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Friday, June 25, 2010

The Chinese Again!

This is so interesting! The Chinese don’t even have to do anything but hint at currency adjustments and world markets popped. The buying power of the Chinese population cannot be discounted. The net impact of a stronger Yuan means that more Chinese will have the ability to buy stuff abroad and what is interesting is that foreign goods are cheap to them because they have been marked up horribly in the mainland and even worse, they do not know what they are buying is the genuine stuff or not. Ironically, the Chinese are buying Chinese herbs and preparations in Macau because they do not trust the quality of their own stuff.

This lack of security advances up to the ultra-rich as well. They are trying their best to be under the radar screen as the rich are often targeted for this or that. Quite a few of them want to shift at least part of their assets away and in the past, Hong Kong was a choice destination but now, that may not be that viable. The mainland Chinese are making waves in Singapore’s property markets, in fact, they are buying assets all over Asia. I just came back from Vietnam where properties prices and yields have come down drastically. Navigating through all the political maze is amazing and very bad for health. I was visiting buildings and when I was at the sites, I knocked against the beam and suffered cuts and bruises to my right eye. Talk about job hazards!

The World Cup, school holidays and market uncertainty are finally cooling the markets! We need a reprieve as prices going up too fast too quickly can be detrimental. Again, I reiterate, stick to the fundamentals and you cannot go wrong. I hope all of you have more luck than Italy, last year’s winners. Always remember, last year’s winners can be tomorrow’s dogs.

I will up in Bangkok this weekend. In the meantime, have a great weekend!

Your Friend
Andy Ong
25/06/10

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Where are the markets headed?

Hi guys! Many of you have asked me what is happening in the investment markets now. So Ihave decided to split my blog in two sections. One about starting businesses and related stuff. The other will just be pure investments focused.

The stock and property markets seems to in a limbo at the moment. Good news on the domestic front with GDP growth forecasts of 9 to 11 percent is giving cheer. But the European economies, especially Greece and the other PIIG countries, are making people worried.

However, it is not the PIIG economies that should be keeping you awake. To put things in perspective, they are insignificant compared to the European giants. Thus the impact they have will not be that severe. The governments have also gotten much smarter in containing economic issues and taking measures to pre-empt major impact.
It is the China factor that is worrying me. The Chinese are coming here in droves and they are a significant source of demand for our private housing. They are also propping up commodity prices and the China markets will be a key story going forward in the next decade. The China government measures are starting to take effect but the developers are resisting any drop in prices as their landbank has been very expensively acquired.

What does this mean for you? I don’t expect prices to rise like they have in the last year. Many investors have already invested and I suspect the market will have to go through a period of consoalidation. What will support the markets will be the significant wealth effect created by the HDB increase in prices. Regional economies are also doing well and their nationals are still looking to invest in Singapore. These two factors will form a support base.

Whether you like it or not foreign demand is contributing to Singapore’s real estate demand. Many Indonesians, Malaysians, Thais especially the Chinese want a just in case option. This is my longest entry in a long time. I will be traveling to Ho Chi Minh City tomorrow to look at several properties there. Prices have fallen more than 50% since the last high.

Till the next time, take care my friends.

Andy Ong
10/06/10

Thursday, June 3, 2010

I want to party!!

I feel relieved! My decision to teach just one more year has really rejuvenated me! There is light at the end of the tunnel! Just one more year of teaching to go!

Actually I quite like the teaching but it’s the previews that I hate. Lots of skeptics as there are heck a lot of other less credible players around. I don’t blame them but you only have to look at what we have built to judge us. Any other yardstick is pointless. This who can actually go and do it!

I am very happy when I received the emails from Roger and Andrew. They really made my day. Their emails reflected my objective, to share with those who want to make difference to their lives. I am proud to be your friend. I would like to have a pre-retirement party! Haha. I find any excuse to drink. I also would like to thank all my previous students who number over 5000.

If you would like to share my joy, I would like to invite you as well. The venue will be the restaurant in our premises at La Villa, my teat! The day will be announced later after consultation with my staff, I have not even told them about my decision yet! For those of you who are keen, pls let us know as the place can only accommodate 120 people. Priority will be given to my DED students whom I spent countless hours with.

I am preparing for business trip to Bangkok and after that, Ho Chi Minh City. I know, I know, yet another trip. My greatest fear is now going to airports.

Till the next blog, God Bless!

Your Friend,
Andy Ong
03/06/10

A Life Changing Decision!

I have decided that I need to move on. This is quite a momentous occasion for me. In the last few years, I am so happy to make quite a few friends and along the way, I have encountered unpleasant people but that is life. It can never be a bed of roses. But that is what makes life interesting as well. In the last 10 odd years, I have grown our real estate, education and other businesses into forces to be reckoned with. We have acquired land, buildings and our business plays are quite admired by our peers.

After contemplating for the last few days, I have decided to lessen my personal sharing with the general public and devote more time to the businesses I have acquired over the years. I will continue to teach at the current pace for one more year and after that, I will just share with our long term academic students. This will mean I have more time to do a lot more stuff, like actually settling down and getting married. LONG OVERDUE!

This is a difficult decision as I really enjoy meeting new people. However, I am too overwhelmed right now to be effective. On hindsight, This decision is long overdue. I will have a few more property courses and maybe, a couple more entrepreneurship programs. After that, I guess I will have less opportunity to make friends. A lot of my former students have turned into business partners. I hope to be able to use the remaining time to consolidate our friendships and do more with you this period of time. After all, this is what ERC has been set up for. I apologise if we can’t help everyone but we really tried!

Your Friend,

Andy Ong
03/06/10