Saturday, 4 April 2009

More listed companies come under auditors’ focus

Auditors have raised concerns over more listed companies, with the latest focus falling on firms such as Firstlink Investments Corporation, KXD Digital Entertainment and ASA Group.

Firms weigh cost, convenience for AGMs

But not all shareholders appreciate the cost-cutting efforts.

MAS issues new fair dealing rules for FIs

Financial institutions have to relook commission-based model, freebies strategies under guidelines

Fund manager may inject US$15m into Oceanus

Marine aquaculture specialist Oceanus Group has announced a proposed loan investment of between US$12 million and US$15 million in the group by a fund manager.

Bear market rally or the real McCoy?

Wall Street may be saying something when yesterday’s 8.5% jobless number doesn’t seem to faze it

Coming back for more vroom

Drawn by the allure, very high-end sports cars are seeing repeat buyers in Singapore

Risks and S-chips on SGX’s mind

It says it’s acutely aware of risks presented by companies operating in foreign countries

The moralist manifesto

Finance is not usually associated with questions of good and evil. The last few months have been something of an exception, at least for some politicians. It has become fashionable to blame greedy bankers for the ongoing financial crisis. But that is little more than name-calling. The best way to ward off future crises is through serious analysis of financial morality. A well-reasoned attack on greed requires some profound changes. Here are seven.

有没有人告诉你 - 陈楚生

Click here, and then on the song title to listen

Korean slowdown a boon for plastic surgeons, malls

Falling won lures Japanese and Chinese tourists to Seoul

SGX urges investors to be vigilant

More auditors raising red flags about listed firms in midst of crisis

Grey list

Singapore is on it, but is committed to tax rules

China looking stronger after G-20 summit

China came away from Thursday’s G-20 meeting looking ‘pretty good,’ said experts.

‘Red shirts’ plan massive protest

Pro-Thaksin movement aims for 100,000-plus turnout on Wednesday

G-20 deal ‘a turning point’ but not all convinced

Obama and Soros hail plan but others say actions fall ‘critically short’ in key areas

Fear of being left out replaces fear of loss

Investors appear to have missed the absurd logic behind the view that once credit starts to flow again all will be well

Eight high-tech exam cheats jailed

Chinese parents and teachers in elaborate scams convicted of stealing state secrets

At G20, China finds way to raise stature in world finance

But in that scant time, China had a chance to showcase its growing importance in the world economy. China said it would contribute 40 billion U.S. dollars to the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) increased financing capacity. That’s only a small portion of the total, but it could take China’s IMF voting rights from to 3.997 percent from 3.807 percent.

Cultural celebrations walk thin line between myth and greed

“Public ceremonies should be organised by the public and the costs covered voluntarily by participants, not by government funds,” Mr. Ge said. “Otherwise, it will damage the interests of those who don’t want to take part.”

An ex-hacker’s thoughts on the Dalai Lama and democracy

“In our world, democracy is something that powerful nations impose on the weak. Equality, law and democracy do not exist between them. Does the US deal with Yugoslavia and Iraq in a democratic way?

The dollar trap

China’s call for a magic solution to its excess US-dollar assets suggests it isn’t ready for new global realities.

And that failure to face up to new realities is the main reason that, despite glimmers of good news - the G20 summit achieved more than I thought it would - this crisis probably still has years to run.

Keeping companies up to standard

The findings of the recently released GTI show that many firms still have much work to do.

Focus on ethics for a more honourable corporate world

The recent spate of corporate and accounting scandals here has thrown up widespread debate over what more can be done to rein in companies and those who run them.

Financial reporting should go beyond minimum: CPA

Go beyond the financial reporting rulebook and give shareholders the extra information they find useful, urged Chaly Mah, president of CPA Australia’s Singapore division.

Auditors going the extra mile, says Deloitte chief

Recent cases of corporate fraud have triggered the age-old question about the role of auditors and whether the scope of their work includes the onerous responsibility of detecting and deterring fraud.

