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HSBC Boosts Mortgage Rates for the first time in 18 months as Hong Kong Cools Property Market

HSBC Boosts Mortgage Rates as Hong Kong Cools Property Market

HSBC Holdings Plc (5) increased Hong Kong mortgage rates for the first time in 18 months after the city’s banking regulator tightened risk rules on concern a property bubble may undermine financial stability.

Home loans priced at the best lending rate will rise to a range of 2.85 percent to 3.15 percent, from 2.6 percent to 2.9 percent, starting tomorrow, according to an e-mailed statement from the bank. The increase is the first since September 2011, Yvonne Chuang, a Hong Kong-based spokeswoman for the second- largest mortgage lender in the city, said by telephone.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority on Feb. 22 told banks to set the risk weighting for new residential mortgages at 15 percent or more, to ensure lenders’ capital cushions are deep enough. Standard Chartered Plc last week said the measure will increase its home loan funding cost by a range of 20 basis points to 25 basis points, indicating banks may need to boost mortgage rates.

Since taking office in July, Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has added property taxes, favored local permanent residents over foreigners, tightened mortgage rules and increased supply after home prices doubled in the past four years.

HSBC ranked second in the city’s home loan market last month with a 17 percent share, while Standard Chartered was in fourth position with 13 percent, according to Hong Kong-based mReferral Mortgage Brokerage Services. Read more of this post

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Too many drug types are compromising heart health; About 80 million Americans suffer from heart disease, the nation’s No. 1 killer, and most are on multiple drugs

Too many drug types are compromising heart health: doctors

3:53am EDT

By Debra Sherman

(Reuters) – About 80 million Americans suffer from heart disease, the nation’s No. 1 killer, and most are on multiple drugs.

Some cardiologists think prescribing has gotten out of hand.

The criticism was voiced by a number of leading heart doctors who attended the annual scientific sessions of the American College of Cardiology, held on March 9-11 in San Francisco. They said eliminating certain drugs could potentially improve care without compromising treatment. Evidence is growing that some medications are not effective.

Patients who need multiple daily doses of a given drug often fail to take them, said Dr. Steven Nissen, head of cardiology at the Cleveland Clinic and a past president of the ACC. “There is also the question about whether the benefits are additive.” Read more of this post

Panda tea: one of the world’s most expensive; A kilogram of the tea goes for an average of US$70,000

Panda tea: one of the world’s most expensive

Staff Reporter

2013-03-13

Mengdingshan, a mountain in southwest China’s Sichuan province, boldly claims to be the origin of the world’s tea culture. The mountain’s excellent environment has produced teas of the highest quality, sipped by the country’s emperors (and now presidents) since the Tang Dynasty. Panda tea, a kind of tea that grow on soil fertilized with panda dung, is one of the world’s most expensive tea leaves. A kilogram of the tea goes for an average of 440,000 yuan (US$70,000), reports state-run news agency Xinhua.

C309N0160H_2013資料照片_N71_copy1Children harvest tea leaves in panda costumes in Mengdingshan, Sichuan province. (Photo/CNS)

Check Out the Numbers on China’s Top 10 Social Media Sites (Infographic)

Check Out the Numbers on China’s Top 10 Social Media Sites (Infographic)

Mar 13, 2013 at 16:45 PM by Steven Millward, in Social MediaWeb

With an estimated 597 million people active on social media in China, the country’s top 10 sites actually have a staggering 3.2 billion individual accounts. Armed with the newest user numbers for these Chinese sites, the team at Go Globe has made a good-looking infographic showing how they all stand at present.

Along with those numbers, the data also shows that the largest section of China’s social media users – a full 30 percent – are aged 26 to 30. The perfect target for advertisers. As a whole, 91 percent of Chinese netizens have social accounts, which is way above the 67 percent in the US. Read more of this post

East India Company: The Original Too-Big-to-Fail Firm

East India Company: The Original Too-Big-to-Fail Firm

For an institution that has been defunct for almost 150 years, the East India Company still evokes powerful reactions across the world.

Last year, when the Indian government debated allowing foreign companies to open supermarkets there, protesters shouted: “This is the return of the East India Company!” In the U.K., the East India Company’s extraordinary rise and fall have uncanny parallels with the stock-market bubbles and government bailouts that have shaken the economy over the past decade.

And little wonder: At the heart of the company’s story are eternal questions about how to cope with the powers and perils of large multinational corporations.

Established by royal charter in 1600 with a monopoly on all trade with Asia, the East India Company had many incarnations in its almost 275-year run.

For the first half of its existence, it remained a commercial supplicant, exporting bullion to pay for Asia’s luxury goods: first spices, then textiles and tea. Along the way, it became an early model for today’s joint-stock corporation and pioneered new management techniques for long- distance supply chains.

It also created a series of lifestyle revolutions in 18th- century England. Daniel Defoe described in 1708 how the company’s calicoes, shipped from India, “crept into our houses, our closets, our bedchambers.” This calico boom prompted fierce resistance from Britain’s weavers, who felt threatened by a flood of cheap Asian imports. In 1720, the government responded with a ban on Indian calicoes, and it was behind this protectionist wall that the Industrial Revolution would take shape. Read more of this post

Do Short Sellers Front-Run Insider Sales?

Do Short Sellers Front-Run Insider Sales?

Mozaffar Khan University of Minnesota – Twin Cities – Carlson School of Management

Hai Lu University of Toronto – Rotman School of Management

February 28, 2013
Accounting Review, 2013 

Abstract: 
We study the behavior of short sellers as informed market participants and examine potential sources of their information. Using a newly available dataset with high-frequency short sales data, we find evidence of significant increases in short sales immediately prior to large insider sales, but not prior to small insider sales. We examine a number of explanations that the increase in short sales is driven by public information, either about the firm or about the impending insider sale. The evidence is inconsistent with these explanations, but is consistent with front-running facilitated by leaked information. The front-running appears to be concentrated in firms with poor accounting quality, suggesting that information about a large insider sale reinforces short sellers’ adverse opinion about firm value when accounting quality is poor.

Enterprise Holdings Inc. managed to become the world’s largest rental-car company by sales without actually spanning the globe. The chief executive officer says he knows that has to change. “We want to control that customer experience. We want our people taking care of customers.”

Billionaire’s Son Eases Grip to Take Enterprise Global

Enterprise Holdings Inc. managed to become the world’s largest rental-car company by sales without actually spanning the globe. The chief executive officer says he knows that has to change.

Until recently, there wasn’t an Enterprise rental counter in China, Spain or France. Malaysia and Korea, a couple of the world’s fastest growing markets, remain untapped. So to meet the global needs of international corporations, Chief Executive Officer Andy Taylor, son of founder Jack Taylor, has had to do something they have been loath to try in the 56 years they’ve controlled the closely held St. Louis area company: franchising.

“Years ago, the thought of licensing was absolutely abhorrent,” Andy Taylor, 65, said in an interview. “We want to control that customer experience. We want our people taking care of customers. But we’re learning that if we’re going to be a global brand, and we need to be competitive in the future, we’ll have to do it a different way.” Read more of this post

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