Saturday, 24 October 2009

Property bubble could reach level of 1997

Analysts warn that Hong Kong could see a repeat of the 1997 property bubble as government figures show that the supply of new flats has dropped to a five-year low, a condition that could boost prices to unsustainable heights.

Harsh crackdown on illegal cabs backfires

The government could arrest every illegal taxi driver in the city tomorrow, but it would not do any good unless they remove the reason they exist in the first place.

How burying a tradition fuelled black market in corpse-selling

The numbers are especially upsetting in the light of an online poll that showed crematoriums to be one of the 10 most profitable industries.

Summer Palace on trail of looted relics

Beijing’s Old Summer Palace, or Yuanmingyuan, has embarked on a global hunt for relics looted from the site nearly 150 years ago by British and French troops.

Singapore prepares to tighten hedge fund regulations

Singapore is preparing to tighten regulations for hedge funds and other alternative fund managers, potentially making it more difficult and expensive for smaller newcomers to set up operations, sources said.

Rising seas threaten Shanghai

Global warming and melting glaciers are raising sea levels, leaving people in coastal areas vulnerable to flooding

Ex-Google China chief banks on e-commerce

Lee Kai-Fu, who recently left Google China to start a fund backed by some of Greater China’s biggest technology names, is eyeing cloud computing, e-commerce and the mobile platform industry for some of his first investments.

Chongqing choppers ‘just friends’

An alleged Chongqing triad boss has pleaded not guilty to most of the charges against him, saying chopping attacks against rivals were carried out by members of his group out of nothing more than “friendship”, local media reported.

100b yuan fake-invoice ring smashed in Guangzhou

Police in Guangzhou said they had smashed a network that produced and distributed fake invoices with a face value of about 100 billion yuan (HK$113.7 billion).

New Singapore player for high-powered BMW

German carmaker BMW is poised to appoint businessman Anthony Chan as a new dealer for its M models - high-powered Beemers costing upwards of $300,000 each.

China comes a-calling for US job seekers

The Chinese, mostly local government officials, including representatives from personnel or talent recruitment bureaus, had travelled half way around the world to look for the best and brightest to play a leading role in furthering their cities’ economic transformation.

While the Chinese scouts chiefly targeted overseas mainland Chinese in the past, this time round, they broadened their search to include Americans as well.

Mainland developers in IPO rush amid signs market losing appetite

It is a US$6 billion cash grab. That is the combined amount of money eight mainland property developers have either just raised or are planning to generate on the Hong Kong stock market.

Hired guns? Not us, say private psychiatrists

They say conflicting views given in court a natural result of an inexact science

Beijing to refuse permits, ban financing in overcapacity sectors

The mainland vowed on Monday to curb overcapacity in six industrial sectors by withholding approval for new investment and by starving them of financing.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Cloudy Prospects for Investing Down Under

The recent collapse of several Chinese investment deals in Australia is raising concerns about government barriers.

New gangs have emerged

Triads in China began life as secret societies organised to unseat the last imperial dynasty, but they later moved into criminal activities and flourished in pre-communist China.

China gripped by mob trials

Crackdown exposes sordid ties between criminals and officials

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Stimulus-driven China growth risks slowdown

China’s stimulus-induced lending binge probably propelled growth in the third quarter to its fastest pace in a year. Now, policymakers have to figure out how to wean the economy off state support.

Why UOB-KH put trading curbs on Transcu stock

High trading volumes coupled with ‘rapid and inexplicable’ price jumps by shares of Transcu Group over the past seven days prompted UOB-Kay Hian to restrict trading on the stock, a source familiar with the matter told BT yesterday.

Death of Malaysian Political Aide

The inquest into the mysterious death of political aide Teoh Beng Hock took a dramatic turn yesterday, after a well-known Thai pathologist said that it was most likely a killing.

New rules to rein in overzealous guards

No body searches, no insults and no beating up of shoplifting suspects and perceived trouble-makers.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Asia’s happy hour is lasting a bit too long for comfort

Happy hour is lasting a bit too long for comfort. If they are rallying because of easy-money policies, then Asia’s stability is more fiction than fact. It’s time for monetary bartenders to start declaring closing time.

Trading curb talk sends Transcu stock reeling

The wind was knocked out of the stock of bio-medical company Transcu Group yesterday as talk of a trading restriction by UOB-Kay Hian - which has since been imposed - ignited a heavy dumping of its shares, sources told BT.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Experts to search abroad for looted relics

China will send a team of experts to museums around the world in an effort to record more than a million cultural relics it says were looted from Beijing’s Old Summer Palace, state press reported on Monday.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Two officials and worker sacked over ashes scandal

A crematorium worker and at least two officials in Liaoning have been sacked for their roles in giving strangers’ ashes to families of the dead, the China News Service said.

Deadly sex drug sold openly on top online shop

The potentially hazardous sex drug “poppers” are freely available on the mainland’s biggest internet shop, despite being banned in many countries worldwide.

China to overtake Japan in two years

China will overtake Japan to become the second largest economy in the next two years, giving Beijing greater clout on the world stage and boosting the ruling Communists’ stature at home, analysts say.

