Saturday, 14 February 2009

The Prince of hypocrites

Charles embarks on 16,000 mile ‘green’ crusade... aboard a private jet

Friday, 13 February 2009

Wellness group gets flak from customers

True Spa is being taken to court by a group of 16 disgruntled customers frustrated with its service

Jackie to donate houses

The Hong Kong star will give away the $100m houses from his collection to Singapore's 4th varsity

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Beijing to bail out shipping industry

Firms ordered to shelve new dockyard plans

Spa spat goes to the courts

They had complained of unprofessional service, unanswered phone calls to the spa and having to make bookings four weeks in advance.

Flyer tenants fail to get compensation

The Singapore Flyer has rejected a demand for compensation made by a group of tenants at the attraction.

Probation’s better for shoplifter, says judge

‘A custodial sentence at this point in her life is more likely to negatively affect her recovery,’ said the judge.

No-frills housing please, say some MPs

No playgrounds or covered walkways in new HDB estates. Nor any barbecue pits. New flats should have very basic floor tiles, meanwhile.

China Needs U.S. Guarantees for Treasuries, Yu Says

China should seek guarantees that its $682 billion holdings of U.S. government debt won’t be eroded by “reckless policies,” said Yu Yongding, a former adviser to the central bank.

U.S. Taxpayers Risk $9.7 Trillion on Bailout Programs

The stimulus package the U.S. Congress is completing would raise the government’s commitment to solving the financial crisis to $9.7 trillion, enough to pay off more than 90 percent of the nation’s home mortgages.

With evictions on the rise, deputies make the rounds to clear residents out of homes

The deputies have no power to give the homeowner an extra day, hour, even 15 minutes. Once they knock on the door, time’s up.

Now for Pigs and Food – A Super Short Commodity Super Cycle

The commodity “super cycle” proved super short. The commodity “boom” is now officially a “bust”.

A 10-Year Stretch That’s Worse Than It Looks

In the last 82 years - the history of the Standard & Poor’s 500 - the stock market has been through one Great Depression and numerous recessions. It has experienced bubbles and busts, bull markets and bear markets.

Merrill Lynch’s bonuses made 696 millionaires

Merrill Lynch quietly paid out at least one million dollars bonus each to about 700 top executives even when the investment house was bleeding with losses last year, a probe has revealed.

Increased commodity demand belies China’s economic recovery

“Beyond a potential short-covering rally, underlying demand will likely remain weak [until the] second half of 2010 and surpluses are forecast to increase across the complex for at least the next two years.”

Mainland consumers risk nasty dose of demand flu

As a result, it looks unwise to pin too much hope on the robust health of mainland consumers. They may be about to catch a nasty dose of demand flu.

Housing slump in US has just begun, says forecaster

His investment advice for this prolonged recession: hang on to cash and invest in gold or Treasury inflation-protected securities.

If he had to invest in stocks, he would put his money in China.

Geithner goes for US$2 trillion big bang

New Treasury chief promises full force of government to get economy back on track

The Madoff Scandal and the Future of American Jewry

Before December 11, 2008, few Americans had ever heard of Bernard L. Madoff. Yet after his arrest for running what authorities allege was the largest Ponzi scheme in history, Madoff not only achieved the sort of notoriety that is reserved for arch-criminals; he also became, in an instant, one of the most famous Jews in the world.

On the Edge

A not-so-funny thing happened on the way to economic recovery. Over the last two weeks, what should have been a deadly serious debate about how to save an economy in desperate straits turned, instead, into hackneyed political theater, with Republicans spouting all the old clichés about wasteful government spending and the wonders of tax cuts.

Smoking ban extends to all indoor workplaces in Shanghai

The Shanghai local health authorities have extended smoking bans from public venues to all indoor workplaces as measures to clear the city’s air of cigarette smoke by 2011.

Shenzhen ushers in sector rebound

Sales volume shows third consecutive month of modest growth after 14-month slump

Unease over Nation’s Assets

The need to dip into foreign reserves for part of a S$20.4bil (RM49.1bil) stimulus package raises questions on the government’s global investment policy.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Caught in the crossfire

Foreign media facing hostility from royalists who accuse them of unfair reporting

Asia’s Kidney Bazaars

After a stranger approached him for a job, Mohammad Salim told India’s NDTV Television he was escorted into a dark, paint-chipped room with gunmen who gave him an injection. He fainted and woke up with a pain in his side, a doctor standing over him. His kidney had been removed. The group paid him 50,000 rupees ($1,045) for the organ, but the crippling pain meant he was out of work – and in debt – for months.

