Korean won climbs to 4-mth high
(SEOUL) South Korea’s won rose to its strongest level in more than four months as the central bank said this year’s current-account surplus may exceed its forecast.
NZ central banker reveals Asian anger at US crisis handling
(WELLINGTON) The head of New Zealand’s central bank has revealed how Washington’s handling of the financial crisis provoked anger among his Asian counterparts while he received a death threat as the global economy unravelled.
Japan business sentiment up, outlook poor
THE Bank of Japan’s latest quarterly ‘tankan’ survey published yesterday contained mixed messages about the state of business sentiment in Japan but generally pointed towards a deteriorating outlook on the back of slowing exports and a strong yen.
China moves to resume rare earth mineral exports to Japan
(TOKYO) China has moved toward resuming exports of rare earth minerals to Japan that were disrupted amid a bitter diplomatic spat, industry sources said yesterday.
Thai government sees higher influx of foreign funds
(BANGKOK) Thailand’s finance ministry expects more foreign funds to flow into the country, especially into the bond market, which has seen a big jump in foreign holdings this year, a senior ministry official said yesterday.
Kim Jong-il appoints son as successor
(SEOUL) North Korea’s iron ruler Kim Jong-il has anointed his youngest son as successor to lead the isolated state, whose collapsing economy and bid to become a nuclear weapons power pose major threats to the region.
HSBC says no plans to move from London
(SHANGHAI) Top executives at HSBC Holdings Plc said there are no plans to move the bank’s headquarters from London, as they gathered for their regular board meeting here yesterday amid a surprise shake- up in the corporate suite of Europe’s largest bank.
Too early to talk of lifting liquid ban on planes: US
(TORONTO) US Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said on Tuesday that it is too early to say when aviation officials can lift a ban on liquids on board flights despite international officials saying it could come as early as 2012.
Bid to block merger of UAL, Continental fails
(NEW YORK) UAL Corp’s merger with Continental Airlines won’t create a monopoly and shouldn’t be blocked on antitrust grounds, a federal judge ruled, helping to clear the way for the deal’s completion.
Aircraft had previous landing gear woes
(GARDEN CITY, New York) Aircraft from a Canadian company that built the jetliner involved in an emergency landing in New York City last weekend have experienced at least three other landing gear problems in the past two years, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) documents show.
Flash flood for BlackBerry app store
WHO needs proprietary mobile apps when you have the Web, asks the co-CEO of Research in Motion (RIM).
Virtualisation winning war in data centres
THE rush to wring more efficiencies in the DC (data centre) – the heart and soul of large enterprises – is prodding more companies to virtualise the three key elements that make up the DC – servers, storage and the network.
HP’s earnings forecasts top analyst estimates
(SAN FRANCISCO) Hewlett-Packard Co, the world’s largest computer maker, forecast earnings and sales for fiscal 2011 that exceeded analysts’ estimates and said it’s considering good internal and external chief executive officer candidates.
Rivals may launch a price war to take on iPad
(SAN FRANCISCO) Research In Motion Ltd, Hewlett-Packard and other hardware makers may use a price war to narrow Apple Inc’s lead in the market for tablet computers, analysts said.
CIC head says it will avoid defence, casino investments
(HONG KONG) China Investment Corp (CIC), China’s US$300 billion sovereign fund, will stay clear of investing in defence, casino and alcohol-related sectors, a senior official told a private equity conference yesterday.
China factory output hits 5-mth high in Sept
(SHANGHAI) Manufacturing in China hit a five-month high this month as production and new orders rose, according to an independent survey published yesterday.
UOL wins bid for China land parcel
UOL Group and GuocoLand both successfully tendered for land parcels in Shanghai’s Changfeng Ecological Business Park, the companies said yesterday.
China Taisan TDRs priced at upper end of range
CHINA Taisan Technology Group Holdings has priced its Taiwan Depository Receipts (TDRs) at the upper end of its indicative price range in a dual listing that is expected to raise about $31.9 million for the knitted fabric maker.
Keppel Land to set up unit to run its China properties
KEPPEL Land intends to strengthen its focus in China by setting up a unit that will own and operate all of its properties there.
