5 Things You Need to Know – from Earnings to AIDS

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Jul 20 2010
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Parkway War – Malaysia’s government investment arm, Khazanah Nasional Berhad, is fuming mad because India’s Fortis Healthcare Ltd (owned by billionaire brothers Malvinder Mohan Singh and Shivinder Mohan Singh) has offered S$3.80 a share for Singapore’s Parkway Holdings Ltd, 2 cents higher than Malaysia’s S$3.78 a share offer.

Parkmay Khazanah Fortis

The Indian company already owns 25.3% in Parkway Holdings (a leading provider of healthcare services in Asia including in Singapore, India, Malaysia, Brunei and China) while Khazanah (via Integrated Healthcare Holdings) currently holds 24.1% stake in Parkway Holdings. Fortis’s latest offer which values Parkway at S$4.32 billion dollars would cost the Indian company a whopping S$3.2 billion.

The question is will Khazanah pay more than $4.00 a share to shut off Fortis’s chance once and for all? Analysts already commented that Fortis will most likely retreat should Khazanah shows the $4.00 a share on the table, though the $4.00 a share is too much a premium to pay so much so that it would be a stupid or rather sucker’s offer. But then Malaysia’s government may just win this battle as the government could not afford to lose face in most of the business deals.


China’s Property Collapse This Year – In the latest edition of China Finance’s central bank publication, it seemed Chinese house prices face “very large” pressure to fall in the second half on weakening demand and increasing supplyChinese house prices face “very large” pressure to fall in the second half on weakening demand and increasing supply.

China Property Collapse

Land prices in 105 major Chinese cities rose 9.29% year-on-year to 2,756 yuan ($406.5) per square meter in the second quarter this year – according to China Land Surveying and Planning Institute. In April, the government imposed a group of measures to rein in soaring home prices and curb property market speculation, including tighter scrutiny of the financing of developments, the limiting of loans for third-home purchases and higher down-payments for second-home purchases.

June data indicated the red-hot property market has started cooling as average housing prices in 70 major cities fell 0.1. Let’s hope there’s no hard landing as far as China’s property is concerned.


Apple’s Earnings – As usual Apple Inc. will definitely beat earnings estimate when the iPhone maker is set to announce its’ earnings after bell Tuesday. The company always gave a laughable low guidance and ever since 2006 Apple has beaten EPS guidance by an average 40% and its revenue guidance by an average 8%.

Apple Earnings iPad

However due to changes in accounting pratices, the company will now recognizes iPhone revenue all at once, instead of spreading over 24-months. But all eyes would be on iPad’s 2010 sales with many believes the gadget could repeat the success story of iPhone in 2007. This would be the greatest time to witness if those who idiotly screamed “Sell” on Apple stock because of the antenna issue are actually the market-makers who wish to get in at cheap price, before the earnings.

Apple has been trading in the range of US$237 – US$275 range and if you believe in Apple’s Antenna-Gate has been exxagerated, Tuesday will be the last day for you to get some cheap shares if you have not already done so yesterday (Monday) before the earnings announcement. If the stock skyrockets to US$275 territory post-earnings, you can surely look at the US$300 a share testing ground.


AIDS Gel To The Rescue – For the first time, a vaginal gel has proved capable of blocking the AIDS virus by reducing 50% of chances a woman of getting HIV from an infected partner. The gel, spiked with the AIDS drug tenofovir, cut the risk of HIV infection by 50% after one year of use and 39 percent after 2.5 years. The gel also cut in half the chances of getting HSV-2, the herpes virus that causes genital warts.


However the research done by the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, that subsequently produce the gel can not be licensed in the U.S. yet, as a gel or cream to prevent HIV infection may need to be at least 80 percent effective prior to that. The results were announced at the International Aids Conference in Vienna on Monday by the South African husband-and-wife team who led the research, Professors Salim and Quarraisha Abdool Karim, and published in the journal – Science online.

Nevertheless, it’s the second big advance in less than a year on the prevention front. Last fall, scientists reported that an experimental vaccine cut the risk of HIV infection by about 30 percent. The study was sponsored by the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa, or CAPRISA; Family Health International; CONRAD, an AIDS research effort based at Eastern Virginia Medical School; and the U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID.

Gilead has licensed the rights to produce the gel, royalty-free, to CONRAD and the International Partnership on Microbicides for the 95 poorest countries in the world.


E-Books Outnumbered Hardcovers – Amazon.com, America’s largest booksellers announced that the sales of Kindle, its books e-reader, outnumbered sales of hardcover books. Amazon actually sold 143 Kindle books for every 100 hardcover books. Interestingly Amazon has been selling hardcover books for 15 years and Kindle books for merely 33 months.


It was predicted that within a decade, fewer than 25% of all books sold will be print versions. Amazon said its sales exceeded that growth rate. Reason: owners of iPads and other mobile reading devices buy Kindle books, which they can read on computers, iPhones, iPads, BlackBerrys and Android phones. Amazon claimed the latest sales figures are “clearly an indication that the iPad is complementary to the Kindle, not a replacement”. Hmm, let’s see later.

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