Friday, 14 November 2008

Hong Kong in recession

Hong Kong slipped into recession in the third quarter as the global economic slowdown took its toll on the financial hub, government figures showed on Friday.

Labour chief disappointed with DBS’ sudden retrenchments

Labour chief Lim Swee Say has expressed his disappointment in the sudden decision by DBS Bank to cut 900 jobs.

Nina Wang and fung shui master were lovers, claims defence

The legal team of fung shui master Tony Chan Chun-chuen has claimed that their client and late billionaire Nina Wang Kung Yu-sum were romantically involved for 14 years.

Private Equity and QFII Returning to A-Share Market

The A-share market has shrunk drastically, and private equity funds are giving up pre-IPO, switching to acquiring listed company shares through bulk trading. This highlights the reality that China at present lacks long-term investment opportunities. An appropriate monetary policy might lead more such funds to return to the stock market in the short term.

As factories close, Chinese workers suffer

Wang Denggui, father of three, arrived more than a year ago in the palm-lined streets of this southern Chinese town with a single goal: toil in a factory to save for his children’s school tuition.

China faces difficulties in improving quality of rural education

One of the difficulties in improving the quality of rural education is in finding and retaining qualified teachers.

China milk inspectors beaten over tough checks

Two milk inspectors for a major China dairy firm were severely beaten in an attack blamed on suppliers angry at tough new safety checks following a tainted milk scandal, state media said Friday.

Former Taiwan leader's son questioned

Prosecutors questioned the son and daughter-in-law of jailed former Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian in connection with his graft case Friday as his lawyer confirmed he was continuing his hunger strike into a third day.

Judge: Wife who enjoyed fruits of husband’s corruption can be deemed as having knowledge of the crime

Shanghai may axe F1

Shanghai is considering axing the loss-making Formula One Grand Prix after its contract runs out in 2010, a senior official told AFP.

Worst May Be Yet to Come for Citigroup

After a year of red ink, a months-long plunge in its share price and a $25 billion government rescue, you might think the worst was over for Citigroup.

Europe is in recession after bank meltdown

Europe has fallen into its first recession in 15 years, after the global banking crisis and a decline in exports brought growth to a shuddering halt.

Investors pull $31.8B out of stock funds

Last week’s flow of cash back into funds reverses and nervous investors pull billions out of stock, bond, and hybrid funds after Dow hits a 5 1/2-year low.

River Valley condo Luma relaunches with prices halved

Units going for $1,450 psf, down from $2,800 psf at launch last year

Deng’s call for ‘three links’ with Taiwan answered

Last week’s visit to Taiwan by Chen Yunlin, China’s chief cross-straits negotiator, is hugely significant. Four agreements were signed with his Taiwan counterpart, Chiang Pin-kung, providing for daily cross-strait flights, direct cross-strait shipping, better postal services and food safety. Almost three decades after Deng Xiaoping’s call for the establishment of the ‘three links’, meaning direct postal, transportation and trade links, it has finally been realised.

GM collapse could set off chain reaction

Advocates for US carmakers are warning that the collapse of the Big Three - or even just General Motors (GM) - could set off a catastrophic chain reaction in the economy, eliminating up to three million jobs and depriving governments of more than US$150 billion in tax revenue.

SGX to build up penalties for ‘naked’ short-selling

Traders involved in the ‘naked’ short-selling of shares will find the practice increasingly painful financially.

CDL to shelve South Beach

Economic turmoil and high construction costs cited as reasons

‘Dodgy’ deals at Advance Modules

Tech firm Advance Modules Group (AMG) made a series of dodgy multimillion-dollar transactions to create the appearance that it was profitable, according to a special audit out yesterday.

Man who gave birth is pregnant again

The “pregnant man” who gave birth earlier this year says he is expecting a second child.

Ready to lend US$100b

Japan is ready to lend up to US$100 billion(S$151.4 billion) to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help boost loans to emerging countries hit hard by the financial crisis, the government said on Friday.

Crisis hits Chinese maker of solar cells

A Chinese solar cell maker, JA Solar Holdings, said the global economic slump had brought “panic” in the solar market, prompting it to cut its sales forecasts and sending its shares down nearly 30 percent, to a record low.

