Author Topic: Dark Cloud Over Brexit  (Read 100184 times)

Offline zuolun

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Re: Dark Cloud Over Brexit
« Reply #50 on: September 19, 2016, 09:01:12 AM »
Top investors have one theme on their minds: Danger ~ 17 Sep 2016

Tim Geithner: A 'scary erosion' of policies

From Icahn’s lips to Trump’s economic policy plan (at least the first version) ~ 16 Sep 2016

What Carl Icahn's portfolio tells us about his investment style ~ 16 Sep 2016

Offline zuolun

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Re: Dark Cloud Over Brexit
« Reply #51 on: September 21, 2016, 09:06:09 AM »
Is the global economy headed for a 'worst case' scenario? ~ 20 Sep 2016

Full Hanjin ship can not dock because there's no plan to leave ~ 20 Sep 2016

Shipping woes ~ 19 Sep 2016

China’s ports hit hard by global trade slowdown ~ 18 Sep 2016

Offline zuolun

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Re: Dark Cloud Over Brexit
« Reply #52 on: September 21, 2016, 09:38:21 AM »
Shorten to meet Arrium workers ~ 21 Sep 2016

Arrium steelworks' instability 'putting youth at risk of homelessness' ~ 19 Sep 2016

GIC keeping close tabs on cash-strapped Arrium ~ 26 Aug 2016
GIC holds around 8.21% of Arrium.

Bill Shorten visits Arrium's Whyalla Steelworks to announce support package ~ 16 Jun 2016

Arrium's demise blamed on management failures ~ 7 Apr 2016

High debt, falling commodities & oversupply of steel lead Arrium into administration ~ 7 Apr 2016
8,100 jobs are at risk across Australia as Arrium steelmaker goes into administration. Immediate threat is to 3,000 workers in Whyalla, South Australia.

Arrium enters voluntary administration, Grant Thornton appointed ~ 7 Apr 2016

Arrium shares suspended from ASX trading ~ 7 Apr 2016

Who on earth is buying Arrium shares at this price? ~ 10 Dec 2015
Arrium saw its share price rise 11.3% to 6.9 cents today, after iron ore stage a brief rise.

Offline zuolun

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Re: Dark Cloud Over Brexit
« Reply #53 on: September 22, 2016, 08:12:37 AM »
Malaysian energy firm Petronas plans several hundred more job cuts ~ 20 Sep 2016
Petronas, struggling to deal with lower oil prices, earlier this year unveiled 1,000 job cuts

Offline zuolun

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Re: Dark Cloud Over Brexit
« Reply #54 on: September 22, 2016, 11:25:43 AM »
Singapore private home prices feared to plummet by up to 15%

20 Sep 2016

Blame it on supply glut.

Singapore's property sector will remain on the rocks as looming oversupply will continue to put downward pressure on private home prices.

According to a report by OCBC Investment Research, physical oversupply remains a key headwind until 2017.

"Given that the market remains in a state of physical oversupply over 2016-17, we continue to forecast for private home prices to grind 5- 15% lower over this period and also expect pressures on rental rates to persist," the report stated.

OCBC added that property sales in August were at a disappointing 7.8% decline from the record last year.

Meanwhile, OCBC also noted that authorities have already clarified that the recent tweaks of refinancing rules under the Total Debt Servicing Ratio rules should not be construed as an easing of property curbs.

"...the recent TSDR tweaks give existing borrowers more flexibility in managing their debt obligations at lower rates and and would add a measure of stability in the balance sheets of existing borrowers – which is overall positive for the housing market and the banks’ balance sheets," OCBC explained.

Older Singaporeans to double by 2030

22 Aug 2016

If you could travel 15 years into the future, our citizen population will look very different. Chances are you’ll see more older people around you. That is because by 2030, one in four Singaporeans will be aged 65 years and above.

This demographic change has come about quickly. There were 270,000 Singaporeans aged 65 and above in 2005. Just ten years later, that number has grown to 440,000. This fast pace of ageing is due to the large cohorts of post-war baby boomers getting older. The first cohort of baby boomers turned 65 in 2012.

Advancements in healthcare and medical technologies have also increased Singapore’s life expectancy.  50 years ago, a 65-year-old person could expect to live approximately eight years more. Today, a person who is 65 can expect to live another 20 years on average.

By 2030, the number of Singaporeans aged 65 and above is projected to double to 900,000. That means 1 in 4 Singaporeans will be in that age group, up from 1 in 8 today.

We are not alone. Other developed nations are also experiencing a similar rise in their older population. But from the graph below, the slope of Singapore’s line is steeper than that of most other countries. This means our population is ageing at a fast pace.

Besides the higher number of older people in our population, another reason for the pace of ageing is our low total fertility rate (TFR). The lower the TFR, the smaller the younger population, hence the faster the rate of growth in the proportion of older people. We see this from the chart below – the number of citizens under 25 years old is declining, even as number of citizens in the older age group climbs.

Interestingly, although our society is getting older, we are no less dynamic. Older Singaporeans are now healthier and more active, and are continuing to contribute meaningfully to our economy and society. If we can adapt and transform our society to become more age-friendly and successfully turn it into our strength, the opportunities that come with longevity are tremendous. Learn more about what an ageing population means to us.

Singapore private homes puzzle: Why aren't prices falling proportionately? ~ 5 Aug, 2016
It had been relatively easier to clear previous housing gluts in the 2000s, partly because Singapore’s population boomed as the country opened up to immigration and foreign investment, via tourism and financial services. Today, we face limits in opening our markets any further.

The key factor in Singapore's residential property prices: Foreign workforce growth rate

Singapore foreign workforce numbers as at Jun 2016

Singapore foreign workforce numbers as at Jun 2015

Singapore needs 900,000 foreign workers to stay competitive: Lee Kuan Yew ~ 24 Apr 2011

Offline zuolun

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Re: Dark Cloud Over Brexit
« Reply #55 on: September 23, 2016, 07:44:28 AM »
The Guardian view on the global economic outlook: dark clouds ahead ~ 21 Sep 2016

Offline zuolun

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Re: Dark Cloud Over Brexit
« Reply #56 on: September 23, 2016, 12:09:40 PM »
S’pore business sentiment crumbles amid domestic, global concerns ~ 22 Sep 2016

Singapore primed for large-scale Zika virus outbreak ~ 22 Sep 2016

Can Singapore handle Zika? ~ 11 Sep 2016

Offline zuolun

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Re: Dark Cloud Over Brexit
« Reply #57 on: September 23, 2016, 02:24:20 PM »
Which ASEAN country owe the most debt to foreign governments? ~ 20 Sep 2016
We don't have to look very far. Our neighbour down south has been included among the 20 most indebted nations worldwide. The island nation's total external debt amounts to US$1.76 trillion (RM73.43 trillion). An earlier report in accounting news portal CFCInnovation had also identified Singapore with the highest corporate debt-to-GDP ratio in the ASEAN region.

Offline zuolun

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Re: Dark Cloud Over Brexit
« Reply #58 on: September 23, 2016, 02:54:13 PM »
Malaysia: This is what public housing looks like ~ 23 Sep 2016

Offline zuolun

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Re: Dark Cloud Over Brexit
« Reply #59 on: September 24, 2016, 09:11:09 AM »
The invisible American ~ 20 Sep 2016
I've been reading a lot about a "recovering" economy. It was even trumpeted on Page 1 of The New York Times and Financial Times last week. I don't think it's true. The percentage of Americans who say they are in the middle or upper-middle class has fallen 10 percentage points, from a 61% average between 2000 and 2008 to 51% today.

The terrifying signs of a looming housing crisis ~ 20 Sep 2016

This cycle will end ~ 8 Aug 2016

Offline zuolun

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Re: Dark Cloud Over Brexit
« Reply #60 on: September 24, 2016, 09:29:12 AM »
Avoid Malaysian property, especially Iskandar ~ 12 Aug 2016

Offline zuolun

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Re: Dark Cloud Over Brexit
« Reply #61 on: September 24, 2016, 09:29:56 AM »
Push for affordable housing ~ 17 Sep 2016

Malaysia: This is what public housing looks like ~ 23 Sep 2016

Offline zuolun

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Re: Dark Cloud Over Brexit
« Reply #62 on: September 25, 2016, 02:13:17 PM »
Real estate groups lobby against calls for GTA foreign buyers tax ~ 23 Sep 2016

B.C. data shows massive drop in foreign property buyers after targeted tax ~ 22 Sep 2016
But the days prior to the Aug 2 deadline saw a stampede of foreign buyers in Vancouver to avoid paying the 15% tax.

Joe Oliver: We have no choice but to slap a tax on Toronto houses being bought by foreigners ~ 22 Sep 2016

加拿大楼市调控 第二个致命政策又来了 ~ 16 Sep 2016

Vancouver’s revolting! This is one housing bubble ready to pop ~ 11 Aug 2016

Chinese media warns Canada's housing crash will put U.S. to shame ~ 5 Aug 2016

Offline king

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Re: Dark Cloud Over Brexit
« Reply #63 on: September 26, 2016, 07:14:20 AM »

Saturday, 24 September 2016
Sell Everything before Market Crash !
Will there be another market crash in 2017 ?

The unlucky 7

Whenever there is year ending with 7 , the stock market will collapse and have crisis.
For example, the name for the 1987 stock market crisis is Black Monday. Interest parity arbitrage trading and currency war fueled the

Asian Crisis in 1997. It involves borrowing a cheap currency with low yields and investing in a stable currency with higher yields to earn spread income, known as positive carry. Hence the name, carry trades.

Concept explained : Currency Carry Trade : by Investopedia

What is a 'Currency Carry Trade'

A currency carry trade is a strategy in which an investor sells a certain currency with a relatively low interest rate and uses the funds to purchase a different currency yielding a higher interest rate. A trader using this strategy attempts to capture the difference between the rates, which can often be substantial, depending on the amount of leverage used.

 In theory, rates and prices should reach an equilibrium so there is no arbitrage. But this was a special time in financial markets. Japan wanted to manage the yen to promote its export-oriented economy. Other Asian countries with currencies pegged to the dollar had just opened their capital accounts and were attracting foreign investors with higher yields. The money poured in and strained utilization capacity until local authorities interceded in late 1998, and the party ended.

