Saturday, 26 September 2009

Lawyer in trouble over fake court judgments

He was helping former business partner placate wife over $150,000 loss

Kids from HDB and private housing fare differently at school

Former teacher says HDB-dwelling students seem to have a lower threshold for stress

Hong Kong shares fall, Lilang stumbles on debut

Hong Kong share prices were 0.96 per cent lower barely an hour into the trading on Friday, with the benchmark Hang Seng Index down at 20,847.86. The China Enterprises Index of top locally listed mainland stocks lost 0.94 per cent to 11,933.84.

Growing Pains for a National Grain Reserve

China’s state-run grain storage firm Sinograin is rapidly expanding into logistics, processing and sales. Will private rivals survive?

Fall and rise of the renminbi: ‘people’s currency’ rides out downturn to become a global powerhouse

Thanks to rapid economic growth in recent decades and the fact China has emerged relatively unscathed from the economic downturn, the renminbi’s purchasing power has strengthened, as has its ability to resist sudden fluctuations.

Diversify or die-versify?

There are limited and specific conditions under which diversification enhances performance

Deng’s cats fuel boom

Sixty years after the founding of the People’s Republic, China is finally on the brink of realising the dream of prosperity for its people and dignity on the world stage.

China Cosco warns of industry losses, cancels orders

China Cosco Holdings, which is in talks with shipyards to recall orders for ships after cancelling eight bulk vessels in July, said the container shipping industry would continue to lose money next year.

Australia caps Chinese investments in miners

China’s investment in Australian mining companies will be capped by Australian regulators as part of efforts to rein in the mainland’s growing economic influence in the resources-rich nation.

2m Confucius descendants

About two million people are now recognised as descendants of Confucius, more than tripling the size of the celebrated Chinese philosopher’s family tree, state media reported on Friday.

This Crisis Just Appetizer for Total Breakdown: Marc Faber

The crisis the world went through is just an appetizer for a future one because the weaknesses that created it have not been addressed, Marc Faber, author and publisher of the Gloom, Doom and Boom Report, told CNBC Friday.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Inflation to Cause Stocks to Outperform Cash, Bonds, Faber Says

Inflation caused by the Federal Reserve’s efforts to prop up the U.S. economy will cause stocks to outperform cash and bond investments, Marc Faber said.

Faber recommends purchasing stocks in drug companies such as Johnson & Johnson, saying it will gain from an aging population, and in oil companies, which he called inexpensive. An index of oil and gas stocks on the S&P 500 has fallen 12 percent this year.

GuocoLeisure - 2nd attempt at privatization?

Guoco-Leisure (GLL) has surged by more than 50% in the past week. This company was formerly known as BIL International and majority-owned by the Hong-Kong based Guoco Group. Below are some salient points on the company.

Auditor accused of fakes settles

Accounting giant Ernst & Young has settled out of court a negligence case over the collapse of a former auditing client, electronics firm Akai Holdings, following allegations its staff tampered with or faked hundreds of documents.

China takes Rio lessons to heart

On Monday, commodity trader Noble Group said it is selling 15 per cent of its shares to China Investment Corp (CIC) for US$850 million, marking the sovereign wealth fund’s latest foray into the resources sector.

Zhou Enlai: gentle face of party who shaped the nation’s foreign policy

If Mao Zedong represented a face of young Communist China that was tough and unrelenting, Zhou Enlai was the one who softened the angles on that face and brought the country back onto the world stage.

‘Buy online’ craze grips affluent Chinese

China may overtake the US as biggest consumer market by 2020, say economists

Mainland’s start-up IPOs set high prices, stir worries

The first 10 firms due to list on China’s Nasdaq-style second board, ChiNext, plan to sell shares at prices 50 per cent above their mainboard peers, just as worries over speculation spurred officials to tighten trading rules.

How the Net changed the lives of millions

“If authorities fail to respond to netizens’ demands, the internet will definitely increase conflict between officials and the public rather than promote communication,” he said. “This is becoming a huge challenge for authorities and censors.”

Why SIC should break its silence on Chartered episode

Discretion is a good thing, but for the Securities Industry Council (SIC), silence does not always serve to further its cause.

