Hungry Americans Less Productive as Budget Cuts Deepen: Economy

Hungry Americans Less Productive as Budget Cuts Deepen: Economy

Olivia Solis asks herself the same two questions every morning: “How’s rent going to be paid? What meal are we going to make with what food we do have?” The unemployed mother of three said answers were harder to find this month when the U.S. food-stamp program was trimmed. The worries also preoccupied her mechanic husband, Gumecindo, who would send texts from work with ideas on how they could make extra cash, including cleaning houses or helping people move. Read more of this post

Taper Isn’t Tightening as Bonds See No Rate Boost Until ’15

Taper Isn’t Tightening as Bonds See No Rate Boost Until ’15

The $11.7 trillion Treasury market is betting on history not repeating as the Federal Reserve moves closer to reducing its unprecedented stimulus. From futures to derivatives, traders don’t see the central bank raising its benchmark interest rate from a record low until nine months after policy makers end their monthly bond purchases of $85 billion, or late 2015. In September, when the Treasury market was tumbling in the midst of its worst year since 2009, the projected gap was two months, according to Barclays Plc. Read more of this post

Is the SEC’s New Enforcement Zeal for Real?

Is the SEC’s New Enforcement Zeal for Real?

Mary Jo White, the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, has been on a charm offensive of late, hoping to prove that her agency is no longer the lap dog of Wall Street. It’s not an easy argument to make. Not only did White’s predecessor, Mary Schapiro, appear to let the inmates run the asylum by not aggressively bringing cases against the Wall Street bankers who caused the financial crisis, but White herself, for all the bravado, is also a product of the revolving door between Wall Street and Washington. Read more of this post

The Dirty Secret of Black Friday ‘Discounts’; How Retailers Concoct ‘Bargains’ for the Holidays and Beyond

The Dirty Secret of Black Friday ‘Discounts’

How Retailers Concoct ‘Bargains’ for the Holidays and Beyond

SUZANNE KAPNER

Updated Nov. 25, 2013 7:19 p.m. ET

With Black Friday approaching, we explain how retail discounts generally aren’t discounts at all — they are priced into it from the beginning. Suzanne Kapner reports on the News Hub. Photo: Getty Images.

When shoppers head out in search of Black Friday bargains this week, they won’t just be going to the mall, they’ll be witnessing retail theater. Stores will be pulling out the stops on deep discounts aimed at drawing customers into stores. But retail-industry veterans acknowledge that, in many cases, those bargains will be a carefully engineered illusion. Read more of this post

Israel’s corporate pyramid problem threatens to get uglier

Israel’s corporate pyramid problem threatens to get uglier

As the Knesset prepares to vote limits on tiered corporate structures, the two bidders for the troubled IDB group are proposing the biggest pyramids Israel has ever seen.

By Ido Baum | Nov. 25, 2013 | 5:01 AM

As the Knesset readies the final stages of legislation to limit the phenomenon of business pyramids, a Tel Aviv court is being asked to approve the country’s biggest pyramid ever: Nochi Dankner’s IDB group. Two groups remain in the battle to take control and rescue the financially troubled conglomerate, but the structures being proposed are problematic, particularly given that IDB is already the country’s largest corporate pyramid. Read more of this post

What the Convertible Debt Boom Means for Bankruptcy

NOVEMBER 25, 2013, 10:28 AM

What the Convertible Debt Boom Means for Bankruptcy

By STEPHEN J. LUBBEN

So the word is that convertible debt issuance is at a record high. On one level, that is totally predictable. In an environment where bond prices are going down and stock prices are going up, the option to bail out of the debt and jump into equity has a lot of intuitive appeal. Just don’t think too long about the somewhat shaky nature of many of the companies that issue convertible debt. Read more of this post

Wal-Mart to Microsoft Shifts Show CEO Change Fastest Since ’08

Wal-Mart to Microsoft Shifts Show CEO Change Fastest Since ’08

U.S. corporations are switching chief executive officers at the fastest pace in five years as companies from Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) to Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) grapple with shifting customer tastes, competition from upstarts and restive shareholders. This year, through the third quarter, 43 companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index were working under new CEOs, according to executive recruiter Spencer Stuart. That suggests 2013 will surpass the 49 of 2011, the biggest for turnover since 2008. Wal-Mart joined those ranks yesterday, saying Doug McMillon, head of its international business, will replace Mike Duke in February. Read more of this post

