Olam too big to fail?

Olam is raising $1.25b in a bonds and warrants issue exercise to strengthen its liquidity position. Temasek Holdings, its major shareholder, has pledged to pick up all remaining bonds and warrants that are not taken up in a show of confidence or a show of faith. Muddy Waters is still holding on to its position that Olam is over stretched and is a risky bet. Several analysts and brokerage have also issued sell recommendations and MayBank has revised Olam’s value downwards to $1.42 from $1.75.
This Olam saga is becoming the biggest betting game for the moment with investors and analysts making guesses both ways. What is the real picture of Olam’s financial health is going to be of great interest as a bad call or a bad turn could make many investors win or lose big time.
Temasek is betting big this time round and it could mean many things. Is it a case of Olam being too big to fail and Temasek has no choice, being too deeply into Olam it has to boost up some support to protect its position? Or has Temasek done its homework thoroughly and betting a winning horse? Only time will tell as the parties on both sides of the bet are equally convinced of their positions.
Even with the financial data on the table, it is not easy to know the true picture of Olam’s financial standing or its viability as a business concern. It could end up a big win for Temasek or holding on to a big lemon. Is anyone wiser? This is supposed to be business analysis and not buying a gambling chip in the casino, but it seems that it is the case at the moment.


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Anonymous said...

The best bet is too bail out unless you have a strong heart and you are one of the speculators yourself. The fact that they needed more capital is what muddy waters have pointed out.

I sold because both sides agreed the company is cash flow negative over next few years. To me a dangerous position to take as if global economic conditions deteriorates then the company would kaput

Veritas said...

Olam is a racist company. Based in SG, an international city with Chinese majority, Olam has no other race other than Indian in their top brass besides one Ang Moh.

A big majority their ranks and files are FT Indians.

WTF is Temasek doing saving a bunch of racist. The fact that Olam needs to raise $1.25b manifest exactly that their balance sheet is in trouble.

Muddy Water, a pesky short seller has shown good trek records in the past in exposing fraud companies.

With Ho Ching name in stake and now Olam back by a sovereign wealth fund, it cannot fail. What is not said is that Olam today is effectively back by all Singaporeans' CPF. Fxxx Ho Ching, Fxxx Temasek.

I do not know what these central banks are doing. The central banks 100 years ago preserve our savings in gold. Today, clowns like Ho Ching gamble our savings in SWF.

Our CPF is gone.

Veritas said...

Olam is a good manifestation of Indian racism, and that is why most companies run by Indians are in shit, if they went out of their corrupt home turf -- unless they change their racism strategy.

Olam top brass are all Indians other than 1 Ang Moh. They "cannot" find a talented Chinese in the highest IQ country in the world Singapore.

If you understand Hindic culture, this will be no surprise. Hindic upper caste is very use to bullying. They are inculcate to bully people as their birthright since toddler.

To them, ransacking a house of Dalit or raping a Dalit girl upon very small offence, or even no offence at all, will bring them no compunction.

If you chanced to observe Chinese and Malay get bullied by Indian managers in next door department, you will realized that Indian managers can bully the victims and glanced directly into the eyes of victim, shamelessly.

Hindic people has no meritocracy in mind. Their shit head is full of tribalism. They can run an organization into shit, without remorse, so long as they and their tribe is in charge. A talented Dalits or Chinese will be kick out ASAP.

Goa, with millions times more natural resources and space than HK. Goa has better access to economics hinderland than the communist partial blockage HK. Similar to HK or Macau, Goa is lonely colonial outpost. Goa is even nearer to market and capital closer to Europe.

If you put every variable inside the equation, Goa will be more prosperous than HK. Yet today, Goa is shit, and HK is among richest in the world.

If you look at similar company like Noble group, Cargill and even criminal companies like Glencore, most of upper management is always Ang Moh mainly because their most HQ is in Whitemanland.

For Nobel group based in SG, their management are much more racially diversified.

Even with that, their local branch office are always staff by local people.

For Olam, there are unconfirmed rumors that even a significant numbers of the foot soldiers are FT Indians.

Indians please do not mistaken me. I am out of kindness. I really hope Indians can do away with their racism.

As I pointed out, Chinese are the least raist people. The HK people rather stooge for UK Whiteman than PRC. If Indian can be meritocratic, and cursred thier racism, admit their mistake, I will be the first to stooge for Indian managers.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Hi Veritas, let's tone down a bit on racism and also on attacking personalities. It is better to deal with issues without bringing in a name unless it is already a dirty name.


Anonymous said...

@ Anon 8:57

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Please let him,her talk to him,herself or his,her master.

Veritas said...

