Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Time shareholders rap SGX execs?

I am delighted to see the Tokyo Stock Exchane rap the knuckles of the executives of the Singapore Exchange and remind them buying the Australian Exchange isn't a do or die affair.

Rather, given the way SGX's share price has collapsed, the merger is a do-n-die move: do it, especially if SGX raises the bid price, and it's a guaranteed one way ticket to oblivion.

For people like me, who bought into SGX at lowish prices, we would just lose our paper profits.

For the TSE, which are sitting on huge paper losses -- its 5% was bought at $10 per share, if I remember correctly -- it will certainly be worse.

Mayb it's time for SGX shareholders to start a ginger group to the tell the still new SGX CEO that enough is enough?

Feb 22, 2011
Singapore bourse shouldn't raise ASX offer, TSE warns

TOKYO - THE Singapore Exchange should not raise its already generous offer to buy Australian bourse operator ASX because that would bring unnaceptable dilution for its shareholders, said the chief executive of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, which owns a 5 per cent stake in the Singapore bourse.

'The offer now looks big, and we can't be happy with the dilution if it is raised further,' Atsushi Saito said at a regular news briefing at the TSE.

SGX faces pressure to sweeten its US$7.9 billion (S$10 billion) offer for the rival Australian bourse to counter opposition to the deal from politicians and win regulatory approval, which requires an agreement to lift a 15 per cent cap on foreign ownership.

This week SGX agreed to allow ASX to have an equal number of directors in the merged company in an attempt to counter calls for the merger to be scrapped. Yet, under the agreement SGX will still own a 64 per cent share after the merger.

Giving ground on that ratio risks turning some shareholders such as the TSE, which up to now supported the union, into opponents of the merger, which if strong enough could scuttle the first major bid at consolidation by major Asia-Pacific exchanges.

That could leave Asia lagging as bourses in Europe and the United States move ahead with new alliances and mergers. -- REUTERS

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Looking to still more good years

Now back to cooking the Reunion Dinner! :-D :-D :-D

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Casino & arithmetics of paying one-year casino levy

When i paid the $2,000 per annum entry levy for the Marina Bay Sands Casino on Jan 2, I knew I must visit more than 12 times to make the sums work for paying the levy in advance, instead of paying $100 each time I visit.

Also, apart from the upfront payment, I have given up the flexibility of visiting the casino fewer than 12 times during the next 12 months. Because if I go fewer than 12 times, I would in effect be paying more than the government mandated $100 per day levy.

However, I know for sure that I would visit MBS more than 12 times in 2011. I intend to anyway.

Where is the break even point for me? I guess 20 times should do it for me, or two visits over 10 months. That means I would be paying a $50 per visit levy.

Still, that would depend a lot on whether my luck holds out on most of the visits.

If I lose more money than I win, then I may not visit as often as twice a month. On the other hand, if I win more than I lose, then I may even make more than 20 visits over the year.

Stay tune on this blog for more about whether the sums work out for me at MBS!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Marina Sands targetting me to win?

Well, well, I had another day of wins at Marina Bay Sands today. Following on my last post, I wonder if my speculation has hit bull's eye?

Ever since I bought myself a one-year entry pass to the Marina Bay Sands casino on Jan 2, I’ve been to the casino four times, including Jan 2. The other times I visited are Jan 7, 17 and today, Jan 26.

I’m more convinced than ever that I did the right thing, in buying a one-year pass, in terms of enjoyment from the visit as well as being able to gamble wisely, without over tiring myself — as had been the case on the first four occasions when I paid $100 per entry.

For that amount and limited to only a 24-hour entry, I hung on and on, till I was dog tired. Sure, I didn’t really lose much money, if at all, if the levy fees were ignored. For sure, I had clear cut winnings too – on Dec 23 when I booked myself an early X’mas present from MBS’ coffers.

However, starting from Jan 2, every visit save the first, when i lost some $330 (excluding the levy), I’ve managed to come out on the plus side.

On Jan 7, I came away with handsome winnings; on Jan 17, I’m not entirely sure but leaving with a $90 cash out ticket that day, and all that I had lost having come from winnings from the Jan 7 wins, I guess I must have broken even.

