Qantas to cut flights, management jobs
(SYDNEY) Australia’s Qantas Airways plans to scale back some flights and cut management jobs to help offset soaring fuel prices and an estimated A$140 million (S$182 million) hit to its earnings from a string of natural calamities in key markets.
British Airways owner IAG may consider stake in JAL
(TOKYO) International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (IAG), formed from the merger of British Airways and Spain’s Iberia, said it may consider investing in Japan Airlines Corp after the Asian carrier came out of bankruptcy this week.
BAA again told to sell Stansted terminal and a base
(LONDON) BAA Ltd, the owner of Heathrow airport, was again ordered to sell its Stansted terminal and a base in either Edinburgh or Glasgow in a four-year-old fight with UK antitrust authorities.
SingTel powers on with new cloud offering
SINGAPORE Telecommunications has become the first provider of enterprise-grade hybrid cloud services in Asia with the launch of SingTel PowerON Compute in collaboration with VMware.
Firms fret over length of Japan disruption
(HELSINKI) Disruption of the production and delivery of components used by the global technology sector continued to weigh, more than two weeks after a massive earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan.
New rules to curb money inflows
(SHANGHAI) China will cut domestic financial institutions’ short-term overseas borrowing quotas from tomorrow, signalling that it is stepping up efforts to curb hot money inflows attracted by yuan appreciation.
China set to ease monetary policy: analyst
(BEIJING) China’s central bank took a ‘softer tone’ on monetary policy in a statement issued this week after a regular meeting, signalling a pause in monetary tightening, Credit Suisse Group AG said.
ICBC profit up 33% in Q4
(SHANGHAI) Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd, the world’s largest lender by market value, posted a 33 per cent gain in fourth-quarter profit as wider loan margins allowed Chinese banks to overcome a slowdown in credit growth.
China seen becoming No 2 tourism market
(BEIJING) China will probably overtake Japan to be the world’s second-biggest tourism market by 2013 as rising incomes and rapid economic growth spur travel, Boston Consulting Group Inc said.
Infinio Group in $381m RTO deal
LOSS-MAKING Infinio Group has proposed to acquire Ephraim Resources Ltd for $381.81 million in a reverse takeover deal that will see the vendors own 93.14 per cent of Infinio.
Shanghai Asia CFO resigns amid disagreement
SHANGHAI Asia Holdings’ chief financial officer and executive director Tung Kum Hon has decided to step down. This follows his disagreement with the rest of the board on how the company’s proposed disposal of businesses to two firms should be treated.
OCBC dangles sign-on bonuses
OCBC Bank last year paid as much as $600,000 in sign-on bonus to one executive amid a tight labour market.
Sembawang Shipyard, Teekay sign long-term alliance contract
SEMBCORP Marine’s wholly owned subsidiary Sembawang Shipyard has signed a long-term alliance contract with Canada’s Teekay Marine Services.
Cosco focuses on offshore marine business
COSCO Corporation may have had a record year of bulk carrier deliveries in 2010 – 32 versus 2009′s eight – but it is shifting gears to its offshore marine business.
Role of finance execs to grow in importance: KPMG
THE function of a company’s finance department – ie. to provide timely and accurate data reporting – has not changed, despite the upheavals in the last five years.
Golden Agri unit plans 9t rupiah investments
THE Indonesia-listed subsidiary of Golden Agri Resources yesterday announced it will invest up to nine trillion rupiah (S$1.3 billion) until 2015 to make downstream products.
Tianjin Zhong Xin net profit up 9%
TIANJIN Zhong Xin Pharmaceutical Group posted a net profit of 293.3 million yuan (S$56.4 million) for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2010, up 9 per cent from 269.7 million yuan a year ago. Revenue for the period rose 21 per cent to 3.47 billion yuan, an increase of about 592 million yuan from the previous period.
DBS upbeat on tourism-linked firms
TOURISM-related companies in Singapore could stand to benefit as tourists steer clear of Japan in the wake of the earthquake and the nuclear crisis, opting instead for nearby Asian countries as a holiday destination, a DBS Group Research report said.
Membership has its privileges
DBS Bank recently hosted over 100 founding card members at the DBS Insignia Visa Infinite card launch at a gala dinner at the St Regis Singapore.
Are Reits a better alternative to Hutchison Port trust?
HUTCHISON Port Holdings (HPH) Trust’s initial public offering has clearly been a letdown for punters who are in for a quick ride.
Fed’s probably right on inflation
(WASHINGTON) Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke is betting that surging prices for food and fuel won’t wind up breaking the cost of living for Americans. The historical record shows the odds are in his favour.
Greenspan warns of market distortions
(LONDON) Sweeping regulation introduced by the US to prevent future financial crises could create major ‘market distortions’ ex- Federal Reserve chief Alan Greenspan wrote in yesterday’s Financial Times.
Japan’s Feb industrial production up before the quake
(OSAKA) Japan’s industrial production rose for a fourth straight month in February, data showed yesterday, in another sign that the economy was picking up before the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
Spain retail sales slide again, hit by higher prices
(MADRID) Spanish consumers shied away from the shops again in February showing little sign of helping out a weak economy, while consumer price rises topped 3 per cent for the third straight month.