The GFC (Global Financial Crisis ) surfaced first in 2007 with the collapse of the U.S. subprime market. In 2008, it turned into full-scale crisis when Lehman Brothers fell. This time was also a carry-trade, the one involving credit ratings rather than currencies. Banks could buy impaired loans and make them into RMBS with inflated ratings provided by willing rating agencies.

These securities were then refinanced in CDOs. The CDO ratings were based on original ratings on the RMBS-they were not updated with real performance information-so if the rating on an RMBS was inflated, it would flow through to the CDO.

What is RMBS and CDO  ?

What is a 'Residential Mortgage-Backed Security (RMBS)'

Residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) are a type of mortgage-backed debt obligation whose cash flows come from residential debt, such as mortgages, home-equity loans and subprime mortgages. A residential mortgage-backed security is comprised of a pool of mortgage loans created by banks and other financial institutions. The cash flows from each of the pooled mortgages is packaged by a special-purpose entity into classes and tranches, which then issues securities and can be purchased by investors.

What is a 'Collateralized Debt Obligation - CDO'

A structured financial product that pools together cash flow-generating assets and repackages this asset pool into discrete tranches that can be sold to investors. A collateralized debt obligation (CDO) is so-called because the pooled assets – such as mortgages, bonds and loans – are essentially debt obligations that serve as collateral for the CDO. The tranches in a CDO vary substantially in their risk profile.

 The senior tranches are relatively safer because they have first priority on the collateral in the event of default. As a result, the senior tranches of a CDO generally have a higher credit rating and offer lower coupon rates than the junior tranches, which offer higher coupon rates to compensate for their higher default risk.

Still don’t believe ? Look at “ Samsung Galaxy Note 7 “ ! which has made the News Headline recently.

Samsung is recalling the Galaxy Note 7 worldwide over battery problem
Samsung, safety regulators officially recall about 1 million Galaxy Note 7 phones

Ok , Ok ,, but then how about iPhone 7 ?

Quoted below from USA Today :

“On Friday, the glass was half-empty. Investors dumped shares on heavy volume after a market research firm in Germany, GfK, reportedly showed soft sales in Europe for iPhone 7. Apple shares (AAPL), which had climbed 6% since the company's Sept. 7 launch event, lost 1.7% to $112.71 and dragged on the Dow Jones Industrial Average. “

Still don’t believe ? Look at below chart on so called "Megaphone Pattern" !

So , what will be the trigger point of crash in 2017 ? Commodity (oil ) crash ? China shadow banking problem ? Geopolitical tensions ( North Korea / Middle East )  or iPhone 7 ? etc ….

Chotto Matte

How about below news and chart from MarketWatch ?

Sell everything ahead of stock market crash, say RBS economists in Jan 2016

In a note to its clients the bank said: “Sell everything except high quality bonds. This is about return of capital, not return on capital. In a crowded hall, exit doors are small.” It said the current situation was reminiscent of 2008, when the collapse of the Lehman Brothers investment bank led to the global financial crisis. This time China could be the crisis point.

The result :

In the 10 months since Royal Bank of Scotland analyst Andrew Roberts issued his headline-making call to “sell everything,” most assets have soared.

So, now what ? Will market crash in 2017  or not ?  I think the best answer still the same : “ I don’t know ! “

Cheers !

< Disclaimer : this is not a call to act or sell your stocks , please DYODD prior making any decision and it is nothing to do with Samsung Notes 7 or iPhone 7 if market really crash in 2017 . >

" I Don’t Know the Key to success , but the key to failure is try to please everyone.” By Bill Cosby
Posted by STE at 11:15
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Labels: forecasting, Global Financial Crisis, market crash

Unknown24 September 2016 at 13:04
There will as usual a final great push before all hell come. I think a rally will come first, then come the storm. It is always play out in this manner. I think a final strong rally coming, to trap more people.


STE24 September 2016 at 15:25
Hi !
Everything seems random as what Nassim Taleb mentioned in his book " The Black Swan "..
Market could move in any direction. ...hard to predict. .

FFE24 September 2016 at 19:53

Yes it's true that we can't predict but yet isn't the reason for market crush due to frothy valuations?

The funny thing is that while US market ain't cheap but Singapore's can't be consider expensive.

However when US market tanks, I'm sure our's will too.

Sigh. Our market is such a laggard.


STE24 September 2016 at 20:32
Yup ! You are right that Singapore market seems lag behind US and has been so long ,, while US market eg SP 500 is above 1 SD but our STI still below regression line ,,, is also very true that while US stock tank ,, whole world's stock market will follow ,,,regardless of what your valuation level ,,, by that will become cheaper !
Cheers !!


Ali24 September 2016 at 16:37


STE24 September 2016 at 18:54
Ali 兄,
风水学高手, 授教,授教。。希望如你所言。。旺到2023 !!
Cheers !!


RayNg25 September 2016 at 09:15

Wah! Your blog title eye catching ah!

Base on the blogs reading, some of us have exited the market > 3 years and wait for the crash. But it did not come. The market is up and up instead. Look like the hot air balloon is still full of steam despite QE has stop.

Nevertheless, there are some correction along the uptrend such as EU crisis on 2011 (The PIGS), rumour of interest hike.

So, when is the market crash? No body know. Mr market is irrational and manic-depressive.

Not all will panic and sell during market crash. WB is one of the example and so do some of Value-Investment Fund. Their 'market value' will tank but their 'business value' still intact. They will then take the opportunity to accumulate more on the cheap.

Warren Buffett — 'Be Fearful When Others Are Greedy and Greedy When Others Are Fearful'. Easy to understand but difficult to apply if we don't have the right mindset and guts.

The crash will definitely come... just that we don't know when. More importantly, we should prepare for the eventuality and react adequately to the opportunity rather than crisis.



STE25 September 2016 at 12:41
Hi Ray,
Hahaha :) that's also how media use to create their " news headlines "...must be eye catching n exaggerating! !
Well said! Yah ...Mr. Market is really irrational and manic depressive. .one have to be ready to capitalize the irrationality of the market. .


Cory25 September 2016 at 17:47
There are no fixed duration. Something will have to trigger. Oil and Gas maybe Singapore thing but can be world wide since middle east got so many mega projects for big companies. Another World level maybe China debt thing which I never got to understand whether is it a mega problem or not. Everyone is an expert here ...

Yes Market is irrational. We need to profit from the sentiments.


STE25 September 2016 at 20:06
Hi Cory ,
Yes! As you said ,,, " everyone is an expert here ...." ....until, being proved the other way ... :)
Cheers !!

Offline zuolun

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Re: Dark Cloud Over Brexit
« Reply #64 on: September 26, 2016, 09:25:01 AM »
Melbourne's high-rise nightmares taking a tall toll on residents and investors ~ 25 Sep 2016

Offline zuolun

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Re: Dark Cloud Over Brexit
« Reply #65 on: September 26, 2016, 04:09:56 PM »
Singapore is only Asian economy to suffer contraction in nominal GDP in Q2: BNP Paribas ~ 26 Sep 2016

Singapore 2012 GDP grew 1.2% as recession seen in second half ~ 1 Jan 2013

Offline zuolun

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Re: Dark Cloud Over Brexit
« Reply #66 on: October 06, 2016, 03:19:13 PM »
Switzerland pressures Malaysia over 1MDB 'Ponzi scheme' ~ 5 Oct 2016
In January 2016, 1MDB’s debts ballooned from Rm5 billion to Rm50 billion.

Singapore urged to step up policing of financial crime ~ 27 Sep 2016

Offline zuolun

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Re: Dark Cloud Over Brexit
« Reply #67 on: October 08, 2016, 11:09:43 AM »
Recession looms? IMF cuts growth forecasts for major economies ~ 5 Oct 2016

Global debt hits all-time high of $152 trillion as IMF warns of world-wide economic stagnation ~ 5 Oct 2016

Offline zuolun

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Re: Dark Cloud Over Brexit
« Reply #68 on: October 10, 2016, 03:22:13 PM »
Is Southeast Asia really a cesspool of corruption? ~ 10 Oct 2016

Ringgit likely to trade around 4.10 versus US dollar next week ~ 8 Oct 2016


Sabah corruption – another reason why the ringgit is weak ~ 8 Oct 2016

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio dared to debate Malaysian corruption in London ~ 7 Oct 2016
The group went on to say, “As you’ll certainly be aware, Malaysian grand corruption is an issue of major international concern due to the embezzlement and subsequent laundering of at least US$3.5 billion dollars from the Malaysian state fund 1MDB by public officials, their associates and a number of international banks.”

Falcon denies sale talks amid 1MDB probe ~ 6 Oct 2016

Offline zuolun

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Re: Dark Cloud Over Brexit
« Reply #69 on: October 10, 2016, 09:18:26 PM »
Banks may not have to raise fresh equity capital ~ 10 Oct 2016

Impact of IFRS 9 implementation likely to be minimal on GCC banks ~ 9 Oct 2016

IFRS 9 may pose operational challenge for APAC banks ~ 5 Oct 2016

Banks may incur provisions for exposure to Perisai ~ 5 Oct 2016
Perisai has a total debt of S$420mil (RM1.27bil or US$307mil), inclusive of the S$125mil bonds. Excluding the bond, its borrowings would be at S$295mil (RM888mil or US$216mil). Perisai has a total of eight bankers, namely DBS, OCBC, UOB, Maybank, RHB Bank, AMMB, BNP and Natixis.

RHBBank (1066) ~ Intermediate uptrend is broken, downside bias

RHBBank closed with a doji @ RM4.63 (+0.03, +0.7%) with 1m shares done on 7 Oct 2016.

Immediate support @ RM4.42, immediate resistance @ RM4.70.

Singapore charges two ex-bankers in Jho Low, 1MDB-linked case ~ 10 Oct 2016
  • Yak, Seah face seven charges each from Singapore authorities
  • Two charged Monday in city state are ex-BSI employees
Malaysia banks lag Southeast Asian peers on 1MDB, slow growth ~ 11 Aug 2016

AMBank ~ Hit a new record low as at 5 Oct 2016
When a stock is in a bear-market territory, the last low will be retested and the share price will move much further down, forming a new record low.

