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Monday, December 29, 2008

IBM, Accenture Possible Satyam Suitors As Board Errupts

Shares of Satyam (SAY), the Indian outsourcing firm that has been rocked by scandal after a botched acquisition and reports that it was banned from business with The World Bank, are jumping this morning amid speculation of a management shaekup. Indian daily paper The Economic Times this morning reports that “a clutch of global IT services firms” are potential bidders to acquire Satyam, citing unnamed analysts. The article notes that “chances of a strategic takeover have brightened after the company announced the possible dilution of stake by founder and promoter B Ramalinga Raju on Saturday.” The story lists IBM (IBM), Accenture (ACN), and France’s Cap Gemini (CAP) among the possible suiters, and mentions U.S. private equity firm General Atlantic Partners and U.S. outsourcing firm Cognizant Technology Solutions (CTSH). In a separate story, the Economic Times notes that four independent directors on the company’s board have resigned, as of this afternoon, and that the board pushed out a meeting that was to take place this weekend until January 10 as it mulls measures to restore investor confidence. The Economic Times says it’s likely chairman Raju will be dismissed. Satyam shares rose 55 cents, or 7%, to $8.47.

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Monday, December 22, 2008

Honda City 2009 Comparision S & E

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Latest Layoffs: 189,337

Layoff Tracker
Compiled by Klaus Kneale, 12.18.08, 12:00 PM EST
Aetna fires 1,000; Western Digital dismisses 2,500; Ryder drops 3,100.
Number of layoffs since Nov. 1, 2008, at America's 500 largest public companies*:

Latest Layoffs:

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Yahoo! BuzzDec. 17: Discontinuing supply chain operations in parts of South America, Ryder System (nyse: R - news - people ) fires 3,100.

Dec. 17: Western Digital (nyse: WDC - news - people ) cuts 5% of workforce (2,500) and slows production in response to decline in orders.

Dec. 17: Aetna (nyse: AET - news - people ) cuts costs for the new year and drops 1,000 (3% of workforce).

Dec. 17: Parker-Hannifin (nyse: PH - news - people ) reduces workforce by 46 at industrial rubber hose plant.

Dec. 17: Bristol-Myers Squibb (nyse: BMY - news - people ) slices 10% of staff (3,700) following a 10% cut back in July.

Dec. 16: CBS Corp (nyse: CBS - news - people ) fires 30 focusing on in-house network programming.

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See all November Layoffs

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Date Company Total Laid Off Industry
12/17/2008 Ryder System 3,100 Services
12/17/2008 Western Digital 2,500 Technology
12/17/2008 Aetna 1,000 Health Care
12/17/2008 Parker-Hannifin 46 Capital Goods
12/17/2008 Bristol-Myers Squibb
3,700 Pharmaceuticals
12/16/2008 CBS 30 Media
12/15/2008 Merrill Lynch 400 Financials
12/15/2008 Charles Schwab 100 Financials
12/13/2008 Berkshire Hathaway 345 Finance
12/12/2008 Masco 500 Construction
12/12/2008 International Paper 2,050 Materials
12/11/2008 Bank of America 35,000 Banking
12/12/2008 Las Vegas Sands 11,216 Leisure
12/11/2008 Whirlpool 250 Durables
12/10/2008 Mohawk Industries 105 Durables
12/10/2008 Procter & Gamble 320 Household
12/09/2008 Praxair 1,600 Chemicals
12/08/2008 Anheuser-Busch Co. 1,400 Food
12/08/2008 3M 2,300 Conglomerates
12/08/2008 Wyndham Worldwide 4,000 Leisure
12/08/2008 Dow Chemical 5,000 Chemicals
12/05/2008 General Motors 7,758 Durables
12/05/2008 Legg Mason 200 Financials
12/05/2008 Cablevision 100 Media
12/05/2008 Staples 140 Retailing
12/04/2008 Steel Dynamics 65 Materials
12/05/2008 Cummins 500 Capital Goods
12/04/2008 Windstream 170 Telecommunications
12/04/2008 General Electric 500 Conglomerates
12/04/2008 E.I. du Pont de Nemours 2,500 Chemicals
12/04/2008 AT&T 12,000 Telecommunications
12/032008 Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold 1200 Materials
12/03/2008 United Technologies 350 Conglomerates
12/03/2008 Gannett 2,000 Media
12/03/2008 Adobe Systems 600 Software
12/03/2008 Jefferies Group 300 Financials
12/03/2008 Viacom 850 Media
12/2/2008 United States Steel 4,175 Materials
12/01/2008 JPMorgan Chase 9,200 Banking
12/01/2008 PepsiCo 87 Food
11/25/2008 Dana Holding 50 Durables
11/24/2008 BlackRock 10 Financials
11/21/2008 Western Union 200 Business Services
11/20/2008 Bank of New York Mellon 1,800 Banking
11/20/2008 Boeing 800 Aerospace
11/17/2008 Citigroup 52,000 Banking
11/14/2008 Sun Microsystems 6,000 Technology
11/12/2008 Applied Materials 1,800 Technology
11/12/2008 Morgan Stanley 2,000 Finance
11/12/2008 Liberty Media 910 Retailing
11/12/2008 Textron 665 Conglomerates
11/11/2008 AK Steel Holding 800 Materials
11/7/2008 Ford Motor 2,600 Durables
11/6/2008 Mattel 1,000 Household
11/6/2008 MGM Mirage 400 Leisure
11/6/2008 Omnicom Group 145 Media
11/4/2008 Hartford Financial Services Group 500 Finance

* Total announced layoffs at America’s 500 largest public companies as measured by a composite ranking of sales, profits, assets and market value since Nov. 1 2008. Includes layoffs at subsidiaries, joint ventures, and majority owned companies.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

ASW and ASM Historical return

AMANAH Saham Nasional Bhd’s (ASNB) fixed-priced unit trust funds launched in the past few years have proven to be big winners due to their commendable returns.

