Emirates adds US routes to Seattle, Dallas
(LONDON) Emirates, the biggest international airline, will add flights to Seattle and Dallas in a revival of plans to establish a major route network to the world’s largest economy that it shelved after the 2001 terror attacks.
AirAsia X may add 60 more planes
(TOKYO) AirAsia X, the long-haul affiliate of Asia’s biggest discount carrier, may add at least 60 more aircraft to support possible hubs in Japan and Australia.
Further Qantas strikes to hit 8,500 travellers
(SYDNEY) Qantas yesterday said that 8,500 passengers would be hit by renewed ground staff and engineer strikes which have forced two flights to be axed and 39 others delayed on one of the year’s busiest weekends.
Chongqing sets ambitious course
(CHONGQING) China’s fast-growing south-west city of Chongqing has gained fame of late for reviving Mao-era songs and slogans, but the man at its economic helm claims his heroes are Reagan and Thatcher.
Bosses in China go into hiding over big debts
(BEIJING) A string of Chinese entrepreneurs have gone into hiding to avoid repaying loans, according to state media reports, highlighting a credit squeeze on private firms and the dangers of steep interest rates in China’s vast and growing informal lending market.
HK shuts markets, schools on storm signal
(HONG KONG) Hong Kong shut financial markets for the day, and closed schools, courts and government offices after raising its highest storm signal in two years as Typhoon Nesat swept gale-force winds and rain into the city.
CMA takes 50% stake in Suzhou project
CAPITAMALLS Asia (CMA) will join a government- owned Chinese developer to build a shopping mall and two office towers within Suzhou Industrial Park, it said yesterday.
Markets seen pricing in recession
THE recent savaging of emerging market equities and bonds, sell-off in commodities, dives in equity valuations and rally in the US dollar feel very much like 2008 as markets move to price in a normal recession, but not a post-Lehman scenario of 2008.
Sabana Reit buys factory building
SABANA Shari’ah Compliant Industrial Real Estate Investment Trust has bought 21 Joo Koon Crescent, a three-storey factory building with ancillary office, for $20.274 million from AVA Global.
More than 9 suitors courting LME, says CEO
(LONDON) Interest in the London Metal Exchange (LME) as a takeover target has snowballed and the number of suitors has risen to double digits because business is booming with volumes at record levels, its chief executive Martin Abbott said.
Beyonics posts full-year loss of $17.5m
INTEGRATED manufacturing services group Beyonics Technology posted a $17.5 million net loss for its full year ended July 31, 2011 (FY 2011), as revenue fell and manufacturing costs rose.
TTJ Holdings’ shares ride on profit surge
TTJ Holdings shares surged as much as 14 per cent yesterday following news that the group has more than doubled its full-year earnings.
Koon bags precast projects worth $53.73m
INFRASTRUCTURE construction and precast specialist Koon Holdings has secured contracts for precast components worth $53.73 million.
KEPPEL Shipyard has secured three conversion contracts worth a total of $142 million.
Will LionGold be a glittering investment?
GOLD miner LionGold Corp, with an unproven track record, continues to attract investor interest even though some broking houses are advising caution.
Hedge funds snap up Greek bonds at distressed prices
(LONDON) Greece may never be able to pay off its huge debts, but its bonds, long scorned by investors, are suddenly being gobbled up by hedge funds.
US budget panel ducks under cone of silence
(WASHINGTON) The US Congress’ ‘super committee’ is earning a reputation for being the ‘super secret committee’ as radio silence envelopes the panel charged with cleaning up the country’s budget mess.
Europe worried about retail interest in ETFs
(VIENNA) European regulators are concerned that retail investors are buying more complex exchange-traded funds in search of higher returns, said Steven Maijoor, chairman of the European Securities and Markets Authority.
Enamoured of everyday wines
MUCH of the talk today – in print as well as in the market – tends to concentrate on iconic wines. How exorbitant the prices are, especially of the Bordeaux First Growths, and who can afford to buy them.
