Thursday, 11 February 2010

ISD investigation not less serious than being arrested: DPM

Posed this question yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister Wong Kan Seng said: ‘It is a very serious matter if anyone were to be hauled up and investigated by ISD.

Pastor apologises personally to Buddhist & Taoist federations

The pastor who was called up by the Internal Security Department (ISD) for making insensitive remarks against the Buddhist and Taoist faiths has apologised personally to the leaders of the two religions.

Buddhist, Taoist leaders accept pastor’s apology

After nearly a week of being watched on YouTube and other online forums, Pastor Rony Tan yesterday met the leaders of two religions he had disparaged in online video clips, that got him into trouble with the Internal Security Department (ISD) this week.

Actress coughs up thousands after earthquake donation allegations

Actress Zhang Ziyi was forced to contribute 160,000 yuan (HK$182,000) for Sichuan earthquake relief after outraged mainlanders criticised her for overstating her donation and allegedly misappropriating money raised for victims.

Leaders of Buddhist, Taoist groups urge restraint

The Singapore Buddhist Federation said Senior Pastor Rony Tan’s act of apologising was the right thing to do - for a start.

Pastor’s apology

‘I have received a number of e-mails from people who have been saddened and hurt by the testimonies of an ex-monk and an ex-nun. I realised that my presentation and comments were wrong and offensive. So I sincerely apologise for my insensitivity towards the Buddhists and Taoists, and solemnly promise that it will never happen again.

ISD acts

The Home Affairs Ministry issued this statement last night: ‘The Internal Security Department (ISD) has called up Pastor Rony Tan of Lighthouse Evangelism (LE) today in connection with his comments and insinuations about Buddhism and Taoism at LE sessions. These sessions were video-recorded and made available on LE’s website; video clips of these sessions subsequently became available on YouTube and other websites.

The man behind the controversy

Senior Pastor Rony Tan, founder of the Lighthouse Evangelism church, was born into a Taoist family.

ISD calls up pastor for insensitive comments

The Government called up a Christian church leader yesterday after receiving complaints about online video clips that show him making insensitive comments about Buddhism.

Junket promoters may have finger in money lending pie

Some think they could be using a moneylender’s licence to get around tight casino rules

Populist pressure could push Obama into China bashing

Amid difficult economic ties, China has emerged as a convenient target for both Democrats and Republicans

Review of audit exemption cap could shrink client pool

The $5 million audit exemption threshold is under review. The outcome could mean cost savings for small businesses, but also a reduced client pool for small and medium accounting practices.

Tony Chan hires new lawyers

Tony Chan Chun-chuen has changed his team of lawyers after losing the court battle for Nina Wang Kung Yu-sum’s fortune.

Governance will work only with solid deterrence

Clearly, when it comes to regulating the Australian stock market, it’s a dictum heeded by the government Down Under. On Jan 28, sweeping changes were announced to the financial sector that put market manipulation, rigging and insider trading on a list of serious offences that include murder, drug trafficking and kidnapping.

Fortune tellers: Year of Tiger isn’t Tiger’s year

Under the school of feng shui - the traditional Chinese practice of predicting fortunes through dates and classical Chinese texts - the new lunar year starting Sunday is associated with the natural elements of metal, wood, thunder and fire. Metal is a symbol of righteous action - like waging war. Thunder and fire symbolize volatility, while wood feeds the fire.



Australia tightens rules for skilled migration

Too many hairdressers and cooks, not enough doctors: minister

Accountancy sector poised for a shake-up

Panel proposes financial incentives to spur consolidation of small and medium practices; firms voice concern over two-year timeframe

Testing Shanghai support for Spring Festival

The spring festival holiday delivers a week of no trading in China. Holidays always make people feel differently and this is reflected in their trading behaviour. Periods leading up to, or following, major holidays often show repeated statistical relationships. For some traders, this offers an opportunity to develop specific holiday period trading strategies. For others, the volatility surrounding holidays is discounted. They adjust trailing stops to take this into account because they know the impact is temporary. While past performance is not a perfect guide to the future, there are certain statistical relationships that develop.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

IPOs not so public after all

Out of 23 last year, only nine offered shares to retail investors

Euro taking the brunt of Greece’s woes?

