Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Akmal Shaikh: China refers to controversial Opium Wars with Britain

The Chinese embassy referred to the controversial role Britain played in supplying opium to China following the execution of British citizen Akmal Shaikh, according to a leading historian.

Horror storeys

Massive property lending, oversupply and plunging rents point to an asset crisis in China

Shanghai bridge found stuffed with foam

First it was “tofu” schools, now foam bridges. Shanghai engineers have become the subject of ridicule from internet users after a supposedly concrete bridge was found stuffed with rubbish and plastic foam.

Chongqing billionaire jailed over gang crimes

A billionaire political figure has been sentenced to 20 years in jail after a Chongqing court found him guilty of leading a crime gang.

Disguised loans magnify risks in Chinese banks

In January last year, this column warned that “Chinese banks may not be as solid as they look”.

It argued that a combination of rapidly expanding lending books, sketchy credit standards and fudged loan classifications meant that asset quality and capital adequacy in China’s banking sector were both weaker than the official figures led investors to believe.

Friday, 25 December 2009

Global impact of tax haven crackdowns

From flight to quality by world companies to tax audits, life will be very different

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Kidnap fears spark tough love for ‘little emperors’

After a spate of kidnappings, wealthy parents in Shenzhen have decided some tough love is necessary to ensure their “little emperors” are equipped to survive.

Australia to proceed with controversial Internet filter

Australia said yesterday it would push ahead with a mandatory China-style plan to filter the Internet, despite widespread criticism that it will strangle free speech and is doomed to fail.

I Ching and 2012

I Ching and 2012

妻子, 情人, 紅顏知己

No more 3-year telco contracts, fixed penalties

IDA’s new rules are meant to safeguard the interests of consumers

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Few can muster the political courage to pop an asset bubble

The mainland authorities are nervous, too. Yesterday, the State Council pledged to crack down on overheating property markets, declaring “some cities are seeing excessively fast housing price rises, and we should pay high attention to this”.

Despite the fighting talk, however, it is doubtful whether officials either in Hong Kong or on the mainland will muster the courage needed to pop any developing bubbles, at least in the near term.

Asian Stocks to Extend Bull Market, JPMorgan Says

Asian stocks outside of Japan may extend a bull market into 2010, helped by declining risk premiums, a recovery in economic and earnings growth, and low interest rates, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.

China Developers Fall as Government Targets Housing

China Vanke Co. led declines by the nation’s developers after the official Xinhua News Agency said the government will target “excessive” growth in property prices in some cities.

Monday, 14 December 2009

50 Ways to Cut 500 Calories a Day

Here's the simplest (no-diet!) way to slim down.

NTU opens centre for China’s officials

Growing demand prompts university to offer more customised programmes

Dr. Wu wants the Nanyang Centre for Public Administration, housed at the historic Chinese Heritage Centre, to become a full-fledged school of public affairs that also offers undergraduate degrees.

Cleaners ‘beat bankers in worth’

Hospital cleaners are worth more to society than bankers, a study suggests.

And tax accountants damage the country by devising schemes to cut the amount of money available to the government, the research suggests.

Bubble muddle

The International Monetary Fund is worried about Hong Kong.

$40m in coffers? Sino-Env EDs have no quick answer

Sino-Environment executive directors (EDs) appear to have backtracked on the claim made by the group chairman about having $40 million in the company’s coffers after the Singapore Exchange (SGX) asked them to substantiate the claim.

Sons ordered to pay dad’s $15m debt

The two sons of Indonesia-born businessman Agus Anwar have been ordered by the High Court to cough up the $15 million he owes to a private bank here.

Who’s going to blow next?

Dubai’s travails have some economists wondering if another debt bomb may be lurking dangerously

Sunday, 13 December 2009

China’s public holidays for 2010

1. New Year: January 1-3; 3 days;
2. Spring Festival: February 13-19; 7 days;
3. Qingming Festival: April 3-5; 3 days;
4. Labor Day: May 1-3; 3 days;
5. Duanwu Festival: June 14-16; 3 days;
6. Mid-Autumn Festival: September 22-24; 3 days;
7. National Day: October 1-7; 7 days;

China’s young Net addicts don’t grow up

Problem from youth continues into adulthood leading to divorces, money and health woes

A year into office, no unity under Thai PM Abhisit

In the year since he became Thai premier with no popular mandate, Abhisit Vejjajiva has underperformed on the domestic and regional stage and failed to reconcile a deeply divided nation, analysts say.

Young Chinese groan at skyrocketing property costs

Computer engineer Jenny Jin and her husband have been hunting for a home for a year, but like many young would-be property owners in China, they have struggled to enter the market due to soaring prices.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

PLA streamlines arms purchases to stamp out waste and corruption

The People’s Liberation Army is to reform its procurement system in a bid to stem widespread wastage and corruption.

Americans unable to accept US decline

Domestic resistance, rising global challenges make it tough for US to continue being No. 1

Friday, 11 December 2009

Fisting in Chinese

Fisting in Chinese, etc. from Danwei on Vimeo.

Court freezes big asset sales by Sino-Env EDs

Independent Directors (IDs) of Sino-Environment Technology Group were granted court orders yesterday to restrain the company’s executive directors (EDs) from selling any major assets and signing new contracts of significant value.

Raising the bar for independent directors

The Singapore Exchange’s (SGX) latest move to change listing rules to improve corporate governance will place a greater burden on independent directors (IDs). It comes in the wake of recent events which have highlighted how challenging the job can be for IDs, something far removed from the popular notion of the board as a cosy old boys’ club.

Dual listing lure poses challenge to SGX

The performance of China XLX on its debut on the Hong Kong bourse has serious implications for Singapore’s ambitions to attract offshore companies to list here.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Yorkville to invest in Transcu life sciences firm

Singapore-listed life sciences firm Transcu Group (TRSU.SI) said on Thursday that Yorkville Advisors, a U.S. investment fund manager, planned to invest up to US$51.8 million ($72 million) in the company.

SUTL Global buys 23.4% of Achieva for $15.2m

Leisure group SUTL Global has bought 23.4 per cent of mainboard-listed IT-related firm Achieva for $15.2 million. The seller is an executive director who has stepped down for health reasons.

China Squeezes Property Speculators With Tougher Tax Penalty

The government will impose a sales tax on homes sold within five years of their purchase, increasing the time period covered by the charge from two years, the State Council, the nation’s cabinet, said yesterday after a meeting chaired by Wen. China reduced the penalty period of the tax to two years from five in January of this year to stem falling prices.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Japan Land twisting in ever tighter knots

It is odd that Japan Land did not mention who had been in charge of the accounts for its subsidiary - Japan Asia Land - at a press conference last week.

Because if the board had said then that Junya Kitada - chief financial officer of Japan Asia Land until Nov 30 - was also the head of the company’s hired accounting firm, that fact would have been added to the company’s litany of corporate governance flops.

3-day, 7-day tickets are Expo bargain

Starting in January, you’ll be able to buy three and seven-day tickets for the 2010 Shanghai World Expo that will allow you to visit the Expo several times at a cheaper price.

Judges must not pre-judge merits of case

Judges must not pressure parties in a case to settle their dispute quickly, nor should they make up their minds about the case before hearing all the arguments.

Las Vegas casino case: Ruling overturned

Appeals court: Foreign judgment valid here only if it is to claim money

China executes securities trader who hid millions

China executed Tuesday the former manager of a securities company who embezzled millions of dollars - the first execution of an executive from the communist country’s financial sector, state media said.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

News blackout on Dr. Chee’s acquittal by AGC of charges of speaking in public without a permit

A complete news blackout was imposed by the Singapore media on the acquittal of the Singapore Democratic Party’s Secretary-General Dr. Chee Soon Juan of three remaining charges of speaking in public without a permit by the Attorney-General Chambers.

Monday, 7 December 2009

SGX makes it compulsory for brokers to mark short-sell orders

In a bid to increase market transparency, the Singapore Exchange (SGX) has said that it is making it compulsory for brokers to mark all short-sell orders.

