Saturday, 3 October 2009

Car market in for lean times

Supply shrinkage will have a profound impact on buyers and sellers

Mainland rally seen extending into 2010

Mainland stocks should extend their rally into next year as the economy got a boost from a pick-up in exports and consumer demand, but a bumpy ride was expected this quarter, partly because of a glut of initial public offerings, an HSBC fund manager said.

Glorious Property falls on debut

Mainland property developer Glorious Property Holdings fell 20 per cent in its debut on Friday, dented by a Wall Street sell-off and a dwindling appetite for newly-listed stocks amid a flurry of new offerings.

Glorious Is Fifth Flop in Hong Kong IPO ‘Massacre’

Glorious Property Holdings Ltd., a real estate developer in nine Chinese cities, is the fifth consecutive Hong Kong initial public offering company whose shares fell on debut on the city’s exchange.

Firms list abroad to quench thirst for China stocks

A small mainland-focused firm floated shares in Germany yesterday and another filed for a listing in the United States as they sought to cash in on international investors’ appetite for a link to China’s economic growth.

China’s Deng Xiaoping survived at least 7 assassination attempts

Deng had led an eventful life. His rocky political career was well documented, having survived three ousters from the centre of power. But even more fascinating is his record for surviving more assassination attempts than any other Chinese leaders.

China Property Stock Index Points to Slump: Technical Analysis

The Se Shang Property index’s 200-day moving average is at 4,214.70, 4.5 percent below the index’s close of 4,413.23 on Sept. 30. The index, which is down 28 percent from its July high, is an “exceptional” predictor of global markets, Michael Hartnett, New York-based chief global equity strategist at Bank of America, wrote in a report.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Why 60 is so important

The number “60” holds a unique significance in Chinese society, which explains the military fanfare and civilian pomp to be displayed at today’s celebration in Beijing.

National Day Parade gives clues to military capability

The National Day military parade did not hold any big surprises but there were tantalising clues for experts to mull in assessing the modernisation of the world’s biggest army.

Labour crunch for Xmas orders

After a crisis that sparked mass layoffs in China’s export hubs, factories in manufacturing heartlands such as the Pearl River Delta are on the hunt for migrant workers again as orders revive for Christmas.

Wynn Is Said to Raise $1.63 Billion for Macao Unit

The Las Vegas casino company Wynn Resorts raised $1.63 billion after pricing its Asian initial public offering at the top of its indicated range Wednesday, a sign that demand was still strong for certain offerings despite a glut of stock deals.

Straits Times deleted Ris Low’s photo, but “sg-stupid.jpg” remains

Following our revelation that the Straits Times had named a photo of ex-Miss Singapore World Ris Low as “sg-stupid.jpg”, the photo has been deleted though the link remains.

Investors find cheaper way to ‘own’ blue chips

CFDs or Contracts for Difference an increasingly popular derivative product

Brothers lose bid to block sister’s inheritance

Duo claimed father would not have given her the $2.9 million as they were on bad terms

A journey of success forged in steel

For a company that split into two just 10 years after it was formed, Nam Leong has recovered remarkably.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Hongkongers invited to share Chiang Mai retirement dream

When British antique dealer John Maas chose Chiang Mai in northern Thailand as a retirement destination 11 years ago, he never thought he would end up sharing his dream lifestyle and a sizeable small property portfolio with other expatriates.

We gave wrong name for informant, lawyers admit

Lawyers for fung shui master Tony Chan Chun-chuen admitted yesterday they had mistakenly given the wrong name for an informant about a controversial land deal quoted during the court battle over the will of late tycoon Nina Wang Kung Yu-sum.

Tough choices loom for China

Sustaining growth will become harder as it can no longer rely on its exports

Reunification with Taiwan remains a pressing issue

New Hubei law bans parents from checking minors’ text messages

Parents who check their under-age children’s mobile phone text messages without permission may be breaking the law in Hubei.

Hail the next global leader

While crystal-ball gazing towards 2049 yields only murky visions, scholars agree China will soon be acknowledged as the dominant world power

Firms warned against transfer pricing ruse

Companies that do business in Asia need to pay more attention to transfer pricing given that governments are introducing stricter rules in a bid to stem the flow of profits leaving their economies.

Delisting in the offing for Li Heng?

