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  1. HONG KONG—Chinese financial regulators this year slashed red tape and laid out the welcome mat for global bond investors, hoping to lure fresh cash into the country’s $9 trillion market. But new players have been slow to accept the invitation, wary about lingering ambiguity over the rules and how they will be enforced. “There are still too many layers of regulation,” said Jean-Charles Sambor, deputy head of emerging-market fixed income at BNP Paribas Investment Partners in London, which manages $1.2 billion in assets. Mr. Sambor said he is interested in China’s domestic bond market, but isn’t buying yet. Cautious investors cite a wide range of ongoing concerns, from uncertainty over tax treatment to the depth of the government’s commitment to liberalization. Foreign bond buying has picked up since the liberalization took effect earlier this year. Between February and June, the most recent month data is available, foreign investor holdings jumped 15% to 764 billion yuan ($115 billion), according to the People’s Bank of China. That is still just 1.3% of the market, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Among the new Chinese bond investors is Robert Simpson, a fund manager at London-based Insight Investment, which manages £499 billion ($662.73 billion) and bought a small batch of government debt this summer. “It’s a market that we wanted to be at the forefront of,” Mr. Simpson said. Yet Mr. Simpson said his firm is “taking our time to build up our expertise.” The PBOC didn’t respond to requests for comment. The National Association of Financial Market Institutional Investors, an industry body that helps oversee the bond market, declined to comment. The changes in China, the world’s third-largest bond market, are part of Beijing’s push to open up the country’s financial system and expand international use of the yuan, while steering domestic borrowers to seek funding from markets rather than bank loans. The bond-market liberalization follows a similar opening of the country’s stock market, where foreign ownership reached $90 billion in June, about 1.5% of the domestic market. Until this year, global fund managers had to apply for permission to buy bonds, and their purchases were limited by quotas governing how much they could buy. They could use only U.S. dollars or yuan parked outside of China’s mainland. In some cases, investors could only repatriate a capped amount each year, or had to keep their money inside the country for up to one year. The few foreign investors who were granted easy access included central banks, sovereign-wealth funds and multilateral lenders such as the World Bank. Advertisement ‘There are still too many layers of regulation.’ —Jean-Charles Sambor Now, a wider range of investors has access to Chinese bonds, including commercial banks, insurers, securities firms, mutual funds, pensions and charities. Instead of seeking regulators’ approval to invest, they can just register before buying. Regulators also lifted investment quotas and eased restrictions on repatriation, as well as limitations on the types of currencies that could be used. China’s bond market remains undeveloped compared with the U.S. and other advanced economies. It is a relatively small source of domestic credit in the bank-dependent economy, and the pool of investors is concentrated largely among the country’s banks. Some investors consider Chinese yields attractive, with the benchmark 10-year government bond returning 2.8%, compared with 1.6% for U.S. Treasurys, and negative yields in Japan and parts of Europe. But gauging risk is tricky, due to grade inflation by local raters, who classify more than 90% of corporate debt as investment grade. There are still boundaries for foreigners seeking to enter the market. Investors can’t buy and sell by themselves, but rather have to work through an approved settlement agency in China to register, trade and repatriate money. By contrast, foreigners can buy bonds in emerging markets such as Thailand and Malaysia simply by placing orders with a broker. China’s bond market also appears to be off limits to the likes of hedge funds. The PBOC said in its liberalization announcement that only “medium-to-long-term institutional investors” were qualified to register. Many foreigners remain fearful that when things get tough, regulators will find ways to clamp down on trading. During last summer’s stock-market crash, Chinese authorities allowed thousands of listed firms to freeze stock trading, forcing locals and foreigners into holding positions while the market fell. “There is a risk of policy reversing with some kind of capital controls being imposed,” said Luke Spajic, head of portfolio management in emerging Asia at Pacific Investment Management Co., which manages $1.5 trillion in global assets. “It could happen. Policy has been in flux.” Some investors also worry about taxes. China’s Ministry of Finance and the State Administration of Taxation say foreigners need to pay a 10% levy on interest earned from bonds. But Chinese bond issuers don’t withhold this tax, and the regulator hasn’t spelled out who should be collecting it. The tax authority hasn’t clarified whether foreigners must pay any capital gains tax at all. “One regulator (the PBOC) has opened up its market, but investors are still waiting for another regulator (the tax authority) to come up with rules pertinent to that development,” said TieCheng Yang, a Beijing-based lawyer with the London law firm of Clifford Chance LLP.
  2. Can anyone think or funny names for these brands ? BMW Bring Me Worries AUDI ?? Benz ?? Fiat ?? OPEL ?? GM Got Money ? Toyota ?? Honda ?? Mazda ?? Ford ??
  3. Picnic06-Biante15

    NASA Says, No Worries We're Safe .....

