IT’s worth to be measured by commercial outcomes this year
A KEY goal for chief executives of the Asia-Pacific, excluding Japan (APEJ), region this year will be to drive transformative business projects where information technology will be a key enabling factor.
Nokia engineers hope for the best in face of job cuts
(HELSINKI) Sami Sallmen likes to say he saw the birth of Symbian – as a young developer he joined the world’s largest mobile phone company Nokia to help a vibrant group of engineers create what they were told was the best and boldest future for the industry.
More companies taking interest in CRM: analysts
EVEN if customers supposedly come first for most companies and have prominent mentions on corporate mission statements, most companies have not taken a deep interest in how customer relationships were managed. That seems to be about to change.
Cybercriminals using Twitter to infect computers
CYBERCRIMINALS are using Twitter accounts to distribute links that redirect users to fake anti-virus sites and download malicious programs on to their computers, according to report by security company, Kaspersky Lab.
CeBIT 2011 all set to wow visitors again
(HANOVER) The world’s top high-tech fair opens tomorrow with the IT industry in bullish mood, preparing to wow visitors with head-spinning futuristic gadgets and the latest in ‘cloud computing’ technology.
Customers take to the cloud, via Microsoft
MERELY a month after Microsoft released its hosted version of Dynamics CRM 2011, its newly minted customer relationship management (CRM) product, a local systems integrator has received a stream of enquiries from interested customers.
Awed by alumni pride in NBS
AFTER months of planning and preparation, the inaugural Adidas Bizad Charity Run had finally come and gone.
Be smart with your finances
FANCY becoming the next Warren Buffett or George Soros? Or even the famous Robert Kiyosaki? Then read on.
Dose of business to treat social ills
MANY businesses worldwide can go beyond making profits to make a bigger impact on society.
China plans sweeping economic change
(BEIJING) China’s leadership is promising to steer the economy in a new direction in its blueprint for the next five years that would empower consumers and narrow a yawning wealth gap but require politically contentious reforms.
Fighting inflation a priority: Premier Wen
(BEIJING) Fighting inflation is a priority for China and the government must ward off threats to social stability stemming from rapid price increases and pressure to raise the value of the yuan, Premier Wen Jiabao said yesterday.
Huawei seeks US probe in bid to clear its name
(NEW YORK) China’s Huawei Technologies Co has challenged the United States to launch a formal investigation into its business, in an attempt by one of the world’s largest telecommunications equipment makers to clear its name from allegations that have blocked US deals.
China vows to cut energy, carbon intensity by 2015
(BEIJING) China aims to cut the amount of energy and carbon dioxide emissions needed for every unit of economic growth by 16 to 17 per cent from this year to the end of 2015, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said yesterday.
Audit woes bedevil China Hongxing, Hongwei
ACCOUNTING irregularities have surfaced at two S-chips – China Hongxing Sports and Hongwei Technologies. The auditors, Ernst & Young in both cases, could not finalise the audit for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2010 as they could not confirm the cash and bank balances in these companies.
A-Sonic rebounds from three years of losses
A-SONIC Aerospace has bounced back into the black, thanks to improving contributions from its businesses and the sale of one of its businesses.
Improve governance of Reits, says CFA
ARE the interests of real estate investment trust (Reit) unitholders well protected? The answer from CFA Institute’s review of Asia-Pacific Reit markets is not assuring.
Look at ‘reflation vs inflation trade’: Religare
‘THERE is too much focus on liquidity flows,’ said Jason Todd, Religare Capital Markets’ global head of equity strategy, adding that there is no relationship between the flows and forward returns or valuations in 12 months.
Korea Exchange on cross-trading hunt
(SOUTH KOREA) South Korea’s stock exchange plans to consider ‘every option’ including cross-trading and strategic alliances to respond to mergers and acquisitions among global bourses.
SRI Trang Agro-Industry Public Co reported a 29 per cent slump in net profit for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31 to 657.5 million baht (S$27.3 million), despite a 41 per cent jump in revenue, as the bottom line was hit by higher costs and lower share of profit from associates and a joint venture.
