Friday, 29 January 2010
Between the five of them, there is a hefty amount of legal experience. Now, these top legal eagles, most of whom head departments in a range of areas, are walking out on their law firm, Harry Elias Partnership.
Police yesterday said they have evidence that Romanian Charge d’Affaires Silviu Ionescu was the driver of the car involved in a hit-and-run accident that left one person dead and two others injured last month.
Japan’s exports in December rose from a year earlier for the first time since before the financial crisis hit, but a rising yen and a growing reliance on Chinese demand may bode ill as Beijing looks to tighten monetary policy.
A closely watched trial that addresses the extent of the liability of independent directors of listed companies has resumed in the Subordinate Courts.
Shares of China XD Electric, which raised US$1.5 billion this month in a Shanghai IPO, unexpectedly fell in their trading debut on Thursday, serving a stark warning to China’s securities regulator that it may have gone too far in trying to cool the overheating stock market.
Thursday, 28 January 2010
A group of scientists from Fudan University in Shanghai have come up with a bizarre idea to verify the authenticity of a controversial ancient tomb: test the DNA of the tomb owner’s potential modern offspring.
Copper headed for its longest losing streak in seven weeks and aluminium dropped to the lowest level in more than a month as China, the world’s biggest metals consumer, stepped up measures to prevent asset bubbles.
But both analysts and Singapore companies with sizeable presence in China will keep a close eye on developments there, after last week’s news of the government putting a cap on rampant bank loans.
Withdrawing economic stimuli and tightening monetary policy are very difficult future policy choices, but something has to be done because asset bubbles have started to take shape, Nouriel Roubini, chairman of Roubini Global Economics, told CNBC Wednesday.
Footballers paying big bribes for places at the national team’s training camp and even bigger ones to play in international games. Foreign coaches of the national team forced to pay agents kickbacks. Another official involved in match-fixing.
Liu Peng thinks he knows what’s wrong with soccer on the mainland - and as the minister for sport, he hopes he has the cure.
200,000 yuan buys international call-up, claims Shanghai report, as sports minister says corruption is deeply rooted
The Hong Kong branch of accounting giant Ernst & Young, which in September l paid US$200 million to creditors of its collapsed former client Akai Holdings, has quietly settled another audit negligence case involving a failed local company.
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the country’s largest bank, said it has stopped rolling over some loans to slow credit growth after a surge at the start of the year, though it will not halt new lending.
Wednesday, 27 January 2010
China has ordered the closure of thousands of ‘regional liaison offices’ - in essence, lobbying firms - that local governments and companies operate in Beijing to curry favour with senior officials, said media reports.
For all the talk of an America in decline and a rising China, the crisis triggered by the devastating earthquake in Haiti is a reminder of the huge disparity that still exists between the ability of the United States to project power, for military or humanitarian purposes, and that of China.
The US-based company’s spat with China raises issues of censorship and cyber-attacks
China’s lending slowdown may benefit the domestic economy by reducing risk and investors should still buy shares of the nation’s banks, investor Mark Mobius said.
China’s monetary tightening is likely to be more gradual than this month’s stock sell-off reflects, and the economic rebound will be sustained this year, said Stephen Jen of BlueGold Capital Management LLP.
Tuesday, 26 January 2010
China disclosed the other day that its foreign exchange reserves had increased to about US$2.4 trillion in 2009, a gain of US$453 billion for the year. These stupendous figures - and the likelihood that the country’s reserves will rise by a comparable amount this year - have now become a financial, economic and geopolitical reality of surpassing significance.
The reason why is a mystery, but news that Chinese banks need to raise capital never fails to take investors by surprise.
A fresh lawsuit has just been filed over the failed en bloc sale of Horizon Towers - and a new chapter in the long-running saga is about to begin.
It is erroneous to blame contra trading for the less-than-desired outcome resulting from leveraged products. On the contrary, contra trading provides an excellent source of liquidity for derivatives such as structured warrants.
Traders are piling into bets that the biggest sell-off in U.S. shares since March will increase stock market volatility, pushing call options on the VIX Index to the highest level in 19 months.
Global equities are “vulnerable to correction” after rallying from their March lows and as governments around the world withdraw stimulus measures, said investor Jim Rogers, author of “A Bull in China.”