Plans are afoot to take Li Heng Chemical Fibre Technologies private at 41 cents per share, pricing the company at some $690 million, say sources. The stock has been halted from trading since yesterday morning pending an announcement.

CIMB woos retail clients with more products, services

Describing Singapore as the ‘missing link’ in its regionalisation drive, CIMB Bank is boosting its retail presence here with a host of new products and services ranging from credit cards to home loans.

Banks refuse to dilute exclusive clients’ club

Singapore’s private banks retain high entry barriers as business booms

A journey into the economic leap forward

The factory of the world will give way to a more mature economy with its 1.3 billion people, says Stephen Roach, as he predicts China’s future

Raids, arrest as fraud police probe Akai files

Police raided offices of accounting giant Ernst & Young and arrested one of its Hong Kong partners yesterday as part of a fraud investigation linked to a court case over the collapse of electronics firm Akai Holdings.

Ernst & Young’s regional chairman steps down

David Sun Tak-kei, the Hong Kong and China chairman of Ernst & Young has stepped down. It comes a day after the offices of the accounting firm were raided by police on Tuesday in connection with a long-running investigation into the collapse of former client Akai Holdings.

Surging prices keep buyers away

‘Golden September’ loses its sheen as home hunters wait for mainland market to cool

Volatile market forces Wilmar rethink Hong Kong IPO

Singapore’s Wilmar, the world’s biggest listed palm oil producer, is likely to delay the US$3 billion listing of its mainland unit in Hong Kong as concerns about frothy markets hurt investor sentiment.

Experts say China's one-child policy will undermine country's economic rise

But under the one-child policy, the country is likely to grow old before it grows rich.

China’s Economy: 60 Years of Progress

China has paid a high price for economic transformation since 1949. It’s reaping dividends, but the reform process must continue.

Baltic index tipped to surge more than 80pc

The Baltic Dry Index, the main measure of shipping costs for commodities, may surge more than 80 per cent by the end of the year on increased demand for shipments to China, according to China Ocean Shipping (Group).

China orders crackdown on industrial overcapacity

China announced sweeping curbs on surging investment in steelmaking, cement and other industries, warning that chaotic overexpansion was raising the danger of job losses and trouble for banks.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Regulator warns on price fixing on second board

The mainland’s securities regulator yesterday vowed to react quickly to any trading irregularities when the nation’s Nasdaq-style second board opens in a few weeks’ time, warning investors not to attempt any price manipulation.

Plenty of Hot Air, But So Far No Bubble

Despite market chatter and China’s rise, necessary preconditions for an asset bubble in the emerging world haven’t surfaced yet.

Migrant workers, the unsung heroes of the economic revolution, reap few of its rewards

They are the nameless heroes who build the glittering skyscrapers that line the mainland’s urban boulevards, and the driving force behind the inexpensive “Made in China” consumer goods.

Infinio wins 5-year Taiwan IPTV deal worth US$34m

Infinio Group has clinched a US$34 million exclusive contract to deploy community-based IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) services in Taiwan over a five-year period.

Hong Kong’s old airport set for multibillion-dollar takeoff

It’s probably the most valuable strip of derelict land in the world.

Great leap backwards

Despite efforts to improve farmers’ welfare, the disastrous policies of Mao Zedong are still visible today

Go back to basics for affordable flats

Time to take a hard look at HDB’s increasingly conflicting mandates

China’s might, and the maybes

When China’s first large-scale military parade in years rolls through Beijing on Thursday, the world will be pondering what isn’t on display.

Aspial carving a niche in pawn broking

But for Singapore’s largest jewellery chain Aspial Corporation, all that glitters is more than gold, as the company looks to carve a niche in its pawn broking segment by taking in non-gold items such as diamonds and white gold. It sees the latter as relatively untapped segments.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Why One Bubble Burst Deserves Another - Andy Xie

The financial crisis taught crucial lessons about the dangers of bubbles, loose regulation and debt. It’s a pity we didn’t learn.

China’s New Real Estate Opportunities

China presents new opportunities for foreigners to invest in Chinese real estate and for U.S. and western property owners to sell to Chinese investors.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Finding clues to the future in China’s past

I have been researching and thinking about Chinese civilisation for more than 20 years. I wrote a book on this topic, which was published by the China Social Sciences Press in January 2007, but even after many deletions were made, the book ended up being banned before its launch. So I am truly delighted that my book can now finally be published and launched overseas in its original state. I wish to thank all the people who have worked hard to make this happen.

