Saturday, 20 December 2008

Excessive Optimism the Biggest Mistake of 2008

Normally, the word “I” should have no place in a financial column like Monitor. But once a year I make an exception to the rule, looking back at the columns I’ve written over the last 12 months and seeing what I got right and where I went wrong.

Equity Investors Look to China as Safe Haven Amid Global Recession

Greater China remains the most favoured destination for Asian equity investors largely because fund managers are relatively optimistic about the economy even in a global recession, according to a Merrill Lynch survey.

Did Madoff Work Alone?

Benard Madoff’s contention that he pulled off one of the biggest financial frauds in history without any help is being met with disbelief by his investors and experts in the securities industry.

Car Prices Drop 0.8pc on Softening Demand

Prices for passenger vehicles on the mainland fell 0.8 per cent last month as dealers fought to win customers in the slowing vehicle market, but analysts said they did not expect a further decline.

Western-Style Politics not for China: Hu

Chinese President Hu Jintao declared yesterday that China would never turn back from its policy of reform and opening up, but it would also not go down the path of a Western liberal democracy.

After 30 Years of Reform, Economic Perils on China’s Path

The ruling Communist Party threw itself a big party on Thursday. The country’s leadership marked the 30th anniversary of the reform era that transformed China into a global economic power and, in doing so, changed the world.

Bernanke May Not Stay in Office to See Fruits of His Labour

There’s a possibility Obama is grooming Summers to replace the Fed chief

Chinese Manufacturing Giant Outgrows its Cradle

When China opened up to capitalists 30 years ago, Jeffrey Lam was one of the pioneers. But the only space he could find for his factory was an old town hall. For workers, he had 25 farmers who had never operated a sewing machine.

Global IPO Activity Falls by More Than Half: E&Y Report

Global initial public offering (IPO) activity has fallen by more than half from the record-breaking pace of last year.

New Error-Trade Rules to Boost Trading Discipline

$500 review fees; need to report errors within 30mins

Olam Buying US Vegetable Dehydration Facility

Group acquiring the assets from De Francesco and Sons

Tug-of-War in the Final Weeks of 2008

Factors at play range from window-dressing hopes to Fed rate cut to Wall Street expectations

Beijing Raises Consumption Taxes

The mainland announced significantly higher consumption taxes on a range of fuel products after it implemented a cut in fuel prices yesterday.

14b Yuan in Aviation Oil Bills Unpaid

China Aviation Oil, a supplier of jet fuel, said unpaid bills by mainland airlines have risen to 14 billion yuan (HK$15.8 billion) as the industry grapples with falling demand, according to a mainland newspaper.

Analyst Tips Long and Turbulent Bear Market

Morgan Stanley expected a long and tumultuous U-shaped bottom in mainland and Hong Kong stock markets as the economy continued to worsen despite government aid, its Asia strategist said yesterday.

Toyota Could Show First Loss in 71 Years

Toyota Motor Corp, the world’s biggest carmaker and Japan’s biggest company, is on track to report its first annual parent-only operating loss since it was established 71 years ago, the media reported yesterday.

Beijing’s Rate Cuts May not be Enough

Shadow of deflation looms over mainland economy

Visa rules open door for more Shenzhen residents to visit city

People from other provinces living in Shenzhen will be allowed to apply for Hong Kong visas through the individual visit scheme without returning to their home provinces, the chief executive has announced.

Suitcase Makers Locked in Plant to Foil Protest

Guangdong police held hundreds of protesting workers inside a suitcase factory to prevent them staging a public demonstration about a wage dispute yesterday, a labourer in the plant claimed.

Anger Over Call ‘to Show Patriotism’ by Buying a House

A high-profile Beijing professor is under fire for calling on the public to show its patriotism by putting its money into the housing market.

Energy Goals to be Overhauled

Nuclear and wind power expected to get far more emphasis for 2020

Dongguan May Shift Priority from Hi-Tech Hub Plan

Authorities in Dongguan, possibly the mainland city worst hit by the financial crisis, have apparently shelved long-standing ambitions to be a hi-tech hub after the State Council released Pearl River Delta regional development guidelines.

Sudden Property Play and Fed Rate Cut Take Centrestage

As themes go, it’s probably as good as any, coming at a time when activity was subdued, volume low and the Wall Street mood seemingly positive. We’re speaking here of the sudden push on property stocks that stood out this week and helped propel the Straits Times Index up midweek and for most of yesterday before running into a wall of selling in late afternoon.