OF LATE, Mainland Chinese filmmakers have had quite a bit of success turning the country’s history into mainstream entertainment.
Alien ruses on a budget
TWO new sci-fi films prove that the genre doesn’t always require big bucks to make, though the results are a little mixed.
HE’S emotionally unavailable and she’s emotionally damaged, but they are good friends in search of sex with no strings attached. Friends with benefits is the arrangement – and also the name of a film that provides a fairly unrealistic yet reasonably satisfying view of what happens when two absurdly attractive people try extremely hard not to fall in love with each other.
Artists leave hallmarks on the big screen
THE curtains may have fallen on the Singapore International Film Festival (Siff) for another year but arthouse movie buffs still have plenty to look forward to.
DANCE Trends come and go pretty quickly. Who can forget the salsa craze of a few years ago, followed by aunties who thought it was a good idea to swap their T-shirts for belly-dancing costumes, and most recently, the large number of pole-dancing classes that mushroomed across the country?
The body politic
POLITICAL Mother, the first full-length dance work of one of Britain’s brightest stars in contemporary dance, Hofesh Shechter, is part autobiography and part fiction. ‘The work contains me, but it contains more than just me. If I think about it like a writer, then I’d say it’s 50-50 autobiography and fiction. I used my emotions to fuel the piece, but also memories and information. So it’s a cross between personal and fictional,’ elaborates the London-based, Israeli-born choreographer.
Folding under a house of cards
HOW gambling addiction works is that it sucks you in so silently and in such a deadly way that you don’t even realise you’ve been hit until it’s too late.
CULTURAL MEDALLION recipient, Chng Seok Tin, might have lost most of her eyesight in 1998, but that never hindered her prolificacy. Born in 1946, the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (Nafa) alumna is exhibiting her works spanning from 1966 to 2011.
China masterpiece springs to life
JUST as ancient stories can be brought to life again in film, so can paintings. In this case, a Sung dynasty scroll in Chinese ink and silk that’s more than a century old.
Top prize in modern art
THE long wait is over for the 15 finalists for the Asia Pacific Breweries (APB) Foundation Signature Art Prize who can now concentrate on the ultimate prize.
Out-of-print tomes get digital breath of life
BLOOMSBURY PUBLISHING, home to the Harry Potter books in Britain, launched its first purely digital imprint on Wednesday which it said would bring out-of-print titles ‘back from the dead’.
King of hack and slash returns
AMONG fantasy action role-playing games (RPGs), there’s a hallowed sub-genre called hack-and-slash, where the main emphasis is on slaughtering as many monsters as possible – with blade, fist, sorcery or cunning – at the expense of plot and plausibility, if need be.
Jazz ear candy, bar none
NO matter how good your home hi-fi system is, there’s no substitute for hearing a gig live, especially when it comes to jazz and the feeling of being part of a spontaneously created work of art.
Sprawling aural and visual treat
Videos of classical music concert hall gigs are interesting in terms of performers’ body language, but even the most diehard fan has to admit that there isn’t a lot of visual variety.
Indian steel prices likely to soften on weak demand
(MUMBAI) Indian steelmakers may cut prices next month by the most in more than a year because of waning demand and unsold inventory, two Steel Ministry officials said.
The race for rice
(JAKARTA) Indonesia is not dependent on Thailand or Vietnam for rice imports, while state procurement agency Bulog should now look to buy the grain from domestic suppliers, the Indonesian agriculture minister said.
Cloud over Sime’s E&O stake darkens
in Kuala Lumpur NEW questions are surfacing over conglomerate Sime Darby’s purchase of a 30 per cent interest in property developer Eastern & Oriental (E&O) a month ago.
SP Setia shares see double digit gains
SHARES and warrants of SP Setia saw double digit gains yesterday as investors sensed a tussle ahead for control of the builder following a decision by the board to seek alternative bids because it deemed state-linked Permodalan Nasional Bhd’s (PNB) takeover offer to be inferior.
