Mobile Game Developers Enjoy Win Streak, but Analysts Are Skeptical

08.05.2013 16:34

Mobile Game Developers Enjoy Win Streak, but Analysts Are Skeptical

Profits are up, investors are keen and acquisitions are plentiful, but experts say the good times have to end some time

Liu Ran and Zheng Fei

(Beijing) – The country’s mobile game industry is sizzling hot with cash from investors apparently undaunted by analysts’ warnings that the business is volatile and may be overvalued. Rarely can a startup company in any other industry make a profit in its first year, an investment banker said. In the mobile game sector, however, this is common. He said one company he recently visited was set up in 2011. It turned in a profit that year, and in the next its earnings hit 40 million yuan. Read more of this post

China handsets take 20% of global smartphone sales

August 5, 2013 7:06 pm

China handsets take 20% of global smartphone sales

By Danie Thomas, Telecoms Correspondent

Surging sales of cut-price smartphones mass produced in China has meant that the country’s handset makers now account for about a fifth of global branded sales. Companies that few people know outside China, such as Yulong, which makes Coolpad devices, and Xiaomi, have soared in the past year, according to Canalys, the global research group.

Yulong, along with Chinese rival Lenovo, has entered the top five of global handset makers for the first time,pushing out better known Western names such asNokia and BlackBerry that once dominated the market. Along with Huawei, ZTE and Xiaomi, these Chinese companies make up a fifth of the total branded smartphone market, up from less than 15 per cent a year ago. Read more of this post

Growth in China trust assets slows as shadow banking crackdown bites

Growth in China trust assets slows as shadow banking crackdown bites

1:05am EDT

By Gabriel Wildau and Lu Jianxin

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Growth of China’s trust sector, the largest component of the country’s so-called shadow banking system, slowed markedly in the second quarter after a government clampdown on risky lending.

China’s top leaders have signaled concern over runaway credit growth and the risk of a debt crisis being sparked by local governments and firms borrowing at high interest rates from non-bank lenders, especially trust companies. Read more of this post

Japan nuclear body says radioactive water at Fukushima an ’emergency’

Japan nuclear body says radioactive water at Fukushima an ’emergency’

3:40am BST

By Antoni Slodkowski and Mari Saito

TOKYO (Reuters) – Highly radioactive water seeping into the ocean from Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant is creating an “emergency” that the operator is struggling to contain, an official from the country’s nuclear watchdog said on Monday. This contaminated groundwater has breached an underground barrier, is rising toward the surface and is exceeding legal limits of radioactive discharge, Shinji Kinjo, head of a Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA) task force, told Reuters. Read more of this post

Chinese banks face losses over “Chinnovator” Wuxi Suntech Power loans

August 5, 2013 4:34 pm

Chinese banks face losses over Wuxi Suntech Power loans

By Henny Sender

Chinese banks that lent money to solar-panel maker Wuxi Suntech Power, and later put it into administration, are facing substantial losses on their loans, according to the company’s other creditors.

While the total liabilities of Wuxi Suntech – which is the principal operating subsidiary of the US-listed Suntech Power Holdings – remains in dispute, creditors have said the figure is at least Rmb10bn ($1.63bn), while its assets may be less than a quarter that amount. Read more of this post

Investors Turn Hong Kong’s Red Taxis Into Latest Bubble Market; The price of a license combined with a taxi reached a record HK$7.66 million ($987,600)

Investors Turn Hong Kong’s Red Taxis Into Latest Bubble Market

Allan Shek, the owner of a Hong Kong shop selling gold and jade jewelry, says he’s made millions on the side by riding wild swings in the stock market and by buying into the city’s property boom. No more. Last month, he bought five Hong Kong taxis and the licenses to operate them. Seven or eight of his friends have bought taxis too, he says.

“If I have the ability, I will buy another 15 taxis this year,” says the 60-year-old Shek, speaking with rapid-fire enthusiasm over the latest way to make money in a city where the benchmark Hang Seng Index (HSI) has fallen almost 7 percent from the year’s high and record property prices have started to decline because of government curbs. Read more of this post

Berkshire Avoids Rout as Buffett Sidesteps Bonds

Berkshire Avoids Rout as Buffett Sidesteps Bonds

Warren Buffett’s preference for buying stocks and whole companies rather than bonds is helping Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/A) weather a spike in interest rates better than other insurers.