These equity-based funds, namely Amanah Saham Wawasan 2020 (ASW 2020) and Amanah Saham Malaysia (ASM), have achieved compounded annual growth rates of 10.78% and 6.3% respectively since the time of its launch.

ASW 2020 and ASM have been providing an annual average distribution income of 7.74 sen and 7.12 sen respectively.

To paint a clearer picture, say if an investor had placed RM100,000 in ASW 2020 10 years ago, his investment value would amount to RM251,360 today.

Similarly, by placing the same amount in the ASM fund 10 years ago, the investor would have RM173,340 today in his investment account.

ASM was launched on April 20, 2000, with an initial fund size of two billion units which were fully subscribed in 21 days.

ASM undertook its first increase in fund size two months later in June 2000 with one billion units fully subscribed in four months.

In April 2006, one billion units of the ASM open for subscription were fully subscribed in 45 minutes.

The most recent offer of ASM’s additional units was in July 2007 which saw all the 500 million units, capped at 50,000 units per investor, fully taken up in 30 minutes.

Earlier in March 2007, a total of 800 million units, also capped at 50,000 units per investor, were fully sold out in one day.

ASW 2020 also drew strong response for its subscription quota for non-bumiputra investors since its launch in August 1996.

Besides the notable payouts, both these funds have fixed prices at RM1 per unit unlike other unit trust funds, which is an attractive feature for risk-averse investors.

According to an analyst, ASNB’s strength lies in the fact that it manages a big fund and has the luxury of time.

“These two factors are crucial to beat the market at any time,” the analyst added.

To date, the fund size for ASW 2020 and ASM stands at 10.42 billion units and 7.2 billion units respectively.

This includes the additional one billion units each offered to the public last month for both these funds. In comparison to these fixed-priced unit trust funds, ASNB’s variable priced balanced fund, Amanah Saham Nasional 3 (ASN 3), did not perform as well.

ASN 3, which has a fund size of 112.91 million units, only registered a compounded annual growth rate of 3.7%.

Buy American. I Am.

Buy American. I Am.
THE financial world is a mess, both in the United States and abroad. Its problems, moreover, have been leaking into the general economy, and the leaks are now turning into a gusher. In the near term, unemployment will rise, business activity will falter and headlines will continue to be scary.
So ... I've been buying American stocks. This is my personal account I'm talking about, in which I previously owned nothing but United States government bonds. (This description leaves aside my Berkshire Hathaway holdings, which are all committed to philanthropy.) If prices keep looking attractive, my non-Berkshire net worth will soon be 100 percent in United States equities.


A simple rule dictates my buying: Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful. And most certainly, fear is now widespread, gripping even seasoned investors. To be sure, investors are right to be wary of highly leveraged entities or businesses in weak competitive positions. But fears regarding the long-term prosperity of the nation's many sound companies make no sense. These businesses will indeed suffer earnings hiccups, as they always have. But most major companies will be setting new profit records 5, 10 and 20 years from now.

Let me be clear on one point: I can't predict the short-term movements of the stock market. I haven't the faintest idea as to whether stocks will be higher or lower a month — or a year — from now. What is likely, however, is that the market will move higher, perhaps substantially so, well before either sentiment or the economy turns up. So if you wait for the robins, spring will be over.

A little history here: During the Depression, the Dow hit its low, 41, on July 8, 1932. Economic conditions, though, kept deteriorating until Franklin D. Roosevelt took office in March 1933. By that time, the market had already advanced 30 percent. Or think back to the early days of World War II, when things were going badly for the United States in Europe and the Pacific. The market hit bottom in April 1942, well before Allied fortunes turned. Again, in the early 1980s, the time to buy stocks was when inflation raged and the economy was in the tank. In short, bad news is an investor's best friend. It lets you buy a slice of America's future at a marked-down price.
Over the long term, the stock market news will be good. In the 20th century, the United States endured two world wars and other traumatic and expensive military conflicts; the Depression; a dozen or so recessions and financial panics; oil shocks; a flu epidemic; and the resignation of a disgraced president. Yet the Dow rose from 66 to 11,497.

You might think it would have been impossible for an investor to lose money during a century marked by such an extraordinary gain. But some investors did. The hapless ones bought stocks only when they felt comfort in doing so and then proceeded to sell when the headlines made them queasy.
Today people who hold cash equivalents feel comfortable. They shouldn't. They have opted for a terrible long-term asset, one that pays virtually nothing and is certain to depreciate in value. Indeed, the policies that government will follow in its efforts to alleviate the current crisis will probably prove inflationary and therefore accelerate declines in the real value of cash accounts.

Equities will almost certainly outperform cash over the next decade, probably by a substantial degree. Those investors who cling now to cash are betting they can efficiently time their move away from it later. In waiting for the comfort of good news, they are ignoring Wayne Gretzky's advice: "I skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it has been."

I don't like to opine on the stock market, and again I emphasize that I have no idea what the market will do in the short term. Nevertheless, I'll follow the lead of a restaurant that opened in an empty bank building and then advertised: "Put your mouth where your money was." Today my money and my mouth both say equities.
Warren E. Buffett is the chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway, a diversified holding company.


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Friday, December 12, 2008

This is what we call Discipline 2

This is what we call Discipline‏