Funds featuring managed payouts off to rocky start

Income-focused investments fall short of expectations amid downturn

U.S. Too “Politically Frightened” to Admit Truth about Banks, Part II

U.S. Too “Politically Frightened” to Admit Truth about Banks, Part I

“Terrible Year Baked In:” Govt. Stimulus Needed, But Not This Bill, Wolf Says

We’ll Be Lucky If Downturn Only as Bad as Japan’s, FT’s Wolf Says

Chen probe flawed, says Taiwan ombudsman

A Taiwanese supervisory body on Wednesday called for the removal of two prosecutors working on the corruption case of former President Chen Shui-bian, accusing them of breaching ethics standards by having contact with Chen during the investigation.

Bosses told to give warnings before job cuts

Beijing has ordered companies to give their local labour bodies one month’s notice of any plans to cut either 10 per cent of their staff or more than 20 workers, in a heavy-handed attempt to ease the surging unemployment brought on by the global economic crisis.

Italy seeks to placate China after Rome honours Dalai Lama

Italy reaffirmed its “strong support” for China yesterday after the city of Rome made exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama an honorary citizen, drawing a rebuke from Beijing.

CCTV fire reignites fireworks ban debate

Lunar New Year pyrotechnic displays prompt calls for end to ancient tradition

Prosecutors probe CCTV complex blaze

Prosecutors are probing a blaze that partly destroyed Beijing’s hypermodern state television headquarters and hotel complex, with suspects placed “under control”, an official newspaper reported.

Fire fighters blame CCTV for fatal blaze as broadcaster apologises

However, the apparent attempt by top CCTV management to distance themselves from the accident could backfire because the officials failed to explain why there was a fireworks display at the site and why four high-resolution cameras were recording the display, if no other CCTV departments were involved.

Death sentence for corrupt airport chief

A Shandong court has sentenced the former boss of 30 airports including Beijing’s to death for bribery and embezzlement totalling around 15 million dollars, state press reported on Wednesday.

Wu taking fall a cunning strategy to save Chen and son, analysts say

Former Taiwanese first lady Wu Shu-chen’s guilty pleas to money-laundering and document-forgery charges yesterday was a smart strategy to save her husband and son, analysts have said.
Please send the entire fucking chee bye family to jail for life.

New rules for private schools

The private education sector will come under closer scrutiny once the Private Education Bill, to be moved in the second half of this year, is passed by Parliament.

Indonesia court clears Tommy Suharto of graft

An Indonesian court rejected Wednesday a 400-million-dollar civil corruption case against the youngest son of Suharto, provoking outrage from anti-graft campaigners.

Philippine court says US rapist must leave embassy

The Philippine Supreme Court Wednesday ruled that a US Marine convicted of raping a Filipina must be transferred out of his detention facility in the US embassy, a court official said.

Mice who roar in the property market

Smaller developers show the way while larger ones look to them for cues

Policy can’t change savings habit overnight: China

China’s central bank chief yesterday played down hopes in the West that a drive by China to save less and spend more might help revive flagging global growth.

Peter Lim’s suit fails but judge ticks off new RTC owners

Judge says they’ve bled the company; Lim says he has cleared his name

Senate chairman calls for Bush administration inquiry

The chairman of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday called for a bipartisan ‘truth and reconciliation’ commission to investigate potential wrongdoing by Bush administration officials in the war on terrorism.

Goldman Sachs gives Las Vegas resort a miss

A Mandalay Bay official, who requested anonymity because he was not authorised to release customer information, said the bank agreed to pay the hotel US$600,000 to cancel its reservation.

JPMorgan wants to repay Tarp funds quickly

JPMorgan Chase & Co chief executive officer Jamie Dimon would like to repay the US$25 billion his bank got from the US government ‘as soon as possible’, according to Citigroup analyst Keith Horowitz.

G-7 ministers to scrutinise ‘Buy American’ clause

Finance chiefs from the Group of Seven nations are expected to discuss the ‘Buy American’ clause in a US economic package when they meet this week, Japan’s Finance Minister Shoichi Nakagawa said yesterday. G-7 finance ministers and central bankers will renew their resolve to fight protectionism when they gather in Rome on Friday, said Mr. Nakagawa.

China's Shipbuilding Industry Faces Challenges Ahead

Falling order volume, order cancellations, and financing problems spell trouble in 2009 for China's shipbuilding industry.

India, China Trade War Brews

India has launched a series of trade investigations into Chinese products, raising “serious concern” from the Chinese government.

Commodity: A Rollercoaster Ride

With the world still smarting from the financial crisis, can China lead the way to a revival of commodities prices?

New Tie for Bankers

In Pharmacology

Thought for the day: There is more money being spent on breast implants and Viagra today than on Alzheimer’s research. This means that by 2040, there should be a large elderly population with perky Boobs and huge erections and absolutely no recollection of what to do with them.

