Month: October 2022
Luxury electric cars for the sophisticated and environment-conscious
With the introduction of new models of luxury electric vehicles in recent years and the growing commitment of car companies to be “green”, we may be entering an inflection point for mass adoption of EVs by the rich.
(Editor’s Note: We have recently partnered with BusinessWorld to craft stories about enjoying the finer things in life—from cars to dining and travel, jewelry, and all things that make for “good living”. We hope you enjoy this first installment.)
Does it make sense to own a luxury electric vehicle right now?
It would seem so, now that Republic Act No. 11697, or the Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act (EVIDA), has finally become law. It will make it easier for Filipinos to shift to electric vehicles.
How? By creating a roadmap that will hasten the development and installation of charging stations, require parking slots for electric vehicles (EVs), set manufacturing standards for EVs and their components, and afford other perks that will promote the adoption of EVs.
These include exemption from excise taxes and the number coding scheme. What’s there not to like?
But there’s more to owning an electric vehicle. It can be a luxurious and sensual experience, not to mention that you’ll help save the environment, too.
Here are some of the best luxury EVs you can find – and drive – in the Philippines right now.
The BMW iX is touted as the carmaker’s “technology flagship” model, an all-electric Sports Activity Vehicle. Equipped with the proprietary BMW eDrive technology and its electric all-wheel drive, the iX is every bit the equal of its conventionally fueled counterparts with its exceptional range and impressive acceleration.
With an austere design language that aims for a modern and expressive appearance, the BMW iX is the brand’s take on the face of electric-powered mobility. In the company’s own words, the iX was designed to be “expressive, but not overloaded. Intelligent but not complicated. In short: a design that at first glance symbolizes a new form of driving pleasure”.
In terms of performance, the fifth generation BMW eDrive technology—including the high-voltage storage system, power electronics, and charging technology, alongside two powerful electric motors—not only delivers efficiency, but elevates the BMW iX’s power to that of a sports car: over 500 hp and noiseless acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in under five seconds.
Porsche Taycan GTS
Porsche’s all-electric Taycan line embodies the brand’s soul of performance. The GTS model, in particular, boasts 440kW (598PS) of overboost power with Launch Control, a GTS-specific drivetrain tuned for increased agility.
The GTS also sports the Taycan line’s Performance Battery Plus, providing it with a WLTP range of up to 512 kilometers, while the 800-volt architecture produces charge power of up to 270kW, reducing the burden of recharging and allowing you to cover long distances effortlessly.
All of this is wrapped up in the distinct and dynamic flyline. The athletic look of the GTS is enhanced by the standard SportDesign upper valance and the side skirts with inlays in black with the GTS logo. For the truly discerning drivers, there is an optional carbon SportDesign package that further accentuates the best form with carbon inlays for the lower valance and side skirts, as well as a GTS-specific rear diffuser in black with carbon side fins.
The unique GTS interior completes the experience, with the finely crafted, extensive coverage of Race-Tex, a circuit-proven microfiber material combined with high quality, smooth-finish leather in black.
Audi e-tron GT quattro
The Audi e-tron is the carmaker’s attempt to translate its fundamental design philosophy to the electric age. The innovation in drive technology is apparent in the style-defining characteristics such as the distinctive sill area, the specific daytime running light signature, and the absence of exhaust pipes.
Aerodynamically optimized from the intelligent air inlets at the front to the vented wheel arches and the striking rear diffuser, the Audi e-tron GT quattro is a car that leaves an impression. Meanwhile, the 800-volt lithium-ion battery integrated into the flat underbody offers extremely high performance, improving on the e-tron’s range of up to 405 km and 300 kW of power.
In this way, Audi’s e-tron GT quattro model promises progressive luxury and pure sportiness. With the proportions of a gran turismo – flat and wide with a long wheelbase – and the sculptural design of the body, it aims to deliver both power and performance.
The winner of World Car of the Year, World Car Design of the Year, and World Green Car at the World Car Awards, the Jaguar I-PACE is one of the most desirable EVs on the market. The I-PACE epitomizes the Jaguar DNA for the EV industry, combining elegance, aerodynamics, contemporary FIA Formula E Racing technology and contemporary British design to create a car unlike any other.
Jaguar’s I-PACE aims to be a reimagining of the brand’s classic balance of sports car focus and luxury craftsmanship. The dramatic, cab-forward profile, short overhangs and taut, muscular haunches give it a sense of gravitas, while the spacious cabin, with its handcrafted touches and technological innovations, gives it that touch of sophistication.
The Jaguar I-PACE boasts of a Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) range of up to 470 km, an acceleration of zero to 100 km/h in 4.8 secs (0-60mph in 4.5 secs), and a state-of-the-art 90kWh lithium-ion battery.
