Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Watz Online - 19 Sep 2012

Singapore recession risk looms after August exports shrink

Singapore's non-oil domestic exports (NODX) in August fell more than expected, raising the prospect of the city-state entering into a recession as exports to the European Union plunged.

The trade-dependent Southeast Asian city-state said on Monday non-oil domestic exports (NODX) fell 10.6 percent from a year earlier, hurt by a 10.4 percent drop in electronics and a 28.7 percent plummet in shipments to the EU, its largest market.

On a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, NODX shrank 9.1 percent after contracting 3.6 percent in July. 

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Say goodbye to the record-strong Singapore dollar

Central bank expected to curtail the currency's appreciation to boost flagging exports.

Here's more from IG Markets: 

On the local front, non-oil exports crashed 10.4% last month on a year-on-year basis raising fears Singapore was sliding towards a brief recession. The eurozone crisis is taking its toll on exporters, which is the city-state’s largest market. 

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Singapore Exports Plunge

Singapore exports shrank more than expected in August, highlighting fears that a slowing Chinese economy and lackluster European demand will remain a drag on Asian economies.

The city-state's weakness follows sluggish trade data from China, South Korea and Taiwan, bolstering the picture that even the more robust regions of the global economy aren't immune from the slump in the big Western countries.

Singapore's nonoil exports fell a seasonally adjusted 9.1% from July, accelerating that month's 3.6% decline, trade promotion agency International Enterprise Singapore said Monday. That was much worse than the 0.7% decline forecast in a Dow Jones Newswires survey. Compared with a year earlier, exports sank 10.6%, far steeper than the expected decline of 3% and reversing July's 5.7% rise. 

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Singapore Exports Drop More Than Estimated on Electronics

Singapore’s exports fell more than economists estimated in August as shipments of electronics dropped and companies sold fewer goods to Europe. The country’s currency weakened.

Non-oil domestic exports slid 10.6 percent from a year earlier, after a revised 5.7 percent increase in July, the trade promotion agency said in a statement today. The decline, the first since March, exceeded all 15 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey, where the median was for a 4 percent drop.

Europe’s protracted debt crisis, a U.S. jobless rate stuck above 8 percent and a slowdown in China are damping demand for Asian goods and commodities, prompting Hong Kong’s Trade Development Council to cut the island’s export forecast today. The weakening global outlook has prompted Singapore’s government to trim its 2012 economic growth forecast and may put pressure on the central bank to ease its monetary policy stance.

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Singapore New Private-Home Sales Drop 27% on Month in August

Sales of new private homes in Singapore dropped by 27% in August from the month prior as a lack of new property launches and seasonal factors helped to reverse July's sharp recovery in sales volumes.

But analysts still expect new private-home sales here to scale fresh records this year, helped by capital inflows that are likely to result from fresh stimulus measures launched last week by the U.S. Federal Reserve to support the American economy.

A total of 1,421 new private-residential units were sold in August--the second lowest monthly tally so far this year--compared with a revised 1,946 units in July, data published Monday on the website of the Urban Redevelopment Authority showed. In July, home sales had surged 42% after two months of decline. 

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HUDC flat in Shunfu Road sold at record price

Another new record in the property market surfaced today.

A maisonette along Shunfu Road was sold in July for S$1.28 million to a Singaporean – creating a new record for a HUDC flat.

Introduced in the 1970s, for those in the middle-income bracket who could not afford private property, HUDC flats are well known to be spacious. The government stopped building them in the late 1980s.

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Court orders liquidators to take over Telkomsel

Following its recent controversial verdict declaring PT Telkomsel insolvent, the Jakarta Commercial Court is asking liquidators to supervise the nation’s largest cellular operator’s assets.

The court has appointed Feri S Samad, Edino Girsang and Mohamad Solihin as liquidators to assess the company’s books and to enforce court orders to settle the company’s debts.

Feri said on Monday that he and his colleagues had met the judge supervising the case to discuss implementing the court’s rulings. 

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Lecturer accused of molest still allowed to teach

As A lecturer at the school, it was his duty to help students. But one of the students that he helped claimed that he molested her.

The school then initiated an investigation but he resigned before it could be completed.

The student later killed herself.

But he went on to teach at a private school. 

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Kiwi restaurant investigated by police for staging flash mob

A restaurant in Clarke Quay has been questioned by police after it staged a flash mob on Orchard Road without authorisation.

Fern & Kiwi, a restaurant and bar from New Zealand, had put up an impromptu performance of haka - the well-known traditional New Zealand dance of Maori heritage – on a Sunday.

The dance is usually performed for VIPs on important occasions and famously performed by its All Blacks rugby team at international matches.

However, any public performances in Singapore, including flash mobs, require a public entertainment licence, and the restaurant did not have one. 

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79% of S’poreans not prepared for major disaster: survey

Are Singaporeans generally prepared for a major catastrophe?

No, according to a new survey which has revealed that about four out of five Singaporeans do not consider themselves to be prepared.

As compared to 21 per cent of them who felt most Singaporeans are either “prepared” or “over-prepared”, some 79 per cent said they believed most Singaporeans are underprepared for a major disaster.

The online survey, commissioned by the National Geographic Channel and conducted by IdStats, asked citizens and permanent residents between 18 and 64 years old various questions about how they prepared themselves for disasters, and what they would do in the event that doomsday should occur. 

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Brawl victims spurn compensation

Robert Dahlberg, 34, is accused of causing hurt by pushing Paul Liew to hit his face against the pillar.

Two Singaporean men hurt in a booze-fuelled brawl say they were offered $20,000 to help cover their medical costs by a Kiwi involved - but didn't accept it because they thought he would use that to get off charges.

Stockbroker Robert Dahlberg, a member of a prominent Nelson family and a well-regarded basketballer, left Singapore a year ago on a short business trip and did not return - thus forfeiting a $23,000 bond. But he went back 10 days ago saying he wanted to deal with the charge of causing grievous bodily harm.

His father, Bill, said his son had acted honourably from the start, including offering to pay expenses for the victims. 

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Google blocks anti-Islam video in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 17 — Google has blocked the anti-Islam clip “Innocence of Muslims” from the YouTube video-sharing service in Malaysia since late yesterday following complaints from regulator Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) about the clip that has sparked violent protests across the Muslim world as it insults Prophet Muhammad. 

The Malaysian Insider learnt that the MCMC had cited section 298A (1) of the Penal Code in its complaint to the world’s leading search engine that owns the YouTube site. Both Google and YouTube have local sites in Malaysia, which has a nearly 70 per cent broadband penetration and a major market for video-sharing sites.

Checks by The Malaysian Insider showed that any search of the controversial video clip from a Malaysian IP address will show a note saying: “This content is not available in your country due to a legal complaint.” The video has already been blocked in Egypt and Libya, scene of violent protests against the video.

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