Author: Singapore Money Matters

MF Global creditors to get first interim dividend

More than a year after MF Global Singapore went under voluntary winding up in November last year, liquidators from KPMG in Singapore said the payout for creditors makes the Singapore outfit “among the first few MF Global entities, if not the first, to declare an interim dividend to unsecured creditors”. The US parent of MF Global Singapore, which then had more than 6,000 customers, sought bankruptcy protection on Oct 31, 2011, after a wave of margin calls following wrong bets on European sovereign debt and questions about possibly improper use of customers’ segregated funds. Liquidators estimated at a creditors’...

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Olam Dismisses Muddy Waters Report Findings

Last week, Muddy Waters launched ruthless attack to Olam International and give Olam a Strong Sell recommendation on Tuesday 27th November. Olam has fought back immediately. On 28 Nov, Olam published 133 pages report, it starts by saying: “Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but they are not entitled to their own facts” Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1927-2003) We refute the report’s allegations which are false and misleading. Our rebuttal to the 133 page report demonstrates the lack of substance in the claims. Our message to Carson Block (“CB”) and Muddy Waters (“MW”) is therefore clear – this time...

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Strong Sell Recommendation on Olam International by Muddy Waters

Muddy Waters, best known for targeting North American-listed Chinese companies, questioned Olam’s capital expenditure and goodwill write downs last week. The action has caused plunge of Olam’s share price. Olam immediately took steps to suspend its share from trading as it wanted time to respond to the report before letting its share trade again but interestingly the report was not published until yesterday. The stock even rebounded in the following day. Finally, Muddy Waters issued the much waited report on 26 Nov and rates Olam International (SGX:O32; OTC:OLMIY/OLMIF) shares a Strong Sell. In this latest report Muddy Waters highlights...

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What happens to your HDB if you pass away

Most of the HDBs in Singapore are held in joint tenancy. Under joint tenancy, if one of the flat owners passes away, the deceased joint-tenant’s share or interest in the flat will be passed on to the surviving joint tenant(s). For example, husband and wife (both above 21 years old) are holding the flat under joint tenancy. If the husband passes away, the surviving wife can take over the flat as the sole lessee if she is a Singapore Citizen or Singapore PR. If the lease had already been issued for the flat, a legal document known as the...

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Who can claim your CPF savings when you die without legal heirs and nominees?

In my recent article How will your CPF savings be distributed if you are no longer around, I explained that if you pass away without proper Nomination, your CPF savings (Ordinary, Special, Medisave and Retirement Accounts) will be transferred to the Public Trustee for distribution to your family under the intestacy laws. Under Intestacy Law, if you have no spouse, no children, no parent, no brother or sister, no grandparent, no uncle or aunt, the money will go to the government. Under the Civil Law Act amendments approved by Parliament yesterday, the Government will be able to distribute CPF...

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What is Dependants’ Protection Scheme (DPS)?

The Dependants’ Protection Scheme (DPS) is an affordable term insurance scheme that provides insured members and their families with some money to get through the first few years should the insured members become permanently incapacitated or pass away. Currently, DPS is administered by two insurers, Great Eastern Life and NTUC Income. The scheme is extended to CPF members who are Singapore citizens or Permanent Residents, between age 16 and 60, when they make their first CPF contribution. DPS is an optional term insurance which covers CPF members for a maximum sum assured of $46,000 up to age 60. The...

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How will your CPF savings be distributed if you are no longer around?

If you pass away, your CPF savings (Ordinary, Special, Medisave and Retirement Accounts) will be transferred to the Public Trustee for distribution to your family under the intestacy laws. For example, if you are single, your CPF savings will be distributed by the Public Trustee equally between your parents. If you are married, your spouse will receive half of your CPF savings, and your children will share the remaining half. Your CPF monies will go to the Government only in the absence of a spouse, children, siblings, grandparents, an uncle or aunt. For Muslims, your CPF savings will be...