Chinese woman altered fingerprints for Japan entry

A Chinese woman arrested in Japan for illegal entry had altered her fingerprints through surgery to fool a biometric security system at the airport, media reports said Monday.

Olam advisers lose fees in US$400m bond issue

Olam International had trouble selling US$400 million of convertible bonds in early September because convertible arbitrage funds could not borrow Olam stock for shorting, said the company’s chief executive, Sunny Verghese.

Chinese auction site a boon for businesses, big and small

Taobao’s growing popularity has captured the imagination of students like Ge, but also giants like Dell, Uniqlo, Procter and Gamble, and Chinese firms seeking to step from the shadows after years of manufacturing for US and European labels.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Ajahn Brahm on "The Meaning of Life"

When Uncle Sam calls East Asia’s bluff

At least by the measure of stock market prices, the world is returning to the happy days of early 2008, before the financial shocks. But some less obvious, yet perhaps more profound, signs point to fundamental changes. Asia, in particular, boasts about some of these - a shift in power and wealth to the East - but, in practice, is ill-prepared for their realisation.

Family portrait of 56 ethnic groups in China

Chen Haiwen, a photographer, recently lead a team of 14 photographers to create a book entitled, “Harmonious China: A Sketch of China’s 56 Ethnicities.” The team spent one year travelling all over China to complete the project. They ended up taking over 5.7 million photographs.

View Album

Fugitive running out of options

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has just wrapped up a four-day visit to China, during which he sat down with the country’s leaders and signed a number of agreements, including one on climate change. But there was one topic he would have preferred to avoid but which inevitably cropped up - the extradition of Lai Changxing, the country’s most famous fugitive.

Gome founder to be charged with corruption, insider trading

After a year of gathering evidence, mainland prosecutors have decided to charge the billionaire and former Gome Electrical Appliances chairman with corruption and insider trading, mainland media said.

Investors are happy to follow the herd

Widely held views on the market are favoured, never mind they are often wrong

China’s Red Princesses

These social butterflies mix with European and American glitterati, but few in China get to hear of their exploits

New Zealand man injects sleeping wife with HIV

An HIV-positive man in New Zealand has admitted injecting his blood into his sleeping wife and infecting her with the virus which can cause AIDS, a newspaper reported Sunday.

Revelation of Swiss bank accounts


1. INDIA - $1,456 BILLION
3. U.K. - $390 BILLION

Chinese wind power companies target global markets

China’s Goldwind Science & Technology Ltd. is one of the world’s biggest makers of wind turbines - a cornerstone of the booming clean power business - but is virtually unknown outside its home country.

China targets illegal golf links

Crackdown comes amid widespread construction of courses

China launches ad campaign to salvage global image

China, the country that introduced the world to formerly obscure chemicals such as melamine and diethylene glycol via a series of product safety scandals, is now hoping to salvage its image through an advertising campaign.

Beijing to let foreigners set up limited partnerships

Foreign firms and individuals will be allowed to set up limited partnership firms in mainland from March next year, a move that could make it easier for some overseas investors to tap the domestic market.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

A truly modern army can’t be a tool of the party

Despite its name, the People’s Liberation Army is an army of the Communist Party, not of the nation. This is not only political reality, but something written into the constitution.

Dr. Lim Hock Siew's Speech

Mystery bankers, dodgy deals, missing millions

The auditors travelled to China to probe cash transactions made by Sino-Environment. It turned out to be a rocky journey as the company staff and its supposed ‘bankers’ appeared to have laid roadblocks at every step.

29 Catalist firms still do not have sponsors

Unsponsored firms face trading suspension, then delisting

Swing Media secures $10m equity line facility

Swing Media Technology Group says it has entered into a $10 million equity line facility (ELF) with YA Global Master SPV, a fund managed by New Jersey’s Yorkville Advisors.

Friday, 4 December 2009

High-rating television show about urban life suspended

Content on corruption and affairs too realistic, reports say
View Show

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Stocks will dive back to 2008 March low - analyst of Societe Generale S.A, Edwards

U.S. stocks are heading for a fall to below their lows of last March.

Asia is poised for V-shaped recovery next year

Asia is poised for a sharp economic recovery next year, even as developed economies in the West continue to struggle, according to Standard Chartered’s chief economist.

Sincere Watch sets its sight on China, India

Sincere Watch will focus on growing the business in Asia by setting up stores in parts of China and India rather than turn to acquisitions at this point.

Get stockbrokers in on governance

Why is it that when scandal rocks the stock market - as it has this year with the high-profile problems at various China companies listed on the Singapore Exchange (SGX) - nobody looks at the role that the stock broking community might have played in safeguarding investors’ interests?

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Peru human fat killings ‘a lie’

Peru’s police chief has suspended a top investigator for saying he had caught a gang who were murdering people to sell their fat.

Mortgage slaves’ plight more fact than fiction

Until it was mysteriously pulled from the airwaves recently, the latest hit TV show on the mainland was Woju. Set in the imaginary city of Jiangzhou, clearly based on Shanghai, it follows white-collar workers as they struggle to buy apartments.

Low Thia Kiang: “Cooling-off” period will give PAP an extra day of campaigning

The late Singapore Chief Minister Mr. David Marshall once described the Straits Times as the “running dogs and prostitutes of the PAP”.

The state media is known to portray PAP candidates in a positive light while casting aspersions on the characters of opposition candidates.

Asia Tiger prowls for fund-raising options

Asia Tiger - soon to be renamed The Think Environmental Co Ltd - is exploring ways to fund its change of stripes.

Monday, 30 November 2009

Sino-Env: tough questions need to be addressed

The gathering of over 70 minority shareholders of Sino-Environment at a meeting chaired by Singapore Investors Association (Singapore) or SIAS this evening is sure to whip up some heated discussion about the sorry state of affairs at the S-chip.

Goldman selling Shanghai block for US$300m

Goldman Sachs is in talks to sell a residential property investment in Shanghai for more than US$300 million as it seeks to take profit in the mainland’s property market before expected policy risks emerge next year, say sources familiar with the decision.

DMG’s Gabriel Yap to take a break from stock broking

Well-known stock market personality Gabriel Yap is quitting the business - for a while at least - to travel and do charity work.

China stock bubble seen bursting next year

China’s ballooning stock market bubble, fuelled by excessive liquidity, is likely to burst in the first half of 2010, punctured by economic concerns arising from higher-than-expected inflation, Morgan Stanley Asia executive director Jerry Lou said on Thursday.

If you play your cards right ...

Top poker players are being studied to help traders’ strategic thinking

US-China partnership key to fixing world issues

Observers analysing the visit of US President Barack Obama to China not unnaturally looked for signs of a shift in the world balance of power - and they found them.

For one thing, the American leader was noticeably respectful of his Chinese hosts and did not attempt to lecture them, at least not in public and probably not in private as well.

SGX should enforce listing rules itself - not rely on others

I refer to the report, ‘SGX: Public rap for misconduct is enough’ (BT, Nov 20), and the letter from SGX, ‘SGX comments in context’ (BT, Nov 24).

Curbs on officials with family overseas

Shenzhen cadres will be barred from powerful positions if their spouses and children live outside the mainland under a groundbreaking regulation aimed at curbing rampant government corruption.

Appeal dismissed: Trading ‘expert’ must refund $176,583

The High Court yesterday upheld the decision of the Small Claims Tribunal that self-styled trading expert Clemen Chiang has to give out refunds totalling $176,583 to 48 people who attended his seminars.

United SSE 50 China ETF lists today

Singapore’s first China A-shares exchange-traded fund (ETF) will be listed today, with a change in the tracking index, issuers UOB Asset Management (UOBAM) and China Securities Index said yesterday.

The threat of ‘hot money’ in the region

Emerging countries the world over are growing increasingly concerned about strong inflows of ‘hot money’ into their respective countries. ‘Hot money’, also known as mobile capital, refers to short-term private capital that flows across borders into different markets in search of higher returns.