Najib: It’s either GST or facing bankruptcy

Najib: It’s either GST or facing bankruptcy

Monday, November 25, 2013 – 09:13

The Star/Asia News Network

KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia has a stark choice of either increasing government revenue via the goods and services tax (GST) or burdening the country by borrowing more money. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the implementation of GST was necessary as the country risked becoming bankrupt like Greece if it resorted to borrowing. Read more of this post

Malaysian billionaire Vincent Tan is considering listing his online payments company MOL Global Pte, four years after it bought social networking site Friendster

Billionaire Tan Said to Consider IPO for Friendster Owner MOL

Malaysian billionaire Vincent Tan is considering listing his online payments company MOL Global Pte, four years after it bought social networking site Friendster Inc., three people with knowledge of the matter said. Tan is holding preliminary discussions with banks for a dual listing on Kuala Lumpur’s stock exchange and either Hong Kong or Singapore, said two of the people, who asked not to be identified as the process is private. An initial public offering may raise as much as $300 million in the first half of next year, they said. Read more of this post

New framework to let Chinese firms list directly in Singapore

New framework to let Chinese firms list directly in Singapore

SINGAPORE — The Singapore Exchange (SGX) and China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) have set up a new framework that will allow companies on the mainland to list directly in Singapore, in a move that could potentially make the Republic a more accessible capital market and improve ease of regulatory oversight.

BY WONG WEI HAN –

6 HOURS 1 MIN AGO

SINGAPORE — The Singapore Exchange (SGX) and China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) have set up a new framework that will allow companies on the mainland to list directly in Singapore, in a move that could potentially make the Republic a more accessible capital market and improve ease of regulatory oversight. Read more of this post

In Myanmar, Newly Free Media Struggle to Turn a Profit

November 25, 2013

In Myanmar, Newly Free Media Struggle to Turn a Profit

By THOMAS FULLER

YANGON, Myanmar — Myanmar’s journalists celebrated this year when the government lifted a five-decade ban on private newspapers. But six months after a dozen dailies rushed into production, journalists who had withstood the wrath and cruelty of a military dictatorship are struggling against something much more mundane: market forces.  Read more of this post

More Singaporeans succumbing to money mule temptation

More Singaporeans succumbing to money mule temptation

Monday, Nov 25, 2013

Siow Li Sen

The Business Times

moneymuke

THERE has been a spike in the number of Singaporeans acting as money mules, that is, individuals who let their bank accounts be used to receive ill-gotten funds. The police have received a number of reports in which overseas banks have asked for their customers’ funds to be recalled on the grounds that the remittances were fraudulent. And it is a matter of urgency for these overseas banks, because most of these funds are moved out of Singapore on the same day. Read more of this post

Thai $2.96b rice bond may struggle, risk of further payment delays

Thai $2.96b rice bond may struggle, risk of further payment delays

Monday, November 25, 2013 – 18:35

Reuters

BANGKOK – Thailand may struggle to sell a 75 billion baht (S$2.96 billion) bond to fund its rice intervention scheme, fund managers said on Monday, risking further delays on payments to farmers. The state Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) needs money from the bond, its biggest ever, to pay farmers for rice bought at above market prices in a subsidy scheme that has cost the government 680 billion baht so far. Read more of this post

Diabetes goes boom in Vietnam

Diabetes goes boom in Vietnam

Last updated: Tuesday, November 26, 2013 12:00

Urbanization, inactive lifestyles and fast food triple the number of diabetics over the past decade

Diabetes in Vietnam has increased more than three times in the number of patients over the past decade and is likely to become a pandemic of the century, with increasing prevalence among young people, doctors warned. The non-communicable disease has been historically found among only the elderly and the very rich in Vietnam, but urbanization and changes in lifestyle have brought the chronic disease to every sector of society. Read more of this post

URA acts to curb use of ‘SoHo’ by developers

PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 26, 2013

URA acts to curb use of ‘SoHo’ by developers

It says they should clarify approved use of a development

MINDY TAN TANMINDY@SPH.COM.SG

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) is clamping down on the use of the term “small office home office” (SoHo) for commercial and residential units, as the man on the street may be led to think that such units can be used as homes and offices – whether concurrently or interchangeably – PHOTO: FAR EAST ORGANIZATION

[SINGAPORE] The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) is clamping down on the use of the term “small office home office” (SoHo) for commercial and residential units, as the man on the street may be led to think that such units can be used as homes and offices – whether concurrently or interchangeably. Read more of this post

