Saturday, 6 March 2010

Ex-British army homes may become Singapore hedge-fund hub

Singapore is planning to create its own hedge-fund capital modelled after Greenwich, Connecticut, in a cluster of ex-British army homes called Nepal Hill, a 15- minute cab-ride from the city-state’s main banking district.

Shanghai leaves Hong Kong behind in size of the economy in 2009

Shanghai’s economy exceeded the size of Hong Kong’s for the first time in at least three decades after stimulus spending helped China skirt the global crisis and lead the world out of recession.

How PM Lee can boost the productivity rate of his own PMO

“Salaries for political appointments – ministers, ministers of state and parliamentary secretaries – are estimated to be $58.28 million, or 8.8 per cent higher than last year.”


Why is an Independent Judiciary an importance part of a liberal democracy?

“The judiciary (also known as the judicial system or judicature) is the system of courts which interprets and applies the law in the name of the sovereign or state. The judiciary also provides a mechanism for the resolution of disputes. Under the doctrine of the separation of powers, the judiciary generally does not make law (which is the responsibility of the legislature) or enforce law (which is the responsibility of the executive), but rather interprets law and applies it to the facts of each case.


Separation of Powers

Even though Singapore is a Democratic Country, I am concerned that there little if not, no concept of Separation of Powers, which is a very critical but common trait of any democratic country. Please allow me to quickly introduce the concept to you and the basis of my concerns with application to my homeland, Singapore.

Continue reading

Friday, 5 March 2010

Second-tier cities offer growth potential

Where does one invest in China, which is such a vast market? One of Mapletree Investment’s strategies is to focus on second-tier cities with good growth potential, where it can find better value in real estate. And where growth has not fully taken off.

Head for China’s western frontier

Looking to invest in China? Go west, to Chongqing in central western China. Or head for Xian in the central north-west region. Both cities are on a new economic frontier that China is opening up.

A banking tale of tortoise and hare

Twenty years ago, if you had asked any equity investor which bank’s shares were destined to outperform over the next two decades - HSBC or Standard Chartered - he would have laughed in disbelief at your question. The answer was obvious: HSBC, of course.

And if you were to ask almost any investor which of the two stocks is most likely to outperform over the coming years, they would stare at you in amazement and answer “StanChart, of course.”

Contra trading hurts equity derivatives’ growth: SGX chief

Contra trading is here to stay but it is hurting the growth of equity derivatives here and will probably need to be re-priced, the new chief executive of the Singapore Exchange said yesterday.

Growth for whom, asks Sylvia

Workers’ Party chairman Sylvia Lim cautioned yesterday that as Singapore pursues economic growth, the average citizen must also feel that he gains.

Law firms hike salaries, slice bonuses

Singapore’s largest law firms have upped the monthly salaries of their lawyers significantly, as they brace themselves for the onslaught of competition from the foreign law firms, amid the liberalisation of the legal industry here.

Chinese youth accused of not being fighting fit

China must urgently address the physical fitness of the nation’s youth or run the risk of raising a generation incapable of fighting the Japanese in a future war, the head of the country’s top sports university said Thursday.

China’s Wen Blocked by Politics From Fixing ‘Unstable’ Economy

Premier Wen Jiabao calls China’s economic growth path “unbalanced, uncoordinated, and unsustainable.” This week’s annual parliament session may prove he is unable to change its course.

New A-G regarded as one of world’s top arbitrators

Lawyers who are familiar with Senior Counsel Sundaresh Menon, who takes over as Singapore’s Attorney-General in October, yesterday described him as a man with many qualities that make him the perfect choice for the job.

Navy declares war on villagers encroaching on bases

The People’s Liberation Army Navy is facing countless potentially fatal accidents at their bases, where boats and nets are illegally placed by fishermen, the PLA Daily said yesterday.

No evidence to suggest car was stolen

It is unlikely that the black Audi A6 driven by former diplomat Silviu Ionescu had been stolen, as he had claimed to the Singapore authorities.

