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Archive for the ‘India’ Category

Why Amitabh Bachchan won’t die of Covid-19

In India on 12/07/2020 at 5:14 am

Because he’s Indian.

Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan says he has tested positive for coronavirus.

Writing on Twitter, the 77-year-old superstar confirmed his diagnosis and encouraged anyone who had been in contact with him in the past 10 days to get tested.

He was transferred to Nanavati Hospital in Mumbai, according to local media.

A hospital official told The Indian Express newspaper that he was in a stable condition.

Don’t worry fans. Not only will he get the best treatment but India’s track record on two areas of the pandemic is good. But than that of the UK and the USA.

India’s recovery numbers are promising

The data suggests that those in India who have been diagnosed with the virus are recovering from it faster than they are dying from it.

And

India’s death rate is also very low.

India has so far recorded about 20,160 deaths from Covid-19. In absolute numbers, that is the eighth highest tally in the world. But per million of the population, it is low.

So relax fans, be happy he’s not in the US or UK.

Covid-19: What India gets right

In India on 10/07/2020 at 2:27 pm

India gets a bad press internationally  because six months after its first confirmed infection it has overtaken Russia to record the world’s third largest number of Covid-19 cases.

But amidst all the criticism two facts stand out.

India’s recovery numbers are promising

The data suggests that those in India who have been diagnosed with the virus are recovering from it faster than they are dying from it.

India’s death rate is also very low

India has so far recorded about 20,160 deaths from Covid-19. In absolute numbers, that is the eighth highest tally in the world. But per million of the population, it is low.

Covid-19: More Pakistanis are dying than Indians

In India on 09/07/2020 at 6:08 pm

In the time of Covid-19, better to be a Muslim in India than in Pakistan. Btw, better to be a Muslim in Bangladesh than in India or Pakistan.

Covid-19: India surpasses Russia

In India on 06/07/2020 at 2:58 pm

India has recorded more than 24,000 new cases of Covid-19 in the past 24 hours. India now has the third-largest number of confirmed cases in the world, 697,413. There have been 19,693 deaths.

The latest surge in numbers has also been caused by a rise in cases from a few of southern states, including Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

Can India afford to boycott Chinese investors?

In China, India on 03/07/2020 at 1:44 pm

Chinese killed 20 Indian jawans and seized Indian territory.

India retaliated by banning ByteDance’s hugely popular video-streaming app TikTok and 598 other Chinese apps on national security concerns.

Not that silly of India because this significantly narrows a top growth market for Chinese technology firms and may embolden other governments to shut them out.

Fuelled by cheap data and a young population, TikTok has picked up some 200 million users in three years in India.

The popular mobile app features snappy, shareable videos, often catering to teens and other young people. Using filters, sounds, music and hashtags, young Indians upload songs, dances, pranks, comedy skits, career tips, challenges, language and yoga lessons.

Reuters

Interestingly, the blacklist excludes India’s most valuable startups, including the US$16 billion payments giant Paytm, backed by Ant Financial, as well as education star Byju’s, which counts Tencent as an investor. Alibaba and Tencent also invested billions of dollars into other Indian startups such as Zomato, Big Basket and Ola. In total, 18 of India’s 30 unicorns have Chinese funding, Gateway House, a Mumbai-based thinktank calculates. But new investment rules and rising anti-China sentiment may slow the overall flow of capital from the People’s Republic and that will hurt growth.

India and China have also become increasingly integrated in recent years. Chinese giants deeply “embedding themselves” in India’s socio-economic and technology ecosystem, according to Gateway.

“There have been more than 90 Chinese investments in Indian startups, most of them made over the last five years. Eighteen out of 30 Indian unicorns [tech startups valued at over $1bn] have a Chinese investor,” says Amit Bhandari, an analyst at Gateway house.

At $6.2bn, direct Chinese investment in India appears relatively small. But, Mr Bhandari says, restricting Alibaba and other Chinese tech giants from creating monopolies in the Indian market will be crucial given the “outsized impact” of these investments.

India has already amended its FDI (foreign direct investment) rules to stave off hostile takeovers of Indian companies.

China sends kung fu experts to border with India/ Modi caught lying

In China, India on 29/06/2020 at 1:20 pm

News of the army’s new martial arts trainers was reported by official Chinese news outlets on 20 June, according to Hong Kong media.

State broadcaster CCTV said 20 fighters from the Enbo Fight Club would be based in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, although Chinese media had not confirmed they would be training troops on the border with India.

BBC

Wow looks like China’s serious about defending its territorial gains. Contrary to what Modi claims, Indian experts have published photos of the new line of actual control that Chinese has established. It’s inside territory that once was within India’s line of actual control. BBC report (with photos): https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-53174887?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.com/news/topics/c1newxlp4qwt/china-india-border-dispute&link_location=live-reporting-story

Covid-19: India’s Tata looking to UK for £1bn loan

In China, India on 28/06/2020 at 1:40 pm

India’s pride, the Tata group is looking to the UK govt for help. Jaguar Land Rover and Tata Steel are trying to get the UK govt to lend them £1bn. Each is looking at a loan of about £500m.

The Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Bank of Communications, China Construction Bank (all of which are state-owned) and Shanghai Pudong Development Bank gave a £560m credit line to JLR after the UK govt told JLR to bugger off because its bonds are rated as junk. Like other car makers, JLR is short of cash because of Covid-19 has disrupted the supply and demand for cars.

Covid-19: China rescues India’s Tata

Because

The reason why Indian banks couldn’t lend the money to Jaguar Land Rover is because of a very slow-burning crisis in the Indian financial system. A long history of bad lending decisions and poor governance has led to serious problems in India’s banks, shadow banks and mutual funds.

China humiliates India twice in June

Can India afford to boycott Chinese products?

In China, India on 26/06/2020 at 2:07 pm

Well according to a BBC report (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-53150898), senior Indian businessmen say that boycotting Chinese goods is like choking oneself to death. India can’t breath without importing Chinese goods.

China is India’s second-largest trading partner after the US. It accounts for nearly 12% of India’s imports in sectors such as chemicals, automotive components, consumer electronics and pharmaceuticals.

“At least 70% of India’s drug intermediary needs are fulfilled by China,” Sudarshan Jain, president of the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance, told the BBC.

India’s booming smartphone sector is heavily dependent on cheap Chinese phones made by Oppo, Xaomi and others who dominate the local market. These phones are “made in India” but the parts are imported from China.

Most consumer electronics and many industrial equipment makers say they need crucial intermediate goods from China.

Covid-19: India rising

In India on 23/06/2020 at 5:24 pm

But not in a good way. Second to Brazil in acceleration phase.

Btw, last week India overtook the UK to have the fourth-highest number of Covid-19 infections globally.

SAD.

Why isn’t Australia targeting India as Oz’s next golden goose in place of China?

In China, India on 21/06/2020 at 11:08 am

Oz has grown rich because of China’s growth into an economic superpower second only to the US of A.

For the past decade, China has been Australia’s largest trading partner and now accounts for 32.6% of its exports.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-52915879

Australia’s mines have delivered iron ore, coal and gas to fuel China’s growth – preferred to rivals in Brazil for their quality and geographic proximity. It’s a deal that benefits both nations.

Other sectors – education, tourism, agriculture, wine – have also flourished in the Chinese market.

BBC

But now Oz is over reliant on China. And China is now squeezing Oz’s balls and pussies: think the barley tariffs, the warning to Chinese students wanting to study there that Oz are racists (But then Ozzies are equal opportunity racists. They also don’t like Indians: think the Melbourne incidents.), and the threats to buy less Oz agricultural products. All because China thinks Australia should sit down and shut up and not criticise China. They should just take China’s money and be grateful.

So Oz is trying to diversify away from China. Korea, Japan and Vietnam are major target markets.

India should be a major target market but Australia only has set a goal to send A$45bn (US$31bn) in annual exports (A$25bn in 2019) to India by 2035: yes 2035. Last year, it sold more than A$200bn to China alone.

Maybe Ozzies think Indians are unlikely to become as rich as the Chinese? And that India will remain poor and an economic pygmy, unlike China? And Vietnam has a better chance of becoming the next golden goose?

Or that yellow skins are better than dark skins?

BBC

China humiliates India twice in June

In Banks, China, India on 19/06/2020 at 4:31 am

You would have read in the Indian and international media (China slaps Modi, will Modi just sit down and shut up?) about how the Indian army got beaten up.

But it’s a lot worse for India. It’s the second Chinese humiliation in June. I reported this in early June

OK, OK, I exaggerate, China only rescues Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), a British car maker, part of Tata Motors since 2008.

The Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Bank of Communications, China Construction Bank (all of which are state-owned) and Shanghai Pudong Development Bank gave a £560m credit line to JLR after the UK govt told JLR to bugger off because its bonds are rated as junk. Like other car makers, JLR is short of cash because of Covid-19 has disrupted the supply and demand for cars.

:Covid-19: China rescues India’s Tata.

The reason why Indian banks couldn’t lend the money to Jaguar Land Rover is because of a very slow-burning crisis in the Indian financial system. A long history of bad lending decisions and poor governance has led to serious problems in India’s banks, shadow banks and mutual funds.

The result? Indian banks had no money to help out Tata Motors. Chinese banks were more than willing to lend, doing their patriotic duty of showing up India’s pretensions of being China’s equal.

Time for Modi to do something rather than bully defenceless Muslims and jobless workers.

Stand up for India, Modi.

Proud ethnic Indians overseas are getting tired of being sneered at by racist ethnic Chinese: “We’re far superior to Indians and what happened on Monday proved it.”

But cows are likely to fly before Modi does anything to make overseas ethnic Indians proud again.

Time to Make India Great Again?

China slaps Modi, will Modi just sit down and shut up?

In China, India on 17/06/2020 at 7:18 am

Or will he Walk the Talk of defending India’s borders and ninour?

At least 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a clash with Chinese forces in Ladakh in the disputed Kashmir region, Indian officials say.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-53061476

Chinese casualties are unknown. But, the editor of Global Times, a state-run tabloid, acknowledged the Chinese casualties in a tweet.

 “The Chinese seem to have brought iron rods, sticks studded with metal tips and stones,” says Nitin Gokhale, an Indian defence analyst quoted by the Ecomomist.

Most probably he’ll Choke the Talk? Remember that he let Pakistan walk all over India in the last round of hostilities.

And that was only Pakistan. This is China, home of the Wuhan virus.

But maybe, he’ll call on Uncle Trump to beat up China? And Modi thinks India’s an emerging superpower like China?

Covid-19: Indians dying like flies in Modi’s home state

In India on 14/06/2020 at 2:11 pm

Ahmedabad, home to more than seven million, is the largest city in the western state of Gujarat.

It’s also the worst-affected by the pandemic, accounting for more than 75% of the state’s caseload, and nearly all of its deaths.

With more than 21,500 confirmed cases, Gujarat has India’s fourth highest caseload. But the state’s fatality rate – the proportion of Covid-19 patients who have died – is the highest at 6.2%. This is more than double the national average of 2.8%.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-53009560

(Emphasis mine)

What’s the point of being PM of India if Modi can’t help his home state?

Covid-19: The huge risk India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are taking and the reason why

In Financial competency, India on 11/06/2020 at 4:35 am

The risk: they are relaxing lockdowns even as new cases continue to increase.

The lockdowns may have made these countries’ curves of new infections less steep so far. But lockdowns did not flattened them. Millions are emerging from lockdown into an environment where Covid-19 infection is more widespread than when they went in.

At the current pace, the numbers are doubling every two weeks, suggesting that by the end of July, when some models predict the outbreak will peak, the official number infected may reach 5m and the death toll could approach 150,000.

https://www.economist.com/leaders/2020/06/04/the-pandemic-is-still-gathering-pace-in-most-of-the-world

But these countries had no choice. Because even at the best of times many people live hand-to-mouth. With lockdown, many were starving. and hence reopening the economy became more important than flattening the curve. Sad.

Covid-19: China rescues India’s Tata

In Banks, China, India on 08/06/2020 at 4:02 am

OK, OK, I exaggerate, China only rescues Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), a British car maker, part of Tata Motors since 2008.

The Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Bank of Communications, China Construction Bank (all of which are state-owned) and Shanghai Pudong Development Bank gave a £560m credit line to JLR after the UK govt told JLR to bugger off because its bonds are rated as junk. Like other car makers, JLR is short of cash because of Covid-19 has disrupted the supply and demand for cars.

Where were the Indian banks when Tata needed them? Chinese banks lend to a trophy asset of Tata, India’s pride and joy, when India and China are rowing: While India was fighting Covid-19, China invaded.

What’s in it for China? Telling Indians that its banks are better than that of India’s, most of which are according to the analysts are in dire need of capital because of bad debts to Indian tycoons.

JLR is Britain’s largest automotive manufacturer and designs, manufactures and sells some of the world’s best-known premium cars (the iconic Land Rovers), but sells most junk Jaguars.

Tata Motors got sold a dog. Sad. But then the Tata group very anglophile: British junk is the best.

Covid-19: Whatever India can do, Pakistan tries to do better

In India on 07/06/2020 at 4:13 am

And with Covid-19, it has succeeded.

Pakistanis must be really proud that last Thursday, Pakistan joined India in surpassing China after a record 4,688 new Covid-19 ncases were registered in Pakistan during the previous 24 hours to take the tally to 85,246.

Here’s a BBC report on how bad things are in Pakistan: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-52925286. Worst than in India

Giving more reason for Pakistanis to be proud: ahead of China with 84,160 patients has been placed at 18th position, one rank lower than Pakistan, according to the data from Johns Hopkins University.

But it’ll dent Pakistan’s pride that India has the sixth-highest number of confirmed cases in the world. On Saturday, the BBC reported, India recorded close to 10,000 new cases of Covid-19 in the previous 24 hours, taking its total above that of Italy.

But Pakistanis should be very proud that on a per capita basis, more Pakistanis caught the virus than India. India is a demographic superpower, something Pakistan can never aspire to: 212.2 million v 1.353 billion (2018 data). India has over 236,657 cases. There have been 6,649 deaths.

Sometimes, nationalism takes some silly turns.




Covid-19 pandemic: India isn’t alone: other countries that China bullies

In China, India on 05/06/2020 at 4:25 am

As reported in While India was fighting Covid-19, China invaded, last week, hundreds, maybe thousands of Chinese soldiers crossed China’s disputed border with India in the Western Himalayas. Minor scuffles are the norm, but the latest incursion came as the Global Times, a rabid state-owned Chinese paper asserted new claims to land that India says is Indian.

But this is not a lone incident. China has been pretty aggressive in bullying its neigbours.

Many had expected the Chinese Communist Party to send troops to crush last year’s protests in Hong Kong. Now, with the world distracted by the pandemic and mass protests difficult because of social distancing, it has acted by planning to impose on Hong Kong, a national security law, something the HK legislature has not been able to do.

In its building of island fortresses in the South China Sea, it ignores both international law and the claims of smaller neighbours. During the pandemic, there has been bullying of Vietnam, M’sia and Indonesia in the area

The most onimous threat


On May 22nd, at the opening of China’s rubber-stamp parliament, the prime minister, Li Keqiang, ominously cut the word “peaceful” from his ritual reference to reunification. China has stepped up war games around Taiwan and its nationalists have been braying online for an invasion.

Economist

Maybe Trump is right about the Wuhan virus being released by China.

Covid-19: India shoots its own foot

In India on 04/06/2020 at 2:15 pm

US imports of pharmaceuticals from India dropped almost 40% in the first half of May compared with a year earlier.

