World

Bad for business: World Bank China rigging scandal rattles investors
World

Bad for business: World Bank China rigging scandal rattles investors

LONDON :Some investors and campaigners expressed dismay on Friday at revelations that World Bank leaders pressured staff to boost China's score in an influential report that ranks countries on how easy it is to do business there. They also said the World Bank's subsequent discontinuation of the "Doing Business" series of annual reports could make it harder for investors to assess where to put their money. "The more I think about this, the worse it looks," said Tim Ash at BlueBay Asset Management, adding that the reports published since 2003 had become important for banks and businesses around the world. "Any quantitative model of country risk has built this into ratings. Money and investments are allocated on the back of this series." An investigation by law firm WilmerHale https://www...
China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Singapore’s PM Lee affirm ‘excellent’ relations
World

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Singapore’s PM Lee affirm ‘excellent’ relations

SINGAPORE HOPES FOR "CONSTRUCTIVE RELATIONSHIP" BETWEEN CHINA, US In a joint press conference with Mr Wang on Tuesday, Dr Balakrishnan said that Singapore hopes that China and the United States will be able to have a “constructive relationship” despite "inevitable" competition. Singapore also hopes that both superpowers will be able to cooperate in areas that are “absolutely essential”, such as fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, and minimise confrontation when points of friction emerge, he added. “I remain optimistic that greater engagement between both China and the US will be positive, and that their relations with Southeast Asia will be conducted on the basis of mutual respect, on the equality of countries and on looking for win-win outcomes,” the Singapore minister s...
Oil falls as storm-hit US supply trickles back into market
World

Oil falls as storm-hit US supply trickles back into market

NEW YORK :Oil prices fell on Friday as energy companies in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico restarted production after back-to-back hurricanes in the region shut output. Brent crude futures fell 33 cents to settle at US$75.34 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 64 cents to settle at US$71.97 a barrel. For the week, Brent was up 3.3per cent and U.S. crude was up 3.2per cent, supported by tight supplies due to the hurricane outages. Friday's slump followed five straight sessions of rises for Brent. On Wednesday, Brent hit its highest since late July, and U.S. crude hit its highest since early August. "The reason oil prices reached such highs in the last few days was clearly supply disruptions and drawdowns in inventories, so now that U.S. oil production is returning, oi...
Indonesia clings to coal despite green vision for economy
World

Indonesia clings to coal despite green vision for economy

JAKARTA: Even as Indonesia wins cautious praise from some green groups for ambitious plans to cut carbon emissions, the world's biggest exporter of thermal coal shows no sign of weaning itself off the polluting fuel any time soon. Indonesia, the eighth-biggest carbon emitter, recently brought forward its goal for net zero emissions from 2070 to 2060 or sooner, ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November, and joined a US-led Global Methane Pledge. It also plans to stop commissioning new coal-fired power plants and phase out coal for electricity by 2056 under a new, greener long-term economic vision. But - as with other coal producers such as Australia and India - Indonesia is wrestling with how to balance its environmental targets with the cost of pulling...
ASEAN chair Brunei shares views on bloc’s prospects
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ASEAN chair Brunei shares views on bloc’s prospects

The ASEAN-Japan Centre is an intergovernmental organization established by the Association of Southeast Asian Nation member states and Japan in 1981, serving as a bridge between the two parties for 40 years. It has been promoting exports from ASEAN member states to Japan while revitalizing investment and tourism, as well as people-to-people exchanges between ASEAN members and Japan through seminars, webinars, workshops, capacity-building programs, research and policy analysis, cross-cultural events and publication and information services, among others. The ASEAN chairmanship rotates annually, based on the alphabetical order of the names of the member states. This year, Brunei Darussalam is the chair of ASEAN under the theme, “We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper.” Brunei will be hosting the A...
Former LTA deputy group director jailed for taking S$1.24 million in bribes
World

Former LTA deputy group director jailed for taking S$1.24 million in bribes

SINGAPORE: A former Land Transport Authority (LTA) deputy group director found guilty of taking S$1.24 million in bribes was sentenced to five-and-a-half years' imprisonment on Thursday (Sep 2). Henry Foo Yung Thye, 47, will also serve an additional year in prison, in default of paying a penalty of about S$1.15 million for the amount of bribes not paid back. He had earlier repaid S$83,750 of the S$1.24 million he received in corrupt gratification. Foo, who was previously responsible for overseeing the construction of the Thomson-East Coast and Cross Island MRT lines, last week pleaded guilty to seven charges of taking bribes in the form of loans to advance the business interests of contractors and subcontractors. Twenty-nine other charges were taken into consideration for his sentencin...
Off to the races: LDP presidential election campaign begins
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Off to the races: LDP presidential election campaign begins

With the Liberal Democratic Party presidential election now set for Sept. 29, a number of challengers to LDP President and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who has said he intends to stand for re-election despite record-low poll numbers, have started to emerge. Three key LDP figures — former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso and LDP Secretary-General Toshihiro Nikai — have said they will continue to back Suga. The three are also leaders, officially or in practice, of party factions with a combined total of 196 members, a slight majority of LDP Diet members. However, while LDP veterans such as Abe, Aso and Nikai have fewer worries about keeping their seats in an upcoming general election, many younger LDP Diet members face tough campaigns and are...
BOJ tankan to show manufacturers’ Q3 mood down slightly from Q2
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BOJ tankan to show manufacturers’ Q3 mood down slightly from Q2

TOKYO: Business confidence among Japan's large manufacturers likely slipped in the third quarter as the highly contagious COVID-19 Delta variant hit corporate and consumer activity, the central bank's closely watched Tankan survey is expected to show. Other data is expected to show nationwide core consumer prices were flat in August compared with the same month a year earlier as rising costs for energy and overnight stays offset lower mobile phone fees, analysts said. The Bank of Japan's (BOJ) quarterly tankan business sentiment survey was expected to show the headline index for big manufacturers' sentiment fell to 13 from 14 in June, the poll of 17 economists showed on Friday (Sep 17). "Durable goods sales have been strong until now, making up for a slump in service consumption," said ...
Index funds are one of the easiest way to invest — here’s how they work
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Index funds are one of the easiest way to invest — here’s how they work

Select’s editorial team works independently to review financial products and write articles we think our readers will find useful. We may receive a commission when you click on links for products from our affiliate partners. The good news is there are many easy ways to invest; you don't have to worry about picking individual stocks, and hiring an expensive advisor isn't always necessary. One of the easiest ways to get started investing is through index funds. In fact, a survey from Ally Invest found that 65% of adults say they find investing in the stock market to be scary and/or intimidating. Whether it's the concern you'll make a bad investment and lose money or a lack of access to quality investing advice, at the end of the day that fear is holding you back from really growing your ne...
Europe’s military presence highlights Asia’s importance
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Europe’s military presence highlights Asia’s importance

The British aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth docked at Yokosuka Naval Base this week, after holding military drills with Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Forces (MSDF) and other navies. European military forces have an expanding presence in this part of the world, a recognition of the ever-larger role the Indo-Pacific has assumed in those governments’ strategic calculations and of emerging threats to regional stability. European attention is welcome but we shouldn’t have outsize expectations of the role it can play. The HMS Queen Elizabeth, a 65,000-ton aircraft carrier and the largest surface vessel ever built in the U.K., is making its maiden voyage through the Indo-Pacific, engaging with 40 countries on its journey. Its strike group includes two destroyers, two frigates and a submari...