Saturday, 13 March 2010
The central government has tightened restrictions on overseas donations to independent domestic non-governmental organisations in a move that experts and NGO workers fear will threaten the survival of the mainland’s fledgling civil society.
Railway police in Shanghai say they have detained 47 suspects and rescued 21 babies in a month-long crackdown on child trafficking.
The fate of Wen Qiang, the biggest catch in Chongqing’s crackdown on organised crime, may be known as soon as the end of this month, and if convicted, he is unlikely to get the maximum penalty, the city’s justice chief said.
Friday, 12 March 2010
The yen slipped yesterday, giving back recent gains, amid increasing expectations that the Bank of Japan will adopt further easing measures, while the pound sterling fell on persistent credit and economic concerns.
Thursday, 11 March 2010
China’s stock market is now bigger than the bourses in London and Tokyo and has become the second largest in the world after the United States. Some of the largest firms in the world are also now listed in China. Yet, not enough is known about the behaviour and reasons for the rapidly rising stock markets in Shanghai and Shenzhen.
Ten people involved in one of the city’s biggest insider dealing cases yesterday lost an appeal against their conviction but will escape an HK$8.78 million fine because the now defunct tribunal set up to punish offenders had no power to levy the penalty.
Wall Street tactics akin to the ones that fostered subprime mortgages in America have worsened the financial crisis shaking Greece and undermining the euro by enabling European governments to hide their mounting debts.
Investors have not yet given up on the 11-month-old world markets recovery and there is little evidence so far this year of a retreat to safe-haven bunkers in the face of mini-shocks from Greek debts, China’s monetary tightening and U.S. regulatory threats.
They sleep in boxy rooms crammed into dingy low-rises and spend hours commuting to work on crowded buses as part of a trend of poorer white-collar workers being forced to the fringes of China’s wealthiest cities.
There are some novel tools in Bernanke’s plan. But how effective will they be?
Is the latest property bubble in tropical Hainan about to burst? Or will prices for high-end properties keep on rising as the island builds the tourism infrastructure needed to meet Beijing’s goal of turning it into a world-class destination?
Has anyone ever heard a CEO say that the company’s problems are his fault? The general message that gets sent when the company is doing well is that it is a vindication of the management’s strategy. But when things go pear shaped it tends to be blamed on problems like “unforeseeable market factors” or “industry-wide issues”. You don’t tend to hear “we got it wrong” very much.
Jim O’Neill is on the lookout for the great Chinese revaluation of 2010, and he’s not alone.
A newspaper editor said he has been punished for co-writing a bold editorial demanding reform of the unpopular household registration system on the mainland, which critics say discriminates against farmers and other rural poor.
The ex-Asia head of Deutsche Bank AG’s Saba proprietary trading desk is planning a hedge fund seeking to profit from mispricing of securities in Asia’s equity and credit markets, said two people with knowledge of the matter.
Mainlanders saved money to provide their family with a more comfortable life whereas most Hongkongers, Koreans and Indians said they saved to provide for their retirement. Malaysian, Singaporean and Taiwanese people saved for “a rainy day”.
A river of liquor, a robotic version of a famous emperor and fighting Shaolin monks - China’s provinces are going all-out to woo tourists and investors at Shanghai World Expo next year.
The Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia yesterday offered its full cooperation to the authorities here looking into a magistrate’s complaint against one of its diplomats.
Wednesday, 10 March 2010
My friend’s sister is a feng shui master. He said RWS’s casino is full of ‘feng shui’ arrangement that it’s very strong to trap anyone’s money when going into the casino. From the moment you enter (if u asked the cab to drop u at casino entrance), you will see the lobby has one strange sculpture - the elephant.
A district judge has sentenced a British national to two months’ imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to voluntarily causing hurt to a taxi driver.
The Romanian driver of former charge d’affaires Silviu Ionescu gave his side of the story on Tuesday at the Coroner’s Inquiry into the death of a pedestrian linked to his embassy car last December.
