Our economy in absolute terms is bigger than PeenoyLand. And we only slighly smaller than M’sia. Only Thailand and Indonland bigger than us in absolute terms.
Our economy in absolute terms is bigger than PeenoyLand. And we only slighly smaller than M’sia. Only Thailand and Indonland bigger than us in absolute terms.
No wonder the Pinoys don’t want to go home despite PinoyLand topping the economic and stk mkt charts in Asean https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/04/07/pinoys-still-not-going-home-why-not/.
Since the Philippines’ restoration of democracy in 1986, the tendency has been for its politicians to coalesce around whomever they regard as the most unbeatable presidential candidate. They trade their support for patronage. A president needs the backing of congress and local governments to wield power, while members of congress, governors and mayors need the spoils provided by a president to wield their own power through subsequent terms in office.
Any lack of administrative aptitude makes a president especially dependent on his political supporters. Policies are barely mentioned in election campaigns, appearing only later, governing coalitions form around the presidential candidate. The mainstream political parties are best understood as vehicles for sharing out campaign funds. A party’s membership balloons if presidential candidate wins and shrivels if he loses. From the typical Filipino politician’s point of view, Mr Pacquiao* is thus ideally suited to be president: he has never administered anything bigger than his own household, so he must depend on others; no policy other than general beneficence towards the people has been heard from him, so no promises need be kept; and he has plenty of money for attending politicians to share out in order to keep themselves in office.
Mr Pacquiao lacks only a political pedigree … By exploiting popular sentiment, this system can turn just about any beloved celebrity into a president, as it did for Mr Aquino. Joseph Estrada, an actor, earned enough good will by playing good guys in the movies to become the unbeatable presidential candidate in 1998. He was booted out of office, in 2001, only after he and one of the political cronies he had attracted fell out over the loot from their joint corruption.
*After he lost on points, “I don’t want to make alibis or complain or anything,” Mr Pacquiao said before doing just that, “[but] it’s hard to fight one-handed.”
Always got excuse: after the event.
Maybe the PAP should add these to its list of institutions to make sure voters make the right choices and if they don’t (think Aljunied) to protect them from the consequences of their actions, whether they reprent or not voting in the oppo (think Aljunied again). Obviously the PA system is not working in Aljunied: otherwise no need to take WP TC to court.
Ten or so other institutions will help to baby-sit the politicians, including a “National Moral Assembly” which will punish those who act unethically, a catch-all term that could be used against government critics. Three-quarters of the 120 seats in a new “National Reform Assembly” will be reserved for toadies now serving in one of the junta’s various conclaves. Their job will be to prevent any future government deviating from a legislative programme that the generals are now laying down.
It’s in deep trouble. They all have constituencies in the area.
Picking up on a warning by Malaysia’s largest bank of the risks of a housing glut in Iskandar, Johor lawmakers have cautioned against foreign investors’ optimism about the development corridor’s economic boom and population growth, saying that demand for premium homes in Iskandar has lagged far behind supply.
“There is a misconception about the demand market here … there is a clear mismatch between supply and demand,” Mr Shahrir Abdul Samad, Member of Parliament (MP) for Johor Baru, told the Malay Mail Online.
Mr Shahrir said it was only natural for developers of premium residential properties in Iskandar to be hardest-hit by the dip in prices and secondary sales, as those projects were never the focus of the region.
“You have to be fair to Iskandar, as housing was never part of its main draft. The crux of its investment was more on services, hospitality and manufacturing, as well as allocations for small- and medium-sized enterprises. The investments we are interested in are not housing, and this is why we have called in Pinewood and Legoland to Iskandar,” said Mr Shahrir, referring to South-east Asia’s largest integrated studio facility and the popular theme park, respectively.
“That is the main investment strategy, but because of all these, foreign developers think there is a demand for their properties, and that is not happening. This is what’s happening, and they have to live with it. If they are willing to take the risk, then we can’t stop them,” the senior lawmaker from United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) said.
Dr Boo Cheng Hau, Johor opposition leader and Skudai assemblyman, noted that these residential projects were launched without sufficient supporting services or industries in place to make them viable in the near term.
The Democratic Action Party (DAP) MP said the region was not yet able to accommodate a surge in tourism or fulfil the needs of foreign investors seeking to take advantage of Malaysia’s second-home schemes.
“There will be a sustainable demand for properties here, but not in the near future. It will take another five to 10 years to see a boom in sectors such as manufacturing, services and so on, (and) a more steady increase in demand for properties,” Dr Boo said in an earlier email interview.
Mr Liew Chin Tong, DAP’s Kluang MP, stressed that the rapid pace of property development in Iskandar had no real legs on which to stand, a situation that is not helped by the nationwide slowdown in the property market.
“Johor is a case of killing the golden goose too fast, too greedily. The property market is not sustained by a genuine working population with income to support their investments, while borrowing rates are surging, waiting for the bubble to burst,” Mr Liew said when contacted.
But here’s one UMNO optimist:
However, UMNO’s Pulai MP, Mr Nur Jazlan Mohamed, believes the upcoming RM53 billion (S$19.7 billion) Pengerang Refinery and Petrochemicals Integrated Development (RAPID) project will provide the needed jobs and spending capacity to revive the region’s flagging property market.
“Property in Iskandar is experiencing a down cycle, but (sales) will pick up once corporate businesses like RAPID kick-start. Once corporations set up businesses in Iskandar, things will pick up. When businesses come in offering higher job opportunities, only then will the supply (of residential property) be taken up. (Iskandar) will not become a white elephant,” he said. MALAY MAIL
Singapore – where the ratio of household debt is 75% About 75% of this household debts are mortgage loans – See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/opinion/eye-the-economy/story/spore-not-headed-debt-disaster-20141125#sthash.oh3vAXO3.dpuf
The “affordable” 25 year HDB loan is responsible for S’pore’s high household debt. And remember it’s not freehold not a 99-yr lease from the govt.
S’poreans like Brits are stupid? [T]he economists calculate that homeowners discount future benefits over the very long run at a rate of 2.6% per year. This is lower than the rates used by governments to assess infrastructure projects or by pension funds to evaluate their liabilities, and suggests that the general public is more patient than the authorities give it credit for.
Switzerland has been ranked the happiest country in world.
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
Ang mohs lose interest in emerging markets i.e. Asean. We’ll suffer the consequences given that our listcos often seen as safe proxies for investments in these places.
Once seen as a necessity in portfolios, investments in emerging markets have lately become less appealing because of messy politics and staggering economies, DealBook’s Landon Thomas Jr. writes. The dollar’s upward climb and the growing acceptance that the Federal Reserve will soon increase interest rates are also causing concern. Now, emerging-market currencies are suffering the consequences. The Turkish lira and the Brazilian real have touched multiyear lows against the dollar and the Russian ruble remains volatile. The Mexican peso and the Indian rupee are also under pressure.
In Brazil, allegations of kickbacks and bribes at Petrobras, the country’s energy giant, threaten to derail the economy, Mr. Thomas writes. In Russia, a war with Ukraine and President Vladimir V. Putin’s erratic ways ‒ along with a collapse in the price of oil ‒ have rattled investors. In Turkey, the country’s president has added to existing currency jitters by suggesting that the head of the Turkish central bank is beholden to foreign speculators because he has not lowered interest rates fast enough. And analysts say there are deeper vulnerabilities in these and other emerging markets that will become more acute as the dollar continues to race ahead.
But while currencies have been volatile, capital flows out of emerging markets have not yet approached the levels of a year ago. According to the Institute of International Finance, the trade group for global banks, global flows into emerging markets nearly halved last month, to $12 billion from $23 billion, with money flowing out of Brazil, Ukraine and Thailand and into Indonesia and India. Since the beginning of the year, investors in the world’s largest emerging-markets investment vehicle, the $38 billion Oppenheimer developing markets fund, have withdrawn just $400 million ‒ an amount by no means indicative of investor panic.