Night of revelry with wine and tequila

With Korean singing teacher Jeong Ae Ree - a woman he had met just days earlier - former Romanian diplomat Silviu Ionescu went on a night of revelry on Dec 14 last year.

Teledata names Howard Kim new MD

IT company Teledata (Singapore) has appointed Howard Kim, who has more than 20 years of experience in the communications business, as its managing director.

China overtakes US in commercial real estate

China replaced the United States as the world’s largest commercial real estate investment market last year and is likely to retain that position as global money flows improve as the country’s economy grows, according to a report by property consultancy Cushman & Wakefield.

A Miniature World Magnifies Dwarf Life

Chen Mingjing’s entrepreneurial instincts vaulted him from a peasant upbringing to undreamed-of wealth, acquired in ventures ranging from making electric meters to investing in real estate. But when he was 44, the allure of making money for money’s sake began to wane. He wanted to run a business that accomplished some good.

Google China Hackers Stole Source Code From Staff PCs

The hackers behind the attacks on Google and dozens of other companies operating in China stole valuable computer source code by breaking into the personal computers of employees with privileged access, a security firm said on Wednesday.

China Drafts Rules to Rein in Local State Borrowing

China’s Ministry of Finance is taking the lead in drafting new rules to control fund-raising by local governments’ special purpose vehicles, a banking regulator said on Thursday.

Web of deceit lands party young gun in hot water

A deputy secretary of the Communist Youth League committee in Shijiazhuang has been sacked and handed over to prosecutors for allegedly fabricating her age, resume and identity to win promotion and inherit a huge estate that her billionaire lover left to his daughter.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Are you or your Chinese friends 小资

Read webpage

China property beckons even in poorer cities

With savings earning paltry returns and inflation rising, property is seen as best bet

Four Rio Tinto employees to face trial in China

China has charged four employees of mining giant Rio Tinto including an Australian national with violating bribery and trade secret laws, the state news agency Xinhua reported Wednesday.

First Heavy shares fall on trading debut despite lower offering price

China First Heavy Industries fell on its debut after raising US$1.67 billion in the mainland’s biggest initial public offering this year, as investors baulk at the high valuations pinned on a steady stream of new listings.

EU nations’ reality: Greece’s woes are theirs, too

Wealthy European nations are moving closer toward swallowing a bitter pill: rescuing Greece from its overspending before its debts drag down the euro and stock markets all the way to Wall Street.

Crackdown on internet gambling announced

The mainland has launched a six-month campaign to stamp out internet gambling as it presses ahead with it crackdown on online crime.

China on buying spree of US stocks

Beijing’s appetite for corporate America has expanded rapidly with the nation’s sovereign wealth fund holding investments of US$9.63 billion in 60 United States-listed companies, including icons such as Coca-Cola, News Corp and Apple.

Black Hawk down - but the rest?

Many doubt Beijing’s push to curb hackers

The Crisis is Not Over

Is the financial crisis over? Is the recovery for real and, if not, what are Americans’ prospects? The short answer is that the financial crisis is not over, the recovery is not real, and the U.S. faces a far worse crisis than the financial one. Here is the situation as I understand it:

Singapore has the lowest wages and domestic purchasing power among the Asian Tigers

The worldwide study conducted and released by UBS lately, titled “Price and Earnings 2009″ has some unflattering results for Singapore.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

High-speed rail doesn’t add up, planner says

A researcher with the powerful National Development and Reform Commission has openly questioned China’s ambitious high-speed rail plan, saying it is not economic.

Auditor raises alarm over Beijing-Shanghai rail link

The Beijing-Shanghai High Speed Railway, which wants to raise up to 50 billion yuan in one of the world’s biggest initial public offerings this year and bring in strategic investors, has been hit by findings of financial irregularities by the national auditor.