Designing outside the box
ARCHITECTURE can help define great cities and occasionally, a single building can even come to symbolise all that a city aspires to be. The Atlantis Condominium in Miami, Florida is one such building.
JTC puts up $5m for cutting-edge ideas
JTC Corporation (JTC) has launched a request for proposal (RFP) exercise to seek cutting-edge ideas on intensifying land use and speeding up construction.
Rents up for four-bedders in prime locations in Q1
LARGER four-bedroom units in prime districts were the only residential unit type to see an increase in rental values in the first quarter of this year, as compared with Q4 last year, according to preliminary estimates from Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL).
Beijing joins 40 cities to cap gains in new home prices
(SHANGHAI) Beijing said it wants to keep new home prices steady or declining this year, joining other Chinese cities in responding to central government measures to keep housing gains in check.
NZ new building consents fall in Feb
(WELLINGTON) The number of new dwelling consents approved in New Zealand fell in February, reflecting a partial impact from the devastating earthquake that struck Christchurch last month.
Colliers appoints director, consultant
COLLIERS International yesterday said it has appointed Chia Siew Chuin as director and head of its research and advisory department.
Office rents continue to move up in Q1
OFFICE rents in Singapore continued to trend upwards in the first quarter of 2011 but the pace of growth has moderated in line with the less frantic pace of leasing, said a new report.
Chinese are top foreign buyers of bungalows
MAINLAND Chinese replaced Malaysians as the biggest foreign buyers (including permanent residents) of bungalows across Singapore last year, shows a caveats analysis by CB Richard Ellis.
China, India set to go ahead with N-power
(SINGAPORE) China and India, the world’s two fastest-growing major economies, may boost their share of global nuclear power sevenfold by 2030 to meet electricity demand and emissions goals, according to Sanford C Bernstein & Co.
India trailing other BRIC nations on digital access
(LONDON) India is trailing the BRIC nations of Brazil, Russia and China in the drive to get its population connected to digital technologies such as the Internet and mobile phones, a new report shows.
Hotshots blazing a trail in Indonesia
AFTER failing to get a ticket to a blockbuster in 2003, Ananda Siregar, then 28, decided to start his own movie theatre business.
Election Commission under fire from NGO
THE Malaysian chapter of Transparency International (TI) yesterday accused the Election Commission (EC) of failing in its duty to enforce free and fair elections in the country.
Dry-bulk traffic to fall by 32% in 2011: China Cosco
(SINGAPORE) China Cosco Holdings Co, Asia’s largest shipping company by market value, forecast a 32 per cent drop in dry-bulk traffic this year as expansion in the global fleet outpaces demand.
Top 5 tanker lines still calling at Tokyo ports
(LONDON) The world’s five biggest oil-tanker companies will still travel to the ports of Tokyo Bay, joining other shipping lines in judging them safe for crew and vessels.
Baltic’s key sea-freight index drops
(LONDON) The Baltic Exchange’s main sea-freight index, which tracks rates to ship dry commodities, fell on Tuesday as weak activity continued to weigh on sentiment.
Stocks enjoy early window-dressing
MONDAY’S column raised the strong likelihood that quarter-ending window – dressing might occur on or around March 31. As it turned out, the bulk of it probably came yesterday when the Straits Times Index (STI) jumped 38.37 points to 3,095.32.
PAP unveils another three new election candidates
A COMEBACK kid who’s conquered many a setback was one of three new faces unveiled yesterday by the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) for the coming general elections.
Hundreds of tea sessions to pick ‘best brew’
THE ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) doesn’t pick its election candidates overnight, said its organising secretary (special duties).
More Australians pursuing degree courses in S’pore
SINGAPORE’S links with Australia in the field of education have matured over the past five decades into one that is seeing student flows in both directions, says Australia’s High Commissioner Doug Chester.
Encompass unveils US$20m plan to expand S’pore ops
US-BASED Encompass Media plans to invest up to US$20 million over the next five years to strengthen Singapore’s role as its sole regional node for content digitisation and transmission.
Oil prices could breach all-time high: analyst
OIL prices – with Brent now at US$115 following unrest in Libya and the Middle East – could surpass the all- time record of US$147.50 by the third quarter of this year if the current ‘alarming’ upward trend continues, an energy analyst warned yesterday.
February visitor arrivals up a robust 15.4%
VISITOR arrivals to Singapore continue to power ahead, growing 15.4 per cent year-on-year in February to 990,000.
Fullerton celebrates 10th year as hotel
A DECADE after he first declared the hotel officially open for business, Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong yesterday returned to the Fullerton Hotel as the guest-of-honour for its 10th anniversary celebrations.
Bartley site draws top bid of $620.61 psf ppr
A PARTNERSHIP between Hong Leong Holdings, City Developments and TID yesterday emerged as the top bidder for a 99-year leasehold private condo site next to Bartley MRT Station.
HDB CEO is Her World’s Woman of the Year
SHE has helped to transform Orchard Road and Marina Bay and develop Singapore’s cityscape as a whole.