Madcap English play cricket match in the sea
(THE SOLENT, United Kingdom) With military precision, a flotilla of eccentric Englishmen took to the waves on Wednesday to contest one of the world’s craziest sporting fixtures: a cricket match played in the sea.
2012 forecast to be tough for bulk shipping
(SINGAPORE) U-Ming Marine Transport Corp, the Taiwanese operator of dry bulk ships, expects next year to be a ‘difficult year’ for the market because of the launch of more large ships and higher iron ore production in China.
Traders bet on rebound in US, Europe
THE closure of Hong Kong yesterday because of a typhoon warning probably helped the local market avoid a large-scale blowout in the morning and early afternoon, but there was late support for the Straits Times Index in the form of a rise in the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures contract and a firm opening for Europe.
Tax revenue collected by IRAS up 16.3% at $34.7b
STRONG economic growth in the past year boosted incomes, and hence, the total income tax collected by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) for its financial year ended March 31, 2011.
Funding for arts and culture gets a big boost
THE government is raising current levels of spending in the arts and cultural sector by 50 per cent, to an average of $365 million per year over the next five years.
Allgreen to preview Riviera 38
ROBERT Kuok’s Singapore property unit Allgreen Properties will preview on Thursday next week a 102-unit development at Mar Thoma Road near the Toa Payoh/Bendemeer area.
Lippo founder says ‘China factor’ is key
LIPPO Group founder and chairman Mochtar Riady said that the ‘China factor’ has become his company’s key consideration in its business development.
ABS warns of malware targeting Net banking
INTERNET banking users here are being targeted by malicious software that tries to withdraw funds from their bank accounts when they try to access them, the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) warned yesterday.
Electricity tariffs for Oct-Dec to decrease
ELECTRICITY tariffs for the October-December period will decrease by an average of 1.2 per cent, and could amount to cost savings of $1.24 a month, said electricity, water and piped gas supplier SP Services Ltd yesterday.
Creating the art of giving
FUNDING for the arts and heritage scene in Singapore went up last year after a two-year decline, although figures may not be back to pre-2008 levels of donations.
Recognising contributions to the arts
NOW into their 28th year, the Patron of the Arts Awards recognise organisations and individuals for their contributions towards the promotion and development of the arts in Singapore.
Minimising China audit risks
THE slew of Chinese enterprises going public has generated business downstream not just for bankers but for the likes of auditors, too. While revenues have risen from the Chinese pie, so have the risks.
Making a difference, small or big
EVEN as pundits continue to spell doom and gloom for the global economy, local companies are staying steadfast in their support of the arts.
Why four Arts Supporters give to their causes
EARLIER on Tuesday, 154 Arts Supporters received awards personally from their beneficiaries in a ceremony at the Goodman Arts Centre.
Fire still rages, Shell ready to shut Bukom
(SINGAPORE) Shell – which has already started a two-day sequenced operation to shut down its 500,000 barrels of crude oil distillation capacity here – is prepared to go all the way and shut down its entire Bukom manufacturing site ‘if need be’, its Singapore chairman Lee Tzu Yang said.
The rich see their wealth dwindle
(SINGAPORE) In what is probably the closest they will get to feeling poor, Singapore’s ultra-rich have spent the best part of the year watching the value of their listed company stakes plummet.
Citi to pace growth in Asia
(SINGAPORE) The board meetings of UBS and its rival Citigroup took place in Singapore just days apart, but the mood surrounding these events could not have been more different.
S’pore debt market shrinks, bank fees fall
(SINGAPORE) The local debt market has shrunk along with volatile markets, but fees earned by banks have fallen much faster as they undercut each other in order to hang on to the smaller pie.
Merkel dodges bullet with euro vote victory
(BERLIN) Angela Merkel won her toughest challenge yet as German chancellor by pushing through changes to a rescue fund for the eurozone debt crisis yesterday without the humiliation of relying on opposition support.
From family outfit to modern corporation
(SINGAPORE) Transforming a family-run business, started by his father, into a modern corporation was the driving force behind Shashi Lal Kashyap becoming an entrepreneur.
