Record Gold Fee Spurs Gitanjali’s Diamond Push: Corporate India

Record Gold Fee Spurs Gitanjali’s Diamond Push: Corporate India

Gitanjali Gems Ltd. (GITG), India’s largest jewelry retailer by revenue, is focusing on diamonds as near-record premiums for gold push up costs for a metal that accounts for about 30 percent of its sales. Import curbs in the world’s biggest gold user may force jewelers such as Gitanjali and Rajesh Exports Ltd. (RJEX) to pay a record $200 per ounce over the London price from next month to obtain supplies, according to the All India Gems & Jewellery Trade Federation. The premium is currently $120-$130 an ounce. Read more of this post

Hedge Funds See Repeat of Yen Slide That Paid Soros: Currencies

Hedge Funds See Repeat of Yen Slide That Paid Soros: Currencies

Hedge funds are betting on another run of yen weakness, a trade that made money earlier this year for billionaire George Soros, putting them in opposition to economists who see Japan’s currency little changed into 2014. Futures traders pushed net shorts, or wagers the yen will fall versus the dollar, to the highest since July 2007, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. That contrasts with the median estimate of more than 50 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg, which puts the currency at 102 per dollar at the end of the first quarter of 2014, from 101.47 today. Read more of this post

Hyundai Seeks to Improve Status With Redesigned Genesis Luxury Sedan

Hyundai Seeks to Improve Status With Redesigned Genesis Luxury Sedan

IN-SOO NAM

Updated Nov. 26, 2013 9:24 p.m. ET

AM-BB224A_HYUND_NS_20131126050604

SEOUL—More than five years after entering the U.S. premium-car market, Hyundai MotorCo. 005380.SE +0.39% is betting that the latest version of its Genesis sedan will help elevate the company’s global status and erase its reputation for offering a cheaper luxury alternative. With the redesigned Genesis, which sports an edgier and bolder look, including LED signal and fog lamps, the South Korean auto maker is targeting more affluent customers and seeking to improve profit as demand slows for its lower-end models. Read more of this post

Visa woes in Korea frustrate foreign business owners

Visa woes in Korea frustrate foreign business owners

Wednesday, Nov 27, 2013

John Power

The Korea Herald/Asia News Network

Running a successful small business is never easy. But as a foreigner navigating the complex web of immigration law, that challenge can seem all the more daunting. Some foreign businesspeople complain of unclear visa rules and requirements and seemingly arbitrary decision-making. A decision by the local immigration office last month signaled the end of the 3-year-old clothing business of one French citizen. Read more of this post

Vietnam State Companies Still Dominate in Constitution

Vietnam State Companies Still Dominate in Constitution

Vietnam’s leaders are set to tighten their grip on the economy, affirming the central role of the ruling Communist Party and the dominance of state companies in a revised constitution to be approved this week. After indicating in January they could use the charter revamp to edge toward a more market-oriented system and lift growth from its slowest rate in 13 years last year, leaders have opted to retain state-owned enterprises as the economy’s anchor. State firms have contributed to Southeast Asia’s highest bad debt ratio. Read more of this post

Escalating Thailand protests seek to unseat Yingluck Shinawatra; Thai political protests spread outside Bangkok

November 26, 2013 11:11 am

Escalating Thailand protests seek to unseat Yingluck Shinawatra

By Michael Peel in Bangkok

Thai opposition protesters have stepped up their campaign to paralyse and oust the government, defying an arrest warrant issued against the leader of demonstrations that have reignited a bitter power struggle in southeast Asia’s second-largest economy. As Yingluck Shinawatra, prime minister, battled a parliamentary no-confidence motion on Tuesday, anti-government activists built on this week’s occupation of the finance ministry by blockading the interior ministry and forcing the transport, agriculture and tourism departments to close. Read more of this post

Retailers Seek Partners in Social Networks

November 26, 2013

Retailers Seek Partners in Social Networks

By ELIZABETH A. HARRIS

MINNEAPOLIS — “Showrooming” is no longer a bad word.