Property Stocks Rally on China’s Fiscal Boost

But measures might have limited impact on reviving sales amid tough economic conditions, analysts say

Chinese Firm Eyes Listing Through Zhongguo Jilong Acquisition

Shareholders of Zhongguo Jilong, which has been under judicial management since July last year, may soon find themselves holding shares of Chinese firm Changjiang Fertilizer Holdings (CJFH) instead.

Size of the DPS Behemoth

10,450 sold & uncompleted private homes under the DPS now; analysts worried about those getting TOP in 2010-11

Markets May Rally in 6-12 Months: Greenspan

Financial markets, which have been depressed by ‘fear’ not seen since at least the 1930s, are likely to rebound in the next six to 12 months, former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan said in a commentary published by The Economist online.

SGX to Make it Easier for Listed Firms to Raise Funds

One key measure is to shorten the period for rights issue

Bleak Times Ahead for Region’s Building Sector

Report sees value of projects shrinking but analysts say situation here will be better

Provinces to Boost China’s 2009 Growth Rate

Count on China’s provincial governments to push through stimulus measures needed to hoist the economy’s growth rate to 8 per cent next year, says an influential Beijing academic.

Banks Too Cautious Over Lending?

This despite Govt’s plan to bear up to 80% of risk to help some SMEs

China’s Booming Art Scene Loses its Lustre

Zhang Xiaogang's Bloodline: Big Family No. 2 from Hollywood director Oliver Stone's collection sold for HK$26.4 million (S$4.9 million) at Christie's auction in Hong Kong last month, well below the pre-sale estimate of HK$40 million.

Shanghai Man Jailed for Abandoning Mother

A Shanghai man who refused to care for his ailing 83-year-old mother and abandoned her in a public city square has been sentenced to 18 months in prison, a newspaper and court official said Friday.

China Hunt for Foreign Debtors

China, hit by a slowdown in manufacturing from the global downturn, will pursue foreign investors who flee the country to escape failed business investments and debt, the Xinhua news agency said on Saturday.

10,450 on Deferred Payment Scheme

Cash-strapped buyers may sell low if they can’t get sufficient loans

S&P 600: That's Gary Shilling's Forecast for 2009, Not an Index

Get Ready to Scrimp and Save, Says Economist Shilling

How to Solve the Housing Crisis: Let in More Immigrants to Buy Houses

He Saw the Crash Coming: What Gary Shilling Sees for 2009

5 Stocks That Could Die in 2009

It’s been a bloody year for many companies. Which might be next on the chopping block in 2009? These five top my death watch list.

Friday, 19 December 2008

Take Me Back to the Sixties

Watch Video

Ferro China Starts Restructuring Procedures

Bankrupt Ferro China resumes operations under close scrutiny of a court to repay its debt.

Global Economy Seen Sinking into ‘Severe’ 2009 Recession

A major banking group warned the global economy will sink into “severe” recession next year as Japan’s battle to stave off a prolonged contraction was on Friday hit by predictions of zero growth into 2010.

Crude Oil Tumbles Below $36 as Demand Drop Swells Inventories

Crude oil was steady after falling 22 percent this week to plunge below $36 a barrel for the first time since June 2004 amid declining demand and the weakening economy.

Bush Shoe Throwing Game

Play Game Here

Mass influx of migrants triggers job fears inland

Up to 9 million migrant workers have left coastal areas this year amid diminishing job prospects and falling wages, prompting fears that unemployment in inland provinces may increase sharply next year.

Nouriel Roubini: The $700 Billion Bailout Isn’t Enough

Do you think stocks have bottomed?

No, I don’t think so. Of course, in the last few weeks we have been in another bear market rally, but bear market rallies have occurred for the last 12 months. Markets rally after shocks, and then shocks come and they fall further.

A New Trading Power Emerges

The year 1986 was a big one for China in terms of opening itself up to the world.

Beijing Delays Stock Reform Plan

Beijing will delay the launch of margin lending and short selling on mainland stock markets as it needs time to fine-tune the mechanism, according to a senior regulatory official.

Beijing Frets Over Threat of Instability

Rising unemployment a growing concern

Diplomatic Strategy Paves the Way for China’s Rise

When British historian Paul Kennedy gave his assessment of the international political scene 20 years ago, his remarks on China were harsh.