Celestial Off 3.0%; Refinancing Fears Weigh

Celestial Nutrifoods (C56.SG) off 3.0% at S$0.325 after hitting nearly 3-month low of S$0.315 earlier in session. Trader at local house says main worry is that China-based soy protein food and beverage products maker needs to refinance CNY1.2 billion of convertible bonds that can be redeemed by bondholders in June; “the focus is more on the refinancing than the upcoming 4Q earnings at the moment; they have the cash to cover the convertible bonds but the issue is how they then fund their capex needs.” Volume decent with 6.9 million shares traded vs 50 day average of 5.1 million; suggests shares may have further downside; support tipped at Oct. 10 2008 multiyear low of S$0.275. (KIG)

Why Markets Dissed the Geithner Plan

One of the cool things about being Treasury Secretary is that you get your signature on dollar bills, giving them authority, defending their honour. Timothy Geithner’s plan to save the struggling banking system probably does the opposite, throwing good money after bad to a banking system struggling under the weight of its own mistakes. The markets don’t like it. The Dow dropped 382 points while bonds rallied as a port in a continuing storm.

She has degree but can’t afford flat

HDB’s 30-month debarment rule prevents family from applying for rental flat.

UOB Kay Hian fined by SGX

Local brokerage UOB Kay Hian (UOBKH) has been fined $115,000 by the Singapore Exchange (SGX) for breaching directives.

Think before dumping parents in home

Those who dump their parents in homes ought to realise that they will eventually meet the same fate, says this writer.

SIA confounds its critics once again

Profits fall, but airline dodges losses that were projected from fuel hedging

Escape from Geylang brothel

One Singaporean housewife went to great lengths to look for woman who says she was held against her will in Geylang, and even took the troubled Indian national into her own home.

The battle of MBK

Fight between vocational students rages for 10 minutes; guns and knives used.

Is SingTel still defensive amid new challenges?

Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel), touted as a defensive stock in volatile markets, faces new challenges in its overseas businesses that account for 70 per cent of earnings.

2 years of Temasek growth wiped out in months

Portfolio size shrinks to $127b from $185b; GIC returns also likely to fall

Obamaniacs should accept the hard facts of politics

Hey, that’s political life, you say. Well, that’s true. But didn’t Mr. Obama promise to be different and to bring to Washington ‘a change we can believe in’? As his political honeymoon with the American people continues for a while, he should try to figure out more effective ways to transform his stirring rhetoric into a stimulating policy decision. At the same time, Obamaniacs should understand that governing - like any successful marriage - requires making hard choices and reaching difficult compromises. Being there is just the start.

Face it, Keynes can’t help us now

In the current financial crisis, the better way to go will be to reduce debt, not increase it

Protectionism is economic suicide

Any effort to close off markets will worsen the grim economic climate, not improve it

Correction in the offing for Reits?

The Straits Times Index (STI) has been trading sideways on thin volumes over the past one week and we do not expect the market lethargy to improve anytime soon. Judging by the constant stream of profit warnings, there is high probability that markets will remain in this comatose state for some time.

CapitaLand shows it is ahead of the curve

It has moved fast as it realises that markets now like deleveraged outfits

Scale of China’s job woes ballooning: economists

They say Q4 growth well below official level and may have turned negative

Rights issues to pad up CapitaLand, CMT war chests

Both issues offered at steep discounts; CapitaLand looking at acquisitions, CMT to pay off debt

China stocks face twin pressures

Economy’s entered a downward cycle that will last at least 3 years: Goldman

Venture Corp to take pay cut

Move to cut wages by up to 20 per cent aimed at containing costs

France working with China to heal rift: former PM

Former French prime minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin said on Tuesday that much work remains to heal a rift between France and China but both sides are committed to getting ties back on track.

What do frugal farmers really want to buy?

With the Chinese government pinning its hopes for economic resurgence on stronger rural demand, the swelling ranks of jobless migrant workers are making it much tougher.

China to Become Second Largest Wind Power Producer

China will reach its wind production target of 30 gigawatts in 2010, a decade ahead of schedule.

Car sector “catastrophe” now global: Peugeot head

The auto industry is caught up in a catastrophe that has spread across the globe as even the key emerging markets that manufacturers had banked on for growth have now ground to a halt, a top executive said on Tuesday.

Government Bonds May Be Last Bubble: Jim Rogers

Investors will have to short government bonds at some point despite their current attraction, as the amount of debt issued is “staggering” and inflation risks are down the road, Jim Rogers, CEO of Jim Rogers Holdings, told CNBC Tuesday.

Cop held in NY death of local woman

The family of a 26-year-old Shanghai woman who died in New York last Saturday after being run over by the car of an allegedly intoxicated off-duty police officer was preparing yesterday to fly to the United States to handle funeral arrangements.

Vitamin pills ‘won’t make you live longer’, study reveals

Sex is good for you

For fighting cancer to the common cold it’s just what the doctor ordered (and men benefit most!)