In March, India restricted exports of various medical products including paracetamol as it sought to protect its own supplies.  It removed some of these restrictions in April and recently also ended restrictions on the export of active pharmaceutical ingredients of paracetamol. All this showed the restrictions were unnecessary in the first place.

But it was too late because it showed the US that India was an unreliable supplier of drugs, unlike China. Sad.

Btw, the funny thing is that India sources the main ingredient of paramactol from China. While price the shot up amid limited supplies (China had locked-down), China never ever banned its export to India. Who is the Communist country?

While India was fighting Covid-19, China invaded

In China, India on 31/05/2020 at 4:21 am

Hmm maybe Trump and his War Minister (Sorry Secretary for Defence) are right that Covid-19 was made and propagated by China.

Officials quoted by the Indian media say thousands of Chinese troops have forced their way into the Galwan valley in Ladakh, in the disputed Kashmir region.

The reports say that in early May when India was in deep lockdown , Chinese forces set-up tents, dug trenches and moved heavy equipment several kilometres inside territory controlled and claimed by India. India had just completed building a road several hundred kilometres long connecting to a high-altitude forward air base which it reactivated in 2008.

Indian intelligence seems to have been caught sleeping. According to Indian media accounts, Indian soldiers were outnumbered and surrounded when China swiftly diverted men and machines from a military exercise to the border region.

This Chinese incursion triggered alarm in New Delhi. India has limited room for manoeuvre. It can either seek to persuade Beijing to withdraw its troops through dialogue or try to remove them by force. Neither is an easy option.

Covid-19 shows Western universities had been ripping-off India and China

In China, India on 30/05/2020 at 2:56 pm

After China, India sends more students abroad to study than any other country – more than one million Indians were pursuing higher education programs overseas as of July 2019, according to India’s foreign ministry.

Until the pandemic, they kept Western universities happy, really happy.

Earlier this year, I was congratulating a friend about his daughter’s decision not to study in Australia. She had had set her heart to study in the UK or Oz and if she had, she’d be back in S’pore and studying via Zoom.

Her dad said it was her decision after comparing the fees.

When he told me the amount involved studying in Oz nowadays, I was shocked. He said the unis knew that they could charge Chinese and Indians these amounts and get away with it. He said the UK fees were juz as bad.

We agreed they were ripping-off overseas students.

As for US universities, I know a kid who could only study there because she was awarded a govt scholarship, and we are not talking about an Ivy League University, but a uni one rank below. But she’s back here because of the pandemic. Everything via Zoom and laptop.

God’s will.

Covid-19 in India: Modi the Magician?

In India on 26/05/2020 at 4:36 am

India’s sudden shutdown threw an estimated 140m out of work. It has also blocked “coping mechanisms” for dealing with adversity (eg, help from relatives or remittances from overseas) which depend on calamity not striking everyone at once.

Recognising the pain, Narendra Modi, the prime minister, on May 12th pledged an almost mythical-sounding 20 lakh crore rupees of fresh government spending, equivalent to $265bn or 10% of gdp, to reignite growth. Over the next five days a bank of finance-ministry officials faced cameras, unveiling slice after slice of measures, carefully designed to add up to Mr Modi’s magic number.

Yet although analysts expect the extra spending to push the budget deficits of the central government and the states to about 12% of gdp, and raise the country’s overall debt-to-gdp ratio to a wobbly 80%, many doubt that the measures will work. “What we needed was large tranches of money to go into circulation without ado,” said an editorial in Mint, a financial daily. But instead of a demand-side boost, and in particular urgent cash support for the poorest, what Mr Modi delivered was a hotchpotch of supply-side inducements and prods such as credit guarantees, along with reforms whose impact will only be felt in the medium term, at the earliest. Most of the stimulus was made up either of previously announced measures, or central bank moves to spur lending. Estimates of the actual new fiscal commitment by Mr Modi’s government range from a puny 0.7% of gdp to 1.3%, a far cry from the touted 10%.

https://www.economist.com/asia/2020/05/23/indias-economy-has-suffered-even-more-than-most

Covid-19: Why India must end lockdown soon

In India on 25/05/2020 at 5:23 pm

If Modi doesn’t end the lockdown (one of the most severe in the world) people will die of starvation.

 “We put more effort into containing the people than containing the virus,” as one epidemiologist puts it.

In March alone no fewer than 140m workers are thought to have lost their jobs, catapulting the unemployment rate from 8% to an unprecedented 26% nationwide … Some 10m-80m migrants—the vagueness of the estimates speaks of the invisibility of the working underclass of street hawkers, labourers and factory hands—have despaired and tried to return to impoverished villages. Millions more Indians who work abroad have either sharply reduced their remittances or plan to return home.

Economist

Goldman Sachs, an American investment bank, expects the economy to contract by 45% this quarter at an annualised rate, and by 5% over the full year. It assumes a big bounce in the second half. If lockdown is not ended soon, the bounce will never happen.

The National Council of Applied Economic Research, a think-tank in Delhi, predicts a contraction of 12.5% this fiscal year unless there is a huge stimulus. And this is after taking into account the present measures being announced. Estimates of the actual new fiscal commitment by Mr Modi’s government range from a 0.7% of GDP to 1.3%, a far cry from the 10% of GDP boasted by Modi and other ministers.

Covid-19: India’s virus is the deadliest?

In India on 25/05/2020 at 5:53 am

[The] Indian virus looks more lethal than Chinese and Italian now.

Nepal’s PM

He’s no friend of India, what with a border row. But going by the data, he has a point. Despite 61 days (and still counting of a very severe lockdown), India registered about  6,745 new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours (as of yesterday evening), its third consecutive day of a rise in new infections

The country of 1.3 billion people reported a total of over 131,900 confirmed. Included in the total are 3,870 deaths.

Even the US figures are starting to trend down.

Why Trump loves this Indian

In India, Internet, Telecoms on 20/05/2020 at 4:12 am

“We’re the only network in the world that doesn’t have a single Chinese component,” India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani told Trump recently knowing that while Trump is doing his best to cripple Huawei, US allies like the UK are determined to use Huawei components in non-sensitive areas because they are cheap, reliable and cutting-edge.

Mukesh Ambani was talking about his Jio mobile network. He’s been rewarded what with Facebook and three other major US investors buying stakes in Hio.

Nehru must be spinning in his coffin. He was determined to build a socialist paradise, not an India that US investors want to invest in. He was a dreamy socialist from a rich family, not the son of a tea seller.

Meanwhile, Huawei said yesterday that the latest US export rules to limit its access to key technology are “arbitrary and pernicious”, warning investors the restrictions would “inevitably” hurt its business, and could damage the global technology industry.

Alcohol is to Southern Indians as water is to fish

In India on 19/05/2020 at 4:45 am

A necessity. They need alcohol to live.

Thanks to the BBC’s reporting of the rush among Indians to buy alcohol when the alcohol shops reopened, I learnt

Five southern states – Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala – account for more than 45% of all liquor sold in India.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-52640266

But that’s not all.

By volume, India is the world’s second-largest consumer of alcohol, behind China, according IWSR Drinks Market Analysis, a London-based research firm. India consumes more than 663 million litres of alcohol, up 11% from 2017. Per-capita consumption is still rising. So surprise here.

And they love whisky.

India consumes more whiskey than any other country in the world – about three times more than the US, which is the next biggest consumer. Nearly one in every two bottles of whiskey brought around the world is now sold in India. When worldwide alcohol consumption dipped in 2018, India partly drove a 7% uptick in the global whiskey market.



BBC report

Covid-19: How long can we be patient? In India people are already starving

In India on 13/05/2020 at 5:34 am

“How long can we be patient? No not Kirsten Han, Lim Tean or Mad Dog asking when S’poreans will storm parliament, but will patience be enough when economic and financial realities hit the fan?

Patience is the call at the moment. It’s the call of governments and economists in countries as diverse as S’pore, the UK and India under lockdown.

They (Trump and Abe excepted) warn that this is one of those situations where one can’t force a return of economic activity.

 But the health emergency is evolving at wap speed into an economic crisis.

David Woo at Bank of America warned in a weekly note a few weeks ago that “unless the economy reopens soon, what is currently a liquidity crisis for many firms could become a solvency crisis”.

He is expressing what small businesses and many workers that have been laid-off fear. The rate of missed rents and mortgage payments are picking up in the developed work. This only reinforces the potential for more financial shockwaves and the prospect of a sluggish recovery.

And that’s for the US, a developed countries. This also applies to the EU countries, S’pore, HK and the UK. Already we see the problems that can arise when lockdown is relaxed: the LGBTs go party and the virus returns.

But in countries like India and Bangladesh, people are already starving because they can’t work to to feed themselves and their families. Modi’s juz announced US$266bn stimulus package to revive Indian economy is an acknowledgement of this reality. Let’s hope he is serious and not juz hyping.

Friends of India can only hope he is serious.

Financial strength: China’s 10th, India’s 18th

In China, India on 05/05/2020 at 2:02 pm

But Bangladesh is 9th. Btw Pakistan is 43rd, Sri Lanka 61st.

What surprises is that Saudi Arabia is only 9th, UAE is 17th, Kuwait is 22nd and Qater is 35th. Meanwhile Nigeria is 14th.

Covid-19: Indians and Chinese are pragmatic

In China, India on 03/05/2020 at 6:15 am

Choosing between livelihoods and lives, they choose livelihoods.

“Give me money before life”. Chinese and Indians seem to say. So do the Germans, Italians and Russians.

Many other Europeans, the British, Americans, Australians, Japanese, and South Americans prefer life .

Why the difference in trade-off choices?

Because Chinese, Indians, Germans, Italians and Russians know the importance of the economy and business in ensuring that they can live?

The Americans, Australians, Japanese and many Europeans because of their welfare nets don’t make the connection between the economy and business and their lives.

But why do the Germans and Italians think the way they do? Their countries have good welfare systems.

Don’t know how South Americans think. There are no good social nets for the poor. Maybe the survey was conducted among the well-off?

Pirates? No only Italians and Indians watching movies

In India, Uncategorized on 30/04/2020 at 4:38 pm

Italians and Indians lead the world in visiting piracy sites says piracy-monitoring company Muso.

Increase in film piracy: site visits in last seven days of March compared to same period in February

BBC/ Muso

Covid-19 shows Modi’s feet of clay

In India on 11/04/2020 at 11:01 am

Modi likes to potray himself dealing with the leaders of the US of A and China as equals.

Well, he can certainly boast that like them he’s buggered up India’s response to the Chinese virus. It took Xi some time before he realised the problem China was facing and shut down Wuhan, the home of the Wuhan virus.

Trump is still floundering, and Modi is following him.

Seriously, how can Modi hold his head high with these two leaders.

India has asked China for 10,000 ventilators, this despite the border disputes and India’s concerns of being encircled by China’s bases in the Indian Ocean and in neighbouring countries.

Then there’s his surrender to Trump. India banned the export of hydroxychloroquine (commonly known as HCQ). Then Trump called Modi and India agreed to export the drug that US President Donald Trump has touted as a possible cure for Covid-19

This has worried many Indians who take the medicine for other ailments: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-52222367.

Covid-19: Must be Tablighi Jamaat again

In India, Indonesia, Malaysia on 02/04/2020 at 4:22 pm

Tablighi Jamaat, an influential Islamic missionary movement, with its HQ in a New Delhi slum, is now responsible for super-spreading Covid-19 in India after doing it in M’sia and Indonesia: Covid-19 in Islamic countries. In Indonesia and M’sia, it was their mass gatherings that caused serious problems. It also affected S’pore because some of people in the M’sian gathering returned to S’pore.

The Tablighi Jamaat have come into the spotlight after an event they held in the Indian capital Delhi has spawned a number of Covid-19 clusters across the country. But exactly who is this group and why did they hold a big gathering in Delhi? BBC Hindi’s Zubair Ahmed reports.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-52131338

With an irresponsible organisation like Tablighi Jamaat, Muslims have to be afraid, very afraid of being cast as disease carriers in India, M’sia and Inonesia. The people who don’t like Muslims and want to hurt them can only be pleased that Tablighi Jamaat was so socially irresponsible in three countries.

With an organisation like Tablighi Jamaat, Muslims don’t need enemies. Time for Muslims to do some serious soul-searching.

Covid-19: Wishing India well

In India on 01/04/2020 at 1:34 pm

In the western Indian city of Pune, young engineers are trying to develop a low-cost (US$662)”no-frills” breathing machine tailored to Indian conditions. This could save thousands of lives if the Covid-19 pandemic hits India badly.

Story at: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-52106565?fbclid=IwAR30DLlgKH72n_f0VGfDQ9tobP-DY1BPU5XSyWEXOnTC43XwZ9qoTN6DLO8

Let’s wish the young engineers well.

Covid-19: Will Modi be able to outboast Trump?/ Why India will beat the virus: “very good in mission mode”

In India on 28/03/2020 at 6:16 am

No, not when it comes to spending money will Modi be able to outboast: Trump has signed the largest-ever US financial stimulus package, worth $2tn (£1.7tn), as the country grapples with the coronavirus pandemic.

But in being able to boast to Xi and Trump about beating the Chinese virus. When the US had more confirmed cases of thecoronavirus than any other country, with more than 97,000 positive tests, Trump called Xi, “Beat that you commies. America is Great Again.”

Seriously, as the Economist wrote last week:

Fears are rising that the world’s second-most populous country might be on the brink of a big covid-19 outbreak. Until now India has been lucky with this coronavirus. It has relatively few visitors from the early centres of the pandemic—China, Italy and Iran. And Indian governments, at both federal and state levels, have been strikingly forceful in their response to the virus, with public-information campaigns saturating the television airwaves, and recorded messages pushed to mobile phones. So the number of Indian cases so far can be counted in the scores. But India has so far tested only a few thousand people, and some experts think it already has thousands or tens of thousands of cases. If so, decades of under-investment in public health have left India ill-prepared, with not enough doctors, beds or equipment for its 1.3bn people even in ordinary times.

Economist

—————————————————————————————————–

Is the world’s second-most populous country testing enough?: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-51922204


But India, while “not very good at routine stuff”, is “very good in mission mode.” As the BBC reports

A state that largely fails to deliver quality public health and education to its people excels in “mission mode” with deadline-driven, specific targets.

It went door-to-door, and vaccinated more than 170 million children and eradicated polio. It regularly holds trouble-free votes involving hundreds of millions of people – 67% of the 910 million eligible voters cast their ballots in the 2019 general election. An under-developed and crime-ridden state like Uttar Pradesh, with a population of the size of Brazil, regularly hosts the Kumbh Mela, the world’s biggest open air religious gathering of people. It prepared for more then 100 million pilgrims last year, without a single stampede or health scare. It is all very counter-intuitive.

“The Indian state,” says Prof Mehta, “is not very good at routine stuff, but very good in mission mode.” It also helps that Indians, especially faced with a crisis, show unusually high levels of social cohesion and adaptability.

Over the years an increasing number of states have beefed up capacity for delivering welfare schemes and services more efficiently. Kerala has been a shining example for years. But now, even states like Orissa in the east are catching up: it has given 500,000 rupees ($6,626; £5,582) to every village council to build a quarantine centre, in what is seen as exemplary strategic disaster planning.

India’s mission-mode capacities will be now put to the test in more ways than one.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-52043465

Let’s hope Modi will not need to call Xi or Trump to boast about having more victims of the Chinese virus than China or the US of A.

Instead Indian patriots should pray and hope that he’ll be able to call Trump and Xi and say “Pandemic? What pandemic? We handled the Chinese virus better than you guys. India is rising and don’t you forget it.”

