Saturday, 27 February 2010

China to hold yuan stable to help exports

Official says US must not blame Beijing’s currency policy for its economic ills

China may be hiding US Treasury bond purchases

China, a top owner of US government debt, appears to be secretly buying bonds via third locations to hide its importance as a major creditor to Washington, experts told a congressional forum Thursday.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Clarification to misleading remarks Pastor Rony Tan made on Buddhism

I like to thank Rony Tan for his public apology to the Buddhist community for the insensitive things he said. However, as a Buddhist I am still concerned. Due to the hype surrounding this incident, many people have watched the video clips where Rony Tan belittled Buddhism. Numerous remarks made against Buddhism were misleading and untrue. If not corrected, this could lead to greater confusion in the general public regarding what Buddhists really believe.

Tok Meng Haw

Thou shalt nots - for China’s public officials

The Chinese Communist Party’s new anti-corruption code bans 52 practices, which include these five:

# Throw a grand wedding, funeral or similar functions
# Undertake ‘image projects’ to look good
# Pocket public funds or properties
# Accept money or gifts under different names
# Favour family members, or staff members

No sympathy from Toyota’s Japanese suppliers

As Toyota’s president Akio Toyoda faces American lawmakers, his company will be facing something else here in Japan’s auto manufacturing heartland: an unprecedented level of opprobrium.

Ex-cop sentenced to 9 months’ jail, S$3,000 fine

David Lim Kay Heng, a 37-year-old former police staff sergeant, has been sentenced to nine months’ jail for accepting a bribe from a man believed to be an operator of illegal gambling outlets. He was also fined S$3,000.

Horizon Towers lawsuits headed for trial

The latest legal tussle involving Horizon Towers looks set to go into full swing, with the High Court having dismissed the action by the two defendants to strike out the lawsuits filed against them.

How China grows economically

Its alternative financing and governance mechanisms overcome weak legal and financial systems

China’s global profile increases with key IMF post

China has won its highest-ever staff position in the IMF in a reflection of its growing economic might and the clamour by emerging nations for a bigger say in global finance.

International Monetary Fund managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn notified the fund’s executive board on Wednesday of his intention to appoint the deputy Chinese central bank governor, Zhu Min, as his special advisor.

China Says Stable Yuan Helps Struggling Exporters

China reaffirmed its determination on Thursday to hold down the yuan’s exchange rate to help its beleaguered exporters.

Beyond the red mist surrounding Thaksin

While all eyes in Thailand are focused on what has been touted as a doomsday Constitution Court verdict on former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s frozen billions, the pro-Thaksin, red-shirted United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) is in the midst of another build-up to street protests against the government.

Banks Bet Greece Defaults on Debt They Helped Hide

Bets by some of the same banks that helped Greece shroud its mounting debts may actually now be pushing the nation closer to the brink of financial ruin.

Harvard expert predicts collapse of China’s ‘debt-fuelled bubble’

China’s economic growth will plunge to as low as 2 per cent following the collapse of a “debt-fuelled bubble” within 10 years, sparking a regional recession, according to Harvard University professor Kenneth Rogoff.

GM to end Hummer as deal with Chinese firm fails

General Motors said Wednesday it would end its celebrated and scorned Hummer brand of sport utility vehicles after a deal to sell the nameplate to China-based Tengzhong could not be finalized.

Double Dip Recession Risk Is Near: CIO

The global economy looks set to plunge back into recession as the sovereign debt pressure currently rocking Europe intensifies, Ashok Shah, CIO of London & Capital, told CNBC Wednesday.

Anta Sports enjoys 40pc leap in profits

Anta Sports Products, whose goal is to become the mainland’s leading domestic sportswear retailer by 2013, said yesterday that net profit rose nearly 40 per cent to 1.25 billion yuan (HK$1.42 billion) last year.

G.M. to Close Hummer After Sale Fails

General Motors said on Wednesday that it would shut down Hummer, the brand of big sport utility vehicles that became synonymous with the term gas guzzler, after a deal to sell it to a Chinese manufacturer fell apart.

Bullish a Year Ago, Robert Prechter Now Sees "the Biggest Bubble in History"

Bear Market Armageddon: Why Prechter Might Be Right This Time

In late February last year, Robert Prechter of Elliott Wave International said "cover your shorts" and predicted a sharp rally that would take the S&P into the 1000 to 1100 range. That prediction came to pass. Prechter then urged investors to "step aside" from long positions, and speculators should "start looking at the short side."

