Friday, 22 May 2009

Confessions of Chinese Derivatives Deals Part 2

In this second instalment in a series, a former investment banker describes a conflict of interest at banks that threatens clients.

Tiananmen Now Seems Distant to China’s Students

Few students had to puzzle over the meaning. Youth Day, on May 4, commemorates a 1919 student protest against foreign imperialism and China’s weakness in resisting it. Seventy years later, in 1989, students from Peking University were again massing in the center of Beijing, demanding democracy. The student movement shook the ruling Communist Party to its core and ended with a military crackdown and hundreds of deaths.

Growing interest among investors in Contracts for Difference

There is a growing interest among investors in Singapore in Contracts for Difference (CFDs).

Graft-buster calls for cadre scrutiny

The Communist Party has underlined the importance of combating corruption through stricter regulation of the appointment of officials - the root of the problem.

4 senior cadres helped to pen June 4 memoirs

Veteran officials persuaded Zhao Ziyang to use audio tapes

Zhao wrote book as a ‘historic gift’ to China’s future generations

Du Daozheng, 85, helped preserve Zhao's memoirs.

In his memoir, Zhao confesses that political reform had not occurred to him during his political career, but after years of contemplation, he believed that only parliamentary democracy could help China develop a healthy and modern market economy.

S-chips gain weight as market powers ahead

Fewer margin calls now but the trick is to separate winners from black sheep

Little cheer, few surprises on S-chips’ earnings front

95 China-based firms’ combined net profits slump 52%; analysts wary of more weakness

Governance: S-chips not inferior to small caps

S-chips have been the epicentre of recent corporate scandals but they are not inferior to other small caps when it comes to corporate governance, a study shows.

Coal Mine Tragedies and a Veil of Silence

The use of media gag fees to conceal coal mine accidents is at the center of a reporter’s corruption trial in Hebei Province.

Billionaire Li Tells Investors to ‘Be Careful’ on Stock Market

Billionaire Li Ka-shing, who warned of a bubble in China’s stock market months before it plunged, said Hong Kong investors should be cautious about buying shares after the benchmark index surged 52 percent since early March. The comments from Hong Kong’s richest man yesterday follow his March 26 statement that investors with cash should consider buying equities and real estate. The Hang Seng Index has surged 22 percent since then.

Spoil a child, mess with its maturity

Spoiling toddlers can possibly defer their development, according to the authors of a local survey on toddler health.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

As the VIX Continues to Drop, Is S&P at 1,000 Far Behind?

“I almost see (the low volume) as a positive because it shows there’s not overwhelming optimism in the market. That means its’ not being overdone,” says Schaeffer’s Sparks. “Not everyone is buying in yet and not everyone is on the bandwagon That’s part of the reason why (the rally is) so sustainable.”

Foreign Institutional Investors See A-Shares as Overvalued

Foreign investors deem the price to earnings ratio amongst companies listed on the Shanghai exchange too high.

China Grows More Picky About Debt

Leaders in both Washington and Beijing have been fretting openly about the mutual dependence — some would say codependence — created by China’s vast holdings of United States bonds. But beyond the talk, the relationship is already changing with surprising speed.

Mainland tightens rules to stop misuse of loans

Mainland’s banking regulator is tightening rules to prevent the embezzlement of bank loans after a huge burst of lending was unleashed to support the economy, domestic media reported on Wednesday.

Next Crisis Will Be in Currencies: Jim Rogers

been printing money, giving the appearance of massive government intervention to weaken their currencies, legendary investor Jim Rogers, chairman, Rogers Holdings, told CNBC Wednesday.

Irish priests beat, raped children

Priests beat and raped children during decades of abuse in Catholic-run institutions in Ireland, an official report said on Wednesday, but it stopped short of naming the perpetrators.

Hu intolerant of graft in PLA, analysts say

President Hu Jintao’s warning against “hedonism and individualism” among the military’s top brass reflected his intolerance of rampant corruption inside the People’s Liberation Army, military analysts have said.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Secret donor gives $40k monthly to Buddhist Lodge

Mr. Lee Bock Guan, chairman of the Singapore Buddhist Lodge, a temple in Kim Yam Road, showing the monthly donations received from an anonymous donor. The money is usually dropped off in the temple kitchen, which dishes up over 1,000 free meals daily.

Backdoor Listings: Sweet Market Poison

Loosely regulated backdoor listings are promoting speculative behaviour and hobbling reform efforts on China’s stock markets.

Count cash, feel good, study finds

Counting money - even if it’s not yours - makes you feel good subconsciously, according to a joint study by mainland and US psychologists.

Team Temasek needs to start scoring

Sound strategy not enough if players don’t adapt to shifts in the game

Bloggers frustrated as Beijing blocks Google service, Google’s free blog service, has been blocked by mainland authorities since late last week and thousands of users have complained.

Auditor landscape gets more varied

BT study of all listed companies shows Big 4 still rule but smaller firms carve niches

Client acceptance becomes more stringent

Rising risks cause some audit firms to not take on new clients unless they already know them

Mainland Investors Knock at Taiwan’s Door

In a warming process unimaginable a few years ago, the Taiwan Strait is slowly becoming a two-way street for investments.

‘Please come back to China, WE WON’T EXECUTE YOU’

Beijing promises lighter sentences to get corrupt officials home

BEIJING: ‘Please come back, we will not kill you.’

Pansy Ho ruled unsuitable by US casino watchdog

Casino regulators in the US state of New Jersey have ruled Pansy Ho Chiu-king an “unsuitable” partner in MGM Grand Paradise, her US$1.25 billion Macau joint venture with MGM, following a four-year investigation.

Zhao’s memoirs sell out before official release

The memoirs of ousted Communist Party leader Zhao Ziyang sold out in Hong Kong bookshops before the official release date yesterday.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Oei Hong Leong loses $1b, takes Citigroup to court

Businessman claims bank gave him an inaccurate picture of his trading exposure

Monday, 18 May 2009

Play this as a V-shaped recovery for now

There’s nothing like a wild stock market rally to fire the imagination, stir the senses and get analysts talking about green shoots, V-shaped recoveries, virtuous cycles and the birth of a new bull market.

New Strategies for China’s Energy Quest

In a sign of changing times, Chinese oil firms are busy cutting global deals with resource-rich countries and western companies.

Obama sends strong message to Beijing with envoy’s appointment

US President Barack Obama’s choice for ambassador to China seems a natural fit for the job - he speaks fluent Putonghua, has adopted a child from China and has served as an ambassador in Asia.

Working with China

It’s a mistake for America to look China in the eye and only see an enemy. Sure, to characterise that two-way relationship as a blissful friendship would be to transform a willing suspension of disbelief into absurdity. But deep mutual interests can bring two otherwise antagonistic national powers close together in ways that make professions of sincere friendship unnecessary and even redundant. Especially among nation-states, an alliance of mutual interests is generally the best possible bedrock for a relationship. Mutual needs that persist for the foreseeable future trump hot love that lasts only a fortnight.

Ships tread water, waiting for cargo

Concentration of so many vessels along Singapore coast raises accident fears