Monday, February 29, 2016

Leap Day

Happy Leap Day, Everyone! :)

Gulf Cooperation Council

Gulf Cooperation Council countries may struggle to refinance US$94 billion of debt in the next two years as the region faces slowing growth, rising rates and rating downgrades, according to HSBC Holdings Plc.

Super Tuesday

Hillary Clinton scored a resounding victory against Bernie Sanders in Saturday's Democratic primary in South Carolina, seizing momentum ahead of the most important day of the nomination race: next week's "Super Tuesday" showdown.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Citigroup Inc

Citigroup Inc was sued for fraud by a Mexican oil services firm's investors and creditors over claims they were harmed by a loan scheme that led the bank to cut 2013 profit by US$235 million and fire at least a dozen people.
The bank's actions caused investors including Rabobank Groep as well as creditors of the Mexican firm, Oceanografia SA, to lose at least US$1.1 billion, according to a complaint Friday in Miami federal court.


Foreign-exchange forecasters are the most divided about the yen in almost a year.
Japan's currency has defied predictions and rallied more than 6 per cent in February, the biggest monthly surge since 2008, as investors seek haven assets. The gulf has widened between analysts' forecasts, with Barclays Plc, the world's third-largest currency trader, projecting a further 16 per cent rally to 95 per US dollar by year-end, while Goldman Sachs Group Inc projects a 14 per cent tumble to 130 within 12 months.


A partnership led by by Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin's Dalian Wanda Group Co plans to invest more than $3 billion euros (S$4.65 billion) in a retail and leisure development project outside of Paris, taking on Walt Disney Co in the euro area's second-largest economy.
EuropaCity will be built 10 kilometers northeast of Paris. It will be the biggest single investment project in Europe to date, including a theme park, show stage, hotel, retail stores and conference centers, the company said in a statement.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Yuan and Won

China will establish a direct trading exchange market between the yuan and the Korean won, the People's Bank of China (PBOC) said in a statement on Friday.


Total global commodity assets under management (AUM) rose to US$170 billion in January from US$160 billion in December, Barclays said on Friday.

The Baltic Exchange

Singapore Exchange (SGX) has submitted a non-binding bid to buy The Baltic Exchange, the exchange revealed in an announcement. The Baltic Exchange provides market information on the maritime market, used by shipbrokers, owners and operators, traders, financiers and charterers.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Zurich Insurance

Swiss-based insurer Zurich Insurance has dismissed reports that it is exploring an exit from the Hong Kong and Singapore markets.

Next-Generation ERP in Singapore

The next-generation Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) system will be operational from 2020 at a cost of S$556 million.

Employment Pass in Singapore

The Singapore labour movement has submitted its seven-page list of recommendations to the Ministry of Finance ahead of Budget 2016, including requests to review the employment pass (EP) and workfare income supplement criteria.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Breadtalk NEX

Serangoon Centre


Uncertainty over Britain's future in the European Union risks negatively affecting the country's growth outlook, the IMF said on Wednesday.

New Home Sales in USA

New US single-family home sales tumbled in January from a 10-month high as sales in the West region plunged, but the overall housing market recovery remains intact.

Ninth Collective

Tampines Mall
Near Bossini and Giordano 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

BTO Flats February 2016

A total of 4,170 new flats have been launched for sale under the February 2016 Build-To-Order (BTO) exercise, HDB said on Wednesday.
The flats are spread across three projects located in two non-mature towns, Bukit Batok and Sengkang, and Bidadari, a mature estate.
This is the first BTO exercise of the year, and is the first tranche of a total of 18,000 flats planned for the whole year.
In addition to normal flat types, both 2-room flexi and three-generation (3Gen) flats are also offered in this exercise.

Chocolate Maker Mars

Chocolate maker Mars has ordered a recall of chocolate products in 55 countries.
In the UK the products affected include funsize Mars and Milky Way bars and boxes of Celebrations.
In the Netherlands Mars and Snickers bars were also affected.
It comes after a customer in Germany found bits of plastic in a Snickers bar in January. The plastic was traced back to the Mars factory in the southern town of Veghel in the Netherlands.