Economic Stimulus Meets Provincial Shortage of Capital

The central government has released its series of stimulation plans and policies, but implementation of these policies has become a key point in whether China will be able to maintain 8% GDP growth next year. Local governments and banks are expected to shoulder a great bit of the capital needs but may be unable or unwilling to as the situation stands.

Is censorship of China’s media being relaxed?

Strange things are happening in the Chinese media.

Latest Real Estate Rescue Efforts Not Enough, Again

The Chinese government is likely to see little effect from its latest measures to promote housing consumption, as they have not bettered policies of local governments across the nation. The real estate market slump, having already lasted a year and a half, seems a safe bet to continue.

Shah Capital not selling Bio-Treat stake

US-based fund says uncertainties around firm will clear

China’s Stimulus Needs Refocusing

China’s real estate stimulus is misdirected. It should be trying to help farmers and small businesses, not property owners.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

High-speed rail to connect Shanghai, Kunming by 2015

A feasibility study is underway for a new high-speed rail line between Shanghai and Kunming, construction of which is expected to begin in 2009, according to Kunming media reports.

Can Stimulus Prop Up China's Investment Growth?

Social Networking by the Billion

Can U.S. Internet Companies Succeed in China?

Tolls Out, Taxes Up for Fuel Price Reform

By increasing fuel taxes and eliminating fees and road tolls, China expects to end a decade of debates over fuel price reform

Steel Price Decline Boosts Chinese Shipbuilders

China’s inland waterway shipbuilding industry sees a revival due to declining steel prices.

Paying the Price for China’s Milk Scandal

Hospitals and parents of babies sickened by melamine-tainted milk powder formula are shouldering huge costs they can’t pay.

Mixed Signals for China’s Smoking Control

Chinese delegates at a global tobacco-control conference gave anti-smoking forces new reasons to cheer and jeer.

Emphasis on Upstream Industry Supports Imbalances

Beijing is more concerned about production than about consumption, increasing dependence on exports.

Blackwater ‘Could Lose Iraq Role’

Blackwater could lose its licence to operate in Iraq, rendering it unable to provide security for US diplomats, a US State Department internal report says.

Madoff Relied on ‘Irrational Euphoria’

They too offer inside knowledge in return for a fee and should be asked the same question that more people should have asked Mr. Madoff - if this scheme for making money is really so good, why sell it at all?

Why not simply use the technique to make money yourself?

Madoff under curfew on $10m bail

Bernard Madoff, the hedge fund boss accused of a $50bn (£32bn) fraud, has put up $10m bail and in effect been placed under house arrest.

‘Worldwide Problem’ in 2009

The president of the World Bank warned Thursday of a ‘worldwide’ struggle in the first half of 2009 as deepening global economic woes hit countries in Asia.

China to Send Warships

China will send warships to the seas off Somalia to help international efforts to fight piracy there, the Foreign Ministry said on Thursday, in what would be the first operation of its kind for Beijing.

Stop Eating Cats

A southern Chinese province must stop the ‘shameful’ and ‘cruel slaughter’ of cats for food, a group of more than 40 animal lovers in Beijing said on Thursday as they unfurled banners in a tearful protest.


Daily chart indicates a bullish flag, range trading 1.14 to 1.23. Looking at 1.36.

Hourly chart indicates an up move soon.

Noble Group

Now that forced selling is over, it's possible to break 1.11 resistance to test upper BB at 1.16. BB can also expand to 1.29.

ST (white lines) is opening up and piercing through the LT (red lines). When the ST cross over the LT convincingly, stock becomes very bullish.

Singapore Shares End Up On Property Companies, But Rally Seen Brief

Singapore shares ended higher Thursday, lifted by developers on hopes of lower interest rates, but analysts warned the bull run in both the property sector and benchmark index will likely be short-lived.

China’s Urban Challenge

China’s next 30 years: Building the world’s biggest cities

New Proof of WW2 Sex Slaves

China finds new ‘proof’ of Japan’s WW2 sex slaves

Proof in Chinese

China Will Never Turn Back

Chinese President Hu Jintao pledged on Thursday that China would never turn back on its path of opening to the world, as he led celebrations for the nation’s 30 years of spectacular economic reforms.

Revealed: why Evra was blamed for pitch battle

FA accuses Manchester United staff of giving ‘unreliable’ evidence

What do you expect from ManUure players and staffs (and manager)?

