Malaysia’s newly elected government was locked in an increasingly tense political stand-off a day after several opposition figures were detained under the country’s colonial-era sedition law

May 24, 2013 12:58 pm

Malaysia on edge amid arrests and protest calls

By Jeremy Grant in Singapore

Malaysia’s newly elected government was on Friday locked in an increasingly tense political stand-off a day after several opposition figures were detained under the country’s colonial-era sedition law.

The arrests came less than three weeks after Malaysia’s bitterly contested election left the incumbent government of prime minister Najib Razak in power but the country divided. The opposition has called a mass rally on Saturday to protest the election result.

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said on Friday the police action against the four detained men – including a senior official in his own party – was “tyranny writ large”. Read more of this post

ASEAN Economies Aim to Avoid the Mistakes of European Integration

ASEAN Economies Aim to Avoid the Mistakes of European Integration

24 MAY 2013 – AARON TIMMS

AS THE EURO ZONE HAS STAGGERED THROUGH MULTIPLE rounds of crisis over the past three years, the nations of Southeast Asia have been looking on with more interest than most. These countries have ambitions of closer economic integration that some liken to the European Union, but regional officials are keen to stress the differences. “It’s important to look at the example of Europe and make sure we don’t make the same mistakes they have made,” says Cesar Purisima, Finance secretary of the Philippines.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), conceived in the late 1960s against a backdrop of regional disputes and an escalating war in Vietnam, has proven remarkably durable. Dismissed by many as an ineffective talking shop, the bloc has grown steadily in size and ambition, forging a free-trade area among ten nations with a combined population of 600 million. Read more of this post

Merger Rumor Has It: Sensationalism in Financial Media

Rumor Has It: Sensationalism in Financial Media

Kenneth R. Ahern University of Southern California – Marshall School of Business

Denis Sosyura University of Michigan – The Stephen M. Ross School of Business

May 5, 2013

Abstract: 
Financial media have an incentive to publish sensational news. We study how these incentives affect asset prices through one form of media sensationalism – merger rumors. Using a novel dataset, we find that newspapers are more likely to publish merger rumors about firms that interest their readers: local firms with recognizable brands that are owned by retail investors. Yet, rumors about these types of firms are less likely to come true. Instead, a rumor’s accuracy is predicted by journalists’ experience, training, and reputation, but stock returns do not reflect this information. Overall, we find that investors do not completely account for the distortions created by sensationalist reporting standards.

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