Top Asian firms set for profit jump
BIG Asian companies are likely to report double-digit earnings and sales growth in FY2010 and FY2011, says Daiwa Capital Markets.
SingTel hires Nokia’s former marketing head
SINGAPORE Telecom is bolstering its management line-up with a third senior appointment in six weeks – that of Nokia’s former marketing head honcho Loren Schuster.
Advanced Info seeks joint venture with TOT
(BANGKOK) Advanced Info Service Pcl, Thailand’s biggest mobile phone operator, is seeking a joint venture with state-run TOT Pcl after the cabinet approved its plan to invest in a high-speed wireless network.
SIAS’ Inaugural Corporate Governance Week
IN conjunction with its Inaugural Corporate Governance Week from Oct 4-8, the Securities Investors Association (Singapore) is calling on listed companies here to make a public statement.
Yamada plants IPO on SGX
CHINA-based shiitake mushroom grower Yamada Green Resources has launched its initial public offering of 105 million shares for a Singapore Exchange (SGX) mainboard listing.
Frasers Hospitality opens Osaka project
FRASERS Hospitality, the hospitality arm of property group Frasers Centrepoint, yesterday announced the opening of a 114-unit project in Japan, called Fraser Residence Nankai Osaka.
Uphill venture for Transcu
HAS life sciences company Transcu Group really stumbled upon a gold mine (in this case, a green mine) with its nifty new nano-emulsion fuel system (NEFS) technology that promises reduced emissions, reduced fuel consumption and uncompromised energy output?
Irish borrowing costs at euro lifetime highs
(DUBLIN) Ireland needs to ramp up efforts to tackle the worst budget deficit in the European Union, leading EU policymakers said yesterday, as fears persist that the country is on the verge of a Greek-style meltdown.
Waiting for jobs versus waiting for sales
(NEW YORK) Americans in both the living room and the boardroom are growing more fearful about the economy, creating a Catch-22 for the job market: Shoppers won’t spend until they feel more secure, and business won’t hire until people start spending.
Recovery uncertain because of jobs worry: IMF head
(WASHINGTON) The head of the International Monetary Fund says that while the global economy is recovering at a sluggish pace, the recovery remains uncertain because of the risk that not enough jobs will be created to make the rebound secure.
Hopes and doubts about Japan’s growth strategy panel
(TOKYO) Japan’s government has set up a public- private economic advisory panel that met for the first time this month to come up with recommendations on long-term economic policy.
Sarkozy proposes biggest deficit cut in 2 decades
(PARIS) President Nicolas Sarkozy’s government outlined France’s biggest budget-deficit cut in two decades to calm investor concerns and protect its top credit rating.
Housing will grow slowly after free-fall, says expert
(NEW YORK) The US housing market has reached its lows and will expand slowly as the economic recovery remains subdued, said the S&P/Case-Shiller index co-creator Karl Case.
Avoid bubbles with more expertise
(FRANKFURT) More appraisers qualified to survey specialised segments of the real estate market are needed to prevent future bubbles that could trigger a double-dip in the economy from forming, a fund manager told Reuters on Tuesday.
Hoi Hup, Sunway sell close to 90 units of Vacanza @ East
HOI HUP and Sunway sold nearly 90 units at their Vacanza @ East condo by the end of Tuesday, when the project previewed to those who had registered interest with the appointed marketing agents DTZ and Huttons.
Quirks in sub-prime mortgage bonds data
(NEW YORK) Investors in sub-prime mortgage bonds saw data measuring the size of their losses per liquidated loan exceed 100 per cent on average in at least 50 different deals last month, reflecting quirks in how the figures are compiled, according to Credit Suisse Group AG.
China faces land shortage: DTZ
(SYDNEY) China could struggle to keep a lid on its property market as urbanisation piles pressure on the major coastal cities, making land scarcer and driving up prices, an executive of international real estate consultancy DTZ said.
Australian commercial property deals up
(SYDNEY) Australian commercial property transactions are climbing as the country’s economic growth draws investors seeking income and capital growth, CB Richard Ellis Group Inc said.
India starts to lock down its capital
(NEW DELHI) India began to lock down its capital ahead of this weekend’s Commonwealth Games opening ceremony, deploying 100,000 police, roof-top snipers and helicopters amid warnings of terrorist threats.