American caught in drunk driving

Expatriates’ residence permits may be revoked if they are caught driving under the influence of alcohol, according to the Shanghai Exit-Entry Administration Bureau.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

One-third of top STI firms don’t disclose audit fees

Trend is a concern as investors cannot assess materiality of non-audit fees, independence of auditors

Keeping foreign IPO taps flowing

The Malaysian stock exchange last week saw fit to issue a statement defending the integrity of its listing process following a spate of news reports on the dismal performance of foreign initial public offerings on the local bourse.

You can run, but you can’t hide

Bad credit history will catch up with you, making it difficult to get mortgages or loans

Vigilance the key as hot money flows into Hong Kong

The mainland authorities maintain strict controls on individuals converting yuan into other currencies, to prevent money flooding out of the country in search of investment opportunities. But you would not think so to look at mainland buyers flush with Hong Kong dollars who are driving the prices of luxury residential properties in the city to record levels. They now account for one in 10 transactions, according to one estimate. It is fuelled by a flow of funds across the border under various complex arrangements. As we report today, it is far from clear whether some are legal.

The deep roots of Uygurs’ frustration

Despite pouring money into Xinjiang, Beijing finds the area’s ethnic minority are angry

SGX stops Li Heng’s ‘effective’ delisting in its tracks

It is status quo now for Li Heng Chemical Fibre Technologies, after it decided to drop its restructuring plan to float its assets in Hong Kong through a new company. This followed a decision by the Singapore Exchange to deem the transaction a delisting, which will require a cash exit offer to shareholders if the group wishes to proceed.

Linguistic heritage in peril

A group of friends are hoping to revive Cantonese in Guangzhou

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.

Chinese in Algeria find shoe on the other foot

On the evening of August 3, a shop owner in Algiers objected to a Chinese trader parking outside his shop. After the two traded blows, the Chinese man fetched 50 of his compatriots, leading to a brawl in which five Chinese shops were looted, sacks of rice were emptied on to the street and dozens of people were injured.

Hedge fund industry faces big shake-out

With values running 25% below peak, they can’t charge full fees

‘Shoebox’ units may wilt under URA’s gaze

The new breed of ‘shoebox’ private apartments may have caught the imagination, but don’t expect them to invade the housing landscape. Some may not even get the planning authority’s approval, going forward, if recent decisions are any guide.

China's top universities and their strengths

China’s ‘Ivy League’

Nine of China’s top universities have banded together to form the country’s version of the American Ivy League.

Mainland Developers Get Cold Shoulder at Hong Kong IPO Roadshows

Chinese property firms are lowering their expectations about the amount of the money to be raised in the Hong Kong stock market.

Investors picky after new offerings sag

Investors have become increasingly selective about new share sales in Hong Kong after some weak trading debuts by large initial public offerings, analysts say.

What weasel words of investment truly mean

The investment world is full of weasel words designed to mislead investors, or maybe just accentuate the positive. This produces confusion, which hopefully will be diluted by this guide to some of the most common misnomers employed out there.

Democracy activist jailed 10 years for ‘subverting state’

The founder of a group that challenged Communist Party rule with a call for multiparty democracy has been sentenced to 10 years in prison, a human rights group said yesterday.

Former university professor and judge Guo Quan was jailed for “subversion of state power” by a court in Jiangsu province on Friday, the New York-based group Human Rights in China said.

Chongqing party boss defends his crackdown

Chongqing party boss Bo Xilai said the government was forced to stage a massive crackdown on gangsters as a response to public pressure.

RMB 4 Trillion Stimulus vs RMB 5 Trillion Debts: Looming Local Government Credit Risk Explosion

For the implementation of China’s four trillion yuan economic stimulus, the central government requires matching funds by local governments “100%” in place. Local governments already in financial difficulties are finding these requirements especially onerous, but are now being allowed to issue special bonds to come up with the cash. A problem: Will local governments ever be able to repay the five trillion yuan of bonds they have issued?

‘Brilliant’ Chinese women lead the business world

Half the world’s richest self-made women are Chinese.

For those of you who trade the market, this is an excellent article to read

The 2 key things to note:

1) Survival,
2) Absolute price of a stock is unimportant. It is the direction of the price movement that counts.

The Ren (人) Building in Shanghai

The Ren (人) Building in Shanghai

Shanghai’s icon of Architecture

Work on ‘worst building in history’ restarted

It was once dubbed by Esquire magazine as ‘the worst building in the history of mankind’ and seen as a symbol of the country’s failure, but 22 years after the first brick was laid, the 105-storey Ryugyong Hotel may finally be finished in three years’ time, reported the Telegraph.

Shenzhen will keep watch on extra IPO funds

The Shenzhen Stock Exchange will require the 28 firms scheduled to list on the new second board to disclose how they will use the extra proceeds from their initial public offerings. The decision came after the companies raised more funds than targeted.

Peak mansion ready for its next HSBC taipan

The reason HSBC Holdings gave up Skyhigh, perched on top of the Peak, for something further down the hill in 1991 was a “lightning decision”, according to some.

Little hope regulators will act on Ernst & Young case

So is the regulator going to do anything about Ernst & Young following the Akai Holdings scandal? That is the question being asked loud and clear about town and which has revealed itself in angry messages in my e-mail inbox this week.

Hedge Fund Chief Is Charged With Fraud

In all, six people were arrested, accused by prosecutors and the Securities and Exchange Commission of earning more than $20 million from illegal trading in companies like Google, Akamai and Hilton Hotels over nearly three years.