Dear RB, your advise is noted.

I believe generally, organization prosper due to meritocracy and fairness.

Indians who can do away with that form great companies. People like Vinod Kholsa (SUN) and Pradeep Sindhu (Juniper) are good example. But these are tech people and engineers and most of these nerds behave very differently from the rest.

I do not believe in racsim.

Anonymous said...

Wow, the Way Veritas puts it, the Other Races partnering or buying into Olam are for the Indians in Olam or for the matter, any organization runs by Indians, to rape or sodomize lah?

Anonymous said...

If Olam proves itself, Temasek will be vindicated. If Olam goes bust, Muddy Waters will be cheering. Temasek will look silly for not doing its homework or blindly ploughing its money into a pile of shit.

Veritas said...

I am not against Olam. But the fact that it is raising 1.25b now is really fishy. It is sure sign they got trouble.

If their books is as solid as google, they wont need to raise that much $$$.

And I am against racism, don get me wrong. And I have good opinions on Vinod Kholsa (SUN) and Pradeep Sindhu (Juniper). These are real meritocratic people.

Anonymous said...

I did not have an opinion until I learnt that Olam was trying to raise $1.25 billion.
And that Temasek is putting more money behind Olam.

Now double confirm I know how this will end.

The said...

Olam is anything, but too big to fail. It is not even a blip on most investors' radar screen.

Anonymous said...

I am selling Oar Lan. Period.

You don't need to raise funds and pay heftily for the privilege unless you need the money. A cash return of capital to shareholders should do the trick of shutting up Block's big mouth.

Show of confidence? More a show of an injection of much needed running capital to head off the inevitable.

jjgg said...

Olam ah..It was reported that 3 directors purchased some shares in their show of support...lo and behold..couple of days after their purchases, the Company made a very material announcement...so what happens now...it will be interesting to see how the regulators react...anyway...never been a shareholder of Olam...too highly leveraged on their purchases...their share price performance probably due in large part to Temaseks' presence...otherwise will be cheaper than cheap..hehehe

Anonymous said...

Just like the need to raise property tax on HDB flats. If the company is flushed with money and has a healthy balance sheet, there is no need to make unpopular calls to ask for more money. Be it Olam or the country, the need for repetitive calls for more money is a bad sign.

Are our SWFs doing well and filling the country's coffer or needing more funds to make up the losses?

Anonymous said...

Good Question that will NOT get any Answer.

Anyway, the Comparison is apt and well thought.

Veritas said...

Now I know Temasek, Ho Ching and PAP are "socialist". In capitalism, shit companies Olam should be allowed to fail. That will make way for new comers who hired base on meritocracy.

The below are names of OLAM big shot. I can almost conclude that none are true blue Singaporeans. Ture blue Singaporeans Indians almost certainly have name like "Siva, Lingam, Krishna, (not Krishnan), Suresh, Manu, Ganesh, Rama, Kumar"....etc

Sridhar Krishnan
Ashok Krishen
Venkatramani Srivathsan
Jagdish Parihar
Ranveer Chauhan
Sunny Verghese
Ashok Hegde
Gerard Manley
A. Shekhar
Vivek Verma

These joker above are almost certainly North Indian FT Brahmins.

I always tot PAP want us to compete. Those who cant must die. Today, loser like Olam get tones of bailout, our Ah Mah go pick rubbish support herself.

The law of Schumpeter do not apply.

If Olam bankrupt, new meritocratic companies will be allowed to fill the void. Now, haha... business as usual. Indian FT cheers, Singaporeans get screwed.

And mind you, Olam wont be allowed to bankrupt unless something really horrible happens. It is now back by 5 millions Singapore through the proxy Temasek. Those who hope Olam bankrupt will be dissapointed.

Welcome to socialist racist Singapore.

Anonymous said...

So how do you define a Singaporean company?
How does the company benefit Singaporeans?

So please don't lose your hard earned money by trying to defend what you think is a Singaporean company.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Yes, Olam is too big to fail.

If/ when/ supposing the shit hits the fan. Temasek will inject large amount of CPF money to save the day :-)

From Ponzi-tax scheme to political manipulation tool...to bail-out war chest.

Yes, there are many, many uses for CPF.

Anonymous said...

Hi rb,

Olam's "robust" response to MW's short is fast becoming a spectacle that would be regrettable for many. By upping the stakes, it is now shortening the time-frame for a resolution. We would not have to wait too long to see an outcome.

A deluge of sell recommendations of late is another damning indictment of the industry here. And major shareholders have been relying on their reporting as well. Or using them.