Being fake is very real in China

But cutting corners to make cheaper products is now costing lives

US entrepreneur may have bitten off more than he can chew

An eye-in-the-sky view of the growing casino trade

Questioning of Chen’s children may occur today

The children of former Taiwanese president Chen Shui-bian are expected to be summoned for questioning as soon as today over their alleged roles in their father’s suspected money-laundering.

Lower Gas Prices Don’t Make Americans Feel Rich

Drivers are breathing a sigh of relief as gasoline prices plunge across the country. Gas below $1.50 a gallon has appeared in a few places in recent days, and the national average has dropped almost in half since July, to $2.18 a gallon.

Haunting Asia, a brown cloud blots out sun

A noxious cocktail of soot, smog and toxic chemicals is blotting out the sun, fouling the lungs of millions of people and altering weather patterns in large parts of Asia, according to a report released Thursday by the United Nations.

Europe could cede to emerging nations at IMF

European nations are prepared to lower their representation in international financial institutions to give China and other emerging economies a bigger role, the president of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, said ahead of the G20 meeting this weekend in Washington.

Beijing’s goal: 95pc self-reliant in grain to 2020

Global picture in 2005 forced evaluation and draft of plan

Asia refinancing to provide risks and opportunities

Appleby of ADM Capital said investors should stay patient for opportunities to ripen in a market he says is the best in his lifetime for investing in distressed debt - better even than during the 1997 Asian financial crisis.

49 Chinese students kicked out of UK university

Fifty overseas students, 49 of them from the mainland, were expelled from Britain’s Newcastle University this week.

49 Chinese students kicked out of UK university

Fifty overseas students, 49 of them from the mainland, were expelled from Britain’s Newcastle University this week.

Taipei court upholds 7-year term for Chen’s son-in-law

Taiwan’s High Court on Thursday upheld a seven-year jail term and fine imposed on former president Chen Shui-bian’s son-in-law for insider trading, officials said.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Parent Company Bails Out CITIC Pacific

CITIC Group has agreed to provide CITIC Pacific with a US$1.5 billion standby loan facility to be substituted by a convertible bond issued to CITIC Group. Meanwhile, the parent group will assist CITIC Pacific to reorganize its AUD leveraged foreign exchange contracts, potentially incurring a loss of USD19bn.

Global crisis will shake up funds industry

Analysts see return to higher savings rates, more focus on diversification

Wine lovers blend together for new shop and bar

China considers media freedoms to stem unrest

The Chinese government is considering loosening its grip over the media and allowing citizens to let off steam as the economy unravels.

China’s fattest man loses half his weight through acupuncture

A 34-year-old man from Beijing has gone from 38 stone to 19 in just one year apparently because of a strict acupuncture regime.

China to clamp lip-synching?

The move comes three months after lip-synching caused a storm during the Olympic Games opening ceremony after it was revealed Lin Miaoke, who moved millions of viewers with a stirring song was actually miming.

Germany in recession

Germany has fallen into recession for the first time in five years as the global financial crisis hammered the world’s third biggest economy, official figures showed on Thursday.

Sands to cut 11,000 jobs

Up to 11,000 construction workers are to lose their jobs as US gaming giant Las Vegas Sands delays a huge development in gambling haven Macau, the head of Las Vegas Sands Asia said on Thursday.

$4 trillion in corporate debt coming due

Here’s another big number for the global financial crisis: $4 trillion. That’s the bill that nonfinancial corporate borrowers face over the next two years as their debts come due for repayment or refinancing, according to data from Dealogic. Meeting that obligation has gotten harder, where it’s possible at all.

China’s Mining Companies Struggling in Downturn

With major metal prices slumping in both domestic and overseas markets, China’s non-ferrous metal industry is facing an unprecedented challenge, with all companies suffering losses in September and October. The situation shows no sign of changing before the end of this year.

Downturn taking spark out of business, says lighter tycoon

“When I started my business, I was very tired physically. Now, although I am millionaire, it’s my heart that is tired.”

Guangdong rejects reports of surge in bankruptcies

Guangdong authorities have rejected reports of mass factory closures in the province, but promised several measures to spur the local economy amid a weakening of the GDP growth rate.

