. Between the periods 2014-2020, the group's cash position was between RM16.3 bil and RM24.8 bil. Total Liabilities on the other hand has tended to be below RM200 bil. However, if we look at the current values, the Cash position has dwindled to RM 11.1 bil whereas the Liabilities has ballooned to RM 278 bil.

Hence, my comment above.


4 days ago | Report Abuse

Today, I finally took a position in both HLB and HLFG. Compared to other local banks, in which I've had position since Covid, HLB seems to be the cheapest. Over the last few years, the profitability of HLFG has increased; and, yet, the price seems not to have kept pace. I wonder why. True, it is not that strong, financially, but so are other banks in Malaysia.


2 weeks ago | Report Abuse

JohnD0ugh, you say, or quote TTB saying, that “I expect the KLCI to rise to 2,500 to 3,000 over the next 3 – 5 years.” What is the basis for this increase? While KLCI is still undervalued based on PER, and reverting to the historical mean should push the index up, don't you think 60% — 100% increase is rather too optimistic?


1 month ago | Report Abuse

>1. At current price it is expensive to buy?
Yes, and no. It is relatively expensive compared to where it has been for the last few years. However, RHB has not kept pace with the rest of the banks -- like CIMB and Maybank -- and its PER is still relatively low.

> 2. Wld the share price go up after ex-divd? under present sentiment where banking stocks are performing well?
Of course. Plus in this round, they also have DRIP; so expect the price to drop more than RM0.25.

> 3. Is RHB a better buy compare to other banking stocks?
Yes. It is a better value, except perhaps AmBank. But doubts about that bank lingers.

News & Blogs

2023-11-12 08:04 | Report Abuse

It’s a party of a criminal. Won’t survive. And, why should it? If Yang Tidak Berhormat Syed Sadiq has any integrity in him, he would resign his position as an MP immediately, and try to clear his name as a private citizen. Muar constituents shouldn’t be represented by a convicted criminal. And, we taxpayers shouldn’t be paying his wages along with his fat allowances.

News & Blogs

2023-07-31 10:34 | Report Abuse

DAP now has a credibility issue with the Indian community. It started with the appointment of V. Sivakumar and the elevation of V. Ganabatirau. Not only are both from the minority Telugu community, both cannot go beyond paying lip service to the concerns of the community. To make things worse, Sivakumar, the only Indian Malaysian in the PMX cabinet, having appointed his domestic partner and her son to key positions in MOHR, has been caught with his hand in the cookie jar, becoming a national embarassment in the process. That said, it is good that they retired P. Ramasamy. While he did well in the early years, he has become more and more divisive and resentful. His continued role as the Penang Hindu Endowment Board chair also has, I believe, created uneasiness among many Indian voters.


2023-01-16 10:07 | Report Abuse

In Mr. Bullshit Buffett's world, right is left, more is less, up is down, China is never wrong.


2023-01-11 12:11 | Report Abuse

FPI is an interesting stock, which, as highlighted by others above, appears to be trading at a deep discount. The stock has paid a dividend every year without fail at least since 1994. And, has increased the quantum of dividend paid since 2016. Based on TTM, and a PER for 10.5, the price should probably be RM 5.20 now. That said, I do have one concern, however. Despite improving earnings, the OCF and FCF appears to have dropped quite a lot last Q. Does anyone know why?


2022-12-30 17:26 | Report Abuse

@furball: "is getting 8% return on consistent basis from self investing in the stock market possible or a reasonable expectation?"

Investing is fun. If you do not find it so, better leave it to professionals. As to returns, what you get, ultimately, depends on how the benchmark like FBMKLCI performs over a long-period. And, the index unfortunately has not done well for a while. We achieved our highest point eight years ago, in 2014, and we have been going downhill ever since.

So, could you achieve an 8% annualised return by investing in KLSE? Yes, provided you have the ability to 1) identify (through fundamental analysis) a bunch of reasonably well-run companies that potentially could give consistent performance over a long period of time, say, the next 10 years; and 2) be patient and wait for an opportune time -- i.e. when the price of a stock is well below your estimate of its value -- to invest. Easily said than done.

Let's take Tenaga, as an example. I believe most of us here invested in the stock because it is a monopoly, and we cannot imagine a future where Tenaga doesn't exist. So, in that sense, it is a company with a wide moat. Its management, however, is questionable. (I am damn happy that it got rid of its dimwitted Chairman recently. Hopefully, the new guy, whoever he or she is, would hold the SLT's feet to the fire.) If you had invested in the stock in May 2018, you'd have seen the stock literally halving in value (not inclusive of dividends) over the next four years. But, if you had confidence in the stock, you'd have invested in it every time it hits a new bottom, like earlier in the year, when it tested the RM8 mark twice.

