Thaksin says he has no plans to return to power
(SYDNEY) Ousted Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has said that he has no plans to return to leadership, and he predicted that his sister would lead the nation’s opposition party to victory in upcoming elections.
Aussie carbon tax to raise A$11.5b
(CANBERRA) Australia’s carbon tax should raise about A$11.5 billion (S$15.1 billion) in its first year, with 55 per cent of the revenue to be given to households and 35 per cent to compensate business, the government’s top climate adviser Ross Garnaut said yesterday.
Star Alliance sets July deadline for Air India
(NEW DELHI) Air India, the troubled state-owned airline, risks being rejected by the Star Alliance network of airlines because of delays in fulfilling membership conditions, an executive from Star Alliance said yesterday. The move puts in jeopardy a main element of the airline’s turnaround plan.
When ‘free’ air tickets can cost a bundle
(NEW YORK) Travellers who signed up for a British Airways Visa card issued by JP Morgan Chase got a sweet deal in a recent promotion: 100,000 frequent flier miles after spending US$2,000 with the card – theoretically, enough for two free round-trip tickets between New York and London.
Domodedovo operator ditches IPO plan
(MOSCOW) Moscow’s Domodedovo airport operator has dropped its planned stock market listing, thwarting its owner’s attempt to cash in shares for up to US$1 billion as the company attracts government scrutiny.
Beijing hikes electricity tariffs for businesses, farmers
(BLOOMBERG) China raised electricity prices for businesses and farmers for the first time in more than a year, threatening to exacerbate inflation as the nation aims to curb power shortages that may be the worst on record.
Commodities in China set for comeback
(SHANGHAI) There are early signs that China’s appetite for overseas oil, copper, aluminium, iron ore and coal will recover in the second half of 2011, having been dogged for much of the first half by the government’s campaign to put the brakes on growth and inflation.
AusGroup share price falls 7% as CEO quits
AUSGROUP’S CEO John Sheridan has resigned with immediate effect, sparking a 7 per cent drop in the company’s stock price yesterday.
Artivision takes another hit
IN what could be a reality check, the stock of Catalist-listed Artivision Technologies took another hard knock yesterday, the second time in the past three trading days.
At OCBC, HDB loan documents are Crystal Mark clear
FORGET about confusing, jargon-filled HDB mortgage application documents – OCBC Bank recently attained the Crystal Mark for making its HDB Home Loan documents clear and understandable for customers.
Transcu in deal to lease its fuel system
IN a development which could mark a turning point for the company’s emulsion fuels business, mainboard-listed Transcu Group has inked a deal worth up to US$1.5 million to lease 30 units of its Nano-Emulsion Fuel System (NEFS) to Japanese infrastructure giant Obayashi group.
Key shareholders confident, says China Minzhong
CHINA Minzhong Food Corporation yesterday said that its substantial shareholders have confidence in its prospects, despite recent share transactions.
Sarin Tech sparkles with its Galaxy1000
MAINBOARD-LISTED Sarin Technologies is ramping up deliveries of its leading-edge Galaxy1000 diamond mapping system, which has been instrumental in boosting both its top line and bottom line over the past year.
ST Engg JV to develop observation satellites
ST Engineering has set up a joint-venture company with Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and DSO National Laboratories to develop advanced earth observation satellites.
Nomura cautious on profit outlook for Genting S’pore
AT least one investment analyst is staying conservative on the profit outlook for Genting Singapore after what it perceived to be the casino operator’s ‘downbeat outlook of its mass market business’.
May market cap slips to $847.1b amid woes
‘SELL in May and go away’ seemed exactly what happened to the Singapore market for the month of May.
Cosco stock gets a boost from finalising of rig deals
INVESTORS breathed a little bit more easily yesterday on news that Cosco Corporation (Singapore) Limited’s contracts for two drilling rigs with Sevan Drilling had been made effective.