Bank Negara urged to probe Ambank over Najib's account ~ 14 Sep 2016

Offline zuolun

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Re: Dark Cloud Over Brexit
« Reply #70 on: October 11, 2016, 02:16:50 PM »
Singapore, Swiss regulators slam Falcon over 1MDB breaches ~ 11 Oct 2016
  • Falcon linked to $3.8b of 1MDB fund flows, Swiss Finma says
  • Private bank’s Singaporean branch manager arrested on Oct. 5
1MDB: Singapore shuts down Swiss Falcon Bank over Malaysian scandal ~ 11 Oct 2016

MAS shuts down Falcon Private Bank in Singapore, slaps fines on DBS and UBS after 1MDB probe ~ 11 Oct 2016

Offline zuolun

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Re: Dark Cloud Over Brexit
« Reply #71 on: October 17, 2016, 05:01:48 PM »
Irish leaders fear Brexit will bring economic disaster ~ 16 Oct 2016

Government borrowing costs climb long-term as pound falters

Fears sterling could fall further leave investors seeking cover for perceived risk of UK investments

By Chris Giles
October 15, 2016

The British government’s cost of borrowing rose to its highest level since the EU referendum on Friday as investors sought greater protection against the perceived risks of investments in the UK.

The increased premium Britain is paying for international finance has resulted from fears that sterling could fall further, having already declined 16 per cent against the currencies of the UK’s main trading partners since the referendum, hitting at least a 168-year low on Wednesday.

It also reflected heightened political risks in a week when consumers were confronted by the looming threat of price rises by the spat between Unilever and Tesco over the pricing of Marmite and other foods and personal care products.

As imports have already become more expensive, household budgets will become squeezed over coming months. Speaking on Friday about the impact on poorer families, Mark Carney, Bank of England governor, said: “It’s going to get difficult.”

In August, the BoE said it expected inflation to rise from the current level of 0.6 per cent to 2.4 per cent over the next two years and it is set to revise those estimates higher following sterling’s recent plunge, hitting households in the pocket as few expect wages simply to follow prices higher.

Without assuming any further falls in sterling and using a more conservative estimate of how much retailers will pass higher import prices on to consumers, Capital Economics now expects inflation to hit 3.2 per cent by 2018.

Noting that Mr Carney had said he would tolerate inflation rising “a bit” above the bank’s target, Paul Hollingsworth of Capital Economics said the BoE was likely to do so “to support the economy in the short run in order to meet the target in the medium term once the exchange rate effects fade out”.

But while the central bank is not yet reacting to sterling’s fall and probable rises in inflation, investors are seeking greater protection. The government’s cost of longer-term borrowing rose sharply on Friday to 1.097 per cent, up 8 basis points on the data and its highest level since the referendum.

Ten-year yields on UK government bonds have more than doubled since August, when they were 0.5 per cent, reflecting a demand for greater returns from the UK that has not been reflected in other countries borrowing costs. Germany’s 10-year government bond yield stood at 0.05 per cent, which was only marginally higher than it was in August.

The rise in market interest rates on government debt will remove one of the silver linings to the clouds hanging over the public finances, adding to the difficulties facing chancellor Philip Hammond. He has to craft a new budgetary policy that gives him more room for manoeuvre while also maintaining Britain’s ability to borrow cheaply.

Mr Carney’s comments helped shore up sterling on Friday as he said he was “not indifferent” to the exchange rate when looking at setting interest rates, but he indicated the BoE was still minded to tolerate an inflation overshoot caused by the latest sterling weakness.

Economists are split on whether the BoE is likely to cut interest rates further at its November meeting, with most expecting the central bank will keep official interest rates at the historic low of 0.25 per cent rather than reducing them further as it had signalled in August.

What does a weaker pound mean? ~ 11 Oct 2016

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Re: Dark Cloud Over Brexit
« Reply #72 on: October 23, 2016, 12:42:29 PM »
Opposition walks out as Malaysia’s Najib presents budget ~ 21 Oct 2016

Bloated Malaysia civil service presents headache for Najib ~ 11 Aug 2016
  • Public workforce large relative to other Asian peers
  • Civil servants indispensable support base for Najib’s party

Offline zuolun

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Re: Dark Cloud Over Brexit
« Reply #73 on: October 23, 2016, 04:52:56 PM »
Inside James Packer's Crown China nightmare ~ 21 Oct 2016

The initial carnage of the arrests has given way to a different sort of damage – the $1.6 billion implosion in Crown Resorts share market value. By Thursday afternoon its founder and largest shareholder, James Packer's wallet had taken an $800 million hit.

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Re: Dark Cloud Over Brexit
« Reply #74 on: November 02, 2016, 08:19:44 AM »
No big restructuring: Korean government decides to maintain ‘Big 3’ structure in shipbuilding industry ~ 1 Nov 2016

Korea: Shipyards to close down 23% of docks ~ 31 Oct 2016

After 20,000 job cuts, world’s top shipyards brace for more ~ 26 Oct 2016
  • Cost reduction hands Hyundai Heavy its third quarterly profit
  • Top three yards lost a total $5.8 billion in last six quarters

Is global banks’ exposure to global shipping being neglected by markets? ~ 29 Oct 2016

Korea: Perfect storm on the horizon ~ 14 Oct 2016

Bad loans to shipping: That sinking feeling ~ 3 Sep 2016
Banks continue to count the cost of shipping’s troubles

Korean banks hit hard by shipbuilding woes ~ 17 Jun 2016

Sinking feeling for Korean banks ~ 15 Jun 2016

Korean banks set to suffer from exposure to troubled shipbuilders ~ 25 May 2016

Offline zuolun

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Re: Dark Cloud Over Brexit
« Reply #75 on: November 03, 2016, 06:19:22 PM »
Najib, why award RM55b ERCL project to ‘barred’ China company? – DAP  ~ 3 Nov 2016

DAP’s Pua demands Najib explain RM55b ECRL award to Chinese company

By Surin Murugiah
November 2, 2016

 The DAP’s Tony Pua has questioned the reason for the increase in cost for the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) to RM55 billion from the initial RM30 billion.

He has also demanded that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak explain the absence of transparency and accountability in awarding the RM55 billion East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project to a Chinese company.

In a statement today, Pua, who is DAP national publicity secretary and MP for Petaling Jaya Utara pointed out that the Treasury-General Tan Sri Dr Irwan Serigar Abdullah had informed the media two days ago that Malaysia and China will sign the Framework Financing Agreement and Engineering, Procurement, Construction (EPC) Contract for the project yesterday.

“Dr Irwan spoke to Malaysian media upon arrival in Beijing on Monday, as part of the delegation accompanying Prime Minister Najib Razak who is on a six-day visit to the Chinese capital,” he said.

Pua added that Irwan had said the railway link will lower transportation costs between the west and east coasts of peninsular Malaysia, bring down prices of goods and reduce travelling time.

"It will also help create more jobs and business opportunities for Malaysians, especially the rural folks," he quoted Dr Irwan as saying.

Pua said he was not disputing or objecting to the ECRL project or its benefits to the nation.

“Malaysians are stunned that such a mega-project is being awarded without any form of transparency and competitive tender, to ensure that we receive the best value for money.

“Worse, the project was originally touted to cost RM30 billion, as opposed to a monstrous RM55 billion as announced in the Finance Minister’s budget speech,” he said.

Pua said that as a measure of comparison, the 329km Ipoh-Padang Besar double-tracking project was awarded to MMC-Gamuda consortium for RM14.5 billion in 2003.

“More recently in December 2015, the 179km Gemas-Johor Bahru link was awarded to China Railway Engineering Corporation for the sum of RM7.1 billion. On average, the railway projects cost RM44.0 million and RM39.8 million per kilometre, respectively.

“However, at the cost of RM55 billion, the 600km ECRL will cost a monstrous RM91.7 billion per kilometre to construct.

“That would mean that the ECRL will cost 108% and 130% more than northern and southern double-tracking projects, respectively!” he said.

Pua added that Dr Irwan tried to pre-empt questions on the project by claiming that the financing offered by China was a lower rate, compared with the international market, coupled with a long repayment period of 20 years.

“A favourable financing rate is not a justifiable excuse not to carry out a proper tender exercise.

“Based on the above information we have, a financing rate that is say, 2% lower than other parties, would never justify a 130% increase in the cost of the project!” he said.

Pua said the real fear was that the real reason why the ECRL project is awarded to China at grossly inflated prices, is to hide future illegal money flows from the opaque Chinese companies to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) creditors such as International Petroleum Investment Corporation (IPIC), to rescue the state-owned fund.

IPIC, in this case, is suing 1MDB for a massive US$6.5 billion, he said.

“As exposed by the Sarawak Report earlier in July, we fear that the “excess” from the inflated Chinese contract will be siphoned in a pre-arranged but illegal manner, to bailout 1MDB,” he concluded.

Malaysia's PM hopes to improve his image with China trip ~ 1 Nov 2016

Boosting bilateral ties with China ~ 1 Nov 2016

Malaysia and China to sign off on East Coast rail deal, says Irwan Serigar ~ 31 Oct 2016

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Re: Dark Cloud Over Brexit
« Reply #76 on: November 03, 2016, 08:32:48 PM »

>Blacklisted Chinese bridge building company has history…
Blacklisted Chinese bridge building company has history of backhander deals
Malta IndependentMonday, 21 July 2014, 11:00Last update: about 3 years ago
The blacklisted state-owned China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) that gifted Malta a ‘free’ €4 million feasibility study on building a bridge between Malta and Gozo has a history of greasing the palms of officials in third world countries.

Government-to-government deals are not subject to EU rules on public procurement which means they escape scrutiny. CCCC has a habit of throwing in deal sweeteners, promising finance and then strong-arming governments to win more contracts.

Just last week, two Tanzanian officials were charged with fraudulently awarding a bloated contract worth more than $523 million to CCCC to expand the capital city Dar es Salaam’s main port. The project was abandoned when officials queried the inflated costs of the project, which were double those of similar projects.

Earlier this year, a Kenyan MP said “shadowy forces” were behind the awarding of a contract to CCCC for the building of a railroad. CCCC carried out a ‘free’ feasibility study on the project, whose cost have been steadily inflating.

Western companies often find it difficult to compete for contracts with their Chinese counterparts due to their penchant for bribing foreign officials.

