Saturday, 13 March 2010

Charismatic Bo shakes the leadership stakes

Chongqing Communist Party chief Bo Xilai has appeared triumphant in Beijing this past week, easily stealing the limelight at the otherwise dull and ritualistic annual parliamentary session.

Beijing tightens rules on foreign funding of NGOs

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.

Pacific Century barred from land deals in Beijing

Beijing municipal authorities on Friday suspended permission for Pacific Century Regional Developments Ltd, chaired by Hong Kong tycoon Richard Li Tzar-kai, to buy and sell land in China’s capital.

NGOs in China say threatened by new donor rules

Aid groups working in China said Friday they feel threatened by new requirements that make it harder to accept overseas donations, and said the central government appeared wary of their work and motivation.

Shanghai police arrest 47 child trafficking suspects

Railway police in Shanghai say they have detained 47 suspects and rescued 21 babies in a month-long crackdown on child trafficking.

Verdict soon on Wen Qiang but penalty unlikely to be maximum

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.

Watchdog plans register to curb insider trading

Beijing plans to set up a registration system to help monitor people with knowledge of merger and acquisition transactions in listed companies, an effort to curb insider trading.

Xi stresses Japan ties amid protocol flap

Vice President Xi Jinping in Japan on Tuesday stressed the importance of good ties between the Asian giants as his hastily arranged royal audience sparked a political row in the host nation.

Astonishing growth in Chinese oil demand: IEA

China is experiencing “astonishing” growth in oil demand this year to match its economic rise while consumption in developed economies is falling, the International Energy Agency said on Friday.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Yen slips amid monetary easing expectations

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

Governance lapses, missing millions in E3

Auditors could not trace at least half of $26m investments

Lowdown on China stock markets

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.

Chinese search for love online

Jiang Hui hasn’t dated a girl since graduating from college four years ago, but the 26-year-old Beijing office worker hopes the Internet will make this Valentine’s Day different.

Court rejects appeal of 10 insider traders

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.

How China may deal with inflation

Looking back at a bit of history can shed some light on how the Chinese may proceed in cooling a heating economy

Insider trade watchdog a toothless old hound

Insider trading may now be a serious criminal offence, but up until recently, many seemed to have regarded it as being no more serious than a parking ticket or littering fine.

Medisave use in hospitals abroad allowed

From March 1, Singaporeans and permanent residents will be able to use their Medisave to pay for hospitalisation overseas, starting with two providers - Health Management International (HMI) and Parkway Holdings.

Rio ‘very concerned’ as executives face trial

Mining giant Rio Tinto voiced concern Thursday after China said it would try four employees on industrial espionage and bribery charges, reviving jitters over doing business with Beijing.

Singapore office rents down 46.2% in Q4 ‘09

It’s biggest fall in Asia-Pac, widening Singapore’s rental gap with Hong Kong, Tokyo

Wall Street Helped to Mask Debt Fuelling Europe’s Crisis

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.

Big Money Stays Invested Despite New Year Shocks

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.

‘Worker ants’ pose socio-economic challenge for Beijing

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.

Snowstorms fail to blow away Fed chief’s exit strategy

There are some novel tools in Bernanke’s plan. But how effective will they be?

Farewell to arms

Sino-US antagonism may be eased, ironically, by a common need to cut defence budgets

Ambitious Hainan ‘ugly and tasteless’

Hainan faces significant obstacles in its drive to become the international holiday Mecca that Beijing has planned, according to government officials, tourism experts and recent visitors.

Boom time in Hainan

Property, stock prices soar with plans to turn it into China’s answer to Hawaii

Is South China Sea bubble about to burst?

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?

Raids in PCCW probe may have come too late

Whistle-blower questions timing of police search of Richard Li’s home

Four words you never hear: ‘I got it wrong’

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.