Budget deficit data report speeds up the currency’s decline

Current market turmoil: A case of deja vu?

Present scenario mirrors that in early 2007, but long-term traders may pick up bargains

Chinese police shut down hacker training business

Police in central China have shut down a hacker training operation that openly recruited thousands of members online and provided them with cyber attack lessons and malicious software, state media said Monday.

China still has tonnes of tainted milk

Authorities in China are hunting for nearly 100 tonnes of melamine-laced milk powder left over from 2008, when six babies died from consuming the toxic substance, state media said Monday.

China NPLs in trillions of yuan

Non-performing loans in China have risen into the ‘trillions of renminbi’ because of poor lending practices, an insolvency lawyer said.

Cheung Kong Says Hong Kong Property Is Due for Correction

The Hong Kong property market has risen too fast and buyers must look out for a bubble, Cheung Kong (Holdings) Ltd.’s executive director Justin Chiu said.

Buying Spree Nets China Stakes in Top U.S. Firms

Flush with cash despite the global economic downturn, China’s sovereign wealth fund quietly snapped up more than $9 billion worth of shares last year in some of the biggest American corporations, including Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and Citigroup.

Buy Stock Now to Ride Second Stage of Bull Market: John Dorfman

I believe the rally will continue. The recent slump, in my view, was normal. The U.S. stock market historically has averaged at least three declines a year of 5 percent or more, and one fall of 10 percent or more, according to Ned Davis Research Inc. I think the rally will resume and run -- with unpleasant interruptions, to be sure – through most of 2010, and possibly longer.

Banking secrecy in Switzerland ‘runs its course’

After relentless international pressure on Swiss banking secrecy, history came full circle last week when Germany decided to use stolen bank data to corner taxpayers with money hidden in Switzerland.

2009 land sales cover 40% of stimulus cost

China’s government netted 1.6 trillion yuan (S$333 billion) from land sales last year, or 40 per cent of the cost of the nation’s two-year stimulus package.

Pastor’s comments on Buddhism/Taoism “inappropriate & unacceptable”: MHA

The Internal Security Department (ISD) has called up Pastor Rony Tan of Lighthouse Evangelism in connection with his comments and insinuations about Buddhism and Taoism at his church sessions.

Shipyards eye rebound in new orders

Mainland shipyards, where new orders dropped more than 50 per cent last year, are expecting a substantial rebound in new building contracts this year as the shipping industry recovers, according to a senior official at China State Shipbuilding Corp (CSSC).

Monday, 8 February 2010

Bin Laden said: China is the world's only country we absolutely cannot mess with.

The reason is this: al-Qaeda terrorists had made 8 attacks on the Chinese with the following results:

Nina Wang’s fengshui adviser held for forgery

Detention comes after investigators search his Peak district home

Govt to keep an eye on casino credit

Easy credit will be available for premium players at Singapore’s casinos but the Casino Control Credit Regulations will also make it easy for the authorities to keep checks on both the casinos and junket promoters.

Google to team up with NSA to probe cyber-attacks

Internet search firm Google is finalising a deal that would let the US National Security Agency help it investigate a corporate espionage attack that may have originated in China, the Washington Post reported on Thursday.

Google complaint highlights China-based hacking

Google’s accusation that its e-mail accounts were hacked from China landed like a bombshell because it cast light on a problem that few companies will discuss: the pervasive threat from China-based cyberattacks.

Embracing a ‘naked marriage’

Doing without a ring, apartment and car, is becoming more acceptable to young people who want to get married sooner rather than later.

