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Detecting Accounting Frauds in Asia (Part 2) (Bamboo Innovator Insight)

The following article is extracted from the Bamboo Innovator Insight weekly column blog related to the context and thought leadership behind the stock idea generation process of Asian wide-moat businesses that are featured in the upcoming monthly entitled Moat Report Asia. Fellow value investors get to go behind the scene to learn thought-provoking timely insights on key macro and industry trends in Asia as well as benefit from the occasional discussion of potential red flags, misgovernance or fraud-detection trails ahead of time to enhance the critical-thinking skill about the myriad pitfalls of investing in Asia at the microstructure- and firm-level.

Detecting Accounting Frauds in Asia Part 2

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Less Tapering Becomes Tightening Credit No Matter What Fed Says

Less Tapering Becomes Tightening Credit No Matter What Fed Says

By just talking about adding stimulus at a slower pace, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke sent bond yields a percentage point higher. The rout serves as a warning to monetary policy makers that their exit from record accommodation won’t be easy to control. The jump in yields has pushed up the cost of mortgages for millions of Americans, curbed demand for homes and prompted thousands of job cuts at Bank of America Corp. and Wells Fargo & Co., all at a time when the Fed’s policies are aimed at creating jobs and supporting housing. Read more of this post

Eiji Toyoda, Creator of Toyota Export Giant, Dies at 100

Eiji Toyoda, Creator of Toyota Export Giant, Dies at 100

toyoda-roger-smith

GM’s Roger Smith and Eiji Toyoda created their joint venture NUMMI

Eiji Toyoda, who spearheaded Toyota Motor Corp. (7203)’s expansion in the U.S. as the automaker’s longest-serving president, has died. He was 100. Toyoda died at 4:32 a.m. today because of heart failure at the Toyota Memorial Hospital in Toyota City, Japan, Toyota Motor said in a statement. Funeral services will be held for close family members only, it said. During his 57-year career, the younger cousin of Toyota Motor’s founder helped reshape a maker of Chevrolet knockoffs into an automaker whose manufacturing efficiency became the envy of General Motors Corp. (GM) and Ford Motor Co. By the time he stepped down in 1994, the company was assembling Corollas in the U.S., had started the Lexus luxury brand and had initiated a project that would develop the world’s most successful gas-electric vehicle, the Prius. “He played an important role in leading Toyota’s expansion into North America, and in developing the carmaker into a global company,” Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, said at a press conference in Tokyo. “He was someone who was indispensable to the nation’s entire industry.” Toyoda was a cousin of Kiichiro Toyoda, the founder of the company that bears a slightly altered version of the family’s name. He was one of six presidents to come from the family. Read more of this post

Aging Boomers Befuddle Marketers Eying $15 Trillion Prize

Aging Boomers Befuddle Marketers Eying $15 Trillion Prize

Six years ago, the University of Cincinnati unveiled what it called an “unusual consortium” between its students, faculty and corporations, including Procter & Gamble Co., the consumer-product giant headquartered nearby. The group’s goal: to research and develop product ideas for consumers age 50 and over. “The world has never before seen such a powerful market,” with about $3 trillion to spend in the U.S. alone, the school said then. The segment’s needs were “underserved,” requiring a shake-up of models to find the “sweet spot” between those needs and what was feasible to produce. They’re still searching. Read more of this post

Lantern master’s passion burns bright even after 50 years; “They know it’s not lucrative. My selling price often cannot cover the time and effort used to create the lanterns. But to me, money is secondary. This is my passion, and I hope to do it until i die.”