State-run magazine reports on black jails in China

It read like a muckraking expose: A magazine revealed a system of secret detention centers in Beijing where Chinese citizens are forcibly held and sometimes beaten to prevent them from lodging formal complaints with the central government.

Minsheng Down in Debut as China Banks Under Pressure

Shares of China Minsheng Banking, which raised $3.9 billion in the world’s fifth largest initial public offering of 2009, fell 1 percent in their Hong Kong trading debut, underscoring the recently soured investor sentiment for mainland banks.

Court to mistress: Law can’t help you

The Court of Appeal has rejected a bid by the mistress of a dead businessman to get his estate to pay maintenance for their two children.

Asia should look at own-currency reserves

Governments in Asia should continue to develop their domestic bond markets, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) argued during the fourth annual Asian Bond Markets Summit held in Singapore this week by the ADB and The Asset magazine.

Analysts who forecast crisis warn of US meltdown in 2012

A US dollar plunge could ravage the United States economy as soon as 2012, when foreign investors are likely to exit en masse from US assets, according to a new book by two analysts who forecast the recent credit crisis.

Ailing greenback may fuel giant asset bubble

Investors may come to grief when US dollar carry trade unwinds

Virus in Netherlands hits disarmed iPhones

Hackers have built a virus that attacks Apple’s iPhone by secretly taking control of the device through its internet connection, according to security experts.

Judicial management likely cure for Sino-Environment

This will safeguard firm’s assets while a debt repayment plan for bondholders is worked out

Gamblers are easy prey

They come from diverse backgrounds - there are teachers, pilots, engineers and even the odd housewife alongside the jobless. But they share one thing in common: They are gamblers faced with mounting debts.

College course to help groom China’s scions

A leading Chinese university has launched a special business programme to help groom the scions of China’s growing number of wealthy families into future tycoons, state media reported.

China almost ties with US in number of researchers

China increased investment in research and development by 36 per cent from 2002 to 2007, almost catching up to the US in the share of its workers engaged in creating knowledge or products, the UN said.

BYD boss still riding high after Buffett’s investment

The soft-spoken 43-year-old entrepreneur was zapped onto the world stage last year when his company, BYD Co Ltd, became the latest darling of US billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who bought 10 per cent of the electric car and battery maker.

Beijing moves to turn harmful methane into an energy source

The mainland, a massive consumer of fossil fuels and coal in particular, is trying to modernise its mines by containing emissions of methane and turning the gas into a source of much-needed energy.

Banks seen raising billions in capital in coming years

Chinese banks, under government pressure to shore up their finances, are set to unleash a wave of capital raising worth billions of dollars that could strain equity markets but also spur innovation in debt instruments.

Asia Sentinel Loses a Singapore Correspondent

It is little wonder that the sage advice of one professor of journalism at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University to an eager student reporter was: “If you want to do journalism, don’t do it in Singapore.” – Asia Sentinel

Activist who criticised school construction gets prison term

A lengthy prison sentence for a rights activist shows the determination of Chinese officials to suppress any vestige of dissent related to shoddy construction and unnecessary deaths in last year’s devastating earthquake in Sichuan province, fellow activists said.

Sino-Env independent directors fire back

The independent directors (IDs) of Sino-Environment Technology Group have vigorously refuted the claims made by the executive directors, saying that complaints against the company’s sacked financial controller and about the payment of certain professional fees are without merit.

Zhejiang businessmen’s 22 golden rules

If you’ve ever wondered why Zhejiang has a penchant for drawing successful businessmen from its ranks, then you probably won’t be surprised to know of the “22 Rules for Zhejiang Businessmen.” Of course, it’s a little seedier than what you’d find in business ethics books, but it seems to be pretty spot on from what we know of Zhejiang businessmen and their practices: lovingly calls them the “Jews of the Orient,” which we guess is a compliment?

Shanghai first to offer social net to expatriates

The move means expatriates living and working in the city can receive coverage equal to that for locals over sick pay and bills for workplace injuries - so long as they pay into the system. Previously, the only option for companies with foreign employees was to take out commercial insurance.

$500 Million and Apology From Goldman

How much good will can an apology — and half a billion dollars — buy? A lot, Goldman Sachs is hoping.

Do busy wives cause husbands to stray to prostitutes?

Official figures on arrests of foreign call girls reflect a high demand of prostitutes in Malaysia.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Lying - an integral part of job interviews

The more stupid or inappropriate the questions get, the more you are entitled, almost expected, to lie.

Guangzhou’s African bind

To heal wounds caused by a protest by up to 200 Africans in July, Guangzhou police are offering a two-month amnesty and talks with leaders of their community to resolve differences.

Dubai looks to oil-rich neighbour for possible aid

As world markets absorbed the shock of Dubai’s debt crisis, the ruler of the once-booming city-state left town for an important meeting in a desert palace. His hosts: the leaders of neighbouring Abu Dhabi whose balance sheets are flush with oil revenue.

Dangers of an Overheated China

President Obama’s recent trip to China reflects a symbiotic relationship at the heart of the global economy: China uses American spending power to enlarge its private sector, while America uses Chinese lending power to expand its public sector. Yet this arrangement may unravel in a dangerous way, and if it does, the most likely culprit will be Chinese economic overcapacity.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

State train makers under fire for poor standards

A senior rail official has criticised the quality and safety standards of the mainland’s growing fleet of high-speed trains, a serious blow for the country as it fast tracks construction of what will be the world’s largest high-speed train network.

Admiral says PLA’s strength, intentions should be displayed

Beijing should not be shy of displaying the full breadth of its growing military power and intentions to the world, a senior naval officer wrote in comments published yesterday.

Online fury at life of luxury in prisons

Mainland internet users are up in arms after pictures of a series of luxurious new prisons were posted online this week, a stark contrast to the shabbily built “tofu” schools that collapsed in last year’s Sichuan earthquake trapping more than 5,000 children.

China won’t pull plug on stimulus next year

China’s Politburo, the Communist Party’s top decision-making body, said the nation will maintain stimulus policies next year as the world’s third-biggest economy recovers from the global slump.

Corporate shakeup at emirate on the cards

Related companies could be sold, broken up or merged as Dubai struggles with its debt load

Abu Dhabi steps up as debt spoils Dubai’s model

Dubai’s debt troubles have exposed the fallacy of its once much-vaunted ‘model’ of raising shining cities in the desert with foreign residents, finance and labour.

Executive directors hit back; war of words at Sino-Environment escalates

Sino- Environment’s three executive directors (EDs) have hit back at the company’s independent directors as a war of words continues to escalate.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Debt default shadow on Dubai’s sand castle

Eckart Woertz, an economist with Dubai’s Gulf Research Centre, told the Financial Times: ‘This will destroy confidence in Dubai - the whole process has been so opaque and unfair to investors.’

Many are finding the news hard to swallow, particularly as senior Dubai officials had over the past few months taken steps to reassure investors that the emirate would still be able to meet all its existing debt obligations. Nakheel, for one, is due to pay back US$3.5 billion on a maturing Islamic bond on Dec 14.

Dubai debt delays revive fear of financial crisis

Investors recoiled from risky assets on Friday and dumped shares in Asian banks and builders, fearing a Dubai debt default could reignite the financial turmoil of the credit crisis.

Rumours swirl as top TV series blacked out

Authorities in Beijing have blacked out a daring TV series highlighting rising property prices on the mainland because of the sensitive issue and scripts, according to media reports.

Party chief vows to crack down but excessive measures will be avoided

Dongguan authorities have vowed to clamp down on prostitution, but said excessive measures and blanket closures would be avoided.

Wal-Mart price pressure hurts mainland workers

Wal-Mart Stores’ demand for rock-bottom prices from suppliers in the mainland means some of these companies are forcing their employees to work in sweatshop-like conditions, a new report said on Wednesday.

Crackdown fails to scare Dongguan’s sex-trade veterans

They work in hotels, saunas, massage parlours and karaoke bars; an army of 300,000 whose existence is unacknowledged, whose activities are illegal, and whose industry is irresistibly lucrative and impossible to wipe out.