This is the question I ask before I take any position in a stock: "Would I be happy if the price of the stock takes a 20% dip in the next month?" If my answer is a firm YES, then I go ahead and commit my funds to it. If NO, I stay away. Simple.


2022-09-07 14:58 | Report Abuse

Having looked a little deeper into HEB, I found that the recently concluded quarter was its best since Q3-2018. Its profit margin had for the first time since the earlier period crossed the 10% threshold. The earnings per share, too, is the best since the earlier period.

Should HEB were to maintain a similar performance moving forward -- I think this is highly likely given its recent big wins and its performance over the years paying down debt -- at an annualized EPS of, say, 3.2 cents, and a PER of 28 (based on past performance), we get a target price of RM 0.89. If we were to conservatively price it at 15 (for the so-called Peter Lynch Earnings Line), we'd get a target price of RM 0.47.

So, at RM 0.355, HEB does appear to be selling at a discount of 25% to 60%, depending on how conservatively we price the business. To me, it's a buy.


2022-09-07 11:29 | Report Abuse

Hi matt88 - I am not overly concerned about the major shareholder's sale of 2 mil shares, which, according to the same Bursa announcement, makes up barely 2% of her (MADAM SHANTAMALAR A/P C.SIVASUBRAMANIAM) holdings. So, I wouldn't link it with private placement exercise announcement that was made a few days later on Aug 17.

Anyone here in the know re the proposed private placement, beyond what was announced? Thanks in advance.


2022-08-12 15:46 | Report Abuse

@Investor818 - the biggest problem is the profit margin. At c.10% it is well below pre-pandemic levels. So, I don't think even the current PER is sustainable. I suspect Harta will test RM1.50 soon.


2022-06-09 18:15 | Report Abuse

If you had attended the recent AGM, you'd know why TNB is in the current state. The Chairman, a sitting MP from Rompin, is a charity case. The CEO is an engineer without a money mind. And, the CFO thinks it is normal for a stock to continuously shed its market cap. In 2015 or thereabout, the company introduced LTIP, I presume at the urgings of KNB, and has awarded millions of shares to its senior management. What do they have to show for? Zilch.

I feel for TNB to do well, we need a proper government that thinks long-term. At the least, KNB (Amran, I'm looking at you), which is the largest shareholder, needs to do the thinking for the government. Until that happens, we have no choice but to settle for the dividends.


2022-06-01 12:19 | Report Abuse

With its historical PER of 10.4, based on a TTM of 46 cents earnings, the TP could be RM4.74. Interesting.


2022-06-01 12:12 | Report Abuse

The YOY quarterly results are sure good, improving the TTM earnings to 37 cents, and with that the TP to RM4.44 at a PER of 12. So, there is quite a bit of upside there.

That said, I wonder why the topline has reduced by 6 percent Q on Q? Any idea anyone?


2022-05-27 10:50 | Report Abuse

Ah, I missed the first part of the AGM.


2022-05-26 11:46 | Report Abuse

Why does the analyst think the Revenue will continuously decline for the next three years? And, that the PE will remain well below 4.0 throughout the period? The analysis is generally positive; but no so the financial summary.


2022-05-25 17:31 | Report Abuse

Two items mentioned during the AGM caught my attention: 1) Armada Sterling V will finally go into production in Q4 of 2022; and 2) the usage of a Combine Cycle Gas Turbine (not sure where).


2022-05-25 17:22 | Report Abuse

I voted against the rights issue. I felt it makes no sense to dilute the shares that are performing so terribly. But good to know it is not being actively planned.


2022-05-25 14:53 | Report Abuse

@Nikicheong - May I know under what heading is this JV income reflected in the recent financial statements? I looked at both the income and cash statements and I couldn't locate it.


2022-05-25 13:16 | Report Abuse

Yet another solid quarter. If Armada were priced like Yinson -- at PER of 15 -- it would be selling at RM1.52 and not at RM0.42. Although the company's financial strength remains a concern, it is a much smaller one now than it was six years ago. Over the last six years, Armada has continuously slashed its debt level, essentially halving it. And, I also see the NAPS increasing by almost 25% in the last two years.

That said, the only issue, as I see it, is the lack of, if not negative, growth in revenue. Hopefully, the management would tell us later today how it plans to increase revenue and ROIC, which is hovering around 7%.