Johnson & Johnson's Baby Powder

Missouri jury has awarded $72m to the family of a woman who died from ovarian cancer, which she said was caused by using Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder and other products containing talcum.

Banking Profits in USA

US banks' net income climbed 7.5 per cent in 2015 as lenders saw modest gains in revenue and lower litigation costs, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp said Tuesday.

Standard Chartered

Standard Chartered said on Tuesday its annual profit fell 84 per cent, as weaker global financial markets, tumbling commodity prices and rising loan impairments continued to hammer revenues at the emerging markets-focused bank.

Bond Defaults

Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP, Southeast Asia's largest law firm, reckons the region's rising bond defaults will inflict as much pain on creditors as the financial crises of 2008 and 1998.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Ericsson and Amazon

Ericsson and Amazon's web services division (AWS) said on Monday they have agreed a deal that allows Ericsson, the world's leading maker of mobile network gear, to act as a bridge for its telecom operator customers to use public cloud services.

Ericsson, Nokia and 5G

Ericsson, the world's top supplier of wireless equipment, said on Monday it expects 150 million users to be on next-generation 5G networks five years from now, steering clear of an industry debate over whether network upgrades could start far earlier.
By contrast, rival mobile equipment maker Nokia said on Sunday the shift to "5G-ready" wireless networks could begin to ramp up as early as 2017, well ahead of any final agreement on formal 5G standards. "5G will happen faster than expected. This may surprise some of you," Nokia Chief Executive Rajeev Suri told an audience ahead of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

IBM and VMWare

Computing giant IBM has expanded its partnership with VMWare, one of several initiatives it plans to announce Monday as it works to carve out a bigger role in the fast-growing field of cloud computing.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Boris Johnson and EU

Boris Johnson, the influential mayor of London, will campaign for Britain to leave the European Union in the run up to the June 23 referendum, the BBC reported on Sunday. "Boris will campaign to leave the EU," the BBC's political editor Laura Kuenssberg said on Twitter without citing sources. One source with knowledge of Johnson's decision confirmed to Reuters that he would back the 'out' campaign.


Just seven months ago, Sweden's Handelsbanken was worth almost US$20 billion less than Deutsche Bank. This month, it eclipsed Germany's flagship lender.

Handelsbanken epitomises a more conservative Nordic banking style that prioritises cost control over revenue growth. It pays no annual bonuses to executives and has a decentralised model that gives branch managers control over lending, which it says helps reduce bad loan risks.

Cardless ATM

Here's another use for the smartphone as it invades daily life: in place of your debit card at your bank cash machine.
The "cardless" automatic teller machine (ATM) is gaining ground in the US and around the world, with smartphone technology allowing for speedier and more secure transactions.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

DHL Express

An heir to the DHL Express empire was back in custody in the tiny Pacific nation of Palau, police said on Saturday, after he was plucked from the sea trying to evade capture.

Pickpockets in Disneyland Paris

A joint operation by Romania and France against pickpockets targeting visitors to Disneyland Paris and other French tourist sites has borne fruit, nabbing the ringleaders and exposing their methods.

Grounded Antarctic Penguins

Tens of thousands of Antarctic penguins are estimated to be unable to return to their colony after a massive iceberg grounded there, according to a newly published study.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Donald Trump and Apple

US Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump called Friday for a boycott of Apple until the computer giant complies with US government demands to unlock the iPhone of a suspect in the San Bernardino attacks.

Apple Inc and Justice Department in USA

The US government on Friday sought a court order to force Apple to help unlock an iPhone as part of the probe into last year's San Bernardino attacks, escalating a legal showdown over encryption.

Singapore Airshow 2016

Even those shopping for planes have turned more cautious amid a global slowdown, it would seem.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Kuisine Catering

Does it blog?

