Saturday, 27 December 2008

Global Financial Crisis: Weathering the Storm

Meanwhile, watch China and Russia. With Chinese authorities in full stimulus mode through spending, monetary easing and other measures to boost confidence, we see a good chance that construction and commodity demand will begin to recover by the middle of 2009. This could have significant, positive implications for market sentiment. On the other hand, Russia’s severe domestic banking system weakness has been surprising, making this economy a potential downside factor.

Global Financial Crisis: Eastern Edge

Their economies’ new openness set them up for a fall, but the stars of the former Soviet bloc will rise again.

Global Financial Crisis: Surviving the Tsunami

The international financial crisis offers China a valuable opportunity for economic reform

China to Allow Yuan for Trade Settlement

A step forward in making the yuan an international currency; practice limited to designated regions

Economic Stimulus: Easier Said than Done

The Chinese government’s ambitious economic stimulus program looks great on paper. But it’s problematic backstage.

Beware of Zombie Banks!

I Can't Believe He Said That: 2008 in Quotes

Mutual Funds Show Heavy Losses for 2008

There was one safe bet that mutual fund investors could make in 2008 – that the stock market was a place to lose a lot of money.

“The Biggest Bubble of All . . . U.S. Government Debt”

PhD economist Marc Faber said in a recent interview that the last bubble to crash will be in long-term U.S. treasury bonds. Indeed, Faber has suggested shorting long-term treasuries at just the right moment. (He also is confident that - sooner or later - the U.S will go bankrupt).

China to Lift Auto Sector through Perks to Scrap Cars

China plans to offer incentives for car owners to scrap their old models in favour of new ones, in a bid to lift the auto industry as it enters a period of crisis, state media said Saturday.

Kentucky Fried Chicken's Hong Kong Serves Food from the Trash

Can Banks Save Chengdu’s White Elephant?

A buyer has emerged for part of an elaborate office complex built by the Chengdu city government. But controversy continues

Four Million Migrant Workers Go Home to Henan

Until December 20, more than 3.77 million migrant workers have returned to Henan Province, 60 percent of whom lost their jobs due to the economic slowdown. Henan has the largest population in China and is one of the major labor sourcing provinces.

Proof that China Will No Longer be Bullied

I have stressed several times in this column this year that China will no longer be bullied; recent incidents have proved my point. When French President Nicolas Sarkozy disregarded Beijing’s warnings and met - in his capacity as head of the European Union - the Dalai Lama in Poland, Beijing cancelled the Sino-European summit and its Airbus orders.

Beijing should not rebuff moderating Taipei stance

This is not a time to put the squeeze on Taiwan. This is a time for generosity of spirit.

Wine Lovers Uncork Cellar Stock, Drain Sales

California winemakers feel the pinch as consumers switch to cheaper wines, cut down binges

SGX Should Set Governance Benchmark

In many areas, appearances do not matter. But it does in corporate governance. If the SGX is truly seeking to uphold high standards of corporate governance for the whole market, it has some issues of its own to address.

Quantitative Analysts’ Reputation in Tatters

They’re blamed for compounding risk, exacerbating crash

M&As Seen for Tech, Oil and S-Chip Sectors

Distressed valuation levels provide such opportunities: DBSV

Stimulus Plans Draw Funds to China Stocks

Templeton, BlackRock adding to holdings in China, forecasting stock market recovery

Down to His Last US$500m

Former PM hit by global slowdown, so US$2 billion frozen in Thai banks is now more important

Will the Financial Crisis Bring Upheaval to China?

“You can tell that the senior leaders know political change will come to China eventually and that the Party can’t hang on indefinitely,” says the diplomat. “That’s why 90% of their children are in business, not working their way up the Communist Youth League or whatever. But that change is 15, 20 years down the road. That’s not going to happen now, even if it is a very bad downturn. Change will come to China. But not yet. Not now.”

Dollar Shift: While Americans Spent, Chinese Saved

“Usually it’s the rich country lending to the poor. This time, it’s the poor country lending to the rich.”

Qualifying Tests for Chinese Financial Workers

Chinese regulators have stepped up their policing of banks, ordered them to limit their counterparty risk in overseas derivatives transactions and reviewed trust companies to make sure that they are not taking inappropriate risks. But China’s most unusual response to international financial turmoil has been the government’s decision to increase rapidly the number of qualification tests that are required for workers in the financial sector. The government has also increased the number of people required to take these tests.

China’s Financial Industry Recruits Abroad

Now, in a reverse miniature brain drain, Chinese financial institutions are taking advantage of the downturn and focusing on the newly unemployed to diversify and upgrade their own staffs.

Aggressive Rate Cuts Unlikely as Fears of Yuan Decline Mount

The mainland is unlikely to slash interest rates next year as aggressively as it did this year, because rising expectations of yuan depreciation, a by-product of rate cuts, could undermine Beijing’s efforts to shore up the economy.

SINA acquires Focus Media

SINA Corp, a major Chinese Web portal, is venturing outside the Internet with a US$1 billion-plus (S$1.45 billion) acquisition of most of a leading advertising firm, Focus Media.

Six Centuries Later, China’s Navy Again Shows Up off Somalia’s Seashore

600 years ago, Zheng He, the great navigator of the Ming Dynasty, led an enormous fleet across the Western (Indian) Ocean, and reached the east coast of Africa, touching land at what is now Somali. Now, 600 years later, the Chinese Navy ships will once again leave for the Gulf of Aden. This time, though, they will not be bearing gifts, but arms, as they will enter Somalia waters to combat the recent rampant piracy that is endangering all sea-going traffic in that vital area.

The Danger of ‘Pillow Talk’

Insider trading case sends chill through PR

The Ultimate Attempt to Rescue House Market, But Then What?

The Chinese government is putting effort into its attempts to reverse the slump of the real estate market. Besides cutting transaction taxes, it is also now allowing developers with sound credit to issue debentures and real estate investment trusts (reits). This is the government’s first clear funding support for developers in two years.

Throat-Clearing Remedies

Winter can be nasty, especially on the throat. Yet with a little care and some simple TCM recipes, you can get relief from all the itching and scratching, writes Zhang Qian.

Watergate? China Could Write the Script

According to Henry Kissinger, Chinese leaders never understood Watergate and what it meant to Americans. Chinese, of course, don’t understand how democracy really works. But, it seems Americans understand it even less.

Traders Likely to Shun Equity Markets Until 2010

“When the retail guys begin to go away, suddenly all you have is very knowledgeable players playing with each other, and it gets a little dicey,” said Brad Hintz, analyst at Sanford Bernstein, who expects trading volumes to decline until 2010.

Friday, 26 December 2008

More Returning Home for Good

South Koreans account for the biggest group of foreigners living in China, with 700,000 people, followed by the Japanese community with about 115,000.

Koreans in China Feel the Pinch

Slump at home and sharp fall in won’s value force many to leave

Help Yourself for the Holiday Season

Compliments of Guanyu.

Lee Teng-Hui Faces Probe

Taiwan’s ex-leader Lee faces corruption probe

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

In Madoff scandal, Jews feel an acute betrayal

There is a teaching in the Talmud that says an individual who comes before God after death will be asked a series of questions, the first one of which is, “Were you honest in your business dealings?” But it is the Ten Commandments that have weighed most heavily on the mind of Rabbi David Wolpe of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles in light of the sins for which Bernard Madoff stands accused.

Madoff investor commits suicide

A French investment manager who put $1.4bn (£1bn) into Bernard Madoff’s fraud-hit scheme has committed suicide in his New York office, police said.