Wen shoe thrower: Not guilty plea

The student protester accused of throwing a shoe at Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in Cambridge pleaded not guilty to a public order offence on Tuesday, and his case was adjourned until March 10.

Lunar New Year Market Rally: Stimulation Policy Plays

But the industrial stimulation plans being released these days aim for long-term structural adjustment and industrial upgrading, and not market bailout, so as the news pushes the index higher these days, it will be crucial for investors to avoid risk while seizing potential opportunities.

Investor Jim Rogers takes issue with US policies

President Barack Obama’s policies on foreign trade and US government bailouts came under heavy fire yesterday from financial experts Joel Stern and Jim Rogers.

Married woman teacher had sex with boy

She was a teacher in his primary school, and it was during an overseas trip which she led that trouble began.

Singapore home prices likely to fall further

Property investment firm IP Global has said Singapore’s residential market is not worth a look until at least six months from now.

Protectionist measures can push US deeper into recession: Expert

Nobel Economics Prize winner and trade theorist Paul Krugman once said that if there were an economist’s creed, it would surely contain the affirmation: ‘I believe in free trade.’

Gillman Heights sale gets go-ahead

Appeals court rules that only 80% consent required for collective sale

Dr. Ruth: Great sex is like fine wine

The sex guru says improving sense of intimacy is key for satisfaction

Wall Street execs put sex on company tabs

But CEOs, top bankers and lawyers in shame list are not prosecuted

SEC enforcement director is leaving post

Signalling that it is time for a new cop to walk the Wall Street beat, the Securities and Exchange Commission accepted the resignation Monday of its top enforcement officer amid blistering criticism that the commission had failed to protect investors in recent years.

Singapore state fund Temasek announces 31 percent drop

Temasek, the giant Singapore state-owned investment company, said the value of its investment portfolio fell 31 percent between March and November last year, a reflection of the massive stock market decline that was set off by the turmoil surrounding U.S. subprime mortgages.

Lenovo PC manufacturing strategy ‘needs rethink’

Mainland technology giant Lenovo Group needs a radical rethink of its personal computer manufacturing strategy to keep up with more efficient rivals and grow amid the economic slump, analysts say.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Beijing moves to set limit on executive pay

Rule to apply at state finance firms

Rice futures trading to be launched soon to regulate prices

Beijing would launch rice futures contracts on the Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange as early as this month to better regulate the price of Asia’s major grain, the China Securities Journal reported yesterday.

HK world’s fourth most-expensive place to purchase a city-centre flat

Hong Kong has surpassed New York and Paris to become the fourth most-expensive city for buying a 120 square metre (1,291 square foot) apartment in the city centre, according to the latest global research.

Mainland power output falls 13.1pc

Mainland power output dropped 13.1 per cent year on year last month, a fourth consecutive decline that was likely exaggerated by the week-long Lunar New Year holiday, which fell in February last year.

China’s monthly auto sales overtake US

Mainland’s monthly vehicle sales surpassed those in the United States for the first time in January, moving this country closer to becoming the world’s biggest auto market, data released on Tuesday showed.

Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys bouncing back from the brink of extinction

Mainland’s January inflation falls to a 30-month low

Inflation at the consumer level in mainland fell to a 30-month low, giving the central bank plenty of room to cut interest rates further to support the economy and stave off the threat of deflation.

Wen shoe protester in court in Britain

The student protester accused of throwing a shoe at Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao arrived at court Tuesday to face charges of threatening behaviour, an AFP correspondent said.

Bankers Concerned About Marketized Interest Rates

Chinese banks stand to lose out on an easy source of income if the central bank stops setting interest rates.

Freight rate surge may be sending wrong signals

The surge in a global benchmark freight index may say as much about the bearish conditions of some underlying commodity markets as it does about the bullishness of a global economy still feeling for a floor.

Fund manager spreads bets in survival of fittest

Hedge fund chief David Lam says he advocates the same strategy in good times and bad to ensure steady returns

Growing opposition to China’s ‘black jails’

“These black jails are clearly against the law. But local officials call them legal study classes, and that shows how they treat the law as just a tool for abusing rights,” said Zhang Jianping, an activist in Jiangsu Province.

Researchers advise Beijing to reduce holding of US debt

Subprime mortgage-backed bonds seen as offering value

A New Bear Market

Many foreign bankers in the Chinese market now refer to China as “America’s banker”.

High Court rules financial difficulties at Raffles Town Club caused by 2 shareholders

Singapore’s High Court has ruled that the financial difficulties faced by Raffles Town Club were substantially caused by two of its shareholders - Lin Jian Wei and Margaret Tung.

Prenuptial deals: Court clears the air

Contracts made before marriage regarding a couple’s assets, maintenance and the custody and care of children will be considered by the courts in a divorce but not automatically upheld, Singapore’s highest court said yesterday.