With Prechter firmly back in familiar bearish territory, he joined Aaron and Henry again, armed with scary charts that forecast an imminent "grand, super cycle top" and collapse, mirroring the decline after the 1929 crash. A firm believer in deflation on the horizon, Prechter sees commodity prices falling this year into next.

Prechter admits he hasn't always been right. "The disinflationary period lasted longer than I thought," he confesses. But, this time it's different, he promises.

Keynesian economics: dying where it was born

The UK has produced notable economists over the years, but John Maynard Keynes, the guru of government intervention, was one of truly global significance. So it may be fitting that the UK will also become the deathbed of Keynesian economics.

More clarity needed for SGX policy on firms at risk of delisting

Why is it that shareholders’ hopes of recovering their investments in China Printing & Dyeing and FerroChina should be dashed when a restructuring deal looks so close to being sealed?

Operations of key Sino-Environment unit have ceased

Sino-Environment said that all business operations at its main subsidiary in Fuzhou have ceased, leaving its plant and equipment sitting idle.

Sino-Environment issues update following criticism

Embattled Sino-Environment Technology Group has issued a long-awaited update to anxious shareholders, just hours after it received a tongue-lashing from the head of a retail investors’ body.

Sovereign debt crisis on the cards

Ballooning public debt is likely to force several countries to default and the United States to slash spending, according to Harvard University Professor Kenneth Rogoff, who in 2008 predicted the failure of big US banks.

Toyota chiefs blame fast rise, admit recall limits

Toyota’s top US executive has admitted that global vehicle recalls had “not totally” fixed dangerous safety flaws, as angry US lawmakers looked to grill the Japanese auto giant’s contrite president, Akio Toyoda.

US and Europe dig themselves in fiscal hole

The fiscal time bomb is ticking ever louder, from Greece to Japan and from Britain to the United States, not to mention Portugal, Spain and Ireland. But the ominous sound is being muffled by the clamour for economic growth to be maintained at all costs, even at the expense of bankrupting governments.

Oxfam calls halt after ‘warning’

Hong Kong charity suspends training of mainland students until ‘ministry notice’ clarified

Prices steady as home buying starts to wane

Surging home prices on the mainland have shown signs of slowing down as buyers hesitate about entering the market in the wake of government measures to cool property speculation.

Pressures point to fresh yuan appreciation in coming months

In recent days market chatter about the yuan has reached deafening volumes. Lots of people agree; at some point soon Beijing is going to change the way it manages its exchange rate policy.

Mainland tells banks to limit loans to local bodies

Mainland’s banking regulator has told commercial lenders to restrict new credit they provide to local governments’ financing vehicles, to ward off potential risks of default, state media reported on Wednesday.

Hong Kong to Raise Luxury Property Tax

Hong Kong’s government plans to raise the tax on luxury apartment deals and increase land supply to try and prevent the property market from overheating, a trend evident in many Asian markets.

Hong Kong introduces measures to avoid property bubble

Hong Kong said Wednesday that it will introduce a series of measures to cool the overheating property market, including increasing residential land supply and stamp duty for luxury flats.

Crackdown on soccer spreads to top team

One of the mainland’s most successful and popular soccer clubs has been dragged into the sweeping crackdown on the sport, a report said yesterday, as the country’s top football management body announced punishments for three other clubs for match-fixing.

Chinese Flock to Parks for Closer Look at Minorities

Tucked away in China’s steamy tropical southwest are the villages of the Dai people, famous throughout the country for a raucous annual tradition: a water-splashing festival where the Dai douse one another for three days in the streets using any container they can get their hands on — buckets, wash basins, teacups, balloons, water guns.

China could benefit from Swatch threat to halt component supply

Swatch Group’s plan to stop supplying rivals with key components threatens the “Swiss made” seal on which the industry rests and could force watchmakers to source from Asia, notably China, or simply go out of business.