The Great Pragmatist: Deng Xiaoping

We're In a Year-End Bear Market Rally

Watch Video
The markets are currently in the midst of a self-fulfilling prophecy -- an end of the year bear market rally, notes Kirby Daley, senior strategist at Newedge Group. He tells CNBC's Martin Soong more.

Yanlord +7.6% On China’s New Property Measures

0254 GMT [Dow Jones] Yanlord Land (Z25.SG) top percentage gainer on STI, +7.6% at 2-month high of S$0.925, boosted by new measures by China to support ailing property market. Among measures, anyone who has owned a home for at least 2 years (vs at least 5 years previously) can now sell it without having to pay tax, while those selling a home less than 2 years after buying it will pay taxes only on profit, not on total sales price. Developers will also get aid in securing loans from banks. “With the introduction of new stimulus policies, property stocks would react positively in the near term,” says UOB KayHian, but adds China’s economic slowdown, challenging employment situation still raise concerns on whether new measures can boost sustainable sales. Resistance likely at S$1.00, last tested in mid-October. (FKH)

‘Sea Turtles’ Head Home

They were the ‘gold-collar’ workers: highly educated Chinese people working on Wall Street.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

China Needs More Domestic Reforms

Beijing risks inflicting even more damage to the world economy by reflexively slowing market reforms in response to the financial crisis. China’s leaders should quicken, not slow, the pace of reform to help the country weather the storm.

Chinese Automakers Consider Poaching Talent From US Big 3

After considering the risk of buying US auto manufacturers’ assets, Chinese automakers realized that targeting their research and development (R&D) talent would be a more realistic and profitable option.

China Cuts Home-Sales Tax as Property Slump Deepens Slowdown

China will reduce a tax on home sales to stem a property-market slump that may drive the world’s fourth-biggest economy into the deepest slowdown since 1990.

Economists: China’s Economy Has Bottomed

A flood of data in November shows a deeper sliding Chinese economy but the flipside of the bad news is that China may strike bottom in late-2009 and the path from there will lead upwards.

Chinese Graduates Recruited for Rural Work

Song Peng village, China: Liu Hao, who graduated in June with a degree in manufacturing from a Beijing technical school, found a job he loves - in a village of 288 people surrounded by peach orchards.

Work to begin on Lugu Lake airport in 2009

One of the biggest tourism destinations in Yunnan without an airport has just jumped into the queue. The Yunnan Civil Aviation Bureau announced that construction will begin next year on Lijiang Lugu Lake Airport, according to a Kunming Daily report.

Olympics Over, China Said to be Blocking Web Sites Again

The Chinese government has quietly begun preventing access again to Web sites that it had stopped blocking during the Olympic Games in China in August, Internet experts said on Tuesday.

Returning Migrant Workers Put Strain on Home Provinces

Swarms of migrant workers driven back home by the economic downturn in eastern provinces are putting huge social and employment pressure on the governments in their hometowns.

Sitting Pretty on Cash Mines

Valuation of a clutch of companies has gone below NAV, but they aren’t easy pickings for asset strippers

The ‘Liquidity Trap’ Could Happen

In the very near future, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System could instruct the Open Market Committee in New York to target Federal Funds to a rate close to zero per cent. Such a position will be bullish for China’s positions in U.S. government bonds.

Why there may be confusion over legal notion of innocence: Forum

Professor Woon spoke of, inter alia, the notion of innocence. He said acquittal is not always tantamount to innocence. The accused could be factually guilty but legally innocent. ‘I don’t understand why is it so hard to grasp,’ he said.

China says lending to US will not go on forever

China warned Wednesday it would not keep lending money to the US economy indefinitely, even as new data showed it had consolidated its position as the top buyer of American government bonds.

China’s Jobless a Worry

More than a million Chinese college graduates unable to find work could make coping with unemployment harder now than it was during the Asian crisis, the head of China’s largest vocational training organisation said.

On 7 December 2007, RBS paid $100bn for ABN Amro

For this amount it could now buy:

Citibank $22.5bn
Morgan Stanley $10.5bn
Goldman Sachs $21bn
Merrill Lynch $12.3bn
Deutsche Bank $13bn
Barclays $12.7bn

And still have $8bn change which you would be able to pick up GM, Ford, Chrysler and the Honda F1 Team!