Dividends await on the investment horizon

A longer-term perspective can be a thing of beauty, with planning and good advice

Yuan revaluation tipped as China struggles with monetary policy

Jim O’Neill is on the lookout for the great Chinese revaluation of 2010, and he’s not alone.

Web of secrecy for Apple’s suppliers

Firm goes to great lengths to protect products

Stricter tax regimes can benefit Singapore

Nation should allow interest deduction for share investments with economic substance

Asian ‘tiger primed and ready to pounce’

Rising from the ruins of war, Cambodia is becoming a hot real estate investment market

China developers turn to PE funds for capital

Capital-hungry Chinese developers are turning to real estate private equity funds this year as big domestic banks tighten lending to help Beijing curb property prices, a top concern for most Chinese.

China’s exporters fret over labour shortage

Huada is one of thousands of companies in China’s coastal exporting belt now grappling with a massive labour shortage, just one year after the economic crisis put some 20 million migrant workers out of work.

Editor punished for bold editorial on household registration

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.

Envoy called driver 3 times in 30 minutes

Driver sleepless with worry after Ionescu told him car had been stolen

Ex-staff of Deutsche Bank planning hedge fund

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 save 45pc of income to be No. 1

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”.

Provinces aim to make an impression at Shanghai World Expo

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.

Rules on short selling must be calibrated

Short-selling, or the selling of stock not owned with a view to buying back later after prices have fallen, has suddenly sprung into regulatory focus in many countries in the past few weeks.

Saudis give assurance of cooperation over ‘assault’

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.

Zhongsheng slashes size of IPO by half

Zhongsheng Group Holdings, a Dalian-based car dealer, has halved the size of its Hong Kong initial public offering to US$500 million.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Genting Singapore's Feng Shui

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.

British national sentenced to 2 months’ jail for voluntarily causing hurt

A district judge has sentenced a British national to two months’ imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to voluntarily causing hurt to a taxi driver.

Duo lived it up before firm made money

The director and the financial controller of an investment company splurged on BMWs and condominium apartments for themselves - even before their company had made any money.

Japan lifts lid on Cold War nuclear pacts with US

Japan’s new centre-left government lifted a veil of secrecy Tuesday surrounding nuclear and military deals struck with the United States, formally abandoning decades of denials over the Cold War pacts.

Romanian embassy driver testifies that Ionescu told him black Audi had been stolen

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.

Some Aussie schools rip off foreigners

A review of Australia’s international education sector released Tuesday calls for tougher national accreditation and improved protection for foreign students who may be financially or otherwise exploited.

Noted economists surprise with view China may devalue yuan

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 May Raise Rates ‘Within Weeks’ as Prices, Exports Climb

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.

China gets Sea of Japan foothold in North Korea

North Korea has agreed to lease a port on its northeastern coast to Jilin province for 10 years, giving China a directly controlled foothold on the Sea of Japan for the first time in more than a century.

Tibetans struggle to find normality amid smothering security

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.

Shenzhen bars Hong Kong woman wedding policeman

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”.

Glass half-full or half-empty, the yuan will still strengthen

There are two ways of reading Saturday’s comments from People’s Bank of China boss Zhou Xiaochuan about Beijing’s exchange rate policy.

Minister admits feeling pressure on home prices

The central government has admitted it is under enormous pressure to rein in housing prices in the next two decades amid concerns that the high prices could lead to social instability.

China to Nullify Loan Guarantees by Local Governments

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.

Cheaper fares on fast trains to come

Another set of high-speed trains will eventually be introduced on the mainland that will run more slowly and offer lower fares, according to a top rail expert.

Warning after strong mainland property growth

Beijing’s super-loose monetary policy and unprecedented stimulus measures boosted investment in the mainland’s real estate industry to a record 3.6 trillion yuan (HK$4.1 trillion) last year.

Spending on infrastructure to decline to 212b yuan

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.