Go watch Unlucky Plaza (M18) at all theatres
A Ken Kwek movie not to be missed
The story: Driven to the brink of bankruptcy, hard-working Filipino restaurant operator Hernandez Onassis (Epy Quizon) takes on a motley bunch of wayward Singaporeans — a sexy, scheming scam woman, an Ah Long with a gun, a weak-kneed pastor and a motivational speaker (Adrian Pang) up to his neck in debts. Onassis’ weapons of choice: Anger and a meat chopper, which he wields with alarming accuracy.
Well put together with slick cinematography and editing, Singaporean director Ken Kwek’s latest work is the most ambitious to date marrying topicality with mass-appeal cinema. And it is done with admirable even-handedness to all sides of the debate (on the subject of foreigners in Singapore). Moral finger-wagging is kept to a minimum. Once all characters get locked up into one room for the film’s hostage crisis climax, things get cooking – John Lui in The Straits Times
This is what Ken Kwek said of his leading man Epy Quizon:
“Everyone knows that Epy is the son of the legendary Dolphy. But I had the great pleasure of knowing Epy on his own terms, and as a friend. And then I had the privilege of seeing him perform in a work that required talent for both comedy and very hard-hitting drama. I believe Epy has a greater range than his father as an actor. I say this with no less open-mouth admiration for the great Dolphy.”
Watch out … here comes Epy and his chopper.
Not telling public who posted the above on Facebook, lest Goh Meng Seng or friends are upset with the post.
Uniquely S’porean. A S’porean film, directed by a local talent, starring a Pinoy who takes on a motley bunch of wayward Singaporeans — a sexy, scheming scam woman, an Ah Long with a gun, a weak-kneed pastor and a motivational speaker (Adrian Pang) up to his neck in debts
Couldn’t we have a S’porean hero thrashing crooked FTs trying to steal his lunch or his gal? Oh I forgot Pinoys already stealing our lunch, PRCs stealing our property and money, and Ang Mohs and Indians stealing our gals, and beating taxi uncles and the gals. And all have fake degrees.
But let’s face it, the S’poreans behind the film need to make money, and I’m sure they are hoping for audiences in PinoyLand given the Pinoy’s pedigree and the script of Pinoy boy roughing up S’poreans. And who can blame them? Going by the way TRE and TOC are living hand-to-mouth, there’s no money here from the masses for things S’porean.
Born in Penang, Malaysia, before being raised in Singapore …
The founder and design director of Singapore-based SCDA Architects, Mr Chan has over the past 20 years built up a business that today employs more than 100 architects and designers.
Its past projects around the world range from luxury hotel resorts in Bali and the Caribbean, the National Design Centre in Singapore, a shopping centre in Beijing, a government building in New Delhi, to private houses from France to Malaysia.
Not only that, he got six sons.
And less of Foreign Trash like Han Hui Hui and local trash like Roy Ngerng anf Amos Yee and Lionel de Souza.
Buy Klang Valley :
Klang Valley, in particular, is preferred because of the upcoming KVMRT and LRT lines, and potential KL-Singapore high-speed rail project, which will end at Bandar …
More importantly, the strong population growth potential in Greater KL and Klang Valley – a possible 40 per cent increase to 10 million by 2020 – offers more sustainable demand for properties, it added.
And Penang instead
Err both Oppo areas.
(Above courtesy of MayBank via CNA)
Sultan of Johor will not be happy. MayBank executives (esp analysts) should avoid JB. Neither will UMNO be happy even though most of Iskandar is in a DAP consituency (MP Lim Kit Siang: he and his son came down to see LKY when the DAP won Penang. Got kow tow meh?)
Caution advised on IskandarLand
The property oversupply situation in Iskandar Malaysia, Johor, is “likely to get worse before it gets better”, said Maybank Investment Bank’s research … report, with property values in an increasingly crowded development space possibly declining over the medium term.
In a research note … (Apr 14) urged investors to be cautious about the region, noting that property transactions and prices in Iskandar have been dropping.
The value of property transactions in Johor had fallen by 33 per cent quarter-on-quarter in the Q4 2014, underperforming the country (-7 per cent) and other major cities such as Kuala Lumpur (-12 per cent) and Penang (8 per cent).
Property prices in Johor were also weaker than that of other cities, with the House Price Index (HPI) contracting 1 per cent quarter-on-quarter. In contrast, property prices in the whole of Malaysia dropped 0.2 per cent …
Residential and commercial property transaction values plunged 42 per cent and 43 per cent on-quarter in the fourth quarter 2014, respectively, compared to the 4 per cent dip by industrial properties.
“The latest statistics reaffirm our view that industrial properties are a better investment choice in Iskandar due to the relocation of small medium enterprises (SMEs) from Singapore and its relatively limited supply as compared to residential and commercial properties,” …
OVERSUPPLY AN ISSUE
… Malaysian developers have scaled back their launches and shifted their product mix to avoid direct competition with Chinese developers, and have lowered sales expectations for their projects at Iskandar.
“Judging from the number of approved high-rise projects, the Iskandar property market could be hit by too much supply of high-rise mixed development projects if there is still no coordinated planning and control – this will induce price volatility,” Maybank analyst Wong Wei Sum …
“The oversupply situation will be exacerbated by the huge incoming supply in 2015/2016, where units under construction have risen 18 per cent year-on-year in 2012 and 2013, respectively.”
“AGGRESSIVE” LAND GRAB BY CHINESE DEVELOPERS
… raised concerns about “aggressive landbanking activities” by Chinese developers in the already-crowded Iskandar region.
“Without coordinated planning and control, this could aggravate the oversupply situation and induce price wars, especially in the high-rise mixed development segment.”
For instance, Shanghai-based Greenland Holdings Group recently expanded its foothold in the space with the acquisition of a 128-acre freehold land in the south of Bandar Baru Permas Jaya. This was after its first purchase of 14 acres of land in Danga Bay in 2014. The company is also looking to acquire about 1,200 to 1,400 acres of industrial land near the Tanjung Langsat Industrial Complex, according to Maybank.
“If this materialises, Greenland will emerge as one of the largest land owners in Iskandar with a total landbank of 1,342 acres and it would pose strong competition to the local developers,” the report said.
RECLAMATION PROJECT PRESENT “HIGH ELEMENT OF RISK”
… it is “cautious” over “massive land reclamation” in Iskandar.
Reclamation works spanning 3,425 acres for the Forest City project has been given the green light from the Development of Environment. The development will spread over a 30-year period, and will consist of four man-made islands reclaimed in four phases.
“The execution and planning of such reclamation projects is complex, especially Forest City, and carry elements of risk and uncertainty. Hence, developers’ financial positions are paramount; else we may see projects being abandoned or price wars initiated to clear inventories or reduce sales risks by the developers,” …
“More importantly, the failure of any of these projects could erode buyers’ confidence and perception on Iskandar.”
… it remains cautious on property exposure in Iskandar, instead preferring developers with exposure in the Klang Valley and Penang.
Last Saturday, a freesheet published a puff piece on why it’s good to live in Iskandar and commute, and why it’s a good investment. No mention was made of the huge hikes in the tax on driving to and fro.
A day or two later M’sia again hiked it’s vehicle entry fees: by $7.25 I think. We know what the policy here is don’t we? S’pore with match the increase.
Rumour is that M’sian federal govt hiked fees last year, to warn the sultan of Johor not to to seize executive power in the running of Johor.
Will we be seeing Iskandar property ads in the freesheet?
Manila’s PSE was the top performer – with a gain of 9.8% in Q1. Thailand wa the worst, the SET pulling ahead by 0.55%. STI managed 2.4% year-to-date.
The Phi;ippines grew at an annualised pace of 6.9 per cent in the final three months of the year, far ahead of the 6 per cent expected by most analysts. The quarter-on-quarter figure of 2.5 per cent was the highest in almost two decades, according to calculations from analysts at Barclays.
TRE reader’s take on PinoyLand and Pinoys could explain why they still not going home, but prefer to stay here or come here
Peenoys overestimate themselves just because the Spore Govt gave them jobs but are in fact is using them as cheap labor. They fail to see that they are being undercut. They get cocky and boastful and are a complete discredit to themselves and their country. And they are just talk and no substance.