Just a few years ago, the retail industry was deeply shaken by a growing trend in store browsing — shoppers wandering around the aisles with their cellphones, surveying the merchandise while looking online for somewhere else to buy it for less. Some retailers explored blocking Internet service in stores. Others swapped out bar codes to make them incompatible with their competitors’. But ultimately, most major retailers decided that many customers would be on their phones regardless of what stores did — so they decided to get on their customers’ screens. Read more of this post

TiVo Subscriptions Continue to Rise; Maker of Set-Top Boxes Increases Quarterly Revenue

TiVo Subscriptions Continue to Rise

Maker of Set-Top Boxes Increases Quarterly Revenue

IAN SHERR

Nov. 26, 2013 6:19 p.m. ET

TiVo Inc. TIVO +0.15% showed no signs of slowing growth in the third quarter, reporting a big jump in subscriptions despite an increasing list of competitors. The San Jose, Calif., company said its list of subscribers hit 3.9 million in the period ended Oct. 31, up 32% from the year-earlier quarter. Its subscriber count has risen for nine straight quarters. Read more of this post

Sony Seeks ‘SmartWig’ Patent for Hairpieces With Camera, Sensors

Sony Seeks ‘SmartWig’ Patent for Hairpieces With Camera, Sensors

Sony Corp. (6758), which popularized portable music players with the Walkman, is seeking a U.S. patent for “SmartWig” hairpieces that could help navigate roads, check blood pressure or flip through slides in a presentation. The wig would communicate wirelessly with another device and include tactile feedback, Sony said in the filing with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Depending on the model, the hairpiece may include a camera, laser pointer or global positioning system sensor, it said. Read more of this post

No checkouts, no chocolate: Online shopping hits impulse buys

No checkouts, no chocolate: Online shopping hits impulse buys

7:49am EST

By Martinne Geller and Emma Thomasson

LONDON/BERLIN (Reuters) – For consumers, one of the great things about shopping online is bypassing the queue to check out. For producers of the candy, magazines and drinks often sold there, it’s a problem. In Britain, the country where e-commerce is most popular, about 13 percent of people do all or most of their grocery shopping online. Yet this only accounts for 5 percent of overall spending, suggesting consumers spend more when they visit a store. Read more of this post

Groupe Gorge Push on 3-D Starts With One-Worker Company

Groupe Gorge Push on 3-D Starts With One-Worker Company

Raphael Gorge, chief executive officer of French engineering company Groupe Gorge (GOE), says he knew almost nothing about 3-D printing a few months back. Now he’s ready to go up against market leaders 3D Systems Corp. (DDD) and Stratasys Ltd. (SSYS) Gorge bought 88 percent of Phidias Technologies, a maker of printers that create three-dimensional objects, for 4.8 million euros ($6.5 million) in May. Phidias, now renamed Prodways, had 1 million euros in sales in 2012 and an earnings margin of 15 percent. It also had one employee: its founder Andre-Luc Allanic, a former principal scientist of 3D Systems. Read more of this post

Billionaire Chess Master Found as CRM Software Maker Pegasystems Leaps 122%

Billionaire Chess Master Found as Pegasystems Leaps 122%

Pegasystems Inc. (PEGA) Chairman Alan Trefler became a billionaire yesterday as shares in the customer relationship management software maker he founded jumped 122 percent so far this year to a record high. Trefler owns more than 52 percent of the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based business, according to filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. His stake is valued at about $960 million, excluding shares pledged as collateral. He also has collected about $50 million from dividends and share sales since 1996, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Read more of this post

At Web startups, glossy numbers often mean little

At Web startups, glossy numbers often mean little

2:08pm EST

By Alexei Oreskovic

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – A growing group of social and mobile Web services are poised to become the next Facebook Inc. Just ask them. Online startups with eye-popping statistics that purport to show their popularity have captivated the attention of the media and investors. Companies boast of everything from skyrocketing Web page views to user sign-ups to shared digital photos as measures of their success. Read more of this post

Amazon at Record Shows Divergent Views on Holiday E-Commerce

Amazon at Record Shows Divergent Views on Holiday E-Commerce

Investors are taking divergent views on Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) and EBay Inc. (EBAY) as the e-commerce companies head into the busiest shopping period of the year. Amazon, the world’s largest Web retailer, reached a record today, climbing 1.3 percent to $381.37. EBay, operator of the biggest online marketplace, declined less than 1 percent to $48.76, a 52-week low. Read more of this post