Magistrate’s Complaints and non-seizable offences

Senior executive A. Jaafar reported to the police on Jan 10 that he was assaulted, but was told by the police that he should make a Magistrate’s Complaint instead.

Man alleges condo attack by diplomat

Police have been directed to investigate an alleged assault by a Saudi Arabian Embassy official on a condominium resident.

Dismantling the hukou system requires care

China has weathered the global economic crisis better than other nations, but a significant proportion of the people are nonetheless suffering. About 23 million migrant factory workers lost their jobs as a result of Western demand for imports drying up. Their plight now, amid government concern about the widening gap between the urban rich and rural poor, has become the focus of a campaign in the media and policymaking circles to abolish the outdated residency permit system. National People’s Congress lawmakers should heed the calls and begin a concerted programme of reforms.

The real reason China retains its old pass laws

On Monday, 13 mainland newspapers called for the abolition of China’s hukou household registration laws, slamming them as inequitable and corrupt.

Migrants’ children shut out of schools

Two days into the new school semester, hundreds of children of migrant workers in Beijing are still searching desperately for new schools after their previous ones were marked for demolition.

Bans no big deal yet for Shanghai smokers

Shanghai’s partial smoking ban has produced a lacklustre response, with widespread confusion over how far it extends and who should enforce it.

Night out with singer

Dr Ionescu (left) had been drinking the night before the accident, according to Ms. Jeong (right).

Online ‘beats newspapers’ in US

Online news has become more popular that reading newspapers in the US, according to a survey.

Profit-driven regulator? Competition is the key

Although it’s been around for about 10 years now, it would be fair to say that the idea of a profit-maximising market regulator like the Singapore Exchange (SGX) has not gained widespread acceptance with a sceptical local public, because of the inherent conflict of interest in such an arrangement.

Coming to grips with S-chips’ cash positions

It is no surprise that China firms listed here have a yawning credibility problem, given the antics over the past 12 months. But what does amaze is their lack of effort in trying to improve their tattered image.

Singapore economy: advanced or not?

While its per capita GDP is relatively high, it lags behind on value-added per worker

Turning old CBD offices into prime new homes

As Marina Bay financial district takes shape, developers are making exciting plans

What companies should know before going for an IPO

Many ambitious enterprises have dreams of going for a public listing. However, they may be clueless about how to prepare for the journey, or even when they should start to think about it.

Unwinding of US$ carry trades, if it comes, may disrupt global markets

The recent rise in the US dollar - a carry trade currency - bears a haunting resemblance to the sharp appreciation in yen in early 2007, which left stock market carnage in its wake on fears of the unwinding of the yen ‘carry trade’.

What warrants an arrest?

While it is good to know that the police are investigating the matter despite defining the matter as a non-seizable offence, it is disturbing to note that the man-in-the-street would not be accorded this privilege in the normal course of events.

When bankrupts sue for defamation

When bankrupts want to take a person to court, they first have to seek permission from the Official Assignee’s (OA) Office, which oversees their affairs.

Beijing in confident mood, but some hard choices loom

Premier Wen Jiabao should be more upbeat than a year ago when he delivers China’s version of the state of the union address at the opening of the legislature’s annual session on Friday and then faces the media at its close.

Brokers fight for the right to contra trade

Any move to remove contra trading will be resisted by brokerages, which have recently had informal chats on the subject with the Singapore Exchange (SGX).

Chongqing blitz on triad crime ends with 3,348 snared

Bo repeatedly drew attention to the reported support of Zhou Yongkang, head of the Central Commission of Political Science and Law, during the campaign, but he seemingly failed to secure any new endorsement of the sweeping crackdown from the central government in Beijing. Apart from Zhou, there have been no state media reports of any of the other eight members of the top decision-making Politburo Standing Committee either visiting the city or voicing support for Bo over the past eight months.

Editorial calls for abolition of hukou system

A joint editorial in 13 mainland newspapers has called on the nation’s top legislative body to abolish the hukou system - strict population controls that have split the country into rural and urban areas for decades.

