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Fj Benjamin

FJ Benjamin Holdings Ltd# (SGX: FJB) 18 July 2012 Receding tides at the fashion and timepieces retailer UNDERWEIGHTTarget Price: S$ 0. 09 Price (as at 18 July 2012) | Bloomberg| 12-month Range| Market Capitalization| S$ 0. 33| SGD 0. 3300| SGD 0. 26 – 0. 365| SGD 203 Million| 3 Points that convince us of a Sell rating: * Something 1 Explanation * Something 2 Explanation * Something 3 Explanation Year End: Jul| 3QFY11Results| 3QFY12Results| YoY % Growth| YTD % as of FY2012| Revenue (S$’000)| | | | | Retail| | | | | Distribution| | | | | Licensing| | | | | Gross Profit| | | | |

Gross Margin| | | | | EBIT (S$’000)| | | | | EBIT Margin| | | | | Net Profit| | | | | Net Margin| | | | | EPS| | | | | DPS| | | | | NAV/Share| | | | | Headquartered in Singapore, SGX-listed F J Benjamin Holdings Ltd. (FJB) builds in-house and develops international lifestyle and luxury brands across Asia and recently in the Western markets too.

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With a portfolio of over 20 celebrated brands, the group divides itself into four core businesses: 1. Luxury and Lifestyle Fashion Retailing and Distribution; 2. Timepiece Distribution; 3. Design and Manufacturing of their in-house brand RAOUL . Investing in Lifestyle Concepts Section I: Industry Analysis SWOT Analysis Strengths Wide retail network FJB operates 191 stores across Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Indonesia in prime locations to cater to its premium customers and tourists and help maintain the competitiveness of the Group. Wide diversified luxury and lifestyle brand portfolio The brand portfolio comprises over 20 iconic luxury and lifestyle brands. A diversified portfolio of scalable brands helps the Group mitigate the vulnerability of luxury brands in an economic downturn.

Multilingual retail staff improves customer service * FJB believes in investing heavily in retail staff training to increase service quality and language proficiency to serve tourists who visit the stores from various regions. Strong balance sheet and positive cash flow allow FJB to fund its CAPEX plans FJB maintained SGD7. 7m of net cash at the end of FY2012 despite incurring capital expenditure rising by 8% due to the opening and refurbishment of stores Weaknesses Geographic diversity and exposure to high tax rates FJB Operates in 190 stores across the world.

With many stores located in Malaysia and China, where the effective tax rate is close to 30%, FJB faces a high tax bill and thus lower overall profits. Highly cyclical earnings FJB’s earnings are highly cyclical and they tend to peak in the late stages of a cyclical upturn. This translates into a risk of over expansion during good times. FJB’s total revenue increased 38% YoY for FY 2007. Poor presence and performance in Australia, Europe and North America FBJ classifies it’s geographical segments into South East Asia, North Asia and Other, which includes their franchised brands in North America and Australia.

This segment has historically made up less than 2% of total revenue. Opportunities Strong brand name of RAOUL FJB’s proprietary brand was one of the brands topping the high fashion category in a recent Mystery Shopping Survey. It has grown well over the last few years as FJB was able to raise RAOUL’s brand value and expand the business to Europe and the United States. New international brands to accelerate earnings potential The Group is working to bring in affordable international fashion brands. Recently, the Group signed an exclusive distribution agreement with the Padini Group for VNC shoes to venture into the growing Indonesian market.

Threats Competition The majority of FJB’s competitors operate with large store numbers (Esprit – 1,128, Dickson Concepts – more than 1,000, WINGT – more than 180, Metro – 879,000 square feet). The rise of blogshops in the SE Asia have also increased competition within the industry. Macroeconomic instability Macroeconomic instability threatens growth. Grim economic sentiment worldwide poses an explicit threat to FJB’s growth as it caters to the premium fashion retailing market. Porter’s Five Forces Highly competitive climate

Our team analyzed the macroeconomic conditions and the special characteristics of the fashion retail industry, we have determined that FJ Benjamin operates in a highly competitive market. The largest drivers of competition are the degree of rivalry, new entrants and the supplier power. Exposure to foreign currency shocks and the threats from competing businesses are substantial factors to look out for. Buyer Power (High) Buyer Power (High) Supplier Power (Strong) Supplier Power (Strong) Substitutes (Moderate) Substitutes (Moderate) New Entrants (High) New Entrants (High)