Why come to Spore? Because Pinoylands is built on quicksand. If your are worth your salt then go back and contribute to building your slums into a decent habitat.
After all they can discriminate against S’poreans in S’pore
Alleged discrimination based on nationality continued to top the list of complaints received last year by the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP), with the banking and information technology sectors still the most problematic.
These cases made up half of about 300 complaints in total. However, TAFEP general manager Roslyn Ten said many stem from misunderstanding and not from genuine bias, and urged companies to improve communication with job seekers or existing employees by explaining why, for example, foreigners instead of Singaporeans were hired or promoted. (CNA)
Juz wondering if getting paid less than S’porean is a legit reason for discrimination? Juz asking.
Thailand’s aviation sector is under scrutiny after an international safety audit led to a ban on new flights to China, Japan and South Korea.
Last week the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) issued an alert flagging “concerns relating to air operator certification procedures”.
Last week the ICAO issued an alert which triggered increased physical inspections of aircraft operated by Thai airlines serving existing routes to countries such as Australia and Singapore, a regional air hub, as well as a ban on airlines expanding their services.
Fly SIA and associates. Don’t be cheap skate! Can die die if fly Thai. ))))
Update at 5.30am
From CNA on Thurday
The surveillance and ramp inspections of Thai carriers’ aircraft operations in the Republic have been stepped up, said the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) in a news release on Thursday (Apr 2).
Its statement came after the International Civil Aviation Organisation(ICAO) reported “significant safety concerns” in Thai carriers earlier in the year. The Thai government has since said it would urgently improve airline safety in the country.
CAAS added it has not imposed any restrictions on Thai airlines. This is unlike other countries like Japan, who blocked new flights from Thailand last week – a move which affected charter services by budget carriers such as Thai AirAsia X and NokScoot.
In the release, CAAS said it has in place a Foreign Operators Surveillance Programme (FOSP), under which foreign carriers are required to have an Operations Permit from CAAS to operate in Singapore.
The release said that CAAS evaluates an application for an Operations Permit “using a risk-based methodology”, which takes into consideration factors such as the safety oversight capability of the State of Operator, the operational capability of the carrier and the safety records of the aircraft.
“In assessing a foreign carrier’s operations, CAAS takes into consideration safety information from other aviation authorities including the outcomes of the inspections or audits they conduct,” it added.
“CAAS also conducts periodic ramp inspections on the foreign carrier’s aircraft when they are in Singapore; the frequency of which is dependent on CAAS’ assessment of the carrier.”
The regulator assured that any major deficiencies found in the ramp inspections have to be addressed by the carrier for it to continue operations in Singapore.
“Selangor is a key state in Malaysia,” said Mr Azmin, Chief Minister of Selangor. “We will try to emulate some of the policies implemented in Singapore. I will visit Singapore soon to learn how the Housing Development Board develops low-cost houses for the lower-income group. This is one agenda I will give priority to.” CNA
So they going to stop being corrupt?
The passing of Singapore’s founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew has prompted some young Malaysian politicians to take a hard look at the kind of leaders they want to be. CNA
Update at 7.20am:
Err maybe they can learn how to make the taxpayers pay them multi-million salaries while they bitch about low pay. Doubtless Grace Fu and Jos Teo can teach them?
Btw, interesting that Robert Kuok disagrees with the idea that ministers should be paid millions, and that pigs (he and LKY are pigs) are greedy by nature
M’sian and Cambodian among the 10 finalists that cied vied for the US$1m prize.
Guess that’s the reason why our media didn’t report it. But why didn’t the anti-PAP cybernuts report this huge failing of our world class education system? Err maybe they rely on our MSM for their news of world affairs?
The award has been created by the Varkey Foundation, the charitable arm of the GEMS education group, as a high-profile way of demonstrating the importance of teaching.
The attention-grabbing top prize is meant to show that teaching should be recognised as much as other high-paying careers, such as finance or sport …
Among those supporting the project have been Bill Gates, UK Prime Minister David Cameron, UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the vice-president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai.
The 10 finalists were:
Nancie Atwell, US
Guy Etienne, Haiti
Jacqueline Jumbe-Kahura, Kenya
Neang Phalla, Cambodia
Stephen Ritz, US
Azizullah Royesh, Afghanistan
Kiran Bir Sethi, India
Madenjit Singh, Malaysia
Richard Spencer, UK
Naomi Volain, US
Following complaints from Singaporeans about the inconsistent housing policies in Iskandar, Johor’s Chief Minister said that he makes policies “that look after the interest of Johor people”. He has the interests of his people above the interests of foreign investors he claims. But given that large sections of the Chinese population in Johor vote for the DAP, they don’t believe him.
Likewise, many S’poreans (self-included) doubts that PM and his PAP administration put the interests of S’poreans above that of FTs even though PM said in 20111 the intake of foreign workers contributed to the Republic’s 14.5% economic growth last year, and subsequently led to the budget surplus and Grow & Share package.
Around the time of the Spring Festival celebrations began, the Foreign Trashes managing SGX (president and head rechie are FTs, CEO is leaving) boasted that SGX was planning to attract Chinese cos here. Remember that in Asean, the Thai exchange raises more money than this global financial centre.
Well looks like the FTs still running SGX are hoping that S ‘poreans have forgotten that they lost money in S-chips.
Here’s a reminder that the Cina have not cleaned up their act. During the Spring Feitval hols, London-based directors of Naibu Global revealed they had suspended shares in the Aim-quoted Chinese sportswear maker because executives in China had refused to update them on the co’s finances. Err maybe now that the Spring Festival is over, they’ll contact the London directors. Somehow I doubt it.
This S’pore-based co was founded by Forrest Li, an American educated PTC. A foreign talent indeed.
Since starting in 2009, Garena has rapidly expanded into multiple product lines. It started off creating software that linked people up for multiplayer games, then ventured into game distribution.
In 2010, it launched a mobile social network called Garena+, and more recently unveiled a couple of chat apps (BeeTalk is one) and a payment network called AirPlay. It has even launched its own venture capital firm to invest in startups. Garena has invested in Redmart, an online supermarket in Singapore.
The company claims to have 17 million monthly active users on the PC and 11 million on mobile. Most of its users come from Southeast Asia, but it has expanded into Taiwan and Hong Kong as well. It made S$31 million (US$22 million) in revenue in 2012, growing three times from the year before, according to Garena’s financial documents. In 2014, its annual revenue reached US$200 million.
The company is said to have become the top games publisher in Southeast Asia after itreceived an investment from Chinese internet giant Tencent, which also gave Garena an exclusive license to distribute League of Legends in the region.
According to the Financial Times, the OTPP investment values the company at over US$2.5 billion. Garena wouldn’t confirm the valuation figure.
It has reecently raised a new round of funding, led by The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) with participation from existing investors.
In China, e-commerce sales make up more than 10 per cent of total retail sales, according to RHB, a Malaysia bank. That compares with only 1 per cent in the 10 countries of Asean, of which Indonesia is the largest, followed by Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia.
RHB says there are “no clear dominant regional [Asean] players at the moment” but that the market is “about to take off” given rapid growth in internet penetration and the adoption of mobile technology by young people among the 620m Asean population.
UBS, the Swiss bank, says that most internet traffic in Asean comes from mobile devices as the traditional PC has been circumvented by the arrival of 3G services.
Garena is among a new group of regional online gaming and e-commerce companies that have moved rapidly into Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Myanmar with mobile-based applications for gaming and messaging. They include OffGamers, Asiasoft and Nasdaq-listed MOL, a Malaysian group.
Internet-based retailers have also made inroads, including Lazada.com, which has said it aims to be the Amazon of Southeast Asia.
But this lack of Asian experience shows that the directors think that the main priorities for the bank are to shore up capital (rights issue coming) and mending ties with US regulators. He has great credentials for these tasks. Temasek seems to agree. it welcomed Mr. Winters, who “brings with him considerable experience, as well as an excellent reputation for building good teams.”
