Monday, 22 September 2014

Protasco's Puzzling Purchase (5)

A pretty shocking (albeit not unexpected, at least for this blogger) announcement by Protasco:

Protasco Berhad (“Protasco” ) wishes to announce that Protasco has today filed a legal suit at the Kuala Lumpur High Court against PT Anglo Slavic Utama (“1st Defendant”) and two of its directors, namely Tey Por Yee (“2nd Defendant”) and Ooi Kock Aun (“3rd Defendant”) (“Legal Proceeding”).

Protasco’s claim against the 1st Defendant is for the refund of the Purchase Price paid under the Restated SPA dated 28 January 2014 and/or damages and/or for damages arising from the breach of contract. Apart from the Restated SPA being void, and as a further or alternative claim, as the Conditions Subsequent were not fulfilled within the Condition Period, Protasco proceeded to terminate the Restated SPA and demanded for the return of the Purchase Price from the 1st Defendant vide its letter dated 4 August 2014.
Protasco’s claim against the 2nd Defendant and the 3rd Defendant is premised on the breach of their fiduciary and statutory duties including the duty to disclose their interest in the transaction, conspiracy to defraud Protasco and the making of secret profit. Protasco is seeking damages against the 2nd Defendant and the 3rd Defendant.
Protasco wishes to state that the Legal Proceeding it has initiated has no significant immediate adverse impact on the current financial position of Protasco. Protasco will make impairment on the Purchase Price if necessary in consultation with its Auditors.

I wrote many times about Protasco and the rather strange proposed acquisition of the Indonesian oil & gas company which didn't seem to make much sense at all (at least to me), most notably here, here, here and here.

Thanks (of course) to the (anonymous) person who drew my attention to this interesting case in the first place. Keep the good comments coming!

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Wall Street Is About To Slowly Torture Macau Investors

I wrote before a very positive story about Macau, this time a very negative story.

The two are perfectly complimentary to each other: short term a bad outlook (partly due to a significant slow down in the Chinese economy), long term a good outlook.

On a personal note, a friend of mine is living in Macau for quite a while and has never seen a blue sky for such a long period. In other words, the Chinese factories, who usually are responsible for the air pollution, are not running on full steam. There are many other similar indicators.

Investors worldwide should be cautious.

From Business Insider:

"Wall Street is turning its back on Macau after months of gaming stock sell offs and the lowest revenue of any summer since 2012.

But it's happening slowly and painfully — with analysts shaving off a percentage point here and there as bad news just gets worse.

That shouldn't be the case, Ray Young of Sterne Agee argued in a recent note in which he took his gross gaming revenue [GGR] estimate to 0%.

Most analysts are still sitting around at 3%.

"We believe our new estimates eliminate a trend representative of “Chinese Water Torture” - constant minor downward estimate revisions on the heels of mostly known GGR disruptive issues," Young wrote.

In other words, all Macau's devils are already here.

This weekend, horrid economic data out of China served as another all-around reminder of what Macau was (and would continue to be) lacking for some time — enough gamers to play the games.
High roller play has suffered the most, disrupted by a $1.3 billion heist that sucked cash out of the financing system Macau uses to fund VIP play.

Even more disruptive has been Chinese President Xi's corruption campaign. After going to Macau and checking things out, Young believes that the campaign isn't just impacting high roller play. Mass market players are feeling it too, and things are about to get even more strict.

"A new anti-money laundering (“AML”) framework may be adopted in Macau within the next 30 days," Young wrote in a note. "While the framework has a few new components, one Government contact believes the real risk for some will be a new “spirit of enforcement” which will come in tandem with the new framework, especially as it relates to know your customer (“KYC”) rules."

In other words, the government might start to care about who spends money in Macau and where they got their money from."

Masterskill: who is Gary How? (2)

I wrote before about the put and call option of Gary How.

Masterskill announced the termination of the said agreement.

He [Mr. How] has expressly confirmed that the he is unable to complete the purchase of the First Party’s shares within the Call Option Period (within 6 months from the date of Call and Put Option Agreement)

Was the agreement ever serious? I always had my doubts (as had the few people who commented on the posting), as expressed in above blog post. The whole sequence of events poses more questions than that is gives answers.

Gary How and related parties are still directors of the company, while holding only a very small percentage of the shares.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

"The Great Australian Investment Ponzi"

A friend pointed me at an interesting, hard hitting blog with the above title, written by someone who calls himself "Dr. Benway".

From Wikipedia: "Dr. Benway is the name of a recurring character in many of William S. Burroughs' novels, including Naked Lunch and Nova Express. He is referred to only as "Dr. Benway" or "Doc Benway" (his first name is never revealed).

He lacks a conscience and is more interested in his surgical performance than his patients' well-being."

The last sentence does indeed seem to be valid for the blog.

In the blog, rather specific cases are mentioned regarding Australian listed companies.

Some of the companies have links to companies listed on the Singapore or Malaysia exchanges, so readers of this blog might be interested.

The readers should themselves judge if they agree with the contents and/or if the wording chosen by "Dr. Benway" is too strong/controversial for their taste. As usual: "reader beware".

Articles regarding the Blumont group: here, here and here.

Articles regarding the Catcha group: here, here and here.

Other articles: here, here and here.