Today, I left the casino after about a 4-hour joust with various slot machines with a cash-out ticket of $230. I had started the day with the Jan 17 $90 cash out ticket and didn’t have to dip into any money from my wallet.

That means I’m up $140 on the day; that’s why I sang all the way home to dinner.

Oh yes, for those who are looking for some successful jousts at MBS, the machines which were kind to me today included Butterfly Kisses, Jackpot Party and Magician.

And oh yes, never bet more than one bet per line. That may explain my longevity to date at MBS

And oh yes, oh yes, I got $16 worth of free parking (could have got my full value of $26 if I stayed longer, but I believe in the adage to get going when the winning is good!). Also, I’m another 5 points closer to having my Premier Advantage membership upgraded. Just another 303 points to go.. lol!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Can Marina Bay Sands target me to win?

It's a thought that keeps coming to mind. Since the Marina Bay Sands casino knows exactly the amount of money I gamble -- via my Premier Advantage card stuck into a slot in the slot machines, collecting points and Premier Dollars, it must also have a good idea how much I win.

It needs only a little leap in imagination for me to wonder whether MBS could similarly control how much I win?

Sure, pay out rates of machines are supposed to be about 80%. But is it 80% collectively of the 1,600 machines spread across two levels of the casino? Or is it 80% per machine?

With so much of my data in its data bank, doesn't it need only a little tweaking to direct some winnings my way, to encourage me to come back? Or is such targetting not legal?

If the programming of Bejewelled 2 can ensure that every player gets thru level one, why shouldn't a casino have the ability to entice customers with sweeteners, so long as the sweeteners aren't illegal.

Just wondering!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Moi, big time gambler, no?

Ever since I went to Marina Bay Sands casino for the first time in June, 2010, I’ve been an MBS Premier Advantage red card member, which is the lowest of the low among MBS Premier Advantage membership categories.

The next levels are Gold, Platinum and Diamond respectively.

I had signed up first and foremost because it’s free and is supposed to give me freebies, tho I never really knew what these were at the time of signingup.

Later, I discovered I could redeem the horrendously expensive $24 parking charge by using up some of the Premier $ that resulted from “points” I earned by gambling in the casino.

Since I’ve already visited the casino a grand total of 7 times with the last visit on Jan 17 (other visits: twice in June, once in July and December and three times so far in January), I decided to explore a bit more on what exactly my Premier red card delivers.

So, I logged onto my membership account tonight and discovered

1) I had accumulated 80 points that left me 308 points short of the next level of membership — a gold card that needed 388 points to qualify. As it has taken me almost a year to earn about 25% of the required points for elevation, it will likely take me another three years of the same level of gambling to get upgraded!

2) At my membership level, every 10 points translates into $5 premier. That means I should have a total of $40 premier. However, I’ve had six free parking passes, which at $4 premier per parking pass (one wasted because I misplaced it just be4 I exited the carpark) must have eaten $24 premier. So the balance of $16 premier in my account tallies.

What I’m really curious about is just how much one must gamble to earn 1 gambling point? Can’t find any info on the MBS website. Nor was I any wiser after asking at one of the membership service counters at MBS, the last time I was there.

So I’m left to guess: Is 1 gambling point equal to $100 gambled?

If so, my 80 points would reflect having pumped $8,000 into the slot machines (my only mode of gambling) or more than $1k per visit.

But I’ve only been down at max $350 — and only once on Jan 2 — and lost much much smaller amounts on two other occasions, while coming out quite handsomely on the other four. So most of the gambling points earned must have come from the constant recycling of my capital and that of the casino!

Yes, MBS?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Why save more and spend less?

Whenever I read on blogs making saving more and spending less their owners' New Year resolutions, I wonder why not choose another route?

Why not make earning more a resolution?

That way, one could save more without saving more, if you know what I mean. Say, you used to save 10% of a monthly salary of $8,000.

If you achieve your target of earning more, say a monthly pay of $10K and you still save 10%, you would in effect be saving more in absolute terms.

Also, with a higher pay or more income, you needn't spend less. You may even consider yourself Scroogie if you spend no more than what you did when your pay was 20% less!