HSI - Technical Analysis by DB

Last week on Monday, the HSI took out resistance of the upper confine of a consolidation at 14,254. Key-resistance and next upside objective at 15,318 was cleared in Wednesday’s session. This breakout establishes an intermediate-term uptrend and confirms a double bottom. On Friday a pullback occurred. This consolidation which is still in place could extend towards gap support at 13,875 without negating the current uptrend. A decisive close below it would turn the bias neutral again. Next resistance above 15,781 is seen at 15,962 and around 16,250.

Bio-Treat: Pledged Assets To Lender After Loan Default

SINGAPORE (Dow Jones)--Singapore-listed Bio-Treat Technology Ltd. (B22.SG) pledged all of its assets to a lender Dec. 9 after defaulting on a HK$360 million loan facility.

Bio-Treat, in a filing with the Singapore Exchange Friday, said its assets were pledged in favour of Precious Wise Group Ltd., which was once a substantial shareholder.

The Chinese waste and wastewater-treatment firm said a fixed-first charge over the shares it holds in several units has been created for Precious Wise, and that all dividends, interest and distribution related to the shares will be given to Precious Wise.

Bio-Treat said it is “working to rectify the default” but didn’t provide details.

Mentor Minister Lee Kuan Yew Optimistic on China

Thirty years after the Middle Kingdom threw open its gates and embarked on economic reforms, it will enter a tougher phase of progress, predicts Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew.


1) MACD cut up.
2) Stochastic cut up.
3) Boilinger Band going to open up.

Noble May Rise; Raises US$80M For Refinancing

2353 GMT [Dow Jones] Noble Group (N21.SG) may test current December high of S$1.10 as news of supply chain manager raising US$80 million shows banks still confident in company’s business model amid slowing commodities demand, tight credit conditions. Amount raised from 2-year Islamic loan facility, arranged by HSBC, will be used to refinance existing debt, for working capital. While Noble’s balance sheet widely regarded as more resilient than those of other Singapore-listed commodity firms, investors still wary how company will be affected by reduced demand, falling prices for commodities. But OCBC Investment Research says Noble’s diversification strategy will pay off; “we take comfort in the group’s business model, which generates earnings from a diversity of activities, namely marketing fees, assets and arbitrage. Further diversification is derived from its pipeline of varied commodities spanning energy, agriculture and metals.” Stock closed flat at S$1.04 yesterday. (FKH)

Graft a long-seated tradition in Illinois

State’s unusually lax laws allow corruption to thrive: Prosecutors

Henderson to test market with discounts

Hong Kong’s third-biggest property developer, Henderson Land Development, is poised to test the market with a limited release of discounted units in 10 residential projects it built on the mainland over the past three years.

Income tax threshold will not be raised

Adjustment could put fiscal pressure on local governments

JB-bound motorists fume over $21 toll card

Confusion reigns as some think that’s how much they have to pay to cross checkpoint

Second-home loan restrictions may soon be lifted

Restrictions on financial institutions issuing loans to second-home buyers may soon be relaxed, Shanghai Securities News reported on Dec 15.

Shanghai Volkswagen to cut output as sales slow

Shanghai Volkswagen, a key carmaker on the mainland, will extend its regular maintenance work and scale back production as it seeks to reduce inventory amid slowing sales, according to a source.

Singapore’s Star Rises as Switzerland Stumbles

As pressure mounts on Switzerland’s flagship bank UBS and the country’s secrecy code comes under fire from the United States and Germany, Singapore’s star as a haven for the super-rich is rising fast.

Stable Asia ‘won’t be high priority’ for US

Obama team’s top focus on reviving economy, Mid-East issues; China also ranks high: Envoy

More Suffer ‘Survival Panic’

Downturn spurs ‘survival panic’ for some in US

80-minute journey ends a 59-year wait

Fanfare in Taiwan at arrival of first daily direct flights and maritime cargo

Counting the high cost of growth

“People used to be indifferent about pollution on their doorstep. But now they know about its adverse impact on their health and the environment, they cannot sit by and endure further suffering.”

Police brutality up in rural areas

Cases of police abuse have surged in Henan as millions of jobless farmers have returned home after factory closures in coastal regions.

Reporter who went missing for 2 weeks held by police

A Beijing-based journalist who disappeared two weeks ago during an investigation in Taiyuan , Shanxi province , was being held in police custody yesterday in Hebei on suspicion of taking bribes.