Historic Shanghai site being restored to former glory

Peace Hotel to open, after 500m yuan makeover, next year

Chongqing hub for two-wheeled industry, jobs

Motorbike-cabs thrive in busy roads

The ties that bind

Population-control measures may have done more harm than good

Time for SGX to review short-selling penalties

Most naked short-selling here due to carelessness rather than trading abuse

The G-20’s coming out party

Now it’s official, and in black and white. The Group of 20 (G-20) will be the world’s economic steering committee, replacing the old all-rich club the G-7.

More investment value in Noble than Olam

So the state-owned enterprises are on the hunt for value investments again. Just last week, China Investment Corp (CIC) took strategic stakes in Indonesia’s Bumi Resources and commodity trader Noble Group, while PetroChina completed its buyout of Singapore Petroleum Company.

Jade Tech moves on after coal mining debacle

Group president explains why he believed in the coal story

Chance for China to pat itself on the back

The mainland is just four days away from its most spectacular, most hi-tech - and probably most expensive - one-day party to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the People’s Republic.

Agricultural Bank of China to give Hong Kong a miss for IPO

Agricultural Bank of China (ABC), the only unlisted bank among the mainland’s top four lenders, intends to launch its long-awaited initial public offering in Shanghai only, according to mainland banking sources briefed on the matter.

60 years on, China faces major social struggles

China will tout the successes of 60 years of communist rule on Thursday, but the world’s most populous nation faces an array of serious challenges as it seeks to sustain fast-paced economic growth.

Two ordered to buy up shares of partner

Duck abattoir boss was unfairly removed after a dispute, rules judge

Low gaming tax may be key to IRs’ success

The success of the integrated resorts (IRs) here will depend largely on whether their casinos can attract enough of the right type of gamblers, namely the high rollers.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Mainland home prices expected to lose steam

Mainland housing prices have surged since March, but they will soon lose momentum and even start to fall around the end of the year, boding well for a more sustained contribution to overall economic growth.

Will Obama’s Dalai Lama gambit pay dividends?

Barack Obama made history last year when he became the first African-American to be elected president of the United States. Next month, he will make history again, of a different sort. He will become the first president not to meet with the Dalai Lama when the Tibetan leader visits Washington.

Whopping $5m subsale loss for St. Regis unit

The top loss-incurring unit, on the sixth floor, was sold in May for $7.98m.

Hong Kong’s incredible shrinking flats revealed

Buyers of flats in Hong Kong are getting less and less for their money as common areas included in the floor area quoted by developers eat into their living space.

Americans say spending habits ‘altered for good’

A newfound frugality and the tendency to save more may be permanent changes brought about by the United States recession, according to a new survey.

Looking beyond the bottom line

Is an Executive MBA really worth the time and effort in today’s furiously-paced competitive world?

China’s Wu Jinglian Keeps Talking

In the 1980s and ‘90s, he was an adviser to China’s leaders, including Deng Xiaoping. He helped push through some of this country’s earliest market reforms, paving the way for China’s spectacular rise and earning him the nickname “Market Wu.”

China’s political force

Thanks to history, the party and PLA have a unique relationship - but which is the boss

Role of armed police even a mystery to mainland bureaucrats

They are called police but they carry military ranks. They are structured and equipped like a regular military force but they are not on the army’s payroll. Their tasks range from guarding state leaders to helping out with production at gold mines.

Decades after his death, military genius Lin Biao remains a mystery

No man in the history of the People’s Republic has embodied so many contradictions as Marshal Lin Biao - who to this day remains a mysterious figure to most people.

The top brass who can’t fight

Some in the senior PLA ranks are only trained to sing, dance or act

About-turn by Turkey sees Uygurs move

Beijing has used its economic and military ties with Turkey to limit the latter’s historic support for the Uygur cause.

Trading places lets you see the world for free

House swaps allow travellers to save on hotels

US tax snoops zero in on Hong Kong

US tax authorities are spreading their global dragnet wider in an attempt to snare tax evaders, and the income of Americans in Hong Kong may be about to come under more scrutiny.

Former Ernst & Young partner faces charge of doctoring evidence

Another key defendant in the legal battle over the insolvency of collapsed electronics giant Akai has been accused of lodging questionable evidence with the court.