Airline chief warns of railways threat

The mainland’s ambitious high-speed railway programme will deal a “devastating blow” to its airlines and could even kill off short- to medium-haul routes, the chairman of China Eastern Airlines warned yesterday.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Soccer scandals resonate beyond world of sport

Nexus of power and business breeds graft in Chinese football, experts say

The brave may well ride the metal tiger

After the ups and downs of the stock markets and the economic woes of 2009, “volatile” is a word most investors would rather not hear in predictions about the Year of the Tiger.

Hacking Inquiry Puts China’s Elite in New Light

With its sterling reputation and its scientific bent, Shanghai Jiaotong University has the feel of an Ivy League institution.

The real victims of Greek tragedy

The crisis risks EU’s expansion into Eastern Europe and the prospects of the euro as an international reserve currency

US pinpoints code writer behind Google attack

US government analysts believe a mainland man with government links wrote the key part of a spyware programme used in hacker attacks on Google last year, a British newspaper reported on Monday.

A building boom of towering heights

Huaxi township in the Yangtze River Delta is a symbol of how Chinese communists embraced capitalism to lift 300 million people out of poverty during the past three decades.

China launches strict new Internet controls

China’s technology ministry moved to tighten controls on Internet use Tuesday, saying individuals who want to operate Web sites must first meet in person with regulators.

China tells schools to shun British agency Oxfam

China is telling schools to shun the international relief agency Oxfam and bar their campus recruitment efforts, accusing the group’s Hong Kong branch of having a hidden political agenda.

Dalai Lama’s foreign backers seek to destabilize China

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.

Home prices scary, bank chief says

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.

How long can the U.S. dollar defy gravity?

The only time the U.S. dollar ever took a serious shellacking in the marketplace, the wounds were almost entirely self-inflicted.

Israel Sees Fallout as Mossad Blamed for Dubai Hamas Hit

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.

Married ladies play dangerous game, lie about wedlock

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.

Some practical pointers on using market research

While most people have some sense of what market research involves - e.g. ‘do a survey’ or ‘run focus groups’ - they do not always understand what research can or cannot do.

Which economy is No. 2 misses point about life at the grass roots

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.

China’s Appetite for Overseas Coal Roaring in the Year of Tiger

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.

Is the Stock Correction Over? Market May Seesaw for Months

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.

Kindergarten costs more than college - if you can get a place

Beijing residents are finding it costs more to send children to kindergarten than to put them through college.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Why do foreigners date Chinese women?

Many foreigners in Beijing have Chinese girlfriends or wives. Why do they date Chinese women? Sexual need, curiosity, or love?

Euro ‘May Not Survive’ Deficit Crisis, Soros Says

The euro is being “severely tested” and “may not survive” the Greek deficit crisis, billionaire investor George Soros said.

A decoupling from Wall Street?

Which came first - the loss of upward momentum, or a feeling that stock markets have probably outrun their fundamentals?

China PLA officer urges challenging U.S. dominance

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.

Chinese bubble-wrap

Fears about an overheated mainland economy triggering a collapse seem premature at best

Communist Party Needs to Loosen Its Grip in China

Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas, and the Chinese Communist Party is not exactly itching to release its iron grip on society and the economy.

High cost of rebalancing is a necessary evil

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.

Investors mark time as stocks see-saw

Market appears no closer to climbing out of same band of range-bound trading

Leading sports brand posts sound growth

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.

Look into creating a new reserve currency: IMF chief

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.

Time for Goldman to Come Clean

Even mighty Goldman Sachs makes mistakes. The Wall Street bank’s decision to help Greece keep some of its debts hidden from public view in 2001 was one of them.

Forget US Stocks – Buy Gold Every Month ‘Forever’: Faber

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.

Assault: MFA in touch with Saudi official

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has been in touch with the Saudi Ambassador here over the case of an alleged assault by a Saudi Arabian Embassy official on a condominium resident.

‘I only agreed to be AG for two years’

A day after news broke that he was leaving office after completing a single term as Attorney-General (AG), Professor Walter Woon said he had always known that he would return to teaching.