Google and Pie

Singapore-based work chat app Pie is Google's first acquisition in Southeast Asia.

Digital Services from Yahoo

Yahoo has begun shutting down some of its digital magazines as the struggling online pioneer's latest reorganization plan.

Oil Production in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is "not prepared" to cut oil production, its foreign minister told AFP on Thursday, after the top exporter agreed with Russia to freeze output if major rivals follow.

SingTel and Ericsson

Singapore Telecommunications (Singtel) and Swedish telecom gear maker, Ericsson, will achieve nationwide deployment in Singapore of a 4G LTE network on 900MHz spectrum band by end-March 2016.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Small Diesel Cars

A tougher European testing regime following Volkswagen's emissions test cheating scandal could mean new small diesel car models are modified or withdrawn, the European auto lobby said on Wednesday.

McChoco Potato

Love them or hate them, social media spun into a frenzy over chocolate fries, and customer numbers rose in January for the first time in several years - just as the salty-sweet creation launched in Japan.


Prada's annual sales were broadly flat for a second consecutive year in 2015 as the slowdown in China continued to weigh on the high fashion and luxury goods brand.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

NanoBlocks in Singapore McDonald

1. Week 1 (Feb 29 - Mar 6): French Fries
2. Week 2 (Mar 7 - Mar 13): Cold Cup
3. Week 3 (Mar 14 - Mar 20): Apple Pie
4. Week 4 (Mar 21 - Mar 27): Oreo McFlurry
5. Week 5 (Mar 28 - Apr 3): Big Mac
6. Week 1-5 (Feb 29 - Apr 3): McCafe Cup (only available at McCafe outlets)

COE 17 February 2016

For Category A cars, or those 1600cc and below with horsepower not exceeding 130bhp, premiums closed at S$43,000, down from S$46,651 in the previous exercise. Premiums for larger and more powerful cars in Category B rose S$8,360, rising from S$38,610 to S$46,970.
Open category COEs, which can be used for any vehicle type but end up being used mainly for large cars, increased to S$45,009, from S$44,001. Motorcycle premiums recorded a fall of S$150, closing at S$6,353, down from S$6,503 in the last exercise.
COEs for commercial vehicles, which include goods vehicles and buses, recorded the smallest drop. It fell from S$45,036 to S$45,001.

Apple Pay in China

Apple Inc's Apple Pay mobile payment system will be available in China from Feb 18 for Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd (ICBC) customers, bank representatives said in social media posts on Tuesday.


The "captain of moonshots" at Google parent company Alphabet sees widespread, world-changing wireless Internet on the horizon.


VAIO Corp, the personal computer maker spun off from Sony Corp in 2014, is closing in on a three-way merger with rivals to create a producer that can dominate Japan and weather a shrinking global PC market.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Drugs in Bras

Australian police discovered millions of dollars worth of methamphetamine hidden inside a shipment of bras, part of what they said Monday was the country's biggest ever drugs bust. 

McDonald Sells Beer

According to media reports, a McDonald's outlet in South Korea will start selling OP Premier draft beer later this month to lure younger clientele.
The outlet in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province will be the first in Asia to sell alcohol. It will also add gourmet "Signature Burgers" to its menu.

Project Loon

Google's balloon-powered high-speed Internet service known as "Project Loon" began its first tests in Sri Lanka Monday ahead of a planned joint venture with Colombo, the country's top IT official said.

European Central Bank

The European Central Bank is ready to ease policy in March if the recent financial market turmoil or the long-term impact of low energy prices threatens to keep inflation persistently low, its president Mario Draghi said on Monday.

Mark Mobius

When Mark Mobius looks at the wreckage of Chinese stocks traded in Hong Kong, he sees bargains.

The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index plunged 49 per cent from its May high through last week, sending valuations to record lows, as concern over China's economic slowdown and heavy-handed state intervention in mainland financial markets spurred outflows.