Why sell now? GIC has its reasons

Its Citi stake now vulnerable to dilution if the bank decides to sell new shares to redeem part of the US govt stake

GIC pares Citi stake and nets US$1.6b profit

The Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) has sold nearly half its shares in Citigroup for a profit of US$1.6 billion, leaving it with a 4.9 per cent stake in the US bank.

Far Eastern Economic Review to end 63-year run in December

Dow Jones and Co yesterday announced the closure of the Far Eastern Economic Review, which from 1946 chronicled Asia’s miraculous post-war recovery but has fallen victim to the Internet age.

Even millionaires need to budget now

Someone with US$100 million has nothing to fear, not even fear itself. But not long ago, a client with such assets called and asked Bruce Bickel, her wealth adviser at PNC Wealth Management, to put her on a budget.

CIC to take slice of Noble for US$850m

China Investment Corp (CIC), China’s giant sovereign wealth fund, is buying a 15 per cent stake in Singapore-listed Noble Group for US$850 million. This marks CIC’s latest move into the resources sector.

Jailed former Taiwanese president petitions US

“What he fears is that there may be fewer and fewer people caring about his case,” Hsu said. “Only by attracting more public attention, positive or negative, can he continue to speak out on various political issues and be influential.”

Just to show how low and cheap can Ah Bian gets. He proclaimed Taiwan to be an independent country when he was president, but now says Taiwan belongs to US while in jail. This kind of people would not blink even to sell his mother to whorehouse to save his own ass. And also to show how blind and stupid his DPP followers were.

In China, Philanthropy as a New Measuring Stick

As the 10th anniversary of his company approached this month, Jack Ma sat down and penned a note to his 15,000 employees at Alibaba Group. The chief executive reflected briefly on the success of his enterprise, which in a decade has become an e-commerce juggernaut with more than 100 million users and has vaulted him into the ranks of China’s ultrarich. But the bulk of his message concerned another theme: philanthropy.

Ernst & Young settles Akai case, suspends audit partner

Ernst & Young admitted one of its Hong Kong partners may have tampered with evidence the firm provided to the court in defence of the case. The partner in question, Edmund Dang, has been suspended pending further inquiries.

Shipbuilders become ship breakers to remain afloat

Ren Yuanlin, the chairman of Yangzijiang Shipyard, said the nation’s sixth-largest shipyard could earn much more money from scrapping ships than building them.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Wall Street pay reform needed to prevent another crisis

In the grim period that followed Lehman’s failure, it seemed inconceivable that bankers would, just a few months later, be going right back to the practices that brought the world’s financial system to the edge of collapse. At the very least, one might have thought, they would show some restraint for fear of creating a public backlash.

Far Eastern Economic Review to shut down in December

The Far Eastern Economic Review (FEER), one of Asia’s most respected English-language news magazines, will close in December, its owner Dow Jones and Co. has announced.

Jail for pushing China envoy

Wang Ting-yu, a city councillor in the southern city of Tainan, received a four-month jail sentence for assault from the district court there on Monday, 11 months after the incident.

Monday, 21 September 2009

1949: The untold story

A new book unearths seldom-heard tales of the pain that came with Communist victory

Crude palm oil prices forecast to increase

Stock valuations in the plantations sector are looking less attractive despite a higher earnings outlook, as most are now trading at or above their historical average price multiples, says Citigroup.

Economic crisis? Not for gourmet tea

Exotic flavours find an almost religious following; sales soar

Financial advisers defend stance on exit offers

They say claims that they endorse deals unfair to minority investors are off the mark

Investors should stay long, but stay nimble

Chart watchers would no doubt be busy this week fine-tuning their analyses of the Straits Times Index with the key questions being whether the buying of the dips will continue and if so, would they eventually be strong enough to ensure the 2,700 mark is convincingly reclaimed.

Risk of pullback subsiding, for now

So much for the September swoon. On Wall Street, plenty of money managers and traders, analysts and market strategists are still talking about the inevitability of a correction. It’s something in the range of 10 to 15 per cent worth of a pullback from the lofty heights the stock market has now reached after its sickening declines in the first quarter of 2009.

The reign of tweed and elbow patches

The new celebrities of the financial crisis are savants like Krugman and Roubini

Fed call on state of recovery could send Wall Street soaring

Stocks in the United States could extend their rally and the Dow Jones Industrial Average could climb above 10,000 points should the Federal Reserve’s policymakers and economic data support the view that the economy is recovering from recession.