During his recent visit to China, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat met the president of the blacklisted company in order to discuss progress on the bridge feasibility study.  The project has been criticised all round for its environmental impact and the fact that the government is dealing with a blacklisted company.

Dr Muscat instructed the company to give more attention to the environmental impact of the project rather than merely assessing its technical feasibility. A subsidiary of the same company will likely also be responsible for the building of a breakwater between Valletta and Sliema.

Dr Muscat has said that CCCC will be involved in “other projects,” which could very well include dredging Marsaxlokk harbour and supplying an LNG tanker. Such projects are in CCCC’s line of business through its subsidiary, China Harbour Engineering. In 2010, the youngest son of a former Bangladesh prime minister was jailed for accepting bribes from the company for the Bangladesh Chittagong Port project.

CCCC is blacklisted by the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and it's on at least two blacklists in the US because of its Iran-Armenia railway project. The company is set to remain on the World Bank’s blacklist until 12 January, 2017: in the meantime, it is ineligible to engage in any road or bridge projects financed by the World Bank Group


China’s humpty-dumpty bridges
In a five year period between 2007 and 2012, China experienced at least 18 bridge collapses resulting in 135 deaths according to the news agency Bloomberg. China has rapidly expanded its road and rail infrastructure to keep up with its booming economy, but critics say that safety has sometimes been overlooked in the rush to develop.

In 2012, one of the longest bridges in Northern China collapsed nine months after it was built. The New York Times reports that many in China have attributed the recent spate of bridge collapses to corruption, and online reaction to the latest collapse was scathing.

“Corrupt officials who do not die just continue to cause disaster after disaster,” said one post on Sina Weibo, a Chinese microblogging service similar to Twitter.

Another Internet user expressed hope “that the government will put heavy emphasis on this and investigate to find out the real truth, and give both the dead and the living some justice!” A third user was more laconic, remarking, “Tofu engineering work leads to a tofu bridge.

Offline zuolun

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Re: Dark Cloud Over Brexit
« Reply #77 on: November 04, 2016, 09:49:44 AM »
How World War III could start (Think Syria, the Baltics or the South China Sea) ~ 3 Nov 2016

Malaysia to purchase four navy ships from China in landmark deal ~ 2 Nov 2016*-deal
  • Two littoral mission vessels built in China, two in Malaysia
  • Price, technical details of ships deal yet to be announced
大马向中国买4艘滨海任务舰 ~ 1 Nov 2016

China says US sail-by could spark war ~ 29 Oct 2016

Japan and China’s maritime tensions in the South China Sea are resurfacing World War II-era wounds ~ 22 Sep 2016

Should we be concerned about the East China Sea dispute? ~ 6 Sep 2016

South China Sea War: China finds stronger enemy in Malaysia ~ 2 Jun 2016

Game on for China, U.S. ahead of South China Sea ruling ~ 2 Jun 2016

As Beijing flexes muscles in South China Sea, Malaysia eyes harder response ~ 1 Jun 2016

South China Sea War: Tensions high as court ruling looms ~ 31 May 2016

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Re: Dark Cloud Over Brexit
« Reply #78 on: November 05, 2016, 06:46:53 PM »
The South China Sea: Duterte waters ~ 5 Nov 2016

President Joko Widodo affirms sovereignty of Indonesia in South China Sea dispute ~ 5 Nov 2016

Najib asks West to stop 'lecturing' as Malaysia embraces China ~ 2 Nov 2016

On Duterte’s heels, Malaysia is the next Asian country to embrace China ~ 31 Oct 2016

US must make right choice in South China Sea ~ 31 Oct 2016

Duterte's visit has ushered in a new era ~ 27 Oct 2016

US Navy destroyer conducts operation in South China Sea ~ 22 Oct 2016

China urges Australia to be 'cautious' on South China Sea ~ 13 Oct 2016

Beijing and Moscow launch South China Sea naval drills ~ 12 Sep 2016

The hidden costs of China’s lifeline in the 1MDB scandal

By Sheridan Mahareva
16 August 2016

With Malaysia facing long-term repercussions for embracing Chinese money, experts warn prime minister is turning a personal scandal into a national problem

By spending about RM16 billion ringgit (US$4 billion) on troubled Malaysian state investor 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), China has bought a lot of clout in the corridors of power in this Southeast Asian nation.

Last month’s civil suit by U.S. authorities against personalities tied to 1MDB and their assets comes as local leaders worry the global financial scandal will have a deeper impact.

It is not just a question of whether Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak will serve out his term, or whether 1MDB’s mammoth debts will be fully repaid.

It is also now the country’s shrinking ability to chart independent domestic and foreign policy, because of the expensive deals — overt and covert — that will have to be made to resolve the scandal.

Some 1MDB critics also claim it is no coincidence the suit by the U.S.’ Department of Justice comes at a time of growing Chinese influence in Najib’s administration.

They point to the backdrop of the South China Sea disputes, where Malaysia and other Association of Southeast Asian (Asean) countries are locked in overlapping territorial claims with Beijing, and where the United States wants to maintain its dominance.

The sale of 1MDB’s power assets and property in November and December to two separate Chinese firms last year was part of the company’s push to raise money to pay the company’s debts.

1MDB, which is Najib’s brain child and whose advisory board he heads, racked up RM42 billion in debts within five years of operation. A former prime minister, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, described 1MDB as the country’s single largest financial scandal and has been campaigning for Najib to resign.

Although Najib has repeatedly denied wrongdoing, the U.S. civil suit pointedly states that US$3.5 billion was “stolen from 1MDB” by its officials and their associates. Of that amount, about US$1 billion was laundered through the US and used to buy lavish properties, expensive paintings and pay gambling expenses in the U.S.

China’s purchases of 1MDB assets had helped reduce its debts to RM40.4 billion, Najib said in his 2016 New Year’s Day address. But at least one deal was controversial.

The sale of 1MDB’s power assets to China General Nuclear Power Corp would have breached the limit of foreign ownership rules for local electricity companies.

1MDB critic and opposition law maker Rafizi Ramli had campaigned unsuccessfully to block the sale, claiming that it would threaten local jobs in the energy sector.

“Allowing a foreign company to fully control electricity production operations for a major national power producer has great risk.

“Electricity supply could be disrupted if there are future problems and the increase in tariffs would be based on the interests of these foreign companies,” Rafizi said last November.

Another parliamentarian, Wong Chen, said in the end the cabinet allowed an exemption to the foreign equity rules so that the deal could go through.

The government had made an exception, because it was desperate to bring in money to pay 1MDB’s debts, Wong said.

“There will be long-term geopolitical repercussions for Malaysia, because of this intense interest in embracing Chinese money,” Wong told This Week in Asia.

The trend of favouring mainland companies over others in large infrastructure projects in the future was likely to continue, said another parliamentarian, Charles Santiago.

The RM50 billion Singapore-Kuala Lumpur High Speed Rail project is another venture that could involve either expertise or money from China, he said.

“The Najib administration had also floated the idea of a nuclear power plant and this too could involve money from China.”

In Sarawak, a region that straddles the island of Borneo in East Malaysia, China’s pull in Malaysia is already affecting the incomes of local fishermen.

Reports from late last year claimed that Sarawakian fishermen — like their counterparts in Indonesia and the Philippines — had been chased away from their traditional fishing grounds in the Luconia Shoals by armed Chinese vessels.

In March, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Authority (MMEA) had reportedly spotted a fleet of Chinese trawlers fishing in the area.

Malaysia claims the shoals as being in its waters. But unlike Indonesia and the Philippines, it has yet to confront or capture Chinese fishing boats that poach in the area, despite vowing to do so.

Malaysia’s low key approach could be due to both China’s help with 1MDB and the country’s history with the superpower, said Dr Tang Siew Mun, a senior fellow at ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore.

“Malaysia was the first Asean state to normalise relations with Beijing [in the 1960s] and it was the current prime minister’s father who paved the way for the renewed bilateral relations,” Tang said.

“Malaysia’s growing dependence on China for not only trade but investment, too, has had a direct impact on its response to the South China Sea disputes.”

In June, Malaysia unilaterally released what was supposed to be a joint-Asean statement on disputes in the South China sea, after an Asean meeting with China in Kunming (??). However, the statement was retracted hours later, raising eyebrows all-round as to why Malaysia did it — to force Asean’s hand or to show China up.

Tang of ISEAS believes China is likely to continue to deploy large-scale fishing fleets to affirm its claims over the sea. This could trigger more friction between the maritime forces and fishing fleets of Malaysia and China.

“This puts pressure on Malaysia to respond to these Chinese intrusions, pitting its political-economic [interests] against strategic interests,” said Tang.

In the end, said lawmaker Santiago, “Najib has succeeded in turning his personal scandal into a national problem”.

Sheridan Mahareva is a Kuala Lumpur-based journalist.

In a threat to China, Malaysia vows to sink illegal fishing boats in the South China Sea ~ 2 Aug 2016

How exactly Malaysia plans to sink illegal boats was not specified. China wants to become a major maritime power and claims nearly the entire South China Sea as its own, based on a “nine-dash line” drawn on a 1940s map. A ruling last month invalidated the claim under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), but Beijing has vowed to ignore it and has belittled the tribunal behind it.

In the case of Malaysia, that means it can expect a Chinese presence in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) extending from its portion of northern Borneo, also known as East Malaysia. Under UNCLOS, Malaysia should have sole extraction rights to all the natural resources extending 200 nautical miles from the coastal baseline.

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Re: Dark Cloud Over Brexit
« Reply #79 on: November 06, 2016, 02:23:35 PM »
The China X factor in Malaysia’s future ~ 4 Nov 2016

Malaysian exports shrink in September as crude, gas shipments slump

November 4, 2016

Malaysia's exports contracted at a wider-than-expected rate in September, official data released Friday showed, hurt primarily by a sharp decline in crude oil and natural gas shipments.

Exports totalled 68.03 billion ringgit ($16.21 billion) in September, 3.0% lower than the 70.15 billion ringgit recorded in the same month last year, the Statistics Department said in a statement. That compares to the median 2.0% drop predicted by economists and August's 1.5% year-on-year growth. On a month-on-month basis, exports increased 0.7% from 67.6 billion ringgit.

Economists said the contraction in Malaysia's September shipments was in line with shrinkages posted by major regional exporters such as China, Japan and Taiwan during the same month.