Chinese spies getting more active against US, says intelligence chief

President Barack Obama’s top intelligence official says Chinese spies have increased their work in the United States.

China Shows Little Patience for US Currency Pressure

A senior Chinese official said on Thursday that China would not bow to pressure from the United States to revalue its currency, which President Obama says is kept at an artificially low level to give China an unfair advantage in selling its exports.

Chen’s family sees jail terms cut

A High Court ruling in Taipei has reduced by three months the jail sentences for perjury for each of four family members of corruption-tainted former president Chen Shui-bian.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Can we stop the cyber arms race?

In a speech recently on ‘Internet freedom’, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton decried the cyberattacks that threaten US economic and national security interests. ‘Countries or individuals that engage in cyber attacks should face consequences and international condemnation,’ she warned, alluding to the China-Google kerfuffle. We should ‘create norms of behaviour among states and encourage respect for the global networked commons’. Perhaps so. But the problem with Mrs Clinton’s call for accountability and norms on the global network is the enormous array of cyberattacks originating from the US. Until we acknowledge these attacks and signal how we might control them, we cannot make progress on preventing cyberattacks emanating from other countries.

Beijing security check needed for inventors seeking patents abroad

Chinese inventors hoping to seek patents abroad must go through a state security examination as Beijing tries to prevent the leak of sensitive technology, while streamlining the application process to encourage Chinese companies to take innovations abroad.

As goes January, so goes the year?

One of the most commonly quoted stockmarket axioms is ‘as goes January, so goes the rest of the year’, which refers to January’s supposedly uncanny ability to predict how the market might perform for the next 11 months. So if January is weak then believers in the axiom say the rest of the year will be weak, but if it’s strong then the year will be strong. Since the Straits Times Index (STI) dropped about 5 per cent in January, could this be a portent of a soft year ahead for local stocks?

18pc of top-end Hong Kong flats bought by mainlanders

Cashed-up mainlanders snapped up almost one in five luxury flats sold in Hong Kong last year, a sign of their growing economic might in the city.

Master your card

If you have developed the bad habit of rolling over your outstanding credit card bills instead of paying them in full, you have plenty of company in Singapore.

Beijing condo residents battle police

Nearly 200 condominium residents clashed with police here yesterday in a valiant effort to stop the construction of a subway line near their estate.

After the Summer Olympics, Empty Shells in Beijing

In 2008, the Chinese built a ball field — boy, what a ball field — known worldwide for its lattice-like architecture as the Bird’s Nest. Alas, after the 2008 Olympics, the ticket buyers haven’t come. Right now, the Bird’s Nest serves as a winter amusement park known as the Happy Ice and Snow Season. In April, a promoter may stage a celebrity rock concert to “establish China as a world leader for global peace and a healthier planet.” Or not.

Euro losing allure as substitute to greenback

Investors are pulling cash out of Europe at a record pace as central banks slow euro purchases, jeopardising its status as a substitute to the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency.

How to make money from a Greek tragedy

Benefit from the public-debt crisis by swapping bonds, selling euros and shorting stocks

Officials in illegal landing-slot sales

Airlines allegedly offering kickbacks, exploiting loopholes to get sought-after allocations

Romanian envoy facing charges of manslaughter

A Romanian diplomat is facing manslaughter charges following a deadly hit-and-run accident in Singapore, the Romanian prosecutor’s office said yesterday.

Stop big banks’ risky trades, urges Volcker

White House economic adviser Paul Volcker on Tuesday took to Congress his call to curb risky investing by big banks, warning that his soul would haunt lawmakers when the next banking crisis hits if they did not heed him now.

A more assertive China won’t rock the boat

Beijing appears set on a peaceful path as it continues to grow

Beijing will not halt new listings

Mainland regulators are curbing public offerings in sectors plagued by overcapacity

It’s time Beijing sent us our own Lee Kuan Yew

The time has come to call a spade a spade. In this period of heightening polarisation over issues like constitutional reform and the election of the next chief executive, it is imperative that Hong Kong as a whole should get its act together and work towards the twin objectives so desired by all. These are a stable society offering equal opportunities and a harmonious atmosphere affording room and scope to develop latent potential.