    from Yahoo : NASA: The world will not end on December 21, 2012 AFP Relax
  4. Whats wrong with the water in Pasir Ris? I remembered NEA closed the beach and label the water "NOT SAFE TO SWIM IN" 2 year ago. According to results from a study released by NEA in 2009 during the last annual assessment of water quality at beaches, Pasir Ris beach's water quality is affected by various possible sources, including minor leakage from older sewers, moored vessels, animals, as well as discharges from small-scale Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) that presently serve the more remote areas in Pasir Ris. The low water currents in the concave part of Pasir Ris beach are not effective in diluting and dispersing the discharges. When dead fish wash ashore at Pasir Ris ... by Esther Ng A layer of white covered the muddy banks of Sungei Api Api yesterday, as thousands of white fish, measuring 5cm long each, were washed up onto the shore. The smell of rotting fish could be detected as far as 30m away from the river, which flows through the Pasir Ris estate. "I was frying chicken, but all I smelt was fish," said homemaker Wati Mansor, 47. "The smell was very strong - it even went up to my master bedroom - I felt like I was in a wet market." Mdm Wati's second-floor mansionette at Elias Road overlooks the river. In all her 10 years living in Pasir Ris, this is the first time such an incident has happened, Mdm Wati said. This was confirmed by other residents. Mr Mark Rodrigues, a resident and chief controller at SMRT, told Today that the stench turned up after 3pm. "This is the first time that we have fish dying on the banks," he said. A foreman from Neo Lian Poh Construction, who only gave his name as Wanz, agreed. He told Today that he and his crew have been cleaning the river for two years and there had been no such incidents previously. He said the dead fish were ikan bilis and ikan tamban. About 30 men in reflective vests were spotted cleaning up the banks yesterday. Mr Rodrigues and Mr Wanz believed that the dead fish came from Serangoon Harbour, near Pulau Ubin, and both were puzzled about the cause of death. Residents told Today that the river is commonly used for recreational activities such as canoeing and fishing. The sight of thousands of dead fish yesterday spooked some of them. "If the fish died because the water was polluted and people eat their catch, there's a health concern," said Mdm Wati. Pasir Ris resident Heidi A said: "I'm wondering whether the water is polluted because it's near Pasir Ris beach which until recently was not safe for water activities." According to national water agency PUB, the dead fish were found at the mouth of Sungei Api Api and along Pasir Ris beach yesterday. "(They) were likely to have been washed in by the tide, and some of them were deposited on the river bed of Sungei Api Api. The contractors are currently clearing the dead fishes," it said. "PUB assures the public that this incident has no impact on drinking water quality. The water in Sungei Api Api is not used for the drinking water supply." The National Environment Agency is also investigating the cause of the incident.
  5. Picnic06-Biante15

    No Worries, Control In Pipeline .......

    CNA report : Long term flood control plan in pipeline SINGAPORE: Singapore is now at a point where it needs to embark on decades long plan for flood control infrastructure. This is the assessment by Environment and Water Resources Minister, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan. He said measures undertaken in the 1960s and 1970s have succeeded in easing the threat of prolonged floods, but events of the last few years have highlighted the need to improve infrastructure to cope with flash floods. Dr Balakrishnan disclosed that in addition to reviewing the drainage system, the national water agency PUB has also commissioned an independent study to assess the possibility of a new diversionary canal off the Stamford Canal in Orchard Road, as well as a new retention pond in the same area. But such projects are likely be costly and will have to be weighed against benefits. But beyond building bigger drains and deploying better technology, Dr Balakrishnan said the public must also be seen as part of the solution. This means taking their feedback and complaints seriously and encouraging them to post updates on flash floods. He added that the volatile weather causing flash floods today can just as well result in droughts in the near future, and his greater concern is Singapore's long term water security. The way he intends to manage this is to design a infrastructure that can be used for flood as well as drought control. The Marina Barrage for instance flushes out rain water during a storm, while keeping it in the Marina Reservoir during a dry spell. - CNA/ck Hmmmm............. we need a minister to tell us that reservoir water are kept for dry spell. I think I learn this in primary school ........ "He said measures undertaken in the 1960s and 1970s have succeeded in easing the threat of prolonged floods, but events of the last few years have highlighted the need to improve infrastructure to cope with flash floods". so.......... those in the 60's are really working whereas current ones sit and wait for bonuses. so now than he realised, what yakult had doing all this while .....
  6. Mr LKY I am concerned about your statement we need 900,000 more foreign workers. At 5 million, our infrastructure is already crumbling from the sheer mass of people descending into Singapore within a scant 2 years. Housing the additional 2 million @ say an average of 4 persons per household would require an additional 500,000 homes. How many new HDB flats and condominiums have we added to the supply in the last two years? Its no wonder that we face an endless demand for housing, thereby pricing even basic HDB property above the means of an average Singaporean. How then for another new million of migrant workers? I beg you to seriously reconsider this decision. Unless you mean to house these people in ships offshore and only come inland to work and return to their ships thereafter, I wonder how it is possible our over burdened infrastraucture would be able to cope with the almost one million new immigrant workers. I hope you would rescind this statement and promise it will never happen in the next five years. Yours truly