China's Monthly Trade Surplus Surprises, Hits New High

At a time when China’s exporters are screaming for help and factories for export goods are shutting down, it is astonishing that the highest monthly trade surplus in China’s history, $35.239 billion, occurred just last month.

Muted cry after ‘Son of Taiwan’ handcuffed

From the “Son of Taiwan” to the “Shame of Taiwan”, former president Chen Shui-bian, whose arrest has drawn international attention, was once seen as a hero who had risen from poverty, but now has fallen in disgrace.

China: Wild animals still being served

Wild animals are back on mainland plates even after the deadly Sars virus made some diners wary, and booming demand for traditional medicine is also threatening some plants, environmentalists said yesterday.

$2m Fraud – Probe into wife’s assets

Judge says fraud case against fugitive made out, wife liable for not querying his lavish buys

Spam host blocked from Net

Junk e-mail drops after providers disconnect a California firm

Expensive affairs

Extramarital affairs could really cost you, with new Australian laws set to allow former lovers to get money from their ex-partners through the courts.

Singdollar ‘will slip to 1.80 against greenback’

The Singapore dollar is set to weaken sharply to $1.80 against the greenback within the next year, the leading United States investment bank Morgan Stanley has predicted.

Few buying Chen’s ‘martyr’ act

Professor Li Hsiao-feng of Shih Hsin University, himself sympathetic to the pro-independence cause, conceded that few were buying the pro-independence act, and that it is ‘only the fanatics who are supporting him’.

Tiger kills man at zoo

He died on way to hospital.

Debt collectors report surge in business

As the economy slows down, one particular form of business is picking up - debt collection.

Harassed and intimidated

Debtors feel the heat as bill collectors turn up at their homes and offices

Chen on hunger strike

Former Taiwan president Chen Shui-bian has gone on a hunger strike to protest against his arrest on corruption and money-laundering allegations that he claims are politically motivated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Impact of financial crisis on China ‘worse than expected’: Wen

China’s Premier Wen Jiabao said the effect of the global financial meltdown on the country was “worse than expected,” state media said Thursday, in a sign of growing concern at the impact of the crisis.

Once No 1, Taiwan’s Chen now inmate 2630

Former Taiwanese president Chen Shui-bian is now known as 2630. That is the number he has to use as long as he remains locked up in the Tucheng Detention Centre outside Taipei.

U.S. Shifts Focus in Credit Bailout to the Consumer

The Treasury Department on Wednesday officially abandoned the original strategy behind its $700 billion effort to rescue the financial system, as administration officials acknowledged that banks and financial institutions were as unwilling as ever to lend to consumers.

China IPO dreams dashed amid global turmoil

Many Chinese IT companies’ hopes of hitting the initial public offering (IPO) jackpot have evaporated amid hefty falls in global stock markets in the past few months.

FerroChina appoints business recovery firm

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Once red-hot, cards turn against Macao

Chen’s detention a test of Taiwanese democracy

The arrest of former Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian in a corruption case Wednesday is set to deepen political divisions in the normally fractious country, with the former leader’s supporters accusing the government of a political vendetta.

At the G20 Summit, What Will China Gain and Contribute?

China’s stature will gain recognition for the following reasons:

EU looks into telecoms blocking Internet calls

European Union regulators are looking into whether mobile phone operators who block customers from making inexpensive wireless calls over the Internet are breaking competition rules.

Panel says BNP Paribas may have broken Japanese insider trading rules

BNP Paribas may have broken Japanese insider trading rules in a finance deal with a property developer that later collapsed, a committee set up by the French bank to investigate the transaction said Tuesday.

Even lawyers are getting laid off

You know things are bad when even lawyers are getting laid off.

California town is epicenter of U.S. housing crisis

Because of plunging home values, almost 90 percent of homeowners here owe more on their mortgages than their houses are worth, according to figures released Monday. That is the highest percentage in the United States. The average homeowner in Mountain House is “underwater,” as it is known, by $122,000.

