China airline rapped in landing row
(SHANGHAI) Aviation authorities have ordered stiff punishment for a local airline whose pilot refused to yield to a Qatar Airways jet requesting to land because it was short of fuel, highlighting growing concerns over safety in China’s overcrowded skies.
Ratings agency releases list of world’s safest airlines
(GENEVA) Air France-KLM, British Airways and Lufthansa are the safest airlines in Europe, according to a study ranking the ’10 safest airlines’ by the Air Transport Rating Agency (ATRA) released on Monday.
Russia has an image problem at 35,000 feet
IRLINES are a cautious lot, slow to trust a new airplane maker with multibillion-dollar orders and passenger lives. It took Embraer, a Brazilian maker of regional jets, two decades to become a major supplier to the industry.
Lufthansa optimistic for 2011, says CEO
(FRANKFURT) Lufthansa will not be rushing in to pick up routes cut by smaller rival Air Berlin and is confident it will achieve its targets for 2011, chief executive Christoph Franz said.
Citic Securities gets China approval for HK listing
(SHANGHAI) Citic Securities, China’s biggest broker by market value, has received government approval for a listing in Hong Kong, the company said in a statement yesterday.
China tycoon trying to buy part of Iceland
(BEIJING) A Chinese tycoon is trying to buy a huge tract of land in Iceland for a US$100 million eco-tourism project that will include a golf course, the Financial Times said yesterday.
Sun East, Grand Banks may be placed on SGX watch-list
SUN East Group and Grand Banks Yachts have become potential new entrants to the Singapore Exchange’s watch-list, after incurring pre-tax losses for the third consecutive financial year.
Baker’s short-term pain
NOTHING transforms people into fervent long-term thinkers more quickly than dismal short-term results.
Obama may offer tax credits to boost hiring
(WASHINGTON) The ideas US President Barack Obama is considering for his new jobs agenda could put hundreds of thousands of people back to work, and still have a limited impact in an economy that remains 6.8 million jobs behind its pre-recession peak, economists said.
Aussie PM sounds warning on factories
(CANBERRA) Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard joined Reserve Bank Governor Glenn Stevens in warning of tough days ahead for the nation’s factory workers, who are losing jobs in an economy relying more on mining for growth.
Emerging market equities are worth looking at
SO FAR, 2011 has offered up a distinct feeling of dejï¿½ vu. After a steady rise till April, we experienced a sharp downward correction in equity markets amid a variety of concerns: Greek and European fiscal issues, rising interest rates due to inflationary concerns in emerging markets, signs of a slowdown in the US and the end of QE2.
Disclose accounts abroad – or else
(NEW YORK) IN THE debate over federal taxes, there is one potential revenue source with few defenders: people hiding money offshore.
India’s 7.7% growth slowest in six quarters
(NEW DELHI) India’s economy grew 7.7 per cent in the three months through June, its weakest in six quarters, with further sluggishness looming as a spate of interest rate increases, high inflation and weak global conditions take a toll.
Indonesia may face more strikes over pay
(JAKARTA) Recent strikes in Indonesia by gold miners, pilots and supermarket staff over pay signal that workers have started to push for a greater share of profits in a booming economy that has drawn foreign investors partly for its low labour costs.
GM cuts costs to stay up in China
(SHANGHAI) General Motors Co is sacrificing profit margins to maintain market share in China, cutting prices of low-cost minivans by as much as 15 per cent to offset slowing sales in the world’s largest vehicle market.
Most Japanese automakers report weak July production
(TOKYO) Most Japanese automakers reported lacklustre vehicle production and sales for July, underscoring ongoing malaise in the industry as it grapples with a strong yen, precarious global economy and recovery from the March 11 tsunami.
ZhengTong Auto to buy dealerships in China
(NEW YORK) China ZhengTong Auto Services Holdings Ltd, the second-biggest seller of BMW AG cars in China, agreed to pay 5.5 billion yuan (S$1.04 billion) for a chain of Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo dealers.
Big ships will help offset slump: Daewoo
(SINGAPORE) Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co, working on the world’s largest container ships, said mega-sized vessels’ greater fuel efficiency will let them withstand a slowdown in overall orders.
CMA CGM bullish despite plunge in interim earnings
(PARIS) CMA CGM, the world’s third-largest container shipping group, expects 2011 to be ‘a positive year’ despite a plunge in first-half profit linked to less favourable freight rates than in 2010, the company said on Monday.
High tide for Brazilian yacht market
(SAO PAULO) Marcio Christiansen reeled off tales of the growing ranks of rich Brazilians who visit his luxury Ferretti yacht showroom. One man paid US$2 million for a ship, he said, after succumbing within 30 minutes to his children’s pleas of ‘Buy it, Daddy, buy it!’
