By Robert Karniol JDW Asia-Pacific Editor
Singapore will acquire 12 Boeing F-15SG fighters for delivery in 2008/09 under a contract concluded on 12 December, with the option to order a further eight platforms.
“The F-15SG, which has a configuration unique to Singapore, will be the most advanced variant of the F-15 and will operate as the Republic of Singapore Air Force’s (RSAF’s) next-generation multirole fighter jet,” Singapore’s Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) said while announcing the contract.
Analysts are confident that Singapore will eventually take up its option to acquire the additional eight F-15SGs, making a total acquisition of 20.
However, it is unclear whether this will be followed by any additional procurements of this aircraft.
The RSAF is thought to require another 20 advanced fighters when it replaces the F-5S Tiger II air-defence/attack aircraft around 2015.
More F-15SGs are one option but the RSAF could instead opt for the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) in combination with unmanned aerial vehicles.
“If a man empties his purse into his head, no one can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”
– Benjamin Franklin
‘Something which cannot go on forever, won’t.’
– the late United States economist Herbert Stein, top economic adviser to both the Nixon and Ford administrations.
“When my wife Claire and I backpacked in Asia or Europe during our younger, budget-conscious days, it was the romance and intimacy we remembered and associated with our accommodations, no matter how humble. Surely, other people would also cherish such memories, even if they had more money? That was my starting hypothesis. So, with intuition and a hankering to recapture the magic of romantic and intimate holidays in a culturally evocative and exotic setting, Banyan Tree was born.
The name Banyan Tree comes from the fishing village on Lamma Island in Hong Kong where Claire and I lived for three idyllic years before I joined the family business. Yung Shue Wan, or Banyan Tree Bay, despite its modest, rustic village setting, symbolized for us a sanctuary of romance and intimacy. Yung Shue Wan is hardly luxurious, but it proved that when two people have a wonderful experience, the place they had it in acquires a magical quality. Our hotels aspire to be the Yung Shue Wans, or sanctuaries, for our guests whatever their age or origins.
As a development economist-cum-journalist backpacking in the region, I was distressed by irresponsible tourism—destruction of the physical environment; exploitation and degradation of the cultural environment. My subsequent experience in rehabilitating the 600 acres of land that Laguna Phuket stands on today, from an abandoned tin mine into an award-winning environmental showcase offering five resorts, showed me what responsible tourism could do. These experiences—one negative, one positive—taught me that as tourism practitioners we have the immense responsibility and yet also the power to do something positive about our physical and human environment.
Through activities like the Green Imperative Fund and a group-wide committee to coordinate corporate social responsibility initiatives, we have been able to uphold that commitment. Larger-scale projects, such as marine conservation initiatives in the Maldives and the little things (refillable containers for non-toxic, biodegradable toiletries) ensure the continued preservation of our ecological environment.
Continue reading Banyan Tree
By Kaushal B. Majmudar, CFA
We were fortunate to have an opportunity to hear Peter Lynch speak at an investment conference in New York about a year ago. Peter is, of course, the famed ex-manager of the Fidelity Magellan Fund. Under his stewardship, the Magellan Fund, which he ran from 1977 to 1990 grew from a small $20 million fund to $14 billion in assets when he stepped down to focus on family and other interests. In 1983 (just 6 years after he took over), the fund had grown to $1 billion on the back of Peter’s exceptional performance. More specifically, according to a secondary source quoting Valueline, Lynch achieved an average annual return of 29% per year over his 13 years running the Magellan Fund.
Continue reading The Wit and Wisdom of Peter Lynch
‘My parents had little to give to me in terms of starting me off in this world. We slept in a bedroom that could hold only one bed and that was for my parents. The four children slept on the floor. And that’s the way that we started out. But…I felt myself very rich, because when I look back and think what my parents gave to me, they gave me values and that’s the most important thing.’
– Sheldon Adelson, founder of Las Vegas Sands Resort and ranked by Forbes as the world’s 15th richest man
Today I’m going to Ma On Shan.
Derivatives is a generic term used to describe futures, options, swaps and various other similar transactions. Apart from interest swaps, most derivative contracts are contracts for differences – the difference between the agreed future price of an asset on a future date and the actual market price on that date.
A futures contract is a contract under which one party agrees to deliver to the other party on a specified future date (the “maturity date”) a specified asset at a price (the “strike price”) agreed at the time of the contract and payable on the maturity date. The term “forward contract” is often used in relation to private contracts not transacted through an organised exchange.
The asset may be a commodity or currency or a debt or equity security (or a number or basket of securities), or a deposit of money by way of loan, or any other category of property.
The effect is to guarantee or “hedge” the price. The hedging party protects himself against a loss but also loses the chance to make a profit.
Continue reading Swaps and Derivatives by Phillip Wood
“Once you get home, nobody will be remotely interested in what you did or what you saw. Why should they be? All they’ll want to know is whether or not you ‘had a good time’, and your notion of a ‘good time’ is unlikely to be theirs. The best kind of traveller is a thief on the prowl, looking for illuminating moments. Travelling, unlike tourism, is just living more intensely, freed for a short time from the constraints of being whoever it is we’re accustomed to thinking we are. It’s being on the prowl, beholden to nobody, for the beautiful self we’d forgotten was locked up inside us.”
Robert Dessaix in “The Age” newspaper, 18.ix.04.