Singapore

Rich Chinese people escape crackdowns for Singapore, dubbed “Asia’s Switzerland”
Singapore

Rich Chinese people escape crackdowns for Singapore, dubbed “Asia’s Switzerland”

Some residents are uneasy as Chinese riches pours into the Southeast Asian city-state. Bao Fan, one of China's most well-known investment financiers, was said to have been searching for a secure location to store his riches before going missing in the middle of February. The Financial Times reported last month, citing four individuals familiar with the plans, that Bao, the creator of China Renaissance, was creating a private asset management firm in Singapore to move money out of China and Hong Kong. Bao is just one of an increasing number of rich Chinese businesspeople who have turned to Singapore, known as the "Switzerland of Asia," to avoid Beijing's crackdowns on the private sector and graft. Bao has joined a lengthy list of important businessmen who have mysteriously vanishe...
Singapore and Hong Kong compete to become Asia’s Cayman Islands.
Singapore

Singapore and Hong Kong compete to become Asia’s Cayman Islands.

New fund arrangements have been established in the two cities in an effort to draw money away from established foreign financial centers. The epidemic in 2020 prevented movement and closed boundaries. However, two of Asia's largest financial centers simultaneously recognized a chance to change the global center of gravity for hedge funds and the richest families in the world. The "variable capital company," a fund structure created by Singapore, enables a broad variety of prospective users to conceal sizable capital amounts in covert, minimally taxable vehicles based in a well-managed financial center. The "open-ended fund company," a comparable framework that Hong Kong had created two years earlier, was improved. The vehicles pose a direct threat to already-established foreign f...
South Korea needs more babies and immigrants
Asia, China, Market, Singapore, World

South Korea needs more babies and immigrants

South Korea greeted the new year by recording its first annual population decline. Unfortunately, the go-to solutions are meeting some practical challenges in the COVID-19 era. Headcount dwindled slightly to 51.8 million last year, the Ministry of Interior and Safety said Sunday. The retreat was the product of a 10.6% slide in births, coupled with a 3.1% increase in deaths. South Korea now joins neighboring Japan in suffering an actual fall in population, as opposed to the diminishing rates of growth that characterized past years. The ministry called for “fundamental changes,” national news agency Yonhap reported, without offering details. South Korea’s demographic challenges partly stem from family-planning measures imposed by military-backed administrations in the 1960s, which aimed to...
Commentary: How Tencent, that other Chinese Big Tech giant, is beating a path to a trillion dollars
Asia, China, Market, Singapore, World

Commentary: How Tencent, that other Chinese Big Tech giant, is beating a path to a trillion dollars

Tencent looks set to grow to a US$1 trillion market capitalisation given its diversified revenue sources, its strong growth strategy premised on e-sports and live-streaming, says IMD Business School’s Mark Greeven. SINGAPORE: Tencent is poised to join the trillion dollar club. After a whopping 11 per cent rally in stock price and an equally whopping tumble of about 5 per cent last week, the question is whether we are seeing the global tech bubble expanding to Asia. Certainly, the Hong Kong market generally was in a positive mood on the day of the 115 per cent jump. And over this past year, Tencent’s stock price has risen by 85 per cent in value. Nevertheless, a trillion dollars is a lot of money. Amazon, Apple and Microsoft are all well into their first trillion-dollar market cap...
Public transport satisfaction dips in 2020, MRT safety scores largest improvement: Survey
Market, Singapore, World

Public transport satisfaction dips in 2020, MRT safety scores largest improvement: Survey

SINGAPORE: Overall satisfaction with public transport dipped in 2020, with MRT safety and security scoring the largest increase, the Public Transport Council (PTC) said on Friday (Feb 7). The percentage of people who said they were satisfied with public transport was 97.6 per cent, lower than the high of 99.4 per cent in 2019. According to PTC, percentage satisfaction levels are measured based on the proportion of respondents whose overall satisfaction rating for public transport services was 6 and above on a 10-point scale. Satisfaction with public transport, bus, and MRT services over the past 5 years. (Graphic: Public Transport Council While the proportion of satisfied commuters dropped in 2020, the mean satisfaction score remained at 7.8 for the second consecutive year, due to ...
Geylang Serai Hari Raya Bazaar to be held online on new digital platform due to COVID-19 outbreak
Asia, Singapore, World