Low rankings for troubled S-chips

Troubled Chinese companies have found themselves among the lowest ranked in the Governance & Transparency Index (GTI) released yesterday.

No opinion on Guangzhao accounts, say auditors

The auditors of Guangzhao Industrial Forest Biotechnology Group have steered clear of expressing an opinion on the group’s 2008 financial statements, citing a host of material uncertainties which could cast serious doubts on its going-concern status.

China Vies to Be World’s Leader in Electric Cars

Chinese leaders have adopted a plan aimed at turning the country into one of the leading producers of hybrid and all-electric vehicles within three years, and making it the world leader in electric cars and buses after that.

Banks Face Big Losses From Bets on Chinese Realty

Back in the good old days - early 2007 - bankers from Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank and other financial giants placed their bets on a 48-year-old property tycoon who was supposed to be China’s next billionaire.

They lent his company $400 million, encouraged him to acquire large tracts of land and in early 2008 promoted a proposed $2.1 billion public stock offering by the company, the Evergrande Real Estate Group, in Hong Kong.

Friday, 3 April 2009

Court quashes en bloc sale of Horizon Towers

Landmark ruling also redefines roles of sales committees, Strata Titles Board

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Coke ads ‘totally unacceptable’ in Australia

“Coke’s messages were totally unacceptable, creating an impression which is likely to mislead that Coca-Cola cannot contribute to weight gain, obesity and tooth decay,” it said.

Love deeply and passionately

You might get hurt but it's the only way to live life completely.

China’s housing prices may “fall sharply”

Property prices in the country are likely to see a “sharp drop” next year, when a number of low-income housing projects come up, a local newspaper reported yesterday.

HK sees first jail term for insider trade

Former banker, girlfriend sentenced

Durian lawsuit bears fruit of HK$193,000

It could be the most expensive durian in history.

Hu and Sarkozy set to meet to seal resumption of ties

France pledges not to support Tibet independence bid

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Countdown begins for second board

Regulator unveils listing rules for Shenzhen bourse

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

To gain a bigger voice in the global economy, China must build ups its domestic economy.

Optimal Response to the Fed Printing Dollars

The U.S. government is trying to do what’s best for its economy. China must do the same. Wishful thinking, hoping the U.S. to do what’s best for China, is daydreaming. It is not about what’s fair. In a modern world everyone must optimize for itself.

‘No’ to Protectionism Easier Said than Done

Dozens of new, sometimes hidden, trade barriers threaten anti-protectionist sentiment as well as efforts to end the financial crisis.

More China checks on S-chips - timely idea with many challenges

Lawyers, market watchers discuss various possibilities of tighter controls

China’s Markets to See Huge Liquidity in Second Quarter

China’s capital markets will be awash with liquidity in the second quarter as excess money could reach 1 trillion yuan ($146 billion), excluding the central bank’s open market operations, an official newspaper said on Wednesday.

Suspicious deaths of inmates spur crackdown on prison conditions

Law enforcement authorities will crack down on conditions in detention centres and prisons across the mainland starting today, vowing that there will be no more suspicious deaths of inmates.

Number of wealthier investors growing as income gap widens

By the end of this year there will be more than 320,000 investors on the mainland with more than 10 million yuan (HK$11.35 million) of capital to speculate with, a report produced by the China Merchant Bank and global business consulting firm Bain & Company predicts.

China IPO rule for small firms to help boost growth

China is planning to make it easier for small and medium-sized companies to go public, setting up a new trading platform with looser listing rules, and also winning praise from investors and analysts.

CJ lifts jail term on drink driver

CJ Chan also noted that defendants do plead guilty ‘especially for minor offences of which they may not be guilty for a variety of reasons’.

He said that if Chong’s story raised ‘a question of reasonable doubt, then he ought to be entitled to that doubt’.

Fucking VK Rajah didn't give me the doubt I was entitled!

Catalist guide on engagement of sponsors

When does a Catalist-listed company need to engage a sponsor for its corporate actions or transactions?