Learning to live with piracy
IN A DEEPLY disturbing development two weeks ago, a products tanker was hijacked within the limits of the Omani port of Salalah. The 25,400 DWT Fairchem Bogey was preparing to enter port to load and her crew were clearly not expecting an attack.
Crossrail delays award of contract
(LONDON) Crossrail, Europe’s largest infrastructure project, said it had delayed the award of a contract to build 60 train carriages to save costs and allow the British government’s review of public procurement to be taken into account.
SIA is No 1 in global airlines ranking
SINGAPORE Airlines (SIA) retained its pole position in a ranking of airlines worldwide this year, according to a survey conducted by online travel magazine SmartTravelAsia.com. The poll results were less pretty for Tiger Airways. It took seventh place in the budget airlines category – down from third last year.
Meyer Rd project coming soon
HONG Leong Holdings will be holding previews for a new freehold residential project in the East Coast area called The Meyerise in September, with prices starting from $1,400 per square foot (psf).
PUB to hand over waterworks to Johor
SINGAPORE will officially hand over waterworks under the 1961 Water Agreement to the Johor state government today. The handover marks the end of the 50-year water agreement between Johor and Singapore’s national water agency PUB.
Banks walk down growth path with young SMEs
(SINGAPORE) Banks are stepping up their efforts to woo young businesses here, drawn by their growth potential in an increasingly competitive banking space for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
IMF slashes US, eurozone growth forecasts
(ROME) The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has slashed its growth forecasts for the United States and the eurozone; and said the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank (ECB) must be ready to ease policy, Italian news agency ANSA reported on Monday.
Cumulative US investments in S’pore top US$100b
(SINGAPORE) While the US government was piling up debts that pushed public finances to the brink, US corporations were reaping big gains overseas last year – and reinvesting them outside the country.
A US$1.17b chunk flows the other way
SINGAPORE companies invested US$1.17 billion in the United States last year, as the US economy was lifting itself from the worst recession in 80 years.
Talk of Temasek among buyers helps boost CCB shares
(HONG KONG) News that Temasek Holdings was among institutions that bought the shares of Hong Kong-listed China Construction Bank Corp offloaded by Bank of America Corp helped CCB shares rise more than 4 per cent yesterday.
New Japan PM poised to get a handle on fiscal problems
FORMER finance minister Yoshihiko Noda was elevated to prime minister yesterday by the Lower House of Japan’s Parliament, one day after being elected president of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), becoming Japan’s sixth prime minister in the space of some five years.
Fitch says China may risk yuan debt downgrade
(BEIJING) China faces a ‘better than even chance’ of another downgrade to its local currency debt rating due to rising defaults and high inflation following a credit binge, Fitch Ratings said yesterday.
BANKS are stepping up their efforts to woo young businesses, drawn by their growth potential in an increasingly competitive banking space for small and medium enterprises.
Malaysia has much going for it
AS Malaysia celebrates its 54th anniversary of independence today, it is worth noting that while the country has its share of problems – relentless politicking and a seeming penchant for divisive racial and religious issues being the most obvious – it is doing fairly well economically.
Time for Americans to put economy above politics
THE visit by US Vice-President Joe Biden to China, meant to introduce Washington to the next Chinese leader Xi Jinping – who will visit the US in a few months – went relatively well and shows that both countries want to maintain stable relations at a time when the West is going through an acute financial crisis and China’s rise appears to be accelerating.
Troubled economy in search of a solution
IN THE aftermath of the decision by Standard & Poor’s (S&P) to downgrade the US credit rating, Wall Street has been waiting for Washington – whether it’s the White House or Congress or the Federal Reserve – to do something, or at least say something that would reassure the markets that the economy was getting better. At the very least, they wanted to be told the economy would be getting better in the not-so-distant future.
Tackling Asean’s inflation bugbear
INFLATION appears to be a problem in many countries across Asia.
Understand Marx to save the world economy
POLICYMAKERS struggling to understand the barrage of financial panics, protests and other ills afflicting the world would do well to study the works of a long-dead economist: Karl Marx.
Slowing growth, supply disruptions pose threat to food prices
(SINGAPORE) Global food costs will remain elevated because a potential slowdown in economic growth is unlikely to hurt demand and weather-related disruptions to supply could ‘ratchet up prices’, Olam International Ltd said.
Aussie regulator objects to plan splitting Telstra
(MELBOURNE) Australia’s competition regulator objected to the terms of the proposed split of dominant phone company Telstra Corp, threatening to delay an historic reform designed to wire up the entire nation to high-speed broadband.