(*Btw, “inspired choice” is FT’s description)
Still the lack of Asian experience could become a major issue because there is expected to be an exodus of experienced managers. He may find replacements but changes will be disruptive if not problematic.
STANDARD CHARTERED OVERHAULS LEADERSHIP The British bank Standard Chartered responded on Thursday to shareholders’ calls for change, announcing a sweeping management overhaul including the departure of its chief executive, its chairman, the head of Asian markets and several directors, Jenny Anderson and Chad Bray write in DealBook. In a move that surprised many, it named William T. Winters, the 53-year-old former head of JPMorgan Chase’s investment bank ‒ who was once seen as a candidate to succeed Jamie Dimon ‒ to take the helm.
Mr. Winters, who will join the bank on May 1 and become chief executive in June, will succeed Peter Sands, one of the longest-serving chief executives in British finance. He will receive a base salary of 1.15 million pounds, or about $1.8 million, as well as a pension and other benefits. As the bank’s leader, Mr. Winters will not have it easy. The bank has been hurt in recent years by regulatory fines and investigations and by its focus on emerging markets. It has slashed thousands of jobs, closed its stock trading and underwriting unit and is looking to cut $400 million in costs. Impairments for bad loans, including in the mining sector, have soared.
But Mr. Winters, an American, appears up to the task. In a call with reporters, John W. Peace, the chairman, said that Mr. Winters had “great respect among regulators, clients and the market” and a solid understanding of the global regulatory environment. Temasek Holdings, which owns almost 18 percent of Standard Chartered, declined to comment on whether it had pressed for management changes. But it said that it welcomed Mr. Winters, who “brings with him considerable experience, as well as an excellent reputation for building good teams.”
Related article: http://blogs.reuters.com/breakingviews/2015/02/26/stanchart-board-clearout-is-only-the-first-step/
Funny people M’suan developers. They miss fears of a property glut in Iskandar http://business.asiaone.com/property/news/housing-glut-worries-over-johors-mega-projects saying that the Chinese from China (not S’pore) will buy the properties.
Well there is a very influential group of Malays in UMNO (the top dog in the ruling National Front) that has a problem with local Chinese. They’d freak out over an influx of real Chinese buyers living in Johor. They are likely to view such buyers as a fifth column for the Chinese enclave off Johor>
And for the developers to assume that the potential buyers are clueless about the racial tensions is an assumption too far.
The British bank HSBC is facing battles on multiple fronts. Already forced to apologize for helping clients hide their income from tax authorities, the bank also had to explain on Monday why its chief executive, Stuart Gulliver, went to lengths for years to hide his bonus, at least from his co-workers, Jenny Anderson writes in DealBook. On top of all that, HSBC, which generates much of its income from Asia, reported abysmal results for 2014, saying that its profit fell 15 percent, to $13.7 billion, compared with $16.2 billion in 2013.
The Guardian newspaper reported late Sunday that Mr. Gulliver held at least 5 million pounds, or $7.7 million, in a Swiss account through a Panamanian company until 2003. Mr. Gulliver said on Monday that the account was legal and that he had paid all the required taxes, but his maneuvers nevertheless compound a problem for the bank’s reputation, which is still dealing with the fallout from efforts by its Swiss private banking arm to help wealthy clients evade taxes, Ms. Anderson writes.
Mark Gilbert of Bloomberg View writes: “The cascade of recent revelations suggests HSBC still hasn’t learned its lesson and is more of a social menace than a social good. Mr. Gulliver’s personal tax arrangements may not be illegal, but they are surely ill-advised and inappropriate.” Unless Douglas Flint, HSBC’s chairman, “pulls off an Oscar-worthy performance at Wednesday’s parliamentary hearing, HSBC will only have itself to blame if the authorities decide the bank is too big to regulate and respond by seeking its dismemberment.”
Update on 26 Feb 2015 at 6.30 am
More than a tax problem : http://www.bbc.com/news/business-31590613
Major shareholders getting cranky: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-31618032
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.
Pay ministers millions for this type of economic management?
What do you think?
Don’t know about you, but I could smell the haze in the early morning. today. First time in February, though there vwere quite a number of days in January that I smelt it.
Smell disappears after the sun starts shines.
Indonesia it seems is still burning. Or is it the smoke from Parly? Plenty of smoke from both sides these last few days.
Below is an extract from a FT report in late January on the sterling performance of Pinoyland. And the low price of oil means that it’s likely to do better. So gd that “The Philippines’ economic resurgence, driven by domestic demand and economic reforms, has led to renewed interest from Singapore as well as Singapore-based companies,” said Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry Lim Hng Kiang. “As the Philippine economy continues to grow, demand for consumer goods and infrastructure development in sectors such as transportation and housing will rise in tandem.”* (CNA 4 th February)
Yet the Pinoy PMETs still prefer to come here. Tells us a lot doesn’t it?
The Philippines has defied regional trends by recording a pick-up in growth in the fourth quarter, as a bounce in government spending gave a fresh boost to one of Asia’s fastest-growing economies.
The Southeast Asian country grew at an annualised pace of 6.9 per cent in the final three months of the year, far ahead of the 6 per cent expected by most analysts. The quarter-on-quarter figure of 2.5 per cent was the highest in almost two decades, according …. Barclays.
A rebound in government spending was a key driver of the higher growth rate. Exports also proved strong, with manufacturing growing 10.7 per cent year on year, while the agricultural sector also performed above expectations.
The Philippines has been among the brightest economic stars in Asia since … 2010. Although the annual growth figure of 6.1 per cent is the lowest since 2011, the economy remains one of the fastest-growing in the world.
The acceleration in growth last quarter contrasts with a slowdown in many regional economies, including India, Indonesia and China.
Investors have given the Philippines a clear endorsement in both the bond and equity markets this year. The Manila index briefly rose above 7,700 points for the first time on Thursday, having clocked up a string of record highs in recent days.
This month the Philippines became the year’s first sovereign issuer in the US dollar bond market, selling $2bn of 30-year debt while paying a record low yield. Unlike Indonesia, all three major international rating agencies now regard the Philippines as investment-grade.
Investor demand has helped make the peso the best-performing currency in Asia in the past three months, during which time it has risen 1.5 per cent against the dollar. No other currency in the region has strengthened against the dollar over that period.
The Asian Development Bank expects the Philippine economy to grow 6.4 per cent this year, the highest in the region after China.
However, some analysts say lower oil prices and the unexpected uptick shown in the latest data suggest the economy may grow even faster.
Research from Capital Economics highlights the country as the world’s biggest beneficiary of the lower crude price.
“The outlook for the rest of the economy is promising. Consumer spending should remain strong on the back of falling oil prices, which will boost consumers’ purchasing power,” … Capital Economics
*More: Bilateral trade between the Philippines and Singapore hit S$15 billion last year – a 2-per cent increase from 2013. For the Philippines, Singapore is its fourth largest trading partner worldwide and top trading partner in ASEAN.
IE Singapore said there is great potential for Singapore companies to partner both the Philippine government and private sector, especially in developing infrastructure.
Under the Public-Private Partnership Programme introduced by the Philippine government in 2010, several projects have been successfully tendered by Singapore firms such as SMRT and MSI Global.
IE Singapore also said local firms are starting to explore opportunities beyond the capital city Manila into regions such as Cebu and Clark.
“Singapore at the moment is our second largest investor in investment projects. It’s also the third largest in terms of direct portfolio investments,” said Mr Guillermo Luchangco, the Philippine co-chair of the Philippines-Singapore Business Council. “We do have a very active investment incentive programme. Depending on the type of industry you bring in, it can get a lot of tax incentives and there is ease of bringing in people.”
The Philippines also has one of the highest household consumption expenditure in ASEAN, with a population of 96 million people. This offers considerable opportunities in consumer sectors, across the F&B, fashion and retail categories.