For half of Taiwan, overtime just a fact of life

For half of Taiwan, overtime just a fact of life

Wednesday, Nov 27, 2013

John Liu

The China Post/Asia News Network

TAIPEI – The Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) said yesterday that 51.2 per cent of the nation’s workforce had the experience of working overtime in 2013, and 28 per cent of those cases were unlawful. Both percentages have increased over the past two years, the CLA said. According to the regulations, working for 12 hours or more per day is considered unlawful. Read more of this post

Acer’s Stan Shih asserts capacity to innovate, hits back at his critics

Acer’s Stan Shih asserts capacity to innovate, hits back at his critics

Wednesday, Nov 27, 2013

Ted Chen

The China Post/Asia News Network

TAIPEI – Stan Shih (施振榮) yesterday responded to critics of his return to the helm of beleaguered Acer Inc. by stating that he is still capable of facilitating innovation. At a public engagement yesterday, Shih asserted that he is capable of leading Acer out of its current woes, citing numerous innovative achievements during his previous tenure as company chairman. A committee designed to oversee sweeping reforms at the company has been set up, said Shih. Read more of this post

SingPost said it is the first postal service provider in the world to offer remittance services to Myanmar.

SingPost launches remittance services to Myanmar

POSTED: 27 Nov 2013 11:50
Singapore Post (SingPost) has launched remittance services to Myanmar at all its post offices. In its statement on Wednesday, SingPost said it is the first postal service provider in the world to offer remittance services to Myanmar. SINGAPORE: Singapore Post (SingPost) has launched remittance services to Myanmar at all its post offices. In its statement on Wednesday, SingPost said it is the first postal service provider in the world to offer remittance services to Myanmar. SingPost is partnering four commercial banks in Myanmar in the effort. They are Asia Green Development Bank, Cooperative Bank, Kanbawza Bank and Tun Foundation Bank. SingPost said apart from remitting money to their families in Myanmar, senders can also remit their salaries home as savings, which will accrue interest paid out by the banks in Myanmar. The statement said there are some 150,000 to 200,000 Myanmar nationals in Singapore.

Treasury correlation puts Malaysia at higher taper risk

Treasury correlation puts Malaysia at higher taper risk

4:38am EST

By Jongwoo Cheon

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Record-high correlations between U.S. Treasury yields and the Malaysian and Thai currencies and high levels of foreign investment in their bond markets mean they could be hit hard when the U.S. Federal Reserve tapers quantitative easing. This focus on Malaysia and Thailand is in clear contrast from the May to September sell-off in Asian markets, when fear of the Fed tapering its stimulus drive hit the Indian rupee and Indonesian rupiah hardest because of their wide current account deficits. Read more of this post

The proposed assessment rate hike for properties in Kuala Lumpur by the KL City Hall might have a negative impact on REITs with the highest exposure to KL-based properties

Updated: Wednesday November 27, 2013 MYT 7:15:30 AM

Rate hike may hurt REITs

BY EUGENE MAHALINGAM

PETALING JAYA: The proposed assessment rate hike for properties in Kuala Lumpur by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall might have a negative impact on real estate investment trusts (REITs) with the highest exposure to KL-based properties, according to analysts. “We do expect some impact (from the assessment hike) on the earnings of REIT players with properties in KL,” said an analyst from a local bank-backed brokerage. Read more of this post

S&P Cuts Outlook on Malaysian Banks on Household Debt Concerns

S&P Cuts Outlook on Malaysian Banks on Household Debt Concerns

Standard & Poor’s cut its credit outlook for four Malaysian lenders on concern that rising home prices and household debt are contributing to economic imbalances in the country. The credit ratings company revised its outlook to negative from stable for CIMB Group Holdings Bhd. (CIMB), AmBank (M) Bhd., RHB Bank Bhd. and sister company RHB Investment Bank Bhd. It also lowered its long-term Asean regional scale rating on CIMB to axBBB+ from axA-, S&P said in an e-mailed statement today. Read more of this post