Temple move highlights major challenges as waters rise behind Three Gorges Dam

“This is the reality about the Three Gorges Dam. It may be a first-class infrastructure project, but it is located in one of the poorest mountainous regions in the world.”

The Real Ponzi Behind the ‘Scheme’

Charles Ponzi’s biographer contends that he was just a dreamer without a good exit strategy.

Underground Banks in Legal Twilight Zone

Trial scheme to legitimise operations hits bumps

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Anti-laundering drive nets 150b yuan

The value of laundered money that was uncovered in the first nine months of the year soared to almost 150 billion yuan (HK$170.15 billion), about five times last year’s total, according to state media.

No rebound in steel until second quarter of next year, say experts

The mainland steel industry, the world’s largest, would not see a significant rebound in demand until the second quarter of next year, even though Beijing had promised a series of measures to help, analysts and steelmakers said yesterday.

Merrill Lynch Oil Guru Blanch Shifts From Bull to Bear and Back

Francisco Blanch, the Merrill Lynch & Co. analyst who called the $147.27 record crude-oil price nearly on the nose, sent markets into a tailspin with his forecast that the next move may be back to $25 a barrel in 2009. Such relief for consumers may be short-lived once the global recession ends, he said.

Why Toyota wants GM to be saved

A GM failure would cause production problems, crush already weak demand and potentially open the door to low-cost competitors.

Internet Explorer security alert

Users of the world’s most common web browser have been advised to switch to another browser until a serious security flaw has been fixed.

Dog That ‘Waited’ 5 Years for Owner Gets New Home

The black mutt was tossed out onto the streets five years ago after his former owner passed away, but he kept wandering outside his old home as if waiting for his owner to come back.

To Enter the Market, or Not – Charting Indecision

Let’s use Singapore’s Straits Times Index (STI) as an example.

The Biggest Ponzi Scam of All?

You’d have to wonder - has Wall Street fully digested the enormity of Bernard Madoff’s alleged US$50 billion hedge fund fraud?

Bio-Treat Acts on Loan Default Notice

Bio-Treat Technology’s entire group assets have now been pledged in favour of Precious Wise Group - following the lender’s serving of a notice of default relating to a HK$360 million loan facility.

Ex-CAD director Knight joining Colin Ng

Former Commercial Affairs Department director Glenn Knight is joining law firm Colin Ng & Partners as a partner in its dispute resolution practice group, the firm said yesterday.

Developer sales perk up with new launches

Launch momentum may continue; price becomes key factor to move sales

World braces for 5% ‘uncharted’ China growth

Used to double-digit growth, China could see pace sink to 5% in 2009 from 9.7% this year, says IMF

Singapore’s Role in China’s 30 Years of Reform, Opening Up

Historic moment: Mr Deng arriving in Singapore in November, 1978, to a warm welcome from Mr Lee. It was Mr Deng's first and only official visit to the Republic. Mr Lee recalls in his memoirs how he had prepared an ashtray for Mr Deng despite a no-smoking rule at the Istana. 'It was a gesture to a great figure in the history of China,' he says.

The Original Ponzi Scheme

Charles Ponzi pioneered the scam that bears his name, through which he bilked US$10 million from thousands of investors in the 1920s.

Madonna gives Guy £50m in divorce

Madonna has paid former husband Guy Ritchie around £50m as part of their divorce settlement.

Oil producers could face prolonged buyers’ market

With the economy in the throes of a global recession, oil producers are facing the toughest business environment in 25 years.

Famous Shanghai bar faces up to forced move

Rupert Murdoch and the Backstreet Boys will have to head elsewhere for drinks when they are next in Shanghai after the closure over the weekend of Face Bar.

Expect growth to bounce back in 2009 and ‘10

It is difficult to be an optimist about the mainland’s economic prospects next year, amid the deepening gloom of the global financial crisis.

Investors Should be Wary of Underestimating Risks - Again

In a nutshell, investors should be wary of placing too much faith in their hope to keep markets afloat, at least until the present disconnect between the underlying economy and market expectations converge. In short, be careful of underestimating risk again.

Stock Market Analysts Look Past the Pain

Rough ride ahead but bank on bottom-fishing opportunities in 2nd half-year, they say

Monday, 15 December 2008

China’s Fuel Tax Launch Boosts Fuel-Efficient Car Competition

The national fuel tax reform has finally been given a launch date of January 1, 2009, and will have a profound influence on China’s auto industry, regardless of possible changes to implementation rules.   

