Friday, 15 May 2009

U.S. Will Pay $2.6 Million to Train Chinese Prostitutes to Drink Responsibly on the Job

The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAA), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will pay $2.6 million in U.S. tax dollars to train Chinese prostitutes to drink responsibly on the job.

How it all works

In a small town on the South Coast of France, the holiday season is in full swing, but it is raining so there is not too much business taking place.

Everyone is heavily in debt. Luckily, a rich Russian tourist arrives in the foyer of the small local hotel. He asks for a room and puts a Euro100 note on the reception counter, takes a key and goes to inspect the room located up the stairs on the third floor.

• The hotel owner takes the banknote in a hurry and rushes to his meat supplier to whom he owes E100.
• The butcher takes the money and races to his supplier to pay his debt.
• The wholesaler rushes to the farmer to pay E100 for pigs he purchased some time ago.
• The farmer triumphantly gives the E100 note to a local prostitute who gave him her services on credit.
• The prostitute quickly goes to the hotel, as she was owing the hotel for her hourly room used to entertain clients.
At that moment, the rich Russian comes down to reception and informs the hotel owner that the room is unsatisfactory and takes his E100 back and departs.

There was no profit or income. But no one any longer has debt and the small town’s people look optimistically towards their future.

Diaoyu protest ship halted ‘for its own safety’

“You are also a Chinese. Why did you try to aid evil-doers at a time when the Chinese Communist Party was sucking up to the Japanese?” Leung Kwok-hung said.

Graft-fighters sharpen skills

The first group of 780 county-level graft-fighters was summoned to Beijing last week for eight days of training on stemming corruption in local governments.

Pain of isolation shines through heartfelt story of confinement

In memoirs that are largely objective but calm, Zhao Ziyang opens his heart to recount the pain of his isolation after the bloodletting at Tiananmen when he was put under a house arrest that was illegal and extremely secretive.

Memoirs will cause party to reflect, ex-Zhao aide says

The memoirs of the former leader sacked in 1989 for sympathising with the Tiananmen student protesters would give the Communist Party plenty to think about when deciding the country’s political future, his one-time top aide said.

‘I was repelled by Li Peng’s attitude’

A meeting at Deng Xiaoping's house in the summer of 1989 after the Tiananmen crackdown. It is the only known visual record of a meeting at the place where the crackdown decision was made.

Zhao Ziyang alleges Li Peng 1989 scheming

Late leader’s explosive memoirs out

Tapes smuggled out as music

The 30 musical cassette tapes were spirited out of the country by former aides and supporters. They had been secretly recorded by ousted party chief Zhao Ziyang.

Zhao Ziyang’s secret memoirs

A 1993 photograph of the late Zhao Ziyang, who was head of the Chinese Communist Party during the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown. His secretly recorded memoirs, to be published this month, shed light on the ongoing political war in the party at that time.

Deposed Chinese leader’s memoir out before June 4

In this May 19, 1989 file photo, Communist Party General Secretary Zhao Ziyang

Remove Lee Bee Wah as STTA President

Sign the online petition here.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Volatility Too High to Signal Bull Market, Bank of America Says

The two-month rally in global equities does not herald the start of a bull market because price swings are too violent, according to Bank of America Corp.

Confessions of Chinese Derivatives Deals, Part 1

In this first instalment in a series, an expert tells how investment banks sold derivatives in China that may be ticking time bombs.

Exuberance in Taiwan as Ties With China Warm

The bulls are running hard in Taiwan as the island prepares to open its doors to mainland Chinese investment for the first time since breaking from Beijing in 1949.

Maintaining Sino-Japanese relations at Diaoyu’s cost?

SINO-JAPANESE relations have greatly improved since Junichiro Koizumi stepped down as prime minister in 2006. None of his successors have visited the controversial Yasukuni Shrine.

Sympathy for waitress who stabbed official

Internet users have expressed their support for a hotel waitress who killed a government official in Badong county, Hubei, after he allegedly tried to get her to take money in exchange for sex.