Indian stocks draw record foreign inflows
(MUMBAI) Indian stocks attracted a record 834.7 billion rupees (S$24.4 billion) from foreign funds this year, driving a rally that made the nation’s equities index the best performer among the world’s 10 biggest markets.
Asia to lag behind Mid-East in sukuk sales
(SINGAPORE) Ringgit-denominated Islamic debt sales in Malaysia, the world’s largest sukuk market, dropped 28 per cent to RM18.7 billion (S$8.05 billion) this year as companies cut investment following a recession in 2009 and Dubai’s struggle to repay debt pushed up borrowing costs.
Maybank wants to grow int’l business
(KUALA LUMPUR) Malayan Banking (Maybank) expects 40 per cent of its profit to come from international business by 2015 from 21 per cent currently, president and chief executive officer Abdul Wahid Omar said yesterday.
News portal bids to get publishing licence
(KUALA LUMPUR) Malaysia’s leading online news portal said yesterday it has launched a legal challenge to win permission to publish a newspaper after authorities rejected its application.
Baltic index surges on China demand
(LONDON) The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index was pushed up on Tuesday, after Chinese demand picked up following the end of last week’s holiday, traders said.
Mideast VLCC oversupply worsens to 28%
(LONDON) The surplus of supertankers competing for cargoes of Middle East oil expanded, hurting owners’ efforts to pull the market out of its longest run of losses for at least two years.
Shipping Corp to sell 20% of shares
(SINGAPORE) State-run Shipping Corp of India could launch its follow-on share sale for a 20 per cent equity stake before December, the managing director said on Tuesday.
Evergreen to buy Samsung ships for US$1b
(TAIPEI) Evergreen Group, Asia’s largest container line, placed a US$1 billion order for ships from Samsung Heavy Industries Co as it works to buy 100 new vessels because of rebounding trade.
Sentiment perks up in Asia markets
AFTER two days of nervousness sparked by concern over the health of Europe’s corporate and sovereign markets, there were signs of slightly firmer sentiment across Asia yesterday.
S’pore has role as talent base
SINGAPORE has a vital role to play in Asia’s evolution into a base for global talent, Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Teo Chee Hean said yesterday.
When blood should not be thicker
AS local firms cling on to keeping it in the family, valuable human capital is being kept out, warned the National Kidney Foundation’s Gerard Ee at the Singapore Human Capital Summit yesterday.
16 tech projects given research grant
STROKE patients could soon be regaining hand function more quickly through self-training at home and animation enthusiasts can look forward to an immersive 3D audio system.
Events to keep Sports Hub buzzing
AFTER a series of delays, the $1.33 billion Singapore Sports Hub finally saw its ground-breaking ceremony take place yesterday.
R21 films in city and video-on-demand
THOSE wanting Restricted 21 (R21) films to be offered more liberally nearer home will be disappointed. The Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts (Mica) yesterday revealed that it has rejected the Censorship Review Committee’s (CRC) suggestion for the screening of R21 films at HDB estate cinemas as well as the sale of R21 videos.
Signs point to second Lanxess plant
GERMANY’S Lanxess is discussing the possibility of securing butadiene feedstock from petrochemical companies here, industry sources confirmed, lending weight to hints that Jurong Island could host a second Lanxess plant, following its 400 million euros (S$687 million) butyl rubber project currently under construction there.
Accenture to implement smart grid pilot project
ACCENTURE Pte Ltd has been appointed to design and implement the $30 million Intelligent Energy System (IES) pilot project by the Energy Market Authority (EMA) as Singapore barrels towards developing a smart power grid.
Taka Jewellery keeps on shining
A LTHOUGH the effects of the economic crisis hit the luxury market as early as 2007, Taka Jewellery Pte Ltd not only was able to stay afloat, it managed to win the E50 Award three times in a row.
Junket operators slide into the gaming frame
(SINGAPORE) The Casino Regulatory Authority (CRA) said yesterday it has received licence applications from junket operators endorsed by Resorts World Sentosa (RWS). But it would not reveal the number of applicants or say when licences will be granted.