HDB’s affordability benchmark is not reasonable

For every resale flat that is sold, another house has to be provided for unless the occupant is emigrating from Singapore. So the fact that there are hundreds of thousands of HDB flats in Singapore doesn’t mean that there are hundreds of thousands of HDB flats available for people’s choosing. Just like there are 400,000 cars in Singapore doesn’t mean that there are 400,000 second hand cars available for people to choose and buy from.

Marry rich, divorce and become a millionaire

So, for the moment, the conclusion remains evident. If you are wealthy and male, avoid marrying in Britain. Or, better still, avoid marrying a Brit.

Private equity firms sharpen their focus

Asia’s private equity markets have not been crushed by the downturn that has dried up deal flow in Europe and North America, but they have been transformed by it nonetheless. Deal value in Asia fell by a third last year from 2007, less than half the fall-off suffered in the developed economies, and is already showing strong signs of recovery.

Threats, drama all in day’s work for liquidator

Vincent Fok Hei-yu is not an action movie star. But on any given day, he may find himself acting like one - caught in a car chase, talking a would-be suicide down from a rooftop, or negotiating with a kidnapper.

Bleaker outlook for mainland developers

Predicting that mainland developers will experience a less favourable business environment in the second half of the year, analysts say industry players who failed to achieve strong earnings in the first half face a dimmer outlook.

Amazon fast becoming world’s general store

In an increasingly digital age, Amazon is quickly becoming the world’s general store. Alongside the books and CDs and DVDs are diapers, Legos and power drills, and more arcane items like the Jackalope Buck taxidermy mount (US$69.97).

Injustice reigns too close to home

A Texan and a patriotic citizen share the same fighting spirit in their battle for compensation

Hong Kong’s huge insider dealing case highlights problems

The conclusion of Hong Kong’s largest insider dealing case has shone a rare light on the challenges facing the city’s financial regulator as it tries to crack down on market offenders.

Expat trapped in Hong Kong over unpaid tax bill

British man not allowed to leave or find a job until his debt is paid

Anti-graft watchdog to scrutinise cadres with children abroad

The Communist Party’s anti-graft watchdog yesterday said it would step up supervision of cadres who have children living abroad.

‘Sexy’ new PLA uniforms set to turn heads at the big parade in Beijing

Workshop for all car makes draws mixed reactions

Parallel importers hail launch but authorised agents express doubts

Time to tread with care

There is a high possibility of further cooling measures if residential prices continue to escalate ahead of economic fundamentals

The leader who divided Taiwan

He led a vicious campaign to portray all Taiwanese with mainland Chinese roots, even if born and bred in Taiwan, as untrustworthy carpetbaggers - wai shen ren, or ‘not native people’ - as if they were aliens from a different culture.

Shock as party fails to anoint Xi

Against all expectations, Vice-President Xi Jinping has not been appointed vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission, a post that would have sealed him as the heir of President Hu Jintao.

Reconciling Han and Uygurs is no easy task - but it must be done

Nearly three months after a deadly brawl between Han Chinese and Uygur workers at the Early Light toy factory, calm has returned to the Guangdong city of Shaoguan.

Raising the bar on language skills

This push to raise levels of proficiency in language teaching is an important one for our education system. We want to raise the standard of English. We want our students to be able to use their mother tongues.

Party vows to fight graft and pursue internal democracy

The Communist Party vowed to push ahead with “internal democracy” and curb rampant corruption, as it warned its one-party rule was under serious threat due to governing shortcomings that meant it failed to meet mounting challenges.

Officer linked to organised crime dies in detention

A former Chongqing deputy police chief being investigated for links with organised crime gangs has died during detention, while another senior officer attempted suicide.

Lady Dai tomb among richest finds in China’s history

Lady Dai was a Chinese nobleman’s wife in her mid-50s when she died of a heart attack. She was overweight, had diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, liver disease, gallstones and her arteries were almost totally clogged.

Kickbacks an off-menu delicacy

Non-Chinese restaurants are not above the fray in a practice that is more common than many imagine

Keeping Singlish at bay

Speak well but don’t feel too bad if a temporary surrender is called for

Court may ban debtors from splashing out on luxury items

The mainland’s top court is considering new measures to force debtors to meet their financial obligations, including banning them from air travel, luxury hotels and sending their children to private schools.