Wilmar may hive off China ops as new firm

Listing could be sought in Hong Kong but idea is still in early stages, says CEO

Taiwan to open selected business sectors to China investors

The 99 categories include computers, hotels, retailing

Bond payment extension for Guangzhao IFB

Bondholder not enforcing its rights until June 9

China Yongsheng faulted over payments

KPMG also suggests the group improve its internal controls

Singapore adjusts the bar to admit lawyers trained overseas

Move will help draw Singaporeans working abroad and ease talent shortage here

Sincere may tick back full circle to old hands

Mr Tay: Sold Sincere to HK-based Peace Mark in December 2007 for $530 million, but Sincere was put up for sale again last October after Peace Mark was wound up

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Dollar Rally Will End, Rogers Says; May Short Stocks

The dollar’s rally is set to end in a “currency crisis,” investor Jim Rogers said, adding that he may bet on a slide in equities after nine weeks of gains.

Sovereign Wealth Funds Shift Focus

After seeing billions of dollars of value wiped off their investments, sovereign wealth funds have reason to feel disillusioned.

Questions for Justice Choo Han Teck in the sentencing of Shin Min editor Lim Hong Eng

A strange series of events unfolded in the courtroom of Justice Choo, just the other day. Justice Choo was hearing the appeal of the hit and run killer driver Ms.. Lim Hong Eng.

Massage led to love, says Tony Chan

HK$50,000 head rub became more intimate, court hears

Time to review SGX’s hybrid nature

Given the spate of corporate debacles among foreign listings here, particularly S-chips, there is dissatisfaction over the lack of closure in many instances where shareholders remain stuck with suspended shares.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Time for govt-nominated directors?

Much has been written about the spate of scandals involving S-chips during the last few weeks. To resolve this problem, several proposals have been made, including calls for greater regulation, higher corporate governance and disclosure standards, a more stringent pre-listing screening process and greater penalties for errant companies.

A corporate career cast in controversy

PCCW chief Richard Li rarely out of spotlight

Justices stress need for reform of corporate laws

In a city where free-wheeling deals are often at the expense of small investors, have the Court of Appeal judges drawn a line in the sand?

Yuen’s truthfulness questioned by court

Written judgment says phone calls and links with Fortis official ‘cast shadow of doubt’

Vote-rigging controversy: two courts, two judges and two starkly different verdicts

The PCCW bid saga can be distilled into a tale of two judges.

A nail in the coffin for share splitting

Tycoons, hedge fund arbitrageurs and others who may have been mulling PCCW-style “share splitting” as a strategy for winning shareholders’ votes will probably think twice following yesterday’s release of the Court of Appeal’s reasons for judgment.

Stimulate Away Our Imbalances? Dream On - Andy Xie

Five years or more down the road, we’ll look back and wonder why anyone believed that the financial crisis would be brief.

Monday, 11 May 2009

China’s Loan Binge: Stimulus or Insanity?

Bankers, local officials and financial regulators are trying to explain – and justify – a stunning surge in new loans.

Developer says: time to pay up, Buyer says: give me more time

51 units in luxury condo bought under deferred payment

Jade takeover probe: Answers needed

The Jade Technologies takeover 14 months ago was one of the biggest corporate debacles of recent years, but the long-awaited sequel - the official report into the fiasco - remains as elusive as ever.

SGX’s hands tied by legal, practical constraints: lawyers

Amid a growing list of corporate debacles here - many of which are still in limbo - there are market rumblings over why SGX has fallen short of being more vocal and active in its intervention.

China Emerges as a Leader in Cleaner Coal Technology

China’s frenetic construction of coal-fired power plants has raised worries around the world about the effect on climate change. China now uses more coal than the United States, Europe and Japan combined, making it the world’s largest emitter of gases that are warming the planet.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Navigating the balance sheet to chart a firm’s real value

Crisis makes it crucial to know a company’s intrinsic worth

Market Mood

Owing to the mismanagement of Taiwan’s former president Chen Shui-bian, the Taiwanese economy and stock market lagged behind those of its neighbours in past years. When Ma Ying-jeou took over, he raised hopes of an economic revival but the global financial crisis erupted soon after. And Taiwan, like other economies, could not escape its wrath.

A delicate matter of succession

Make continuity part of personnel strategy, experts advise

“So dad, who gets to run the family business when you are dead?”