"Exports usually see a month-on-month pick up in October ahead of a seasonal decline in November before rising again in December," said Julia Goh, an economist with United Overseas Bank. But this year's fourth-quarter exports may be impacted by "cautious demand" due to near-term risk events, she added.

Exports of crude petroleum and liquefied natural gas plummeted 27% and 20% respectively in September. However, electrical and electronics shipments, which account for more than a third of Malaysia's total exports, grew 0.3% year-on-year during the month.

In terms of markets, exports to Japan and the European Union fell 12% and 8.4%, respectively, while shipments to the United States rose 5%. Exports to China, Malaysia's biggest trading partner, slipped 1%.

Total imports meanwhile decreased 0.1% to 60.47 billion ringgit in September from 60.50 billion ringgit a year earlier, primarily driven by a 5.6% drop in the inflow of capital goods and a 4.8% slide in consumption goods.

However, imports rose 2.4% from 59.1 billion ringgit when compared to August.

Malaysia's trade surplus narrowed to 7.56 billion ringgit in September from 8.51 billion ringgit in August.

"The global economy is beginning to show some signs of a recovery with the global merchandise trade activity bouncing back into a growth following 22 consecutive months of contraction," said RHB Research Institute. Malaysia's exports growth will probably accelerate to 2.3% next year from 1.6% in 2016, the house said.

Malaysia has been relying largely on domestic demand to support an economy projected to grow between 4.0% and 4.5% this year. In 2017, Southeast Asia's third-largest economy will probably grow between 4.0% and 5.0%, according to government forecasts.

BNM has RM410 billion in usable reserve assets

31 Oct 2016

Reserves more than enough to sustain 8.5 months of retained imports, says Bank Negara.

Malaysia has usable reserve assets worth USD97.67 billion (RM410 billion) and foreign currency assets worth USD616.2 million as at end-September 2016, according to Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM).

The reserves will be more than sufficient to finance 8.5 months of retained imports.
BNM said for the next 12 months, the pre-determined short-term outflows of foreign currency loans arising from scheduled repayment of external borrowings by the government would amount to USD242.3 million.

In line with the practice adopted since April 2006, the data exclude projected foreign currency inflows arising from interest income and the drawdown of project loans amounting to USD2.36 billion in the next 12 months, says a report in The Sun.
“The only contingent short-term net drain on foreign currency assets are government guarantees of foreign debt due within one year, amounting to USD80.6 million.

“There are no foreign currency loans with embedded options, no undrawn, unconditional credit lines provided by or to other central banks, international organisations, banks and other financial institutions. BNM also does not engage in foreign currency options vis-a-vis ringgit,” said BNM.

Amundi sees continued upside in EM debt ~ 3 Nov 2016,amundi-sees-continued-upside-in-em-debt.aspx

Increased foreign interest in Malaysian bonds ~ 30 Oct 2016

Economic Report 2016/17: Higher federal govt debt on development expenditure financing ~ 21 Oct 2016

Malaysia's external debt to GDP ratio higher than others in region at 66%: Moody's ~ 21 Jul 2016

Fake debt and investable bank credit… ~ 6 Nov 2016

Offline zuolun

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Re: Dark Cloud Over Brexit
« Reply #80 on: November 19, 2016, 04:52:30 PM »
Malaysia's 1MDB scandal: Nothing to see here ~ 19 Nov 2016

Bersih 5: Malaysia protests – LIVE ~ 19 Nov 2016

Thousands march in 'Bersih' protests calling for Malaysian PM Najib Razak to step down ~ 19 Nov 2016

Activist arrested at Bersih 5 rally ~ 19 Nov 2016

Malaysian police sweep up opponents ahead of rally ~ 19 Nov 2016
Bersih leader and others arrested, Malaysiakini website charged in widespread move

Bersih 5: Red Shirts harassing people, women being targeted ~ 19 Nov 2016

Red Shirts gather to counter Bersih 5 rally ~ 19 Nov 2016

Cops arrest Red Shirts leader Jamal Yunos ~ 19 Nov 2016

All quiet in Johor: No signs of Bersih 5 supporters ~ 19 Nov 2016
Johor adhered to the decree on Nov 3 by the Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, who banned the act of street demonstrations in the state. Johor is the first state to impose such a ban.

Thousands march in Malaysian capital calling for PM Najib to step down ~ 18 Nov 2016

Malaysia braces for more anti-government protests ~ 18 Nov 2016

Malaysian news portal editor charged over offensive videos ~ 18 Nov 2016

Bid to stop Bersih 5.0 rally dismissed ~ 17 Nov 2016

Malaysiakini editor-in-chief charged over AG videos ~ 17 Nov 2016

Mahathir urges Malaysians to join protest rally as tension grows ~ 16 Nov 2016

Tun M urges Malaysians to participate in Bersih 5 rally ~ 16 Nov 2016

1MDB probe: Singapore banker Yak Yew Chee gets 18 weeks' jail, S$24,000 fine ~ 11 Nov 2016

Red Shirts demand explanation at Bersih 5 convoy ~ 11 Nov 2016

Nga Kor Ming 倪可敏怡保力挺Bersih 5.0造势大会 ~ 6 Nov 2016

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Re: Dark Cloud Over Brexit
« Reply #81 on: November 30, 2016, 08:45:39 AM »
Zika Pregnancies and big questions in Puerto Rico ~ 29 Nov 2016

Fed’s Dudley says Puerto Rico will regain access to bond market ~ 29 Nov 2016

Upside in Puerto Rico municipal bonds

Puerto Rico’s new governor is intent on restructuring the island’s debt.

By Andrew Bary
November 26, 2016

The recent election of a new governor in Puerto Rico, and the formation of a powerful federal financial control board this summer, have resulted in some optimism about a bondholder-friendly restructuring of much of the island’s $70 billion of debt.

The situation is still unsettled, but the new governor, Ricardo Rosselló, is viewed on Wall Street as a serious leader who wants to put the island on a stronger financial footing, bolster a weak economy, and work out a reasonable agreement with bondholders. Rosselló contrasts with the more combative outgoing governor, Alejandro García Padilla, who clashed with bondholder groups and then opted to default on $1 billion of debt-service payments on July 1.

Rosselló’s election came after midyear, when President Barack Obama signed the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act, which created a seven-member control board with broad fiscal and debt-restructuring authority.

The benchmark Puerto Rico 8% general-obligation bond due in 2035 rallied after the Rosselló win, to about 72 cents on the dollar from 69 cents, but has since slipped back to about 69 cents. The market for Puerto Rico’s senior sales-tax revenue bonds, known by their Spanish acronym Cofina, has been stronger, with long-term senior debt trading up to the low $70s from the high $60s in the summer, as Puerto Rico has continued to make payments to that debt.

Barron’s was among the first to warn about Puerto Rico’s growing financial troubles in a cover story more than three years ago (“Troubling Winds,” Aug. 26, 2013).

Key future developments will be a new fiscal proposal from the incoming governor and recommendations from a task force about steps the U.S. government can take to ease Puerto Rico’s financial burden.

Things should heat up in early 2017 because a stay on bondholder lawsuits ends in February—with a potential extension to around May 1. This means that a bond restructuring plan probably needs to be in place by then. There is apt to be considerable wrangling among different bondholder groups, and there is overall risk given Puerto Rico’s fiscal, economic, and pension problems.

Against that backdrop, the general-obligation bonds, trading at less than 70 cents on the dollar, look like the best way to bet on a bondholder-friendly deal that could give GO holders a package worth 85 cents to 90 cents on the dollar.

For Puerto Rico’s workers, debt crisis wWon’t end Christmas bonus ~ 23 Nov 2016
  • Commonwealth will pay an estimated $120 million in bonuses
  • Island law requires the payments to be made this month

Puerto Rico's debt crisis could get even worse ~ 21 Nov 2016

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Re: Dark Cloud Over Brexit
« Reply #82 on: December 09, 2016, 04:53:24 PM »
1MDB denies China rescue deal; Dr M's sarcastic retort to royal snub ~ 7 Dec 2016

Has China offered to bail out Malaysia's 1MDB? At what cost? ~ 7 Dec 2016
The new bailout – if confirmed – will be the latest effort by China to rescue 1MDB, which is facing money laundering investigations in multiple jurisdictions including Singapore, Switzerland and the United States. Najib has vehemently denied any wrongdoing and insists the government is cooperating with these probes.

Malaysia, don’t use Burma to distract from disquiet at home ~ 5 Dec 2016

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Re: Dark Cloud Over Brexit
« Reply #83 on: December 09, 2016, 05:04:33 PM »
1MDB denies China rescue deal; Dr M's sarcastic retort to royal snub ~ 7 Dec 2016

Has China offered to bail out Malaysia's 1MDB? At what cost? ~ 7 Dec 2016
The new bailout – if confirmed – will be the latest effort by China to rescue 1MDB, which is facing money laundering investigations in multiple jurisdictions including Singapore, Switzerland and the United States. Najib has vehemently denied any wrongdoing and insists the government is cooperating with these probes.

Malaysia, don’t use Burma to distract from disquiet at home ~ 5 Dec 2016


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Re: Dark Cloud Over Brexit
« Reply #84 on: January 08, 2017, 07:55:45 AM »
Malaysia to shut down scandal-ridden 1MDB ~ 7 Jan 2017

Negative ‘perception’ dragging ringgit down: Malaysia Treasury Sec-Gen ~ 6 Jan 2017

The acidental whistle-blower: How a retired London journalist uncovered massive corruption half a world away ~ 6 Jan 2017

Falcon Bank's ex-Singapore branch manager Jens Sturzenegger slapped with 16 1MDB-related charges ~ 5 Jan 2017

Ringgit hits 4.50 breaching psychological mark against US$ ~ 5 Jan 2017

Ringgit expected to slide to 4.70 per US dollar by mid-2017 ~ 5 Jan 2017

Things will get worse for the Malaysian Ringgit: BMI Research ~ 5 Jan 2017
  • Ringgit was among the weaker major Asian currencies in 2017
  • China’s economic slowdown will weigh on Malaysian trade: BMI

SGD-MYR ~ May 2015

Malaysia's ringgit poised for fourth year of straight loss against dollar

December 5, 2016

The Malaysian ringgit is likely to suffer its fourth consecutive annual loss against the U.S. dollar this year, despite efforts by the central bank to stem the currency's slide, as local political uncertainties and weak global demand dent growth prospects of Southeast Asia's third-largest economy.