Lantern master’s passion burns bright even after 50 years

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013 – 06:30

Benson Ang, The New Paper

During the Mid-Autumn Festival, most of the lanterns you see in Singapore are imported. But some Singaporeans are still hanging on to the old skills, making, designing and painting traditional Chinese lanterns. Mr Yeo Hung Teo, 75, has been designing and painting Chinese lanterns for about 50 years. He owns Yeo Swee Huat Paper Agency, operating out of a small unit in Toa Payoh Industrial Park. Lanterns, he says in Mandarin, are symbols of identity and status. “Temples, businesses and individuals want them to be hung outside their homes or premises.” Some lanterns are specially commissioned for occasions like the birthdays of deities, funerals and the Hungry Ghost Festival. Made of paper, bamboo and glue, the lanterns are lit with a candle or light bulb. Mr Yeo imports the skeletons of the lanterns from China. He pastes the “skin” over the skeleton and painstakingly hand-paints the lantern with Chinese calligraphy and motifs. The colour of the characters depends on the lantern’s purpose. Most organisations want red characters as the colour represents good luck and fortune. Martial arts organisations might want black characters as the colour symbolises strength, he says. Blue characters are only for funeral lanterns. Each character is painted over at least six times to ensure there are no uneven areas, even when the lantern is lit. Some lanterns also have a decorative drawing – usually of flowers, trees, animals or fruits. To create these designs, Mr Yeo first draws them on the lantern with a ball point pen. He then uses one brush to colour them and another to create textures and effects. He says: “These effects make the objects look more ‘alive’ and beautiful.” He can complete simple designs in two days. More complex ones can take up to a month. The finished lanterns can fetch up to hundreds of dollars, depending on the complexity of their designs. Mr Yeo learnt how to paint lanterns from his father, who set up the business in the 1960s. After two years under his father’s tutelage, Mr Yeo could paint words and simple designs. He learnt more designs during business trips to China and studying the lanterns in temples there. He also sought out other lantern masters – most of whom are now dead – to hone his craft. “After practising for so long, I think my designs have got better.” Sadly, the sun appears to be setting on this art form. His six children, in their 20s to 50s, are not interested in taking over his business.

“They know it’s not lucrative. My selling price often cannot cover the time and effort used to create the lanterns.

“But to me, money is secondary. This is my passion, and I hope to do it until I die.”

Celltrion CEO is facing sanctions from regulators for allegedly manipulating the stock price. Affiliates received loans back by equity stake in Celltrion and have to pay back loans or provide more collateral should Celltrion’s stock price fall. “That’s why Seo attempted to keep its stock price high.”

2013-09-16 19:08

Celltrion CEO under scrutiny

By Na Jeong-ju

Seo Jung-jin, CEO of the country’s largest bio firm Celltrion, is facing sanctions from regulators for allegedly manipulating the stock price of his company. The fraud case represents a dramatic fall from grace for Seo, once called the living legend of the bio industry. He founded Celltrion in 2002 in the midst of a venture boom, and nurtured it into the biggest firm on the tech-laden KOSDAQ bourse in terms of market capitalization. But he is now on the verge of becoming another venture company CEO who may end up in prison.
According to financial regulators Monday, Seo allegedly engaged in illegal stock trading, along with some friendly investors, early this year, using insider information. “We’ve found evidence showing Seo and some others bought shares just before the firm unveiled favorable measures for stock investors,” an official from the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) said. “Seo is also suspected of having misused his status to inflate Celltrion’s stock price. He claims it was to defend his firm from short-selling investors, but that shouldn’t be an excuse.” Read more of this post

Baupost’s Klarman Returns Money To Clients Amid “Too Few Opportunities”

Baupost’s Klarman Returns Money To Clients Amid “Too Few Opportunities”

Tyler Durden on 09/16/2013 19:26 -0400

Seth Klarman’s Baupost Group will be returning money to investors at year-end. As II Alpha reports, though the amount has yet to be determined, this would be only the second time the hedge fund has returned money in the firm’s 31-year history. With the world of asset managers, as we recently noted, increasingly become herd-like beta-chasers, it seems Klarman – just as he noted earlier in the year – will return capital unless investment opportunities dramatically increased – and that hasn’t happened. Read more of this post

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