Covid-19: The truth about the death projections

In Financial competency, India, Media on 25/03/2020 at 11:50 am

No they are not fake news, but the projections are very nuanced and come with caveats, something that social media, new media and the mainstream media don’t communicate properly.

But before going into that something that most reports don’t highlight, did you know that the Spanish flu that killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide should have been named the Indian flu given that some 12-17 million people died in India, about 5% of the population? Only 5-7 million people died in China. And a lot less in Spain.

Sorry for the aside, Coming back to the death projections, I’m sure that you know by know that a key piece of modelling which has informed the British government’s decision to try to suppress the virus was done by Imperial College London.

It suggested 500,000 could die if we do nothing, while the government’s previous strategy to slow the spread was likely to lead to 250,000 deaths.

Instead, it is hoped the steps which have been taken, which are essentially about suppressing the virus, will limit deaths to 20,000.

BBC report

It also came up with projections for countries like the US.

But these projections do not exclude the number of people that who would have died in the normal course of events if there had been no pandemic. The modellers did not exclude the normal death numbers because they can’t. They have no data to work from.

As the BBC explains in the context of the UK:

Every year more than 500,000 people die in England and Wales – factor in Scotland and Northern Ireland, and the figure is around 600,000.

The coronavirus deaths will not be in addition to these, as statistician David Spiegelhalter, an expert in public understanding of risk at the University of Cambridge, explains.

“There will be substantial overlap in these two groups — many people who die of Covid [the disease caused by coronavirus] would have died anyway within a short period.”

It was a point acknowledged by Sir Patrick at a press conference on Thursday when he said there would be “some overlap” between coronavirus deaths and expected deaths – he just did not know how much of an overlap.

https://www.bbc.com/news/health-51979654

What I trying to say is that the very nature and limitations of modelling means that we have to be very careful in trying to understand the numbers thrown at us. They are actually very nuanced, and come with caveats.

Covid-19: Stock up on paracetamol and antibiotics?

In China, India on 11/03/2020 at 4:20 am

Supplies of everyday medicine, think pain-reliever paracetamol, face a threat.

India one of the world’s largest exporter of drugs, relies on China for 70% of its raw pharmaceutical ingredients. The Indians are not getting the ingredients because of China’s very responsible attitude of lock-down in response to the Wuhan virus, unlike the US of A which is in denial. 

But before I go into the details of the threat to medicine, a reminder that the most vulnerable people are the old, chronic sickly, or men. If you meet all three criteria, go order yr coffin Women seem to be less likely to die from coronavirus than men, and children appear to be less likely to die than other age groups. Re: Kanna Covid-19, can die or not?

Coming back to the looming shortage of supplies of paracetamol and other everyday drugs, the BBC explains:

India, which is one of the world’s largest exporter of drugs, relies on China for 70 per cent of its raw pharmaceutical ingredients. For many critical antibiotics and antipyretics — medicines that reduce fever — the dependency is almost 100 per cent, experts say.

Prices have surged in recent weeks as Chinese manufacturers have run out of supplies due to traffic restrictions and staff shortages.

There are fears of global shortages of some common drugs after India limited the export of certain medicines due to the coronavirus.

The world’s biggest supplier of generic drugs has restricted exports of 26 ingredients and the medicines made from them.

The restricted drugs include Paracetamol, one of the world’s most widely-used pain relievers.

It comes as many drug ingredient makers in China remain shut or cut output.

India’s drug makers rely on China for almost 70% of the active ingredients in their medicines, and industry experts have warned that they are likely to face shortages if the epidemic continues.

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-51731719

China, especially Hubei province, is critical to the global pharmaceutical supply chain. Disruptions at Chinese and Indian drugmakers will lead to drug shortages worldwide.

Since the outbreak, costs of mainstream antibiotics have risen 50% for Indian drugmakers, the world’s biggest exporter of generic drugs, the FT reports.

Related post Need Paracetamol? Ask SingHealth

Why Mamas are running US tech giants, not us slit-eyes

In China, Humour, India, Uncategorized on 19/02/2020 at 3:36 pm

Indian supremacists and their Chinese friends are KPKBing about Indian start-ops depend on Chinese money

They point out that as usual Mamas are punching above their weight (like in S’pore law and politics) in the US C-suites and politically. Hello Andrew Yang juz dropped out of the presidential. The ladies with mama blood were booted out a long time ago.

OK, OK, there are 4 mamas heading US giant techs.

Mr Krishna’s recent elevation at IBM mirrors the rise of Satya Nadella at Microsoft and Shantanu Narayen at Adobe. They were Indian-born engineers who took over at prominent US tech companies that were going through a midlife crisis. Then there is Alphabet’s CEO, Sundar Pichai

Meanwhile,

Chinese engineers complain that Silicon Valley has an ethnic glass ceiling, and interviewees, many of whom are naturalised American citizens, compared their status with the relative success of Indians in large tech companies.

“In the US many Indian managers have become big company’s CEOs, but in many ways there’s still a bottleneck for Chinese people,” said Hans Tung, managing partner of GGV Capital, at a recent conference in Beijing. Turning to Eric Yuan, the founder of Zoom, he asked: “What do you think can be done?”.

Mr Yuan is Silicon Valley’s most well-known Chinese immigrant success story. His video conference app Zoom, which listed last April, is valued at almost $21bn. Mr Yuan responded that many Indian engineers were not only proficient at technical work, but also at understanding business models and management.

“It’s Chinese culture: it emphasises obedience and modesty, not confidence,” says Sophie Xu, a PayPal employee who left China for Canada and then the US 17 years ago. “There’s no wild ambition, we love book smarts.”

FT

My interpretation: Mamas suck up to ang mohs while Chinese ignore ang mohs. The latter believe that their work will show how good they are: they think of Grandpa’s Xi rise in China. Mamas not that naive: they know sucking ass matters.

Indian start-ops depend on Chinese money

In China, India on 19/02/2020 at 4:04 am

India has always tot of China as a geopolitical rival* and is cautious about Chinese investment.

But that caution has not prevented Chinese venture capitalists from providing a record amount of funding for Indian start-ups last year In the final quarter of the year, deals involving Chinese investors totalled a record US$1.4bn, according to figures from Refinitiv. Data provider Tracxn said Chinese funds invested in 54 funding rounds last year — the largest ever number — compared with just three in 2013 and more than double what it was in 2017.

This made China into one of the biggest sources of funds for start-ups in India, joining traditional investors in Indian start-ups like Sequoia and SoftBank. Two-thirds of India’s start-ups valued at more than US$1bn now have at least one Chinese VC investor.

Indian talking heads are fueling concerns about Chinese influence amid unfriendly relations between the two countries.

====================

*Chinese are surprised that India thinks itself as China’s rival. They can’t stop stop laughing at India’s delusions of grandeur.

Tun talks cock, Mamas upset, M’sian palm oil growers suffer

In India, Malaysia on 02/01/2020 at 4:36 am

Palm oil is M’sia’s biggest agricultural export, used extensively around the world, in everything from cooking oil, to bio-fuels, and een in  lipsticks. Hundreds of thousands of M’sian farmers depend on palm oil exports for their livelihood,

India, the world’s biggest importer of edible oils, buys more than 9m tonnes of palm oil annually, mainly from Indonesia and Malaysia. Between January-October 2019, India was the biggest buyer of Malaysian palm oil, taking in more than 4m tonnes, according to official M’sian data.

But its palm oil exports to India dropped from 310,648 tonnes in September to 219,956 tonnes in October – and then to 142,696 tonnes in November.

Because in late September, Big Mouth Talk Cock King Mahathir said India had “invaded and occupied” Kashmir, the Himalayan territory that is legally part of India. Delhi had only revoked Indian-administered Kashmir’s autonomy in early August, and communication and other curbs remain in place.

Indians were unhappy, and India’s top vegetable oil trade body called on its members to avoid buying M’sian palm oil to “show solidarity” over Kashmir.

As hundreds of thousands of M’sian farmers depend on palm oil exports for their livelihood, the M’sian government has admitted the advisory was a “major setback”. -Tun went further, saying it “amounts to a trade war”.

Experts agree that it’s “major setback”.

“If there is a formal boycott, it will hit M’sia hard in the short term,” James Chin, director of the Asia Institute at the University of Tasmania, told the BBC. “It will be very difficult for Malaysia to find a new buyer for the volume.”

S’poreans should behave like the Mamas when Tun next threatens us.

SingTel’s Airtel is jinked?

In India, Telecoms on 12/12/2019 at 9:53 am

Further to Who is right? Singtel or Vodafone? here’s more trouble at SingTel’s associate:

A bug was found in India’s third-largest mobile network which could have exposed the personal data of more than 300 million users.

The flaw, discovered in the Application Program Interface (API) of Airtel’s mobile app, could have been used by hackers to access subscribers’ information using just their numbers.

That information included things like names, emails, birthdays and addresses.

The flaw was fixed after the BBC highlighted the issue to Airtel.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-50641608

Who is right? Singtel or Vodafone?

In India, Telecoms on 09/12/2019 at 6:22 am

Recently SingTel doubled down on India.

It said it remained optimistic about prospects in India and said it is prepared to invest more money there, even as it reported a S$668m quarterly loss due to the problems faced by its Indian associate. It was forced to make a provision of S$1.4 billion to reflect its share of what Indian associate Bharti Airtel will have to pay the government following an adverse court ruling. Although underlying net profit rose 3% from a year ago to S$737 million,

Bharti recently this week that it planned to raise up to US$3bn through a mixture of equity and debt.

Vodafone sounds like it’s going to cut its losses.

Vodafone’s Indian joint venture will have to “shut shop” if the Indian govt does not intervene to stop a looming multibillion-dollar charge resulting from the same court ruling, the owner of Vodafone’s local partner warned.

Vodafone Idea, a partnership between the Aditya Birla Group and the UK-based operator, has three months to pay US$4bn in retrospective levies, penalties and interest.

 

India die die must compare itself to China

In China, India on 21/11/2019 at 4:50 am

Onion prices in India have soared to eye-watering heights, leading to worries about food inflation and consumer unrest as climate change hits production of one of the country’s most important vegetables.

FT

Sounds like India likes comparing itself to China. If China has a problem with a shortage of pigs to eat, (Grandpa Xi’s biggest headache) die die India must find similar problem.

HSBC: West not tua kee

In Banks, China, Hong Kong, India on 31/10/2019 at 4:29 am

In fact ang moh sui jee.

HSBC recently came up with a worse than expected set of results. Despite a US China trade war (HSBC is world’s largest trade financier and China’s the wotld’s workshop) and HK riots, its Asian businesses performed in line with analysts’ expectations.

Ang moh countries under-performed as usual but disappointed the already low expectations

HSBC’s cost-to-income ratio is 104% in Europe, compared with 43% in Asia, where it generates nearly 90% of its profits. The bank makes only a quarter of its lending in Britain, yet the country generates 35% of its non-performing loans … Its $98bn of risk-weighted assets allocated to America produce only $527m in annual profit.

https://www.economist.com/finance-and-economics/2019/10/28/as-profits-dwindle-hsbc-plans-a-radical-overhaul

Ang mohs are expensive, useless deadbeats. The only Asian country in HSBC’s empire like ang moh land is Ah Neh Land.

Related posts

HK: Why HSBC can still smile: Money withdrawn from mainland banks are deposited into Hang Seng Bank. Majority-owned by HSBC but has its own listing and distinct identity and brand. Google up images of its branches. More on Hang Seng Bank: HSBC, Superman and another Cina superhero.

Why HSBC is really Hongkong Bank

 

 

S’pore bidding for 2032 Olympics?

In India, Indonesia, Malaysia on 14/08/2019 at 7:22 am

Malaysia and Singapore are reportedly considering a joint bid,

In a story about Indonesia’s planned bid, the NAR reported the above. It also reported that India was planning a bid and the idea of a North-South Korea bid has also been floated.

It says that India would pose the greatest threat to Indonesia succeeding.

Some Asean currencies are a cheong

In Currencies, India, Indonesia on 06/08/2019 at 5:15 am

We know how the S$ has been performing against US$. But did you know that some Asean Currencies have strengthened against US$? And the Indian rupee? Tell that to the Nairs and maybe they’ll be less uptight about not being Chinese in S’pore: Brownfacegate: Did you know Shanmugam also said this?

At one time local Chinese chauvinists called S’pore either the 3rd or 4th China (depending on whether they excluded HK from China: it was then a British colony). One Harry Lee locked them up but he made sure that Chinese kids had to study Mandarin.

Indian bull? Sold a ton of BS

In India on 13/06/2019 at 5:11 am

Fake stats on growth rates:

Arvind Subramanian, a veteran economist who advised the Indian government from 2014 to 2018, said that the country’s average annual growth in gross domestic product between 2011 and 2017 was in fact around 4.5 per cent, against official estimates of 7 per cent.

His findings were presented in a research paper published by the Center for International Development at Harvard University’s Kennedy School, which found that the correlations between 17 independent indicators of economic activity and GDP broke down after 2011, leaving India an outlier compared to other countries’ economic data.

FT

Btw, I’m still a holder of Ascendas India: biz trust with office space in IT parks. Good yield and price moves in the right direction.

China tua kee, India sua kee

In China, India on 02/04/2019 at 4:43 am

Last month the Nifty 50 index of Indian stocks gained nearly 8% last month to within touching distance of all-time highs. That beats China’s CSI 300, which rose 5.5% over the same period.

But this monthDragon

Where China leads, the hope is that others follow. Two measures of manufacturing activity for China shifted into expansion mode during March, rising above a reading of 50, helping offset disappointing news elsewhere. That sent the CSI 300 index up nearly 3 per cent and leaves the benchmark in positive territory over the past 12 months.

FT

Indians taking over the US of A

In India on 22/10/2018 at 2:50 pm

I kid u not.

The top three fastest-growing languages Indian. And there’s another four Indian languages in the top 10 fastest-growing languages (Chinese in only 7th).

And Indians vote for Trump.

United States of India?

Chart showing fastest growing languages in the US 2010 - 2017

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-45902204

And notice that Muslims (Arabic speakers) are up there too.

AI is a problem for India and PeenoyLand

In India, Internet on 28/08/2018 at 7:04 am

And call centre workers everywhere.

The biggest threat to jobs might not be physical robots, but intelligent software agents that can understand our questions and speak to us, integrating seamlessly with all the other programs we use at home and at work. And call centres are particularly at risk.

BBC https://www.bbc.com/news/business-45272835

It reports Brian Manusama, an analyst at market research firm Gartner saying:

“The number one use case for applying AI is in this call centre and customer service space”

and

“At the end of 2017 about 70% of all use cases in AI were related to customer service and call centres.”

Scale of problem

Several million people are employed in call centre roles in the US and UK and hundreds of thousands more rely on such work in countries like India and the Philippines. Unless these people quickly learn new skills, they could soon be out of work.

Modified to attribute the story to BBC, not FT. Sorry.

Our fragile neighbours

In China, Emerging markets, India, Indonesia, Malaysia on 18/08/2018 at 11:31 am

Think the woes in Turkey are irrelevant to us? Far away Muslim country.

Well look at this table https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/breakingviews/1/951/1238/index.html

If Turkey goes, M’sia (6th with Turkey as Number 1) and Indonesia (8th) are likely to get into trouble.

As could Thailand (15th), India (10th), China (12th) and S Korea (14th)

M’sia: Time to buy?