In November alone, the currency has shed 6.5% against the U.S. dollar, underperforming its regional peers, and adding to the more-than 3.0% loss so far this year. The ringgit edged 0.1% higher to 4.446 on Monday, but still hovers near its lowest levels since January 1998.

"While it's relatively stable for now, if the U.S dollar continues to strengthen after recent consolidation, the ringgit and other emerging market currencies will depreciate again," said Qi Gao, Asia foreign exchange strategist at Scotiabank. He predicts that the ringgit will likely end the year at 4.4000 against the U.S. dollar before pushing towards 4.4800 by the end of 2017.

The ringgit has been under pressure tracking feeble global crude prices and political tension that has brewed since alleged financial scandal at a state-owned investment agency linked to Prime Minister Najib Razak. Political tension is likely to persist as former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad sharpens his attack against Najib. A call for early election could further cloud economic outlook as once arch rivals Mahathir and ethnic Chinese-dominated Democratic Action Party could join hands to challenge Najib's United Malays National Organisation that has ruled Malaysia since it gained independence from Great Britain in 1957. At UMNO's recent annual party congress Najib warned that ethnic Malays will be "engulfed in a nightmare" if DAP wins the election in the multi-ethnic Muslim majority country.

"We think PM Najib's election strategy has increased political uncertainty and with it, demand for USD," ING's chief Asia economist Tim Condon wrote in an investor note on December 2.

Moreover, the U.K.'s shock decision to exit the European Union and a surprise U.S. presidential election victory of Donald Trump that risks jeopardising an ambitious trade deal that is currently in the works, have also weighed on the ringgit. Post Trump victory, expectations of an interest rate increase in the U.S. have firmed, prompting flight of capital from emerging markets, which in turn have pressured many Asian currencies.

The Malaysian ringgit has been hit harder than Asian peers. While the ringgit has declined 4.5%, the Philippine peso has shed 2.2% and the Singapore dollar has given up 2.7% against the greenback since Trump's win.

The recent weakening comes after the ringgit fell 19% last year - making it the worst performing Asian currency against the dollar - following a sharp plunge in crude oil prices. The rout prompted Malaysia, one of Asia's few net oil exporters and the world's second-largest natural gas producer after Qatar, to ease fiscal consolidation efforts.

Although Bank Negara Malaysia has routinely intervened in the foreign exchange market to smoothen volatilities of the ringgit and calm investors, it has stepped up efforts in the recent past to check the ringgit's fall. It recently cajoled currency traders to stop selling an already declining ringgit, reinforced existing rules to prohibit offshore trading of the currency in the so-called non-deliverable forward markets and announced a raft of measures to boost liquidity in the domestic currency market. Last week, the central bank directed exporters to retain only 25% of export proceeds in a foreign currency and convert the remainder into ringgit.

"In the near term, the moves are expected to provide support to the ringgit as and when export proceeds are being converted into the local currency," said RHB Research Institute's economist Vincent Loo. "However, demand for foreign currency to pay for imports and capital outflows could offset part of the gain."

The ringgit will also be under pressure as foreign investors continue to cash out. Foreigners sold 780.5 million ringgit ($174.8 million) worth of Malaysian shares in the week ended December 2, higher than 493.3 million ringgit worth of stocks sold a week prior.

"Malaysian equity has been subjected to heavy foreign money attrition particularly since the U.S. election," said MIDF Research.

Meanwhile, foreigners raised their holdings in Malaysian government bonds in October to 184.6 billion ringgit, accounting for more than half of the outstanding issue, according to latest available data from the central bank.

That compares to holdings totalling 181.4 billion ringgit, or 51.3% of the total government bonds, in September.

"Malaysia's fundamentals have not changed markedly, if anything, it has stabilized amid higher oil prices," said United Overseas Bank economist Julia Goh. "However, the economy's perception has been affected by concerns over reserve adequacy as global liquidity conditions tighten and the high level of foreign holdings of domestic debt securities, which makes ringgit more vulnerable to selling pressure."

Najib, who is also the finance minister, has been at the center of allegations that he received hundreds of millions of dollars drawn out of state investment fund 1 Malaysia Development Bhd.

He has consistently denied any wrongdoing even as the company also known as 1MDB was dragged into a civil suit in the U.S. and has been linked to probes in several countries including neighbor Singapore and Switzerland.

Bank Negara Malaysia kept the overnight policy rate steady at 3.00% at its final meeting for the year in November, drawing on resilient private consumption to cushion soft global demand for its exports and drive economic growth.

The central bank had cut the interest rate by a quarter percentage point in July in a bid to halt decelerating economic growth and brace the country for impact from U.K.'s decision to leave the European Union.

Malaysia's economy will likely grow between 4.0% and 5.0% in 2017, according to government forecast. That compares to an expansion of between 4.0% and 4.5% this year and 2015's 5.0% growth.

Malaysians underestimate the damage caused by the 1MDB scandal ~ 26 Nov 2016

Malaysia’s ringgit may keep tumbling amid the market's Trump tantrum ~ 21 Nov 2016

Najib might go if the ringgit drops further: Academic ~ 20 Nov 2016

Malaysian PM Najib Razak extends powers amid fury over 1MDB scandal ~ 27 Jul 2016

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Re: Dark Cloud Over Brexit
« Reply #85 on: January 09, 2017, 08:05:57 AM »
"Greed is an imperfection that defiles the mind; hate is an imperfection that defiles the mind; delusion is an imperfection that defiles the mind." ~ Gautama Buddha

AFP looks into whether 1MDB loot stashed here ~ 9 Jan 2017

Convicted Singaporean banker Yeo Jiaewei has been named in court in Singapore as accumulating a $6 million Australian property portfolio.

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Re: Dark Cloud Over Brexit
« Reply #86 on: January 09, 2017, 08:44:51 AM »
Mahathir is old, but not stupid

By TK Chua
January 8, 2017

He has a point about the problem with selling off property to foreigners.

Suddenly Tun Mahathir was accused of not being able to understand the difference between foreigners owning land in Malaysia and Malaysia’s sovereignty.

The prime minister of 22 years has become “stupid” in the eyes of many who at one time had never failed to queue up to kiss his hand.

Sadly, I think the stupidity is the other way round. Those criticising and belittling Mahathir now are in actual fact the ones who are genuinely stupid.

I don’t think we can ever interpret what Mahathir said, in the literal sense. Of course, foreigners owning large swathes of prime lands will not affect Malaysia’s sovereignty in the immediate term.

But if the whole area is carved out exclusively for foreigners from a particular area, may I know what kind of development model is this? How will this affect the interests of ordinary Malaysians in the future? How would this affect the independence and future administration of the country?

Unfettered purchase and ownership of lands and real estate would unequivocally push the prices beyond the reach of most Malaysians, including the middle class.

How could Malaysians ever compete with the rich from China in terms of wealth and purchasing power? Five to 10% of the wealthy from China are probably equivalent to the population of the whole of Malaysia. Is there any wonder why the prices of real estate are escalating far beyond the reach of most Malaysians?

Foreign direct investments (FDI) into manufacturing and services are very different from FDI into land, real estate and infrastructure. The former creates and increases Malaysia’s productive capacity in terms of employment generation, transfer of technology, exports, and foreign exchange earnings. It also helps in generating higher-paying jobs.

FDI into land, real estate and infrastructure, on the contrary, means selling off national assets.

Ownership changes hands, from Malaysians to foreigners. We get one-time proceeds from sales but there will be no recurring income.

In fact, selling off infrastructure, like energy generation plants, ports, and railroads will result in Malaysians paying foreigners for the use of facilities within their own country. Instead of export earning, there will be an outflow of funds.

Dr Mahathir Mohamad may be old, but he is certainly not stupid.

Desperate to survive, Malaysia’s PM sells his country to China ~ 27 July 2016
Enormously inflated rail contract a ruse to pay off 1MDB debt

Malaysia's 2nd largest pension fund may cut 5% minimum return target ~ 19 Jul 2016

HK’s Shaw family to acquire $376m London office from Malaysia’s KWAP ~ 2 Mar 2016

Malaysia’s 1MDB may have overvalued property assets: Report ~ 5 Jan 2016

Malaysia pension fund plans U.K. sale in asset repatriation move ~ 30 Dec 2015
  • London office building to be sold for 270 million pounds
  • KWAP to repatriate proceeds from sale by end of first quarter
1MDB sells Edra power assets to China firm for nearly RM10b cash ~  23 Nov 2015

《远方的家》 20161219 一带一路(77)马来西亚 奋斗在新山 ~ 19 Dec 2016




$100 billion Chinese-made city near Singapore 'scares the hell out of everybody' ~ 22 Nov 2016

Planeloads of buyers fly in as condos rise from the sea

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Re: Dark Cloud Over Brexit
« Reply #87 on: January 12, 2017, 03:25:09 PM »
Trump trades unwind in bonds, FX on blowout Treasuries uction ~ 12 Jan 2017

Suddenly, home sale agreements are falling apart across the U.S. ~ 11 Jan 2017

Gold ETF hits best level in a month ahead of Donald Trump presser ~ 11 Jan 2017

Gold prices rise as markets press on with Trump trade unwind ~ 10 Jan 2017

Gold: The rate hike rally continues ~ 10 Jan 2017
  • The last two bear markets in US stocks were deflation-oriented.
  • The next one is likely to be inflation-themed, and could feature the US dollar and gold soaring higher at the same time.
Gold rallied nicely after the Fed’s first rate hike in 2015, and it’s rallying nicely again after the second rate hike.

Hedge funds are holding a lot of short positions in gold on the COMEX.

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Re: Dark Cloud Over Brexit
« Reply #88 on: January 14, 2017, 02:33:57 PM »
Petaling Street traders expect slower sales for CNY ~ 14 Jan 2017

Weak ringgit may affect Chinese New Year preparations ~ 5 Jan 2017

PM, our high cost of living is because of you ~ 21 Dec 2015

‘Had you been prudent and competent, our exchange rate would not drop.’

