Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Is Melaka ready to capitalise on this news ?

Lim Yin Foong: Financial sector’s centre of gravity moves East

Tags: Goldman Sachs JP Morgan

Written by Lim Yin Foong
Tuesday, 26 January 2010 07:09

AS A NEW decade dawns upon the City of London, its continued viability as a leading financial centre has never seemed less certain. News that the UK’s third-largest hedge fund Bluecrest Capital Management is moving 50 of its top-earning managers to its newly set up office in Geneva is fuelling already rife speculation of a possible exodus of hedge funds from the UK.

With £10 billion ($22.7 billion) under management, Bluecrest is reportedly the first sizeable business to move part of its operations to Switzerland. However, at least 23 hedgefund firms have already relocated to the alpine nation in the past two years, and consulting firm Kinetic Partners LLP, which assisted these hedge funds in their relocation, expects up to 150 hedge funds to leave London.

An increasingly harsh and arbitrary tax regime in the UK and the prospect of greater regulation have driven hedgefund traders to seek more appealing shores. High earners have already been contemplating moves to more tax-friendly regimes to avoid the proposed increase of the top income-tax rate from 40% to 50%, which will come into effect on April 6, while non-UK domiciled residents (known as “nondoms”) look to escape the £30,000 annual charge slapped on worldwide earnings not taxed in the UK.

A Bloomberg Global Poll on the city most likely to be the best financial hub in two years’ time found that Singapore has overtaken London (New York ranked No 1 in the poll), while another survey by law firm Eversheds LLP found that China’s growth has propelled Shanghai into second place, ahead of London as a leading global financial centre in the next decade.

The attraction of Asia has much to do with bankers and fund managers following the money to fast-growing emerging new centres, as well as the fact that the Asian economies have fared much better than their Western counterparts in the current global meltdown. However, HSBC Bank’s decision to relocate its CEO Michael Geoghegan to Hong Kong next month as the bank focuses its expansion on Asia is seen as a clear sign of an eastwards shift in the world’s economic centre of gravity.

Joining Geoghegan in Hong Kong this year is one of London’s star fund managers Anthony Bolton, who is apparently postponing his retirement to manage a new China fund for Fidelity from the special administrative region.

Hedge funds are also looking to replace the London “hedgies heartland” of Mayfair and Belgravia with Hong Kong’s Central or Singapore’s Chinatown. Bloomberg reports that more than a dozen multibillion-dollar international hedge funds are planning to set up or re-establish a presence in Hong Kong and Singapore as the US and Europe increase industry regulation, and names that have been bandied about include Soros Fund Management LLC and GLG Partners Inc.

For the longest time, the City of London — and the UK — has enjoyed years of unsurpassed growth from the financial-services industry, leading to an overdependence on the sector. Perhaps it is time the government takes serious heed of increasing calls for the nation to refocus and rebalance its economy away from the City.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Melaka- The shopping paradise.

MELAKA, Dec 30 (Bernama) -- Due to encouraging response from the public, Mydin Mohamed Holdings Bhd will build a RM67 million wholesale hypermarket next March in Bandar Jasin Bistari, its fourth outlet in Melaka.

Its Managing Director, Datuk Ameer Ali Mydin, said land acquisition for the six hectare factory site would cost RM7 million and construction another RM60 million.

He said the continued confidence in the peoples' purchasing power prompted Mydin Mohamed Holdings to invest in another hypermarket in the state.

" The state government is offering various incentives to lure investors to turn Melaka into a shoppers paradise for tourists," he said, adding that construction of the factory would begin in March 2010.

" The hypermarket will be ready for commercial operations in May 2011 and provide business opportunities for local retailers," he told reporters here on Wednesday after a signing ceremony for the purchase of the factory land from the Melaka Customary Lands Development Corporation (Pertam).

Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam witnessed the signing of the agreement between Ameer, who signed on behalf of his company, while Pertam was represented by its Deputy Chairman Datuk As'ari Ibrahim.

Ameer said Mydin's biggest hypermarket was operating at the Melaka International Trade Centre (MITC) and generated a monthly turnover of RM18 million while another two outlets operated at Melaka Sentral.

The Bandar Jasin Bistari hypermaket is expected to cater for consumers as far as Muar and Tangkak and will be Mydin's 48th outlet in the country providing employment for about 280 people.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Dear All,

Welcome to 2010 !

The Malacca Tourism Association has had a hectic year (what with our mid year Macau Good Will Trips & end year Tourism Awards selections night!) and we now look forward to a robust, challenging and enterprising 2010.

It has been an interesting year , to say the least and this new year has taken off to a good start with many shops and businesses enjoying the Lively roar of the Tiger, during the first few days of the New Year (although, the Tiger year only officially starts mid Feb!)

Many new visitors and repeat visitors to this fair city would have noticed by now the multitude and myriad changes within the City of Melaka ; be it through facilities, infrastucture or services.