In China, Emerging markets, India, Indonesia, Malaysia on 21/06/2018 at 4:28 am

M’sian mkt being ignored. One of least crowded emerging markets. Thailand and China look vulnerable because everyone’s there. Indonesia, Pinoy Land, Taiwan, Korea and India are in between. 

When India’s Muslims and Hindus fought alongside

In India on 16/04/2018 at 7:31 am

When the East India Company ruled India, Muslims joined the Co’s Hindu regiments, and Muslims and Hindus fought fellow indians so that the British could enslave India and Indians.

The Bengal Regiment was raised in Cawnpore (now Kanpur) in today’s Uttar Pradesh state, and it is likely that Bheg hailed from the region. Muslims made up around 20% of the largely Hindu regiments.

BBC report

And then they both fought the British in the Great Mutiny.

The Brits learnt their lesson and Hindus and Muslims were put into separate regiments. And Muslim soldiers were trusted more.

India thinks it’s China’s rival?

In China, India on 20/03/2018 at 4:14 am

More like vassal.

India is the biggest beneficiary of the Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. India takes a quarter of all its investment commitments to date despite India thinking China is its rival

India benefits from AIIB loans despite China tensions

Delhi overlooks security concerns to pick up $1bn in infrastructure funding
FTY headline

Rather die than not arrive on time

In Airlines, India on 16/03/2018 at 4:18 am

Vistara, which is a joint venture between Singapore Airlines and Tata, once had to manage a group of passengers staging a sit-down protest in front of an aeroplane when told their flight would not reach its intended destination because of fog.

FT

HO HO HO: How Shi**y is StanChart?

In Banks, China, Emerging markets, Hong Kong, India, Temasek on 30/01/2018 at 6:11 am

In 2016, when China as a country grew at close to 7 per cent, StanChart’s revenue across greater China and north Asia declined by 15 per cent. While Southeast Asia GDP grew by nearly 5 per cent, StanChart’s revenue there shrank by 5 per cent. And in Africa and the Middle-East, another fast-growing region, the bank’s revenue was down 4 per cent. StanChart’s full-year numbers for 2017 have yet to be published, but at the last count its ROE was running at about 5 per cent …

Today’s FT

India and China not walking the talk

In China, India on 25/01/2018 at 6:48 am

India can “pak” China. US cannot. India should remember it’s sua kee, not tua kee like US and China.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke against tariffs at the World Economic Forum in Davos in an apparent reference to the US measures, although India’s own finance ministry is planning a 70% tariff on Chinese solar panels.

“Forces of protectionism are raising their heads against globalisation. Their intention is not only to avoid globalisation themselves but they also want to reverse its natural flow,” Mr Modi said.

BBC report

But he’s most probably apeing Xi. Last yr at Davos Xi espoused global trade but his policies since then showed he was not walking the talk. Latest example:

Of the contractors working on China-funded transport infrastructure projects in 34 Asian and European countries, 89 per cent were Chinese, leaving 11 per cent from elsewhere, according to the study by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think-tank.

FT

 

Foreigner praises S’pore’s healthcare

In India on 26/10/2017 at 5:13 pm

In the film, Dr Maran asks why a country like Singapore levies “lower GST and yet provides free healthcare while India has a GST of 28% and yet cannot provide quality medical care”.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-41718074

 

Indians love Chinese smartphones

In China, India on 02/10/2017 at 7:21 am

In the latest quarter, it was reported that almost half of all smartphones sold in India were from Chinese brands, such as Xiaomi, Vivo and Oppo.

Cheap and good.

Indian govt is not happy.

No need to steal others’ lunch, PM

In Economy, India on 03/05/2017 at 2:53 pm

After all eating other people’s lunch is unhygienic.

Juz follow Trump.

He cut back the flood of the number of Indians that Indian IT cos, abusing the US visa system, were using to prefer cheap countrymen to real American, depriving real Americans of decent jobs.

Result: Infosys, the Indian IT services company that is one of the biggest losers from changes in how the US issues work visas , plans to hire 10,000 Americans in the next two years, according to the CEO.

Here’s a really long post I lifted from FB explaining how the MIW allowed Indian Indians to screw S’poreans (It was posted in 2014) over visas for Indian FTs. It seems it was a negligent, honest mistake, not on purpose. What do u think?

For all the allegations of bias that have been made against sites like TheOnlineCitizen, there are benefits in reading these alternative sources in addition to mainstream ones. For example, you get to read things that would have otherwise “flown under the radar”. Let’s have an example.

Take this FB post here by TheOnlineCitizen:https://www.facebook.com/theonlinecitizen/posts/10152771544366383

It bring’s one’s attention to the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) signed in August 2005 between Singapore and India, and in particular, the bit on allowing free movement of professionals.

Now, have a look at the relevant bit (Chapter 9) of the CECA here. Don’t panic, it’s just 4 pages. “Above the Peanut Gallery” posts require a little more reading than your average bad photoshop, but I’m not expecting you to read whole legal judgements (yet).
http://www.fta.gov.sg/…/india-singapore%20comprehensive%20e…
in particular

(Article 9.2, Para 2f): The definition of intra-corporate transferee, with a nifty list of 127 professionals in Annex 9A
http://www.fta.gov.sg/…/annex%209a%20-%20list%20of%20profes…

(Article 9.3, Para 3): “Neither Party shall require labour market testing, economic needs testing or other procedures of similar effects as a condition for temporary entry”. Speaks for itself.

(Article 9.5, Para 1): “…each Party *shall* grant temporary entry to an intra-corporate transferee of the other Party…” Note the word *shall*. Not *may*.

(Article 9.6, Para 1): Yep, they can bring in spouses and dependants. Again, note the *shall*. Not *may*.

Now, look at the Fair Consideration Framework right here.
http://www.mom.gov.sg/…/P…/fair-consideration-framework.aspx
Notice the bit on jobs not needing to be advertised under the Jobs Bank for Singaporeans – Note intracorporate-transferees are exempt.

What this seems to mean is… An intra-corporate transferee from India is perfectly placed under CECA to “fly under the radar” to take a job here that is:
a) Not your stereotypical “we need foreign labour” construction worker (see that list of 127 professions)
b) does *not* need to be advertised in the Jobs Bank (see Fair Consideration Framework exception for intra-corporate transferees)
c) does not require “labour market testing, economic needs testing or other procedures of similar effects as a condition for temporary entry” (see CECA Article 9.3, Para 3)
d) AND can bring over his spouse and dependents to work as managers, executives or specialists (see CECA Chapter 9, Article 9.6).

I’ll pause here to let that sink in for you. For extra fun and games, do feel free to look at the 127 jobs, and see which one is most similar to yours.

===

Now, to their credit, the Singaporean (yes, the currently PAP) govt is doing their best by stalling full implementation of the CECA. I sense that they also know an “Oh crap, why did we sign that” moment when they see one. What I’m wary of, is that the stalling may not last past the elections in 2016, when political consequences of un-stalling the CECA are no longer an immediate concern.

The piper must be paid someday. India has been repeatedly raising this issue. The mistake was made already, back in Aug 2005, by policy writers and approvers who are now most probably beyond the reach of accountability. And to our chagrin, even voting in an Opposition government can’t stop this – not without going back on our word.

We can’t stop the train, but at least we know when and how it would hit us, and we know who set the train on that track.

Now, do you see the value in reading alternative media?

Dirty Indian secret

In India on 08/01/2017 at 5:09 pm

Up there with the Nigerians in scamming

“Everyone was scamming around me. I thought, ‘I will also become a great scammer.’”

— Jayesh Dubey, who tried to blow the whistle on a scheme targeting Americans run from a call center in a Mumbai suburb. India is now seen as a major center for fraud, helped by a demographic bulge of computer-savvy, young, English-speaking job seekers, a call-center culture, and super-efficient technology.

NYT Dealbook

Achtung if got money in Indon, M’sia and India

In Currencies, Emerging markets, India, Indonesia, Malaysia on 21/12/2016 at 5:38 pm

Nomura says Indonesia, Malaysia and India could be next to implement capital controls.

US tech giants in war with EU and BIC

In China, India on 01/09/2016 at 3:48 pm

As Apple “rages” over its13bn euros tax demand from the European Commission, the US Treasury is warning that the ruling against Apple “could threaten to undermine foreign investment, the business climate in Europe, and the important spirit of economic partnership between the EU and US”.

Earlier this yr NYT Dealbook reported

Why the World Is Drawing Battle Lines Against American Tech Giants. European efforts to rein in the largest American tech companies are only a taste of what countries like Brazil, India and China are likely to do.

SGX’s IT: An all India FT affair?

In India, Uncategorized on 16/07/2016 at 1:45 pm

I got the above impression after reading the Indian’s (Sorry TISG”S) description of IT at SGX. Go to “New people taking over SGX’s IT systems” http://theindependent.sg/2-senior-tech-fts-left-sgx-end-of-last-year/

We can only hope this won’t tuen out to be like this A*STAR, NTU fiasco where FT “Kena stripped of PhD. Boss at NTU and A*STAR who is also a foreign talent, contract kena terminated” http://retractionwatch.com/2016/07/13/harvard-researchers-phd-revoked-former-group-earns-three-more-retractions/

The trio at the centre of the scandal are Professor Ravi Kambadur, 54, who was with the Nanyang Technological University (NTU); Dr Mridula Sharma, who was associate professor at the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine; and former NTU researcher Sudarsanareddy Lokireddy. (ST)

Truly the T stands for Trash. All relared to IDA’s Nisha?

Maybe our homegrown Indian talents (People like Dr Paul, the CEO of DBS, the CJ, the AG, Tharman, P Ravi and Shanmugam; though not s/o JBJ, Pritam Singh and M Ravi) can help MoM and Home Team to profile the characteristics of ethnic Indian talent rather than ethnic Indian trash? Then we can get the right kind of Indian talent.

Uber raises money to subsidide users

In China, Financial competency, India on 15/07/2016 at 1:28 pm

NYT Dealbook explains Uber’s biz model of sunsidising the rides of Chinese and Indian customers to starve its competitors of biz:

WHY UBER KEEPS RAISING MILLIONS It feels like almost every other week there is a new headline about Uber raising more money, Andrew Ross Sorkin writes in the DealBook column.

If you add up all the money the company has raised since it started in 2009,it is on its way to amassing $15 billion and has a valuation of $68 billion – all while remaining a private company.

When Amazon went public in 1997, it had raised $54 million and was valued at $438 million.

Uber has to finance its efforts to grab market share in China and India, butit is also trying to mark its territory. Every time Uber raises another $1 billion, investors find it less attractive to back one of Uber’s rivals: Didi Chuxing, Lyft, Gett, Halo, Juno. It is a war of attrition, to starve the competition of cash.

Uber’s efforts seem to have had the opposite effect so far, spawning a long list of rivals, but as the smaller competitors run out of cash, venture capitalists should be less inclined to put up more money.

This arms race comes against the backdrop of falling valuations and there is a rush to take the money while it is still available. Bill Gurley, a venture capitalist who has a stake in Uber and sits on its board, warned investors about unicorns seeking funds: “You are not being invited to a special dance, you are being approached because you are the lender of last resort.”

The question is whether investors will look at Uber’s balance sheet and throw up the white flag. It still has formidable competition from Didi, the market leader in China, which just raised $7 billion. And some of the same investors that have backed Uber are also backing Didi, including BlackRock and Tiger Global. (Some may be hoping that Uber might one day merge its Chinese operation with Didi.)

Uber’s most recent fund-raising effort – focused on the leveraged loan market – aims to avoid diluting the current base of shareholders and having to sell itself at an even higher valuation. It will have to pay up for the financing, but if its valuation continues to grow, it would be a bargain compared with the value of the equity. Uber is hoping to sell debt with a yield of 4 or 4.5 percent.

The question between now and the probable initial public offering in a few years is whether it will have starved all of its competitors along the way.

HoHo Ho: StanChart’s in a right mess

In Commodities, Emerging markets, India, Temasek on 24/02/2016 at 6:14 am

Shares in Standard Chartered plunged on Tuesday after the Asia-focused bank revealed a $1.5bn (£1.1bn) loss.

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-35639284

The bank will take a $4bn charge on writing down the value of its loans, driven by falling commodity prices and deterioration of Indian markets.

Shares in the bank tumbled by 4% to a record low of 418.7p.

chart StanChart performance

CEO said: “It rips at our soul every time we look at these numbers and we don’t ever want to have to stand up and tell this story again.”

And that’s not all.

StanChart faces accusations over ‘dirty debt’.  It bought a $100 million “dirty debt” from a M’sian bank and used it to demand compensation from the Tanzanian government despite knowing that the loan had been part of an embezzlement scheme, according to claims in a legal row in Tanzania. The debt was originally owed to the M’sian bank by a M’sian company, Mechmar.

Update qt 7.00am: HoHoHo woild endorse this spin Sir John Peace, Standard Chartered’s outgoing chairman, said: “While our 2015 financial results were poor, they are set against a backdrop of continuing geo-political and economic headwinds and volatility across many of our markets as well as the effects of deliberate management actions.”

Don’t blame us. World’s in bad shape. We juz reflecting it.

HSBC: Cut ang moh, Indian layabouts

In Banks, Hong Kong, India on 23/02/2016 at 7:06 am

People and assets.

HSBC’s so-so results prompts th=hs analysis. Results fr 2015 were flat after an expected US$1,9bn  4Q pre-tax profit turned into a loss of US$858m.

As at August 2015, Asia accounted for 69% of HSBC’spre-tax profits. And HK, China is where the money is minted.

Well these show that ang mohs and Indians: people and assets are lazing in the sun.

 

HSBC

Yes India is in Asia but look at the number of Indians employed, more than the Honkies. HK is the place that HSBC makes its money, not india but there are more Indians working for HSBC than Hongkong people.

Related post: StanChart’s very own Little India.

Update at 10.45 am: http://blogs.reuters.com/breakingviews/2016/02/22/hsbc-shares-weighed-down-by-fear-of-future/

Update at 4.30pm; From NYT Dealbook: HSBC’S FOURTH-QUARTER LOSSES HSBC, Britain’s largest bank by assets, posted a loss of $1.33 billion for the three months ending Dec. 31,Chad Bray reports in DealBook. It had posted a profit of $511 million in the fourth quarter of 2014. Before taxes, the bank posted a loss of $858 million.

The bank also revealed in its earnings statement that it was under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission over its hiring practices in Asia. Several banks are under scrutiny after the commission opened an inquiry into whether JPMorgan Chase hired the children of powerful officials to help win lucrative business contracts.

HSBC did not give any further details on the investigation.

Its results were weighed down by restructuring costs, provisions for legal and regulatory matters, loan impairment charges and provisions for credit risk.

The bank is in the process of reshaping its operations, shedding tens of thousands of jobs, selling underperforming businesses and shrinking its global investment banking business.

“China’s slower economic growth will undoubtedly contribute to abumpier financial environment, but it is still expected to be the largest contributor to global growth,” Douglas Flint, the HSBC chairman, said in a news release.

VIIPs are Asean

In India, Indonesia, Uncategorized, Vietnam on 06/02/2016 at 6:58 am

This lumps together Vietnam, India, Indonesia, and the Philippines for their similar economic and demographic prospects. It serves as a catchall for a number of relative bright spots in Southeast Asia as investors into the region look beyond China’s long shadow.

Our cock town planners

In India, Infrastructure, S'pore Inc on 03/02/2016 at 2:13 pm

They cut and paste ang moh ideas. Works in Animal Farm but not in India

“The draft masterplan for Amaravati was prepared by planners from the Singapore government as part of an agreement between the state of Andhra Pradesh and Singapore,” explained Srikant Nagulapalli, commissioner of theAndhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority (APCRDA). “But when the first draft arrived, we realised that it would not work.”