Yongnam bags HK$300m express rail deals
YONGNAM Holdings has clinched specialist civil engineering sub-contracts worth HK$300 million (S$48 million) for the Hong Kong Section of the Express Rail Link (XRL).
Spice i2i loss widens for Jan-March quarter to US$4m
INTERNET telephony company Spice i2i’s net loss widened to US$4.1 million for the January-March quarter, from US$468,000 a year ago, despite sales contributions from its acquisitions in Malaysia and Thailand.
Picking US equities over bonds
BLACKROCK Inc’s chief executive Laurence Fink says he’s more bullish on US equities than bonds because companies are benefiting from the weak US dollar and have surplus cash to invest for growth.
India’s growth at slowest in 5 quarters
(NEW DELHI) India’s economy grew at its slowest pace in five quarters during the March quarter, as rising interest rates crimped consumption and investment, although the central bank is expected to continue tightening rates in its battle against inflation.
Vedanta seen to accept Cairn deal conditions
(NEW DELHI) Vedanta Resources plc may accept the Indian government’s conditions for approving its planned US$9.4 billion bid for control of Cairn India Ltd as high crude oil prices make the deal attractive, investors said.
Dead and gone in a puff
Indonesia seen leading growth in coal exports
(NUSA DUA, Indonesia) Indonesia will lead global growth in thermal coal exports in the next decade with producers Bumi Resources and Adaro Energy becoming two of the top three coal exporting companies worldwide by 2015, energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie said.
Carlyle, Suntory in race to buy 30% stake in GarudaFood
(JAKARTA) Private equity firm Carlyle Group and Japanese brewer Suntory are leading a race to buy a 30 per cent stake in Indonesian consumer firm GarudaFood worth over US$200 million, three sources with knowledge of the deal said yesterday.
KL pact designed to end maid abuse: Jakarta
(JAKARTA) Indonesian domestic helpers will enjoy better working conditions in Malaysia under a new agreement between Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur designed to end abuse and torture, a minister said yesterday.
UDA Holdings in debt, needs government aid
THE former Urban Development Agency, now corporatised as UDA Holdings, revealed yesterday that it was indebted to the tune of over RM700 million (S$286.6 million) and needed government assistance to survive.
Chances of early KL elections dashed by power price hike
(KUALA LUMPUR) Malaysia’s increase in power tariffs and the possibility of a similar move on fuel as global oil prices surge make any chance of an early general election extremely slim as Prime Minister Najib Razak will have to first tackle a public backlash.
Pirelli’s biggest tyre plant set to be in China
(SINGAPORE) China will soon house Pirelli’s biggest manufacturing facility in the world.
Japan car output, exports in April down a record 60%
(TOKYO) Japan’s car production and exports suffered record drops of more than 60 per cent each in April following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami disaster, an industry group said yesterday.
Canada in no hurry to sell stake in Chrysler to Fiat
(OTTAWA) Fiat wants to buy the Canadian government’s shares in Chrysler, but Canada’s finance minister said on Monday that he was in no hurry to sell.
Renault names Tavares as Ghosn’s deputy
(PARIS) Renault SA, seeking to move past a botched spy investigation, appointed Carlos Tavares as second-in-command to chief executive officer Carlos Ghosn and said that it would focus on developing factories in France.
VW launches formal bid for MAN
(FRANKFURT) German carmaker Volkswagen (VW) formally launched its bid for German truckmaker MAN yesterday in a move towards creating Europe’s biggest truckmaker.
Israeli firm accused of selling ships to Iran
(JERUSALEM) After years of pushing for tough sanctions against Iran, Israel has been left reeling by reports that an Israeli shipping company has been actively doing business with the Islamic republic.
Australia airlines, ports face industrial disputes
(SYDNEY) Australia is facing what employers say is its worst period of industrial unrest in decades, with disputes hitting airlines, ports and mines as unions use an unprecedented resources boom and labour shortage to fight for a greater share of profits.