Degree of Rivalry (Strong) Degree of Rivalry (Strong) Many competitors offering diverse choices Many competitors offering diverse choices Low customer loyalty in retail industry Low customer loyalty in retail industry Many firms competing for market share Many firms competing for market share Saturated Market Saturated Market Price inelasticity Price inelasticity High product differentiation High product differentiation High Capital Outlay High Capital Outlay Fall in brand perception will result in customer turnover Fall in brand perception will result in customer turnover

Increasing wealth may lead to consumers using premium brands Increasing wealth may lead to consumers using premium brands Healthy relationships with suppliers to sustain franchises Healthy relationships with suppliers to sustain franchises Constantly changing fashion trends Constantly changing fashion trends Exposure to foreign currency shocks Exposure to foreign currency shocks High marketing expenditure needed to maintain brand perception High marketing expenditure needed to maintain brand perception Section II: Accounting Analysis & Adjustments Accounting Analysis – Faithful representation

The auditors’ report demonstrated that the accounts present a true and fair view of the company. It is noteworthy that it was highlighted in the corporate governance report that there are no employees who are relatives of directors paid above $150,000. In addition, all members of the nomination, remuneration and audit committee are independent non-executive directors. There is also a whistle-blowing policy for the Group, which encourages a high level of non-tolerance against fraud. There was also adequate disclosure of interested transactions between its subsidiaries and its newly acquired associate prior to the acquisition.

However, a potential conflict of interest in the area of the risk management committee, which usually comprises majority of non-executive directors, but in the case of MPM, is managed by executive directors. There might be the possibility of them not being objective in assessing the risks that the company faces. Understandability There is thorough explanation of accounting policies adopted in the notes, supplemented with definitions of accounting terms where appropriate. While the assets and liabilities of associates are mentioned, no further breakdown is given as to the comprisal of them.

Assets and liabilities of subsidiaries are also absent from the notes. This applies for jointly controlled entities too. It was hard to determine where personnel expenses and the disclosures under profit before income tax fall into the income statement, making it confusing how to account for them. The cash figure in the balance sheet and cash flow statement differed due to fixed deposits, bank overdraft and pledged fixed deposits and bank balances, making forecasting of financial statements relatively inconvenient. Comparability

There is clear disclosure when amendments are made to FRS, accompanied with a statement whether the change is applied retrospectively or prospectively, as well as the materiality of the amounts presented. Where changes are to be expected, these are stated beforehand with their effective period of commencement stated methodically. Details of other operating expenses were provided in the notes from 2009 to 2011, but absent in the notes in 2007 and 2008, making comparison of detailed expenses difficult. Segment reporting was available to enable investors to compare across companies that might be similar to MPM in one of their business segments.

Accounting Distortions Adjusted Non-recurring items The notes were inspected to identify line items that could potentially be non-recurring and should thus be removed from the financial statements to provide a clearer picture of the sustainable earnings of the company. Items recognized as non-recurring included bad debts written off, investment in associate, and other expenses in which no details were given. Other possible non-recurring items included government grant received, though this could possibly recur due to the achievement of the conditions under the Capability Development Scheme in 2010.

Foreign exchange gain was also thought of to be recurring due to the entrance into forward currency contracts. Equity to proportionate consolidation MPM’s subsidiary Marco Polo Shipping Co Pte Ltd holds a 49% stake in PT Pelayaran Nasional Bina Buana Raya (BRR), an Indonesian shipping company which engages in ship agency, chartering and transshipment of vessels. The 49% stake is the maximum equity stake allowed to be taken by a foreigner without affecting the ability of BBR to ply the Indonesian waters as a domestic shipping company.

By the substance over form principle, Marco Polo has effective control over BRR, thus we carried out proportionate consolidation on the entity. Joint ventures were also consolidated to provide a more accurate picture of the group. Operating leases MPM has several operating leases with lease period not amounting to more than 5 years. The leases were capitalized based on the implicit interest rate in the finance leases, except for 2008, where a figure of interest expenses over beginning long term debt was used, due to the absence of finance leases in 2007.

Capitalizing the operating lease would result in a more accurate representation of liabilities and assets. Guarantees and litigations MPM was involved in two lawsuits over the period under purview. One involved $106,000 for late delivery of vessels while the other involved arbitration against a subsidiary of the Company in relation to certain charter party disputes. These were included in contingent liabilities during 2007 and 2008 respectively, though in the opinion of the directors, both lawsuits had no merit or basis and would not have financial impact on the company.

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