New issue of Caijing reflects sombre mood in empty newsroom

The latest issue of Caijing magazine - the first since the departure of high-profile editor Hu Shuli, who founded the influential business publication 11 years ago - has appeared, with a sombre mood prevailing in the newsroom.

Saab nears end of the road with no bidders

General Motors Corp does not expect to find new bidders for Saab and may shut the bankrupt unit after Koenigsegg Group cancelled a planned acquisition, people familiar with the matter said.

Minsheng shares fall 3pc on debut

China Minsheng Banking Corp fell a disappointing 3 per cent in its Hong Kong debut on Thursday after raising US$3.9 billion in the world’s fifth largest IPO this year, underscoring how sentiment for mainland banks has soured recently.

Mainland stock bubble to burst next year, says Morgan Stanley

Mainland’s ballooning stock market bubble, fuelled by excessive liquidity, is likely to burst in the first half of next year, punctured by economic concerns arising from higher-than-expected inflation, Morgan Stanley Asia executive director Jerry Lou said on Thursday.

Dubai shocks with debt delay, units cut to junk status

Two major credit ratings agencies downgraded several Dubai government-related entities after the government overnight on Wednesday said it will ask creditors of two flagship firms for a delay on billions of dollars of debt.

Investors jailed in Hong Kong's largest market fraud case

Four investors found guilty in Hong Kong’s largest market-manipulation case were sentenced to 26-30 months in prison by a Hong Kong court on Thursday.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

China Tightens Rules on Transfers to Stop ‘Hot Money’

China tightened rules on individuals transferring yuan and foreign exchange between bank accounts after speculation the nation’s currency will strengthen caused a surge in capital inflows.

Asset Bubbles Can Sink Millions Back Into Poverty – Zoellick

The post-crisis world economy faces new risks from investment bubbles that risk plunging millions back into poverty, according to World Bank chief Robert Zoellick.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Taiwan’s dwindling birth rate causes concern

Taiwan, with a population of 23 million, now has the dubious distinction of having the lowest birth rate in the world, according to the Population Reference Bureau, a think tank based in Washington DC.

Men's Dream?

想了, 约了, 定了, 见了, 抱了, 亲了, 摸了, 脱了, 舔了, 湿了, 硬了, 进了, 顶了, 叫了, 射了, 爽了, 抽了, 软了, 瘫了, 洗了, 擦了, 干了, 睡了, 又想了............

Monday, 23 November 2009

City expats receive security blanket

Foreigners and overseas Chinese who hold a Shanghai residence card and stay in a work contract with a Shanghai employer can now enjoy the city’s social security and benefits, just as their local counterparts do.

Taiwan concedes territorial waters near mainland

The Taiwan government said on Monday it was not claiming the territorial waters around two small islands that have long been part of its frontline defence against political rival China.

Global carmakers look to China for continued growth

Car makers from General Motors to Toyota Motor expect mainland to keep providing much-needed relief from feeble car sales elsewhere next year, even as local brands raise their game to grab a bigger slice of their home market.

HSI will break 30,000 mark, says BNP analyst

Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index will break 30,000 points by next year, while property prices will rise 30-40 per cent in the next 18 months, BNP Paribas’ leading analyst for the region predicted on Monday.

China Should Stop Property Stimulus Now: Central Bank

China should immediately halt some of its real estate stimulus policies, or risk inflating a bubble that in its bursting would wreak financial and even social trouble, a central bank newspaper said on Monday.

Guangzhou high-speed rail debate gains pace

As China introduces its nationwide high-speed rail network, the debate about whether Hong Kong should foot the bill for an express line to link into the mainland’s rail grid in Guangzhou is heating up.

Airlines lose ground to high-speed trains

Mainland airlines are facing stiff competition from high-speed railways that are set to cover 80 per cent of the airlines’ current network by 2020 and offer passengers a cheaper and more reliable ride.

Sticking to large caps may be a safer bet

Formerly heavily traded penny stocks seem to have faded completely from the market

Morgan Stanley rules out multi-year bull runs

The bear market may be over, but Morgan Stanley does not see catalysts that could trigger a multi-year bull run.

Placement details food for thought

It wouldn’t be in the least bit surprising if the institutions which subscribed to China property developer Ying Li’s placement last week were less than happy with post-subscription events.

Chinese official wants to ban banquets

A Chinese legislator fed up with lavish banquets and official wining and dining has proposed making the ‘squandering of public funds’ a crime, state press said yesterday.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Hong Kong implicated in US report on Chinese spying

A US congressional advisory panel has voiced concern about Hong Kong’s export controls, fearing the mainland could use the city to import sensitive technology.

Using high pay to ensure honest, clean govt won’t work

Is it possible to ensure an honest and clean government by paying high salaries? The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) asserted that a number of elected representatives were involved in taking bribes and commissions as well as misappropriating funds because their salaries and allowances were inadequate to meet their needs.

Sino-Env slams sacked financial controller

The crisis at Sino-Environment has intensified with the management claiming that its sacked financial controller threatened the firm’s survival by diverting funds earmarked for bondholders to pay professional fees.

New home for Buddhist group after 10-year wait

Headquarters is up after delays caused by 1997 crisis, Sars and priority for school projects

Illegal to quiz witnesses beyond office hours, KL court rules

A Malaysian court yesterday said it was illegal for the anti-corruption agency to question witnesses beyond office hours, dealing a blow to the authorities’ insistence that this was within its right.

High Court dismisses Hengxin suit

The High Court yesterday dismissed cable-making firm Hengxin Technology’s lawsuits against former executive directors Jiang Wei and Qian Lirong, who was also its executive chairman and CEO.

Give us what our homes deserve

Signs of more assertive middle class as home owners prepared to take control of their estate

Drink-driving conviction quashed

In a significant ruling, the High Court has quashed the drink driving conviction of a motorist found sleeping in his parked car on an expressway shoulder - even though his breath alcohol level was above the legal limit.

Catch the buzz, fine-tune the theme park pricing

It is just a matter of months now until the grand opening of the Universal Studios theme park in Singapore, but that excitement was tempered somewhat when the much-awaited ticket prices were finally made public on Wednesday.

Asia Tiger takes controlling interest in Think Greenergy

Asia Tiger Group is taking a controlling interest in UK-based waste-to-energy specialist Think Greenergy Ltd (TGE).

Sino-Environment exec directors hit back at IDs

In what may be the start of a war of words, executive directors (EDs) at Sino-Environment Technology Group have hit back at the company’s independent directors (IDs), hurling accusations against them and its sacked financial controller.

Upgraders fuel demand in Qingdao

Market growing as rising affluence leading residents to look for bigger flats

Obama’s China trip shows power shifting

President Barack Obama’s first visit to China underscored a shifting balance of power: two giants moving closer to being equals.

Abundant land supply key to mainland property prices

The mainland’s property markets have become popular investment targets for investors from around the world and both developers and analysts warn that they should bear in mind that a plentiful supply of land in the country could have a bearing on the future price performance of property assets.

Six ways to get inspired

Staying inspired is a tough job for most people, if not all. Even entrepreneur may sometimes find it difficult to stay inspired because he may also be caught in the circumstances that are unfavourable. As such, knowing that life is getting tough and the tough get going. Therefore, he has to continuously find something to inspire himself.

Game for Chinese class?

Teachers use games, websites, films and pop music to get students interested

Chen’s son had key role

Information from the Swiss authorities indicates that the son of Taiwan’s convicted ex-president played a ‘leading role’ in laundering US$21 million (S$29 million), a newspaper reported on Sunday.

Who says HK and Singapore can’t co-operate?

Can rivals Hong Kong and Singapore work together rather than just face off over who deserves the title of Asia’s top financial centre?

Pitted against the big boys

Wenzhou’s coal barons tell Ren Wei that a corrupt, greedy and overbearing state is throttling their entrepreneurial zeal

Arrogance and fear drives currency policy

What drives China’s currency policy? Is it arrogance, fear or a mix of the two?