Volatile Loan Securities Are Luring Fund Managers Again

Volatile Loan Securities Are Luring Fund Managers Again

Collateralized Loan Obligations Offer High Returns—And Risk

MATT WIRZ

Updated Nov. 26, 2013 7:30 p.m. ET

MI-BZ917_CLO_PR_NS_20131126175103

Investment funds aimed at individual investors are barreling into collateralized loan obligations, a complex and volatile type of security that was shaken by the financial crisis. Lured by annual returns of as high as 20%, some mutual-fund managers are buying CLOs through investment funds that purchase stakes in loans to companies with low credit ratings. Another type of loan investment fund, business-development companies, also have begun buying CLOs, according to securities filings. Read more of this post

Surfing central banks in a benign ‘QE trap’

Surfing central banks in a benign ‘QE trap’

1:55am EST

By Mike Dolan

LONDON (Reuters) – The message is sinking in – economies of the rich world face super-easy money far into the future and central banks are now convinced it’s the least of all policy evils. Despite rumblings of dissent about the financial bubbles and iniquities associated with zero interest rates and money printing, 2013 is ending with a remarkable certainty among global investors that cheap money is around for the long haul. Read more of this post

Private equity keeps $789bn of powder dry

November 26, 2013 7:06 pm

Private equity keeps $789bn of powder dry

By Anne-Sylvaine Chassany, Private Equity Correspondent

Private equity groups are holding more cash for acquisitions than they had at the height of the leveraged buyout boom, in spite of a fall in the volume of deals being done – raising concerns about overcapacity in the industry. Data compiled by Preqin, the research group, show that the value of unspent commitments to private equity funds, known as “dry powder”, has surged to $789bn this year – an increase of 12 per cent since December 2012, after four years of decline. Read more of this post

Norway Debates $800 Billion Wealth Fund’s Investment Options

Norway Debates $800 Billion Wealth Fund’s Investment Options

Norway’s central bank Governor Oeystein Olsen said it would be natural for the nation’s $800 billion sovereign wealth fund to expand the asset classes it invests in as the new government considers how best to deal with the fund’s growth. Olsen signaled support for a 2010 recommendation, which was rejected the following year, for the fund to invest in infrastructure and private equity as the new administration of Prime Minister Erna Solberg reviews its investment mandate. Read more of this post

Middle East: Cracking up; The ferocious battle between Sunni and Shia is shattering the imperial borders drawn up a century ago

November 26, 2013 7:29 pm

Middle East: Cracking up

By David Gardner

The ferocious battle between Sunni and Shia is shattering the imperial borders drawn up a century ago

When Arabs started pouring on to the streets to challenge dynastic despots almost three years ago, a wave of euphoria swept over their world as its citizens dared to dream they were finally on their way into the 21st century. Now, it looks as if they have been pitched back almost a century, to the period after the first world war when the Arab territories of the Ottoman Empire were dismembered. Then, it was the imperial machinations of Britain and France that carved up their lands and future. Now, a raging civil war in Syria that is spilling over into neighbouring countries threatens to bulldoze post-Ottoman borders. Read more of this post

Canada’s Pensions Now Buyout Kings Taking On U.S. Firms

Canada’s Pensions Now Buyout Kings Taking On U.S. Firms

Mark Wiseman, the chief executive officer of Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, walked into the high-end New York department store Bergdorf Goodman in the mid-1990s looking for a suit. He left empty-handed. “I couldn’t afford anything there — I probably still can’t,” said Wiseman, sitting in the C$192.8 billion ($183 billion) fund’s headquarters in Toronto last month. “Is that where I shop? No, thanks. But there are a lot of people who do.” Read more of this post

Bitcoin Is Moving Just Like South Sea Stock Before The Bubble Popped [CHARTS]

Bitcoin Is Moving Just Like South Sea Stock Before The Bubble Popped [CHARTS]