Hopefully, the pace and changes will remain even through out the year for the prosperity and business liveliness to be enjoyed by all.

Being a Historical City and one recognised as a Unesco heritage site no doubt will assist us to achieve the tourism figures and vis-a-vis, economic uplift for all.

The bug bear we no doubt have to look out for , i suppose, would naturally be the short term / mid term impact of the Opening of the Integrated Resorts in Singapore.

With only 1.5 % of Sheldon's Sands Casino Singapore development built up to be concentrated towards the Gaming and Casino markets , with the rest of the real estate targetting the MICE,Entertainment & High Value F/B operations, the Value Added Tourist will definately be prone towards those not too distant shores.

The plans to have Asia's first Universal Theme park in Genting's Integrated casino should also be a cause for concern.

Most of our hoteliers had not felt the heat as not many were overly dependent on MICE activities, although, using KLCC 's MiCE teams as a talking point, their innovative and FCMG style of marketing was (and still is) a bane to this City attracting and scoring in that sector.

Adding to all this are the new challenges coming from down south, and the seasonal cheap air tickets to China,Vietnam & Thailand from the Budget Airlines and Melaka in 2010 looks set to earn her stripes,..economically speaking.

Like i said originally, It's going to be an iiinteresting year ahead,folks.

But rest assured, here at MTA, we look forward to informing all and yonder the best and tastiest treats this city has to offer, through the offering of all her members and associates!

Till then, Hearty and warm Wishes for One and For All!

International news update for MTA members & readers

Wealthy Chinese shoppers’ latest hot spot: Dubai

Well-heeled Chinese tourists have found a new Middle Easter playground in Dubai. - Reuters pic

BEIJING, Jan 3 — Move over Paris and New York. The hot new luxury shopping destination for well-heeled China tourists is crisis-hit Dubai.

Some tour agencies in Beijing, and even smaller cities like Chengdu in south-western China, reported a doubling or even tripling of people signing up for tours to the Middle Eastern playground of the rich and famous during the Christmas season.

Chengdu-based Dreams Travel tour agency told The Sunday Times that its 7,000 yuan (RM3,456) five-day package and 50,000 yuan luxury tours were all fully booked.

Some Chinese are willing to splurge 30,000 yuan per person for week-long tours at attractions such as The Dubai Mall, the world’s largest shopping and entertainment venue, and Mall of the Emirates.

Angel Li, in her late 20s, who works for her father’s real estate business, flew off on Christmas Eve for a 15,000 yuan, five-day trip with her boyfriend.

Having shopped in Madison Avenue and Fifth Avenue in New York’s Manhattan, as well as in London’s High Street as a teenager, Li said she was “looking for more excitement in a new place”.

She already had her shopping list planned before the trip: Louis Vuitton, Ferragamo, Dior and Monte Bianco.

A Beijing executive in his 30s told Beijing TV that he was planning to “take advantage of the year-end sales to buy duty-free branded goods that are cheaper than in China”.

He boarded the plane with an empty luggage bag and was prepared to buy another two to cart back the merchandise.

Compared to Western shopping hot spots such as Milan, London and New York, Dubai is a novelty to Chinese big spenders.

Its US$26 billion (RM124 billion) debt scare in end-November, which briefly spooked world markets, has helped.

“The debt crisis has made Dubai famous in Chinese news, so everyone knows about it,” said a sales manager with Dreams Travel who gave only his surname, Li.

And with hotel rates in the emirate under pressure because of the debt restructuring debacle, tour packages look even more attractive.

The Dubai Tourism Board said compared with 2008, when some 96,300 Chinese guests stayed at hotels there, it expected a “remarkable increase” for 2009.

Adding to Dubai’s advantage is the Chinese government’s recognition of the United Arab Emirates as an “approved destination” as of Sept 15 last year.

The status allows locals to apply for visas to travel to Dubai for leisure.

Another edge Dubai has over more established shopping hot spots in the West: Flights from Beijing to Dubai take about 71/2 hours, compared with 91/2 hours to Paris and about 13 hours to New York.

Singapore, another popular shopping destination for the Chinese, has no cause for worry, said tour agencies in Beijing.

“Most Chinese still prefer Singapore because the people there can speak Mandarin. And Singapore’s duty-free shopping is also world renowned,” said China International Travel Service’s manager, who wanted to be known only as Sun. — Straits Times

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Entreprenuers in The Great Continent.

As many as 500,000 Chinese have immigrated to Africa, lured by its oil, copper, uranium, wood and other natural resources. Many have thrived, creating large conglomerates. To serve them, other entrepreneurs have opened palatial restaurants. Or karaoke halls. The infusion of a distinctly different culture into African society — again — is turning out to be a critical chapter in the continent’s post-colonial history.