It pays to be a soldier in Tibet

Soldiers from Guangzhou newly assigned to Tibet will get a “special allowance” of up to 160,000 yuan (HK$182,000) for serving there.

There was just too much rain

Bukit Timah canal bursts its banks in intense storm

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Attention Shifts to China for Private Equity Industry

“Now, many entrepreneurs are starting to turn away foreign currency funds,” Mr. Wang at China Equity said. “They say they can take an RMB investment and not go through a lengthy process to list offshore. And they see the Shanghai or ChiNext exchange as viable listing places.”

Speculators, and mothers-in-law, drive property prices ever higher

Rampant stimulus-induced speculation, soaring prices, Mickey Mouse and evil mothers-in-law: Shanghai’s property market has become a brutal and unforgiving world for first-time buyers.

No place for hypocrisy on national security

As the world’s only superpower, the United States is accustomed to setting standards of conduct across a range of issues. These include human rights, free trade, currency manipulation and illicit drug control. Whether the US is in a position to moralise depends, to a large extent, on the countries being praised or criticised. One area where Washington has been most vocal has been its persistent criticism of Chinese espionage against US interests. In the world of intelligence, everyone spies on everyone else. Is the complaint from the US not a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black? Perhaps there is an acceptable espionage threshold beyond which spies from one nation should not go against another. But no one has specified what that might be.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Peru arrests ‘human fat killers’

Four people have been arrested in Peru on suspicion of killing dozens of people in order to sell their fat and tissue for cosmetic uses in Europe.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Playing with fire

Forget China, the US Federal Reserve is the world’s biggest currency manipulator

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

US ‘fears’ anti-ship ballistic missile

The People’s Liberation Army is close to fielding the world’s first anti-ship ballistic missile, according to US Navy intelligence.

Why Japan is rethinking its alliance with America

US President Barack Obama’s visit to Japan brought forth renewed utterances of support of their bilateral security treaty, but the new Democratic Party of Japan government of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama appears determined to make it a more equal alliance.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

A cautionary tale for S-chip investors

One big question that emerges from the whole sorry Sino-Environment saga is why trading of its shares continued for six months after it became likely that the company would be brought down by the problems that beset it.

Taiwan issue, spying hold back ties with US military

Military co-operation between China and the US has been sporadic and limited because of deep mistrust between the two sides, a retired PLA general has said, attributing much of the tension to Washington’s arms sales to Taipei and its surveillance activities in the South China Sea.

Singapore brothers drive US chain’s success in China

Trio grew Days Inn franchise from one hotel in 2003 to 27 now - with more on the way

Short-selling: what exactly should be disclosed?

Some 13 months ago, just after Lehman Brothers went bust and stocks all over the world were crashing, many fingers of blame were pointed in the direction of short-sellers - particularly those of a naked persuasion.

2nd senior ICA officer jailed this week

A senior immigration officer was jailed for 1-1/2 years yesterday for accepting bribes to extend the social visit passes (SVPs) of foreign nationals.

Handling the China trend

The rebound from the recent market dip in the US has been much more rapid than expected. The tests of support near 9,600 on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were successful and have provided a springboard for a rapid rally above the significant technical resistance level at 10,200. This appears to have broken the behavioural nexus between the Dow and the Shanghai Index.

Shareholders need to act in Sino-Env Tech debacle

They should seek EGM to replace executive directors if firm is to be saved

Wind Power Dilemma: Money Blows Away

Rapid, government-subsidized expansion of China’s wind power industry has led to excess capacity and investment waste.

Abuses rampant in secret black jails

State agents regularly abduct citizens and detain them for days or months in secret, illegal “black jails”, subjecting them to physical and psychological abuses, Human Rights Watch said on Thursday.

80 percent of Caijing staff quit to follow editor

Nearly 150 of the approximately 180 editorial staff members at Caijing have resigned following the departure of Hu Shuli, the founder and editor of the mainland’s most influential business magazine.

Shanghai project builds on the past

Latest redevelopment will turn old architecture into galleries, residential and retail space

Monday, 16 November 2009

Blackwater Said to Pursue Bribes to Iraq After 17 Died

Top executives at Blackwater Worldwide authorized secret payments of about $1 million to Iraqi officials that were intended to silence their criticism and buy their support after a September 2007 episode in which Blackwater security guards fatally shot 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad, according to former company officials.

Supermarket? It only looks like one: owner

URA investigates Mustafa Warehouse for unauthorised change of use

Soccer officials held in graft crackdown

Several high-profile soccer officials have been snared in a crackdown on underground gambling, amid growing frustrations at the highest level of the government at the ugly state of the “beautiful game” on the mainland.

Shanghai Disney park gets go-ahead

After almost 10 years negotiations and weeks of speculation and mounting anticipation, Shanghai has finally been given the green light to build a Disney theme park - but the public is still in the dark over the exact scope of the deal.

Sino-Env CEO faces suits, frozen assets

Liquidation order may implicate Radiance Group

Stick to trading the large-cap ‘haves’

In local market parlance, the key manipulator behind a stock is referred to as the chng kay, a Hokkien term which loosely translates to a croupier in a casino, who is the person who holds all the cards and deals them. This then means that anyone who trades these pennies runs the risk of the chng kay pulling the plug at any time, or risk unforeseen circumstances like an overseas market crash overcoming the manipulators’ ability to deliver the goods.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Ministry enters row over death of doctor

The Ministry of Health has stepped in and ordered the Beijing health bureau to look into the case of a Peking University professor of medicine who died in 2006 after being treated by three unlicensed medical postgraduates at the Peking University First Hospital.

3 years jail for sex with horse

A South Carolina man caught on video having sex with a horse was sentenced on Wednesday to three years in prison after pleading guilty for the second time in two years to abusing the creature.

Madame Chiang Kai-shek and the Birth of Modern China

Soong Mei-ling, better known to history as Mme. Chiang Kai-shek, was exaggerating only slightly. Chinese by birth, American by education and cultural inclination, she was a seductive blend of both societies; for a time, no woman in the world was more powerful.

Mainland turns to hi-tech snooping

Take a stroll along the streets of Shenzhen and look up - you will see them everywhere, on building walls, light posts, under bridges, at street corners. Digital surveillance cameras - an estimated 800,000 of them - are peering into every nook and cranny of the border city, analysing the flow of people, alerting police to suspicious gatherings and ensuring no crime is likely to go unseen.

Chinese Trial Reveals Vast Web of Corruption

Wen Qiang had a fondness for Louis Vuitton belts, fossilized dinosaur eggs and B-list pop stars. For a public employee in charge of the local judiciary, he also had a lot of money: nearly $3 million that investigators found buried beneath a fish pond.

China’s researchers poised to dominate

Chinese researchers have more than doubled their output of scientific papers and are now second only to the United States in terms of volume, according to a report from information company Thomson Reuters.

China’s military making strides in space: US general

China’s military has made dramatic progress in space over the past decade and the goals of its program remain unclear, a top American general said.

Waking up to the world of casinos

In 2010, Singaporeans will wake up to a world that will include casinos, an industry that is sometimes known to have a sleazy underbelly.

Risks and Rewards on China’s New Stock Board

The opening of a Nasdaq-style stock board in China is already being seen as a watershed moment for the country’s capital markets, providing new but volatile opportunities for mainland Chinese investors and an alternative source of financing for start-up companies.

Pheim lawyers warn of investors’ quandary

They claim that a guilty verdict could have implications for average investor

Officials blamed for chaos at Beijing airport

Snowfall causes flight delays, but poor service adds to disruption

Firms wake up to spending power of the elderly

“The gold is among the silver,” say some businessmen involved with an increasingly ageing society in the world’s most populous nation.

Chongqing, SGX mull over listing pact

Singapore Exchange (SGX) and the Chongqing government are mulling over ways to promote listing of Chongqing companies on SGX and boost transparency of listing candidates.

China’s Henry Ford the driving force behind Geely

Li Shufu, the founder of China’s Zhejiang Geely Holdings, has much in common with Henry Ford, from a childhood on the farm to a scrappy determination to build a car-making behemoth from nothing.