The CEOs of Llyods and HSBC UK are reported to be hot favourites according to Bloomberg http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-01-28/lloyds-hsbc-executives-seen-as-favored-for-stanchart-ceo-role. Both are Portuguese. And the latter is gayhttp://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/jan/18/hsbcs-antonio-simoes-says-being-gay-was-key-to-career-success .
Wespac’s CEO is also in the frame.
Another report says that our very own Gupta (FT turned new citizen) is also a possible candidate.
Given that StanChart is big in M’sia, Hk, India and Indonesia, and wants to be big in China, I somehow don’t think appointing a gay is on the cards
FT’s Lombard thinks that “ex-StanChart guy Alex Thursby” will get the nod.
Alex Thursby, who went on to run ANZ’s Asian businesses and is now the CEO of National Bank of Abu Dhabi. In his current role, he is trying to drive a bank that will become multinational by following trade within the emerging world – what he calls the West-East corridor. But when asked if this looks a lot like a StanChart model, he says: “I think this has similarities with the Standard Chartered of old. The Stanchart model has changed over the years since I was there, and whether it’s changed for better or worse is for others to make a judgment on.”
Thursby’s words are carefully chosen but he’s clearly referring to StanChart’s ventures into financial markets businesses that it used to leave to the pure-play investment banks. And it is notable that the financial markets business is the one that is causing the problems in the bank today; the warning today says that division is the “main challenge” facing the bank and that everything else is in line with expectations. The head of that business, Lenny Feder, is to take a 12 month sabbatical for personal reasons, the bank says, and will not return to that role afterwards.
The financial markets business in StanChart parlance includes some things that others might consider mainstream, like foreign exchange, but it also houses equities and commodities, among other things. Peter Sands, speaking about the reduced performance, said today that the business was being hit by falling volumes in rates, squeezed margins, regulatory changes, and the fact that less business is done in a low-rate environment.
None of which would have had much impact on the Standard Chartered model of old. Which raises a further question: perhaps this most storied and reliable of institutions should get back to doing what it’s good at. It might be boring. But it works.
It jus shuttered its cash equity biz, if you must know.
As the charts below show, real interest rates here are still +ve (juz), and deflation is a’coming. Retirees should love a bit of deflation. But if got mortgage https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/12/16/why-oil-price-falls-bad-for-mortgagees/
The Sunday Telegraph reported that Temasek and Aberdeen (between them they hold 30% of StanChart) had told chairman Sir John Peace that he must find a replacement for Mr Sands within months or stand down himself.
FT reports the bank is looking to replace Peter Sands this year and has hired a headhunter to look for a successor ASAP. It says that Temasek and Aberdeen hold him responsible for not responding fast enough to a reversal of StanChart’s fortunes.
After all neither the PRC developers nor their M’sian partners have good reputations for reliability. And then there is the issue of escalating tolls. I heard an interesting story that M’sia raised its tolls (which led S’pore to follow) because the federal govt wanted to send a message to the sultan of Johor to behave. Remember the row when there was an attempt to extend his executive powers? There was a plan to allow him personally senior officials of a Johor state agency invvolved in land development.
The latest is on the east side of Causeway http://business.asiaone.com/news/new-jb-waterfront-city-facing-spore
Here’s a good ST graphic of the various projects
All built on sand: an interesting take on the importance of sand http://www.harvarddesignmagazine.org/issues/39/built-on-sand-singapore-and-the-new-state-of-risk
Malaysia … have to cope with lower tax revenue from energy, minerals and other commodities. In Thailand, the central bank is hoping for a lift in public spending to revive growth; but the military-backed government is finding it hard to spend the 2015 budget.
Thailand will need monetary stimulus this year.
Relatively young countries like Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines drag down the average age.
[T]he private sector in Asia-Pacific now owes 1.5 times the region’s combined annual output, according to the Bank for International Settlements. As a big chunk of the borrowing is in the opaque shadow banking system, particularly in China, the debt could be even larger. Either way, servicing the loans requires incomes to increase quickly. Yet, real GDP growth is slowing almost everywhere in the region.
The threat of slowly rising consumer prices slipping into outright deflation is making things worse. Producer prices are sliding across Asia-Pacific. Falling energy costs provide a convenient excuse for margin-starved employers to skimp on pay hikes, just as they did in the late 1980s. That makes the situation harder for borrowers in Malaysia, Korea, Thailand and Singapore, all of which have high household leverage. Persistent lowflation will leave borrowers with higher debt burdens than they expected.
Demographics aren’t helping. Japan, China, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand are ageing rapidly.
Homeless people who attended a government-run event in Malaysia were given household appliances as gifts, it’s reported.
Munirah Abdul Hamid, founder of the Pertiwi Soup Kitchen in Kuala Lumpur, …”Some of them came up to me and asked if I would like to buy the appliances as money would have been more valuable to them,” she says, adding that food or clothing would have made better gifts. The federal territories minister, Tengku Adnan, concedes the event wasn’t perfect, describing it as a “trial-and-error experience”, and doesn’t mind if people sell the gifts for money. “They can do as they please,” he says. “Next year, we will improve and give something else to the homeless.”
(Panama sounds interesting)
And given the strong S$ and the value of property here*, we S’poreans got options to move on and yet remain nearby. Yet people like Goh Meng Seng and Andrew Loh die die want S’poreans to live and die here. They should let S’poreans decide, not insist that real s’poreans sgould stay home.
*Surely the PAP administration has shumething to do with these?
(Or “Pinoy Pride at work: OK for Pinoys to threaten, insult S’poreans but not vice versa)
The Filipino embassy told a Filipino nurse to be “extra careful with his social media usage”*, days after the nurse, Edz Ello, made some insulting and threatening comments about S’porean on social media. He has alleged that he did not post the comments, alleging that he was hacked.
An intelligent TRE poster (glad to see more of them posting: too many fools talking cock posting rubbish) pointed out the difference between the official Pinoy response and the official Chinese response when a PRC juz flamed S’poreans:
Sunny Day: During dog incident, one of PRC embassy staff Madam Zhou gave stern rebuke to Sun Xu, had asked him to apologize to Singaporeans, NUS, his teachers and friends and everybody. So contrary to Pinoy govt response. You can be sure that Filipino govt soft action means they don’t disagree with ezo ello totally.
I’d add that China is a regional power and is seen by the US as threatening its regional and global hegemony; yet its officials knows how to behave towards a host country. So unlike the Pinoy officals here, whose country has to run crying and grovelling to the US whenever the Pinoy govt threaten China and get kicked in the face by China for their threats against China. And they still wanted in 2012 Chinese tourists to come gamble in Manila? Btw, Chinese said the country is not safe.
What accounts for the arrogance of the diplomats and Ello here? They think they own the place juz because they think the first “P” in the “PAP” stands for “Pinoy”?
Whatever it is, we know where people like Ello get their inspiration: their diplomata, who refuse to condemn threatening and insulting behaviour when made by Pinoys but are quick to KPKB about“the few Singaporeans” who have lashed out, and condemned the blog that suggested abusing Filipinos.
“I think it was unfair and racist and discriminatory,” he said, adding that the blogger had still not been identified.
(My take on the interview https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/01/01/pinoy-tua-kee-gives-the-finger-to-govt-meng-seng-2/)
Well shouldn’t he condemn the language used in Ello’s Facebook (even if Ello alleged it wasn’t him), by saying that guests must respect their hosts? Instead the embassy merely tells Ello to be “extra careful with his social media usage”: this could simply mean “keep yr threats and insults about S’poreans among the Pinoy community”?
Maybe the diplomats are like this
We Filipinos are famous for being onion-skinned or easily slighted at perceived insults. While it’s perfectly normal for us to taunt and criticize others, we can’t handle the same when it’s being hurled back at us. Incidents showcasing our extra-sensitivity to insults usually involve a foreigner making either a bonafide racist remark or a humorous jab at us Filipinos. True to form, our reactions would range from righteous indignation to excessive grandstanding. While it is alright to feel incensed, throwing a fit in front of the world would inevitably do us no good at all.
