China Bad-Loan Alarm Sounded by Record Bank Spread Jump

China Bad-Loan Alarm Sounded by Record Bank Spread Jump

Borrowing costs for Chinese banks have surged the most in at least six years this month as rating companies say a cash crunch threatens to swell bad loans.

The yield spread for one-year AAA bank bonds over similar-maturity sovereign notes jumped 56 basis points so far this month to 163 basis points, the most in ChinaBond records going back to 2007. The similar AA gap widened 59 basis points to 188. Even as China Construction Bank Corp. (939) President Zhang Jianguo said yesterday cash conditions have normalized, the benchmark seven-day repurchase rate was fixed at 6.85 percent, almost twice the 3.84 percent average for this year. Read more of this post

Pot Bellies Transform $2,000 Suits With India Expanding

Pot Bellies Transform $2,000 Suits With India Expanding

A few months ago, Corneliani SpA, an Italian maker of svelte $2,000 suits, noticed it was losing some business in India. Then it realized why: It wasn’t catering to overweight customers, especially those with pot bellies.

So, in April, it began a made-to-measure service that includes options for shoppers seeking “odd”-sized suits, overcoats or trousers, said Prem Dewan, who oversees Indian retail operations. Businessmen, celebrities and politicians have come calling. Read more of this post

REIT Rout Seen Curtailing Deals as Rising Rates Cut Share Sales

REIT Rout Seen Curtailing Deals as Rising Rates Cut Share Sales

Property purchases by U.S. real estate investment trusts are likely to be curtailed after almost $36 billion of deals this year as a tumble in share prices makes a key source of capital costlier.

The Bloomberg REIT Index has dropped 11 percent from an almost six-year high in May as the yield on 10-year Treasury notes surged amid speculation the Federal Reserve would reduce bond purchases, which have kept borrowing costs low. The decline was three times the slump in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. Read more of this post

Cracks begin to emerge in Iconic model, the Australian online retailer model by the German Samwer brothers

Cracks begin to emerge in Iconic model

June 28, 2013 – 3:59PM

Elizabeth Knight

Mention the name The Iconic to Myer boss Bernie Brookes or David Jones chief Paul Zahra, or Gerry Harvey, and you won’t elicit a pleasant response. The online retailer that competes on service and delivery rather than price has become the scourge of both the bricks and mortar retailers and even its online-only competitors. In true entrepreneurial style this business exploded into the Australian market in late 2011, heralding a new level of aggression in retail strategy. It’s a fast and furious business, that takes no prisoners and litters the industry with casualties.

Read more of this post

Textbook publisher Cengage, formerly Thomson Learning, may file for bankruptcy protection soon; Cengage has struggled in recent times as customers shift more to Internet study materials on smartphones and tablets and state and local govt

Cengage Learning may file for bankruptcy protection soon: WSJ

Thu, Jun 27 2013

(Reuters) – Textbook publisher Cengage Learning Acquisitions Inc may file for bankruptcy protection in the coming days, the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter. The publisher, which is owned by British investment firm Apax Partners, is currently negotiating a prearranged bankruptcy restructuring with senior creditors and plans to seek Chapter 11 court protection as early as July 5, the Journal said. Cengage has struggled in recent times as customers shift more to Internet study materials on smartphones and tablets and state and local governments reduce spending on school books. (r.reuters.com/sud39t) Read more of this post

Singapore elderly parents dumped like a dog in Malaysia, Indonesia by their children

S’pore dad, 82, dumped like a dog in JB

Johor police found the wandering man dirty, hungry and weak after he was said to be dumped by his family. -TNP
Rennie Whang
Thu, Jun 27, 2013
The New Paper

SINGAPORE – The 82-year-old Singaporean was found on the streets of Johor Baru – dirty, hungry, weak.

He was picked up by the Malaysian police, repatriated and sent to a home for the destitute here two months ago.

The man is one of a number of elderly Singaporeans who have been abandoned overseas.

Social workers say his case is not unique, as Singaporeans have also been allegedly abandoned in Indonesia and China. Read more of this post

India’s Last Maharaja: The 38th successive ruler of an ancient Indian clan, Gaj Singh II harbors deep connections to the past, but his innovative approach to protecting his family’s historical treasures is providing his country with a model for the future

June 27, 2013, 12:54 p.m. ET

India’s Last Maharaja

The 38th successive ruler of an ancient Indian clan, Gaj Singh II harbors deep connections to the past, but his innovative approach to protecting his family’s historical treasures is providing his country with a model for the future.

KELLY CROW

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BLUE HEAVEN | Built in the 15th century by Rao Jodha, the walls of the fortress of Mehrangarh are 70 feet thick. Many of the houses of Jodhpur are painted blue to deflect the sunlight, and, according to folklore to repel insects.

FIT FOR A KING | The steps of Umaid Bhawan Palace, from which Mehrangarh is visible. Now partly a Taj hotel, revenues are up 80 percent thanks to a boost in domestic tourism.

FAMILY AFFAIR | Gaj Singh II, known to some of his staff as the ‘Jazz Age maharaja’ for his love of jazz, in front of a portrait of his ancestor, Takhat Singh

EACH SPRING, Maharaja Gaj Singh II hosts a Sufi music festival inside his family’s vast desert fort in the Indian city of Jodhpur. From a distance, this monumental sandstone fortress, called Mehrangarh, looms over the city’s chalky blue buildings, evoking the country’s ancient and otherworldly history. And yet people fly in from across the globe because the festival—and the maharaja who hosts it—blends old India so deftly with new. Read more of this post

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