Coastal Provinces Determined to Dump Labour Intensive Industries

China’s export growth in November, at –2.2%, was the first negative growth in the past seven years and reveals the serious economic slide in China’s coastal areas that depend mainly on exports. Southern China’s rich Guangdong Province, producer of 1/3 of China’s goods for export, is the biggest loser. But this is strengthening the determination of these areas to readjust their economic structures.

The 17th Floor, Where Wealth Went to Vanish

The epicenter of what may be the largest Ponzi scheme in history was the 17th floor of the Lipstick Building, an oval red-granite building rising 34 floors above Third Avenue in Midtown Manhattan.

When socialism turned Marxism on its head ...

The break with the ideological past that still can’t be confronted

Abhisit Wins PM Vote

In for ‘roughest ride’

Declining Inflation a Worrying Sign

It was only a few months ago that newspapers around the world, including this one, were covering the intense debate over the cause of rising inflation on the mainland.

Corruption - The Ugly Side of the Economic Reform Boom

For years, Shanghai could do no wrong, racing along with double-digit growth and offering a blueprint for a modern China. So when the city’s highest leader, Communist Party secretary Chen Liangyu, was sacked for corruption in 2006, it tarnished the Shanghai model of development.

Commodities Lines Cast Far and Wide

Mainland firms scouring the world for miners, projects find prices have fallen to appetising levels

Chinese Reporter Chasing Corruption Claims Disappears

A Chinese newspaper reporter investigating a suspicious real estate deal has not been seen since hotel security tapes showed five men pushing him into a car two weeks ago, a local newspaper and a colleague said on Monday.

China’s Press Tests its Boundaries

Journalists increasingly pushing the envelope with eyeball-grabbing exposes, juicy scandals

Calls Mount for Debate on Stimulus Package

Calls are mounting for more transparency over the mainland’s ambitious economic stimulus package, as more details trickle out about its biggest ever public spending campaign.

Bankruptcy - Seeking to Achieve a Fine Balance

Official Assignee strives to ensure that bankrupts make genuine efforts to repay their creditors

$180,000 - that’s how much investor loses in foreign exchange trades in 3 months

High-risk investments can make or break an investor, especially during the current troubled times.

I Knew Bernie Madoff Was Cheating, That's Why I Invested with Him

The Coming Commercial Real-Estate Crash

Things Are Tough All Over, But Really 'Horrific' in New York

Singapore to Recover in 2010?

Swiss bank UBS expects Singapore’s economy to shrink by 0.5 per cent next year but to bounce back with growth of 4 per cent in 2010.

Next PM May Not Last

Democrats’ Abhisit likely to win, but analysts doubt he can reconcile parties

Shoe Thrown at President Bush in Iraq

But in the middle of a news conference with Mr. Maliki in the Green Zone, Iraqi television journalist Muntadar al-Zaidi stood up and shouted “this is a goodbye kiss from the Iraqi people, dog,” before hurling a shoe at Mr. Bush which narrowly missed him.

With his second shoe, which the president also dodged, Mr. Zaidi said: “This is for the widows and orphans and all those killed in Iraq.”

Hong Kong Faces Another Deflation Reckoning

Recent steep price falls in China have made deflation the new economic bogeyman, and another sizeable rate cut could be on the cards. Hong Kong is anxiously watching this unravelling on the mainland as it tries to avoid being tipped into another painful deflationary cycle.

Don't Mess With the Wrong KTV Girl

Must read (and warning) for all KTV cheongster.

Original Post Here...

Bush Says Auto Bailout Not Ready

President George W. Bush said on Monday an announcement on a auto industry rescue was not imminent, leaving the industry’s fate clouded in uncertainty for a little longer.

Wall Street Icons Likely to Bleed Red Ink

Analysts continue to slash quarterly estimates for battered Wall Street duo Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley; losses now expected for both firms.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Chen’s Graft Charges Stun Democratic Taiwan

“This is a case of how power corrupts a man,” said political commentator Yang Hsien-hong. “Chen used his power to amass wealth, and hoped to buy a political comeback with the wealth he amassed.”

Picture looking grim for Shenzhen artists’ village

The world’s leading centre for mass-produced works of art, a mainland village once famed for its reproductions of famous masterpieces, is now picturing a gloomy future amid the global financial meltdown.