Gillman Heights: ‘Drafting flaw’ behind saga

Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong, who delivered the judgment, told a packed courtroom that Parliament had indeed intended the law on collective sales to apply to HUDC estates when it was enacted in 1999. But the use of an estate’s TOP or CSC as a point of reference for its age was a “drafting flaw”, he said.

The lavish lifestyle of 'Lau Da'

His toothy grin, just minutes after being charged in court, reflects the larger-than-life appearance that some people associate with him.

Jobs is China’s top priority

China must push job creation as an even higher priority in setting economic policy, the government said on Tuesday, laying down rules for employers and officials to discourage potentially volatile sackings.

CCTV blamed for fire

The blaze engulfed a nearly completed 30-storey cultural centre that was to house the Mandarin Oriental's flagship China hotel

Gallant needs to shed light on its land dispute

Given the recent spate of bad news in the corporate world, the piece of news on Gallant Venture’s loss in a lawsuit could almost have gone unnoticed.

Investment company Ariel goes belly up

Creditors’ meeting slated for firm with a string of investment forays

Jurong Tech faces another bank demand

Another bank has demanded repayment from troubled contract manufacturer Jurong Technologies Industrial Corp.

Taiwan’s Ex-First Lady Pleads Guilty

Taiwan former first lady Wu Shu-jen pleaded guilty on Tuesday in connection with a massive graft case embroiling her family after she showed up in court after 17 non-appearances in two years.

Singapore - Asia's Laggard?

Singapore is going to be right at the bottom of the growth league in 2009, says Robert Prior-Wandesforde, senior Asian economist at HSBC. He tells CNBC's Martin Soong & Sri Jegarajah that its GDP growth may shrink up to 5%. He also gives his outlook for the rest of Asia.

Fire engulfs landmark of skyline in Beijing

The building housing the Mandarin Oriental Hotel exploding after it caught on fire in Beijing on Monday.

Rights issues a smart fund-raising option

This year, equity rights issues will continue to present an attractive fund-raising option for listed corporates in Asia and globally. With the ongoing economic uncertainty, debt issuances may prove difficult for even the best of credits, as investors worry about increased default rates and demand more onerous covenants and wider pricing.

Cost of joining elite clubs tumbles

Price of memberships falls by up to half as financial crisis hits companies, wealthy

China looks for signs of change in US relations

The first signs of any winds of change in Sino-US relations are expected to emerge from the forthcoming talks between US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chinese leaders later this month.

20pc of Guangdong firms ‘plan to cut staff’

One in five firms in the ailing export hub of Guangdong may soon lay off workers, an official labour survey showed, further straining the job market as millions of migrant workers seek work amid the export slump.

Taiwan’s ‘Empress Dowager’ to face court over corruption charges

See her fucking chee bye face.

Student apologises for throwing shoe at Wen

The Cambridge University student who hurled a shoe at Premier Wen Jiabao during a speech last week has apologised to China for his inappropriate behaviour, the Chinese ambassador in London has said.

Apres Ho Ching, Le Deluge?

Lee Hsien Loong's wife leaves Temasek just in time for her successor to reap the bad news

Temasek takes severe hit

CEO Ho Ching’s exit won’t alter fortunes of the sovereign wealth fund in short term

Pearl River Delta: Skyrocketing Growth Halts

The Pearl River Delta, a former poster child of China’s economic miracle, is facing a hard time in 2009.

Over-Excitement In Shipping And Commodity Cues

Shipping stocks, freight rates and commodity prices are telling us people hope the worst of the economic woes are behind us, but there’s no fundamental reason to jump on what is for now a very speculative bandwagon.

Official data masks severity of mainland slump

It is China’s disconcerting secret: Its economic slump is much deeper than official data show.

New course to groom stockbrokers

A new training programme has been launched with the aim of turning out quality stockbrokers to cater to a growing crowd of sophisticated investors here.

My bosses knew what I was doing, says French rogue trader

Alleged rogue trader Jerome Kerviel, accused of losing his bank 4.9 billion euros (HK$49 billion), blamed his bosses on Friday in an emotional radio interview ahead of his trial.

Mainland to aid electronics, IT industry

Mainland’s electronics and information technology (IT) industry is likely to be the next to get government support, the official Financial News reported on Friday, citing an unnamed source.

Mainland fugitive granted Canadian work permit

Canada had little choice but to grant a work permit to Lai Changxing as he fights extradition to China, where he is one of country’s most wanted fugitives, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said on Thursday.

Lexicon in $160m reverse takeover deal

Group targeting Zenna, the same firm in an aborted deal with Iconic

India denies standoff with Chinese warships

India is disputing reports of Chinese warships forcing an Indian submarine to surface during a standoff in waters off Somalia last month.