2022-05-23 10:58 | Report Abuse

It depends on how many shares you have, and what platform you use. If you have at least 1,500 shares, then reinvest. If less, take the dividend.

If suppose you have 1,500 shares, you'd be entitled to 1,500 x RM0.25 = RM375 dividend. Of this, 1,500 x RM0.10 = RM150 could be reinvested at RM5.17 per share for 29 shares. Add RM13 stamp charges, etc., and your per-share cost would become RM5.62, which is slightly lower than the current market price. If you only have 1,000 shares, your per-share cost would become RM5.94.


2022-05-19 05:26 | Report Abuse

Court jester it is, then. Cool.


2022-05-18 17:35 | Report Abuse

@DickyMe - You clearly think Maybank is not merely a lousy stock, but a lousy company, as well. You are entitled to that opinion. What baffles me, however, is you hanging around here, with the shareholders of this, well, lousy company. Why? Do you see yourself as a some kind of court jester, perhaps? I could only guess. That said, I confess I would be the happiest camper if Maybank (with its fundamentals intact) tanks to RM5.80, as you predict. Why would it do so, though? Kindly share your insights. Thanks.


2022-04-29 10:44 | Report Abuse

@Sardin - I wonder if the statement in page 9 of the report -- on the inventory build-up -- caught your attention. The management blames higher sales (doubtful), shortages in components (doubtful) and lack of shipment availability (possible). What do you make of it?


2022-04-29 10:31 | Report Abuse

It appears the pandemic has forced FPI to embrace automation. In the 2019 AR, there is no mention of automation in the GMD's statement. Also, between 2018 and 2019, the total workforce increased by 13% from 3,331 to 3,749.

In the following year's statement, however, we see the following: "Focus on tactical investment and talent development to optimise business efficiencies and performance. Under my direction, tactical investments will continue to be made into selective automation that comprises self-developed jigs and equipment and new and better way of production methods ... to upscale its efficiencies ... and to achieve cost savings target." And, in that year, the total workforce reduced by 8% from 3,749 to 3,441.

This year's statement builds on the record, and says the following: "I pledge full attention in training and teaming up our employees to drive competency and excellence and boosting internal productivity and process semi-automation ... [and] ... continue to invest into selective automation that comprises automation machines, self-developed jigs and equipment, and to reengineer processes and optimise resources in order to allow the Group to reduce reliance on manpower." This year, the total workforce, as highlighted in previous posts, has dropped by 18%.

I find this progression encouraging.


2022-04-29 09:51 | Report Abuse

Page 32 of the AR provides the detailed changes in the workforce by ethnicity and nationality between 2020 and 2021. We see the total workforce has reduced by 18% from 3,441 to 2,810. There is also a slight shift away from foreign workers -- from 73% to 71%.


2022-04-28 19:33 | Report Abuse

@Desmond_of_KLSE - Thanks for highlighting the Wistron factory matter. Something to think about.


2022-04-28 19:14 | Report Abuse

@Sardin - The trading for the past few days has been light; so, I wouldn't consider the sellers as motivated. It's probably traders using the Bollinger Band as a guide. They could also be treating the current level as the support, given it was the high point reached on 15 Feb.

As to your other question: I am not in the electronics field.


2022-04-26 18:19 | Report Abuse

@Sardin - I did buy some back @ RM3.19. Since its high of c. RM3.80 (pre-dividend), the stock has shed over 10%.


2022-04-22 15:48 | Report Abuse

Yeoh - I received the dividend on the 15th for my direct account, and 18th for my Maybank nominee account. Rakuten - not yet.


2022-04-12 12:39 | Report Abuse

Mark - Bumi Armada and Yinson are two local companies that are in the FPSO business. The latter's EPS (before split) is 4x that of the former. While Yinson's PER is comfortable, Armada's PER is, well, 4. So, Armada, selling at 4x its earnings, is really, really cheap.


2022-04-11 21:01 | Report Abuse

I am expecting the counter to dip a further 10 to 15 cents, although my TP for it is RM4.10.


2022-04-07 13:19 | Report Abuse

Any idea what caused the sudden jump today?


2022-04-03 18:52 | Report Abuse

I remember a time when the annual dividend was over 10 cents, and the share trading at around RM1.50. For long-term investors, the overall return has not been that great.


2022-04-03 18:45 | Report Abuse

It is good to have comedians in forums. It gets dull otherwise.