An easy way to understand the AIG debacle

Jim = Goldman
Bob = AIG
Sue = US taxpayer

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Macquarie Infrastructure International Fund

Guppy breakout. Read the comments...

Straits Asia Resources

Still within the channel to attack 0.895.


I see 0.835 HullMA as the breakout level.

He Who Has the Gold Makes the Rules

Chinese central bank Governor Zhou Xiaochuan has a point when he said in a white paper only days before the G-20 meeting in London: “Issuing countries of reserve currencies are constantly confronted with the dilemma between achieving their domestic monetary policy goals and meeting other countries’ demand for reserve currencies.”

Chan will deliver on gift of antique houses

Star reassures fans after reports of HK govt finding sites for relics

Yuan as Asia’s reserve currency?

‘It is highly unlikely that the yuan can become the dominant currency in Asia. In five, 10 years, it may indeed become a major reserve currency - but along with the dollar and euro,’ said Mr. Lu.

Google launches free music service

Google launched its free music service on the mainland yesterday, plugging a big hole in its competition with domestic rival Baidu.

Guangdong to change system for migrants

Guangdong will overhaul its decade-old temporary-residential-permit system, which has been accused of discriminating against migrant workers, Xinhua reported yesterday.

2006 Nina Wang will is a forgery, lawyer tells court

Claim based on report by UK forensic handwriting expert

Is all that cash for real? S-chips face doubters

He added that if a company tells him that it has lots of cash and that its stock is undervalued, he is likely to challenge the company: ‘Why don’t you then privatise your company? You can relist it another time, or somewhere else.’

Rising powers want bigger say in economics

IMF becoming a chip in contest to reshape post-crisis global landscape

Venture capital funds as an option

If obtaining bank credit has become exceedingly difficult, perhaps SMEs should consider alternative sources of financial support, such as venture capital funding, which typically focuses exclusively on start-ups.

Interest revving up for Changi race track

The successful bidder will be announced in Q1 2010

On a slippery slope forecasting oil’s future

Uncertainty in the energy sector will prevail until a real replacement for oil emerges

USA: The Bernie Madoff among nations

But these days foreign leaders are in no mood to be lectured by American officials, even when - as in this case - the Americans are right. The financial crisis has had many costs. And one of those costs is the damage to America’s reputation, an asset we’ve lost just when we, and the world, need it most.

Geithner treads line between paralysis and resentment

Call it Uncle Sam’s hedge fund. The rescue of the American financial system proposed by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is, in all but name, a gigantic hedge fund. The government would lend vast sums to private investors to enable them to buy loss-ridden assets at discounts from banks with the prospect of making sizeable profits.

China Ready to Launch Nasdaq-Style Second Board

China’s stock regulator issued new rules on Tuesday to prepare for the launch of a long-awaited Nasdaq-style second board after May 1 in a key step to support start-up firms starved of cash amid slowing economic growth.

Does this signals the death of S-shares?

Mark-to-Market Lobby Buoys Bank Profits 20% as FASB May Say Yes

Four days after U.S. lawmakers berated Financial Accounting Standards Board Chairman Robert Herz and threatened to take rulemaking out of his hands, FASB proposed an overhaul of fair-value accounting that may improve profits at banks such as Citigroup Inc. by more than 20 percent.

Morgan Stanley Says Sell Following Best S&P 500 Rally Since ‘38

Investors should sell U.S. stocks following the steepest rally since the 1930s because earnings are likely to keep weakening, according to Morgan Stanley.

Singapore May Devalue Currency in April, Survey Shows

The Monetary Authority of Singapore may devalue the city’s currency and allow it to drop 4 percent against the U.S. dollar by June 30 to aid exporters and lift the economy out of the worst recession since independence in 1965.

Obama Dictates Survival Terms to Chrysler, GM

President Barack Obama asserted unprecedented government control over the auto industry Monday, rejecting turnaround plans from General Motors and Chrysler and raising the prospect of controlled bankruptcy for either ailing auto giant.

Old homes for new hotel

A Singaporean businessman’s 300-year-old houses will be part of an upcoming hotel in Shanghai.