As recently as 2008, when China was still an emerging economy eager to put its best foot forward for Western consumers, it lifted censorship on several Web sites before the Beijing Olympics. At the same time, it responded to entreaties from U.S. and European politicians, allowing its currency to appreciate against the dollar.
Hong Kong’s central bank said the city may face ‘sharp corrections’ in asset prices should fund flows reverse, adding to concerns voiced by Japan, China and South Korea on the dangers of speculative capital.
Yue Xiyou died after trying to defend his fiancee’s flat from a wrecking crew. A woman named Tang Fuzhen protested against another demolition by standing on the roof and setting herself alight.
The central government is moving closer to scrapping the housing-demolition regulation amid public outcry over a number of violent and even deadly confrontations between homeowners and developers.
When Hong Kong was returned to China on July 1, 1997 after a century and a half as a British colony, there was much anxiety as to whether the city would continue to prosper and to enjoy British-style rights and freedoms under China’s formula of ‘one country, two systems’ for 50 years. Now, 121/2 years later - or a quarter of the 50 years allotted to Hong Kong as a Special Administrative Region of China - much has changed.
For the umpteenth time in its nine-year existence, the Singapore Exchange (SGX) is tweaking its Listing Rules. Announced yesterday, the proposed changes - which are open to public debate and feedback - fall well within the scope of the existing disclosure-based governance framework that has been progressively installed over the years since deregulation a decade ago. Which is fine - if you subscribe to the view that all it takes to ensure the marketplace is properly governed are periodic fine-tunings and that caveat emptor or ‘buyer beware’ should still reign supreme.
More onus may be placed on independent directors, range of corporate governance issues addressed
Motorists travelling to Malaysia will soon be allowed to pump a maximum of only 20 litres of fuel within a 50km radius from the country’s borders, including in Sabah and Sarawak, the Malaysian government announced yesterday.
Monday, 25 January 2010
China issued policies to curb property speculation after home prices rose at the fastest pace in more than a year and Premier Wen Jiabao pledged support for affordable housing.
The Securities Investors Association of Singapore (SIAS) has urged shareholders of troubled firm Sino-Environment Technology Group to let the various authorities here and in China complete their investigations into the company.
In the latest twist in the Sino-Environment saga, the company’s independent directors, Mr. Goh Chee Wee and Mr. Wong Chiang Yin, have started legal proceedings in a bid to oust the executive directors from the company’s board.
Independent directors (IDs) of troubled Sino-Environment Technology Group have applied for a court order to call for an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) to remove the executive directors and also to strip them of their powers to execute several types of financial transactions.
The fear that established clients will flee rising taxes in Britain might be giving London’s private bankers sleepless nights, but a Chinese remedy is at hand, in the shape of a growing colony of super-rich clients from Asia.
A compulsive gambler who wagered close to A$1.5 billion (S$1.9 billion) during a 16-month betting spree lost his lawsuit against Australia’s largest casino, when a judge ruled yesterday that he was not exploited.
The Communist Youth League poured 110 million yuan (HK$125 million) into bolstering its grass-roots branches across the mainland in an attempt to attract more young people to join a party that has lost much of its ideological appeal, state media reported yesterday.
The bubble in China’s real estate is unprecedented and companies exporting for the country’s construction sector should be watched carefully, James Chanos, president and founder of Kynikos Associates, told CNBC Monday.
That loud hissing noise you hear is coming from Dubai, where reality is catching up with an economy built on sand - literally and figuratively.
Detained mafia bosses in Chongqing have hired prominent lawyers from outside the city in an apparent attempt to minimise political interference and ensure that they get impartial legal advice as the second round of trials started this month.
Joining the People’s Liberation Army has long been the job of choice for strapping country boys, while the vast majority of pampered university graduates turned up their noses at the thought of early morning drills and physical exertion.
By most accounts, more companies can be expected to go for dual listings on the Singapore Exchange (SGX) and markets such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, and possibly Korea. Fertiliser firm China XLX was a recent trend-setter on this front - at least this year - when it dual-listed some of its shares in Hong Kong this month, sending its SGX share price up almost 100 per cent that day and sparking a scramble among speculators to try to figure out the next successful dual-listing play.