According to Nagulapalli: “Global town planning principles do not take Vaasthuinto consideration. But the people of Andhra Pradesh have a deep-rooted belief and will not buy any property that is not north- or east-facing. We had to send [the draft plan] back to the master planners and ask them to rework it taking these principles into account. The whole capital city project would have had no buyers if the initial draft had been implemented,” he said.

http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2016/jan/26/amaravati-andhra-pradesh-india-singapore-new-state-capital-city

More

“The master planners with the Singapore government were puzzled,” Nagulapalli said. “They wanted to know what Vaasthu was and who wrote it. We were stumped. After some rather frantic research, we found that the Indian scholar Varahamihira had written it in the 6th century. We have learnt a lot during the process of building this capital.”

And

Amaravati was envisioned as a world-class smart city, the first to be part-funded by the Indian government. The new city will be built at an expected cost of 1 trillion rupees (£10.7bn) on 217.23 square kilometres of land on the banks of the Krishna river, and is expected to generate jobs to sustain a population of 9-12 million people in the surrounding capital region.

The Andhra Pradesh government signed a pro-bono agreement with Singapore in December 2014 to plan the new capital. In all, the government of Singapore, along with private agency Surbana Jurong, committed to preparing three masterplans – the last of which, the “seed capital masterplan” for the core of the city (which will house the Central Business District and the state’s new government offices) was only submitted last week.

Bue bye Brics, Hello Tick

In China, India on 01/02/2016 at 4:36 pm

Tech-heavy Taiwan, India, China and Korea are the new darlings of the fund mgrs managing emerging mkts funds. Brazil, Russia and South Africa are history. They produce now unwanted commodities.

When Indians are silent, not triumphant

In China, Environment, India on 23/01/2016 at 5:05 am

India loves to blow its trumpet whenever it “beats” China. So it’s strange that it’s so silent when it trashes China.

 

 

HoHoHo: Relying on mgt incompetence at StanChart

In Banks, China, Emerging markets, India, Temasek on 11/10/2015 at 6:22 am

Standard Chartered has to hope that a quarter of its top brass really aren’t very good at their jobs. That is the portion of the UK-listed emerging markets bank’s 4,000 most senior staff who will find themselves surplus to requirements, Reuters reported on Oct. 9. Although StanChart could gain from a big cull, it’s a risky move.

http://blogs.reuters.com/breakingviews/2015/10/09/stanchart-takes-bet-on-management-incompetence/

So should HoHoHo and us S’poreans.

Will ang mohs or Indians get terminated? Not many Chinese to sack despite 50% of revenues related to China business. (Related post: StanChart is Little India)

More for HoHoHo to ponder when she returns to work

StanChart’s shares have underperformed the European peer group by 30 percentage points this year. The bank’s 7.7 percent return on equity in 2014 was unacceptable, especially as it was earned on a relatively low 10.7 percent Basel III capital ratio.

— Some bearish analysts reckon Winters should completely cover the bank’s $8.7 billion of non-performing loans to better match Asian peers like DBS. That would cost $4 billion, more than StanChart’s expected $3.1 billion of forecast 2015 pre-tax profit.

HSBC: Dividends/ StanChart is “Little India”

In Banks, India on 07/10/2015 at 10:01 am

From NYT Dealbook:

Skeptics of HSBC Dividend Are in for a Surprise The bank’s prospective dividend yield of about 6.5 percent is high, but investors worried about its payout shouldn’t fret much, Paul J. Davies writes in the Heard on the Street column.

FT reported that India is so impt to StanChart that it’s planning to set up a subsidiary so that it can expand its branch network there. A wag commented: “In Singapore there is an area known as “Little India” (I had lunch in the area yesterday). Go into the offices of StanChart’s regional office here and any S’porean would think that “Little India” has expanded into the Marina Bay area.”

More CGT BS? Swiss Standard? What Swiss standard?

In China, India, Malaysia on 25/04/2015 at 5:19 am

Switzerland has been ranked the happiest country in world.

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-32443396

Singapore is ranked 24th But is tops in Asean and region. Thailand is placed at 34, Taiwan (38), Japan (46), South Korea (47), Malaysia (61), Hong Kong (72), Indonesia (74) and PinoyLand (90).  China and India are found lower down the scale at 84 and 117 respectively

Short S$ long Rupee, US$/ Strong Asean currencies

In Currencies, Emerging markets, India on 23/02/2015 at 12:50 pm

Morgan Stanley is recommending going long on the US dollar against the Singapore dollar, the Thai baht and the South Korean won and a long position in the rupee against the Singapore

Of course MS’s assumption is that US raises rates. Didn’t happen lasy yr when that was conventional wisdom.

But India looks pretty good: As Rivals Falter, India’s Economy Is Surging Ahead Long considered a laggard, India is seeing a lift in its stock market as multinational companies look to expand operations there or start new ones, The New York Times reports.

And according to Credit Suisse, India is a major bet for global EM managers these days. Funds on average hold over 15% of their portfolios in Indian companies, double the benchmark weighting. Gd for them: in USD terms, India’s up 41%

The Indian rupee, the Philippine peso, Thai baht and Taiwanese dollar have strengthened against the US dollar, making repayment of dollar debt easier in these places.

Btw, still long Ascendas India Trust.

I’m holding onto Ascendas India units.

In India on 17/01/2015 at 10:16 am

,

Decent yield too.

Also A Singapore consortium of two firms has been appointed as master planners for the new capital city of Andhra Pradesh state in India.

Singapore is assisting with the development of the city and its surrounding areas. Surbana International Consultants and Jurong International will be the firms responsible for how the capital will shape up. Second Trade and Industry Minister S Iswaran announced this on Monday (Jan 12) during a trade mission to India. CNA

 

StanChart credit rating downgraded! First time in 20 years!

In Banks, India, Indonesia, Temasek on 29/11/2014 at 10:20 am

But no need to panic or curse Temasek*: Standard & Poor’s says bank is going through times but it still among world’s most creditworthy commercial lenders.

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/nov/28/standard-chartered-credit-rating-downgraded

It has some big exposures to heavily indebted clients, such as India’s Ruia brothers, who control the Essar Group, and Indonesian billionaire Samin Tan.

Honest mistakes.

—-

But the facts won’t stop Philip Ang, TOC’s and TRE’s star analyst, from cursing and ranting: he’s so bad that in a piece on a GIC, London investment, he left out the rental yields out of his calculation because he said that the income was “peanuts” (my word, not his). Well commercial property yields are a gd 6%, and have been as high as 8% in some yrs recently.

 

India: Back in fashion/ Ascendas India

In India, Property, Reits on 22/11/2014 at 5:25 am

Since the start of last year emerging-market stocks have trailed their rich-world peers. Currencies are falling. Worst-hit is the Russian rouble, which has fallen by 30% against the dollar this year. The currencies of other biggish emerging markets, such as Brazil, Turkey and South Africa, have also weakened. For such economies growth is harder to come by. The IMF recently cut its forecasts for emerging markets by more than for rich countries. But India is a notable exception to the general pessimism. Its stockmarket has touched new highs. The rupee is stable. And the IMF nudged up its 2014 growth forecast for India to 5.8%. That figure is still quite low: growth rates of 8-9% have been more typical. But in comparison with others it is almost a boom. Why is India doing better than most emerging markets?

In part optimism about India owes to its newish government.

The other reason is that The currents that sway the global economy presently—the dollar’s strength; slowdown in China; aggressive money-printing in Japan; stagnation in the euro zone and falling oil prices—are less harmful to India than to most emerging markets.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2014/11/economist-explains-11

I’ve had exposure to India via the Ascendas India biz trust since 2008. It’s been a ride but the payouts are very decent. Chk it out as you too may like it. http://aitrust.listedcompany.com/newsroom/20140710_170824_CY6U_ANGLIE824Z3T5WVH.1.pdf

Note that some results have been annced since the above presentation.

 

Elections before 9/8/15?

In Economy, India, Indonesia, Political economy on 21/10/2014 at 6:13 am

Conventional wisdom is that the next GE will be held after the 50th anniversary celebrations of S’pore’s independence which will be a celebration of all things PAP. So the Oppo parties are not gearing up for an early GE (end of this yr or before Aug 9 next yr.)

And this piece of news doesn’t disturb the narrative:With the January 2017 deadline for the next General Election looming closer, the Elections Department (ELD) has been calling up public servants for training to be election officials, as part of the electoral process … , the ELD said in an emailed statement: “ELD prepares and organises the Public Service to conduct elections in Singapore. Amongst other work, ELD selects and trains public officers on an ongoing basis to perform election duties during an election.” (CNA 17 October)

There have been early training sessions before with no elections following. The conducting of training sessions is a lousy leading indicator.

But think about the economic prospects of S’pore  and the training could be a sign of early elections.

No govt wants to hold a general election in a recession or when a a recession is likely. Already the growth rates for this yr and next yr have had to be trimmed because the global economy isn’t doing too well.

And things could get worse: The global economy is in a woeful state [Skip the next few paras if pressed for time or an illiterate in finance and economics]. The euro zone, fully 17% of global GDP, is predicted to expand just 0.8% in 2014 according to the IMF. China and Japan, together 25% of global GDP, are slowing. Emerging markets are floundering: a report on the synchronised slowdown from the Fund puts much of it down to weak trading partners (a sort of trade contagion). As the world slows, America seems a prudent place to park cash. Chinese and Japanese holdings of US Treasury bonds—now $2.5 trillion—have doubled in five years, according to the TIC data.

… the euro area. Inflation is just 0.3% and the area is already awash with unemployed workers … end up with both fiscal and monetary policy being relatively tight.

What would happen next? American exporters would get hit twice—first by weak demand from abroad, then as their goods get pricier for foreigners to buy as the dollar continues to rise. But since America is a relatively closed economy, the impact abroad could be bigger. The big risk is that a runaway dollar topples emerging-market economies just as it did in the 1980s and 1990s. A pessimist would argue that many of the conditions now are exactly as they were then. Many emerging markets borrow by issuing bonds in dollars, rather than their own currency. Appetite for these higher-yielding dollar bonds has been strong in recent years: in January 2014 Indonesia issued its largest dollar bond since 1998; according to its Finance Ministry data, India has dollar debts of around $273 billion (15% of GDP). As the dollar rises, the local-currency cost of these debts goes up.

Floating exchange rates make things a little different when compared to the Asian crisis, but would not help that much. Take a country like Brazil, which has inflation of 6.75% (see the WSJ on this) and yet an economy in recession. If its currency continues to depreciate against the dollar then inflation builds up further. The central bank ends up in a bind: raise rates to cut inflation and stem the depreciation, or keep rates low to get the economy back on track. Both paths would be risky, and could cause a wider stress if the contagion of previous emerging-market crises is any guide.

With any luck none of this will happen. But it all could happen. And if you are in the business of forecasting and stress testing, you should prepare for the worst.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2014/10/pessimistic-forecast

So what about the fact that oil prices are close to US$80 from US$105 a few weeks ago

[M]ajor Asian economies, though, will look at falling oil prices less as a stimulant and more as a signal that global growth is faltering. For export-dependent Asia, lacklustre worldwide demand could end up being highly disinflationary.

That’s a big worry for the likes of China, Hong Kong and Singapore. These economies have all seen private credit rise rapidly since the 2008 crisis and need tolerably healthy inflation to help bring down the real value of debt. But China’s 1.6 percent inflation rate is now the lowest since February 2010, while the annual rate of increase in Singapore’s consumer prices has slipped below 1 percent. South Korea, which has historically had a problem of high household debt, can’t afford to allow its meagre 1.1 percent inflation rate to slide further.

http://blogs.reuters.com/breakingviews/2014/10/17/cheap-oil-is-no-tonic-for-sluggish-asian-economies/*

So I wouldn’t be surprised if 50th anniversary celebration events come fast and furious early next yr: to remind S’poreans of the role of the PAP in S’pore’s development from the second largest port in Asia to a global city state, with property prices to match those of global cities like NY and London.

But I’d be surprised if the PAP reminded us one LKY said in 1959,”we must go about our task (of building up a nation) with urgency … of integrating our people now and quickly”, because he said this when revealing that only 270,00 out of the 600,000 voters were born here. 

—–

*Btw two countries where I have investments will benefit: The big exceptions are India and Indonesia. Both governments supply gasoline and diesel to their consumers at fixed, affordable rates. For them, the 25 percent slide in the price of a barrel of Brent crude over the past four months translates into significant budgetary savings, which could be channelled into much-needed infrastructure investment.

 

 

Equity mkts: India, Indonesia & Pinoyland looking gd/ Don’t forget S’pore

In ETFs, India, Indonesia on 13/09/2014 at 4:34 am

Examining recent price trends, India has stabilized in dramatic fashion following its dismal performance in 2013.  With superior demographics, a skilled work force, and pro-business leadership, India could prove to be an excellent growth engine over the coming decade.  However, investors should also bemindful of the higher than normal price volatility and look to hold any new investment with a long-term viewpoint.

Circling the globe and focusing in on to the Pacific Rim, Indonesia has had a stellar year following a major decline of over 20% in 2013.  The Market Vectors Indonesia (IDX) is currently up 26.5%, yet appears to still have a lot of room to run to reach its all-time highs.  This ETF is weighted primarily towards large and mid-cap financials, consumer staples, and consumer discretionary stocks.

Indonesia stands to build on excellent GDP growth rates that exceed 5% on a year over year basis. Two thirds of their economy is driven by domestic consumption, which could continue to perform well given their stable democracy and large middle class.  Indonesia also boasts one of the lowest debt to GDP percentages in greater Asian region, which should allow the government to continue its key investments in infrastructure.

Finally, stocks in the Philippines are beginning to show signs of life, with a year to date return of 23.4%.  The iShares MSCI Philipines (EPHE) is dominated by 42 large cap stocks primarily centered around the financial, industrial, and telecom sectors.

Although the Thai protests last year pushed the region into a state of disarray, the Philippines has managed to overcome those fears and has held up relatively well.  The Filipino economy is poised to continue its 2014 run on the back of robust economic growth, increased tourism, and a strong fiscal balance sheet.

In addition, the Filipino peso has been very strong relative to the U.S. dollar and other emerging market currencies.  As a result, GDP growth has exceeded 6.5% over the last two years. These two factors bolster EPHE’s chances of trending higher in the near-term, even despite the country’s moderate levels of wage inequality and foreign investment restrictions.

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/082914/these-little-known-emerging-market-countries-are-star-performers.asp?utm_source=newstouse&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=NTU-9/5/2014

Three-month flows into Singapore exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are on course to reach the most since Markit Ltd began tracking the data in 2009. Investors took money out of the stock and bond funds for five straight quarters through June, the Markit data show. The benchmark Straits Times Index has rebounded 13 per cent from this year’s low on Feb 5 and Singapore’s sovereign debt returned 3 per cent this year.

Singapore shares are the most attractive among Asia ex-Japan and emerging-market equities, beating Hungary, Chile and China, according to a Morgan Stanley study using measures from earnings to corporate governance and technical indicators. The investment bank predicts companies in the South-east Asian city-state will beat consensus earnings forecasts after the economy expanded at a quicker-than-expected pace in the second quarter.