Abu Dhabi Ports works on Khalifa zone funding
(SEOUL) Abu Dhabi Ports Co, the state-run harbour operator, has hired banks including HSBC Holdings Plc and National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC to work on plans for refinancing debt taken out to build the Khalifa Industrial Zone. The company intends to change short-term loans into longer-term financial instruments once construction is complete, executive vice-president Khaled Salmeen Al Kawari said yesterday in Seoul, where he is attending a forum.
Armed guard issue still a legal minefield
AS ALL shipping industry meetings are these days, last week’s Asian Shipowners’ Forum (ASF) annual general meeting in Bali was dominated by the issue of Somali piracy.
HK’s jump helps push stocks up
THANKS to a large bounce in Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index and a likely bout of month-ending window-dressing, the Straits Times Index (STI) yesterday rose 19.33 points to 3,159.93.
Insurance firms most concerned over regulation
REGULATION and the availability of capital to meet tough requirements are the top concerns of insurance companies globally, a survey has found.
Ng Eng Hen named new Leader of the House
WHEN the new term of Parliament kicks off later this year, the House will have a new Leader at the helm in Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen.
LinkedIn setting up regional HQ in Singapore
LINKEDIN, the world’s largest professional network, announced yesterday that it is opening the company’s Asia-Pacific headquarters in Singapore.
$40m fund to liven medtech scene
IN line with the Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2015 plan, the government is establishing a $40 million fund to encourage the formation and growth of more medical technology start-ups.
Low Yen Ling appointed Business China CEO
WITH effect from today, former Economic Development Board (EDB) director Low Yen Ling will succeed Josephine Teo as the chief executive officer of Business China.
Mixed-use, hotel, EC sites added to reserve list
THREE new 99-year leasehold state land parcels were released for sale yesterday: a 2.07 hectare mixed-use site at Paya Lebar Central; a 0.38 ha hotel site at Little India; and an executive condominium (EC) housing parcel at Upper Serangoon View.
Pasir Ris DBSS site gets $123.9m top bid
A PUBLIC housing site under the Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) at Pasir Ris Central/Pasir Ris Drive 1 attracted a top bid of $123.9 million, or $281 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr), when its tender closed yesterday.
Viridian in Balestier previews at $1,550 psf on average
INDUSTRIAL developer Global Orion Properties has ventured into the residential arena with its 108-unit The Viridian in the Balestier area.
Quotation of taxable book-entry Singapore Government Bonds (May 31, 2011)
2′s company, 3′s a collaboration
HAVING parted on bad terms with his previous dance companies before forming his own, it’s no wonder that Tao Ye is known as l’enfant terrible of contemporary dance in China.
Performance shocked but did not awe
IF Lemi Ponifasio aimed to shock with Saturday night’s performance of Tempest: Without A Body, he sure did, even though it was hardly enlightening and far from pleasant.
Making cents of the currency crisis
RARELY, if ever, has a conjunction of weakness in the world’s two main reserve and transaction currencies (the US dollar and the euro), such as is being seen at present, occurred just at a time when natural disasters have also put the Japanese yen under a cloud.
SGX slices and dices to help cut trade cost
(SINGAPORE) The Singapore Exchange (SGX) will shave its minimum bid size for securities from July 4 – a move that has drawn mixed reactions on whether it would boost liquidity, even with the cut in trading costs.
Another super car in his rear view mirror
(SINGAPORE) Melvin Goh, the man whose name has become synonymous with the Lamborghini brand here after 10 years, is understood to be close to securing the franchise for another Italian supercar – Pagani.
Japan’s industrial output rises, but threats multiply
WITH Japan’s Prime Minister Naoto Kan facing the threat of a no-confidence motion being submitted against him in parliament as early as today, rating agency Moody’s yesterday joined other agencies in placing Japanese government debt under review for a possible downgrade, citing political and economic factors.
Kiwi hits record high on talk of rate hike
(SINGAPORE) The New Zealand dollar rose against several major currencies and the Singapore dollar yesterday, on speculation that the country could raise interest rates on the back of a strong trade surplus and growing business confidence.