Akai trial on hold for auditors to be quizzed

The US$1 billion negligence trial against Ernst & Young over its role in the collapse of former client Akai Holdings was put on hold yesterday following explosive allegations that the accounting firm faked and doctored legal evidence.

Wealthy clients shell out 99,990 yuan for a golden hairy crab

Shi Tuanjie is not saying who, but someone has bought 11 pairs of hairy crabs from him for no less than 1,099,890 yuan (HK$1.25 million). Another customer bought one pair for 99,990 yuan.

US should quit Afghanistan

Afghanistan’s presidential election was held on Aug 20. Immediately before and after this date, a substantial amount of attention was dedicated to chronicling the latest phase of this war-torn country’s ‘reconstruction’.

The World of Spirit Mediums

Teens’ suicide case puts spotlight on shadowy art of ‘deity spokesmen’

Swiss private banks lower client requisites

While traditionally targeting those with at least one million Swiss francs (S$1.37 million) to invest, firms including Banque Privee Edmond de Rothschild and Credit Suisse Group AG are quietly wooing people with less than half that amount as the financial crisis and attacks on banking secrecy squeeze existing clients.

SGX raps China Hongxing

The Singapore Exchange (SGX) has rapped China Hongxing Sports for its tardy disclosure of information relating to JF Asset Management’s substantial sales of shares in the company.

Royal battle brews in Malaysia

Negeri Sembilan princess wants Johor prince charged for allegedly assaulting her son

Young temple mediums vulnerable

They are prone to stress, anxiety and confusion, say some

Young foreigners hunt jobs in China amid crisis

“You have a lot of Chinese from top universities who are making $500-$600 a month,” Rein said. “Making a case that you are much better than they are is very hard.”

Chefs spill beans on shady buying practices

Some suppliers offer perks as many top chefs have final say in purchasing decisions

Rex is back

Iconic cinema screening Tamil and Hindi movies at its three halls

Singapore-born porn actress killed in California

31-year-old beaten and suffocated; boyfriend charged with torture, murder

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Our temple no threat to others: Shaolin abbot

Kung fu musical joins list of Hong Kong plans for Buddhist centre

Offshore sector counters come into play

The announcement that the massive Gorgon gas project off western Australia has received regulatory approval gives a chance for investors in Singapore to turn their attention to other offshore sector players here besides the two big local rig builders.

New ‘bombshells’ in Akai case

Evidence presented by accounting giant Ernst & Young in a negligence case is shot through with false and doctored documents, lawyers for the liquidators of electronics giant Akai Holdings, a former audit client of the firm, told the High Court yesterday.

Malaysian royalty claims Johor Sultan’s grandson assaulted him

Claiming assault by the grandson of the Sultan of Johor which resulted in a fractured nose, a member of Malaysia’s royal family yesterday has gone public a year after the incident.

Hatoyama in charge: stars aligned for new Asian era

The inauguration on Wednesday of Yukio Hatoyama as Japan’s new prime minister could mark a turning point in Asian history. As Shakespeare said: ‘There is a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune’, and that tide is approaching its flood just now. Put another way, the stars are aligned in an unusually favourable conjunction for the dawning of a new age or era.

Ex-M1 CEO’s son fined

The son of former MobileOne chief executive was fined a total of $23,000 on Friday for theft from his boss and forgery.

Disgraced F1 pair could face Singapore extradition

This year’s Formula One race in Singapore could see more than its fair share of excitement - not all of it welcome.

Chongqing gang purge snares 2,000

Chongqing has wrapped up the first stage of a massive crackdown on organised crime, saying all 14 local gangs have been broken up and more than 2,000 people arrested.

Bund to be ‘as charming as the Champs-Elysees’

The Bund may be a mess now but in six months’ time it will be “as charming as the Champs-Elysees in Paris” according to Shanghai officials.

‘Long way to go’ for full US recovery: Volcker

Paul Volcker, the former Federal Reserve chairman who’s an economic adviser to US President Barack Obama, said there’s a ‘long way to go’ before the economy returns to pre-recession levels.

Opening Salvo in a Brutal Derivatives Battle

State-owned companies that apparently lost billions of dollars in derivatives trading are threatening international investment banks.