“The Singapore market is somewhat undervalued for a pretty strong growth environment with positive earnings revisions,” said Jonathan Garner, Hong Kong-based head of Asia and emerging-market strategy at Morgan Stanley. “We also like the fact that the market scores very highly in terms of our political risk and corporate governance model.” BT on Tuesday)

Qn for Swee Say: How cheap you want us to be?

In China, India, Indonesia, Vietnam on 14/08/2014 at 4:36 am

manufacturing wages

When I saw the above table, I tot of the Deaf Frog’s “Cheaper, Better, Faster”. There is always somewhere cheaper as above from FT article shows. And MNCs will move there: now moving from Jakarta and Vietnam to central Java. (Btw, $ + US$)

“Cheaper, Better, Faster’

The apologist version of what he meant by a website funded by a organisation headed by one Philip Yeo after being approached by one BG Yeo (taz the rumour). With credentials like these how not to believe meh?

In 2007, Lim coined the phrase to exhort Singaporean companies to increase their competitiveness.

Companies have to be cheaper and better than their competitors internationally, because those who used to be cheap (China) are now getting better, and those that used to be good (United States) are now getting cheaper as well. Hence, Singaporean companies have to be cheaper and better than them, and yet turnaround faster.

He obviously didn’t do an MBA: it’s accepted wisdom that one cannot have all three, only two. Attempts to have all three results in failure. This should cheer on TRE posters: Swee Say is urging a policy doomed to failure.

 

Why Japs smarter than Singkies

In China, India, Japan, Vietnam on 21/06/2014 at 5:18 am

http://im.ft-static.com/content/images/c272b0ac-d4f9-11e3-adec-00144feabdc0.img.

By 2050, elderly (65 and over) almost 40% of population

Next to Japan only. But no robots here, only FTs.

Japs smarter than us in avoiding the problems that FTs bring, like pushy Pinoys, wanting to change PM from Prime Minister to Pinoy Minister and SPF to S’pore Pinoy Force. But then they have friends like William wan, Kirsten Han, AWARE and Maruah. Their only public opposition is Gilbert Goh and Goh Meng Seng.

The govt should remember that when the Pinoys burnt our flag in the 1990s and it protested, the Pinoy govt gave the S’pore govt the finger, telling it nothing wrong with burning our flag.

 

Who is right? PM? Heart Truths? Consumer survey?

In Economy, Humour, India, Indonesia, Political governance on 05/05/2014 at 4:51 am

Recently PM said the problems S’pore were facing were the results of success*. Here I asked: Success what success? Real wages grew by only 0.4% while GDP grew by 5.9% . while the prices of public housing apartments went up in a recession.

Meanwhile, many new media warriors (posters on TRE; Heart Truths, near relation to Hard Truths; Han Hui Hui, an FT turned new citizen, who is proof that the Bumis in M’sia are right not to trust the local Cina: Uncle Chua etc) are always full of how hard life is for the average S’porean.

This so-called suffering doesn’t chime with what I observe in shopping malls, restaurants, or even hawkers’ centres or coffee shops, or what my friends, relations or biz connections tell me: S’poreans are  feeling more confident of confident of their prospects, and hence are spending more. Note, I’m not saying that there are no S’poreans suffering, but I take issue that the majority of S’poreans are suffering.

Well a recent Nielsen survey** of 501 S’poreans seems to confirm my view: that things are OK and improving, but not as great as PM is spinning. After all he got a GE to win.

Consumer confidence in Singapore is at its highest level in 10 consecutive quarters, with people remaining upbeat about personal finances and being more willing to spend.

According to the latest consumer confidence index released by Nielsen, Singapore recorded an index score of 99 in the first quarter, up two notches from 97 in the previous quarter … but still shy of the 100 baseline, has yet to reach optimism. Consumer confidence levels above and below a baseline of 100 indicate degrees of optimism and pessimism. [If things are as great as what PM, his ministers and their trumpeters*** in the constructive, nation-building media saying, shouldn’t the score be 150 and rising?]

The head of Nielsen Financial Services in Singapore and Malaysia was quoted as saying “The positive outlook on the economy and personal financial circumstances is starting to trickle down to consumers’ spending intentions: we notice an increase in the number of Singaporeans who are willing to spend money on discretionary expenses . . . if these intentions materialise, they could act as a further stimulus to the economy.”

So am I, Nielsen and those S’poreans spending more living in the same S’pore as our PM, or the people complaining via new media? Who is more reflectively of the reality of life in S’pore? PM and Heart Truths and friends are aliens that landed here on UFO Goh Meng Seng, the scourge of Pinoy Pride here?

Jokes about aliens and GMS aside, maybe

— PM and his ministers are out of touch, what with their huge salaries? Yesterday, I wrote “Of course Mah Bow Tan http://www.tremeritus.com/2014/05/01/netizens-agog-at-mah-bow-tans-fortune/and other millionaire ministers (present and retired) are not among these ‘lesser mortals”” in a piece of  EFTs that mimic the strategies of hedge funds.

— It’s these new media warriors who are the suffering underclass and they think that they are representative S’poreans? Or they are fruscos who think that they should have been talent-spotted by the PAP? They are always claiming that the suffering is always the fault of the PAP govt, never an issue of personal responsibility or sheer bad luck, so maybe they have personal grievances against the PAP? BTW, I exclude TRE’s Richard Wan as he knows he has a comfortable living, and knows it.

My serious point is that whatever new media or PAP media or anyone says about any topic, those of us who are rational have to ask ourselves,”Chime with what I observe?”. Don’t get carry away with the views of others. They could have agendas, delusions to propagate.

BTW, more details from BT (1 May) on the Nielsen survey:

— Some 54 per cent of respondents from Singapore consider their finances to be “good” or “excellent”, unchanged from the previous quarter.

— There is an uptick in Singaporeans who intend to invest in stocks and mutual funds, up six percentage points at 32 per cent … continue to be prudent with their money. Some 70 per cent would channel their spare money into savings, up six percentage points compared to the previous quarter and well above the global average of 47 per cent … more Singaporeans intend to increase their discretionary expenditure on a vacation and new clothes. Some 54 per cent intend to spend their spare cash on a holiday, while 37 per cent would spend it on new clothes, a quarterly increase of five and 11 points, respectively.

Interestingly, two of the three countries with the highest consumer confidence levels are in Asean Indonesia (124),  and the Philippines (116). BTW, India (121) is in between.

*Singapore’s economy has fared better than expected over the last decade, but the country’s success also brought about its own set of challenges.  PM Lee made this point in a wide-ranging discussion with regional newspaper editors  recently.

He said the country had paid the price of this fast growth, as infrastructure wasn’t able to keep up with the rapid development.

Mr Lee was asked about Singapore’s success during his time as Prime Minister and if anything exceeded his expectations.

He said yes, the country had done economically better than expected and grown faster — attributing it to favourable conditions.

As investments poured in, the government had put in resources and brought in foreign labour needed to grow. As a result, developments at the Marina Bay area sprung up in within a decade, instead of the expected 20 to 30 years.

He said that in terms of infrastructure, the country had not been able to catch up and had paid a price, and added that the government had been working hard over the past three to four years trying to come back up to speed.

He said that if the government had been able to foresee the outcome, it would have acted sooner.

But that, he said, was with the benefit of “20-20 hindsight”.

“We succeeded more than we expected, and so in terms of the infrastructure, we were not able to catch up — our public transport, building houses,” said Mr Lee. “And we paid a price.”

“We have spent the last three, four years working hard to try and come up back to speed. I wish we had been able to foresee this outcome, and then we would have acted sooner.

“But that’s 20-20 hindsight.”

Mr Lee also emphasised that it’s important for Singaporeans to feel they have a sense of belonging to the country — and that is something that is still a work in progress.

But Mr Lee acknowledged that this growth had come with a cost.

CNA extract

**The survey, conducted from mid February  to  early March this year, polled more than 30,000 online consumers in 60 countries,

***These public grievances [on healthcare costs immigration, ministerial salaries] and expert doubts did appear in the media; they were not completely blacked out. But, they were always toned down and set in a context that ensured that the government’s voice remained dominant. When there was undeniable distance between public opinion and the government’s position, leaders required the press to work towards a consensus by shifting the ground rather than nudging the government.

By dampening doubts and dissent, by allowing government to operate in an echo chamber, the media gave yesterday’s policy makers an easier ride. But, today’s policy makers are paying the price. There is now more for them to undo as they move their frame of reference back to the centre-left. Furthermore, a lack of responsiveness resulted in lower levels of trust, which now make it harder for the government to persuade the public when it needs to.

The flawed media policy is behind the current government’s biggest failure – its inability to sell its Population White Paper, which by its own reckoning was a vitally important strategic blueprint for the future. Because it had been unwilling to subject its immigration policies to even the gentle probing of friendly national media in the past, it lost touch with public sentiment and lost precious political capital. Today, it is unable to carry the ground on immigration issues.

Even when it speaks sense – like when the Prime Minister chided Singaporeans for their irrational, tribal response to the upcoming Philippine Independence Day celebration – it meets a wall of cynicism and hostility.

http://www.mediaasia.info/how-singapores-media-restrictions-have-hurt-even-the-pap/

Author is hubby of  ST’s editor.

Govt faciliates spying and tax avoidance, but bans Ashley Madison: Uniquely PAP

In Economy, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Political governance, Telecoms on 27/11/2013 at 5:05 am

In the space of a few days, the govt is facing or is likely to face uncomfortable questions from other govts about its activities: activities that the usual suspects, could reasonably argue, show the two-timing nature of the PAP govt that they (they the usual suspects) detest and wish it all the ill-will in the world.

Malaysia said it will summon Singapore’s high commissioner today to respond to allegations of spying which risk damaging improved political and business ties between the Southeast Asian neighbors.

Indonesia and Malaysia have been key targets for Australian and U.S. intelligence cooperation since the 1970s, facilitated in part by Singapore, the Sydney Morning Herald reported yesterday, citing documents leaked by former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden. Malaysia’s foreign ministry said it was “extremely concerned” and had already acted against earlier claims of espionage by the U.S. and Australia.

The reports could also spur friction between Singapore and Indonesia, Tan said. “The Indonesians would probably be concerned whether the information is also being shared with Singapore intelligence, besides the Australians*.”

(http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-26/malaysia-summons-singapore-commissioner-as-spying-claims-widen.html)

As SingTel was singled out for mention by the Oz newspaper**, and as it has extensive mobile operations in Indonesia and Thailand, and a major stake in a major Indian telco, it could face problems in these countries.

Then there is the issue of how European and US cos are using S’pore to avoid taxes, at a time when there is growing resentment among politicians and voters that these cos are not paying their fair share of taxes. The Indian, Japanese, Taiwanese and Korean govts will also not be too happy too with S’pore’s corporate tax-regime if they read the Economist.

“Taxing times for Singapore as corporate strategy faces scrutiny” was a Reuters headline on 24 November 2013 (BT and Today carried the report too). It gave details of how Apple used S’pore as a tax-saving centre and went on, “Companies justify booking significant amounts of revenue and profits in Singapore by the fact they often run key business functions such as finance and operations, hold intellectual property rights there or base regional executives in the city.”

The chart below (via the Economist) shows a hypothetical scenario where a company moves its headquarters from Singapore (a very low-tax economy) to another country. http://www.economist.com/blogs/schumpeter/2013/11/corporate-tax-rates

S’pore very cheap place (tax wise) esp compared to Japan. Minister Zorro must be happy: juz as happy as looking as his monthly CPF statement.

The Reuters article went on: Singapore has so far largely stayed out of the debate raging in Europe and the United States about the ways multinationals try to lower their tax bills.

But revenue-hungry governments are looking to impose tougher rules on so-called transfer pricing that could make it harder for firms to trade goods, services or assets between their Singapore and overseas entities.

As a result, accountants warn that the city-state will need to review the level of transparency in its tax incentive schemes and get stronger justifications from companies on their transfer pricing arrangements to fend off challenges from other jurisdictions.

“Singapore’s challenge is to ensure that it stands ready to adequately address any kind of unilateral tax action taken by other countries,” said Abhijit Ghosh, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Singapore.

“In this brave new world of fiscal competition for the tax dollar, dispute resolution will be on the increase and Singapore will need to focus more resources on enforcing and defending its principles of value creation in international forums.”

The city-state’s government says it is against artificially contrived arrangements constructed “solely for the purpose of flouting or exploiting loopholes in tax rules”, according to a spokeswoman from the Ministry of Finance.

However Singapore is also arguing that it should not be singled out because it has low tax rates.

“We must guard against new forms of protectionism masquerading as tax harmonisation,” the spokeswoman said. “We should avoid converging on high taxes globally as this would only hurt growth and jobs.”

Looks like the owl that visited PM was a harbinger of bad news for PM.

Seriously, the “usual suspects” could reasonably argue, if they tot about it, that the “chickens are coming to roost”.and that while moralising on adultery, the PAP govt helps the ang mohs spy on our neighbours, while helping ang moh and other Asian cos avoid tax. And PritamS wants the WP to be in coalition with the PAP?

*Remember that Indonesia suspended military co-operation with Australia, after allegations emerged of Australian spies bugging the phones of the president and his inner circle.

**Access to this major international telecommunications channel***, facilitated by Singapore’s government-owned operator SingTel, has been a key element in an expansion of Australian-Singaporean intelligence and defence ties over the past 15 years.Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/new-snowden-leaks-reveal-us-australias-asian-allies-20131124-2y3mh.html#ixzz2lkSC0P8c

***SEA-ME-WE-3 cable as well as the SEA-ME-WE-4 cable that runs from Singapore to the south of France.

Still want to buy M’sian properties?

In India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Uncategorized on 23/11/2013 at 6:00 am

(Asean round-up)

KL property owners, an estimated 10-16 per cent of whom are foreigners, are facing sharply higher assessment payments of up to 300 per cent following the latest move by City Hall (DBKL) to boost its coffers. http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/premium/top-stories/kl-homeowners-facing-sharp-assessment-hikes-20131119

But otherwise M’sia’s looking pretty gd

— ECONOMISTS have turned more bullish on the Malaysian economy as a result of its unexpectedly strong showing in the third quarter.

They have upgraded their forecasts, and one has even dismissed the second quarter’s sharply reduced current account surplus on the balance of payments as an “abnormal”, one-off glitch.

Malaysia’s growth accelerated to 5 per cent in the third quarter, above the street’s 4.7 per cent, and sharply higher than the 4.4 per cent posted in the second quarter. The expansion was largely driven by domestic demand and a turnaround in exports.

The figures suggest that, despite criticism from rating agencies such as Fitch and an uncertain global economy, the Malaysian economy remains resilient, and continues to maintain steady economic growth.

— THE ringgit is undervalued as it has underperformed its peers since Prime Minister Najib Razak’s Budget almost a month ago, a British bank said.

In a report yesterday, Barclays Bank said the currency’s underperformance stemmed from doubts over the country’s “fiscal credibility”. But it said any such doubt should now be “diminished” after international rating agency Moody’s raised Malaysia’s sovereign outlook to “positive” from “stable” in a report released on Wednesday.

The news should boost Mr Najib’s credibility as a finance minister; he has been flayed by critics who have accused him of going on a profligate spending spree to boost the Barisan Nasional coalition’s popularity. In the run-up to the May 5 general election, government debt had ballooned to more than 54 per cent of GDP, just a whisker away from the legally mandated debt ceiling. Although the BN won, it did so with a weaker mandate.

In July, global rating agency Fitch had affirmed Malaysia’s investment-grade sovereign rating but cut its outlook to “negative” from “stable”. That raised the level and intensity of the criticism against Mr Najib.

