Thursday, 4 February 2010
Zodiac signs in the Year of the Tiger suggest that investors hoping for a smoother ride in the markets will have to wait a bit longer, according to CLSA’s tongue-in-cheek fung shui index released yesterday.
As Singapore gets ready to open its first casinos, there is little doubt that the controversial decision it made five years ago to allow gambling is going to pay economic dividends for the city-state. But whether the operators of the two giant resorts will be reaping jackpots anytime soon remains the big question.
The disclosure of fraudulent conduct often foreshadows the bursting of an asset bubble. If so, the revelation of widespread dodgy property transactions on the mainland designed to cheat the taxman may be a signal of worse news to come. So-called “yin-yang” contracts are a common but illegal practice to avoid paying taxes. Officials have long known about it, apparently, but have done little for fear of upsetting shaky market sentiment during the financial crisis. They may soon have to pay a much higher price for not cracking down on the practice.
China is pressing to turn its status as the world’s biggest steel producer into clout over global miners and cheaper iron ore prices. But its tactics failed in 2009 and there are few indications it will fare better this year.
Hong Kong police arrested a feng shui master Wednesday after the High Court dismissed as fraudulent his claim to the estate of eccentric property tycoon Nina Wang.
Wednesday, 3 February 2010
Tony Chan Chun-chuen’s chances of winning an appeal against a court decision awarding control of Chinachem boss Nina Wang’s multi-billion-dollar estate to a family charitable trust are very slim, according to a senior lawyer who has read the more than 300 pages of judgment.
Joining him in the room packed with 100 journalists were his sisters, Dr. Molly Gong Chung-sum and Kung Yan-sum. “Like everyone, I feel very happy,” Kung said as he thanked company staff, lawyers and the public for their support during the trial. “I think my big sister up there will also smile. She must be extremely happy now.”
More than a third of the 300-odd pages of the judgment in the Nina Wang probate battle was devoted to analysing the signatures on the will fung shui master Tony Chan Chun-chuen claimed left him her fortune of at least HK$10 billion.
A developer said on Tuesday it was penalised by mainland authorities for failing to complete a major Beijing land deal on time, as authorities clamp down on land purchase and development practices while moving to fend off property price bubbles.
Tight security has been kept for three weeks in a Shenzhen neighbourhood where a Han man stabbed a Uygur to death last month, with at least two police officers conducting round-the-clock surveillance amid fears of further ethnic violence.
One of the world’s largest producers of controls for electric kettles has successfully sued two Chinese manufacturers over patent infringements, a landmark case that could have wide-ranging implications for mainland intellectual property rights.
I refer to Miss Yusnita A. Raby’s Forum Online letter last Saturday, ‘Is there a code for property agents?’ Currently, the Common Examination for Salespersons (CES) is a prerequisite for estate agents who intend to be accredited with the Singapore Accredited Estate Agencies (SAEA). The syllabus of the CES course taught in SAEA’s 18 approved training centres (PropNex Realty is one of the approved training centres) includes landlord and tenant law, leases, the selling of private residential, HDB, commercial and industrial properties, as well as properties under construction.
Ask residents of the dusty Chinese border town of Ruili what they think of their neighbour and supposed friend Myanmar, and one word features prominently - luan, or chaotic.
Tuesday, 2 February 2010
China’s government, seeking to stem property speculation, told banks to raise interest rates on third mortgages and demand bigger down payments for such loans, a person with knowledge of the matter said.
China’s property market “bubble” is set to burst as the government curbs credit growth and clamps down on speculation, according to independent economist Andy Xie.
I was working in Shanghai two weeks ago and had the opportunity to talk with many investors. The general feeling is a fear that the moderation of the market is going too far, partly as a result of global influences. There is support for the strategy of “Removing the Firewood from Beneath the Cauldron” to avoid the market’s overheating. There is concern, however, that a sudden rainstorm from the West is cooling the cooking pot too quickly.
It’s known among a small circle of scholars in China as ‘the Qian Xuesen question’. Four years ago, Mr. Qian, the rocket scientist and genius architect of China’s space and missile programmes who died in October at the age of 97, asked a prominent visitor a troubling question: ‘Why does China produce so many clever people, but so few geniuses?’ Prime Minister Wen Jiabao’s answer isn’t recorded, but my friend Bai Hua thinks that she knows.
People whose homes are tagged for redevelopment should be paid market value and can sue over disputes before any demolition, the government said on Friday, as it tries to ease persistent public anger at forced relocations.
Dealing with emotional petitioners accounts for more than 80 per cent of the workload of low-level liaison offices in Beijing, according to liaison officers interviewed by mainland media, as authorities confirmed the news of a pending shutdown of these offices by June.
The recent hacking attack that prompted Google’s threat to leave China is underscoring the heightened dangers of previously undisclosed computer security flaws _ and renewing debate over buying and selling information about them in the black market.
China, the United States and Russia are among 20 countries locked in a cyberspace arms race and gearing up for possible Internet hostilities, according to the head of web security firm McAfee.
Sunday, 31 January 2010
Beijing is considering changing office hours for businesses and public organisations and raising parking fees in the capital’s central districts in its efforts to deal with the traffic headaches caused by private cars.
A property developer in China is inviting only ‘Western-looking’ foreigners to live in a new development, sparking comparisons with the controversial concession areas in the 1800s, state media said yesterday.
Flourishing official corruption and incompetence is the downside of China’s remarkable success. The public is powerless to do much about it, but top leaders have warned that unless corruption is reined in it could undermine the Communist Party’s political legitimacy. For this reason state media hailed a new accountability system for officials when it was endorsed by the politburo in May.
President Barack Obama’s top economic adviser said Saturday the U.S. is experiencing an economic recovery on paper but a “human recession” because of job losses.
Is China going to end its lax monetary policy? That question has cost the Hang Seng Index more than 2,000 points in the last three weeks.
Even though the U.S. financial system nearly experienced a total meltdown in late 2008, the truth is that most Americans simply have no idea what is happening to the U.S. economy. Most people seem to think that the nasty little recession that we have just been through is almost over and that we will be experiencing another time of economic growth and prosperity very shortly. But this time around that is not the case. The reality is that we are being sucked into an economic black hole from which the U.S. economy will never fully recover.
The bears are back. Short sellers piled back into the stock market this week, forcing long-term investors to don their tin hats yesterday as the Hang Seng Index teetered on a precipice, in danger of closing below the psychologically important 20,000 mark.
Officials in the heavily polluted Pearl River Delta are waging war on sewage sludge swamping the region. Winning the war, however, might be difficult.
Las Vegas casino operator MGM Mirage is looking for buyers for its 50 per cent stake in a New Jersey casino after gaming regulators in the US state last year found MGM’s Macau partnership with Pansy Ho Chiu-king “unsuitable”.
So in Singapore’s casinos at Resorts World Sentosa and Marina Bay Sands, premium players - including those from Singapore - can place a minimum deposit of $100,000 with the casinos or licensed junket promoter to receive credit.