Tokyo Beating Paris Property Lifts REIT Bond Sales: Japan Credit

Tokyo Beating Paris Property Lifts REIT Bond Sales: Japan Credit

The strongest bond sales in three years by real estate investment trusts are showing confidence in the property revival sparked by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. REIT sales jumped 33 percent this year to 95.8 billion yen ($944 million), outpacing the 5.9 percent increase in Japanese corporate issuance and the 2.2 percent climb for that in the U.S., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Japan Excellent Inc. (8987), whose properties house units of Toshiba Corp. and Fujitsu Ltd., raised 5 billion yen of 0.46 percent debt last week due 2018 at a 5 basis point yield premium over the yen swap rate, down from the 48 it paid in 2011. Read more of this post

Prologis to Boost Japan Rents, Buy Warehouses on Abenomics Bonus

Prologis to Boost Japan Rents, Buy Warehouses on Abenomics Bonus

Prologis Inc. (PLD), the world’s biggest warehouse owner, plans to increase rents and spend as much as $600 million a year to develop warehouses in Japan as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s policies boost corporate confidence. The company expects rents to rise about 3 percent annually “for a while” and will invest $500 million to $600 million a year in warehouses, said Hamid Moghadam, chairman and chief executive officer of San Francisco-based Prologis. That compares with the the average annual investment of $400 million to $600 million historically, he said. Read more of this post

52 South Koreans in their 30s and 40s owned over 100 billion won ($94.2 million) in equity, and only nine of them were self-made entrepreneurs

52 S. Koreans in 30s, 40s own over $94mn in equity

2013.11.25 15:04:50

52 South Koreans in their 30s and 40s owned over 100 billion won ($94.2 million) in equity, and only nine of them were self-made entrepreneurs, according to an analysis. Hyundai Motor vice chairman Chung Eui-sun, who owns 3.5 trillion won worth of equity, was ranked as the richest among those in their 30s and 40s in terms of equity holdings.  Read more of this post

Anti-chaebol regulations backfire

2013-11-25 18:03

Anti-chaebol regulations backfire

Brioche Doree, Dufry allowed ‘unintedned’ way into Korean market
By Yi Whan-woo
A growing number of foreign companies are entering the Korean market by taking advantage of loopholes in regulations introduced to prevent sprawling expansion of large firms and to nurture small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) The National Commission for Corporate Partnerships, a presidential committee, has restricted family-owned conglomerates and companies with more than 300 employees from expanding into several industries in which the government intends to foster SMEs.
These industries include bakeries, restaurants, coffee shop franchises, duty free shops, catering, stationeries, car rentals and IT services. Read more of this post

Dongsuh Food, Korea’s largest instant coffee product manufacturer, recently upgraded its products by using better coffee beans and adopting advanced manufacturing methods to meet increasingly sophisticated consumer tastes

2013-11-25 15:32

Dongsuh upgrades instant coffee products

By Lee Hyo-sik
Dongsuh Food, Korea’s largest instant coffee product manufacturer, recently upgraded its products by using better coffee beans and adopting advanced manufacturing methods to meet increasingly sophisticated consumer tastes. Under the slogan of the ”Better Beans, Better Taste,’’ the company has been updating a wide range of its products every four to five years since 1996. In October, Dongsuh introduced ”restaged Maxim” and other items for the fifth time, drawing a great deal of attention from coffee drinkers. Read more of this post

Home alone: Growth of single households in Korea

Home alone: Growth of single households in Korea

Sunday, November 24, 2013 – 18:00

Chun Sung-woo

Jeong Hunny

The Korea Herald/Asia News Network

The Roman emperor Augustus prohibited unmarried women between the ages of 20 and 50 from inheriting property because dying without legitimate children left properties heirless. Living alone in Ancient Rome was frowned upon by both state and citizenry. After 2,000 years, prospects for those living alone have changed, although of course, not entirely for the better. Read more of this post

Korea’s Top-Performing Fund Goes Global as Locals Shun Kospi

Korea’s Top-Performing Fund Goes Global as Locals Shun Kospi

South Korea’s top-performing mutual fund more than doubled its assets in 2013 by betting on global consumer shares, luring inflows from domestic investors who have sold Kospi (KOSPI) index stocks for five straight years. The $610 million Mirae Asset Global Great Consumer Securities Master Investment Trust 1 (1A38171) returned 33 percent this year for the biggest gain among Korea-domiciled equity funds with at least $500 million of assets. The fund has grown from about $283 million at the start of the year, even as individual investors withdrew a net $4 billion from Kospi shares. The benchmark index has climbed 1 percent this year, trailing the 18 percent gain in the MSCI All-Country World Index. Read more of this post