(Excerpts from BT)

But M’sia (like Thailand) is doing less than Indonesia to prepare for tapering: Indonesia has raised short-term interest rates and India has attracted deposits from its large diaspora. Both are now accumulating foreign-exchange reserves to help prepare them for the eventual end of quantitative easing. So are South Korea and Taiwan.

Malaysia and Thailand are not taking the same precautions. Neither country has managed to recoup the reserves it lost in August. That’s a worry, considering foreigners own 28 percent of Malaysia’s sovereign bond market. Pending the implementation of a goods and services tax from 2015, the country’s public finances remain shaky. At the peak of the summer turmoil, the cost of insuring against default on Malaysian government bonds was slightly higher than for Philippines debt, which carries a lower credit rating. The gap has widened since.

Finally, debt is soaring. In Thailand, bank loans to individuals have jumped 20 percent in the first nine months of the year, higher than last year’s 18 percent growth. Meanwhile, the Thai economy has lost momentum, the politics has become unstable, and the current account has tipped into a deficit. Instead of easing, Asia’s fear of the Fed is spreading wider.

http://blogs.reuters.com/breakingviews/2013/11/21/asias-fear-of-fed-is-now-infecting-more-economies/

Why more FT Indians here than local Indians?

In Economy, India on 15/10/2013 at 4:52 am

(I hope readers don’t mind my flow onto LionsXII at the end)

One of the bloggers, I was concerned about here that might get a stroke or a heart attack, last week blogged that there are more FT Indians, than local Indians here. He didn’t give his source but used the statistic as the basis of prophesying doom and gloom for our minorities and society. It would have been nice if he had given his reasons, rather than assuming that we all know why.

Assuming he is correct about the FT Indian population being bigger than the local Indian population, there is possibly a gd, sound economic reason for it:- Our local Indians are not the “right” kind of Indians S’pore needs?

He may not be aware that S’pore’s an offshore hub of India, along with Dubai and Mauritius.

The largest hub for Indian trade is probably Singapore. It is the centre for investment banking, which thrives offshore, owing to the tight regulation of India’s banks and debt markets. Reflecting this, the global exposure to India of Citigroup and Standard Chartered, the two foreign banks busiest in India, is 1.9 times the size of their regulated Indian bank subsidiaries.

Fund managers running money in India are often based in Singapore. India’s best financial newspaper, Mint, now has a Singapore edition. At least half of all rupee trading is offshore, says Ajay Shah of the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy in Delhi. Investors and firms do not like India’s fiddly rules and worry that the country may tighten capital controls if its currency falls too far, says one trader in Singapore. He denies, though, that the rupee’s fall is mainly the work of speculators abroad. “The onshore guys have as much of a role,” he says.

Indian e-commerce firms often get their data crunched in Singapore, using web-hosting and cloud-computing firms, such as Google and Amazon. Amitabh Misra, of Snapdeal, says bandwidth costs less, technology is better and you avoid India’s headaches—such as finding somewhere to work, coping with state-run telecoms firms and having to wait to import hardware.

Singapore is also a centre for legal services. International deals involving India often contain clauses which state that disputes be arbitrated outside India, with its clogged courts. Singapore, along with London and Paris, has become the preferred jurisdiction. “The level of comfort Indian companies get from Singapore is unmatched,” says Vivekananda N of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre.

When India’s economy thrived, in 2003-08, so did its offshore hubs. Singapore’s service exports to India tripled. Yet these centres may sometimes be a reverse barometer. If things improve in India, activity should shift to the mainland, and vice versa. By gradually improving its ports, for example, India has convinced more shipping lines to make direct stops.

The government wants to attract activity back to create jobs and boost foreign earnings. Pride plays a role, too—it is unbecoming for a potential superpower to have outsourced vital economic functions. India has far less control over Dubai and Singapore than China does over Hong Kong. Plenty of policy statements in recent years argue that India should become a global hub for aviation, legal arbitration, diamond trading and international finance.

http://www.economist.com/news/international/21583285-growth-slows-and-reforms-falter-economic-activity-shifting-out-india-made-outside?spc=scode&spv=xm&ah=9d7f7ab945510a56fa6d37c30b6f1709

So are TRE posters who regularly complain about Indian FTs are DRUMS saboing S’pore? Though two-timing new citizen Raj who has publicly boasted that his son will avoid NS, and get PR (here and here) is not exactly a poster boy for Indian FTs or the govt’s “We love FTs” policy: more for GG and friends who hate FTs.

Finally, those of us (self-included) who love to regularly grumble about or mock ESM “Peanuts” should remember that he initiated the “Look to India” to differentiate himself from one LKY who wanted S’pore to be plugged into China’s sphere. So three cheers for him, for initiating the move that resulted in S’pore becoming a major offshore hub of India? Or should it be only two cheers for then allowing the likes of new citizen Raj in?

BTW, Mindef should be trying to close the loop-holes that allow those bums like new citizen Raj to boast that their sons can avoid NS, and then get PR, rather than make it difficult for our young Lions http://www.goal.com/en-sg/news/3880/singapore/2013/10/13/4321556/zainudin-hints-at-restrictions-for-sundram-departure: In his two-year tenure with the LionsXII, one of Sundram’s biggest bugbear had been the unavailability of players. A slim squad that was frequently decimated by injury lay-offs was further shorn of players due to National Service (NS) call-ups.

Players in NS who had used up their annual leaves to play for the LionsXII were often unable to find release from their active duties. Shakir Hamzah was most infamously found guilty of going AWOL from duties in June, after linking up with the LionsXII for an away game, and was handed a four-day sentence in the detention barracks.

BTW2, Our media has been 200% behind Fandhi’s attempt to be the new LionsXII  coach (Of course, he would deny he is campaigning to be coach: he would wouldn’t he?); but would temperamental Fandhi have put up with Sundram’s frustrations. I doubt he would. Likely, he would have walked out. Don’t anyhow support Fandhi. He willingly collaborates with our MSM, wanted to sue SDP and failed as coach of a free-spending Johor team (think Sity, think Johor). He was a good, and honest footballer but he isn’t exactly god’s gift to LionsXII. He’s god’s gift to our constructive, nation-building media who use him to sell papers and try to make us forget that the media here in part of the Dark Side.

Where S’pore and other Asean countries most vulnerable to Fed tapering

In China, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Vietnam on 14/09/2013 at 5:36 am

This chart from Reuters shows the vulnerability of major Asian economies to Fed policy of tapering

http://graphics.thomsonreuters.com/RNGS/2013/AUG/ASIARANKINGS/ASIARANKINGS.html

S’pore is vulnerable

Slowing GDP: Most vulnerable

Growing Public Debt : Second most vulnerable

Uncompetitive Currency: Second most vulnerable

Growing Credit Intensity: Fourth most vulnerable. Another view: Banks with large property loan portfolios will face higher risks when interest rates start to rise — this as highly-leveraged households begin to have difficulty paying their mortgages.

Economists said this could lead to credit tightening by banks, and a hard landing for the property sector.

If that happens, DBS Bank said Singapore and Hong Kong will be hardest hit within Asia.

In other Asean round-up news

surpluses of Thailand, Hong Kong and Malaysia have narrowed even more since the second half of 2007. However, this is partly because Thailand and Malaysia have boosted domestic investment, which lifts imports.

Malaysian and Indonesian companies are grappling with a margin squeeze: The two commodity-producing economies have witnessed the biggest rise in their real cost of capital. The Philippines has the opposite problem: Falling inflation-adjusted returns for savers.

Rightly or wrongly, though, the sovereign debt issued by developed countries is perceived as safe. Malaysia is not in the same league, and it is pruning petrol and diesel subsidies to control its growing public debt problem.

Unlike in 1997, most Asian countries have relatively straightforward choices. Malaysia can introduce a goods and services tax to control the 14 percentage point increase in its sovereign-debt-to-GDP ratio since 2007. Indonesia can raise interest rates to tame 9 percent inflation. The main problem is India, with its cocktail of slumping growth, high inflation, a creaking banking system, reckless fiscal policies and political uncertainty. Other Asian nations can’t take rising U.S. interest rates lightly, but they are far from a crisis.

http://blogs.reuters.com/breakingviews/2013/09/05/not-all-asian-countries-need-to-fear-the-fed/

Indonesia’s central bank raised its benchmark interest rate 25 basis points Thursday afternoon in a move that defied market expectations and continued a swift phase of tightening efforts as the nation’s economic growth showed signs of stumbling.

The interest rate increased to 7.25 percent, the fourth hike in as many months, as Bank Indonesia moved to stabilize the increasingly volatile rupiah while controlling inflation and the widening trade deficit.

The danger of capital controls in Asean (Note this is new link and chart, not the one originally posted)

http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21586569-error-apology-and-revision-spreadsheet-different

Asean trade with China (FT charts)

Ingratitude, uniquely S’porean? Blame the internet? Not really

In India, Internet, Political governance on 06/09/2013 at 5:15 am

The irony is the opposition made gains where there is almost full employment, the country peaceful and prosperous.

(http://www.pressrun.net/weblog/2013/08/singapore-prime-ministers-and-election-results.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+rana+%28pressrun.net%29 I commend this blogger who usually has interesting, unpredectible perspectives. Not one of the usual suspects, whose rants can be surmised even without reading their articles: juz scan the titles.)

The govt in Norway is expected to lose an election on 9th September, even though eonomic growth was at 2.6% year-on-year in the second quarter and unemployment at just 3.4%, while the current-account surplus is huge: nearly 14% of GDP.

One could argue that because things are so gd, people are willing to take risks, experiment.

When times are bad, if the ones suffering badly are a smallish minority, and the majority, while unhappy, are fearful of what can happen, the majority of voters will opt for “Better the devil we know” We saw that in 2001 when an election was called after 9/11. If Islamic terrorists could successfully attack Metropolis, which place was safe? And if there was a resulting global recession, who better than the PAP to handle it for S’pore? Certainly better than JBJ’s lot, even though the WP had juz kicked JBJ out as leader.

But the classic example was UK during the early yrs of Thatcher’s tenure. Despite massive unemployment she won a second term (helped by winning a war). The unemployed voted against her, but those with jobs trusted her govt more than they did the opposition Labour party, which was seen as incompetent economically (strikes, IMF loan when it was governing).

Connected with the issue of experimentation when times are gd, is that people get tired of the same govt. The present Norwegian govt has been in power since 2005. As the PAP has been in power since 1959 (UMNO and allies in M’sia since 1957), it’s a testament to their tenacity and public goodwill that the PAP and UMNO are still in power. Even the LDP in Japan has lost power for two spells before regaining it.

The author of the above quote puts the unpopularity of the S’pore govt to the internet:

The internet seems to have been a game-changer. In the first post-Twitter general election, in 2011, the People’s Action Party (PAP) won only 60.1 per cent of the vote, its lowest share since independence, while the opposition secured six seats, more than ever before. (Twitter was launched only in 2006.)

He has a point because the internet

… proved a real pest,
Critics online all the time,
How do you make ‘em toe the line?

But let’s not forget. In the last GE 60% voted for the PAP. Taz a gd majority by any standard except that of the PAP itself and S’poreans. Remember, we used to give it 70-over % of the popular vote, and all the seats in parliament in the 70s.

True the PAP’s “preferred” candidate won the PE by a very short nose. But the man that nearly became president was someone that for many S’poreans (self included) exemplified what many S’poreans liked about the PAP Old Guard: principled, meritocratic, technocratic, smart (academically and street-wise), no wayang, no pretensions and compassionate: not sneering, complacent, privileged, incompetent and self-serving snob. Even the PAP’s preferred candidate belonged to the Old Guard, even if he had a privileged background: in fact many of the Old Guard had privileged backgrounds, they juz didn’t behave like a certain sneerer. Tony Tan juz didn’t get my vote because he was the “preferred” candidate. But if it had been between him, TJS and TKL (ex-PAP too), I’d voted for Tony Tan.

The next candidate, TJS, had only 25% of the vote. This is in line with the hard core opposition vote that emerges in any constituency an opposition candidate appears, even a looney one.

What the internet has allowed, is to give amplification to the voices of the hard core opposition supporters. They were never silent but the exclusion of their voices from the constructive, nation-building local media meant that they could only communicate in a less than effective way most of the time to other die-hards and ordinary S’poreans.

Ordinary S’poreans now realise that these voices are not demon voices because like the hard core opposition voters, they too have grievances, doubts etc. They now know, they are not alone.

The power of the internet and the govt’s concern that it is losing the commanding heights of public communications are best illustrated by P Ravi’s reposting on Facebook about the availability of the masks: that the public were not going to get it despite repeated govt assurances to the contrary, and the govt’s heavy-handed reaction. This reposting was enough to get him accused of spreading misinformation.

P Ravi’s defence when the govt accused him spreading misinformation about the distribution of masks, was that he sharing with his Facebook friends (1000 over if you must know), giving the govt feedback, and seeking clarification from the govt: rather contradictory assertions. Why the govt didn’t ridicule these contradictions is beyond me. Instead, Yaacob, a civil servant and the constructive, nation-building media beat the drums to the tune of RAVII*, making him a hero and martyr to the hostiles on the internet and, in particular on social media. My posts on this

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/07/24/p-ravis-reposting-what-the-govt-should-have-done/

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/07/19/reason-why-govt-fears-keyboard-warriors/

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/08/07/is-the-pap-leopard-baring-his-fangs-and-unsheathing-his-claws/

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/09/04/telling-gd-info-from-bad-the-secret-police-way/

So nope, the desire to experiment when things are gd, isn’t unique to S’pore. Nor is the internet the cause of the unpopularity. Even when the PAP had 70ish % of the popular vote, the balance voted for the opposition.

And 35% of the population like the values of the PAP Old Guard, they juz don’t like the way the PAP has developed in the 1990s and noughties. All this means that those who want change cannot afford to be complacent esp as there is going to be a party that’s going to be gd for the Party i.e. the PAP.

*Recriminations, Accusations, Vilifications, Insinuations & Insults. Minister Shan talks of criticising ministers n the “right” way (E-Jay’s take). Well, what Yaacob and a civil servant did to Ravi, and what VivianB did to various people including the elderly poor doesn’t set gd examples for the public, do they?

SingTel affected by rupiah, rupee collapse

In China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Telecoms, Vietnam on 31/08/2013 at 5:08 am

In its latest set of results announced a few weeks ago, the profit contribution from regional associates climbed 14% to S$552 million in the quarter on higher results from Indonesia, Thailand and India, the company said.

SingTel gets 12% of its profit before tax from India and 22% from Indonesia, with those earnings in future likely to take a hit when translated back into Singapore dollars. Remember too the weakish A$, Baht, and Filipino peso will affect its earnings.

Other Asean round-up news

At an emergency meeting on Aug. 29, the monetary authority raised its benchmark and overnight deposit rates. It’s a decision Bank Indonesia should have made at its last official gathering less than two weeks ago. An obsession with economic growth stayed its hand. http://blogs.reuters.com/breakingviews/2013/08/29/currency-markets-rude-wakeup-call-stirs-indonesia/

Politics is back on the streets in Thailand, after a relative lull of more than two years, with a protest over the weekend. It underlines the persistence of divisions in Thailand and raises the prospect of a return to the political turmoil that left more than 90 people dead in Bangkok in 2010.

Thousands of demonstrators gathered in a vacant lot in Bangkok on Saturday, as speakers threatened to “overthrow” the government.

But unlike in previous years, this time the protesters were members of Thailand’s oldest political party, the Democrat Party, which has long had a reputation as the staid, well-mannered and intellectual voice of the Bangkok establishment and has been firmly dedicated to resolving differences inside Parliament, where the Democrats lead the opposition.