M-E fallout causes oil price spike in Asia
(BANGKOK) The tremors from political upheaval in the Middle East are rippling through energy-thirsty Asia, which has long struggled to kick its addiction to oil from the volatile region.
BOE deputy governor defends QE policy
(LONDON) The Bank of England’s quantitative easing has been effective, but the subsequent recovery in nominal demand has created a situation where inflation is too high, BOE deputy governor Charles Bean said.
ECB may hold rates despite inflation threat
(FRANKFURT) The European Central Bank’s key concern, inflation, shows no sign of abating but that is unlikely to push policymakers into an early interest rate hike given wider concerns over the economic outlook, analysts say.
Deadline looms for EU to resolve debt crisis
(BRUSSELS) European leaders get back to the pressing business of trying to fix the eurozone debt crisis with a hectic series of summits counting down to a March 25 deadline.
S Korea to start carbon emissions trading in 2015
(SEOUL) South Korea will start carbon emissions trading from Jan 1, 2015, local media said last Saturday, quoting senior government officials, while industry still strongly opposes the plan.
India steel minister urges curbs on iron ore exports
(MUMBAI) India’s steel minister called for curbs on exports of iron ore on Friday, as the federal government heads into a budget that could raise export duty on the steel-making ingredient marginally.
PT Timah sees lower production in Q1
(JAKARTA) Indonesia’s state-owned PT Timah, the world’s largest integrated tin miner, said on Friday that first-quarter production would be lower than expected because of rains and rough seas.
Petronas keeps the luck flowing for M’sia
AUSTRALIA has often been called the lucky country. But it’s Malaysia which is the lucky one. Despite all the waste, the leakages, the excess, the country – amazingly, astonishingly – continues to do reasonably well.
Malaysia Legoland set to open in 2012
(JOHOR BAHRU) Asia’s first Legoland theme park is on track to open next year in southern Malaysia, its builder said, as the region goes all out to woo tourists with a series of big-ticket attractions.
Oversupply of vessels a drag on Baltic index
(LONDON) The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index .BADI , which tracks rates to ship dry commodities, turned barely positive on Friday, although sentiment was expected to remain weak due to a glut of vessels.
Hainan banks on yachting industry to boost tourism
(BEIJING) Officials in China’s southernmost island province of Hainan are hoping a fledgeling yachting industry would give the famed tourism destination the edge to draw wealthy tourists from home and broad.
Half full or half empty – take your pick
THE bad news for the local stock market is that it faces a great deal of uncertainty, fear and volatility from rising oil prices and the political turmoil in the Middle East. The good news is that the market had already headed far south before ‘regime change’ made its appearance in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and the other Arab countries. A bottom might already be close at hand.
Counter-offer to keep staff loses its appeal: poll
IT’S one the oldest moves in the hire-and-retention game: a counter-offer. But it’s also looking outdated in recent years – especially in developed parts of Asia, such as Singapore.
UBS may set up gold vault here
UBS is open to having a gold facility in Singapore to meet demands from several Asian customers eager to have their gold flown closer to home, an executive told BT.
Calibre more vital than new election map: SM
THE redrawing of Singapore’s electoral boundaries is not a critical factor for the coming General Election, Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong said yesterday.
Protest marches paralyse parts of Bahrain’s capital
(MANAMA, Bahrain) Thousands of protesters streamed through Bahrain’s diplomatic area and other sites yesterday, chanting against the country’s king and rejecting his appeals for talks to end the tiny Gulf nation’s nearly two-week-old crisis.
Opposition parties back young Yemen protesters
(SANAA, Yemen) Yemen’s opposition parties said yesterday they are joining young protesters in their push to bring down the country’s beleaguered president.
Saudi Arabia to use reserves for funding govt handouts
(DUBAI) Top Opec oil exporter Saudi Arabia will draw on its reserves to help fund government handouts unveiled by King Abdullah last week to address social pressures, its finance minister said yesterday.