*The Philippine embassy in Singapore has told a Filipino nurse to be “extra careful with his social media usage”, days after disparaging remarks about Singaporeans appeared on his Facebook account, which he said was hacked.
The Facebook post called Singaporeans “loosers” (losers) and expressed hope that “disators (disasters) will strike Singapore”. The Tan Tock Seng Hospital nurse has reported to the police that his account was hacked.
The Philippine embassy added that it has reiterated its previous advisories on the use of social media.
“Since the matter is under police investigation, the embassy advised the person concerned to cooperate fully with the SPF (Singapore Police Force).”
Tan Tock Seng Hospital has said it is working with the police on the investigation.
Double standards of the Pinoy leader in S’pore?
The Philippines ambassador to Singapore, Antonio A Morales … expressed concern about “the few Singaporeans” who have lashed out, and condemned the blog that suggested abusing Filipinos.
“I think it was unfair and racist and discriminatory,” he said, adding that the blogger had still not been identified.
(My take on the interview https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/01/01/pinoy-tua-kee-gives-the-finger-to-govt-meng-seng-2/)
Well, how about the ambasador expressing concern and condemning the fact that Pinoy Ello Ello wants to drive out S’poreans from S’pore and replace them with Pinoys? Or at least since Ello Ello is alleging he was hacked, to remind Pinoys here that they are guests here, not the governing master race, and behave appropriately. The fuuny thing is that in their home country, the American military are the governing master race: their dollars talk.
But let’s not be too unkind to the Pinoy leader here, when we have someone like William Wan:
Given the PAP administration love of FTs, one wonders why he never was made NMP. Maybe PAP found his love of FTs over S’poreans a tad too much with an election pending?
When S’poreans complained to Tan Tock Seng Hospital that a Pinoy radiologist there had ranted about S’poreans on his Facebook page, the hospital reported on Facebook, “Dear all, the staff concerned is one of our nurses. He has reported to the police that his Facebook account has been hacked. We are cooperating with the police on the investigation. Thank you for the alerts and concern.”
Three points about the alleged hacking:
— So easy to hack Facebook meh? My understanding is that Facebook’s defences against hacking are pretty robust and only sophisticated hackers could do such a hacking.
— So why would a sophisticated hacker waste his or her time on an unknown Pinoy FT? Making it seem as though he was insulting S’poreans?
— Seems that anti-S’porean comments have been posted on the now “hacked” FB page in the past. You mean Ello the Pinoy never reads his own FB page? So page has been “hacked” and Ello only juz realised it. He is as clueless as a certain drum-major* from Cathoic High, whose band is alleged to have ignored him because they knew he was wrong, not them?
Seems to me that Ello the Pinoy would be more believable if he had claimed, “Not my page. I’m being fixed.”
Seems to me the Pinoy ambassador who talks provocatively of Filipinos … moving into more sectors of employment at a time when there is mounting concerned that FTs are favoured over locals in the job market has a lot to answer for: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/01/01/pinoy-tua-kee-gives-the-finger-to-govt-meng-seng-2/
Pinoys will undoubtedly play the victim, citing fear. Let me remind these professional victims and theit allies like Kirsten Han: there are no goons with guns here. That is the Pinoy way, not the S’porean way.
An Indian FT loves PinoyLand. Why doesn’t he relocate to Manila instead of living here? Maybe no goons with guns here, no traffic jams?
Where can investors hide if emerging markets get into trouble?
In Asia, the country that comes closest to a sanctuary is the Philippines. Growth is rapid, and government finances are in much better shape than before. In a 2015 beauty pageant, the Philippines might lose out to some larger economies which could reap a reform-led bounty. Still, India and Indonesia are risky bets, while South Korea is flirting with deflation.
But he has a point: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/01/03/three-asean-mkts-in-top-10-performing-mkts-of-2014/
More on why emerging markets can get into trouble in 2015
Emerging markets follow the biblical rule of seven lean years followed by seven rich ones, according to Harvard University economist Jeffrey Frankel. Every fifteen years, a crisis erupts.
By that measure, a rout is almost due. Developing economies have seen six years of brisk credit growth, fuelled by cheap global money. Private and public debt has ballooned. Since the end of 2007, the surge has been 90 percent of GDP in China, 30 percent in Brazil, and 40 percent in the Czech Republic.
These types of excesses typically stop abruptly. Seven years of frenzied petrodollar recycling in Latin America ended with a debt debacle in 1982. A seven-year boom preceded the 1997 Asian crisis. The trigger for the next rout could be an uncontrolled rise in U.S. bond yields, leading to an exodus of capital from developing nations.
The Pinoys should go home if they really are proud of their country. Maybe coups are gd for the stock market (Egypt, Thailand)
Remember earlier this yr, when GMS, Gilbert Goh and various anti-PAP paper warriors were proclaiming victory when the Pinoys called off their “trespass” (taz how GMS spun a Pinoy plan to hold a party at a public space in Orchard Rd)?
They were cock-a-hoop, trumpeting their “victory”. Pinoy pride was badly hurt.
Very recently, the Philippines’ ambassador to Singapore Antonio A Morales says that Filipinos are moving into more sectors of employment
The estimated number of Filipinos working in Singapore tripled in the past decade to about 167,000 as of 2013, according to Philippines census data.
Filipinos are willing to take on jobs for lower salaries, with working conditions unacceptable to Singaporeans.
The trend has made Filipinos “easier to exploit”, disadvantaging both them and Singaporeans, said migrant rights activist Jolovan Wham.
And this at a time when the PAP adminitrastion is saying that it,s tightening FT employment rules. If so how come Pinoys are are moving into more sectors of employment
So it seems the Pinoy colomisation of S’pore continues despite what the PAP administration and Meng Seng says.
What do you think?
Btw here’s more about the PAP administration love of FTs, and Pinoys sliming us. I wrote this in July 2014 but decided not to publish it as I didn’t want to come across as anti-Pinoy (I like being served by Pinoy service staff), nor did I want to be associated a man who helped ensure the PAP’s preferred candidate won the presidential election (I had no issues with the Pinoys partying at Orchard Rd if they could meet the requirements).
But since the ambassador is raising the temperature with his comments (the embassy has form in this respect), I’ll add my my two-pence worth on the issue of Pinoys sliming us and the PAP’s administration love of FTs.
Pinoys vilify us
The education minister said last week [week before 26 July] it is important to go beyond understanding the “main races”.in embracing diversity.
“Singapore has thrived because of our openness to international trade flow, knowledge and cultures, all of which have brought us opportunities and progress. As Singapore moves towards a more diverse landscape, it is important that we continue to embrace diversity,” said Mr Heng.
“We also need to go beyond understanding the main races to respecting all people regardless of race, language or religion, who live and work in Singapore – for the happiness, prosperity and progress of our nation.”
Given that there are about 200,000 Pinoys working here, the largest group outside the “main races”, one can only assume, he is trying to tell us to be nice to the Pinoys.
No wonder there are Pinoys who think that the PAP stands for “Pinoy Action Party”.
It’s the Pinoys in PinoyLand who should learn to understand S’poreans.
Two recent examples of Pinoys defaming us.
Singaporean officials* has assured the Philippines their government is taking steps to address the hate campaign on Filipinos working there.
The assurance was made by the Singapore delegation who participated in Informal Consultations on the Philippines-Singapore Action Plan (PSAP).
Hate campaign against Pinoys meh?
So how come they were laughing and chatting away last week-end at Lucky Plaza. And Goh Meng Seng is still in HK, and quiet? Juz like Gilbert Goh. Surely if there is a hate campaign, these two men would be shouting themselves hoarse?
What more Pinoys in PinoyLand want? An excuse to burn our flag in PinoyLand and then give us two fingers? They not happy no get visas to come here to earn money and live in a place without fearing goons with guns. Are they being stirred by Pinoys here unhappy that what they tot were the Pinoy Action Party, Pinoy Minister, Pinoy Minister’s Office and Pinoy Police Force they make sure that Pinoys could party in a busy shopping area on a Saturday afternoon. https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/07/04/pinoys-still-ng-kum-guan-about-8-june-fiasco/
And this vilification of us is only the latest. A few weeks ago, former ambassador Roy Seneres said the OFW Family party-list will file a protest with the International Labor Organization for violations of relevant ILO conventions relative to the right of workers to decent work and to be treated as human beings not as slaves and/or chattels.