Ex-envoy to offer ‘moral compensation’

Former Romanian diplomat Silviu Ionescu said he would offer compensation to the victims of the hit-and-run accident on Dec15, but declined to attend a coroner’s inquiry that starts tomorrow.

FibreChem unveils US$50m lifeline

On Feb 22, FibreChem entered into an investment agreement with Prima Andalan Sentosa for the latter to invest up to US$50 million via subscription of new shares. Prima is owned by Patrick Soetanto, a member of the Soetanto family of Indonesia that is involved in textile and fibre businesses.

Miners buying up rich farm land in Australia to feed China growth

Mining groups are on a collision course with Australia’s farmers in a battle for some of the country’s richest agricultural land, putting at risk its status as the one of world’s top producers of best-quality wheat.

Oil, natural gas, coal to stay top energy sources

The 3 fossil fuels will account for nearly 80% of global needs up till 2030

Scottish investors expect sterling to plunge

While the world focuses on Greece’s debt crisis, investors in Edinburgh are busy preparing for the UK to be next.

Shanghai declares indoor smoking ban ahead of Expo

Restaurants and office buildings in China’s commercial capital Shanghai are scrambling to set up non-smoking areas as the city bans lighting up in indoor public spaces ahead of the World Expo.

Sino-Env CEO on why nTan services were terminated

As part of its cost-cutting measures, troubled S-chip company Sino-Environment has terminated the services of its independent financial adviser nTan Corporate Advisory with effect from Feb 18.

Tales of the Shanghai market

I have a personal dislike for the term “perfect storm”, because it is rarely accurate. However, the Spring Festival holiday break included some announcements and actions that bring together a previously loose collection of events into something that is perhaps more significant — an almost- perfect storm.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

China prepares for Arctic melt

China is starting to prepare for the commercial and strategic opportunities arising as global warming melts the polar ice cover in the Arctic, an international peace research group said Monday.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Mossad regularly faked Australian passports: ex-agent

Israel’s Mossad has regularly faked Australian passports for its spies, an ex-agent said, as anger grew over the use of foreign travel documents for an alleged assassination.

NGOs say they adapt to survive in China

While it is becoming clearer that Oxfam Hong Kong has fallen foul of the mainland’s education departments, crucial questions remain unanswered, including what the charity has done to deserve such treatment and what it means for other NGOs on the mainland.

S&P predicts China property correction by mid-year

The mainland property market will see a correction this year due to slower demand, higher supply, tightening liquidity and the effects of government measures to cool speculation, according to Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services.

Some hospitals in Malaysia prepare to welcome patients from Singapore

Some hospitals in Malaysia are preparing to welcome more patients from Singapore. One has even tied up with tour operators to attract medical tourists from across the causeway.

Workers’ no-show alarms factories

Labour shortage in delta worsens after holiday

Hired thugs held over attack on arts centre

Beijing police have detained 18 people for attacking a handful of artists to evict them from an art zone to make way for a property development.

Thai Court Seizes $1.4 Billion From Ex-Premier

Thailand’s Supreme Court on Friday confiscated $1.4 billion in frozen assets from the nation’s fugitive former Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, after finding him guilty of illegally concealing his ownership of a family company and abusing his power to benefit the companies he owned.

Romanian envoy not likely to return for inquiry

Former Romanian diplomat Silviu Ionescu is unlikely to return to Singapore for a coroner’s inquiry into the death of Mr Tong Kok Wai, which begins on Wednesday.

Sincere by name and philosophy for 110 years

Sincere Department Store is well known for selling expensive handbags and clothing, but few people know it had its origins in a far more humble product.

Malls make life hard for department stores

Brand-crazy mainland tourists and locals drift away from old-style shopping centres

Young Chinese lose their mother tongue in ‘English’ seduction

It strains credulity that a Chinese university would require an applicant to be tested in English, but not Chinese, to demonstrate knowledge of the humanities.