At least 2 killed in Oman protest
(MUSCAT) Omani police fired rubber bullets on stone-throwing protesters demanding political reform in an industrial town yesterday, killing two people, and the military moved in to secure the area, witnesses said.
Egypt president’s term to be limited to 8 years
(CAIRO) Future presidents of Egypt will only be allowed to stay in office for eight years according to constitutional amendments that will open up competition for the position held for three decades by ousted leader Hosni Mubarak.
Gaddafi’s grip on power shrinks further
(ZAWIYAH) Armed men opposed to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi were in control of Zawiyah, about 50 kilometres west of the capital Tripoli, yesterday and their red, green and black flag flew above the town.
Gas rush: a boon or bane?
(NEW YORK) THE American landscape is dotted with hundreds of thousands of new wells and thousands of drilling rigs, as the country scrambles to tap into this century’s gold rush – for natural gas.
Oil output at Brega drops by almost 90%
(BREGA, Libya) The massive oil terminal at Brega feels strangely deserted for Libya’s second-largest hydrocarbon complex.
Enigma of North African desert still out of this world
(CAIRO) With his exotic dress sense, all-girl squad of bodyguards and often whimsical aphorisms, Libya’s embattled Muammar Gaddafi has been an enigma of the North African desert for more than 40 years.
Mercenaries ready to defend Gaddafi to the end
(BAMAKO, Mali) His allies and even his own diplomats are abandoning him, but African fighters are pledging to defend embattled Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi ‘to the end’. The African fighters that Col Gaddafi is allegedly using against protesters come from several nations, representing a map of the Libyan leader’s often contentious history with his neighbours.
Migrant workers left stranded in Libya after uprising
(BENGHAZI, Libya) American and British citizens have been evacuating for days. The Chinese workers were on their way, and the Bosnians stood ready with their bags on the shore. But from the milky windows of stifling rooms in a makeshift camp, the migrant workers from other, poorer countries, stranded by war and, in some cases, forsaken by their employers, watched cruise ships – and salvation – depart.
DC rates set to go up, say analysts
(SINGAPORE) Development charges (DC), payable for enhancing a site’s use or for building a bigger project on it, are headed north come March 1, say property consultants. They cite as reasons higher land and property prices over the past six months.
Tunisian PM resigns amid clashes in capital
(TUNIS) Tunisian Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi announced his resignation yesterday, as security forces clashed with protesters, demanding the removal of some ministers of the interim government.
US stocks take a beating on investors’ M-E fears
WALL Street is currently fixated on oil prices and the possibility that populist revolts racking the Middle East could upend the global economic recovery, and rightly so. US stocks suffered a rough week as investors contemplating the consequences – should the upheaval spread to Saudi Arabia, disrupting the supply of oil from the world’s largest producer and wreaking havoc on both developed and emerging economies – raised the stock market’s wall of worry to heights unseen since early August.
Japan in big drive to cut use of rare earths
JAPAN has announced that it is going all out to reduce its consumption of rare earths, which are vital to the production of myriad high-tech products ranging from consumer electronics to weapon systems, in order to lessen the virtual stranglehold that China has over the supply of these materials.
Invoices didn’t reflect all work done: Susan Lim
(SINGAPORE) It is a case that has seized the public’s imagination: Dr Susan Lim being accused by the Singapore Medical Council (SMC) of having grossly overcharged her Bruneian royal patient.
Eco-city competition hotting up in China
(SINGAPORE) Competition is right at the doorstep of the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city as another iconic eco-city takes shape within the same province.
A party of all parties to end Japan’s mess
JAPAN’S fragmented and apparently disintegrating political scene could be on the point of coming back together again in an unexpected way – through the advent of a ‘bottom up’ rather than top down coalition of elements from the governing Democratic Party of Japan and the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party.
DEVELOPMENT charges (DC), payable for enhancing a site’s use or for building a bigger project on it, are headed north come March 1, say property consultants.
A now and future Budget
Does Budget 2011 succeed in addressing the major financial issues facing Singapore today? How does this Budget impact your industry, your organisation and you personally?