China to put weapons in space

The head of China’s air force has said the country has plans to build weapons in space, describing it as a “historical inevitability”.

Car insurance: Two strikes and you’re out?

Car insurers have insisted that it is within their rights to reject policy applications from motorists if they have one too many accident claims within a year.

Dual-listing firms alienate local investors

They feel short-changed when same shares are priced lower in Taipei

Corruption in education a key concern

The mainland leadership’s decision to remove unpopular education minister Dr Zhou Ji over the weekend may seem abrupt, but it was not unexpected. It’s actually a welcome development. As the central government maps out educational reforms for the medium and long term, Zhou’s removal may signal a new start.

China’s enforcement officers turned thugs

A highly publicised case of injustice has led to calls for the reform, or even abolition, of a law enforcement agency found in every Chinese city, and which is notorious for its thuggish behaviour.

Investors shun mainland developers’ share sales

Excellence postpones IPO; Mingfa retail issue 50pc subscribed

515m yuan fraud in river clean-up campaign

Eleven of the 13 provinces in a river clean-up programme across the mainland either misused or faked spending totalling 515 million yuan (HK$584 million) over seven years, a state audit has found.

Top official endorses Chongqing crackdown

The clampdown on organised crime in Chongqing has earned praise from the country’s top law-enforcement official, according to state media.

New mystery in Chen shooting

Taiwanese investigators looking into the 2004 shooting of the island’s former president Chen Shui-bian said yesterday they had found no blood or bullet hole in his trousers, adding mystery to an incident that may have won him a second term.

No blood found in Chen’s 2004 shooting

No bullet holes or blood were found on Taiwan ex-president Chen Shui-bian in a 2004 election eve shooting, raising new suspicion about the incident that preceded a razor-thin victory, investigators said on Thursday.

10 Years Later, a Much Less Expensive Dow 10,000

But the return to 10,000 also serves as a bitter reminder that stocks have gone virtually nowhere, on balance, for more than a decade. It was in March 1999 that the Dow first climbed above 10,000, before soaring as high as 14,164 two years ago and plummeting as low as 6,547 this past March.

China’s Role as Lender Alters Dynamics for United States

When President Obama visits China for the first time on Sunday, he will, in many ways, be assuming the role of profligate spender coming to pay his respects to his banker.

No bars, no mistresses, Chinese officials warned

Chinese officials are being told to dump their mistresses, avoid hostess bars, and shun extravagances as part of the Communist party’s efforts to clamp down on the corruption that is threatening its rule and sullying its reputation.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Believing in the bears, running with the bulls

Given the strength of the stock market rally over the past eight months, and considering just how supportive conditions are for share prices right now, it might seem surprising that anyone at all is still bearish on equities.

Strong demand shows that Hong Kong IPOs still coveted

Top-end pricing indicates demand; no investor fatigue despite IPO surge

How recent wars shaped the PLA Air Force

The People’s Liberation Army Air Force has grown in leaps and bounds since it was set up with a handful of planes seized from the defeated Kuomintang force.

Unforgettable humiliation led to development of GPS equivalent

An “unforgettable humiliation” the People’s Liberation Army suffered during the Taiwan Strait missile crisis in 1996 prompted the mainland to build its own global navigation and positioning satellite system, a retired senior military official has disclosed.

Malls are big in China’s smaller cities

Mushrooming of mega shopping centres fuelled by retail boom

China according to Chinese

Guoco a winner, with or without BEA buyout

High hopes of Guoco Group, led by Malaysian chairman Quek Leng Chan, launching a takeover bid for Bank of East Asia have sent shares of the lender surging more than 14 per cent this week.

Nasdaq sees doubling of its Chinese listings

Nasdaq OMX Group said the number of Greater China companies listed on its exchange could double in as little as two years, fuelled by a growing appetite for these shares from a wider range of institutional investors in the United States.

Speculative money propels B shares in catch-up play

The mainland’s foreign-currency B shares rose yesterday amid an influx of speculative capital as analysts cautioned investors of a boom-to-bust scenario.

Crackdown imminent on hoarding of land

The mainland plans to penalise developers that hoard sites to boost land prices.

Beijing rejects projects worth 200b yuan

China, the world’s third-largest economy, has rejected requests to build industrial projects worth almost 200 billion yuan (HK$227.06 billion) and plans new measures to close factories to curb overcapacity and pollution.

Hong Kong should get fair deal over entry of mainland auditors

Former premier Zhu Rongji is known for his poker face. Unlike his self-aggrandising peers, Zhu rarely painted the huge calligraphy displays that one finds hanging at the doorways of almost every major mainland institution. He only did four.

It was spring 2001. He was visiting the newly founded Shanghai National Accounting Institute, one of the country’s three schools for accountants.

He wrote four words: “Bu zuo jin zhang (No book-cooking).”

Sino-Env gets flak over sacking of finance head

The Singapore Exchange (SGX) is threatening to delist waste recycler Sino-Environment if it fails to brush up on its governance practices.

Sino-Environment given 30 days to tackle governance issues

The Singapore Exchange has given Sino-Environment Technology 30 days to address issues raised by its independent directors (IDs) or face delisting after the IDs hit out at the company’s summary dismissal of its financial controller.

Growing US$ carry trade could fuel new speculative mania: Tsang

A carry trade that is building up in the US dollar could fuel a new wave of speculative mania, Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang said yesterday.

Shenzhen wants to be clean, just like Singapore

Shenzhen is in the midst of a self-improvement binge. On the orders of provincial party secretary Wang Yang, the ragged boom town has set the target of catching up with premier Asian cities such as Hong Kong and Seoul within 10 years, and becoming a “world-class international metropolis” within 20.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Magazine’s new team face uphill battle to maintain standards

Caijing magazine’s new editorial team will have a tough job maintaining quality and regaining the confidence of readers and advertisers following the departure of its founder, Hu Shuli, along with most of the staff of its business and editorial operations.

Caijing founding editor quits to launch venture

Editorial chief of mainland magazine known for stinging exposes unable to agree with publisher

West suspects Beijing has developed space-age arms, despite Hu’s denials

Military observers say satellite image confirms suspicions about PLA capabilities

US$ carry trade set to be next bubble horror

Speculators will get their fingers burned, just like their yen carry trade counterparts

China in race to secure overseas uranium supply

Whether it is in the frigid Athabasca Basin in north Canada, the arid Outback of Australia or the dunes of Namibia in southwest Africa, mainland firms have been eagerly acquiring access to uranium deposits around the world to supplement domestic supply of the raw material for nuclear power.

Vintners approach fickle Chinese market cautiously

Chinese wine imports have soared more than ten-fold in the past few years but foreign producers hoping to cash in on the boom are warning that the market is fickle and not for the faint of heart.

Waking the warrants market from its slumber

After experiencing explosive growth for the past few years, the covered warrants market in Singapore seems to have fallen off the cliff.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Year-end rally touted for mainland stocks

Unexpectedly strong earnings at listed mainland companies have spurred analysts to raise their profit forecasts, creating room for about a 15 per cent rise in Shanghai’s benchmark stock index over the next three months.

Has landslide threat halted dam’s finale?

Yunyang government admitted on its website that the frequent occurrences of landslides had alarmed the central government. What is clear is that the dam, a source of national pride, is now a headache for many.

Fossil trade puts China’s natural history at risk

China’s opening up may have led to an economic miracle, but it has been a mixed blessing for one of the world’s major finds of prehistoric fossils, as dealers and foreign buyers have exploited the lack of effective heritage laws to spirit them overseas.

Big money fuels illegal trade in rare fossils

“You want fish fossils, no problem. But bird fossils? That would be difficult.” The vendor at the Shenyang antique market looked nervously over his shoulder. “The authorities are very strict about bird and dinosaur fossils. I do not want to lose my licence.”

