Saturday, 17 October 2009

China’s thorny ‘near abroad’

China is seemingly on a diplomatic honeymoon with its neighbours. Over the last fortnight alone, Chinese leaders have met the leaders of eight of the 14 countries with which China shares a border - Russia, North Korea, Mongolia, India, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.

One-dog policy starts to bite

After years of regulations concerning pet dogs that were all bark and no bite, Guangzhou is in the midst of a canine revolution that promises to keep the city’s pooches on an altogether tighter leash.

Top magazine’s fate hangs on woman of steel

In a country where tough censorship discourages flair in the media, few journalists have made as much impact and garnered as much acclaim as Hu Shuli, managing editor of Caijing magazine.

China, war shop of the world? Arms industry poised to be global player

China is still only a fringe player in the global market for arms exports, and the value of its weapon sales in 2007 was a tiny fraction of that of the United States. But observers say the mainland’s defence industry has huge potential to expand and could become a major global supplier.

Beijing presents ‘evidence’ Kadeer was behind riots

Beijing has for the first time released a detailed report to back up its claim that the World Uygur Congress was behind the deadly ethnic riots in Xinjiang two months ago.

New anti-graft laws, including on bribery, get judicial blessing

Beijing has stepped up its war on corruption by issuing a judicial interpretation confirming nine criminal charges introduced early this year, including “accepting bribes for exercising influence”.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Mix-up and a dust-up at the people’s crematorium

It’s another gruesome morality tale of modern China.

For the past two years, staff at a public crematorium in a northeastern province have given grieving families urns filled with other people’s ashes to make their job easier.

Iron ore dispute backfires, with prices up 80pc

China’s acrimonious dispute with big iron ore producers has backfired, with the country’s steel mills having to pay prices at times almost 80 per cent higher than those on offer earlier this year.

Bribery in China vs Malaysia

Chinese Export Boom in Evidence at Trade Show

Throngs of buyers from around the world swarmed through the world’s largest trade show at its opening Thursday, underscoring how China’s combination of a cheap currency and low wages is producing a resurgence of exports this autumn.

Is China due a reality check?

The United States had 1929, Japan 1989, and south-east Asia 1997. Will China face a similar moment of reckoning a few years from now?

Thursday, 15 October 2009

SingNet blocked The Temasek Review website

Singnet users are blocked from accessing The Temasek Review website.

You can access the website by going to and then enter in the space provided.

Interest rate rises should come only after jobs rebound, says Krugman

Central banks should fight the urge to raise interest rates until the global economy showed stronger signs of recovery and joblessness began to decline, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman said yesterday.

No asset price bubble yet, but watch out next year

In other words, we are not looking at a bubble in local asset markets yet. But, with monetary conditions extremely loose and appreciation pressure on Asian currencies including the yuan set to mount over the coming months, we could well be staring at another dangerously destabilising asset price bust around about this time next year.

Sex beats violence in Chongqing triad trial

The Southern Metropolis News set the tone yesterday with a headline that read: “She paid for 16 handsome young men: let’s see how obscene and violent Wen’s sister-in-law is at today’s hearing!”

Shanghai backwater prepares for transformation as bridge opens

Shanghai officials have effectively put property developers under starter’s orders for development of the city’s “last virgin territory”, announcing yesterday that a bridge linking Chongming Island with the city would open by the end of the month.

China vows crackdown on industry overcapacity

China’s cabinet has laid out detailed plans to curb overcapacity in industries such as steel, aluminium, cement and wind power, warning that the country’s economic recovery could otherwise be hampered.

Internalising the values of global media in China

Almost every week brings new signs of China’s rise, with a commensurate increase in its soft power as well as in its economic, political and military clout.

Macau casino review may improve outlook

Macau’s move to review gaming rules in the world’s fastest-growing gambling market could brighten the outlook for casino stocks as potential curbs would help profits by limiting oversupply, analysts said yesterday.

Private bank clients still cautious: CS

Many private banking clients are still cautious, but the stash of cash built up during the financial crisis is gradually returning to financial markets, according to senior private bankers at Credit Suisse.

Volume is there, but where’s the excitement?

It’s not often that a day in which $1.3 billion worth of business gets done is described as ‘insipid’ and ‘boring’ by brokers who spent most of their time twiddling their thumbs and fighting to stay awake. Yesterday however, was one such day as the local market continued to flounder in a stupor that started on Monday.

Crime gang suspects reverse confessions

The trials of Chongqing underworld suspects, the subjects of a recent crackdown, got off to a turbulent start, with an alleged gang boss and eight co-defendants reversing their confessions and denying involvement in organised crime.

A HK$357m flat, but what floor is it on?

For sale: A window seat for HK$6 million - comes attached to what is believed to be the world’s most expensive apartment, which went on sale yesterday for HK$357.73 million.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Shanghai to reform hated residency registration

Shanghai will separate social welfare benefits from the household registration system in another step to reform the notorious hukou policy.

The return of the H-share premium

It is exactly three years since H-shares in Hong Kong last traded at a premium to their A-share counterparts in China. Since then, they have traded at a discount, ranging as high as 68 per cent at the start of last year to as low as 13 per cent today. Looking ahead, a downturn in the liquidity environment in China relative to a continued build up in excess liquidity in Hong Kong imply that the premium of H-shares over their A-share counterparts is set to return.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Changes in the wind

For the countries of East Asia, including China, there was no decoupling from the financial crisis in the US and Europe, which caused East Asia’s exports to drop. But because its economies and banks are sound, by this year’s second quarter, East Asia was beginning to show growth. Stimulus packages in China and India increased those nations’ economic growth, which has had a ripple effect on their neighbours. For East Asia, the worst seems to have passed.

Demand for IPOs in Asia still strong

Demand for public stock offerings in Hong Kong and throughout the region remains strong, despite a few recent deals that struggled, according to a panel of three investment bankers and one hedge fund investor.

Jason Marine launches IPO for Catalist listing

Sale of 16m new shares expected to raise net proceeds of about $2.1m

China’s rich flaunt their wealth

China is seeing a new wave of luxury living and lavish lifestyles, with a new generation of ‘little emperors’ showing off their wealth. But the gap between the rich and the poor is rising, and new tales of poverty are coming from - ironically - Hong Kong.

Monday, 12 October 2009

For Economic Stimuli, a Revolving Exit Door

Can interest rate adjustments, currency devaluation and zigzag policymaking help unwind economic stimuli? It depends.

Ernst & Young’s US$200m snag

The global partnership of Ernst & Young is unwilling to help its Hong Kong office fund a legal settlement of about US$200 million agreed with the liquidators of Akai Holdings, the accounting firm’s bankrupt former client, according to people familiar with the firm’s operations.

Greed rules and the people are made to pay

Mainland authorities are fond of being called “the people’s government”, and their most famous motto is to “serve the people”. But these days, their chief mission appears to be to “charge the people”.

Damsels in distress - or are they? Under-age sex

It takes two hands to clap; why just penalise the man?

Caijing magazine’s business chiefs resign

Top business executives at Caijing magazine, the mainland’s most influential business publication, have resigned en masse, heightening speculation its ownership may change hands soon or that its managing editor and founder, Hu Shuli, may leave and start her own publication.

Hot cash flowing in - but is it legal?

Mainland buyers are driving the prices of luxury properties to record highs, a process fuelled by millions of dollars pouring over the border through complex arrangements - some legal, some not.

Drink-drive crackdown may include passengers

Another focal point of the draft is the introduction of a “fixed penalty on passengers on board the vehicle driven by a drink-driver” when they make no attempt to persuade or stop those drivers from driving.