Migrant workers may not return from holiday

Pulling suitcases and hefting heavy bags on their shoulders, millions of mainland workers are boarding trains to head home for the Lunar New Year - a holiday that triggers the world’s biggest annual migration of people.

Strict casino credit rules draw mixed reactions

Healthy for industry, say some operators; but others worry VIP players may shy away

The next big thing: a mastiff

There’s a saying among ultra-rich men in northern China: you need a young beautiful wife, a Lamborghini, a villa with expansive grounds, a purebred horse and a Tibetan mastiff (zang’ao), the bigger and more ferocious the better.

What happens if China’s ‘bubble’ pops?

World-renowned short seller Jim Chanos -- the hedge fund manager who called the fall of Enron and the systemic problems cause by subprime mortgages --recently turned his gimlet eye on China. He saw a country whose rapid rise was hiding massive flaws: grossly inflated real estate prices, irresponsible construction lending, massive overbuilding, a banking system larded with bad loans, and unreliable government data. Fitch Ratings weighed in this week saying that China’s banks face the greatest “bubble risk” of any Asian country.

Chinese sales boosts luxury goods market in 2009

Despite the economic crisis, 2009 ended better than it began for the French luxury goods sector, thanks largely to China’s growing taste for high-end products, encouraging thoughts of a better 2010.

China’s top universities ‘to rival Ivy League’

The president of Yale University says China’s top universities will rival the elite ones in the United States and Britain in 25 years, a week after Premier Wen Jiabao pledged to make the country’s universities “world class”.

Tony Chan’s firm reassures its investors

The listed company of fung shui master Tony Chan Chun-chuen reassured investors yesterday after police searched its Cyberport offices and the homes of its directors in the investigation into a suspected forged document.

Hugo Boss crimped by small Asia exposure

As shoppers across the world gingerly start spending again on luxury, German fashion house Hugo Boss risks being left behind because of its dependence on department store sales and European customers.

HSI tumbles below 20,000 level

Concern over ballooning budget deficits across Europe rippled through global equity markets yesterday, sending the Hang Seng Index spiralling below the 20,000-point level for the first time in five months.

More second-hand luxury sports cars being imported

Grey imports bearing Bentley, Porsche badges jumped the most last year

Why do losers keep gambling? Brain to blame

Study show near-wins trick people into trying again and again

Big drain in emerging market equity funds

Weekly outflow hits US$1.6b, the highest in 24 weeks, on earnings and Greece’s debt woes

Top cop admits taking bribes to frame man

A top police officer who oversaw cyber censorship in Beijing pleaded guilty yesterday to taking more than 4.2 million yuan (HK$4.78 million) in bribes from an anti-virus company to frame an executive of a business rival.

More young migrants give the reunion dinner a miss

Skyrocketing train fares, the ordeal of long journeys and the stress of meeting a parent’s expectations are keeping young migrants from going home for the Lunar New Year.

Corruption trial hears of vast wealth, bribe claims

As the high-profile trial of the most senior cadre snared in Chongqing’s crackdown on gangsters continues, further details of the former justice chief’s decadent lifestyle have been revealed in court.

Census may spur rethink on birth control

China is preparing to send an army of six million enumerators into cities and the countryside later this year for a national census that can have a profound influence on the population policy.

Why most funds raised by mainland firms not repatriated

“Seventy-seven per cent of the money raised by mainland corporates in the Hong Kong equity market in the first 11 months of 2009 has stayed in the Hong Kong dollar account. That tally will swell to HK$300 billion by the end of last year.”

Pipelines to run Myanmar gauntlet

Risks for China in oil, gas from neighbour