Friday, 22 January 2010

Alarm at Beijing plan to punish developers who leave land idle

Property developers have reacted with alarm to reports that Beijing plans to enforce a nationwide crackdown on developers found guilty of leaving sites idle for speculative land banking purposes.

Baidu founder rules China’s Web with pragmatism

In the autumn of 1998, computer science engineer Li Yanhong developed Rankdex, an experimental search engine that ranked websites according to their relevance to each other.

China uses its own Compass

When Pan Qing and his friends travelled to the prairies of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, they navigated the unfamiliar and boundless grasslands with no problems - thanks to their Global Positioning System (GPS).

Google’s days in China appear to be numbered

The challenge thrown down by Google last week seemed unequivocal: Either China accepts uncensored information on or the Internet giant will shut down its operations in the country. ‘We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on,’ said David Drummond, senior vice-president and Google’s chief legal officer. ‘We will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all. We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down, and potentially our offices in China.’

No halt to dual listings in Hong Kong

Hong Kong has no plans to stop foreign companies from listing there by way of introduction despite concerns over the large movements in the share prices of some recent listings, officials from the Hong Kong stock exchange and the government said yesterday.

Junkets have significant role: RWS

Genting Group chairman Lim Kok Thay has acknowledged the significant role junket promoters play in casinos and said that they are ‘an important part of gaming’.

Most Common Passwords

Peace of Mind

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Internet users biggest losers in Google standoff

As the saga of Google vs Beijing continues to unfold, the central government appears to be the sole loser at first glance. By almost all accounts, this is one of its biggest public relations disasters in recent years.

Misplaced sympathy for loan-shark borrowers?

It is easy enough to jump on the bandwagon and call for heavier penalties against loan sharks. No one wants to be on the side of the Ah Longs and their paint-splashing, fire-starting scare tactics.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Investors Increasingly Interest in China’s Private Education Sector

Private equity and venture capital have been showing increasing interest in China’s private education market over the last couple of years and seeing huge potential. Recently, the Huiou (Chongqing) Education Equity Investment Fund (Huiou), the first of its kind in China, was launched in Chongqing on December 27, 2009, to seek out education-related firms engaged in the cultural and media sectors as its main investment targets.

Spacs - just a big bet on a management name?

The Singapore Exchange’s latest proposals to let special purpose acquisition companies (Spacs) list here is its second attempt to allow punters to bet on investments backed by a name - and little else.

Aussies slam KKK cartoon in Indian daily

Australia’s government and police angrily criticised yesterday a cartoon in an Indian newspaper that depicted police as racist Ku Klux Klan (KKK) members following the fatal stabbing of an Indian national.

Beijing gives go-ahead for index futures

The central government yesterday approved stock index futures, giving mainland investors a tool to protect against losses and profit from any declines in a market that rose 80 per cent last year.

Latest batch of IPOs on ChiNext fails to match earlier interest

The latest batch of companies to debut on the mainland’s start-up board trailed first-day gains of earlier listings on the two-month-old market - as the nation’s central bank began to roll back monetary stimulus.

Lawyer jailed for creating fake evidence

A Beijing-based lawyer has been jailed for 2-1/2 years by a Chongqing court for fabricating evidence in his defence of an alleged triad boss, a verdict that raises renewed concerns about the mainland’s judicial integrity.

State policies fail to address realities of property market

In the past few weeks you have probably read more than enough about the mainland property market - a government minister complaining of expensive apartments beyond his reach; Premier Wen Jiabao promising to cool down the market; Shenzhen and Guangdong confiscating undeveloped land; securities regulators barring developers from fund raising ...

Cost of dying worries the living in Shanghai

While homebuyers complain about Shanghai’s overheated property market, burial sites in the city’s suburban areas are at a premium, costing 50 per cent more than housing on a per-square-metre basis.

Fund chief’s US$9m gift to Yale prompts torrent of net abuse

A Chinese entrepreneur who made a record donation of almost US$9 million to Yale University has caused a stir among mainland internet users after he attributed his success to postgraduate studies at the Ivy League school.