ICBC lending dominated by bill financing

Analysts say increase in loan growth not as substantial as industry figures suggest

Harassed architect obtains court order for Singtel to reveal caller information

An architect and his wife received more than 100 harassing telephone calls over three days. He made a successful application to the High Court to seek the disclosure of the name, telephone number and address of the caller by SingTel.

Economist urges Beijing to bail out developers

Struggling mainland property developers should be allowed to go, hard hat in hand, to Beijing for bailout funds, economists have said.

China investments in US hit US$1.7 trillions

Holdings make it Washington’s largest creditor

China fund eyes half-stake in CITIC Capital: sources

China Investment Corp (CIC), a US$200 billion sovereign wealth fund (SWF), is in talks to buy up to half of CITIC Capital Holdings Ltd, an investment firm described by local media as ‘China’s Blackstone’, two sources close to the situation said yesterday.

Chen sister-in-law, businessman admit money laundering

The sister-in-law of former Taiwanese president Chen Shui-bian and a Taiwanese businessman pleaded guilty to money-laundering charges yesterday, becoming the eighth and ninth defendants to do so in the massive corruption case implicating the ex-leader.

Chen Shui-bian’s accountant admits forging documents

The chief accountant of former Taiwanese president Chen Shui-bian pleaded guilty yesterday to document forgery in the special state fund embezzlement case, saying she was doing so under the instruction of her former bosses.

Blogging is so dated - now you twitter

Blogging traffic here slows while the usage of Twitter and Plurk explodes

Banks hike fees as companies scramble to raise funds

Rush to tap capital driven by need to cut debt, refinance maturing loans

Corporate battles on the rise as debt collection becomes harder

Harmony breeds prosperity, or so a Chinese saying goes. But some old pieces of wisdom lose their relevance in today’s corporate world. As companies find it harder to recover debts or meet deal obligations amid the downturn, more have turned to legal battles to protect their wealth.

Government to play bigger economic role

The stimulus package and bank bailout plan have led to a seismic shift in the role of government in American society

Oil, petrochem players bank on Chinese buyers

Asian crackers step up operations but pace may not last, say consultants

Restoring trust in bankers

The wealth management industry needs to re-tool

Singapore GDP may shrink up to 5.8% in Q1

Business confidence plummets as most companies expect situation to worsen: survey

I like this from Xfactor

If DJIA is +50, you may have 5 minutes to run;
If DJIA +100, you will have 30 minutes to run and 30 minutes to short;
If DJIA drops 50, you will have 3 minutes to square off;
If DJIA drops 100, you have 30 minutes to double long and sell off;
If DJIA drops 200, you will have 1 hour to long and 7 hours to run.

Monday, 9 February 2009

Singapore's Residential Rental to Fall

Private residential rents in Singapore, among the highest in the region, are likely to fall sharply over the next two years, a trend that could further disrupt the island’s already fragile economy.

GM, Chrysler May Be Put Into Bankruptcy to Protect U.S. Loans

General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC may have to be forced into bankruptcy by the U.S. government to assure repayment of $17.4 billion in federal bailout loans, a course of action the automakers claim would destroy them.

Beijing treating drought relief as top priority

With the global economic crisis producing unrest in rural areas, Chinese authorities have taken emergency action in wheat-growing regions that are suffering from their worst drought in 50 years.

Weaker yuan proposed to boost growth, employment

Beijing also advised to sell a moderate part of its US Treasury holdings

Hong Kong Dry Bulkers Up, but Sell into Strength

Most HK-listed dry bulk shippers higher, supported by Baltic Dry Index strength; but gains likely unsustainable, says Louis Tse at Value Convergence CEF. “There is a rebound for basic good and material transportation, due to rise in infrastructure demand following China’s stimulus package, but as overall global economic outlook remains weak, it would be hard to see gains in the BDI could continue in the medium-term,” says Tse. Suggests investors sell into strength. Within sector, China Cosco (1919.HK) +1.4% at HK$5.61, Pacific Basin (2343.HK) +4.0% at HK$4.96, China Shipping (1138.HK) +0.1% at HK$8.72.

Write down and start selling

Write-downs by developers have been expected for some time. But most have adopted a head-in-the-sand approach, perhaps hoping that price falls will somehow moderate this year if they drag their feet.

Some call a ‘bottom’, others doubt

Mr. Brusca said, however, that people may be surprised as much by the upturn as the downturn. ‘Sharp recessions tend to have sharp recoveries, that’s the good news.’

Barisan’s Perak takeover may cost

Najib dearly Still, tone of comments across the country suggests he may have scored big with his party

Better to focus on short-term punting in this market

In one sentence: Forget ‘long-term investing’ and focus on capital preservation by becoming a short-term punter.

Deutsche Bank lays off staff

Deutsche Bank’s wealth management arm on Friday laid off at least 50 staff in Singapore and Hong Kong as earnings from private banking plunged, two sources familiar with the situation said.