Economists, financial pundits and politicians the world over, except in China, are agreed the yuan is way undervalued, perhaps by as much as 25 per cent to 40 per cent.
China’s inflation probably accelerated and exports climbed in February, according to surveys of economists, increasing the likelihood of the central bank raising interest rates from a five-year low.
Two years after the city erupted in a riot that set off anti-government protests across Tibetan areas of China, heavy security is now normal. Helmeted paramilitary police stand guard behind spiked barriers at some street corners. Men on rooftops train binoculars on the square and streets in the Barkhor, the heart of the old city that surrounds a holy temple.
A Hong Kong woman has sought the help of a national lawmaker after being told that she was not allowed to marry a Shenzhen police officer in his city because of a dated regulation that banned civil servants from marrying “foreigners”.
There are two ways of reading Saturday’s comments from People’s Bank of China boss Zhou Xiaochuan about Beijing’s exchange rate policy.
China plans to nullify all guarantees local governments have provided for loans taken by their financing vehicles as concerns about credit risks on such debt increases.
Spending by Beijing on infrastructure - mainly railways, roads and airports - will drop 2.7 per cent to 211.8 billion yuan (HK$240.4 billion) this year, but the shortfall, especially for railways, is likely to be made up by non-government sources, experts say.
Tuesday, 9 March 2010
In his five decades of exile, the Dalai Lama has never stopped plotting to seek “Tibet independence” through allying with foreign forces to internationalize the so-called “Tibet issue” and press the Chinese government.
The head of state-owned conglomerate China Everbright Holdings has warned of the dangers of rising property prices on the mainland and said that because of market volatility the group would be cautious about investing in the sector this year.
It’s always possible that someone besides Mossad carried out the assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a top Hamas military commander, in a Dubai hotel in January. Israel has refused to comment; on Monday Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman explained the silence by saying there is “no proof” Israel was responsible. But the Dubai police insist they are “99%” certain that Israel’s famed intelligence agency did the deed.
Some young married Chinese women lead a secret life. They take off their wedding rings before leaving for work and put them back on when they get home at night. They don’t put any family pictures on their office desk or chat with colleagues about love and family.
News headlines during the slack Lunar New Year time proclaimed that Japan is still the world’s second-biggest economy ahead of its giant neighbour China. The figures for gross domestic product for 2009 showed Japan with US$5.085 trillion, against China’s US$4.91 trillion.
Entering the Year of Tiger, enterprises in the world’s largest coal producer, China, are more and more seeking overseas coal. The unexpectedly massive onslaught of snow and ice in the country’s northern reaches has caused coal shortages in the southeast and is strengthening the determination of Chinese firms to go after overseas resources. As transportation from inland mines to the southeast coastal areas is also seriously short and coal prices are higher in domestic than in international markets, in the next few years economically developed areas in southeast China will be increasingly importing their coal.
The correction that investors thought had finally arrived is beginning to fade as the stock market settles into a pattern likely to continue for months.
Beijing residents are finding it costs more to send children to kindergarten than to put them through college.
Monday, 8 March 2010
China should build the world’s strongest military and move swiftly to displace the United States as the global “champion,” a Chinese PLA officer says in a new book reflecting swelling nationalist ambitions.
In the past two months, the news about wage pressure has been relentless. China’s largest exporting provinces have raised minimum wages. Hong Kong capitalists are desperately worried about labour shortages in mainland factories. Newspapers warn of a scramble for workers in China’s eastern provinces. Everyone seems to be concerned about rising labour costs.
Sports goods retailer 361 Degrees International reported sound growth in the six months that ended on December 31, proving that the brand is strong enough to maintain its position as one of the leading sports enterprises on the mainland despite the financial downturn.
The head of the International Monetary Fund said on Friday that it would be ‘intellectually healthy to explore’ the creation of a new global reserve currency to reduce dependence on the US dollar.