Shanghai City fires up anti-smoking law

The city’s first law to ban smoking in public places takes effect today with offenders facing fines from 50 yuan (US$7.32) to 200 yuan.

Thaksin verdict raises more questions

Landmark case in Thai courts could have impact in political circles, trigger more lawsuits

More Often Than Not, the Insiders Get It Right

Corporate insiders are sending fairly positive signals about the market.

Focus back on currencies after stock turmoil

This year, currency investment is back in favour after last year’s stock market turmoil. Central banks are also widely expected to raise rates, further fuelling activity.

Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy ride

Your Money took these questions to some of the smartest financial minds in the market to see if we can borrow a page from their playbook for the coming months. The experts we talk to are Marc Faber, editor of the Gloom Boom & Doom report, billionaire investor Jim Rogers, Mark Mobius, executive chairman of Templeton Asset Management, and Peter Elston, chief Asia strategist at Aberdeen Asset Management. Here is their take:

Chain on a little boy a potent symbol of an unjust system and two-tier society

The upsetting photo published around the world just before the Lunar New Year of two-year-old Chen Jingdan chained to a tree in Beijing was loaded with as many misconceptions as it was with shock, desperation, sadness and pity.

Blast at wealthy family’s fireworks show kills 20

It was meant to be a show of wealth and to bestow good fortune in the Year of the Tiger. But a wealthy family’s firework display in a village in Guangdong went tragically wrong, triggering a huge explosion that killed at least 20 people, including children, and left nearly 50 injured, some critically.

Anatomy of a good home buy

The key to making a savvy property purchase lies in these seven common sense basics

70 sign up for first Taoist cultural course

About 70 students have enrolled for the one-year course. It covers areas such as Taoist philosophy, history, scriptures, rituals and liturgy, as well as Chinese calligraphy.

To stop diarrhoea

When you got diarrhoea, no matter how serious, keeping you running to the toilet every moment, try this:

A can of warm 100 plus and teaspoon of salt, drink it all in and you will stop going to the toilet immediately.

Sunday, 28 February 2010

World Leaders' vs Lee Hsien Loong's Salary

Crime on rise and social stability at risk

The mainland’s crime rate is on the rise for the first time since 2000, a government think tank warned this week, adding that maintaining social stability will remain a big challenge.

Goggle-eyed at Google Singapore

It did not bode well for Google’s trendy upstart image at first, finding out that its Singapore office is located in the steel cuboid jungle of Shenton Way - a sprint away from the Monetary Authority of Singapore, no less.

Thaksin supporters denounce Thai court verdict

Supporters of populist former Thai leader Thaksin Shinawatra denounced a court order to seize $1.4 billion of his assets, and vowed Saturday to pursue a nonviolent struggle for what they said would be a people’s democracy.

New law spells out military powers in time of war

China has passed a new law formally granting the military the power to control banking, energy and foreign-invested factories on the mainland in times of war or major disaster.

Tibetan-Han mix more complex than it seems

Tibet’s politics may have grabbed headlines for decades, but the relationship between Tibetans and the dominant Han is far more complex than public arguments suggest.

Muslim enclave in security spotlight

As Expo looms, eyes turn to trading hub of Yiwu and its Islamic population

Half of Americans foresee a ‘Chinese century’

Around half of Americans believe the US will play a smaller role in global affairs in coming decades, with many predicting a “Chinese century”, a poll said on Thursday.

Australia dissatisfied with Israeli response over fake passports

Australia stepped up pressure on Israel Saturday over fake passports linked to the murder of a top Hamas commander, saying it was yet to receive a satisfactory explanation.

Apple Finally Owns up to iMac Monitor Yellowing

Apple is finally officially acknowledging its iMac yellowing problem after almost five months of silence. Some customers receive three or more consecutive units with the defective yellow tinting.