Be wary of rising complacency

Six weeks ago, just after the Straits Times Index (STI) had successfully tested the seemingly firm support level of 2,300 for the second time, this column recommended investors to exercise patience before buying because the worst of the bear market was in all likelihood yet to be seen.

Sands skimps on Macau, bets on Singapore

Casino operator will scale back Cotai Strip development to focus on integrated resort here

GM Judged Too Big to Fail as Pelosi Embraces Industry Rescue

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has thrown her support behind the premise that General Motors Corp., the largest U.S. automaker, is too big to be allowed to fail.

Adelson Survives Like ‘Cockroach’ After $30 Billion-Plus Loss

“His arrogance came back to haunt him,” Taylor said.

Silent Busts

More Chinese businesses are collapsing – though you would never know it

Chen’s high-drama arrest

Ex-president back in court after hospital visit over abuse allegation

Market rout may continue

The rout in global markets may continue while bonds will be a ‘terrible’ investment as economic problems may persist until 2010, investor Jim Rogers said.

No bailout for IRs

The government has ‘no intention’ of bailing out the integrated resorts in Singapore should they fail, Senior Minister of State S. Iswaran said on Wednesday.

Taiwan media urges calm in Chen corruption case

“Chen’s moves aimed at portraying himself to the world as a political prisoner instead of an embezzler accused of corruption... but he insults Taiwan’s democratic rule of law and undermines the people’s wisdom,” the paper said in an editorial.

Taiwan’s Chen detained

A Taiwanese court ordered former President Chen Shui-bian detained on corruption charges on Wednesday, an ignominious ruling for a man who won acclaim for standing up to China with pro-independence policies.

Patrick Tse’s girlfriend almost 50 years younger

Hong Kong’s celebrity playboy, Patrick Tse, is 71. His girlfriend is 23. But he believes that age is no boundary to true love.

Focus Media Slower Growth Show the Severe in Chinese Ad Industry

The global financial crisis has taken the toll of advertising industry in China, with Focus Media, the country’s leading digital media company yesterday announcing its third quarter 2008 results growing on a slower pace. The company also has seen advertisers cancelling and postponing contracts and holds a conservative outlook for the fourth quarter and 2009.

Before Saving the US

To relieve the crisis, the US must repay its debts, and to do that it needs to live a more frugal life instead of asking others to continue lending it the money to maintain its over-consumption.

China Bets Highways Will Drive Its Growth

As more of the world falls into financial turmoil, China is hoping that an infrastructure spending spree can help sustain its long record of expansion and rising prosperity.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

U.S. colleges scour China for top students

Last month, Tiger and dozens of China’s brightest students gathered in a five-star hotel blocks from Tiananmen Square for the final round of a math contest. They competed under the watchful gaze of William Fitzsimmons, Harvard’s admissions dean, who has handpicked undergraduates for three decades.

VAT reform ‘barely helpful’ to small firms

Beijing’s long-awaited reform of the value-added tax (VAT) might not be enough to provide a significant boost to the country’s battered small and medium-sized enterprises, taxation professionals and entrepreneurs said yesterday.

Analysts rule out quick boost to property sector

Beijing’s stimulus package is unlikely to boost the property sector right away, although the market will benefit over the medium term once the economy improves, analysts say.

Stock Market To Fall Another 20%-25%: Roubini

The economy will worsen in the coming months and cause the market to fall another 20 to 25 percent in the United States and abroad, said Nouriel Roubini, a New York University business professor, on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Monday.

A 4 trillion yuan splash, but a lot less ‘real water’

You have to hand it to the mainland’s leaders; they certainly made a splash with the announcement on Sunday of their 4trillion yuan (HK$4.54 trillion) economic stimulus package.

Macau's Edmond Ho vows to take over Sands if casino folds

Macau Chief Executive Edmund Ho Hau-wah said his government would take over the running of Las Vegas Sands’ casinos in Macau in the event of the company’s collapse.

China Stocks May Need More Measures to Lure Investors

China may have more work ahead to revive investors’ confidence in the world’s worst-performing major stock market after unveiling a 4 trillion yuan ($586 billion) stimulus plan.