Investors should buy some gold every month “forever” or look to emerging market stocks rather than US shares, Marc Faber, editor of The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report, told CNBC.
Amid cheers from the congregation, City Harvest Church (CHC) yesterday announced that it will pay $310 million to become a co-owner of Suntec Singapore, a prime piece of downtown real estate.
Some argue that insider trading is a victimless crime. Yet a person who unwittingly buys shares from an insider who knows of pending poor results is no different from, say, a homebuyer who purchases a flat from a planning official who knows the block is going to be demolished. In both cases a person is exploiting a position of advantage to prey on a member of the public.
The tables have turned with an acute labour shortage in the so-called “factory of the world” meaning workers like Liu now call the shots. Even the lure of three times the normal pay and perks such as air conditioning, basketball courts and television is not enough to get workers to sign up.
Premier Wen Jiabao, who is entering his final years as the principal manager of the world’s third-largest economy, gave an annual report to the National People’s Congress on Friday mostly noted for its heavy dose of populist measures aimed at promoting social equity and spreading wealth.
Chinese steel mills are facing massive difficulties during this year’s annual iron ore benchmark talks with big price hikes set to push many of them into the red, the head of China’s third biggest steel firm, Wuhan Iron & Steel Group, said yesterday.
Nike and Adidas are the top two sportswear retailers on the mainland, with a combined 33.7 per cent market share in 2008. Li Ning holds 11.1 per cent, followed by Anta Sports Products with 8.6 per cent, according to marketing firm Frost & Sullivan.
Where exactly is China investing its US$2.4 trillion in foreign exchange reserves? Most economists agree that a substantial chunk, and perhaps the majority, of those reserves are invested in US Treasuries - debt issued by the US government to finance its spending.
China’s appetite for imported coal will provide a solid floor for global prices of the commodity this year, but its imports may miss last year’s peak as price-sensitive buyers shy from recovering prices.
In recent months, dozens of prominent commentators from New York hedge fund manager James Chanos to Harvard University professor and former International Monetary Fund chief economist Kenneth Rogoff have sounded warnings about the danger. They argue that last year’s credit-fuelled investment boom has exacerbated China’s existing industrial overcapacity and inflated a dangerous bubble in the property market.
Sunday, 7 March 2010
Some commentators like to say that Hong Kong is suffering from an identity crisis. They ask: Is Hong Kong international or Chinese? The thought that Hong Kong is becoming “just another Chinese city” is a worrying proposition. We have always been both international and Chinese, and we will continue to prosper only if we remain so.
Gaby Abdelnour, JP Morgan Chase Asia-Pacific chief executive, slaps the table three times as he spells out his ambition to end the firm’s five-year wait to enter China’s securities market: “I told everyone, I want to do a JV this year.”
The mainland’s mutual fund sector has suffered a huge brain drain as nearly 200 fund managers left their posts last year, dimming the outlook for the industry despite its breakneck growth in the past few years.
Editors at The Economic Observer, the newspaper which initiated a joint editorial published on Monday criticising the mainland’s hukou (household registration) system, have been punished for their bold action as other participating media confirmed a government order to remove the editorial from their websites.
Soaring housing prices in the past year have made home ownership a more distant dream for most mainlanders and Premier Wen Jiabao’s work report yesterday did little to address their hopes for fresh, concrete measures to rein in the boom.
They are young, smart and well-educated members of a post-1980 generation who enjoy all the varied attractions of city life in Shenzhen. And although they love children, they decided against having any of their own because of insufficient social welfare protection for child care, health, education and housing, as well as the lifelong reality of harsh competition from preschool to the job market.
China’s central bank governor acknowledged Saturday that Beijing is using its controversial exchange-rate controls to cope with the global economic crisis and said it will be cautious about retreating from the policy.
Movie stars, who not so long ago vied to make US$20 million or even US$25 million a picture, have seen their upfront salaries shrink in the last several years as DVD sales fell, star-driven vehicles stumbled at the box office and studios grew increasingly tight-fisted.