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Who causes the increase of motor insurance premium

Motorists always accuse the insurance companies of increasing of motor insurance premium every year. Being an independent adviser and dealing with nearly all insurers in Singapore and many claims, I know deeply that it is your fellow motorists are the ones to be blamed. Not to mention the accidents caused by merely reckless driving like recent Rochor road Ferrari crash motor insurance claim, a lot of insurance losses are due to fraudulent claims. “Aviva Singapore, estimates that around a fifth of all car insurance claims it receives have been inflated to varying amounts. NTUC Income said it believes that...

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CPF extends 4% interest rate again, How long can it last?

CPF is going to extend 4 per cent minimum interest rate on savings in the Special, Medisave and Retirement accounts (SMRA) until Dec 31, 2013. Since Jan 1, 2008, these savings have been invested in Special Government Securities which earn an interest rate pegged to the formula of: 12-month average yield of 10-year Singapore Government Securities (SGS) + 1% Many people are not aware of the impact of such pegging. The average yield of the securities plus 1 per cent was merely 2.55% from Sept 1 last year to Aug 31 this year. CPF members were lucky because since...

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What is the Critical Illness Survival Period?

Singapore’s top killer may be cancer, but the second leading cause of mortality is heart disease. According to an Asiaone article, Heart disease accounted for 20.1 per cent of deaths in Singapore in 2008, while cancer accounted for 29.3 per cent. Many people are aware of the risk of such critical illnesses and have purchased critical illness insurance. However, many might be shock to know if death happens immediate after a heart attack, their family may not receive any payout from the insurer. Why? People always jokingly say “you can die in Singapore but never fall sick”, so some...

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Should AXA Pay For Rochor Road Ferrari Crash Motor Insurance Claim?

It can be shocking to many motorists when AXA just decided not to honor the motor insurance claim in the high profile Rochor Road Ferrari Crash. In the crash, the driver Mr Ma had allegedly run a red light in Rochor Road. His car rammed a taxi, which then hit a motorcycle. The accident left three people, including Mr Ma, dead and two others injured. In court papers filed on Monday, AXA stated that the May 12 crash was a “collision” and not an accident: “Ma Chi was doing an act which he knew or ought to have known...

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How Much Do Insurance Agent and Property Agent Earn?

It has always been a misconception that insurance agents and property agents earn hundreds of thousands of dollars or even millions every year by pushing sales to the customers. After all, the media likes to feature the top performers. Just last week, Sunday Times interviewed a 23 years old part time insurance agent who earned $200,000 in his first year in the business. Maybe MAS is thinking the same way and feeling that the rogue agents must be torn down and proposed Financial Advisory Industry Review (Fair)  to ban the commissions. But is the insurance industry really so rosy?...

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Zurich Early Stage Critical Illness Plan (Z Care)

Zurich Life Insurance Singapore has recently launched a new product Z Care which is regular premium critical illness plan which covers the Life Assured against any of the 30 Critical Illnesses. The plan has a unique Early Stage Critical Illness Option feature to claim up to 50 % against the policy for early stages of Critical Illnesses as defined. Once a Early Stage Critical Illness claim has been made against the policy, all future premiums are waived. Early stage critical illness coverage was sold like hot cakes in recent years. New products are mushroomed and insurers just keep adding...

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Singapore Inflation Eases and Strength of Singapore Dollar

Singapore CPI dropped to 4% year on year, lower than the market’s expectation, due to a more moderate increase in costs of accommodation, private road transport and oil-related items. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) lowered its forecast for core inflation to 2.5%-3% for the whole year as overall global commodity prices remain below year-ago levels, keeping domestic oil and food inflation contained. In the past, MAS has been continuing with the policy of modest and gradual appreciation of the Singapore dollar to combat inflation. Given easing inflation and less risk of a technical recession, I think there is...

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Aviva ElderShield Premium Rebate

Aviva is offering one time premium rebate for ElderShield renewal. What is ElderShield ElderShield is an affordable severe disability insurance scheme which provides basic financial protection to those who need long-term care, especially due to frailty in old age. It provides a monthly cash payout to help pay the out-of-pocket expenses for the care of a severely-disabled person. Why a premium rebate? When ElderShield was first launched in 2002, there was very little Singapore-based data on severe disability claims to help guide the initial design and pricing of the ElderShield scheme. In view of this, Ministry of Health (MOH)...

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