Mainland’s second board is too important to fail

Yes, there will be investment mania and sky-high valuations; there will be dodgy companies and scandals; there will also be state intervention and manipulation; but the mainland second board is here to stay and prosper.

Grande boss’ evidence not real, court told

Christopher Ho Wing-on, a former Ernst & Young partner, is charged by Akai ‘s liquidators with misappropriating most of the consumer electronic company’s assets just before it was wound up in 2000 and transferring them into his Hong Kong-listed vehicle, Grande Holdings.

Mainland investors still keen to bet on equities

Despite uncertainty about the direction of the mainland stock market, many investors say they are inclined to withdraw their bank savings for investment, a central bank survey shows.

Shanda Games drops after raising US$1b in IPO

Shanda Games fell on its first day of trading in New York yesterday after the unit of China’s biggest online games provider raised US$1.04 billion in the largest United States-only initial public offering by a Chinese company since at least 1999.

Going back to its roots, HSBC moves CEO to Hong Kong

But the 144-year-old bank will remain based in UK for tax purposes

Debut flops may not fully deter punters

Despite mediocre performances of some initial public offerings over the past week, analysts believe investors may still be tempted by share sales from Yingde Gases Group and China Vanadium Titano-Magnetite Mining.

How much is a burger worth?

According to a recent UBS survey, Singaporeans can afford to buy less than what people in many other cities can because prices here have risen more than wages.

OCBC drops winding-up petition against FibreChem

Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (Hong Kong Branch) has dropped its winding-up application against FibreChem Technologies to give the company some breathing space to work out a restructuring plan.

Rights-driven penny fever reigns supreme

Wall Street wields greater impact on local stocks as China market influence continues to wane

Sometimes the old ways are best to solve disputes

In the capital of Zhejiang, respected members of communities in Xiacheng district have formed associations of mediators - known as heshilao, or peacemakers - to solve civil disputes without resorting to the courts.

The scientific long march

China’s great minds survived Maoist dogma to play a big part in national development

“Mainland scientists are not good at winning Nobel prizes, but they are doing a good job making the country rich and powerful.”

US outcast who founded missile programme

Qian Xuesen, also known as Tsien Hsue-shen, was one of the United States’ top missile scientists before he became the subject of a five-year witch-hunt that ended with him being deported to the mainland. The system which Qian, now 98, helped put together after his return has since nurtured a nuclear power and space programme that has sent astronauts into the heavens and a probe to the moon.

Beijing’s man for tight economic calls

Quiet and modest Liu He helps shape key policy

Two days after the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings a year ago, an adviser sent by Premier Wen Jiabao met with a group of Harvard University scholars to help shape China’s response.

Singapore’s GIC likely to report shift into property and resources

Singapore’s US$200 billion-plus sovereign wealth fund GIC is likely to reveal next week it is moving more money into property, resources and Asian assets after recently cutting its exposure to large Western banks.

Banned history book’s Hong Kong release to go ahead despite warnings

The author of a history book banned on the mainland for criticising traditional Chinese culture has decided to defy the authorities’ orders not to release the work in Hong Kong.

‘Dead’ senior officer held for alleged bribery

A senior Chongqing police officer who had reportedly died while in detention is alive and was formally arrested yesterday on bribery charges, state media reported.

Stocks’ rally to be tested by jobs data

The rally in stocks, which stumbled in recent days on worries about the economic recovery and continued government stimulus, will be tested next week by crucial data on growth and jobs.

Ma felt typhoon victims were ungrateful, sister reveals

In a public statement that caught everybody off-guard, his eldest sister, Ma Yi-nan, said her brother found the typhoon victims ungrateful.

Zhonghui placed under judicial management

Zhonghui Holdings has been placed under judicial management, following a court petition by its creditor United Overseas Bank (UOB). The Singapore High Court has appointed Goh Thien Phong and Chan Kheng Tek, both partners of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, as the judicial managers, the China-based waste management company said yesterday.

The famous Mao slogan, that he never even used

Taiwan blocks visit by exiled Uighur leader

Taiwan has decided not to allow exiled Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer to visit the island, a move applauded by analysts on mainland China yesterday.

HDB strikes back with ghost writers

Instead of addressing the concerns of Singaporeans that they are being squeezed out of the housing market by rising prices of HDB flats, HDB has struck back to correct public perception through its officers and a deluge of letters from ghost writers.