3-month Sibor on the rise amid market turmoil
(SINGAPORE) Is the party starting to come to an end for property buyers as local interest rates have risen over the past three weeks?
US judge yet to decide on Pinnacle Notes suit
(SINGAPORE) A federal judge in New York has not yet decided on whether a lawsuit accusing Morgan Stanley & Co of selling rigged Pinnacle Notes as ‘safe’ products to a group of Singaporean investors should proceed in New York.
SHELL is prepared to go all the way and shut down its entire Bukom manufacturing site ‘if need be’, its Singapore chairman Lee Tzu Yang said.
Likely outcome of proposed EU audit rules
EVEN as the euro zone gets to grips with its long-brewing fiscal crisis, proposed new audit rules by the European Commission look set to shake things up for the Big Four firms, probably with ramifications, too, for business and industry outside Europe.
There may be parallels between now and the 1930s
‘WE are back in a danger zone,’ says a top economist at the International Monetary Fund. Though an understatement, it captures the central paradox of this year’s annual meeting of the IMF and World Bank.
Will someone please lead the world back to recovery?
AN alien landing his spaceship at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) headquarters in Washington last week and asking delegates to the organisation’s annual meeting ‘Take me to your leader’ might have been met with a bemused smile and the comment: ‘Sorry, we ourselves are still tying to figure out who’s in charge.’
The ECB’s damaged legitimacy
THE European Central Bank’s (ECB) role has evolved in its decade-long existence. The choices of the ECB have however damaged the institution’s legitimacy.
Oil market gloom reflects shades of the seventies
OIL and geopolitics are joined at the hip. This year is amply showing up the connection again. Similarities to the mood of the 1970s are striking.
SARIN launched its Light Performance Technology (LPT) system, the Sarin D-Light, last week at the Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair 2011.
Broader threats to eurozone to check euro rallies
(LONDON) The euro retreated from highs against the dollar yesterday after support from German approval for boosting the eurozone rescue fund gave way to selling given that policymakers still lack a cohesive plan to solve the region’s debt crisis.
Unspoken law of the jungle
IN the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion is not sleeping tonight. In fact, he looks highly perturbed, largely due to the fact that his neighbours – a golden jackal, striped hyena and a sloth bear are raising a ruckus in the trees just outside his artificial lair.
Bank economist paints picture of a sturdy Asia
FEARS that Asia’s growth will be badly hit by slower exports to the weakening economies of the US and Europe are overdone, according to Patrick Artus, chief economist and head of research at Natixis, France’s second largest bank.
Man Group’s shares slump on dismal results
(LONDON) As a bellwether of how hedge funds have fared over the summer, the financial performance reported on Wednesday by the Man Group, the world’s largest publicly traded hedge fund manager, does not exactly inspire confidence.
Tainted cantaloupes expected to infect more people in US
(WASHINGTON) Cantaloupes infected with listeria have sparked the deadliest US food borne disease outbreak in more than a decade and are likely to claim more victims in the weeks ahead, officials said on Wednesday.
Economy grows at weak 1.3% rate in Q2
(WASHINGTON) The US economy grew slightly faster in the spring than previously estimated, but remained dangerously weak as the country struggled with surging gas prices and high unemployment.
Firms shelve US$8.9b in IPOs in Q3 as stocks plunge
(NEW YORK) Companies cancelled or postponed US$8.9 billion in initial public offerings (IPOs) in the third quarter as stocks plunged, putting the market on pace to set a record for pulled deals.
Union approves labour contract with GM
(DETROIT) Workers represented by the United Auto Workers (UAW) union approved on Wednesday a four-year labour contract with General Motors Co (GM), the first such deal for the top US automaker since its 2009 bankruptcy.
German joblessness falls to new low in Sept
(BERLIN) German unemployment fell much further than expected this month, showing companies were still hiring despite fears of a coming economic slowdown that could be worsened by Europe’s debt problems.