There is something amiss if the ceo and directors purchased shares just days before a massive debt/warrant issue. Such an issue is certainly price sensitive. If they were not aware then, one can only conclude that this massive issue was hastily arranged. Both possibilities are horrendous.

With share price tanking after a brief respite, this debt/warrant issue now becomes a Temasek bailout. Warrants are out of money and the bond would have to trade below $0.87 to yield the 10% pa the market is asking. Why subscribe? is a question a shareholder would ask.

With a still sizeable market cap of $3.8 bil and dropping, and debt of more than $6 bil, there is still much to be lost here. It is not lost on some that we do not know how large is Temasek's holding in Olam bonds.

With so much cheap money slushing around, bonds yielding upto 10%pa is tempting even for any fund manager. Even minibonds do not provide such handsome yield.

Why not leverage on such handsome yielding bonds? You have to ask this to some major shareholders and their private bankers.

Not so well reported is the bond and derivative market with much higher stakes and leverage there. It a market that we have no depth and expertise and unlikely to develop in future going by msm depicting Olam as good and MW as bad.

Have I left anyone out?


Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

When Temasek first came out to say it has confidence in Olam, it had a bit of stabilising effect on the stock. Then all of a sudden this huge cash call becomes a big dampener for all the reassurance.

Like you said, a lot of questions were being asked if this is a last minute bang. And if the directors bought the shares with prior knowledge of this piece of news, it is not looking pretty.

Whatever, the defence of Olam was a positive move. Unfortunately this cash call has in a way brought down the house.

Anonymous said...

Beams first or roof first?

Will the Pillars go along?

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

The scathing attack of Olam by Muddy Waters, right or wrong, must have raised eyebrows across the industry and major shareholders must have found it good reason to do a check on the allegations.

How many major shareholders did their due diligence, and how many simply ignore and take Olam's words for it without questioning?

What is deemed as reasonable and responsible to do for a major shareholder that has a lot to lose should Muddy Waters be proven right?

Anonymous said...

Hi rb,

If one is a major holder of the equity only, then a serious review is underway. However, if the position is mixed with significant bond holdings, the situation is different. One can double up and leverage it with cheap funding. If the bond price holds, the returns are massive. Add free warrants, you can see the pretty picture.


Anonymous said...

If the price holds.
What is the worth of the warrants when the company goes under?

oldhorse42 said...

Olam too big to fail? Sino-Forest is bigger and Muddy Waters brought it down.
Olam shares is down 9 cts to day nearing $1.50(below the conversion price of $1.575 for the warrant) despite news of massive debt/warrant issue. The onan in Olam seemed to think that what work for HSBC would work for them too.Well they could be wrong.
This attack on Olam on their turf must have frightened the family running Tamasek. They have to support Olam to protect their investment and also to forestall future attack on their other investment entities like SMRT for eg.

Veritas said...

Hi RB,

I think its probably not very possible to look at Olam books and deduce that its going to blow, unless you are an industrial veteran.

I have look at China Aviation Oil books before it belly under, and up till today, I cannot find any problem. I accounting standards today is too fraudulent and auditor often are bedfellows of all these conman companies.

I believe Olam could have hide many things in their structured contracts that probably even auditor don really fully understand the risk.

Base on free market theory, such "book cooker" will be punish by shareholders sending it share into toilet bowl. If things are reall bad, Olam must be allow to go bankrupt. Those criminals responsible for all the fraud must stand trial and send to cage.

Unfortunately PAP is going to play on behalf of Singaporeans suckers white knight again. PAP has many Singaporeans hard-toiled CPF monies.

This create a moral hazard. In future, any companies in SG can go burst and expect PAP/Temasek/GIC to come to excuse, so long they are able somehow hijack PAP.

The PAP garmen got plenty of CPF to throw around like a crazy Santa Claus. LHL and Ho Ching can be a big hero.

Singaporeans can get bankrupt by HDB, medical bills..... no problem.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

I agree. Looking at the books is like looking at fiction. Today's conmen and fraudsters are the financial bigwigs. They have been looting and cheating everyone everywhere.

Hope Temasek knows what it is in for or it will have to pay dearly and this one could end it all. The big losses when it paid into those big western banks were a very expensive lesson. Repeating it is just intolerable and it will bring the house down if Olam proves to be a big lemon.

The said...

Olam big? Not by a long shot. Some comparative market capitalizations:

Singapore Telecom - $52.45b
DBS Bank - $35.62b
OCBC Bank - $32.55b
UOB Bank - $30.32b
Wilmar - $20.08b
Olam - $3.47b


Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Maybe Temasek is preparing to buy over for a song. $3.5b is peanut to Temasek really. But a collapse of Olam will have quite an impact to the stock market for sure.

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