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  1. #21
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    Market Talk

    28 Aug 2015 08:20 CST DJ USD/SGD Weaker, but Propped Up by Fed Rate-Rise Odds -- Market Talk 0020 GMT [Dow Jones] USD/SGD came down again overnight as risk appetite was augmented by strong U.S. economic data, a second consecutive rally on Wall Street, and a 10% jump in crude oil prices. Risk-sensitive currencies such as the yen and the South Korea won reacted positively, illustrating that recent bearishness has nearly been erased. But the upbeat GDP report and a smaller-than-expected weekly jobless claims number might rehash expectations that the Federal Reserve could go ahead with an interest rate increase in September. This may be what's keeping USD/SGD supported ahead of the 20-day Bollinger mid line at 1.3967. USD/SGD needs to close even lower, below the Bollinger downtrend channel entrance at 1.3863, in order to take on a bearish technical bias. USD/SGD is now at 1.3990 from its Thursday close of 1.3984.

  2. #22
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    Trading Suspended

    Trading Suspended 28 August 2015 STATS ChipPAC asks SGX for suspension of trading in its shares
    SEMICONDUCTOR tester STATS ChipPAC has asked Singapore Exchange (SGX) for a suspension in trading of its shares.
    In a filing to SGX before the markets opened on Friday, the company referred to an earlier announcement on Aug 5 that trading in its shares will be suspended after the close of the voluntary conditional general offer by JCET-SC (Singapore) Pte Ltd for the company.
    This, as the percentage of the total number of issued shares in the capital of the company which are held in public hands has fallen below 10 per cent and the company no longer meets the free float requirement prescribed by SGX.
    The offer had closed at 5.30pm on Thursday.
    STATS ChipPAC said trading of its shares will be suspended with effect from 9am on Friday.

  3. #23
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    28 August 2015 Olam's Mitsubishi

    28 August 2015 Olam's Mitsubishi cash injection to help acquisitions, CEO says [SINGAPORE] The S$915 million cash that Mitsubishi Corp will pay for new shares of Olam International Ltd will help Singapore's commodity trader fund acquisitions, according to Chief Executive Officer Sunny Verghese.
    The rout in commodity prices and asset values is opening up opportunities for Olam to expand and the money the company will get from Japan's biggest trading house will give it firepower, Verghese said Friday in an interview with Bloomberg Television.
    The Singapore firm - which ranks in the top three traders of coffee and rice - agreed to sell a 20 per cent stake to Mitsubishi in two deals worth a combined US$1.53 billion. The first will see Tokyo-based Mitsubishi buy 332.7 million new shares; in the other, Olam's founding investor, the Kewalram Chanrai Group, agreed to sell an 8 per cent stake to the Japanese company.
    "It provides growth capital for Olam," Mr Verghese said. "Given current commodity market environment and the general macro, we believe this will present us with a few interesting accretive opportunities in line, and consistent, with our strategy." The new shares were priced at S$2.75 a piece, a 63 per cent premium to Olam's close on Wednesday. Olam will resume trading today after surging yesterday before it halted its shares from trading.
    Mitsubishi and Olam have had a working relationship for over 20 years, Verghese said. The Japanese firm made the best bid after "multiple parties" showed interest in Olam, he said.
    In June last year, Mitsubishi agreed to pay US$64 million for 80 per cent of Olam Grains Australia to give it control over a business that handles more than 1 million metric tons of grain a year. The same year, Sanyo Foods Co, a unit of Mitsubishi, agreed to purchase 25 per cent of Olam's packaged-food division. BLOOMBERG

  4. #24
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    28 August 2015 Oil markets catch breath after biggest gains in six years

    28 August 2015 Oil markets catch breath after biggest gains in six years [SEOUL] Crude oil futures were largely steady on Friday after posting their biggest one-day rally in over six years the day before led by recovering equity markets and news of diminished crude supplies.
    Stock markets around the world rallied on Thursday, shaking off a slump related to China growth fears, as strong US economic data boosted investor sentiment, and the dollar advanced for a third consecutive session.
    Front-month October Brent crude had dipped 20 cents to US$47.36 per barrel as of 0046 GMT. It settled US$4.42 higher at US$47.56 per barrel in the previous session.
    US crude edged down 3 cents to US$42.53 per barrel, after ending up US$3.96, or 10.3 per cent, at US$42.56 per barrel, its biggest one-day percentage gain since March 2009. "A short covering rally, led by crude oil pushed commodities higher across the board. Better than expected US GDP numbers was the main spark, although the force majeure on BP's exports from Nigeria extended the gains," ANZ said in a note on Friday morning. "The recovery in commodity prices looks fragile with concerns over China's growth still weighing on market activity,"the bank added.
    The US economy grew faster than initially thought in the second quarter on solid domestic demand. Gross domestic product expanded at a 3.7 per cent annual pace instead of the 2.3 per cent rate reported last month, the Commerce Department said on Thursday in its second GDP estimate for the April-June period.
    Shell's Nigerian unit, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), declared force majeure on Bonny Light crude oil exports on Thursday after shutting down two key pipelines in the country due to a leak and theft.
    China's falling auto sales have been at the forefront of concerns that its economy is slowing much faster than expected, weighing on oil prices.
    Venezuela has been contacting other members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec), pushing for an emergency meeting with Russia to come up with a plan to stop the global oil price rout, the Wall Street Journal reported. REUTERS