Lexus RZ / LS 500h Premier
Lexus made waves with the announcement of their commitment to push towards the complete electrification of their vehicles moving forward. This commitment was backed by the announcement of the Lexus RZ, the brand’s first foray into a pure battery electric platform.
For Lexus fans who can’t wait for it to arrive in the Philippines, the Lexus LS flagship sedan, IS sport sedan, RX SUV, and NX crossover all feature hybrid technologies that reduce vehicle emissions while providing the enhanced mobility and refined luxury that the brand is known for.
The LS 500h Premier, for instance, pairs a V6 3.5-liter direct injection engine with two powerful self-charging electric motors to deliver 354 horsepower with maximum fuel efficiency. It has Lexus’s signature Hybrid Drive — a seamless, optimal combination of electric power and fuel that makes for an environmentally-friendly, fuel-efficient drive designed for convenience and comfort.
The hybrid system has been carefully engineered to monitor driving conditions to intelligently coordinate both electric and fuel power sources when required, whether accelerating, in traffic, or cruising along roads. Furthermore, as the car travels, any excess energy is routed to the battery for charging.
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Got a time horizon of 3 to 5 years? Here’s what to do with your money
Knowing where to put your money is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. However, Fernand “Toto” Tansingco, head of Metrobank’s financial markets sector, said understanding time-tested principles and having a long-term outlook can help.
If you’re wondering what you can do with your money when markets are alternately simmering and boiling, there’s a good chance you won’t go wrong with a few well-placed investments in stocks and bonds.
That is, if you have an investment time horizon of three to five years at least.
Fernand “Toto” Tansingco, Metrobank’s Treasurer and Financial Markets Sector Head, said growing your wealth is possible if you have a “long time horizon.”
Hunting for undervalued stocks
“It’s very hard to time the market,” he said. “But if you just buy now and just sleep for five years and then wake up, you’ll be up.”
There are many sources for tips on undervalued shares of companies. He cites Bloomberg as an example.
(Editor’s Note: Wealth Insights also offers ideas and tips on undervalued shares of companies in the Stocks section under Portfolio Picks).
“They have an interesting page where you have the analysts’ consensus citing where the share price would be in one year. A lot of these shares have an outlook of more than 30 percent and some even 50 percent upside,” he said.
“But of course, that has a lot of assumptions,” he cautioned, citing the economic situation in the future, the policy response of central banks around the globe, and other socioeconomic factors.
Quickly jumping into one opportunity after another is also not a good idea for most investors.
Think ahead with bonds
“You always need to have a long-term outlook because with trading, especially in Philippine bonds, the bid and offer spread will erode your returns. Even if you get a capital kick, the cost to liquidate is high,” said Tansingco.
When investing in 10-year bonds, for example, he said the ideal investment horizon is “five years, possibly three years, but definitely not one year.”
For now, inflation and the peso depreciation may make you, and most investors for that matter, anxious. Stabilizing the two may take some time.
Inflation may also go back to historical norms in 2024, and the peso may reach the “ideal” PHP 55-to-the-dollar level only when the peso interest rates become more sustainable, Tansingco added.
Still, opportunities await those who can wait three to five years, or even longer.
“I think now is the best time to start looking for what you want to get into,” said Tansingco.
(If you’re a Metrobank client, you can reach out to your relationship manager or investment specialist for more information, or you can log in to Wealth Insights for more investment ideas.)
ANTHONY O. ALCANTARA is the editor-in-chief of Wealth Insights. He has over 20 years of experience in corporate communications and has a master’s degree in technology management from the University of the Philippines. When not at work, he goes out on epic adventures with his family, practices Aikido, and sings in a church choir.
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Asia Credit: Four lessons learned in 2022
It may be time to recalibrate your bond portfolio. CreditSights, an award-winning global credit research provider, recently shared with our high-net-worth clients four things they learned and where to look for bonds to invest in.
CreditSights Singapore, an award-winning global credit research firm owned by the Fitch Solutions Group, distilled for us four key lessons for bond investors in Asia for 2022.
As our new global research partner, CreditSights complements our strengths and expertise in the financial markets, and further enhance our ability to filter out the noise to focus on the things that matter most to investors.
Lesson 1: China policy is unpredictable.
“Policy movements can be sudden, traumatic, unpredictable,” said Sandra Chow, Co-head of Asia-Pacific Research, CreditSights Singapore, during the “Forecasts and Prospects: Lessons Learned in 2022 by CreditSights” webinar hosted by Metrobank.
Chow said prices of bonds, equities, and commodities undulated wildly because investors were hoping that the Chinese government would introduce some economic stimulus to support various industries.
“The Chinese authorities seem to be calibrating policies carefully. They are introducing measures to maintain economic growth and protect social stability. But they are also pausing or pulling back when it seems that stimulus measures could cause specu