South Korea’s $21bn alternative to Seoul lacks transport and soul

November 19, 2013 3:56 am

South Korea’s $21bn alternative to Seoul lacks transport and soul

By Simon Mundy in Sejong City, South Korea

Stretching from the top of the transport ministry to that of the prime minister’s office, the undulating rooftop garden lends a futuristic touch to South Korea’s new government complex in Sejong City, 150km south of Seoul. But Lee Dae-young casts a lonely figure as he makes his way through the park. Like many other civil servants, the 53-year-old accident investigator left his family behind in Seoul when he moved to Sejong late last year, and now sees his two children only at weekends. Read more of this post

Reforms to shift Japan’s huge pension fund towards riskier investments

Reforms to shift Japan’s huge pension fund towards riskier investments

4:15pm EST

By Chikafumi Hodo and Noriyuki Hirata

TOKYO (Reuters) – The world’s biggest pension fund is preparing its most ambitious overhaul since its creation more than a decade ago, a process that will eventually see more of Japan’s $2 trillion in public funds invested in stocks and other riskier assets and relatively less cash parked in government bonds. An advisory panel to the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in a highly anticipated report on Wednesday, will propose far-reaching reforms to the Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), encompassing fundamental change to its governance and investment strategy. Read more of this post

Made in Japan’ not so big in Japan

Made in Japan’ not so big in Japan

Wednesday, November 20, 2013 – 03:02

au Boon Lai, Japan Correspondent In Tokyo, The Straits Times

Mr Makoto Miyazaki swears by the made-in-Japan office furniture he sells at a store in Tokyo’s suburban ward of Taito. “They are better than the China-made ones as they are more solidly built,” he said. But despite his spirited attempts at explaining to customers why they should pay about 30 to 50 per cent more for a Japan-made cabinet, it is those that were made in China that fly off the shelves, leading to a three-month wait in some cases. Read more of this post

Japan IPOs Surge to Most Since 2007 as Each Climbs on First Day

Japan IPOs Surge to Most Since 2007 as Each Climbs on First Day

Japan’s biggest equity rally in four decades is driving a boom in initial public offerings, with new listings this year poised to reach the most since 2007 and every stock rising on its debut. About 60 companies have gone public in 2013 or plan to do so by year-end, the most since 121 offerings in 2007, according to projections by Nomura Holdings Inc. The 36 IPOs since December have climbed on their first trading day, the longest streak of gains since 39 listings advanced in 2006, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The average opening-day advance this year was 131 percent, according to the data. Reprocell Inc., a stem-cell medical research company, soared more than fivefold in June for the largest of the year. Read more of this post

Honda to Nissan Bet Small Is Profitable With Minicar Push: Cars

Honda to Nissan Bet Small Is Profitable With Minicar Push: Cars

Japan’s automakers are betting that small will be the next big thing.

At the Tokyo Motor Show opening this week, Honda Motor Co. will unveil the two-seat S660 convertible, its first mini sports car since 1996. Daihatsu Motor Co. has a rival model with panels that can be changed like an iPhone cover. More than a third of the show’s debuts will be mini vehicles, up from about 14 percent in 2011, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Read more of this post

The rediscovery of India; Is diversity an excuse for disunity? CNN’s Fareed Zakaria says Indians must embrace their common ambitions if the nation is to fulfill its tremendous potential

The rediscovery of India

Is diversity an excuse for disunity? CNN’s Fareed Zakaria says Indians must embrace their common ambitions if the nation is to fulfill its tremendous potential.

November 2013 | byFareed Zakaria

Is India even a country? It’s not an outlandish question. “India is merely a geographical expression,” Winston Churchill said in exasperation. “It is no more a single country than the Equator.” The founder of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, recently echoed that sentiment, arguing that “India is not a real country. Instead it is thirty-two separate nations that happen to be arrayed along the British rail line.” Read more of this post

Multiplexes rake in the rupees in Bollywood-mad India

Multiplexes rake in the rupees in Bollywood-mad India

4:06pm EST

By Nandita Bose and Abhishek Vishnoi

MUMBAI (Reuters) – For a country that produces twice as many movies a year as Hollywood, India has a problem that’s making cinema theatre operators beam: a shortage of modern multi-screen cinemas and plenty of increasingly affluent film fans. Multiplex operators like PVR Ltd, Inox Leisure, Reliance Mediaworks and Mexican chain Cinepolis are scrambling to set up theatres targeting the rapidly growing number of middle-class Indians willing to pay to watch Bollywood movies in more comfortable surroundings. Read more of this post

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