Acting like public firms a year or more before listing

That’s what successful IPOs do, E&Y study shows

DBS troubles not over, say analysts

Despite a share price rise, investors are still unsure of impact of job cuts

‘Comfort women’ apology sought

In another sign of Taipei’s toughening stance toward Tokyo, Taiwan’s parliament on Tuesday passed a resolution asking Japan to apologise for forcing women into sex slavery during World War Two and to compensate victims.

Former Taiwan President Detained

Chen Shui-bian (centre) raises his handcuffed-hands outside the prosecutor’s office in Taipei

How an accumulator works

As investors once enticed by the “discount” on their shares saw their losses mounting, they developed a new nickname for the accumulator: “I kill you later.”

Golf memberships at 18-month low

If you have been eyeing that golf club membership for a while, now may be the time to pounce. Then again, maybe not.


That is what a number of banks and media want you to believe when it comes to China’s just announced 4 trillion stimulus plan.

CPO hasn’t bottomed out yet; may fall to MYR1,200/ton

Crude palm oil prices haven’t bottomed out so far and may fall to MYR1,200 a metric ton in case crude oil falls to $50 a barrel, Dorab Mistry, a London-based vegetable oils analyst, said Tuesday.

More Hedge Funds Bursting

Construction-related claims on the rise

Contentious litigation also expected to rise in tandem

Trade creaks as letters of credit dry up

Banks turn cautious as risk of clients going belly up rises; LC fees shoot up

Negative equity hits 10,000 homeowners after price fall

Price slump means loans exceed market value of flats

Nina Wang was duped, court told

Fung shui master told billionaire she’d live forever if he was in will, barrister says

US in ‘serious recession’

Survey of economists sees US facing long, deep recession.

SGX should publicise all its enforcement actions

Protests break out in several provinces

Protests triggered by issues such as wage disputes, taxi drivers’ grievances and alleged relations between local cadres and gangsters broke out in several provinces yesterday.

Many parents ‘in obesity denial’

Just one in nine parents of obese or overweight children believe their child has a weight problem, a poll suggests.

Ma hopes DPP talks will ease tensions

Taiwan’s leader offers dialogue to heal divide

Hong Kong Stocks Fall for First Time in 3 Days; HSBC Drops

Hong Kong’s benchmark stock index fell for the first time in three days, as concerns over profit growth overshadowed speculation that easing inflation in China will offer room for further interest-rate cuts to bolster growth.

Analysts keen to cast CapitaLand as white knight

CapitaLand is trying hard to play down expectations but in the eyes of some analysts, it has emerged as the frontrunner in the race to become Las Vegas Sands’ (LVS) white knight. The fact that CapitaLand had participated in the Request for Proposal for both integrated resort (IR) sites here is fanning such talk further.

1,300 south China firms hit

More than 1,300 companies shut down, suspended operations or moved out of south China’s Pearl River Delta in the first nine months of the year due to the global downturn, state press said on Tuesday.

US Economist McKinnon: Fix RMB Rate Against USD Again

Ten years ago China successfully rode out the East Asian financial meltdown with a fixed exchange rate and a surge in government disbursement. Can China use the same method to survive the current financial crisis? A big government stimulus package was announced this weekend, but what about the RMB?

No honour, no shame, no help

Sex workers like Mary, 45, see earnings dip in economic downturn, but who’ll help them?

Las Vegas Sands Suspends Macau Building, Seeks $2.14 Billion

Las Vegas Sands Corp., the casino company controlled by billionaire Sheldon Adelson, is suspending construction in Macau to conserve cash as it works to raise $2.14 billion in capital following a loss in the third quarter.

Chinese Stocks May Need More Than Stimulus to Lure Investors

China may have more work ahead to revive investors’ confidence in the world’s worst-performing major stock market after unveiling a 4 trillion yuan ($586 billion) stimulus plan.

Must minorities just take it or leave it?

In a disclosure-based regulatory regime, a question at the back of the minds of many minority shareholders is often ‘What next?’. So long as nothing untoward happens that should catch the attention of the authorities, there is not much that unhappy minority shareholders can do except to sell out, even if there is evidence of poor management or weak corporate governance, or if board decisions go against their perceived interests.