PANASONIC has appointed Yorihisa Shiokawa as managing director of Panasonic Asia-Pacific Pte Ltd, effective from April 1, 2011.
Bungalow-buying foreigners throng to a new address
(SINGAPORE) They are buying fewer bungalows in other prized locations in the rest of the city – but more at Sentosa Cove.
Japan to seal and scrap 4 of its reactors
JAPAN is set to decommission the four nuclear reactors at the quake-hit Fukushima plant that it has not been able to bring under control even three weeks after the quake.
Heng Swee Keat to step down as MAS MD
(SINGAPORE) Heng Swee Keat, who has been tipped to join politics, will step down as Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) managing director with effect from April 2.
China’s wealth fund ready to boost Latin America investment
(BEIJING) China’s US$300 billion sovereign wealth fund is prepared to invest more in resource-rich Latin America because it is confident about the region’s growth prospects, a senior official said yesterday.
KPMG launches institute for CFOs
(SINGAPORE) Big Four accounting firm KPMG yesterday launched the KPMG CFO Institute to help chief financial officers (CFOs) wade through their increasingly complex business environments.
Syrian president blames wave of protests on ‘conspirators’
(DAMASCUS) Syrian President Bashar Assad failed to lift the country’s despised emergency law or offer any concessions in his first speech since protests in his country began nearly two weeks ago.
THEY are buying fewer bungalows in other prized locations in the rest of the city – but more at Sentosa Cove.
Don’t let eurozone woes slip under the radar
RATING cuts for Portugal and Greece, as well as a potential downgrade for Ireland, serve as sharp reminders that the eurozone’s troubles are far from over.
Playing the blame game for US budget stalemate
TENSIONS are rising on Capitol Hill. The political rhetoric is getting ugly. And the suspense is growing: Will US lawmakers be able to work out a budget deal as soon as possible so as to avert a shutdown of the federal government?
Ambitious to expect any growth in Japan in 2011
APRIL, wrote the poet and playwright T S Eliot, ‘is the cruellest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land’. April will be breeding not lilacs but sakura or cherry blossoms out of what has become the dead land or ‘wasteland’ (to quote Eliot again) in much of Japan this year.
Make sure your donation helps
WHILE the world is trying to catch its breath after the catastrophic earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck Japan on March 11, an insidious threat is spreading its tentacles among those who care about the fate of the stricken Japanese people.
CSR ? What does it really mean?
CORPORATE social responsibility or CSR is one of the hot topics today and companies, when asked, will probably say that they have such a programme.
UNITED Overseas Bank (UOB) will issue $1 billion worth of 3.45 per cent subordinated notes, which qualify as lower tier 2 capital.
Post AGM voting results on SGX.net
AT SGX-listed companies’ annual general meetings (AGMs), it has become the trend to require voting by a poll instead of by a show of hands for all resolutions, no matter how routine.
Yen dips to 10-mth low against euro
(NEW YORK) The yen slipped to a 10-month low versus the euro and was broadly weaker yesterday as recent hawkish comments from eurozone and US officials contrasted with Japan’s loose monetary policy stance.
End of the road for private Irish banks
(DUBLIN) Ireland’s stress tests on its four surviving banks are expected to force all of them to come under state control and raise the cost of the banking crisis sharply to a total of some 45,000 euros (S$80,072) per tax-paying worker, analysts warned yesterday.
Opec has enough spare capacity to calm volatile markets: survey
(LONDON) The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) should have enough spare output capacity to calm volatile oil markets for the rest of the year, provided upheaval in the Arab world does not escalate, a Reuters survey found.
US Congressmen spar over budget cuts accord
(WASHINGTON) Republicans and Democrats in Congress traded charges over which party is stifling agreement on budget cuts needed to avert the first US government shutdown in 15 years.
Britain’s Domino’s confident of strong growth
(LONDON) Britain’s biggest pizza delivery firm Domino’s Pizza UK & IRL plc said yesterday it was well placed for strong growth this year as buoyant growth in the UK offset declining sales in Ireland.
Big 4 audit firms may face UK probe over bank crisis
(LONDON) Britain’s competition authorities should probe the world’s ‘Big Four’ auditing firms who failed to warn supervisors about banks before the financial crash, a parliamentary report said on Wednesday.
Spain banks’ merger may not take place
(MADRID) Plans to marry four Spanish savings banks and create a new group, Banco Base, were likely to be scrapped yesterday because of disagreements over money, Spain’s press said.
Lloyd’s says it can deal easily with Japan claims
(LONDON) The Lloyd’s of London insurance market said it would be able to deal easily with claims from Japan’s earthquake as it reported that natural disasters almost halved profits last year.
Two-track growth in poor, rich economies poses risks
(WASHINGTON) The world’s biggest economies are recovering from the Great Recession at troublesome speeds: too fast or too slow.
Supreme Court hearing begins on Wal-Mart sexism case
(WASHINGTON) The US Supreme Court on Tuesday began hearing a bid by Wal-Mart to stop as many as 1.5 million female workers from achieving class-action status in the largest sexual discrimination case in US history.