October 16, 2021

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Top 5 Sectors For Investment in 2017

The good thing about the new year is the fact it acts like a "Reset Function". We move on from the old and welcome the new. I look forward to the new year with great anticipation and excitement. The first post for 2017, is to look at the Top 5 Sectors by research houses in comparison of my own personal view. This posting is to show the general market view I have for 2017.

If you all observant readers notice, there is no mention of plantation / construction / steel sectors in my 2016's 3 year view. The main reason I did not consider these 3 sectors was because 1. weather 2. politically linked 3. Volatility. Tradeview generally avoids GLCs and unpredictable elements when it comes to stock picking as I have the duty to ensure the downside is taken care of before I can even hope to achieve meaningful upside.

There have been many talks in end 2016 by funds / research houses that for 2017 , the following sector will be in focus :
1. Plantation
2. Oil and Gas
3. Construction
4. Selected Export counters
5. Election linked Stocks (GLCs)

I will go through each and everyone for the purposes of my readers. I do agree with some but I also disagree with some.

1. Plantation :

I think almost every investor know apart from oil and gas, Malaysia is a huge exporter of palm oil after Indonesia. The palm oil market track 2 things very closely : CPO price and weather. Both are interrelated. Current CPO price has been increasing due to the low stock pile and strong USD. Many analyst foresee that the earnings of plantation will pick up in the next QR season due to the turnaround trend it has shown for the past quarter. Many counters shot up like TecGuan, MKH, Ta Ann, KM Loong have started to exhibit such behaviour.

My view : Plantation is indeed doing well and I believe next Q will do well too. However I dont think it will last through the whole of 2017. Nonetheless, it is good to have exposure to this sector. 

2. Oil and Gas :

It has been a terrible 2 years plus for the oil and gas sector. Although I called a rebound in oil and gas in March 2016, the rebound was from 35 USD per barrel crude oil to only 54 USD per barrel. Malaysia as a net exporter of oil have join in the movement with OPEC and Non-OPEC producers to reduce the global supply to stabilise the oil price. Such collective effort is the first for all and I am of the view this is good. However, we must all agree that the days of record oil price is behind us due to the ongoing movements of renewable energy, green, sustainability and most importantly, the shale oil produces. Following OPEC cut, many counters have jump up like SK Petro, Hibiscus, Uzma, UMWOG.

My view : While I foresaw the rebound, I am not bullish for the sector. I am for sell on strength and I believe the range will be at between 55-65 USD per barrel. 

3. Construction :

Ever since the continuing distribution of infrastrucure works, many construction companies have been doing well. Specifically those that has the government contracts. This may be so, however only a handful of construction companies deliver healthy profits with the healthy orderbooks. Many supposedly big construction firms with big orderbooks have shown terrible earnings. So unlike most analyst, I am not at all bullish for construction sector. Yes, we have the HSR, MRT2, LRT3, East Coast Rail Line and all. All these are well and good if the government has sufficient coffers to pay out or strong FDI to support these initiative. My concern has always been our government coffers are thinning the Foreign Fund has been flowing out for 2 years straight and somehow not turning around. Government revenue is not increasing, how can they afford to support so many infrastructures? Yes, there is talk of China money and oil price rebound helping. However, all these takes time for it to translate to the bottomline of the company.

My view : I am not bullish of the sector. In fact, quite reserved. Only a handful of constructions counters are in my watchlist. 

4. Selected Export Stocks :

I have always foresaw MYR weakening after it rallied back to RM3.80 from RM4.45 in 2015. The reason was not because of Trump but the rate hike. Additionally, the risk appetite and currency flow from emerging markets back to developed due to higher interest rates. Therefore, I have called my private subscribers to accumulate Hevea at RM1.20, Magni RM4.20, Superlon at RM2.35 in 2016. However, I was selective. I refused to touch FL Bhd, WTK etc. Not all companies have shown resilience like the one mentioned. Export companies is beneficiary of weaker MYR but BNM new ruling on retaining only 25% of FOREX for export companies is not good for the export companies in the long term (short term good). Nonetheless, I am still pro selected export counters which can show continuous growth in demand (revenue increasing), not just companies that relies on forex translation gains.

My view : I am bullish on selected counters in the export sector. Especially those that can show strong . sustainable demand. This is because the domestic market is very weak.As such, it is better to have exposure to overseas income / revenue. I encouraged my subscribers to enter Poh Huat as well following the good QR. I will not claim credit for Poh Huat as many good writers and stock pickers have noticed Poh Huat way before me. However, I am joining in to advocate to collect based on the strong fundamentals.

5. Election Linked Stocks (GLCs) :

Every election cycle, many GLCs will start to move and the market starts getting excited over these counters. My question is WHY? Why election then people feel GLCs will move? I am sure many of you reading this must scold me for asking such stupid question. "Of course GLCs will move because of election, government need election funds that's why!" My apologies, by right, logically this shouldn't happen in an ideal and truly transparent governance. If anything, one should avoid GLCs with impending election as the change of government would result a change of regime and power. Therefore, GLCs are most susceptible to volatility. Sadly, in Malaysia, we all know GLCs are controlled by the ruling government and specifically the ruling party / political elites.

Tradeview is apolitical. One of the key investment style in the group is to avoid GLCs altogether. I do not like GLCs for 3 simple reason :

1. Leakages
2. Poor Corporate Governance
3. Huge debts

Ex: FGV / DRB and countless others

My view : I will avoid GLCs altogether and focus only on value companies trading at attractive valuations with growth prospect. Therefore, I cannot be bullish on this sector.

Finally, my advice to all is don't keep looking at rotational play or theme plays because it is all short term. Additionally, you will lose money more than you win unless you are a Master of TA or Master of Info (Insider). Focus on value investing and growing with the business. Think of yourself as part owner, shareholder, stakeholder and most importantly, imagine it is a business you want to be a part of as your legacy. That way, I guarantee you, you will exercise the utmost caution of putting your money in that investment. Who wouldn't want to leave a good legacy?

Food for thought:

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This  information should not and cannot be construed as or relied on and (for  all intents and purposes) does not constitute financial, investment or  any other form of advice. Any investment involves the taking of  substantial risks, including (but not limited to) complete loss of  capital. Every investor has different strategies, risk tolerances and  time frames. You are advised to perform your own independent checks,  research or study; and you should contact a licensed professional before  making any investment decisions.

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