India bans China toys

Beijing says this would affect bilateral trade

4,200 toy makers gone bust

Half of Chinese toy makers wiped out in crisis

Get tough with rich states

China, setting out its stall for the next global financial summit, wants the International Monetary Fund to get tougher with developed countries that let their economies run off the rails.

ABN Amro Cuts Olam Target to S$0.57; Keeps Sell

ABN Amro cuts Olam (O32.SG) target price to S$0.57 from S$0.69 to factor in lower earnings estimates; reiterates Sell rating.

US companies make risky IPOs

The US market for initial offerings slowed to a near-halt in mid-2008. In the first half, 32 companies raised US$28.6 billion - and most of that was the US$19.7 billion IPO of Visa Inc, the payment network. In the second half, five companies raised just US$1 billion.

China stocks rally unsustainable – Goldman

The rally in China’s stock market this year is not sustainable and the market remains likely to trade in a narrow range for most of the year, pressured by slower economic growth and a fall in corporate earnings, Goldman Sachs said on Monday.

Kunming Airlines to launch first flight Feb 15

Kunming Airlines (昆明航空公司) will launch its maiden flight on February 15, flying from Kunming to Changsha and on to Harbin, according to an announcement by majority shareholder Shenzhen Airlines yesterday.

CapitaLand Posts 88% Drop in Quarterly Net, Sells Rights Shares

CapitaLand Ltd., Southeast Asia’s largest property developer, will raise S$1.84 billion ($1.2 billion) after reporting an 88 percent slump in its fourth-quarter profit.

Analysts see tougher times for banks

Slowing loan growth, mounting losses from bad debts and falling fee income from slumping capital markets will cut quarterly earnings for banks in Singapore and Malaysia by as much as a third, with an even rougher ride expected in 2009 as the global economy worsens.

Peg the yuan to US dollar to end the war of words

A couple of weeks ago, new United States Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner ignited a firestorm of comments and criticism when he accused China of manipulating its currency, effectively saying that Beijing keeps the yuan artificially undervalued to steal an unfair advantage for its exports in world markets.

Private equity firms turn to alternatives

Credit crisis kills their ability to strike leveraged buyouts

RBS puts Singapore expansion on hold

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is reviewing its expansion plans here, including an earlier decision to add to the branch network it acquired last year after buying over ABN Amro Bank. That move had come in for criticism and caused the bank to be partly nationalised.

Silk traders protest fake goods label

Stall owners at Beijing’s Silk Street Market, for years famous for its knock-off designer ware, protested at a law firm representing trademark holders this week after seven were suspended for selling pirated goods.

Steel industry reports losses of 47.7b yuan in fourth quarter

The mainland steel industry, the world’s largest, reported a 29.1 billion yuan (HK$33.01 billion) loss in December, its third consecutive money-losing month, bringing total losses in the fourth quarter to 47.7 billion yuan as steelmakers wrote down the value of inventories.

Stocks May Retest Bottom: So Let the Buying Begin

Whether it comes from this Friday’s jobs report or some other dose of bad news, the stock market is likely to retest the November bottom – and probably sooner than later, many market pros think.

Thousands of farmers to be uprooted again

Tens of thousands of farmers displaced to make way for the vast Three Gorges Dam will be resettled again under a plan issued yesterday that vows to address poverty, unemployment and environmental hazards in the area.

Time for Asia to strike out in new directions

They should focus on stimulating domestic demand instead of relying on exports

Upbeat China economic news on two fronts

Pump-priming seems to have some early success as bank loans and manufacturing index rise

Treasury Overpaid

A government watchdog has concluded that the federal government gave financial institutions a US$78 billion (S$117.4 billion) subsidy last year by overpaying for stocks and other assets as part of its massive Wall Street rescue program.

Was Stanley Ho hedging his bets with the Australian Labour Party?

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

Temasek turns to U.S. ex-mining chief

Chip Goodyear, the former chief of BHP Billiton and now CEO-designate at Singapore’s best known wealth fund, hails from the halls of Ivy League universities and Wall Street, but is best known for his reign at the Australian mining giant.

Risk-taker Ho Ching has no regrets

Ho Ching, wife of Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, will step down as chief executive of Temasek, ending a 5-year term which saw the state investment agency expand aggressively beyond Singapore.

Chinese Carmakers Bidding for Volvo

Chinese automakers Chery, Geely and Changan might cast a bid when Ford Motors sells off Volvo this month.

Loan Syndication: To Be or Not To Be

Bankers as well as borrowers are grappling with the implications of a government push to cut risks through loan syndication.

Lights, Camera, Action: New York’s Horror

‘For sale’ signs in New York’s affluent suburbs are starting to appear as the rich awake to an economic crisis that’s not a movie.

Stroke - 中風

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Economic Shift Rouses Defunct Steel City

To cool the economy four years ago, the government closed private Tieben Steel and detained its founder. Times have changed.