Beijing plan will help the world, says IMF chief

Mainland’s massive government spending package to boost domestic demand is “good news” that will help the global economy ride out the financial crisis, the International Monetary Fund’s managing director said on Sunday.

Beijing’s stimulus plan will help nations around the world

Mainland’s announcement of a stimulus package that will pour more than 4 trillion yuan (HK$4.5 trillion) into its economy will have repercussions far beyond its borders in a time of global crisis, economists say.

As demand shrinks, shamans who channel gods update their style

Singaporeans said to be behind fund blamed for small caps’ share price tumbling

British ‘toxic’ notes fund out in the cold

China’s Inflation Slows, Giving Room for More Rate Reductions

China’s inflation cooled to the slowest pace in 17 months, giving the central bank more leeway to keep cutting interest rates to counter the financial crisis.

Bad Feng Shui in South for 2009

United Fiber sues Merrill Lynch

It accuses the bank of backing out of 2006 deal to provide takeover financing

HSI Put Warrant G1AW

Looks good for 0.540 tp.

Monday, 10 November 2008

CNG is now an old story

Fed up with her CNG car stalling every day, she drove back to the workshop to remove the entire kit. The number of new CNG cars has plunged from the July peak of 419 units.

Banks seen as good buys by mid-2009

Profits will still grow, KPMG says

Funds shift focus to retail property

Investment in the mainland retail market is expected to rise as more institutional funds channel capital into the sector, which is less restricted by the government, industry observers say.

CSRC crackdown exposes 66 cases of securities offences

The China Securities Regulatory Commission imposed fines and other penalties in connection with 66 cases of illegal securities trade in the first nine months of the year.

Tax rebates prop up exporters but risk igniting friction with trade partners

The country’s exports have become a lightning rod for government concern as slowing overseas shipments will cost the labour-intensive sector millions of jobs and undermine one of the nation’s major growth engines.

Banking still the promised land for young

But poll of students and grads finds them less picky about specific roles

It’s an identity

When schools opt to make changes, passions are stoked

Two-wheel revolution possible?

More are taking up cycling as a viable transport option here

Two-wheel revolution possible?

More are taking up cycling as a viable transport option here

Shun Tak, casino majors consider bets on Korea

Country’s ban on gambling by citizens is a stumbling block

Russia pursues independent strategy

Russia, the world’s second-biggest oil producer, will pursue an “independent” strategy on oil production, ignoring Opec’s moves to cut output, according to Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin.

Premium green goods become status symbols

Research among mainland consumers repeatedly indicates a concern for the environment - consumers’ good intentions to adopt products that are kinder to the environment, even if they are harsher to their wallets.

Kickback vultures feed on ship trade

Employees pocket millions of yuan for guaranteeing no delays during export boom

Be careful what you wish for, Mr Wen

Wen Jiabao believes developed countries must change their unsustainable lifestyles to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Top Hedge Fund Managers ‘funereal’ in Midst of Financial Crisis

In the midst of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, several top hedge fund managers sent a grim message to their investors in October: it isn’t over.

Once bitten, twice shy for SWFs

Cash-rish sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) from Asia and the Middle East may be turning cautious after getting burnt by investments in Western firms hit by the current financial turmoil, analysts said.

Bicycle-sharing mania takes hold in Europe

In increasingly green-conscious Europe, there are said to be only two kinds of mayors: those who have a bicycle-sharing program and those who want one.

Rio Tinto cuts iron ore shipments

Facing a dramatic drop off in Chinese steel production, Rio Tinto will cut iron ore shipments by up to 20 million ton, or 10 percent, in 2008, but holds out hope that demand in China will improve next year.

Crisis? What crisis? Some hedge funds are gaining

While most hedge funds are sinking into red this year and unsettling the markets in the process, a handful of them are posting spectacular gains. Drury’s fund, for instance, is up 60 percent since Jan. 1.

Internet attacks seen as more potent and complex

Attackers bent on shutting down large Web sites – even the operators that run the backbone of the Internet – are arming themselves with what are effectively vast digital fire hoses capable of overwhelming the world’s largest networks, according to a new report on online security.

Developing nations demand a say

The Group of 20 finance ministers and central bankers met over the weekend here with the intent of laying the groundwork for a critical meeting of world leaders in Washington next Saturday to tackle the global financial crisis.