Mega IPO offers entry into industrial property
(SINGAPORE) Another day, another mega IPO. This time, Mapletree Industrial Trust (MIT) is expected to raise gross proceeds of up to $1.19 billion from a global offering and share subscriptions from cornerstone investors.
SLA case throws up governance questions
(SINGAPORE) The conspiracy to cheat the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) of $12 million, while an unfortunate incident, could serve a higher purpose – by throwing the spotlight on governance practices in the public sector and prompting discussion on whether such practices now need to be re-examined.
Re-vote on debt plan appears to lean in TTI’s favour
(SINGAPORE) Results of a critical re-vote on TT International’s debt-restructuring scheme appear to lean in the company’s favour, though parties involved remain none the wiser as to its eventual fate.
MM Lee in hospital for chest infection
(SINGAPORE) Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew has been admitted to the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) for a chest infection, a press statement said yesterday.
China central bank reaffirms efforts on yuan flexibility
(BEIJING) China’s central bank reaffirmed it will continue to increase the flexibility of the yuan, as US lawmakers prepared to vote on a bill aimed at pushing the nation to raise the value of its currency.
Provocative remarks on S’pore draw some sharp rejoinders
(SINGAPORE) The crackdown on undeclared wealth and assets in the US and Europe is an area where Singapore should take a proactive rather than reactive stance, if it is to maintain its lead as a centre for wealth management, said Philip Marcovici, chairman and chief executive of LawInContext, which provides online legal information to clients.
GIC sees emerging opportunities
(SINGAPORE) Investing in the emerging markets has been a rewarding experience for the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation over the last seven years, says GIC group chief investment officer Ng Kok Song.
Lawyer pleads for leniency for whistleblowing client
(SINGAPORE) Should whistleblowers be treated more leniently for helping to expose white-collar crime?
Cost saving top factor in choice of office leases here: survey
(SINGAPORE) Tenants here focus more closely on cost savings, compared to their peers elsewhere in Asia, when it comes to deciding on office leases. This is probably a result of the gyrations in prime office rents in Singapore over the past four years.
ANOTHER day, another mega IPO. This time, Mapletree Industrial Trust is expected to raise gross proceeds of up to $1.19 billion from a global offering and share subscriptions from cornerstone investors.
Review public sector governance
YESTERDAY, it was reported that two Singapore Land Authority (SLA) officers are suspected of having conspired to cheat the government of $11.8 million.
Real Tea Party awaits the right kind of leader
THERE are actually two Tea Party movements in America today: one you’ve read about that’s not that important and one you’ve not read about that could become really important if the right politician grasped how to tap into it.
The road to a global currency war
BRAZILIAN Finance Minister Guido Montega’s declaration this week that the world has entered a state of ‘currency wars’ as governments manipulate their currencies to improve export competitiveness recalled for me the fact that The Business Times said the same thing a couple of months ago in an Investment Round Table that I moderated.
$ falls again as euro hits 5-month high
(NEW YORK) The US dollar fell for a fourth straight session yesterday, hitting a fresh five-month low against the euro, as generally weak US economic data fuelled expectations of further monetary easing.
When would customers be opportunistic?
OPPORTUNISTIC consumer behaviour is the act of seeking self-interest with guile; taking advantage, often unethically, of opportunities as they arise.
China holds the key to US dollar levels
WHEN US President Barack Obama told Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao last week that the yuan’s peg to the dollar is unsustainable, he forgot to add one thing: It also threatens the world’s floating exchange-rate system.
Brazil open to capital inflows tax, wants G-20 debate
(LONDON) Brazil remains open to stepping up taxation on capital inflows to restrain the strength of its currency and wants G-20 leaders to address global currency imbalances at their next summit, the country’s central bank governor said on Tuesday.
Risk of currency war ‘low’, says IMF chief
(WASHINGTON) The risk of a global currency war is ‘low’ but cannot be ruled out, IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said on Tuesday, following a spate of currency interventions.
Spain braces for travel chaos due to strikes
(MADRID) Spain faced travel chaos and mass protests yesterday in its first general strike in eight years amid anger over tough government measures aimed at slashing unemployment and reviving the economy.