SGD-MYR ~ May 2015

Price hikes due to external factors, not solely government’s fault, says Najib ~ 18 Dec 2015

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Re: Dark Cloud Over Brexit
« Reply #89 on: January 14, 2017, 05:41:29 PM »
These major retailers are closing stores in 2017 ~ 13 Jan 2017

American Apparel to close L.A. headquarters and all 110 U.S. stores ~ 13 Jan 2017

JC Penney gears up for closures as department stores sales continue to deteriorate ~ 13 Jan 2017

The nation's biggest retailers face an inconvenient truth: An imperiled profit model ~ 12 Jan 2017

The Limited is closing all 250 of its stores ~ 9 Jan 2017

Sears and Kmart closing another 150 stores as holiday sales plummet ~ 6 Jan 2017

Is your local Macy's closing? Here's the full list of stores being closed ~ 4 Jan 2017

A giant wave of store closures is about to hit the US ~ 31 Dec 2016

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Re: Dark Cloud Over Brexit
« Reply #90 on: January 18, 2017, 09:10:17 AM »
‘Look East’ policy not about selling land to foreigners, Dr M tells sultan ~ 17 Jan 2017

Johor Sultan slams Dr Mahathir for playing ‘politics of fear and race’ ~ 16 Jan 2017

Ringgit rout ~ 16 Jan 2017
Large foreign holdings of bonds make Malaysia highly vulnerable to capital flight, while weak fiscal position and political turmoil add to risk. A perfect storm is forming around the Malaysian ringgit, as its value remains at risk from a protracted economic slump aggravated by a domestic political scandal and the prospect of rising US interest. The ringgit, which fell by 4.3% against the dollar last year following an 18.5% decline in 2015, has not posted an annual gain since 2012. At 4.48 per dollar, the ringgit has touched its lowest level since the Asian financial crisis in 1998 and was Asia's worst-performing currency for emerging markets in 2016.

Iskandar’s plunging fortunes

By Khairul Khalid
15 Dec 2014

This has been a year to forget for the Iskandar economic region in Johor.

After much lauded growth in the last five years, led by a robust property market, cracks began to show in Iskandar this year. Bullishness about Iskandar’s property market has been replaced with a more cautious, sometimes even bleaker outlook.

What is causing this dwindling optimism about Iskandar? For a start, the numbers don’t lie.

Alarming drop

“In comparison to the first half of 2013, there was a drop of about 48% in terms of total transactions in the same period this year,” said V Sivadas, executive director of PA International Property Consultants based in Johor Bahru (JB).

That is an alarming drop in sales by any standards. The fact that it is happening just when Iskandar seems to have picked up momentum in the last few years has rattled the market.

According to Sivadas, this decline is across all sectors of the property market in Iskandar.

“Our records indicate 5,419 total transactions in the first half of this year at a value of about RM3.7 billion. In comparison with the first half of 2013, there was a drop of about 48% in terms of total transactions and about 37% drop in terms of total value of transactions in the first half of 2014,” said Sivadas who based his analysis on available records of properties sales within Iskandar Malaysia.

According to Sivadas, 2013 was the peak of the Iskandar market in terms of number of transactions (25,034 transactions) and total value of transactions (estimated RM20.3 billion — excluding the controversial RM4.5 billion land sale by the Johor Sultan to Guangzhou R&F). In comparison, there were 21,503 transactions in 2012, at a total value of about RM13.5 billion.

The 20-year project is spread across a sprawling 550,000 acres and divided into five flagship zones in Johor and has experienced exponential growth. It is designed to rejuvenate JB and position it as a major regional economic hub. It is targeting between RM20 billion to RM22 billion in investments targeted yearly until 2025.

Although Iskandar consists of several designated zones, property development has arguably fuelled its remarkable growth in recent years. Major property developers, both local and foreign, have flocked to Iskandar in the last five years to ride the wave of Iskandar’s property boom.

It’s not that the well has run dry for Iskandar. Recently, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak announced that Iskandar has attracted close to RM25 billion worth of investments this year, adding up to a total of RM156 billion investments secured for the region since its inception in 2006.

Supply outrunning demand

For many observers, the root cause of the slump this year has simply been supply outrunning demand in Iskandar.

Even as early as January this year, it was reported that purchase bookings of new property launches in Iskandar were already down 20% to 30%. Several other factors have contributed to the cooling down of the Iskandar property market.

Last year, the federal and state governments moved to check an overheating property market nationwide. An increase in Real Property Gains Tax (RPGT), hiking minimum property purchases of foreigners from RM500,000 to RM1 million and a property levy of 2% for foreign purchases in Johor were all implemented to clamp down on speculative buying.

All of these measures slowed down the market considerably this year, Iskandar included.

Market observers have also cautioned that the influx of big Chinese developers, such as Country Garden and Guangzhou R&F, into Iskandar could backfire. Although they have brought in much needed investments, the massive scale of their launches have analysts worried about a potential oversupply or overhang in the market.

Country Garden launched 9,000 units of the Danga Bay development in 2013, a scale that was unprecedented in the Johor market. Guangzhou R&F’s development on the 116 acres it bought from the Johor Sultan is set to dwarf Country Garden’s project.

It has also been reported that Guangzhou R&F is planning to launch a staggering 30,000 units in the next few years.

Chinese invasion

These mammoth developments and launches by the Chinese developers in Iskandar have sparked genuine fears that a severe oversupply of high-end units will drag down the Iskandar region for years to come.

“Most of Country Garden’s and Guangzhou R&F’s properties are premium priced. Very few ordinary JB residents can afford them. If the Singaporeans stop buying, they will be in deep trouble. I feel their sales are already suffering, although no official figures have been released,” said Andy Mohan, a property agent in JB.

Even major local developers have not been spared the impact of the Chinese invasion in Iskandar.

Last August, UEM Sunrise slashed its annual sales target by 40% due to poor second quarter (2Q14) results, partly due to poor take up of new its launches in Iskandar.

UEM Sunrise’s new chief executive officer Anwar Syahrin Abdul Ajib has also said that the company will “re-strategise” its position and reduce its dependency on Iskandar, where it has approximately 60% of its total land bank.

The fact that UEM Sunrise, one of the biggest developers in Malaysia and master developer of Nusajaya, one of the designated zones in Iskandar, is feeling the pinch and re-evaluating its business its Iskandar is a telling sign that all is not well in Iskandar.

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Re: Dark Cloud Over Brexit
« Reply #91 on: January 18, 2017, 07:02:39 PM »
Mustapa: Malaysia must ‘move on’ from 1MDB saga ~ 18 Jan 2017
The 1MDB scandal has proven to be an embarrassment to Malaysia and drawn accusations that Malaysia failed in its response to the allegations.

New Zealand court to hear US$232m assets seizure case linked to 1MDB probe ~ 18 Jan 2017

The Wolf of Wall Street dragged into Malaysia corruption scandal ~ 2 Apr 2016

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Re: Dark Cloud Over Brexit
« Reply #92 on: January 22, 2017, 01:03:12 PM »
Singapore: At some suburban malls, retailers confront the sound of silence ~ 21 Jan 2017

Mall closures hit small-town America hard ~ 20 Jan 2017

Sold, for $100: A massive shopping mall once valued at $190 million ~ 20 Jan 2017
These days, the mall is just over half occupied, and its now-former owner, a company called Pittsburgh Mills Limited Partnership, recently defaulted on a $143 million bank loan.

Ipoh man lived in Singapore shopping mall for 4 years ~ 16 Jan 2017
Chen, who is from Ipoh, Perak, has worked in Singapore for more than 10 years and currently earns more than $1,000 (RM3,139) a month.

Singapore investors pumped $13.85 billion into Asia-Pac property in 2016 ~ 13 Jan 2017

Founder, employees wistful about closure of Mustafa’s original outlet ~ 12 Jan 2017
By Feb 2017, Singapore’s biggest 24-hour mall Mustafa will be shutting its 65,000 sq ft Serangoon Plaza store, reducing its total retail space by a quarter. Since the news broke, many people have expressed dismay online about the downsizing of Singapore’s biggest 24-hour mall.

Chongqing’s mall-building frenzy leaves an empty feeling ~ 4 Jan 2017
Online sales made up 12-13% of total retail spending in 2015 in China and were expected to hit 18.5% in 2016. If it hits that figure, China will have the largest percentage of internet shoppers in the world.

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Re: Dark Cloud Over Brexit
« Reply #93 on: February 05, 2017, 05:18:42 PM »
Increase in petrol price not an excuse for traders to increase price of goods ~ 5 Feb 2017

Producer price index rises to record level ~ 1 Feb 2017
The Malaysian producer price index (PPI) increased at its fastest pace on record in December on higher price of crude oil and the weaker ringgit.

Petrol prices up by 20 sen for February ~ 31 Jan 2017
The country’s petrol and diesel prices have been placed on a managed float system from Dec 1, 2014 following the removal of fuel subsidies.

Malaysia's central bank reserves fall to $94.3 bln as of 13 Jan 2017 ~ 20 Jan 2017

Economic issues preoccupy Malaysians ~ 16 Jan 2017
The reserves as at Dec 30, 2016 were US$94.6bil (RM424bil). The total foreign debt outstanding was RM865bil at the end of September 2016. Of this, offshore borrowing (in foreign currency) was RM472bil, and ringgit-denominated government bonds held by non-residents were worth RM211bil, according to Bank Negara data.

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Re: Dark Cloud Over Brexit
« Reply #94 on: February 05, 2017, 06:12:07 PM »
Holding up a cloudy mirror ~ 5 Feb 2017
With the general elections coming soon, Malaysia has yet to produce a viable Opposition. It is as if no lessons were learnt since the 2008 polls: that Opposition needs to stand together not only on a consensus that the parties can agree on, but also the common things that the public wants.

Why president Trump is bad for freedom ... in Malaysia

Civil activists in the country enjoyed US support under Obama, but the incoming president’s anti-China stance may require him to turn a blind eye to Najib’s domestic agenda

By Sheridan Mahavera
15 Jan 2017

After eight years with an influential friend in the White House, Malaysian civil society groups are bracing for the worst when Donald Trump takes over on January 20.

During outgoing President Barack Obama’s two terms, human rights advocates, democracy groups and anti-corruption activists had cultivated warm relations with US officials in Kuala Lumpur, even meeting the 44th US president on his visit to the capital last year – the first by any sitting US president.