Seneres, founder of the party-list, was reacting to reports that Filipino service workers in Singapore are being put on display in malls in the city-state to attract prospective employers.
Singapore must come out with a clear-cut statement that they have stopped the despicable practice or else the OFW Family party-List will file a protest with the [ILO]” on the matter.
He obviously doesn’t read the newspapers or if he does, doesn’t trust what a S’pore-based diplomat said, or the S’pore govt.
This report appeared a day earlier in the same newpaper.
The Singaporean Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said a Filipino diplomat in Singapore cast doubt on an online news report that Filipina household workers were being displayed for sale at some of the city-state’s malls.
In a statement, MOM responded “to recent Filipino media reports, based on an online Al Jazeera story, about the treatment of Filipino foreign domestic workers (FDWs) while they are placed with employment agencies (EAs) in Singapore.”
The statement said “we note that when contacted by The Straits Times, the Filipino labor attaché in Singapore, Mr. Vicente Cabe, was quoted as saying that based on his observations, the online article ‘doesn’t seem to have basis’ and that while he saw some FDWs sitting on one side of a room at some agencies, waiting to be interviewed by clients, “ . . . it seems a bit exaggerated to say that there is anything wrong with that.”
The MOM said it visited the EAs in the two shopping centers concerned and did not find any inappropriate “displays of FDWs.”
Its statement added that “the Al Jazeera story also mentioned that some FDWs could be seen demonstrating household or care giving chores within the premises of EAs. As some EAs have training facilities in the same premises as their front offices, it is not unreasonable for FWDs to be performing such chores at the EA’s premises.”
Furthermore, “the same story also suggested that some FDWs were not treated well while in their EA’s care. MOM’s rules are clear that EAs have to ensure the well-being of FDWs in their case.”
The ministry said “inappropriate display of FDWs” at EAs’ premises or advertising them as being “available for hire at cheap or discounted prices” are unacceptable practices. MOM requires EAs to be responsible and accord basic respect in their practices to both their clients—the employer and the FDW—and expects them to exercise sensitivity when marketing their fees or services.”
Btw, S’poreans don’t go round decribing mixed-parentage S’poreans as mongrels. Pinoys call mixed race Pinoys “mongrels”.
Juz go home pls: Bank president Jim Yong Kim has described the Philippines as the next “Asian miracle” and a global model in fighting corruption, as it emerges from decades as a regional economic laggard.
Related post: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/05/31/event-planning-pinoy-style/
*I pass no comment on whether our officials agreed there was a hate campaign. I sincerely hope that our officials will always defend S’pore and S’poreans against such comments.
Golfing while his country is flooding: PM Najib was criticised as photos emerged of him playing golf with President Obama on Christmas Eve.
Our PM and Najib are sons of PMs who are highly regarded as effective, strong leaders. But, they bit like this guy? The grandson of another effective, strong leader?
The Pinoys got it right when exporting. it exports people, not exhaustible resources. For full-year 2014, total remittances are likely to hit a record-high USD 23bn. – See more at: http://sbr.com.sg/economy/asia/philippines%E2%80%99-overseas-foreign-workers%E2%80%99-remittances-reach-79#sthash.bKDMWDaQ.dpuf
Getting cheaper by the day: both prices and M$*.
Soon Fandi will beable to afford to retire in M’sia. But he might find the tolls too expensive: S$13.10 to JB and S$12.40 at Tuas, and another S$7.70 (M$20) from next yr according to M’sian govt.
*Updated at 5.45pm
The Singapore dollar continued to weaken against the US dollar on Friday (Dec 19). While currency strategists are anticipating the downward trend to continue – with the US Federal Reserve expected to hike interest rates – they also see the Singapore dollar maintaining a strong position against some of its regional counterparts.
The US economy is showing strong signs of recovery as indicators like growth and jobs continue to gather momentum – that is helping to drive up the greenback as the US Federal Reserve tightens its monetary policy.
The Singapore dollar has been on a steady downward slide in recent months and currency strategists expect it to end the year fairly stable at around S$1.31.
Mr Khoon Goh, a senior FX strategist with ANZ, said: “For the Singapore dollar, we are expecting it to be fairly stable going into the year-end. Based on current levels, it will probably end at around the S$1.31 level. Heading into the next year, we are expecting a further depreciation of the Singapore dollar. We are forecasting a year-end 2015 target of 1.33.
“This is a fairly modest depreciation against the US dollar, and that is partly because we expect the Monetary Authority of Singapore to continue to maintain its policy of a modest and gradual appreciation of the SGD NEER basket. Against other regional currencies, however, I think that is where the SGD is set to outperform.”
Against regional currencies, the Singapore dollar has hit historical highs against the Malaysian ringgit and Indonesian rupiah. It has also gained ground on the yen due to monetary easing by the Bank of Japan.
“In that sense, the Singapore dollar has held up quite well against these currencies, but the Singapore dollar has also underperformed against the likes of the Thai baht, Philippine peso and Chinese currency,” said Mr Sim Moh Siong, director and FX strategist at the Bank of Singapore.
“The ‘middle of the pack’ ranking will likely stick as we head into next year. If you look at the Singapore dollar relative to its basket, it has been pretty stable, even amidst the emerging market turbulence led by the big drop in the Russian rouble and oil price decline,” he added.
Amid current volatility linked to oil price declines, the Singapore dollar has been relatively stable compared to currencies of oil exporting economies. With its strong fundamentals, it is being seen as a safe haven among regional and emerging market currencies. Therefore, market watchers said that it remains attractive to investors in times of financial market uncertainty.
In November this yr, mgr was quoted as saying the fund was looking expensive.
Remember a “PAP is always right” man KPKBing when StanChart was charged that the reulator was a “rogue regulator”. StanChart then made the dean of LKY School look dumb, really dumb, by pleading guiltyy
Double confirm that StanChart is a rogue bank and the PAP apologist is a fool because now: The management of Standard Chartered is facing renewed pressure after being placed under fresh scrutiny by US regulators.
Two years after being fined more than £400m for breaching US sanctions towards Iran, the bank revealed that a two-year deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) that was imposed at the time was being extended for three years.
The US authorities are now investigating whether Standard Chartered breached its sanctions rules beyond 2007, the period when the previous offences for which the bank was penalised took place.
Looks like Santa didn’t bring Ho a nice Christmas present, giving her a turd instead. Juz look at share price chart from FT. [Chart added at 11.30 am]
Unlike me, a friend’s friend has done his research on retiring in M’sia. Renting a place is the biggest expense (like me he doesn’t believe in buying in M’sia*) and the cheapest place to rent in a near-to-S’pore urban environment is Malacca or Penang.
This is because S’poreans who invested in apartments there have serious problems renting them out. They forgot that land is plentiful even in Malacca and Penang.
So do yr fellow S’poreans and yrself a favour, go retire in Penang or Malacca. And there is the added advantage of easy access to first-world medical treatment at M’sian prices.
Btw, he calculates that a couple can live in Penang or Malacca very comfortably at S$2,500 a month. To retire to Cameron Highlands (my fav) is more expensive (S$3,500). Rent is expensive there as development is controlled.
Singapore took a tumble on the list of 50 Most Inspiring Cities in the World, down from number two last year to number 21 this year.
The GOOD City Index describe itself as a celebration of the 50 cities around the world that best capture the elusive quality of possibility.
The index looked at eight areas; hub for progress, civic engagement, street life, defining moment, connectivity, green life, diversity, and work/life balance.
Hong Kong took the top spot on the list this year, climbing up from the 24th position last year.
Other regonal cities on the top 50 list include Delhi, Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai, Seoul, Shanghai, Taipei, and Tokyo.