Her recipe for success is make the clients wait

Zhao Yue is creative director of Panda Mandy’s Slow Delivery, a start-up, snail-paced postal service that is the perfect antidote to today’s hectic world.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

India feels chill wind from China

Fifty years ago, a young Dalai Lama fled Tibet in south-western China and crossed the border to Arunachal Pradesh in India’s remote north-eastern corner.

China on guard against outside influence

When the Dalai Lama visits the Himalayan region of Arunachal Pradesh tomorrow, he will step right into the heart of a long-running border dispute between China and India.

Not a great trading week; STI up just 7 pts

Perhaps the most worrying thing if you’re a trader has been the dip in daily volume over the past two to three weeks. Sure, the figures appear decent at first glance. Average turnover of just over $1 billion this week, compared to the $500 million-$600 million in the first quarter, appears favourable.

Lowering the Common Denominator

Are today’s youths afflicted with the sloppiness of thought?

Beijing’s ‘Marshall Plan’

China’s foreign policy is about to change, and not entirely by choice. The country’s engagement with the developing world has accelerated markedly in the wake of the economic crisis.

China, tech sector, private equity could be IPO drivers: poll

China, technology and private equity are expected to drive global initial public offering (IPO) activities over the next 12 months, the latest survey by Ernst & Young LLP shows.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Rapist dad traded daughter for whisky

A 33-year old man in Mumbai, India, injected sedatives into his eight-year-old daughter before raping her or sending her out to other men in exchange for cash or whisky.

Lightning dates minus the storms

It is the latest craze among young people in China: Meet new people and share a day of fun together in an unfamiliar city.

Republic of Chinapore

Republic of Chinapore
Attn: Mr Lee Kuan Yew
Prime Minister's Office
Istana Annexe, Orchard Road, Singapore 238823

University hospital death ‘not only one’

The controversial death of a Beijing professor who was allegedly treated by unlicensed medical postgraduates at prestigious Peking University First Hospital is not an isolated case, according to lawyers and relatives of victims.

Combined wealth of China’s richest 40 double in a year

Wang Chuanfu, chairman of battery and car maker BYD Co, is China’s richest man, partly aided by an investment US billionaire Warren Buffett made in his company.

Mustafa hit with writ of summons

Its owner says ‘we’d rather do more business than fight’

Sino-US marriage: Is it on the rocks?

‘SUPERFUSION’ - that’s the name of a new book by Zachary Karabell, which describes how ‘the unique relationship between China and the United States has become the axis of the world economy’. It’s a catchy concept in a world that struggles to find the terms to keep pace with a rapidly changing economy.

Guangzhao duo’s bankruptcy hearing adjourned

The bankruptcy petition filed by Singapura Finance against the chief executive officer and the chairman of Guangzhao Industrial Forest Biotechnology Group will be heard in the chambers on Jan 14.

Too much disclosure can sometimes be bad

However, in light of just how inadequate this model has proven to be in the banking collapse of the past two years, it is necessary to rethink the wisdom of this approach. There may be a need for greater official intervention, monitoring and policing - especially when one ponders the disturbing possibility that more disclosure may not always be good.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Silly to float Big 4 bank when state is buying back shares

You have to wonder why he is bothering. It makes little sense for Agricultural Bank to go public with a stock offering when the state is busy buying back the shares of banks it sold just a few years ago.

Pirates turn ancient trade into model modern business

When Zhang Zuyue, chief of the Chinese Shipowners’ Association, describes the pirates plaguing the Somali coast as “a beaming new star” in the ancient trade of piracy, he is not exaggerating.

New rule could spur competition

Competition in the accounting sector should rise after implementation of a stock exchange proposal to allow mainland companies listed in Hong Kong to use mainland auditors and accounting standards, according to Winnie Cheung Chi-woon, the chief executive of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Fake invoice industry continues to thrive

Police who spent three months trying to wipe out cells producing fake invoices say they unearthed an enormous and sophisticated hidden industry.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Disney gets Beijing approval for Shanghai theme park

The Walt Disney Co has received Beijing’s nod to build a theme park in Shanghai, in a major advance for the media and entertainment company in the tough market ahead of President Obama’s first mainland visit.

Stricter rules for EntrePass get expats worked up

Foreigners who set up businesses here will have to hire Singaporeans

Asian stocks lose some shine for Scotland’s fund managers

Aberdeen, Standard Life cut their holdings citing valuations, earnings

Scotland’s two biggest fund managers say it’s getting tougher to make money from Asian stocks.

Direct marketing gains new clout in Asia

Seeing the growth potential, major firms are using this strategy to sell products in region

What if the US defaults on its debt?

Deprived of credit, defaulting countries in the past have suffered deep economic downturns, hyperinflation, or both

SGX rejects listing of See Hup Seng subsidiary

See Hup Seng said yesterday that a proposal to list its subsidiary Tat Petroleum on the Singapore Exchange mainboard has been rejected by SGX because it may breach its chain listing rule.

China regulator to review developers’ debt levels

China’s banking regulator plans to review debt levels at some real-estate developers on concern the companies’ borrowings are fuelling excessive gains in property prices, a person familiar with the matter said.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

ChiNext punters playing with fire, state media says

Volatility on the mainland’s new Nasdaq-style market has prompted a wave of finger-wagging from state-owned media, with analysts warning investors of the risks of speculating.

MM’s speech in US draws flak online in China

Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew’s comments that the United States should remain engaged in East Asia have drawn criticism on the website of a state-owned newspaper in China.

Monday, 2 November 2009

China moves pose IPO challenge for SGX

ChiNext’s launch, Shanghai’s planned international board could dim Singapore’s draw

Shadow of protectionism in SGX’s stand on Li Heng

The aborted ‘back-door delisting’ of Li Heng Chemical Fibre may be a closed chapter as far as the Singapore Exchange (SGX) is concerned. But to many market players, the episode remains a talking point, and still raises many questions in its wake.

China's manufacturing growth rate at 18-mth high

PMI issued by the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing rose to 55.2 in Oct, highest since April ‘08

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Added value in being a scapegoat

The art of giving useful (but ignored) advice

Are Hong Kong shares worth their high prices?

Investors should do the maths on yield, P/E ratios

Saturday, 31 October 2009

China’s Water Needs Create Opportunities

The Qinghe Wastewater Plant in Beijing. China’s water shortage, especially in the northern part of the country, is driving a need for wastewater recycling.

A diplomatic victory for China

As tensions in the South China Sea rise, Beijing appears to have scored a quiet diplomatic victory by ensuring the Asean grouping is unlikely to get involved in territorial disputes any time soon.

Police will jail every gang boss in the country, top officer promises

Law enforcement agencies across the country would launch all-out raids on triads, dismantle their strongholds and put every gang boss into prison, the mainland’s top policeman promised yesterday.

Nasdaq-style board opens with a bang

All 28 firms on ChiNext in Shenzhen close way above IPO prices

ChiNext, which opened yesterday, is expected to give small- and medium-sized companies access to financing and encourage private firms and venture capitalists to back start-ups.

Analysts unfazed by stock market sell down

Share price corrections are normal in bull markets, they say

China’s crime-buster gets a second wind

Once front-runner for presidency, Bo Xilai wins praise for anti-triad drive

Friday, 30 October 2009

Chinese culture a hard sell

New plan to rejuvenate culture industry doesn’t tackle tight govt control

Decentralised offices in Shanghai may cut costs by up to 50pc

Corporate tenants in Shanghai could save up to 50 per cent of their occupancy costs next year if they were to move to grade A offices in the city’s emerging business areas.

Behind Lujiazui building boom is a promising future

New office towers continue to mushroom from construction sites all over Shanghai’s Lujiazui financial district and to the casual observer it would seem an oversupply disaster looms, with 450,000 square metres of new grade A office space expected to come on to the market in each of the next two years.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

China’s $treet fashion

How two U.S. entrepreneurs are selling Chinese fashion to the post-Tiananmen generation.

This Pullback is Buy Opportunity – Not Correction: Strategists

Bold said there’s still $4 trillion on the sidelines and there’s still “a lot of opportunity” going forward.