The acrimony between the Democrats and the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra centres on a number of legislative issues, chiefly an effort by the government to pass an amnesty law for those involved in the 2010 protests.

The Democrats oppose the Bill, saying it might also apply to those who insulted the monarchy or committed serious crimes.

But the broader conflict appears to stem from their feeling of powerlessness in the face of the resurgence of Thaksin Shinawatra, Ms Yingluck’s brother, who sets the broad policy lines for the government and the Pheu Thai Party despite living abroad since 2008 in self-imposed exile to escape corruption charges.

The weekend protests followed another peaceful one earlier this month involving some 2,500 supporters of the Democrat Party and royalist groups at Bangkok’s Lumpini Park, throwing fresh light on Thaksin’s divisive influence in Thailand.

(Extract from NYT)

Malaysia‘s government is exploring the possibility of hiking the real property gains tax to rein in rising housing prices and curb speculation in the market. Bernama quoted Housing Minister Abdul Rahman Dahlan as saying that current property tax levels had failed to stabilise house prices with the house price index continuing to rise.

Malaysia’s GST will take 14 months to implement if announced in the budget in October, a ministry official said

The Philippines posted better-than-forecast economic growth, fuelled by its services sector and higher consumer and government spending. Its economy grew 7.5% in the April to June quarter, from a year earlier. It is the fourth quarter in a row its economy has expanded by more than 7% – defying a regional trend which has seen growth slow down in many countries. The Philippines’ 7.5% second-quarter growth matched that of China but is higher than Indonesia, Vietnam or Malaysia,

However, the country has been hurt in recent weeks by investors pulling out of the region’s emerging economies. This despite under emerging mkts, given the follow of remittances from workers overseas, it will not have to worry about investors’ outflows unlike other mkts.

Japan’s All Nippon Airways has said it will acquire a 49% stake in Asian Wings Airways, an airline based in Burma..

The Japanese airline will pay 2.5bn yen (US$25m) for the stake.mIt is the first time a foreign carrier has invested in a Burmese-based commercial airline. It currently operates domestic flights to all major tourist destinations in Myanmar.It t plans to “extend its wings to regional destinations through scheduled flights as well as chartered ones”.

SCCCI SME Survey proves LKY’s point?

In China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam on 17/08/2013 at 1:41 pm

Indonesia has overtaken China as a preferred investment destination for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), This was a key finding of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI) SME Survey 2013, which polled 516 companies in June and July.

Of the 63% SMEs which are venturing into markets abroad, 39.9% favour investing in Malaysia and 28.1% Indonesia, a hair’s breadth more than the 27.2% looking towards China.

One reason given is that as the Chinese economy develops and wages rise, Indonesia could stand to position itself as an undertapped source of low-cost labour. As I blogged here, a few days back, LKY said that SMEs would flee S’pore if FTs were not allowed in by the cattle-truck load: they want cheap labour. The survey indicates that securing cheap labour is all that SMEs care about?

Other Asean-round up news:

Express link to KL

M’sia should talk to billionaire inventor Elon Musk. He wants to build a Hyperloop that would cut travel time between SF and LA to 35 minute. 12 minutes to KL based on the 35 minutes time

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-23681266

Shrimps

THe US Commerce Department declined to set duties on shrimp imports from Thailand and Indonesia. It has imposed duties on shrimp imports from five nations.

The ruling applies to about US$2bn of shrimp imports, from India, Ecuador, China, Malaysia and Vietnam. The Commerce Department found that those nations had been subsidising their shrimp producers.

Malaysia faces the highest duties of up to 54.5%, the lowest were set for Vietnam which faces duties of up to 7.8%.

A final approval is needed by another government body, the International Trade Commission (ITC), before the duties can take effect, The ITC will consider whether US producers have been threatened by the imports and make its decision in September.

Fighting inflation the Indon way

Bit like the way they fight the haze: wayang all the way.

Indonesia’s central bank held its benchmark interest rate on Thursday and took steps to contain loan expansion to battle inflation without taking any more steam out of slowing economic growth.

Many economists do expect another rate hike later this year but the central bank faces a tricky combination of surging prices, a falling rupiah, a stubborn current account deficit and slowing economic growth.

Minister, you thinking of yr govt?

In India, Political governance on 16/07/2013 at 5:13 am

I laughed when I read the following:

Law and Foreign Affairs Minister K Shanmugam said one of the biggest risks for Singapore is a populist government that spends increasing amounts of money to succeed.

Already, he noted, there are other challenges facing the nation, such as an ageing population, a shrinking workforce and rising healthcare costs.

Mr Shanmugam said: “There’s always something else on which money can be spent. But every time the government agrees and puts down a programme, you must remember it’s hard-coded, very difficult to take it back.

“Whenever we put down a programme today to spend money, I think the biggest risk for Singapore is a populist government that decides that the way to succeed is to spend more and more money. Every programme that you put down money (for), today, would just mushroom in 10, 15 years.

“So the impact will not be seen in the next five years. Next 10 years will be okay, but after that, how are we going to afford it? How sustainable is it going to be?”

Mr Shanmugam was speaking at the National University of Singapore U@live forum on [12th June 2013]. (CNA)

Recently,

— the govt has junior civil servants more money (Singapore’s 80,000 civil servants will get a mid-year Annual Variable Component of 0.4-month. In addition, Division IV officers will receive a wage increase of $70 per month and Division III officers a pay rise of $40 per month.)

— NTUC is pushing for cleaning companies to give each of their workers $60 a month more.

National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said the government has taken steps to help low-income tenants of rental flats who see their pay rises eaten up by a rental increase.

Two million adult Singaporeans received letters from the government in the first week of July, informing them of the benefits they and their households will receive as part of Budget 2013.

And what about these?

— In 2011 or 2012, the govt funded a rise in the salaries of doctors, and I think, other health professions in public service. There were assurances that the fees we pay to use SingHealth services would not be raised.

— CPF interest rates are maintained despite the yields on 10-yr govt bonds collapsing.

— The injection of $1.1bn into the public transport system, a system which the former transport minister tot was perfect. Remember, he threatened a GST increase because he said commuters were asking for too much comfort.

— The accelerated HDB building programme despite constant govt grumbles that it loses money. A previous HDB minister even implied that by building more HDB flats, S’pore was raiding its reserves. Yes, yes he actually didn’t say this but I didn’t say he said this. I’m putting a reasonable spin on what he said.

So one could reasonably argue that this govt is doing the very thing it decries. It spends increasing amounts of money to succeed or to make sure it’s share of the popular vote doesn’t fall further in the next GE. A few years ago, when LKY was still in the cabinet, and believed to have a veto over cabinet decisions, I had lunch with some economists. One of them wondered if LKY would die if the govt spends one more cent of our money to make life a bit more comfortable for S’poreans. Wonder how LKY feels about all the above spending? Would he think it is “populism” at work?

The continuing good news for “P” (for “political”) netizens, and the opposition is that so long as VivianB is in the cabinet, the PAP will have very serious problems being perceived as a populist, compassionate party, no matter how much of our money the govt throws at us. It also undercuts the gd work that Kee Chui is doing. When social welfare workers praise him, he must be doing something gd. Or at least “populist’.

Asean round-up

In Airlines, Banks, India, Indonesia on 09/03/2013 at 7:09 am

The Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group “is among banks considering a purchase of TPG Capital’s $1.6 billion stake in Indonesia’s PT Bank Tabungan Pensiunan Nasional, two people with knowledge of the matter said,” Bloomberg News reports.

A bid by Malaysian low-cost carrier, AirAsia, to set up an airline in India has won approval from the Indian government.

It would be the first foreign company to try to capture the rising demand in India’s aviation sector.

AirAsia India would be a joint venture with the well-known Tata Group, based in Chennai in South India.

India’s aviation industry, which has suffered major losses, was opened to foreign investment last year.

The government now allows foreign companies to own up to 49% of a local airline.

AirAsia, which is Asia’s largest low-cost carrier, will make an initial investment of 800m rupees ($15m; £10m) and will own 49% of the new airline, while Tata Sons will have a 30% stake. Part of BBC report

India following S’pore, rewarding failure

In India, Political governance on 12/08/2012 at 6:23 am

New finance minister in India. Previous one became president. What a country. Mismanaged the country’s finances (high inflation, falling foreign direct investment, retrospective taxes etc) but moved onto the highest post in the land.

Bit like S’pore? Tony Tan as executive director of GIC presided over purchase of “two 30-yr” investments (UBS and Citi) that tanked within months of purchase. He became president.

Seriously, the actions of new Indian finance minister is gd news for stale Indian bulls like self.

http://www.breakingviews.com/india-begins-the-post-mukherjee-clear-up/21034450.article

Err Tharman for president? We could do with a finance minister given our problems with inflation:

— Inflation has accelerated, fueled by rising housing and private transportation costs … The monetary authority last month estimated consumer-price gains will average 4 percent to 4.5 percent this year, compared with the 3.5 percent to 4.5 percent range it forecast previously.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-08-10/singapore-economy-contracts-as-pressure-gains-for-policy-easing.html

— DBS says S’pore facing stagflation with one of highest inflation rates in region

http://sbr.com.sg/economy/news/singapore-struggle-one-highest-inflation-rates-in-southeast-asia

Sporting losers celebrated

In Humour, India on 28/07/2012 at 2:32 pm

Good fun and graphics

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-18979959

Artist is from India, not noted for its Olmpic prowess even in hockey. Kinda appropriate. ))))

GIC: Buying while others selling

In GIC, India on 27/07/2012 at 6:44 am

Don’t worry, amounts only “peanuts”.

GIC increased its holding in Reliance Industries from 1.06% to 1.22% in the three-month period ended June 30, 2012 while other foreigners were selling.

http://zeenews.india.com/business/news/finance/foreign-investors-press-sell-button-on-reliance-stocks_56354.html

Temasek’s cautious in India while PM’s bullish

In India, Temasek on 16/07/2012 at 9:46 am

So “Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Singapore is prepared to share its experience in building industrial parks with India … Mr Lee believes there is potential for building such parks in India, following Singapore’s experience with such parks in countries like Indonesia and Vietnam … Singapore has been talking to several states in India about such projects … acknowledged that it would take some time, as land has to be acquired and approval has to be obtained. Support from the state government is also needed … if these hurdles can be cleared, Singapore will be able to build the parks faster and contribute to India in a strategic direction [such parks can help to boost the manufacturing sector in India which he says India needs. India also needs a substantial amount of manufacturing investments he claims] … the Indian economy is at a stage where it needs a considerable amount of investments, especially in infrastructure. Singapore companies have capabilities to handle some of these projects.”

But despite his bullishness (see here for the CNA report), Rohit Sipahimalani, co-chief investment officer of Temasek, told The Economic Times: “There’s a lot of uncertainty, but times like these also create opportunities. We will take advantage of the uncertainty, but will remain cautious.”

Can’t blame Temasek, given things like this in India  http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/18/india-buyout-idUSL4E8G318Y20120518

IPO: Healthcare & Indian themes

In Emerging markets, India, Malaysia on 05/06/2012 at 6:51 am

(Or “The Achars are coming”)

First, there is IHH expected to list in July. Intetegrated Healthcare Holdings is the healthcare arm of Malaysia’s state investor. Its assets include Turkish hospital group, Singapore’s Parkway Holdings, India’s Apollo Hospitals Enterprise and Malaysia’s Pantai Hospitals and International Medical University. It presses all the right buttons: Turkey, India, M’sia and S’pore.

The listing of IHH in Singapore and Malaysia is expected to be the fourth-biggest initial public offering in S’pore’s history and Malaysia’s second-largest this year after the planned listing of Malaysian plantation group Felda Global Venture Holdings.

International Financial Corp, part of the World Bank Group, is planning to take part in the planned US$1.5 billion listing of IHH. Another cornerstone investor is the Pru’s Asian funds arm. UK’s Pru or the US Pru. I’m sure GIC or Temasek will be another cornerstone investor.

For those interested in Indian healthcare and yield there will be  Religare Health Trust. India’s Fortis Healthcare, which is seeking to expand its clinical operations and cut debt, plans to raise about 20bn rupees (S$459m) by listing its hospital business in Singapore. Its listing is expected to be later than that of IHH.

“We are looking at this listing to de-leverage the balance sheet,” its CEO said anning the IPO last week. Fortis, which has about 15 hospitals and clinics that are part of this business, has a consolidated net debt of 50bn rupees, the CEO said. The company is looking to add about 2,500 hospital beds in three to four years, he added. Fortis, India’s No 2 hospitals chain after Apollo Hospitals Enterprise, said consolidated net profit jumped 41.34%  to 415.4bn in its fiscal fourth quarter ended March.

Religare Health Trust has a mandate to invest in medical and healthcare assets and services in Asia, Australasia and emerging markets.

The IPO would be the second by an Indian company in Singapore after Indiabulls Properties Investment Trust raised US$165m (S$210.8m) in 2009. This has been a dog of a stock.

Reliance Communications is also planning to raise US$1 billion through a Singapore listing of its undersea cable business.

 

Ascendas India: DBS is bullish

In India, Property, Reits on 08/05/2012 at 6:06 pm

http://sreit.reitdata.com/2012/05/02/a-itrust-dbsv/ (Ya I know technically it’s not a Reit, but it looks like one.)

So am I. )))). BTW, the Indian rupee has strengthened after the government said on Monday that it would delay proposed laws targeting tax avoidance by one year.

But five things wrong with the Indian economy.

Why India is no longer flavour of the season

In India, Telecoms on 07/04/2012 at 7:31 am

Why MNCs and  int’l investors are giving India a miss while still liking the other “I”: Indonesia.

Seven international trade associations have written to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh criticising a new tax proposal under which even 50-year-old corporate deals could be scrutinised.

The proposals were announced as part of India’s federal budget last month.

The associations warned that the firms they represent could reconsider their business ventures in India.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-17581212

And the cancellation of telecoms’ licences doesn’t help.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-17621257

Standard Chartered beats forecasts with 17% profit rise

In Banks, India, Temasek on 04/08/2011 at 7:51 am

London-based, Asia-focused Standard Chartered Bank (Temasek owns 19%) has reported that pre-tax profits for the first six months of the year were $3.6bn (£2.2bn), up 17% from last year.

Profits grew in all the regions where Standard Chartered operates, except for its biggest market, India, where profits fell by 5%.

Profits grew by 23% in Hong Kong, 34% in Singapore, 14%in South Korea and 19% in China.Income from the Middle East grew 4%, in Africa it grew 10% and in the Americas and Europe it grew 11%.

It blamed rising interest rates, growing competition and regulatory changes for falling profits in India.  It made a big bet in India financing takeover details. Will be interesting to see if these give the bank the same death-defying experiences as it gave some Wall Strret banks in the 1980s and 1990s. https://atans1.wordpress.com/2010/09/10/stanchart-getting-too-aggressive/

Head south young S’poreans

In India, Indonesia on 27/05/2011 at 9:25 am

Indonesia is the best place for entrepreneurs to start a business, a BBC survey suggested. The US, Canada, India and Australia are seen as among the next best countries at supporting new businesses.

So head south to Indonesia or Oz, young entrepreneurs.

No FTs, no Indian food

In Economy, India on 05/04/2011 at 10:29 am

The M’sian experience.

Over the last year the Abirami restaurant chain has closed down five of its seven locations because of a shortage of foreign workers.

The moral of the story: there are always consequences to any policy.