MEBANE FABERMEBANE FABER RESEARCH NOV. 26, 2013, 6:48 PM 9,708 22

This is just for fun, I have no idea if or when the bitcoin train will ever get derailed.  You could compare this to any speculation that has gone parabolic, I just like ones that are over 200 years old. Chart 1 is actual bitcoin and South Sea Stock values plotted with SS peak lined up with current BC data. Chart 2 takes the last 8 months and lines them up with similar starting points. Granted I’m violating my #1 rule of charting but these are more fun to look at on a non log basis… Chart 3 is the most important, and it shows what happens after a bubble pops.  Namely, a 90% loss for those who bought at the top.  Now, I know many of you believe bitcoin will go to $1,000,000, but as a speculation (and to be clear this IS a speculation) you have to be at least be prepared for this to happen.  Do you have an exit plan?  Will you stick with it?  Or will you be like so many before you that ride a speculation all the way down? At least think about it. (Last note – one very common characteristic of bubbles is no talk of downside.  And that is all I am hearing with bitcoin today, rarely do you hear of anyone talking about the possibility of it going back to 100 or less.) I will will you with a little Kurt Vonnegut, from Galapagos, circa 1985: The thing was, though: When James Wait got there, a worldwide financial crisis, a sudden revision of human opinions as to the value of money and stocks and bonds and mortgages and so on, bits of paper, had ruined the tourist business not only in Ecuador, but practically everywhere…Ecuador, after all, like the Galapagos Islands, was mostly lava and ash, and so could not begin to feed its nine million people. It was bankrupt, and so could no longer buy food from countries with plenty of topsoil, so the seaport of Guayaquil was idle, and the people were beginning to starve to death…Neighboring Peru and Columbia were bankrupt, too…Mexico and Chile and Brazil and Argentina were likewise bankrupt – and Indonesia and the Philippines and Pakistan and India and Thailand and and Italy and Ireland and Belgium and Turkey. Whole nations were suddenly in the same situation as the San Mateo, unable to buy with their paper money and coins, or their written promises to pay later, even the barest essentials. ..They were suddenly saying to people with nothing but paper representations of wealth, “Wake up, you idiots! Whatever made you think paper was so valuable?” The financial crisis, was simply the latest in a series of murderous twentieth century catastrophes which had originated entirely in human brains. From the violence people were doing to themselves and each other, and to all other living things, for that matter, a visitor from another planet might have assumed that the environment had gone haywire, and that people were in such a frenzy because Nature was about to kill them all. But the planet a million years ago was as moist and nourishing as it is today – and unique, in that respect, in the entire Milky Way. All that had changed was people’s opinion of the place.”

chart1-7 chart2-6 3-81

Among American workers, poll finds unprecedented anxiety about jobs, economy

Among American workers, poll finds unprecedented anxiety about jobs, economy

By Jim Tankersley and Scott Clement, Tuesday, November 26, 8:03 AM

CHESTER, Pa. — The alarm rang on John Stewart’s phone at 1:10 a.m. Up at 1:30, he caught one bus north into Philadelphia a little after 2 and another bus, south toward the airport, half an hour after that. He made it into work around 3:25 for a shift that started at 4, for a job that pays $5.25 an hour, which he cannot afford to lose. Read more of this post

Struggling pawnbroker resorts to melting down retail gold jewellery stocks to stay within bank borrowing agreements as profits slump

Albemarle & Bond smelts its own gold jewellery to stave off bankruptcy

Struggling pawnbroker resorts to melting down retail jewellery stocks to stay within bank borrowing agreements as profits slump

By John Ficenec

2:19PM GMT 27 Nov 2013

The beleaguered pawn broker Albemarle & Bond is smelting down its own gold jewellery to stave off bankruptcy. The company said on Wednesday it was carrying out a programme of exceptional smelting of retail jewellery stocks in order to stay within constrained banking facilities. The company said it now expects to make a trading loss in the first five months of the year, and that the pledge book of pawned items had declined by 12pc on the same stage last year. Read more of this post

Return of bundled debt deals raises crisis re-run fears

November 27, 2013 9:06 am

Return of bundled debt deals raises crisis re-run fears

By Tracy Alloway in New York

The Adams Express Building in lower Manhattan has a colourful history that includes a first world war explosion and the discovery of basement-dwelling goldfish. Perhaps of greater relevance to its Wall Street neighbours, the loan used to build the near century-old skyscraper was also one of the first to be bundled and securitised into a commercial real estate bond. Read more of this post

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