2022-03-31 17:16 | Report Abuse

There were quite a number of questions on this yesterday. Nothing is the answer. A number of shareholders were unhappy that the board members, paid RM200k annually, also receive RM3,000 as meeting allowance.


2022-03-31 08:13 | Report Abuse

@TreeTopView - From where do you get this info on shorts? While I am familiar with shorting, I have never done it. I don't even know if you need to open a special account or sth.


2022-03-29 20:38 | Report Abuse

ICAP continues to sell at 40% discount. As a retail investor, do I mind the City of London Investment Management Company (CLIM) investing in ICAP? No, I don't. ICAP's manager, Mr. Tan Teng Boo (TTB) blames CLIM for the massive discount -- that CLIM somehow depresses the price. It is a fantastic theory; one that only TTB understands and appreciates.

The High Court certainly wasn't amused with ICAP's stories, and yesterday rejected ICAP's application for injunction against CLIM. It has also ordered ICAP to pay the Defendants a punitive sum of RM30,000. Would ICAP learn its lesson? Unfortunately, no. It plans to appeal the ruling, and spend more time and money on the quixotic quest. :sigh:

In an opinion piece written in iCapital (which is Capital Dynamics Sdn. Bhd.'s newsletter) recently, there was an article called "The Ukraine Boomerang". I am not sure who wrote it. The author, clearly a Putin and China apologist, predicts how "2022 will be the year when the mighty Russian bear overwhelms the US stock markets and her economy". The article not only calls the invasion of Ukraine, a sovereign nation, "Russia's military operation", it also labels the democratically elected president of Ukraine, Mr. Volodymyr Zelensky, "Clown of Ukraine", who is apparently "playing with fire and putting the lives of 44 mil Ukrainians at risk". Go figure!

Long-time observers of TTB know that he has been a China-groupie for a long-while. It's one of his quirks, we've dismissed. But, having the read the article, I couldn't help but conclude that he has allowed his love of everything China to cloud not just his POV, but his judgement, as well. If the thinking behind ICAP managers is, well, so hidebound, how could ICAP ever convince investors to take a fresh look at it, and close the NAV-price gap?

I don't know. But, ludicrously blaming the West, or CLIM for that matter, for one's failings is not a winning formula, I believe.


2022-03-28 20:31 | Report Abuse

ABMB turned out to be the best. It went up almost 50% in the last two quarters.


2022-03-28 18:18 | Report Abuse

@jeffchan1901 - Mine was at Level 3 in Q2-2020, but it is close to Level 1 now. I shifted the proceeds to RHB and ABMB in Q4-2021.


2022-03-28 10:05 | Report Abuse

@Wallstreetrookie - Where do you get their research reports from? I have trading accounts with a couple of the above four.


2022-03-26 02:39 | Report Abuse

I didn't buy enough when the price dropped to 37 cents. For some reason, I thought the price may drop further. Foolish. When it rose instead, I didn't have the forethought to quickly buy. I bought quite a bit yesterday at 41.5 cents. But, I suspect, the price will hover between 40 - 43 cents a bit longer before it goes up. Perhaps those who know Technical Analysis could throw some light here.


2022-03-25 16:08 | Report Abuse

LM - the current price of RM7.0 could be justified if Bursa returned a quarterly EPS of at least 7.25 cents. This number is lower than the last quarter's EPS, but higher than pre-pandemic levels. Given how excited the market is at the prospect of the BN regime returning to power, perhaps the heightened price is justified, no? (Before May 2018, Bursa's EPS was consistently well above 7.25 cents.)


2022-03-25 15:55 | Report Abuse

The bank returned an average of RM0.11 EPS per quarter over the last three quarters. Assuming the same performance is demonstrated in the next quarter, and at PER of 10.4, the TP would be RM4.58. So, at RM3.64, we may consider the stock to be selling at 25% discount.

So, it is still a good buy; or for those who have bought it at a much lower price, it is still a keeper.


2022-03-22 15:24 | Report Abuse

How many shares has FPI issued to its employees? So far, they have exercised upward of 5 mil shares, equivalent to 2% of the total, but it seems never ending. And, I don't think the employees are holding on to the shares.


2022-03-22 11:01 | Report Abuse

With TTM earnings at 23 cents, at PER of 10, this counter should be selling well above RM2. Any idea what is holding the share price back? The price of steel remains elevated since last year.


2022-03-18 17:01 | Report Abuse

What is triple switching? I saw the large infusion, as well. Over RM310 mil worth of shares traded in 10 mins.