Strauss-Kahn bids farewell to IMF staff
(WASHINGTON) Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund, met with his successor and bid an emotional farewell to IMF staff during his first visit to the agency since his resignation in May.
Banks rapped over level of Greek writedowns
(BRUSSELS) Some European banks haven’t sufficiently written down the value of Greek government bonds and other ‘distressed sovereign debt’ they own, the organisation that sets accounting rules in the region said.
Macarthur Coal bows to raised Peabody, Arcelor Mittal bid
(MELBOURNE) Peabody Energy and Arcelor Mittal have won over Macarthur Coal with a sweetened A$4.9 billion (S$6.3 billion) takeover offer, after a rival bidder failed to emerge for the Australian coal miner.
Aussie property market set for big deals, says CBRE
(SYDNEY) Australia is expected to remain the most active property investment market in the Asia-Pacific for the rest of the year as offshore investors seek quality assets in a mature market with growth prospects, property services firm CB Richard Ellis said.
HP exec says PC business to stay world No 1
(BEIJING) Hewlett-Packard Co’s (HP) personal computer business will retain its position as the world’s largest PC manufacturer even after any spin-off, the head of HP’s PC business said yesterday.
(LONDON) Crowds watching a performer in the street parade at the annual Notting Hill Carnival in central London on Monday. Revellers flocked to west London for one of Europe’s biggest street parties, with record numbers of police on duty to prevent a repetition of riots that shook the British capital three weeks ago. Monday, a public holiday in England, is the main day of the two-day Notting Hill Carnival, an annual celebration of Caribbean culture that usually draws about one million people for a colourful procession of musicians and performers.
NZ doubles quake insurance cost to NZ$7.1b
(WELLINGTON) New Zealand’s government more than doubled insurance estimates for the Christchurch earthquakes after reported wreckage of houses and land was worse than previously calculated.
FDIC objects to BOA’s mortgage bond deal
(NEW YORK) The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp filed an objection to Bank of America Corp’s proposed US$8.5 billion mortgage bond settlement with investors, joining investors and states that are challenging the agreement.
Fitch settles Calpers’ suit over investment ratings
(SAN FRANCISCO) Fitch Ratings settled a lawsuit in which the largest US public pension fund alleged that Fitch and other credit ratings agencies assigned unreasonably high ratings to special investment vehicles that later collapsed, according to a court document.
Firms slowly returning to high-end hotels
(NEW YORK) Two years ago, corporations clamped down on employee travel and cancelled meetings in droves. The chilling effect was most pronounced at luxury hotels, which were eschewed entirely by many companies in the wake of the disclosures about a lavish retreat held by the American International Group right after it accepted a government bailout.
Pimco rues betting against US debt
(NEW YORK) Bill Gross, the manager of the world’s largest bond fund, feels like ‘crying in his beer’ for having bet so heavily against US government-related debt earlier this year, the Financial Times reported on Monday.
Maple pushing ahead with TMX bid
(TORONTO) Maple Group said that its plan to acquire TMX Group is on track, despite a retreating share price for the Toronto Stock Exchange operator.
Sino-Forest investors face further uncertainty
(TORONTO) Sino-Forest, once the biggest forestry company on the Toronto Stock Exchange, is running out of room to manoeuvre, after its credit rating was further downgraded amid fraud allegations, a stock trade halt and the departure of its CEO.
US consumer confidence hits 2-year low
(NEW YORK) US consumer confidence crumbled in August to its lowest level in more than two years as the fallout from political wrangling over a budget deal took its toll, according to a private sector report released yesterday.
Business, consumer sentiment darken in Europe
(FRANKFURT) Business and consumer sentiment in the 17 countries that use the euro fell in August, reinforcing fears that the region’s economy will slow in the months ahead as political leaders struggle to contain a crisis over government debt.
Melbourne named world’s most liveable city
(SYDNEY) Melbourne has edged out long-time frontrunner Vancouver to be rated the world’s most liveable city, a worldwide survey from the Economist Intelligence Unit said yesterday.
Lehman seeks creditor vote on payout
(NEW YORK) Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc was set to ask a bankruptcy judge yesterday to let creditors vote on its US$65 billion payout plan, a key step toward ending the biggest bankruptcy in US history.
Rebels give Gaddafi loyalist cities Saturday deadline
(BENGHAZI, Libya) Rebels in Libya yesterday issued a Saturday deadline for cities still held by forces loyal to fallen leader Muammar Gaddafi to throw in the towel or face a military onslaught.