  5. #25
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    Oil soars over 10%, biggest gain in six years as shorts scramble

    28 August 2015 Oil soars over 10%, biggest gain in six years as shorts scramble [NEW YORK] Oil rocketed more than 10 percent higher on Thursday, posting its biggest one-day rally in over six years as recovering equity markets and news of diminished crude supplies set off a short-covering scramble by bearish traders.
    Snapping back from a deep two-month slump that knocked US crude to 6-1/2 year lows below US$40 this week, oil climbed as world stock markets rose on hopes Chinese government measures to stimulate the economy would pay off, while the dollar strengthened as risk aversion eased.
    The rally was aided by news of a force majeure on Nigerian oil exports declared by Shell and private data indicating more drawdowns in crude this week at Cushing, Oklahoma, traders said. A big upward revision in second quarter US economic growth helped.
    Front month Brent crude for October more than reversed a week's worth of losses, rising US$4.42 to settle at US$47.56 a barrel, marking a 10.25 per cent rise. Gains accelerated toward the close, locking in the biggest one-day jump since late 2008, when prices were bouncing back after the financial crisis. The contract traded on Monday at a March 2009 low of US$42.23. "Whenever you have a short-covering rally in a bear market they're always violent. I wouldn't be surprised to see it continue another day or two," said Tariq Zahir, managing member at Tyche Capital Advisors in Laurel Hollow, New York. As buying pressure eases, prices may test new lows, he added.
    That proved somewhat true in Thursday's post-settlement trade, when oil came off its highs, tracking a volatile US stock market prior to Wall Street's close. Brent briefly gave back more than US$1 from its settlement price before recouping all of it later.
    US crude settled up US$3.96, or 10.3 per cent, at US$42.56 per barrel, its biggest one-day percent gain since March 2009. It had hit a February 2009 low of US$37.75 on Monday.
    There were signs that Thursday's rally, while extreme, may not be long-lasting, traders said. Inter-month spreads, often a good indicator of physical market conditions, weakened on the day, while turnover was high but not extreme. Front-month Brent crude traded just over 315,000 lots, the most since early July but a quarter less than early February highs.
    Even notionally bullish news came with a bearish context.
    Shell declared force majeure on Bonny Light crude oil exports on Thursday following the shutdown of a 180,000 barrel per day (bpd) pipeline. But the disruption may have a limited impact on the market with some 10 million barrels of September-loading Bonny Light still unsold.

  6. #26
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    SHORTS RUN FOR COVER

    SHORTS RUN FOR COVER

    Since July, as oil prices embarked on a second steep decline of more than 30 per cent, big funds and speculators nearly trebled their short positions in US oil futures and options to more than 160 million barrels, just short of a record 180 million barrels in March, according to regulatory data.
    Dealers have been bracing for that to unwind, with some warning that the scramble to exit those trades could be fierce. "It's the squeeze on short-sellers that we've been anticipating after the oil markets saw panic selling and capitulation trade in the US$30 levels," said Chris Jarvis, analyst at Caprock Risk Management in Frederick, Maryland. "Couple this with strong continued demand for gasoline and solid GDP numbers out of the US, and China's actions to reinflate their economy with a very shorted market, the near-term bounce we have been calling for appears to be working out." US nationwide crude oil stocks unexpectedly fell by more than 5 million barrels last week, and data from industry group Genscape showed that inventories in Cushing, Oklahoma, declined by another nearly 400,000 barrels since last Friday.
    Even so, most analysts were pessimistic that oil could maintain its trek higher. "The trend is strong and down. However, do not be wrong-footed by a correction higher," PVM Oil Associates technical analyst Robin Bieber said. "Few markets head forever in one direction with no respite." Even the most bullish forecasters are conceding that oil prices are unlikely to stage a significant rebound soon. On Wednesday, Standard Chartered slashed its 2016 Brent crude oil forecast by US$20 to US$63. REUTERS

  7. #27
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    Market Talk

    28 Aug 2015 09:23 CST DJ Singapore's STI Gains; Olam Rises on Deal -- Market Talk 0122 GMT [Dow Jones] Singapore's FTSE Straits Times Index gains 1.5% shortly after the open, trading at 2988.28 on another strong day for its commodities traders. Olam International (O32.SG) surges 8.9% to S$2.08 a share after it says Mitsubishi Corp. is taking a strategic stake in the company. Rival Noble Group (N21.SG) is up 5.8%. Ezra Holdings (5DN.SG), meanwhile, gains 14% after announcing that it had signed a deal to sell a 50% equity stake in its main subsea services division. Other movers include Jardine Cycle & Carriage (C07.SG) and City Developments (C09.SG) falls 0.3%. Magnus Energy (41S.SG) is flat at S$0.012 and Cordlife Group (P8A.SG) rises 0.4% after the firms report their financial results.