More Singaporeans have weekend homes in Iskandar, Johor

Four in 10 residents in south Johor special zone are Singaporean

Question mark over demise of telecom official

In the festive last week of 2009, two news stories initially sent chills down the spines of mainland telecom officials. On Boxing Day, the Communist Party’s top anti-graft watchdog announced it was investigating Zhang Chunjiang, vice-chairman and party secretary of China Mobile, for “serious disciplinary breach”, a euphemism for corruption. On December 31, the US Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that UTStarcom, a maker of telecommunications and networking gear, had agreed to pay US$3 million in fines to settle charges including one alleging its China subsidiary bribed officials of mainland telecom companies to the tune of nearly US$7 million.

Solar energy - smoke and mirrors?

There is some scepticism about the potential of concentrating solar power projects in China

The new guard

China’s next generation of leaders will be hungry for change, not all of it reassuring

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Time for an overhaul of listings rule?

The recent move by the Singapore Exchange (SGX) to broaden its admission criteria for the mainboard is perhaps long overdue, but will it be enough to transform the bourse into a capital market of choice?

24 million men face lonely future

More than 24 million Chinese men of marrying age could find themselves without spouses in 2020, state media reported yesterday, citing a study that blamed sex-specific abortions as a major factor.

Beijing warned over inflation

Beijing needs to tighten its monetary policy to avoid a property bubble and runaway inflation, or face an economy growing at a superheated 16 per cent this year, a top government research institute warns.

China to stem exodus of corrupt officials

Beijing is tightening the screws on a growing exodus of corrupt officials making away with stolen funds, its latest move in a renewed clampdown on rampant corruption.

Daryl Guppy: China trending behaviour includes increased volatility

The Shanghai market continues to encounter resistance between 3,300 and 3,400. For the bulls, this is evidence of a developing trend breakout. For the bears, it is evidence of an unsustainable bubble leading to a market crash.

China’s overseas-listed stocks now starting to head home

Chinese ‘orphan’ stocks - companies once lured to float overseas but now left neglected - are starting to head home, creating investment opportunities, said the head of money manager Martin Currie’s China business.

Critics query ID policy for buying train tickets

The new policy on train ticket purchases has sparked a debate over the Ministry of Railways’ motivation for implementing it as the Lunar New Year travel period approaches.

Piracy via paid file-hosting services

According to global website-tracking service Alexa, there are five file-hosting sites within its top 100 website list as of yesterday. The two most popular with downloaders here, Megaupload and RapidShare, are Singapore’s 33rd and 39th most popular sites, respectively.

Attacks part of campaign to steal codes, track activists

Cyber attacks that prompted Google to defy Chinese censors appear to have been part of an ongoing campaign to steal source codes and track human rights activists, experts say.

Fears that life without Google ‘will leave the mainland blind’

Mainland internet users are contemplating a Google-less future in the wake of the US search giant’s announcement it would no longer accede to government censorship demands.

Former bank owner ordered to repay loan

Prominent one-time bank owner Agus Anwar has failed in his attempt to get out of repaying a $10.5 million loan he received in 2008 from an investment firm while in financial difficulty.

Oversized bank bonuses: classic case of overcharging

Half the world, it seems, is at war with bankers over the issue of the bonuses they insist on awarding themselves, come good times or bad, solvency or bankruptcy. Yet, just about all of the suggested remedies to prevent this grand rip-off seem to be missing the point and do not really go to the heart of the issue. In essence, this is that if banks, unlike most other commercial organisations, can afford to dole out vast sums of cash to their (often undeserving) executives, then they must be overcharging for their services. Either that or they are ripping off their shareholders - or more recently, the taxpayer.

Singaporeans go abroad for cheaper beauty fixes

Singaporeans are the driving force behind Indonesian doctor Arthur Tjandra’s success: at his 18,000 sq ft Medan clinic Elixir de Vie, up to 90 per cent of those who come in for a nip and tuck are Singaporeans.

Fat Takings

With the recent death of a man after liposuction, Tan Dawn Wei and Debby Kwong talk to doctors in this controversial multimillion-dollar industry

China seeks to avoid Japan-style bust

China is expected to raise interest rates and let its currency appreciate in the coming months as policy-makers resort to more aggressive measures to prevent the economy overheating, analysts said.