This is a big story. And it was the toughest story that the photographer has ever pursued. It demanded two years of preliminary research and infinite patience in obtaining access. Mr. Woods and his collaborator, Serge Michel, a Swiss journalist, finally arrived in Africa in 2007. Now they have a book to show for their efforts: a Safari: On the Trail of Beijing’s Expansion in Afric (Nation Books, 2009), written with Michel Beuret. Mr. Woods’s photographs are also being shown at the Open Society Institute in Manhattan as part of its series.

“We are trying to show a very important phenomenon which is changing the face of Africa,” Mr. Woods said.

“The challenge with this story is that it was not immediately photogenic,” he said. “Photographing businessmen can be difficult. I had to think about new ways to make the story photographically appealing. “

Logistically, his main concerns were time pressure and limitation on what he could photograph. In one instance in Zambia, Mr. Woods had to wait three weeks to shoot a few frames.

Mr. Woods deliberately invoked some of the conventions of colonial-era photography. This is most evident in a picture of a Chinese businessman and an African employee who is holding an umbrella over his head . But he also invites our attention to the interactions among the cultures.

In one photo, a Chinese laborer poses with his African girlfriend — an interracial relationship that is often prohibited . Perhaps the most powerful image is of a Zambian woman, Vivian Kalunga, with her son Jonathan . Ms. Kalunga was employed in a Chinese restaurant. Jonathan’s father disappeared. The boy, now 5, was rejected by his family for being half Chinese and has moved to his grandparents’ home in a remote village where he has contracted malaria.

Negative repercussions to Chinese development in Africa include deforestation and other environmental exploitation. On the other hand, the Chinese have built needed highways and railroads. Mr. Woods and Mr. Michel sought to document rather than comment.

“The pictures defused this issue immediately, placing this work in a documentary, fact-nourished context,” Mr. Michel said. “Africa is often a very emotional topic, with strong ideological positions. The book managed to avoid appealing to a partisan readership. I know that between our readers there are anti-globalization activists, C.E.O.’s of international companies, Chinese investors and African ministers.”

The text has been translated into 10 languages and the book is sold worldwide, including China. Mr. Woods believes it is crucial this work has a wide, diverse audience.

“The way photography is used is extremely important,” he said. “I would not be happy if my images were only in magazines or just in trendy galleries in New York. I want my images to cross borders, to live as many different lives as possible.”

--Written and published by & in the New York Times

Malaysia's FTA with India starts

NEW DELHI, Jan 2 — Finally the Asean-India Free Trade Agreement (FTA) came into effect on Jan 1, but with some trepidation on the Indian side, as fears and criticism mount on the trade pact, drafted after almost six years of tough negotiations.

A range of cheaper products — largely from Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore, would soon enter the Indian market, as the three economies will implement the FTA with India, Asia’s third largest economy, from Jan 1 in the first phase.

“We are not against the agreement but fishermen in Kerala are unhappy because imports will affect the livehoods of traditional and small scale fishery sectors.

“Our coastal fish vendors who are mostly women will suffer, if cheaper fish enters our market,” T Peter, president of Kerala Independent Fish Workers Federation, told Bernama in a telephone interview.

About one million fishermen in the southern state of Kerala rely on the sea. In Kerala, there had been strong agitation from coconut, cashewnut and spice growers, who fear the deal, would jeopardise their livehoods, as cheaper products from neighbouring countries enter their market.

Under the FTA, considered the world’s largest, covering a market of nearly 1.8 billion people, tariffs would be gradually slashed for over 4,000 product lines over a staggered period, by 2016, but sensitive products on both sides shielded to some degree.

“The business community supports the agreement, that is a positive significance but there had been lot of criticism from states like Kerala, such as tea and coffee planters. Now some sectors will surely come under pressure at home.

“Asean will gain substantially from the market access and Asean’s exports to India will increase substantially, but our exports will be modest,” said a senior Indian official familiar with the FTA negotiations.

India’s trade with the three Asean economies stands at US$40 billion (RM140 billion), forming the bulk of the India-Asean total trade volume of nearly US$44 billion (RM154 billion).

But skepticism stills hovers on the deal, as some Indian-Asean watchers believe several domestic sectors will find it hard to compete with the more competitive Southeast Asian players.

“FTA is more political rather than economics. We have to wait for another five years to see the impact on trade, the economic bite will only come later.

“But for now the statement of intent is more important, the political linkages had been established,” added Prof Manoj Pant, at the Centre of International Trade and Development, in Jawaharlal Nehru University. --------

Written by: Bernama

Blog Archive



"Rojak " Video By The Suleiman Brothers

object width="425" height="344">

The Malacca Story (Chinese version)

with courtesy to asmaliana-BPP

The Malacca Story (part 2)

The Malacca Story (part 3)

With courtesy to Asmaliana-BPP