U.S. recession not yet bottoming

The U.S. recession may be easing, but the economy has not hit bottom yet and mounting unemployment looks likely to keep demand sluggish for a while.

JPMorgan Cuts Singapore Market to Underweight

JPMorgan downgrades Singapore market to Underweight (previous rating not available). Says downgrade reflects move up the risk curve given, Singapore market has “defensive bias on a sector composition perspective,” which does not fit well with broker’s “overall backdrop of a call to add risk to portfolios.” Adds Singapore economy entered recession before rest of region, and despite aggressive fiscal spending economy still faces lackluster growth prospects through 2009-2010. Suggests investors lighten their pure Singapore defensive positions in stocks such as land transport, telecom and add to high quality, liquid stocks in property, offshore & marine sectors. Says top picks are DBS (D05.SG), Olam (O32.SG), Keppel Corp. (BN4.SG) and City Developments (C09.SG). STI last +1.2% at 1693.45.

S -chips under greater scrutiny

Auditors are focusing more attention on risky areas, such as cash flow

City turns cadres into real estate agents

A local government in an eastern Chinese city has taken its efforts to prop up the economy to new heights, ordering cadres to act as real estate agents with a quota of selling - or buying - at least one flat each.

Anti-China tensions brewing in Australia

Australia’s Sinophile Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is fighting perceptions he has become a “running dog” for Beijing as anti-China sentiment mounts at home, threatening billions of dollars worth of Chinese investment.

Beijing speaks out, reflecting new confidence

So it has been refreshing and interesting to hear mainland leaders begin uncharacteristically to speak loudly on the hottest international issue of the time, calling ahead of this week’s Group of 20 meeting in London for a redesign of the global financial system.

Casinos blamed for clashes on Hainan

Village rivalry tip of a bigger crime problem

Monday, 30 March 2009

GM, Chrysler Must Revamp Plans to Get More U.S. Aid

General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC must overhaul their recovery plans with deeper concessions to justify further taxpayer aid, and bankruptcy may ultimately be their best chance, an Obama administration official said.

Chinese automakers too small to buy Volvo

Despite their global ambitions, Chinese automakers are still not big enough to take over their troubled foreign rivals, analysts and company officials said.

Famed French vintners plan China vineyard

One of the great names in wine-making, Domaines Barons de Rothschild, said Sunday it plans to develop a vineyard in China to take advantage of growing interest in wine here.

Foreign Strategic Investors Losing Welcome from SOEs

This is very smart, for with the financial crisis, China’s state-owned enterprises (SOEs), commercial banks in particular, are no longer big fans of foreign strategic investors, and foreign investors selling off shares of state-owned commercial banks due to crisis in their home countries are likely to find the door closed to them if they attempt to return.

Short-term gains but long term pains likely

Last week’s column raised the likelihood of a play on the major indices because of probable quarter-ending window-dressing. To be honest, the play that did materialise has caught us and many others by surprise, virtually erasing all of the Straits Times Index’s loss for 2009.

Time to widen accountability

The recent slew of corporate fraud and scandals is testing the integrity and reputation of the Singapore securities market.

SGX remains keen on Chinese firms

This despite recent accounting scandals and corporate governance failures at some S-chips

Australia blocks sale of Oz Minerals to China firm

Aust treasurer cites security concerns as reason for rejection

AGM season kicks off

Tough questions are expected on worries over recession, fraud


China plays lose their shine amid allegations of corporate failings

Sunday, 29 March 2009

A Buddhist spectacle with political overtones

Pomp, ceremony and a spectacular new “Buddha palace” were the order of the day as 1,300 monks and scholars from around the world gathered in Wuxi, Jiangsu province, yesterday for the state-sponsored Second World Buddhist Forum.

Hu’s slip into slang has nation floundering for its meaning

An odd word choice by the president gets people talking

Is this the start of the decline and the fall of the Ferguson Empire?

But history tells us that when any empire reaches that point of virtual global supremacy, equally total ignominious collapse usually lies never far away. So it seems with United.