Book value rose 2 percent to about $122,900 per Class A share in the three months ended June 30, Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire said Aug. 2. Insurance competitors including Allstate (ALL) Corp., American International Group Inc. (AIG) and Travelers (TRV) Cos. posted second-quarter declines in the measure of assets minus liabilities. Read more of this post

Family Offices Chasing Wealthy’s $46 Trillion in Assets

Family Offices Chasing Wealthy’s $46 Trillion in Assets

Karen McNeill, Ph.D., used to teach history at the University of California, Berkeley. In June, she took a job as head of family history with Ascent Private Capital Management, a new unit of U.S. Bancorp (USB) that manages the affairs of ultra-wealthy families.

McNeill’s job is to help Ascent’s clients discover their pasts, skeletons and all, and gain perspective on their Gatsby-sized fortunes. The job is the creation of Michael Cole, Ascent’s president, who’s determined to make Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp, the fifth-largest U.S. lender, a contender in the market for high-end financial services. Read more of this post

Chicago pits going quiet, 165 years after shouting began

Chicago pits going quiet, 165 years after shouting began

7:16am EDT

By Tom Polansek

CHICAGO (Reuters) – On a recent morning in the Chicago Board of Trade’s soybean futures pit, the trading action looked like this: One trader hiked up a leg onto a metal railing, stretching his hamstring; another passed time bouncing a green rubber ball; a third yawned.

Activity in Chicago’s 165-year-old open-outcry grain markets has been declining for decades because of computerized trading, which can be executed much faster. But after the CBOT changed the way it reports end-of-day prices in June last year, the share of trading attributed to shout-and-gesture trading fell by about half. Read more of this post

China’s Offshore Push Shakes Singapore Builders of Oil-Drilling Rigs

August 5, 2013, 8:07 a.m. ET

China’s Offshore Push Shakes Singapore Builders of Oil-Drilling Rigs

Beijing Shifts Resources From Shipbuilding, Seeking 20% of Global Market

ERIC YEP

Despite booming demand, tiny Singapore faces a tough time ahead defending one of its few heavy industries, building offshore drilling rigs. The reason is familiar: rising Chinese competition. Singapore’s rig makers, Keppel Corp.’s BN4.SG +0.48% Keppel Offshore and Marine unit and SembCorp Marine Ltd., S51.SG 0.00% which both posted lower second-quarter profits, are responding by trying to move upmarket, with equipment that can drill for oil and gas at greater depths and more extreme conditions than the shallow-water rigs they’ve specialized in. But this is a sector where South Korean yards are well-established and China is a growing presence. Read more of this post

Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund is fighting to avoid losses on its $2 billion investment in Eike Batista’s companies as the former billionaire seeks to save his commodity empire from collapse

Citigroup Haunts Abu Dhabi as Mubadala Caught in Brazil Meltdown

Mubadala Development Co., the Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund, is fighting to avoid losses on its $2 billion investment in Eike Batista’s companies as the former billionaire seeks to save his commodity empire from collapse.

The fund is owed $1.5 billion after converting a preferred equity investment in Batista’s EBX Group Co. into debt, three people with knowledge of the matter said last month. That amount is secured by Batista assets, one of the people said, asking not to be named as details are private. EBX also last month agreed to “redeem” a portion of Mubadala’s original investment. Read more of this post

Falling Rupiah Hits Indonesian Firms

Falling Rupiah Hits Indonesian Firms

By Francezka Nangoy on 8:54 am August 6, 2013.
The weak rupiah might be a boon to exporters keen to get their products to foreign markets cheaply, but for some local firms it is eroding profit margins and leaving them with foreign exchange losses.

After tumbling 2.7 percent against the US dollar in the first six months of the year, the rupiah underwent a sharp depreciation in July, leaving it 6.4 percent weaker for the year so far, according Bank Indonesia. That makes the rupiah one of the worst-performing currencies in the Asia Pacific region. Read more of this post

Thai Public Spending Delay Adds to Growth Risks: Southeast Asia

Thai Public Spending Delay Adds to Growth Risks: Southeast Asia

Thailand’s economic growth may slow further this year as the government’s attempt to push through an amnesty bill for political protesters risks delaying its $64 billion infrastructure spending plan.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s ruling Pheu Thai party said it will resume debate tomorrow on a law to exonerate protesters involved in demonstrations stretching from a coup in 2006 that ousted her brother, Thaksin Shinawatra. Read more of this post

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