Business loans bolster bank lending in April
(SINGAPORE) Bank lending continued to climb in April, rising 2.2 per cent over the month to $351.1 billion, as business loans expanded rapidly.
S-chips turn on the charm and reach out
(SINGAPORE) S-chips or Chinese firms listed here are on a charm offensive, organising plant visits and set to join an industry body to repair the cluster’s image following recent scandals.
Tenaga shares jump 9% on tariff hike
TENAGA Nasional jumped nearly 9 per cent to RM7.11 yesterday after the government approved an average 7 per cent tariff hike, to be followed by half yearly rate reviews.
Fifa scandals upset top football sponsors
(SINGAPORE) Two of football’s biggest corporate sponsors have expressed concern over the corruption allegations plaguing Fifa, despite president Sepp Blatter denying that the association was experiencing a crisis.
THE Singapore Exchange will shave its minimum bid size for securities from July 4 – a move that has drawn mixed reactions on whether it would boost liquidity, even with the cut in trading costs.
Asia investors should hedge their bets
CALL it a seasonal pattern or self-fulfilling prophecy, but the adage ‘sell in May and go away’ appears to have dealt a blow to markets.
US govt should get incomes, demand back to trend levels
IN the mid-2000s, the United States had a construction boom. From 2003-2006, annual construction spending rose to a level well above its long-run trend.
Milestones on road to an Asian Monetary Fund
ON MAY 4, in Hanoi, Asean and its three North-east Asian partners – China, Japan and South Korea – took an important step towards establishing the Asian Monetary Fund (AMF).
There’s a sweet deal in Mauritius
MAURITIUS was once famous for sugar. I believe that now, like Singapore, it is a gateway to a rising continent that is open for business.
The move from black to green
RECENTLY, French oil company Total acquired a 60 per cent stake in the world’s largest solar photovoltaic manufacturer, SunPower.
Reducing securities minimum bid size may backfire
IT was announced yesterday that the Singapore Exchange (SGX) would reduce the minimum bid size for securities with effect from July 4.
Yen drops on Moody’s Japan debt warning
(TOKYO) The US dollar jumped against the yen in Asian trade yesterday after ratings agency Moody’s said it could lower Japan’s Aa2 government debt rating.
Lagarde courts Brazil with vow to reform IMF
(BRASILIA) French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde pledged to push reforms to give Brazil and other emerging economies more influence at the International Monetary Fund as she kicked off a worldwide tour on Monday to win support for her candidacy to lead the global lender.
Oxfam calls for food system overhaul
(PARIS) In a couple of decades, millions more people will be gripped by hunger due to population growth and climate-hit harvests, British-based aid group Oxfam warned yesterday.
Citi to beef up Asia markets division
(SINGAPORE) Citigroup is looking to boost its Asia markets division by up to 150 positions this year, building on the expansion of its equity, commodity and FX businesses as it seeks to take advantage of a pick-up in client trading activity.
Consumer confidence dips, home prices at 4-year low
(WASHINGTON) US consumers’ outlook on the economy darkened sharply in May amid growing worries about unemployment and rising food and fuel prices, private data showed yesterday.
Merkel seeks to boost trade in India visit
(NEW DELHI) German Chancellor Angela Merkel and executives from Siemens AG and ThyssenKrupp AG are in India seeking to tap a growing middle class and boost bilateral trade that is about a ninth of Germany’s commerce with China.
Swedish woman in Germany is E coli’s 15th victim
(BERLIN) A killer bacteria linked to contaminated cucumbers claimed a 15th victim in Germany yesterday and its first fatality abroad when a Swedish woman who had been travelling in Germany died, authorities said.
Fewer bonds for dealers to sell to Fed as QE2 end nears
(NEW YORK) The world’s biggest bond dealers are finding fewer Treasuries to sell to the Federal Reserve as its US$600 billion purchase programme nears an end – a signal of rising demand even as the largest buyer steps away.