  8. #28
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    28 August 2015 Raised income ceiling a game changer for property market

    28 August 2015 Raised income ceiling a game changer for property market BTO flats and ECs are expected to become more popular after the government introduced new limits to make public housing more accessible to higher-income households.
    By Romesh Navaratnarajah
    With the upcoming general election to be held on 11 September 2015, it isn’t surprising to see the government take steps to help more Singaporeans afford HDB flats and executive condominiums (ECs). After all, housing affordability was one of the hot-button issues in the 2011 election.
    Most recently, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced several new housing policies during his National Day Rally speech, including raising the income ceiling from $10,000 to $12,000 for new flats, while that for ECs will increase from $12,000 to $14,000. This is so that families with higher incomes can also apply for government-subsidised housing. At the same time, additional grants will be given to middle- and lower-income HDB buyers.
    Analysts who spoke to PropertyGuru welcomed the government’s moves to make public housing more accessible to Singaporeans.
    “The policies have been updated to take into consideration our nation’s changing demographics and lifestyle. Incomes have been moving up and couples are getting married later, and the combination of these factors may make such couples ineligible to buy a Build-To-Order (BTO) flat,” said Wong Xian Yang, Senior Manager for Research & Consultancy at OrangeTee.
    But it also raises questions as to whether the changes to income ceilings will increase competition for BTO flats.

  9. #29
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    Less well-off more vulnerable

    Less well-off more vulnerable

    Mohamed Ismail, CEO of PropNex Realty, pointed out that households with gross monthly incomes in the range of $6,000 to $8,000 can only afford BTO flats, as their lower incomes are likely to put resale flats, ECs and private properties out of their reach. However, those earning up to $12,000 can now apply for a BTO flat, instead of stretching their budget to buy an EC or private condo.
    “The chances of securing a BTO flat among applicants are likely to be lowered due to heightened competition from the expanded pool of eligible buyers. While the more affluent can afford to miss the opportunity, lower-income applicants with fewer housing options may be disadvantaged,” warned Ismail.
    There will be more competition for BTO flats launched in better locations such as in mature estates or near MRT stations, Wong reckons. “For BTO flats launched in areas that are relatively less accessible, we may not see much of an impact,” he added.
    The income ceiling hike will take effect with the next BTO exercise in September 2015, when the Housing Board launches about 4,860 flats in Bidadari and Punggol Northshore. Another 4,000\ balance flats will also be offered to applicants

  10. #30
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    ECs still relevant

    ECs still relevant

    Over in the EC market, experts have different opinions on the possible impact, now that more buyers can purchase ECs. Ismail foresees a domino effect, similar to the BTO segment, whereby households with a gross monthly income of up to $14,000 have the additional option of purchasing an EC.

    This may push prices for ECs up due to the increase in eligible buyers who were previously ruled out due to their higher income levels, he noted. EC prices have crept up from an average of $750 psf at the start of 2013 to over $800 psf since Q3 last year, according to data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) (refer to Figure 1).
    However, Wong does not expect developers to price them higher as there are still many unsold units left in the market. URA’s figures revealed that there were 2,391 vacant EC units in Q2 2015, which translates to a vacancy rate of 14.1 percent. This is up almost two percent from the same quarter last year (refer to Figure 2).

    Meanwhile, EC sales are expected to pick up due to a number of factors, like the widening price gap between mass market homes and ECs, the availability of housing grants, and the ‘partial exemption’ from the Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) framework, noted Ismail.
    On the partial exemption, he explained that an upgrader’s existing HDB monthly mortgage payment is not factored into TDSR calculations when a bank assesses the loan to grant for an EC unit bought directly from a developer. This is because of an existing rule which states that buyers are required to sell their HDB flat within six months of the EC project’s completion.
    According to industry watchers, upcoming EC projects expected to benefit from this new rise in income ceiling are Parc Life, Signature @ Yishun and The Criterion, comprising a total of more than 1,600 units. Many buyers who were previously ineligible to book units at recently launched ECs, such as The Brownstone, The Vales and Sol Acres, can also do so now. The latest project to hit the market, Sol Acres by MCL Land, has already sold 249 units.
    EC developers had been anticipating policy changes since March, when National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan raised the possibility of increasing the income ceiling for ECs for the second time since 2011.
    In fact, a Q2 survey conducted by the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (REDAS), which tracks the sentiment of developers, found that 54.8 percent of respondents felt the income ceiling of $12,000 for ECs was inadequate

 

 

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