‘I only agreed to be AG for two years’

A day after news broke that he was leaving office after completing a single term as Attorney-General (AG), Professor Walter Woon said he had always known that he would return to teaching.

China faces new pressure to let currency rise

China faces mounting pressure from trading partners to loosen currency controls and is giving signs it might raise the value of the yuan to ease strains on its fast-growing economy.

City Harvest paying $310m to become Suntec co-owner

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.

Japan to unveil secret Cold War pacts with US

Japan’s new centre-left rulers plan to lift the lid soon on secret Cold War nuclear and military pacts with the United States that were denied for decades by previous conservative governments.

Religious leaders must speak up

A Cabinet minister yesterday appealed to religious leaders to speak up if a leader within their own religion makes comments that are offensive, dangerous or divisive.

New centre teaches online trading

California-based Online Trading Academy (OTA) - a worldwide network of financial education centres that focuses on teaching the art of trading - has opened a new campus in Singapore.

Fair rules needed to tackle insider trading

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.

Tables turn for migrant workers

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.

Populist measures, but Wen lacks fresh ideas

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.

Ore price hikes to hit China steel mills hard

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.

Investors shun futures over high entry cost

Mainland investors have given the cold shoulder to the pending launch of the country’s first equity-based derivative, put off by the high entry threshold and complicated registration procedure.

Dr. Love figures out the maths of matchmaking

Looking for love online? Forget romance, forget psychological theory, forget the fact that hearts even beat. Just sit down with a calculator, and work it out.

Price too high for ‘leftover’ women

Still looking for that special Mr. Right who’s taller, richer, older, stronger

Home-grown sportswear a rising consumer trend

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.

China’s US$2.4 trillion foreign-exchange riddle

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 coal demand likely to underpin world prices

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.

China plans Asia-Europe rail network

China is negotiating to extend its high-speed railway network to up to 17 countries, a mainland rail expert who has taken part in every major express line project said yesterday.

Blind eye to billions in bad debts

Mainland officials tolerating failed companies rather than risk loss of local jobs

Base metals may face more volatility

If China is the factory for the world’s manufactured goods, then base metals are the key raw materials needed for their industrial production.

A clash of views on China investment boom

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

Dual personality

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.

JP Morgan close to getting partner in securities venture on mainland

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.”

Mainland’s mutual funds battered by brain drain

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.

Days of “special” yuan policy numbered - China

China flagged on Saturday it will let the yuan resume its rise at some point as it unwinds the super-loose policies it has been pursuing to prop up the world’s third-largest economy.

China wants yuan in SDR in 2015

China is pushing for the yuan to be added to the basket of currencies that comprise the IMF’s special drawing rights, aiming for its inclusion in 2015, Japanese daily Sankei Shimbun said on Saturday.

End hukou system call earns rebuke

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.

No concrete measures to rein in rising house prices

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.

Younger couples opting out of costly parenthood

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 says it will move cautiously on currency

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.

Beijing to tighten the credit tap

Beijing will sharply slow bank lending this year and reduce new construction, even though it intends to maintain a proactive fiscal policy and moderately loose monetary policy.

Can Goldman win back its good name?

Bashing Goldman Sachs Group has been elevated from a national pastime to something far more serious: a bona fide threat to the company’s operations.

Big money a thing of the past for top stars

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.

Bulls may extend rally from March 2009 lows

Bulls may get more room to run next week on the anniversary of the March 2009 lows -- if U.S. stock investors see more signs of stability after Friday’s rally on smaller-than-expected job losses.

Hong Kong businessmen take grievances to Beijing

City’s residents persist year after year in petitioning authorities for justice and compensation

No room to relax

Beijing’s tightening measures will have little effect on the property bubble without credible reforms

Market Defies Fear of Real Estate Bubble in China

The spacious duplex comes with crocodile-skin bedposts, hand-carved bronze doors inlaid with Swarovski crystals — and a $45 million price tag.