Geylang Serai Hari Raya Bazaar to be held online on new digital platform due to COVID-19 outbreak

SINGAPORE: The annual Geylang Serai Hari Raya Bazaar will continue to be held online this year, said the People's Association (PA) on Wednesday (Jan 13). "In view of the evolving COVID-19 situation, physical bazaars and trade fairs, which traditionally attract large crowds, will not resume," said PA in a media release, adding that for residents' safety and wellbeing, the Geylang Serai bazaar will continue to be held online and on a new digital platform. The bazaar will take place from Apr 9 to May 13, and will be a "celebration of the Malay/Muslim culture and heritage, with varied food and lifestyle experiences for Singaporeans from all walks of life to enjoy", the association said. "Similar to last year, the online experience will enable many residents to learn new skills and enj...
COVID-19 batters Asia’s already-struggling democracies
Asia, China, Singapore, World

COVID-19 batters Asia’s already-struggling democracies

Over the past 15 years, democracy across Asia has regressed. Although the region still has strong democracies like South Korea, Japan and Taiwan, many other leading Asian democracies and countries with democratic potential have slid backwards, turning into near-autocracies or outright authoritarian states. While Thailand had been one of the freest states in Asia in the late 1990s and early 2000s, it has suffered two military coups in the past decade and now is run by a parliamentary government that took power after a seriously flawed election in 2019. Bangladesh had built itself into a shaky but increasingly vibrant democracy by the early 2010s, but in the past decade has deteriorated into a de facto one-party regime, with opposition activists, civil society leaders and journalists jailed...
Asia’s rise doesn’t necessarily mean the West’s decline
Asia, China, Singapore, World

Asia’s rise doesn’t necessarily mean the West’s decline

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a growing geopolitical perception of Asia’s rise and the decline of the West. To a large extent, East Asian countries have managed to control the number of infections and particularly the number of virus-related deaths proportional to population. By contrast, case totals are between 50 and 100 times higher in Europe and the United States. Even in Germany, which has put up the best fight against the virus in Europe, the COVID-19 fatality rate is almost 20 times higher than that of Japan or South Korea. While the pandemic has dealt a devastating blow to economic activity in both the East and West, East Asia has a much easier path to recovery. China is acting as an engine of growth. Japan has seen an increase in capital investment (including planned i...
China adopts law giving coastguards power to fire foreign vessels in disputed waters
China, Singapore, World

China adopts law giving coastguards power to fire foreign vessels in disputed waters

China’s top legislative body, the National People's Congress Standing Committee, has passed a law that gives power to its coastguard to fire on foreign vessels and demolish structures built in disputed waters.Although it is yet to be ascertained whether the law will be applied to all waters claimed by Beijing but the move is expected to escalate tensions between China and its neighbours in the East and South China Seas.The law was passed on Friday and empowers the coastguard to use "all necessary means" to deter threats posed by foreign vessels in waters "under China's jurisdiction". It will also allow the coastguards to launch pre-emptive strikes without prior warning if commanders deem it necessary.Under the new bill, coastguard personnel can demolish structures built or installed by oth...
Two WHO team members stopped from entering China after failed coronavirus test
China, Singapore, World

Two WHO team members stopped from entering China after failed coronavirus test

China on Thursday blocked two members of the 13-member World Health Organisation (WHO) team from travelling to the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic in Wuhan after they failed the coronavirus antibody test in Singapore.The WHO first tweeted that the international team of 13 scientists examining the origins of the virus that causes Covid-19 arrived in Wuhan.The experts were to begin their work immediately during the two-week quarantine protocol for international travellers.Later, in a separate tweet, WHO said that two members of that team remain in Singapore after they were "tested positive for IgM antibodies".IgM antibodies are among the earliest potential signs of a coronavirus infection and false positives are also possible with such tests."Two scientists are still in #Singapore comp...