Thursday, March 25, 2010

Romantic Side of Corporate Financial Management

Last weekend's CFM class was weird. This is one of the things we learned:

Defences against hostile bids
1. Seek a white knight
2. Dispose off the crown jewels
3. Include anti-takeover provisions in the company's Articles of Association
4. Poison pill tactics
5. Public lobby
6. Make a counter offer for predator company

I know they're just finance jargons, but if I'd read this statement a year ago, I'd never have made sense out of it! And I would have thought it was some sort of medieval chivalrous story! hahaha

Plus I discovered that those advertisements we see in newspapers announcing rights issues or any other securities placements are called "Tombstone ads"

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Of more cheerful stuffs...

Did I happen to mention that I passed two of my four ICSA exam papers? Praise the Lord! I'm overjoyed with my results - I was expecting a scrape through "Pass" but instead, the Lord blessed me with a "distinction" in Corporate Secretaryship and a "merit" in Corporate Governance! It's bizarre because honestly, I thought I'd done really badly in Corporate Secretaryship after walking out of the exam hall!!! Truly by God's grace that I have survived my first 2 papers! Amazing!

So there's just 2 more papers to sit for in early June 2010! These would be the "killer" papers, as everyone terms them. And the ironic part is that I have no idea what I've been learning from the 3 lecturers in charge of these 2 subjects. Ok, to be fair, Uncle Chee did clearly show us how to attempt the calculation questions. But after the classes, I tried scanning through part A of the past year question papers and... I could only answer like, 1 out of 10! This is alarming! I'll be needing plenty of God's grace come June! =)

Friday, March 05, 2010

Weird Dream - 4th March 2010

Another weird dream.

As usual, there are foggy memories of the dream that I can't seem to summon up now. However, the parts where I can remember began with me sitting in an MPV with an unrecognisable youth and an elder man (whom I know). Something made me feel uneasy although the two of them were trying to chat with me so that I'd feel at ease. I think I asked the man to stop the car but he was trying to calm me down so I opened the door and jumped out while the car was still in motion (but it wasn't moving too fast though).

Since it was night, I had to walk in the dark at some housing area. I walked for perhaps 5-7 minutes and my feet were feeling fatigued (I think I was wearing heels), when I reached some brightly-lit houses with a party going on. There were bunches of young people who were drunk and very touchy-feely, so I skirted past them and somehow ended up in a resort-like place. 

There I met a school friend and she was leading me up a stairwell (to a spa, I think... which is totally weird because I'm not a spa person) when I turned around and saw some suspicious character following us. So I confronted him and he was denying that he was following us but his body language was in a 'fight or flight' stance. By that time, my friend was already up the stairs and didn't know what was happening downstairs. 

That was when my cell phone alarm rang. And I woke up. So there isn't any ending to that story.

I went back to sleep after switching off the alarm and immediately started dreaming again. This time I was walking towards a parked car in a parking lot lit with a football field light. It was still night. And my form 6 friend was beside me. I was feeling dejected because someone (I think it was the elder man from before) had cursed/put a spell on me to turn into a colourful fish. I remember someone pointing out a fish wall plaque to me, indicating what type of fish I'd be. 

With this knowledge stirring in my mind and a satirical tone, I joked with my friend, saying "If I turn into a fish, please put me into water ok?" and gave a cynical laugh. My friend laughed along with me, with a worried sad look in her eyes.

We were still walking toward the car when I saw my dear coursemate in a distance. I waved to her and she reciprocated. We met midway and hugged, both feeling a bit sad but happy that we had bumped into each other. 

Then I woke up because I was going to be late to work. So there isn't any conclusion to the story (again). And that was all I dreamed of.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

TM is incredulously daft

While trying to troubleshoot setting up the wireless router at home (thanks to someONE who conveniently left the job to me and traipsed upstairs to bed), I had to login to our Streamyx online account to view certain info. In the end there wasn't any available info that was of use to me.  Instead, I discovered that TM had been cheating us RM10 per month for 3 years!!! For some reason, the Hotspotz zone feature was activated and we had been paying for this service (that we have never once used) for 3 years. I've 'printscreen' the billing summary as seen above and below you will find just how daft TM's system is (but I still have no idea how they started cheating us!)

Lets start the comments from top to bottom.

1. Notice that they mentioned only 3 months payment history will be listed. Notice again what is the first entry in the table below that statement ---> June 2005! And this year is.... 2010! Voila! 5 years = 60 months (which is NOT equal to 3 months)
2. They started billing us extra in May 2007, which means next month is the 3rd anniversary of their cheating scheme!
3. Read their "Note" at the footer of the page: Effective from 1st Sept 2005, customers that has received bill from TM can no longer view subsequent payments made.
This, my esteemed internet provider, is wrong in two different aspects. Firstly, grammatically - the sentence seem to have something unearthly about it and more directly, the underlined words should be substituted with "who have" and perhaps the word "bill" could be more appropriately adjusted to "billing" instead. Secondly, the statement is self-contradictory. We've been receiving our Streamyx bills via snail mail all this while, which according to this statement should invalidate us from viewing our payments history online. So then, what exactly are we looking at in the table above? Phantom payment history?? (couldn't help the sarcasm. Apologies from the author)

And this from a PLC, listed on the Main Board of Bursa Malaysia! TM's international branch of its business recently underwent a major rebranding exercise - they are now known as Axiata. :)

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Politicians Will Fail You

In the last general elections, I decided to exercise my voting rights as a Malaysian. It was the first general election which I was legally eligible to vote in. I got myself registered at the post office months before the cut-off period. And on the day itself, walked to the nearest school (which was my designated voting station), waited in line to vote and finally voted.

I voted for the opposition - thinking that perhaps a little more support (my vote) would boost their position and allow them to make a little more noise that would matter a little more to the government. Besides, the young blood in the opposition parties seemed promising and did not fit into the politician cookie cutter that we see with the BN coalition. Little did I know, a lot more people were thinking the same thoughts as me and the opposition parties garnered quite a big victory, although not enough to become the ruling government.

A number of the opposition parties grouped together to form another coalition - PR - which would be headed by our ex-DPM Anwar Ibrahim.

The point is... recently there has been a number of PKR members of Parliament (MPs) - who were elected by the rakyat (us) - quitting the party, initially stating that they will remain independent but later defecting to the ruling coalition. You can read of a recent case here (<--clickable link). I agree that PKR hasn't been a bed of roses but it's still young with a lot of teething problems to settle and not to mention those BN defectors who now want to return to their previous party. Why are our politicians acting spineless, just drifting where the wind blows and lacking in commitment to a particular party - like they have no roots. What kind of fruit will a tree bear if it does not have roots? None.

This just shows that you can't trust any politician. They promise you the sky but that is all that they can deliver - thin air. We voted them in thinking that there will be change. Although there has been a little change (for the few who truly love Malaysia and are serving the rakyat), but it is too rare like finding an uncut diamond in a mountain of sand and whatever little influence they hold is overridden by the corrupt lot. This is why I find following the local political scene so frustrating and sometimes it really seems like a joke that I expect will disappear after I stop laughing at its absurdity, but it doesn't... and it remains as news in the newspapers. Funny how they think we are a stupid bunch of rakyat who will just swallow whatever fallacy they wish to feed us!

This is the reason why there has been an exodus of 30,000 Malaysians to other countries around the world. If the politicians (ruling or opposition coalitions) are not careful, our country's best movers and shakers will uproot themselves and leave the country. And then what will Malaysia be left with?