Singapore Proposes Integrated Asian Stock Market

The Singapore Exchange (SGX) has proposed the creation of an integrated Asian stock market, its chief executive officer Hsieh Fu Hua said Monday.

Picking the right partner in overseas ventures pays off for Wilmar

Singapore’s Wilmar International is a truly international conglomerate, operating throughout the palm oil spectrum, from plantation to refining and consumer products.

Better to miss out on the best if it helps avoid the worst

Fear manifests itself in the stock market in two and only two ways. First is fear of losing money, which emerges when prices are plummeting and all mayhem is breaking loose, as was the case for most of last month. This stage is characterised by plenty of hand- wringing as investors agonise over whether to sell, or cut losses, or pay up their margin calls or, in the case of die-hard believers, to try and ride out the plunges and hope that one day they’ll be in the black again.

US military conducts a dozen secret strikes in four years

US special forces have conducted about a dozen secret operations against Al-Qaeda and other Islamic militants in Pakistan, Syria and other countries under broad war-waging authority given them by the administration of President George W. Bush, The New York Times reported on its website.

Top censor in bid to clarify journalists’ conduct code

The top censor for mainland print media, the General Administration of Press and Publication (Gapp), has issued a notice on the journalism code of conduct amid outrage over the “hush money” scandal, when a Shanxi coal mine paid journalists for silence after a mining accident.

Meeting of minds on the art of ambiguity

When Beijing’s top envoy, Chen Yunlin , kicked off his historic visit to Taiwan last Monday, he made it clear that politics was off the agenda. The purpose of the talks with his Taiwanese counterparts, he emphasised, was precise and simple: to bring advantages to people across the Taiwan Strait.

Police may charge Taiwan DPP leader

Taipei police may charge opposition leader Tsai Ing-wen for failing to contain thousands of supporters.

Taiwan Opposition DPP Eat Shit Talk Shit

Taiwan opposition seeks to heal rift

Hong Kong Banks Rate Cut Unlikely to Save Property Market

China’s $586b stimulus plan

Investments will be targeted at infrastructure, social welfare and other key sectors.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

The legal landscape for foreign property investors

With returns on investment exceeding 15% in recent years, China’s real estate market has been a hotbed of foreign investment. As offshore capital flooded into the country’s property market, however, prices soared, prompting Beijing to intervene. For would-be investors today, the legal landscape of property investment can be difficult to navigate.

Busy times ahead for security firms

With thousands of factories likely to close, companies seek protection from disgruntled staff

Think-tank proposes fund to support market

The mainland’s top think-tank has proposed creating a fund of 600 billion to 800 billion yuan (HK$680 billion to HK$910 billion) to buy shares of 50 state-owned companies if stocks dip below a key threshold, a newspaper reported yesterday.

HK home prices crashed

THE window displays at the Hong Kong property agency where Mr Stephen Poon works are bursting with cut prices, last minute reductions and cash incentives.

UBS buys 900m yuan A shares in block deals

UBS Securities, one of the nation’s first qualified foreign institutional investors, spent 900 million yuan (HK$1.02 billion) to buy A shares through the off-market block trade system, the latest sign that overseas investors are hunting for bargains on the battered stock exchange.

Property price drop raises spectre of loan defaults

A 30 per cent fall in mainland property prices could trigger serious loan defaults, ravaging banks and even devastating the entire economy, a Shanghai banking regulator has said, although this dire outlook remains a minority view.

Fingers burnt on sure-fire Las Vegas Sands bet

“I’ve achieved the financial standing and the reputation on Wall Street to get all the money we need. We just raised US$5 billion a couple months ago and it’s become so routine that I wasn’t even at the closing.”

Regional exchange in China gains clout in global soy trade

In a busy port city in northeastern China, the Dalian Commodity Exchange is quietly coming of age as the reference point for the global soy trade.

Sarah Palin blamed by the US Secret Service over death threats against Barack Obama

Sarah Palin’s attacks on Barack Obama’s patriotism provoked a spike in death threats against the future president, Secret Service agents revealed during the final weeks of the campaign.