Gold shines in Asian markets
THE popularity of gold trading and investments historically rises and falls cyclically, although the financial crisis we are only starting to recover from is in many ways ensuring the longevity, value and preference for physical gold stocks, compared to traditional money markets, equities and other asset-classes.
Director buying activity continues to rise as selling stays weak
DIRECTORS stepped up the purchase of shares for a second straight week, while keeping their sales low, according to filings from Feb 21 to 25 on the Singapore Exchange. Directors in a total of 26 companies recorded 69 purchases worth $42.1 million, against one firm with two disposals worth $130,000.
Portfolios shed 4% on Mid-East woes
TROUBLE in the Middle East continued to weigh down sentiments, although blue chips staged a commendable rebound last Friday. Compared with a week ago, our portfolios were down by a sharp 4 per cent last week. The Straits Times Index lost a more moderate 2 per cent.
Yen, Swiss franc top gainers on safe-haven demand
(NEW YORK) The Japanese yen and the Swiss franc were the top two performers against the dollar last week as Libya’s uprising drove oil to a 29-month high, spurring demand for the safest assets.
Videogamers take to new social platforms
(SAN FRANCISCO) Videogame makers from around the globe are gathering here to seek paths to fortune and glory on a landscape upset by social networks, smartphones, tablet computers, and the Internet ‘cloud’. More than 18,000 industry insiders are expected to attend the weeklong Game Developers Conference that kicks off today in downtown San Francisco.
VW posts robust profit, projects record sales
(FRANKFURT) Volkswagen AG’s record year results beat expectations, showing Europe’s largest carmaker has enough financial firepower to complete its planned takeover of Porsche.
Mizuho to buy out units in US$4b deal: Nikkei
(TOKYO) Mizuho Financial Group is planning to buy out its brokerage and trust bank units, a source familiar with the matter said last Saturday, in a roughly US$4 billion deal aimed at helping the lender grow beyond sluggish commercial banking business in Japan.
Inflation is 27%, petrol almost free and spending a way of life
(CARACAS) Having lived with double-digit inflation since Ronald Reagan was in the White House, Venezuelans know a money-stretching trick or two the rest of the world could heed as soaring commodities push up prices.
New Zealand remembers its earthquake victims
(MELBOURNE) New Zealand will observe two minutes of silence tomorrow to remember victims of the Christchurch earthquake that has so far claimed 147 lives, with more than 200 people still listed as missing.
Global IPO tide is high on buoyant bourses
(LONDON) Global listings activity has been the highest on record so far this year, with firms raising a total of US$24 billion to date, according to Thomson Reuters data, boosted by buoyant stock markets and improved investor interest.
Turmoil in Tunisia and Egypt drives tourists to Spain
(MADRID) Spain is getting a boost to its hugely important tourist industry as northern European sunseekers shun popular resorts in Egypt and Tunisia because of anti-government uprisings there.
TED meet to showcase plenty of inspiring ideas
(SAN FRANCISCO) Mind-boggling science and undertakings that overwhelm the senses are in store at a TED conference to inspire the brilliant and accomplished to change the world for the better.
US, China agree to boost business between local govts
(WASHINGTON) US state governors and their Chinese counterparts have agreed to strengthen ties between their local governments and increase economic opportunities, as states seek help for their hefty budget struggles.
Koch brothers’ big role in fighting US unions
(CHICAGO) The billionaire Koch brothers – whose deep pockets and small-government philosophy have made them conservative powerhouses – are playing an influential role in the drive to strip public employee unions of their rights to bargain in several US states.
UK threatens to quit FAO unless latter bucks up
(LONDON) Britain has warned that it could leave one of the United Nations’ agencies fighting hunger unless the latter improves its ‘patchy’ performance.
Thousands rally to support Wisconsin union workers
(MADISON, Wisconsin) Rallies were held across the United States to support thousands of protesters holding steady at the Wisconsin Capitol in their fight against Republican-backed legislation aimed at weakening unions.