Deflation Alert as Global Crisis Hits Mainland

Chief banking regulator says GDP growth must not go below 8pc

Your Memory Is Bigger and Better Than Scientists Expected

If you’re tired of hearing about memory loss, there’s some encouraging research from Massachusetts Institute of Technology about how good people’s visual memory really is.

Sperm Quality Linked to Cleverness

Intelligent men produce better quality sperm, researchers have found. They say the discovery suggests an unexpectedly close relationship between intelligence and general evolutionary fitness.

Harvard Hit by Loss as Crisis Spreads to Colleges

Harvard University’s endowment suffered investment losses of at least 22% in the first four months of the school’s fiscal year, the latest evidence of the financial woes facing higher education.

China’s Exporting Powerhouse Reports Foreign Trade Contracted by 13%

In November, the total import and export value of Guangdong Province, China’s leading exporting province and the base of Made in China, was $ 53.35 billion, down 13% over the same period last year.

Panda Bonds Could Help China Avoid the Risks of US Treasury Bonds

The Panda bond is RMB-dominated and issued by foreign financial institutions (governments, companies, and international organizations). Panda bond’s buyers should be Chinese financial institutions, mainly commercial banks. Overseas financial institutions, short of USD, can buy USD from Chinese counterparts with RMB after getting RMB fund. Besides paying regular interest in RMB, bond issuers would repay principal in RMB to the bond holder (Chinese commercial banks) when the bond matures.

China and Neighbours Agree to Settle Trades in their Own Currencies

Despite its closed capital account and the lack of easy exchange of its currency, China is working to set up a trade payment system using RMB, and has signed an agreement on free choice of bilateral trade settlement currency with eight neighbouring trading partners.

Economical Society of Singapore: Crisis

The writer attended a discussion organised by the Economic Society of Singapore two days ago. Present were Manu Baskaran, Khor Hoe Ee, Ho Ching, J Y M Pillay and several bankers. Below are some of the more interesting points raised which you may find instructive or useful:

You've Got A Friend - Carole King

You've Got A Friend - James Taylor

Prosecutors Breathe Sigh of Relief

Team makes history with former Taiwanese leader’s indictment

Chen Case a Tragedy for Taiwanese Democracy

Revving China’s Auto Industry

Cars leave me cold, but not the BYD F3DM. I drove it the other day, and it really is remarkable.

To Settle or Not: Let Prosecutor Decide?

Should the final decision whether or not to compound certain offences lie in the hands of the prosecution?

Vice Dens Back in Business

One of the most notorious symbols of prostitution in Beijing has reopened in another signal the city’s vice industry has roared back to life following an Olympic crackdown.

Diaoyu Mission ‘Carefully Timed’

Beijing carefully planned a mission on Monday by two ships into contested territorial waters near the disputed Diaoyu Islands to declare sovereignty, according to a mainland publication.

Commodity Countries Reeling

When China hits the brakes, commodities exporters half a world away have to shift to a lower gear, as the rapidly deteriorating fortunes of the copper sector shows.

Taiwan-China Shipping Links

China and Taiwan will start a new era of direct air and shipping services on Monday when planes and ships travel directly across the Taiwan Strait, formally ending a nearly six-decade ban on regular links.

Thaksin: ‘Stop interfering’

He calls for unity even as he accuses military of meddling in politics

Unrest a Blow to Democracy

Lawless protests that shuttered Thailand’s airports will be seen by authoritarian regimes in an increasingly undemocratic Southeast Asia as a vindication of their own iron rule, analysts say.

Crunch Time For Borrowers

Banks are being more conservative, say observers, but lenders deny tightening credit

The Hedge Fund Swindler

List of victims grow

Singaporeans’ Habits Abroad Make Me Grind My Teeth

Never mind the accent or our obsession with wearing slippers everywhere. The biggest tell-tale sign of a Singaporean tourist is his eyebrow-raising habits.

Nude couple in car died from suffocation

13-year-old girl and older man fell asleep in the car with the air-conditioning unit operating

Don't Give Up On Us - David Soul

Beautiful Sunday - David Boone

For the defrauded, little solace

The zoning lawyer in Miami trusted him because his father had dealt profitably with him for decades. The officers of a little charity in Massachusetts respected him and relied on his advice.

Fraud case may erode investor confidence

Frauds on Wall Street aren’t unheard of. But a $50 billion Ponzi scheme, one that purportedly struck at boldface names on several continents, is a bombshell by any standard.