Samsung Preferreds Jump as Kospi Cash Pot Fattens: Korea Markets

Samsung Preferreds Jump as Kospi Cash Pot Fattens: Korea Markets

South Korean preferred shares are beating common stocks by the most on record as surging cash holdings boost the outlook for dividend payouts by Samsung Electronics Co. and Hyundai Motor Co. (005380) The nation’s five-largest preferred shares jumped an average 36 percent in Seoul this year, while the same companies’ common stock dropped 5.8 percent as investors said voting rights are becoming less important. Preferreds, which give holders higher payouts without influence over how the business is run, still trade at an average discount of 51 percent to common shares and have dividend yields about twice as large. Read more of this post

Shilla Duty Free, Korea’s major player in duty free shopping, has been expanding its presence in Southeast Asia over the past few years to capitalize on the rapidly growth of the sector there

2013-11-25 15:28

Shilla opens more shops in Asia

By Lee Hyo-sik
Shilla Duty Free, Korea’s major player in duty free shopping, has been expanding its presence in Southeast Asia over the past few years to capitalize on the rapidly growth of the sector there. It is scheduled to open two new duty free shops handling  top brand watches at Singapore’s Changi International Airport, one of the world’s busiest aviation hubs, in January next year. Read more of this post

Singers and actresses sprinkle stardust on Korean cosmetics

November 25, 2013 7:23 am

Singers and actresses sprinkle stardust on Korean cosmetics

By Song Jung-a in Seoul

Thirtysomething tourist Patchalin Vongratanakunton is a big fan of Korean cosmetics. On her first trip to Seoul, she is spending $120 – more than a week’s average salary in Thailand, her home country – on Laneige creams by AmorePacific, South Korea’s biggest cosmetics group. “I love skincare products made in Korea,” she says at a crowded duty-free shop in central Seoul. “They fit Asian skin well, while European brands are for Europeans.” Read more of this post

Top10 chaebol hit by $716m FX losses

2013-11-25 17:12

Top10 chaebol hit by FX losses

By Na Jeong-ju
The country’s top 10 business groups suffered some 760 billion won ($716 million) in losses so far this year due to the won’s gain against the dollar and the yen, according to data released Monday. The damage from volatility in the currency market is expected to grow further amid forecasts that the won may continue to gain ground until early next year. Read more of this post

Condom Maker TTK Seeks Rebound After Durex Loss: Corporate India

Condom Maker TTK Seeks Rebound After Durex Loss: Corporate India

TTK Group, the Indian company that lost rights to make Durex condoms after a dispute triggered the exit of partner Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc (RB/) a year ago, plans to triple exports of its own brand as it seeks to revive sales. TTK Healthcare Ltd. (TTKP), which started selling the Skore brand of prophylactics in November 2012, aims to increase overseas shipments to 1 billion units in two years from 300 million, Chairman T.T. Jagannathan said in an interview. The company’s market share in the world’s second-most populous nation has shrunk to as little as 7 percent from as high as 47 percent when it made Reckitt’s Durex and Kohinoor brands, he said. Read more of this post

India Growth Seen Stuck Below 5% for Longest Stretch Since 2005

India Growth Seen Stuck Below 5% for Longest Stretch Since 2005

India’s economic growth probably held below 5 percent for a fourth straight quarter, the longest stretch in data going back to 2005, as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh struggles to boost investment and tame elevated inflation. Gross domestic product rose 4.6 percent in July through September from a year earlier, compared with 4.4 percent in the prior quarter, according to the median of 25 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey ahead of a report due on Nov. 29. Read more of this post

The role of dark inventory in the commodities bull run of 2008

The role of dark inventory in the commodities bull run of 2008

Izabella Kaminska

| Nov 25 17:41 | 7 comments | Share

We’ve argued before that the 2005-2007 commodity bull-run could have been the product of an unwitting self-manufactured squeeze, as the industry rushed to monetise as much inventory as possible to benefit from higher than usual interest rates and as inventory levels dropped. (All pretty much unwittingly, of course.) As prices increased, the economy choked. Read more of this post

From snacks to houses, consumers lead Kenya’s growth story

November 25, 2013 9:01 pm

From snacks to houses, consumers lead Kenya’s growth story

By Katrina Manson

There may be no better indication of the effort to snare Kenya’s wallet-conscious middle-class spenders than popcorn prices in the country’s leading supermarket chain. While imported popcorn, with glitzy photographs on cardboard packaging, costs 370 shillings ($4.24) for 300g, a simple “Blue Label” plastic package on the shelf beside it is 85 shillings ($0.98) for 500g. Read more of this post

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