“Every time the market goes down a little bit, people think it’s going to go down a lot. But at some point, we’re going to get to the greed factor where people are going to think they’re going to miss out on the next run of the market and instead of buying at 6,500, they’re going to buy at 11,000 or 12,000,” said Bold.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Aussie case puts heat on directors

The name Centro Properties would probably not be readily recognisable to most readers, regulators and company directors here but if the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) wins a legal case it initiated last week, you can be sure Singapore-listed companies’ office bearers and anyone with an interest in directors’ responsibilities would surely sit up, take notice and very quickly familiarise themselves with all things Centro.

Galleon wiretap rattles hedge fund industry

First came the biggest bear market since the 1930s, then Bernard Madoff’s US$65 billion Ponzi scheme and the threat of increased regulation. Now hedge funds have a new concern: getting caught on tape as the government expands its use of wiretaps to ferret out insider trading.

S-chips pay attention to lure of Taiwan

After reports that some Singapore-listed Chinese companies or S-chips were seeking secondary listings in Hong Kong and the United States, it has emerged that some of them have pinned their hopes on Taiwan.

Dual-listings can be a double-edged sword

They can unlock value in some cases, but can add to costs and regulatory hassles

China Needs ‘Unexpected’ One-Off Yuan Appreciation

China should allow an immediate one- off appreciation in the yuan’s value and widen the currency’s trading band to stem inflows of speculative capital that may fuel inflation, said UBS AG economist Wang Tao.

Central Banks, Arsonists and Playing with Fire - Andy Xie

Money supply growth has sparked an asset market boom that supports the economy, not the other way around. Don’t get burned.

Raffles, MM Lee and the rule of law

Mr. Lee’s stamp is clear, but he knew what rule of law entailed, says CJ

CJ on judicial independence and judicial review

Addressing an often-raised accusation of executive interference in the judiciary here, he told his audience of lawyers: ‘It is not an oath to protect and defend the President, the legislature or the executive; it is an oath to protect and defend the Constitution.’

Taiwan’s TDR push in Singapore gathers pace

Interest in Taiwan as a secondary listing venue is rising among Chinese companies listed in Singapore and Hong Kong as China-concept stocks gain favour there, said an official from a Taiwanese brokerage.

Japan stands up to US on military base

The standoff between Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama’s government and the Obama administration over the relocation of a US Marine Corps military base in Okinawa is being watched with keen interest throughout the Asia Pacific region - and for good reason. Much more is at stake than simply the logistics of where a military base is located.

Singapore: The future global arbitration hub for Asia

Its convenient location, judicial support and transparent system make it attractive to firms

More distributors eyeing used car business

More authorised car distributors are going into the used car business, and they are doing it mainly to tap growing demand for used cars and supplement the drop in new car sales.

Oceanus proposes to issue TDRs in Taiwan

Abalone company Oceanus Group has proposed to offer and list Taiwan Depository Receipts (TDRs) representing up to 200 million shares of the company on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE).

Monday, 26 October 2009

At 40, internet an erratic but amazing teen

Leonard Kleinrock never imagined Facebook, Twitter or YouTube that day 40 years ago when his team gave birth to what is now taken for granted as the internet.

China economy seen slowing next year

China may face an economic slowdown in the middle of next year because the nation’s growth model is unsustainable, said Stephen Roach, chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia.

Currencies: A Front Line for Global Balance

Fluctuating currency values can make or break foreign exchange traders. On a far wider scale, they affect global economic balance.

Seven-month stock market rally is starting to show signs of wear

Corporate profits in the third quarter are doing what they are supposed to do to support lofty stock market valuations - beating expectations on the bottom line, and showing improvement in sales and revenues. But despite that, the seven-month-long stock market rally appears to be wearing thin.

Placements: name-dropping for lift-off

Share placements this year have confirmed a slight variation of the trite adage - it is not what you know, but rather who you know is buying into the company.

Placements knock out rights issues in 2009

The 2 cash-call methods have been given very different market treatments

Trading curbs: the curious case of Transcu

The recent circumstances surrounding UOB-Kay Hian’s imposition of trading curbs on the shares of life sciences firm Transcu Group, which precipitated a collapse of those shares, raises a few important regulatory issues for the authorities to ponder.

Transcu shares plunge again as trading resumes

Shares in life sciences company Transcu Group took another plunge yesterday. The stock’s erratic price movements of late, which saw it jumping to over 20 cents apiece before it nosedived, has prompted market talk of whether the counter was a subject of speculative play or whether it was suffering from the impact of the conversion of $5 million worth of structured notes and the freshly concluded private share placement.

Shanghai smoking ban moves step closer

Authorities in Shanghai have taken a further step towards implementing strict smoking restrictions in the city by the end of the year, local media reported yesterday.

Lustful cadres warned to exercise caution

Communist Party cadres need to guard against lust in the face of temptation, a top-level official has warned.

Cut Ties that Bind China to Special Interests

Too many selfish special interest groups are squeezing common people, perverting law and hurting the government.

China risks property bubbles for economy

China is risking property-market ‘bubbles’ to encourage growth in the world’s third-largest economy, according to former Morgan Stanley Asian economist Andy Xie.

China ‘developing cyber warfare capability’

China is building its cyber warfare capabilities and appears to be using the growing technical abilities to collect US intelligence through a sophisticated and long-term computer attack campaign, according to an independent report.

Companies rush to place out shares

Most taking placement route instead of rights issues to raise capital

Lifting lid on murky world of info-sharing

Galleon case: US regulator should be lauded for zeal in enforcing insider trading laws

There’s a cost to mainland overinvestment

In the euphoria over the surge in China’s investment-driven growth announced last week, many forget that there is a real economic cost to excessive infrastructure investment.

Little Hong Kong can do to slow inflows of hot money

In recent months, an unprecedented influx of cash has flooded Hong Kong’s financial system, doubling the city’s monetary base to more than HK$800 billion, driving the stock market up 100 per cent and lifting property prices by almost 30 per cent.

Fast trains closing the gap on air travel for short trips

With high-speed train services posing a rising threat to mainland airlines, carriers will have to do more than cut prices to stay in business.

China high-speed rail to take global lead by 2012

China’s high-speed rail network will overtake Europe as the world’s biggest by 2012, posing a threat to the country’s troubled airline industry.

A Moment Too Soon After the Financial Crisis

Examining the recovery paths of major industrial powers in the 1930s tells us that thoughts of reversion to normal policies -- whether monetary, exchange rate, fiscal or banking -- need to be delayed until global recovery to normal is nearly completed.

Tough boss, brilliant investor, family man, and now under probe

On the outside, Raj Rajaratnam was rock hard: a driven, demanding hedge fund boss who called his talented employees ‘idiots’ and worse.

Regulator goes after erring IPO underwriters

The mainland’s securities regulator is cracking down on investment bank underwriting ahead of the launch of Shenzhen’s Nasdaq-style second board, revoking the licences of two bankers who falsified their resumes.

Time to update governance practices

Singapore is long overdue for an update to its Code of Corporate Governance - and one key area that needs to be re-examined is its section on independent directors (IDs).

Thin Line Separates Insider Trading and Research

The most precious commodity on Wall Street is information, and savvy players will do almost anything for it.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Tax cheating vs avoiding - the difference is jail

History’s colourful tax dodgers have a way of ending up in prison

The quiet, contrary king of stock pickers

“I think a multi-year bull market has started, of which we are in the first stage. That’s a global thing,” he says.

Bolton reckons that because the US and other Western economies are on their knees, a return to worldwide inflation is far away and interest rates will stay low for years. He surmises this is good news for all stock markets because investors will buy shares instead of relying on measly interest payments on cash savings.

Where gambling cheats go to buy their gadgets

Gambling is such a popular pastime in the Pearl River Delta that shops selling casino equipment and various punting aids have opened up on some of Guangzhou’s busiest streets.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Property bubble could reach level of 1997

Analysts warn that Hong Kong could see a repeat of the 1997 property bubble as government figures show that the supply of new flats has dropped to a five-year low, a condition that could boost prices to unsustainable heights.