Rural residents feel let down by policy to provide them with electrical appliances

Fifteen business days. That was the longest time Henan farmer Zhang Jun said he was told it would take to receive the government subsidy on the refrigerator he bought. After eight months, he is still waiting.

Still very much a market for short-term traders

A drying up of liquidity, quick rallies followed by equally quick declines and the return of rotational playing among penny stocks, mainly from China - these were the hallmarks of yet another forgettable week in the local market, at least in the eyes of the ‘buy-and-hold’ school.

Sultan’s decision upsets public

Move to swear in BN govt seen as against wishes of Perak people, who wanted fresh polls

Taiwan legal system on trial

Handling of former president Chen’s case exposes several flaws

ERA is the rule not the exception

A forumer by the nick of Noranth in HWZ posted the following post...

Urgent: Laws to tighten property brokerage trade

It has taken a High Court judgment to amplify an alarm that something is rotten in the real estate business.

Investor sentiment plunges further

Surveys show locals shunning the market

Cramer: 10 Reasons This Market’s Better Than You Think

The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 217 points on Friday, even despite a horrible employment number before the opening bell. That the market could rally regardless of the worst jobless rate in 16 years – 7.6% – showed a resilience not seen in some time. As long as new Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner doesn’t break Wall Street’s spirit when he announces his financial plan on Monday, this uptrend might continue. Especially now that the bad news – jobs and a slew of poor earnings reports – is out of the way.

Would you rather work less or lose your job?

A shorter work week could turn out to be the best way to beat layoffs in the downturn

Tourists replace sportsmen in the Bird’s Nest

China’s iconic stadium is losing its glamour fast

Opposition groups get together to talk unity By Jeremy Au Yong A handful of opposition leaders gathered yesterday for a public forum that they hoped w

A handful of opposition leaders gathered yesterday for a public forum that they hoped would herald more unity among opposition groups.

Chatline or Sexline?

Telephone chatlines are being used by some as a way to solicit sex

How online barter works

Locally registered companies keen to barter first sign up on the websites of the two online brokerages here, BarterXchange and Barter Vista.

Sushi for your services

If you are a lawyer or accountant who loves sushi, step right in.

Age-old barter trade back in vogue As recession bites, firms save money by trading goods and services online By Irene Tham Here's the deal: In exchang

As recession bites, firms save money by trading goods and services online

Recovering from stroke but Chiam is sharp and lucid

When Potong Pasir MP Chiam See Tong spoke in Parliament during the Budget debate last week, he caused some eyebrows to raise and jaws to drop.

Bad times spell boom for religion

Surge in numbers at many places of worship here; many religious leaders devote sermons to coping with the financial crisis

Perak sees double with 2 menteris besar at work

Ipoh - Perak Menteri Besar Zambry Abdul Kadir yesterday attended his first function as the state’s new leader, even as his ousted predecessor Nizar Jamaluddin continued to cling on to the post.

Seller, protect yourself

A property agent should work in his client’s best interest, so look out for anything that indicates otherwise.

Other dirty tricks some agents play

Buyer dragged into legal tussle

All Mr. Teo Su Kee wanted was to buy an apartment in the Clarke Quay area to invest in. He got more than he bargained for.

They thought they had good deal

They thought that sounded like she was from the Middle East, which meant she had to be rich and could afford to pay top dollar for their property.

ERA imposes stricter ethics guidelines

ERA Realty Network has implemented stricter ethics guidelines for its 3,000 agents.

License all agents, say experts

The Consumers Association of Singapore wants an accreditation scheme to be put in place for the property industry.

Flipping Property for a Quick Profit

Agents speak out on how common practice is, and conditions for an ethical transaction

Finding real value in beaten-down markets

With stocks hitting new lows, the share market is like another Singapore sale but minus the crowds, given that only a few brave souls are putting their cash down.

Retired rural teachers a new source of unrest

They are old, angry and have mobile phones - and they worry the mainland’s protest-wary leaders.

Drought-hit China to divert waters from two longest rivers

China will divert water from its two longest rivers to help farmers hit by the country’s worst drought in decades, state media said Sunday.

China fights drought with chemical cloud-seeding

Parts of China’s parched north got light rain after authorities fired shells loaded with cloud-seeding chemicals into the sky, but there was no end in sight for its worst drought in five decades, the government said Sunday.

Paying for a wrecked car

Should the person who caused the crash be made to pay off the outstanding loan for the car?

Legions facing layoffs turn to parties, Internet

The bar was crowded with well-dressed professionals enjoying drinks and conversation, a typical evening – except that none of them had a job.

Changes to Foreign Policy

US Vice President Joe Biden announced changes to US foreign policy on Saturday that emphasised diplomacy over military power but also urged allies to shoulder more of the burden in tackling global crises.