In that time, Washington’s tacit support for their causes had been a crucial morale booster during a period of regular clampdowns by the administration of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who himself was eager to curry favour with the US leader.

But now they fear a shift in US priorities by a Trump administration that is likely to view Malaysian civil liberties as of relatively low diplomatic priority. Or even worse, that a US, which no longer champions democracy and human rights, might provide moral cover for Najib to further suppress freedoms.

Friendlier relations with Malaysia had been prized by Obama, who saw them as playing into his “pivot to Asia” strategy and aggressive promotion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). But Trump has indicated he will scrap both policies, throwing the relationship into question.

Under Obama, the US had taken a nuanced approach to Malaysia, with Washington engaging with Malaysian activists critical of Najib even as the two heads of state cultivated a personal relationship. Najib even boasted of playing golf with Obama in 2014 and of riding in his limousine, ‘the Beast’, in 2015.

Indeed, it was the personal connection between Obama and Najib that made Washington’s support of Malaysian activists and opposition parties so significant, said Wong Chin Huat, a political scientist at the Penang Institute.

“Obama’s emphasis on democracy and human rights boosted the morale of civil society because it gave them the sense they were not alone,” Wong said.

Meanwhile, Obama’s support also helped to highlight the work of activists, said Cynthia Gabriel, of the Coalition to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4).

During Obama’s time in office, two prominent activists and government critics – the lawyer Ambiga Sreenevasan and the transgender rights advocate Nisha Ayub – received the US International Women of Courage award in 2009 and 2015 respectively.

A spokesperson for transgender rights group Justice for Sisters said Nisha’s award had increased the visibility of transgender persons.

“It was very encouraging for activists and LGBT persons to see our colleague and the collective advocacy being recognised by different countries, including the US. You have to celebrate the little victories to keep you going,” the spokesperson said.

The US embassy in Kuala Lumpur had also repeatedly noted its concern at the trial of former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim – a trial Anwar’s supporters said was motivated by political reasons. Anwar was charged in 2008 with sodomising a male aide and, after his original acquittal was overturned by higher courts, is now serving a five-year prison term.

The US administration’s statements regarding the case along with its informal meetings with his family did not keep Anwar out of jail, but its actions did help to keep “the case alive in the international spotlight”, according to one of Anwar’s lawyers, Sivarasa Rasiah.

But whether a Trump-led administration would go to as much trouble is unclear. Activists fear Trump will turn a blind eye to Najib’s domestic transgressions in order to secure Malaysian support for his anti-China strategy.

“If Trump backs Najib all the way in order to isolate China, then Najib can be doubly safe,” Wong, of the Penang Institute, said.

Najib has been accused of links to a corruption scandal at 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), a state fund where, according to a civil suit by the US Department of Justice, US$1 billion was siphoned off to buy luxury properties and artwork. While Najib has denied any wrongdoing, his former associate Low Teck Jhow and stepson Riza Aziz are named in the suit.

Najib responded to the suit by intensifying Malaysia’s ties to China, leading a major investment mission to Beijing where he secured infrastructure deals worth 143.64 billion ringgit (HK$249 billion).

Although the US justice system is considered more independent than Malaysia’s, Wong said there was a suspicion that Trump’s administration could delay the suit if doing so was politically expedient.

“Although Obama prioritised geopolitical considerations, he still paid attention to human rights and democracy, and Najib would still be pressured. This is unlikely with Trump,” Wong said.

C4’s Gabriel said Trump’s divisive election campaign, which was criticised for preying on fears of foreigners and Muslims, did not bode well for Malaysia.

“If Trump rolls back civil liberties and stops talking about them on the international stage, then this will be bad for civil society,” Gabriel said. “If he does that, Malaysian leaders will say ‘look, now the US is following our example and limiting civil liberties, so we were right’. I hope Trump proves me wrong, but this is my fear.”

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Re: Dark Cloud Over Brexit
« Reply #95 on: March 06, 2017, 05:12:39 PM »
This chart says a selloff is looming as fear stalks the stock market rally ~ 3 Mar 2017

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Re: Dark Cloud Over Brexit
« Reply #96 on: March 08, 2017, 06:59:11 AM »
US trade deficit in January largest since 2012 ~ 8 Mar 2017

The deep state attempts to “decapitate” Donald Trump ~ 6 Mar 2017

Once again, raising the debt limit emerging as a flash point ~ 4 Mar 2017

Donald Trump’s economic plan has a trillion dollar problem ~ 2 Mar 2017

Can the U.S. economy grow itself out of a $20 trillion debt? ~ 1 Mar 2017

David Stockman - Everything will grind to a halt in 2017 ~ 25 Feb 2017

A $20 trillion national debt: Trouble Ahead?

By Johanna Bennett
22 Feb 2017

Almost a month ago, the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit its 20,000 milestone. Now another “20” is looming ahead. Any day now, the U.S. will surpass $20 trillion in total public debt — or as it is commonly called, “the national debt.”

It’s a truly vast number. Over the past 20 years, then national debt has quadrupled, far outstripping the rate of growth of the U.S. economy to become the biggest pile of debt in the world. Thanks to low interest rates, the cost of maintaining that debt has fallen compared to overall Fed spending over the same time period.

Of that $20 trillion, $14.4 trillion is held by the public, and nearly half of that sum in the hands of foreign investors such as the Japanese and Chinese governments. But China and Japan have both recently cut their exposure to U.S. Treasuries, fueling worries of a major drop in bond prices.

But there’s another sticky issue, namely rising interest rates, says Andrew Tanzer of Gerstein Fisher, a New York advisory firm.

We do not make any specific predictions, but it does seem prudent for investors to be prepared for potentially higher volatility in bond markets, stemming from the strong possibility of the confluence of rising rates, higher US government debt levels, and much higher annual interest expenses in the federal budget, which could change investors’ perception of Treasuries and risk. For our elected officials, burgeoning interest payments would require some tough decisions on government spending programs.

Tanzer goes into more detail:

The days of a low interest-rate environment, with 10-year US Treasury bonds yielding 2% or less and the government able to service $20 trillion of debt with a relatively manageable portion of the total budget may soon be in the past. Interest rates are rising (the yield on 10-year Treasuries rose by 70 basis points to 2.47% in the year to February 16, 2017), and the market’s expectation for the Trump Presidency is for higher economic growth, inflation and interest rates, which could dramatically change the current equilibrium.

…The CBO projects that debt held by the public will increase from $15 trillion at the end of 2017 to $25 trillion by 2027, largely due to swelling budget deficits. This would raise the public debt/GDP ratio from 77% to 89%, which the CBO notes would be the highest level since 1947 and more than twice the average over the past five decades in relation to GDP.

For its ten-year projection, the CBO assumes economic growth and inflation rates of about 2% and a rise in interest rates on the 10-year Treasury from 2.1% in the fourth quarter of 2016 to 3.6% in the latter part of the next decade. It estimates that the combination of rising interest rates and growing federal debt held by the public will cause government interest payments on that debt to nearly triple in nominal terms and almost double relative to GDP. The CBO thinks rising interest payments will lead to a drop in government discretionary spending from 6.3% of GDP in 2017 to 5.3% by 2027, the smallest ratio since comparable data was kept from 1962.

The CBO scenario projection doesn’t need to be exactly right to observe the substantial risk of much higher debt-servicing costs in the federal budget. A one-percentage point rise in rates now implies a $200 billion annual increase in interest payments, and more in future years as the stock of outstanding debt expands from $20 trillion. The question of how sustainable this level of debt is for the United States is complicated somewhat by the use of the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency, and by the extensive and intensive use of US Treasuries as a highly liquid, low-risk investment by banks, funds, and governments around the world. There are many possible scenarios, but one is the possibilty of a “negative feedback loop,” wherein rising interest rates increase the cost of US debt to the government, shaking the confidence of investors that the debt level is sustainable and causing them to sell their US bonds, further driving up rates.

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Re: Dark Cloud Over Brexit
« Reply #97 on: March 21, 2017, 09:36:03 AM »
UK to trigger article 50 on 29 March, but faces delay on start of talks ~ 20 Mar 2017

Sterling plummets as Article 50 date confirmed ~ 20 Mar 2017

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Re: Dark Cloud Over Brexit
« Reply #98 on: April 22, 2017, 11:07:56 AM »
Expert: Property prices yet to reach rock bottom ~ 22 Apr 2017
Chartered surveyor Ernest Cheong foresees further drops in the next two to three years.

Tough times for REITs ~ 22 Apr 2017

High volume: The highest sustained volume in footfalls continue to be seen in 1Utama Shopping Centre where rentals go for as high as RM600 per sq m. The shopping complex is estimated to receive some 120,000 visitors a day on weekends.

Too much of some, too little of others ~ 22 Apr 2017
House prices continue to rise but at a slow pace as affordable housing becomes the mantra
  • The property market is expected to remain soft for 2017;
  • New properties have to compete with the secondary market, where buyers deal directly with house owners, in terms of the right pricing and right product;
  • Prices to see gradual growth going forward;
  • Incentives would continue to support the residential market; and
  • The game changers are the MRT, the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high speed rail and the East Coast Rail Line which connect the city to the east coast.

Global survey shows KL home prices rising as Singapore’s depreciate ~ 20 Apr 2017

Luxury property owners taking up to 30% cut just to seal the deal ~ 17 Apr 2017
According to data from the National Property Information Centre (NAPIC) on residential homes here valued at over RM1 million, unsold units increased by over 9% from the first quarter of 2014 to the same period a year later.

Storm clouds gather for listed landlords as global property market passes peak ~ 28 Mar 2017

An emerging consensus that the global property market has passed its peak could signal trouble to come for listed landlords in Australia.

Singapore home prices fall, extending decline to 14th quarter ~ 3 Apr 2017

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Re: Dark Cloud Over Brexit
« Reply #99 on: April 27, 2017, 10:07:21 AM »
Even Wall Street's biggest bull says to chill ~ 25 Apr 2017
Almost half the Nasdaq's run-up since Jan. 26, when the index first crossed 5,500, can be attributed to gains in Google parent Alphabet,, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft. The group also accounts for about a third of the S&P 500's rise this year.