*latest example of capriciousness of M’sia’s rulers: the Malacca state govt is planning to seize property that the Portuguese, Dutch and British handed out.
Below is a piece from a broker on smaller cap O&M plays.. My view is don’t play, play. Buy two of Temasek’s Fab 5 and ride the upswing and sleep peacefully if oil prices remain low for a long time.
according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Sembcorp Marine Ltd. (SMM), the world’s second-biggest oil-rig maker, is down 29 percent this year, the index’s worst-performing stock.
Keppel Corp. Ltd. (KEP), which earned 69 percent of its revenues from the offshore and marine sectors in the quarter through September, is down 20 percent, the third-worst performer.
Many of the stocks in report posted by a friend on Facebook cannot survive prolonged period of oil at present levels.
OFFSHORE & MARINE (OVERWEIGHT)
Could Yesterday Be Capitulation?
Singapore oil and gas (O&G) stocks dropped 5-16% yesterday when Brent crude
fell 2% intra-day to USD67.50/bbl. A capitulation? We see at worst a 10-15%
short-term oil price downside from here before bumping up against marginal
deepwater costs, which form the oil price floor from a fundamental
perspective. The market’s fear is palpable, creating a positive environment
for mid-term returns for investors who can ride out the volatility.
What’s the downside? Today, global oil production stands at c.92m
barrels/day, c.70% onshore, c.20% shallow water and c.10% deepwater. Oil
demand is still growing 1.5% annually, while US shale supply has exceeded
forecasts. To maintain this production level to meet demand, deepwater
sources with marginal costs at USD40-80/barrel (bbl) must remain
profitable. Using the range’s mid-point, prices could go 10-15% lower in
the short term before a physical supply crunch. Oil traders know this and
will likely not extend shorts beyond USD60/bbl.
The oil market is heavily-speculated, too. Investors tend to forget that
the oil market is a human one too, prone to overreaction to peaks and lows.
Oil-related stocks now appear to be swinging in response to oil traders’
moves, which completely ignore company fundamentals.
What is made can be unmade. Cheerful media articles are now talking about
oil going to the USD36/bbl range (financial crisis low) or the USD12/bbl
range (in the 1980s when Saudi Arabia last defended market share). They
ignore the fact that the financial crisis low was caused by a global credit
crunch, forcing traders to take liquidity out from any source. The 1980s
environment was that of a global recession when oil demand fell 10%
cumulatively and when 90% of the oil was produced onshore. Such conditions
do not exist today. The recent price fall was more or less engineered by
the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) decision to
maintain production, which takes a simple production cut to undo.
Our Top Picks at USD70/bbl oil. Oil prices at this level will hit
ultra-deepwater hard, but shallow-water fields (at USD25-50/bbl) remain
strongly profitable and production-related work are unlikely to be
significantly affected. We continue to like selected Singapore O&G stocks
that entered this correction with starting valuations already low, which
have since become 35% lower. Our Top Picks are Giken Sakata (GSS SP, BUY,
TP: SGD0.65), Ezion (EZI SP, BUY, TP: SGD2.65), Nam Cheong (NCL SP, BUY,
TP: SGD0.61), Pacific Radiance (PACRA SP, BUY, TP: SGD1.55) and Marco Polo
Marine (MPM SP, BUY, TP: SGD0.60). They have strong 12-month earnings
growth and low valuations, unique industry positions and a focus on
shallow-water operations that can lead to a strong re-rating when the
market stabilises. We are negative on Vard (VARD SP, SELL, TP: SGD0.57) and
PACC Offshore Services (POSH SP, NR) for their deepwater exposure.
And watch out.
Swiber and Ezra Holdings Ltd. are scheduled to repay S$720 million ($552 million) of notes within the next two years, or three-quarters of the borrowers’ market value, after funding expansion.
Swiber, with a market value of about $150 million, has raised the equivalent of $289 million in four bond sales this year, three in Singapore dollars and one in offshore yuan. The October 2016 notes issued at par in April traded at 92.99 cents Nov. 27, while the June 2016 bonds sold in May were at 94.65.
Swiber had negative operating cash flow of $5.3 million in the quarter through September, according to its latest results, and total bonds and loans climbed to $1.23 billion at Sept. 30 from $837.7 million at the end of 2013.
“The company is aware of current market concerns surrounding the oilfield services sector as a result of the recent weakness in oil prices,” a Swiber spokesman said in an e-mailed statement. “Swiber has developed good longstanding and supportive relationships with its banks, and is confident of its ability to meet existing debt obligations when these come due.”
Ezra Holdings’ total liabilities were $2.2 billion at the end of August, a 22 percent leap from a year earlier. Its 2016 bonds issued in March dropped more than two cents in as many months, Bloomberg compiled prices show.
Oil’s correction should be temporary as a lack of substitutes will ensure strong demand, said Eugene Cheng Chee Mun, chief financial officer of Ezra Holdings.
“We are proactively looking at refinancing options,” said Cheng Chee Mun. The company is at the peak of the capital expenditure cycle and should start increasing free cash flow next year and hence start to deleverage, he said.
Backgrounder from NYT’s DealBook dated Monday
Oil prices have come under pressure as global output of crude oil exceeded demand this year. In particular, domestic oil production has soared more 70 percent over the last six years, to roughly nine million barrels a day. The country is still a net importer, but with production growing by more than a million barrels a day every year, it is importing less and less almost every month. Imports from OPEC producers have been cut by more than a half in recent years, forcing increasing competition among Saudi Arabia and other exporting countries seeking to replace the American market with Chinese and other Asian markets. The tumbling price in oil has produced economic hardship and potential political problems for OPEC producers like Venezuela and Iran.
How low can oil prices go? Tony Roth, chief investment officer at Wilmington Trust, told Reuters, “Crude seems to have no floor right now, and we could easily see the price drop into the low $60s.” Ed Morse, global head of commodities research at Citigroup, told The Wall Street Journal, “There’s lower prices ahead.” On Monday morning, benchmark futures in New York and London slumped as much as 3.7 percent, before making up some of those losses. “It’s clear that a production war is on and it will be survival of the fittest,” Phil Flynn, a senior market analyst at the Price Futures Group in Chicago, said in an email to Bloomberg News.
The second biggest shareholder in Standard Chartered (after Temasek with around 27%) is standing by the embattled Asia-focused bank, continuing to buy the stock and insisting that nothing is “fundamentally wrong” with the company.
Martin Gilbert, chief executive of Aberdeen Asset Management PLC, said that funds run by his company have been “buyers of the stock in a fairly modest way,” despite a series of profit warnings that have sent Standard Chartered’s share price down 33% this year.
“We do not think there is anything fundamentally wrong with the bank,” said Mr. Gilbert, during a call to discuss Aberdeen’s results. He said that revenue growth had slowed but added that he would prefer the bank’s existing management team, headed by chief executive Peter Sands, to “sort it out” rather than looking for a replacement: “They have to really get on with it, I would say, and have a look at the costs.”
Aberdeen owns 7% of the bank, according to Factset, and, as of Oct. 31 2014, that had not changed since last year. Some Aberdeen funds have “topped up” their positions this month however, according to an Aberdeen spokesman.
The value of Standard Chartered shares held by the emerging markets-focused fund manager slid from a peak of $5.1 billion in February last year to $2.6 billion in October, according to Factset data. Part of that was due to an 8% reduction in the size of Aberdeen’s stake at the end of last year, but most was due to the bank’s falling share price.
Temasek is one of the shareholders pressing for a change of mgt, other reports claim.
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.
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.
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.
OK it’s Thailand but given the performance of ex-genewrals like BG Yeo, NOL’s CEO and SMRT’s CEO (still can’t fix security issues, let alone get the trains to run on time), if SAF stages a coup after a freak election, we’ll be like Thailand in no time..
Six months after the military coup in Thailand
The latest GDP figures have eked out small increases, leading the government’s economic forecasting agency to predict growth of just 1% this year.
Worryingly, since the coup, tourist numbers have fallen by 20% as travel warnings issued by governments have deterred some visitors.