China’s Communists issue ethics code

China’s ruling Communist Party has issued an ethics code to curb the widespread corruption that its leaders see as one of the biggest threats to its long-term survival, state media reported Wednesday.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Beijing government’s tightening package on property

Beijing local government released a policy package to cool down the property market. The key highlights as the following:

China Tells Banks to Restrict Loans to Local Governments

China’s banking regulator has told commercial lenders to restrict new lending they provide to the financing arms of local governments, a measure designed to pre-empt a potential overheating in China’s booming economy.

China tells banks to limit loans to local governments

China’s banking regulator has told commercial lenders to tighten their grip on credit to local governments in an effort to ward off potential risks of default, state media reported on Wednesday.

Graphic designer finds his destiny as feng shui adviser

The mainland property market is so vast that it offers thousands of Hong Kong people the opportunity to make their dream careers possible, as Lawrence Tong, graphic designer-turned-feng shui consultant in Shanghai, testifies.

Singapore’s biggest gamble becomes a reality

Gambling used to rank with chewing gum as one of the great sins in strait-laced Singapore. Not anymore.

Rape drugs on the rise, UN says

So-called date-rape drugs are on the rise, according to the United Nations drug control agency’s annual report

When too much good is bad

Economist doubtful over Singapore’s plan to scale back on foreign workers

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Currency traders set to be new financial market kings

Reputations, fortunes likely to be made in foreign exchange

For Apple suppliers, loose lips can sink contracts

The massive manufacturing complex in the South China city of Longhua resembles an industrial fortress. To enter the facility, workers swipe security cards at the gate. Guards check the occupants of each vehicle with fingerprint recognition scanners.

Braving the beast to do business on the mainland

Here are a couple of recent tales from friends competing in the ever-growing mainland retail market that no serious corporate dare ignore. Both are about clothing brands that most women have heard of and women like me cannot afford.

China fights back

Five years after losing the so-called Sino-US ‘bra wars’, China is standing firm as the Pacific rivals square up to a fresh spate of trade cleavages.

US hangs tough

Hard-hit by the recession, rising feed costs and the ‘swine flu’ scare, the pork industry in the United States cheered when China announced that it was lifting a seven-month ban late last year.

Genting stock takes a hit as euphoria fizzles out

Genting Singapore shares have been taking a beating, falling almost 30 per cent from its peak of about $1.30 per share a month ago to 94 cents yesterday.

We need citizenship test ...and tolerance, respect

To combat a growing tide of xenophobia in recent months, the Government has used perks and persuasion to hammer home two key messages. First, that when it comes to public policy, Singaporeans will always come first. And second, that as the privileges of citizenship multiply, more permanent residents (PRs) here should consider trading in their blue identity cards for pink ones.

Electric bikes on a roll in China

Chinese commuters in their millions are turning to electric bicycles -- hailed as the environmentally-friendly future of personal transport in the country’s teeming cities.

US lunar pull-out leaves China shooting for moon

China aims to land its first astronauts on the moon within a decade at the dawn of a new era of manned space exploration -- a race it now leads thanks to the US decision to drop its lunar programme.

Wife ‘shared’ hubby with Nina Wang for 15 years

Hong Kong: Madam Tam Miu Ching spent 15 years looking the other way while her husband had an affair with another woman.

UAE Prince Sheikh Issa bin Zayed tortures Afghan man for just $5,000

Chequered record of a feared espionage agency

Last November, a sharp-eyed Israeli woman named Niva Ben-Harush was alarmed to notice a young man attaching something that looked suspiciously like a bomb to the underside of a car in a quiet street near Tel Aviv port. When police arrested him, he claimed to be an agent of the Mossad secret service on a training exercise: his story turned out to be true - though the bomb was a fake.

New rules to curb property speculation

Pay stamp duty if you ‘flip’ property; bank loans capped at 80%

Pastor draws flak for remarks about gays

Netizens outraged after clip of interview with ex-lesbian was put online; police report filed

China can tackle property bubble, says Paulson

China can handle parts of its commercial real estate market that may have been “over-stimulated”, former US treasury secretary Henry Paulson said.

Police raid Richard Li home over PCCW bid

Police have raided the home of PCCW chairman Richard Li Tzar-kai, son of Asia’s richest man Li Ka-shing.

Singapore Looks for a Softer Side of Growth

Singapore may be best known as a hub of electronics manufacturing and transportation, but as it plans for its next stage of economic growth, its leaders are looking toward a radically different sector: the arts.