Critics worry the secretive and controversial world of high-frequency trading may undermine the integrity of the US equity market
Are you going to speak for the party or the masses?” That is what a senior urban planning official in Zhengzhou, Henan province, blurted out on June 17 - something he may regret for the rest of his life and may spell the end of his government career.
Li Zihao, a low-profile entrepreneur and president of Rixin Development Company, of Shunde, Guangdong, announced over Christmas that all legal formalities for acquiring a 70+% stake in a Chilean iron ore project by his company were completed in October. Li’s company gained control of mineral rights of three mines with reserves of 3-5 billion tons for a reported 13 billion yuan.
The Singapore Exchange (SGX) is obviously anxious to attract more and larger listings, yet fails to go far enough to help it regain the standing that it has lost in recent years. What the SGX sorely needs to address is its reputation as an effective market regulator. Seen to have been lacking in how it handled the recent S-chip debacles, the exchange now needs to prove afresh that it is one of the region’s best governed markets - a key selling point for the SGX in the past.
Employment pass holders with children may be discouraged from applying for PR
In the beginning, there was one Internet, born from American research and embraced by academics around the world. It was in English and homogeneous, operating according to Western standards of openness.
As the Internet grew, it became fragmented and linguistically diversified. It developed borders, across which it now works in different ways.
As the Internet grew, it became fragmented and linguistically diversified. It developed borders, across which it now works in different ways.
Together the highly educated groups come to be called the “ant tribe,” a term coined by Chinese sociologists to describe the struggling young migrants, who, armed with their diplomas, scramble to big cities in hope of a better life only to find low-paying jobs and poor living conditions.
China developed a missile interception system out of a sense of “forced action” because it perceived threats from other nations, a senior military official has revealed in a commentary written for a state-run magazine.
While still struggling with the aftermath of a decade-long Islamic insurgency, oil-rich yet impoverished Algeria is getting a makeover: a new airport, its first mall, its largest prison, 60,000 new homes, two luxury hotels and the longest continuous highway in Africa.
Plans to freeze mobile phone accounts responsible for sending “obscene” text messages are in confusion, with a Beijing provider yesterday announcing it would introduce the measure, while its Shanghai counterpart apparently issued a denial.
The party chief of a Jiangsu village has been detained after hiring more than 200 armed thugs to forcibly evict farmers from their land to make way for a petrochemical factory, state media reported yesterday.
Shanghai and Hong Kong property prices may fall after being driven higher by speculative demand, while the rest of the Chinese economy is “hardly in a bubble,” investor Jim Rogers said.
Ten years ago, on Dec 1, 1999, when the Singapore Exchange (SGX) was formed from a merger of the Stock Exchange of Singapore and the Singapore International Monetary Exchange or Simex, then-deputy prime minister Lee Hsien Loong announced at SGX’s inauguration that stockbroking commissions would become fully negotiable from Jan 1, 2001, that the settlement cycle for stocks would be shortened from T+5 to T+3 from March 15, 2000, and that the ultimate goal would be to move to T+1, where T is the transaction date. All this, it was said, was to ensure that the local market kept pace with fast-moving markets elsewhere.
China may boast dazzling economic growth but that has failed to translate into profits for some bond holders and thousands of small investors in Singapore who have seen their investments in a group of mainland companies listed in the city state turn to dust.
Sunday, 24 January 2010
Only about a third of mainland migrant workers have signed contracts with their employers - two years after the introduction of a controversial labour contract law sought to make them compulsory, a survey has found.
In recent weeks, many analysts have commented that the China market is too hot. They warned of a market bubble or a property bubble. They suggested the Chinese government should do something quickly to cool the speculation and the property market.
Even widows and orphans are now worried about the property bubble brewing on the mainland. Look up some key numbers and you can understand why. Nationwide property sales soared more than 75 per cent last year from 2008 to hit a whopping 4.4 trillion yuan (HK$5 trillion). In Shanghai, the second hottest property market on the mainland, home loans rose an unbelievable 1,600 per cent year on year to 99.58 billion yuan. Bubble or not, that is simply too much, too fast for many people - especially the central government.