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The Big Read: At your service — or perhaps not, as manpower crunch worsens for hotels and restaurants
World

The Big Read: At your service — or perhaps not, as manpower crunch worsens for hotels and restaurants

SINGAPORE: After forking out more than S$2,000 for a three-night staycation at Amara Sanctuary Resort Sentosa in November last year, Ms Wendy Chong and her family were told that their room was not ready when they arrived at the scheduled check-in time. They were asked to wait at a restaurant that was a 10-minute walk away, where they were served only water. “The counter staff weren’t apologetic,” said the 55-year-old assistant manager at a logistics firm, who was on staycation with her husband and two daughters, aged 12 and 16. “It didn’t bother them that they were checking us in later and it seemed like it happens very frequently.” Their room was finally ready at about 5pm, close to two hours after her check-in time. But when they entered their room, they found that the television and...
What Delta Air Lines predicts for business travel after the omicron variant
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What Delta Air Lines predicts for business travel after the omicron variant

He expects, though, that in the spring and summer, demand for business travel will be strong "as people get back into the regular routine and feel safe traveling." Right before its capital markets day in mid-December, and right before its earnings call, the airline surveyed corporate clients. "And what we saw was that the percentage of customers who thought in the first quarter that they would travel the same or more went down slightly, but it was still 80% of the corporate travel survey respondents thought they would travel the same or more in the first quarter than they did in fourth quarter," said Glen Hauenstein, Delta Air Lines president, on the earnings calls. "Office reopenings have been pushed out, as you know." Business travel, though, is a different story, but Delta doesn't see...
French tech company Atos issues new profit warning, causing its shares to slump
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French tech company Atos issues new profit warning, causing its shares to slump

PARIS :French technology consulting company Atos issued a profit warning on Monday, its second in seven months, causing its shares to slump to their lowest level since around mid-2012. The company's latest profit warning also came just several days after its new CEO Rodolphe Belmer, appointed in October, officially took over the reins. Atos shares plunged by 15per cent in early session trading. Atos said its financial objectives stated in July could not be met, due both to delays on deals with customers and to lower margins at its hardware and software resales unit. "I joined the company last week, at the time when the figures were being collected and consolidated. The current state of financial insight leads us to the obligation to issue a profit warning today due to the significant v...
Gas prices are rising—try these 8 strategies to save money at the pump
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Gas prices are rising—try these 8 strategies to save money at the pump

With gas prices up nearly 50% since last year, you might be looking for ways to stretch your gas mileage. Fortunately, you don't have to spend a lot of money upgrading to a more fuel-efficient vehicle to do so, as small changes in your driving and vehicle maintenance habits can reduce your gas costs by at least a half buck per gallon, if not more. Here's a look at eight tips provided by the U.S. Department of Energy, along with the estimated savings per gallon. All estimates assume a fuel price of $3.31 per gallon. By following tips like these, you could save the equivalent of a monthly car payment over a year of driving, according to Jack Gillis, executive director of the Consumer Federation of America and author of "The Car Book." 1. Ease up on the gas and brakes Your gas mileage typic...
Hong Kong fund to sell Japan, South Korea Burger King business in deal over US$1 billion
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Hong Kong fund to sell Japan, South Korea Burger King business in deal over US$1 billion

Hong Kong: Private equity firm Affinity Equity Partners is this week launching the sale of its Burger King fast-food businesses in South Korea and Japan, in a deal that could fetch more than US$1 billion, a person with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. Hong Kong-based Affinity has appointed Goldman Sachs to run the sale, which is targeting both private equity investors and strategic buyers, said the person, who declined to be identified as the information is confidential. The bank declined to comment. Affinity bought full control of Burger King South Korea in 2016 for about US$170 million and a year later acquired the American fast-food brand's Japan franchise. The South Korean business reported 680 billion won (US$572 million) in revenue in 2021, with adjusted earnings before inte...
Pakistan can ride out rising external account pressures, says central bank chief
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Pakistan can ride out rising external account pressures, says central bank chief

ISLAMAB : Pakistan's central bank chief believes the country has the capacity and financial cushion to ride out rising external account pressures being driven by a surge in global commodity prices. The pressure should ease soon as central banks around the world tighten monetary policy, which is likely to curb rebounding global demand, he said. "What we have to ensure is that we have the capacity to sustain ourselves through it...I believe we do," said State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Dr Reza Baqir in an interview with Reuters on Monday. He said the surge in global commodity prices over the past few months was being driven by a sharp recovery in demand as economies bounced back from a COVID-induced slump. "But as central banks begin to turn hawkish, it is going to moderate global d...
Exclusive-China’s Kaisa pressured by local government to repay wealth product investors – sources
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Exclusive-China’s Kaisa pressured by local government to repay wealth product investors – sources

HONG KONG : Under pressure from authorities, Chinese property firm Kaisa Group Holdings Ltd is working furiously to come up with a feasible plan to repay wealth product investors, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said. Kwok Ying Shing, chairman of the cash-strapped developer, has agreed to a request from the government of Shenzhen where the company is based, to provide by the end of January a proposal to repay investors in its wealth management products (WMPs), said one of the sources. The sources added that if the company fails to do so, they believe possible consequences include the Shenzhen government seizing some of Kaisa's assets and gradually taking over the company. Kaisa's dilemma underscores how authorities are pushing property developers to prioritise meeting on...
China forcibly returned nearly 10,000 in overseas crackdown: Report
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China forcibly returned nearly 10,000 in overseas crackdown: Report

BEIJING: Beijing has forced nearly 10,000 Chinese nationals overseas to return since 2014 using coercive means outside the justice system, according to a new report. The figure could be the "tip of the iceberg", Spain-based rights group Safeguard Defenders reported Tuesday (Jan 18), as China aggressively pursues its nationals overseas. The report alleges China is expanding its policing powers overseas and conducting illegal operations on foreign soil. Officially, the targets are people wanted by the Chinese judicial system as part of President Xi Jinping's anti-corruption drive. But the NGO details cases where those who criticised the Communist Party had relatives in China harassed and detained in attempts to coerce them to return. Through two programmes, Operation Fox Hunt and Operat...
Why Indonesia is jolting markets by curbing commodity exports
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Why Indonesia is jolting markets by curbing commodity exports

Indonesia is the top exporter of coal for power stations and the biggest palm oil producer in the world. It also holds a quarter of all nickel reserves. So policy shifts in the Southeast Asian archipelago - such as new restrictions on coal shipments or a proposed nickel export tax - often reverberate across global commodities markets, roiling trading and pushing up prices for other countries that need the supplies. President Joko Widodo is nevertheless forging ahead with what’s known as resource nationalism, policies designed to get more benefit from the country’s natural riches for its 273 million people by restricting exports and encouraging more value-added processing at home. The going has been slow but there are signs the strategy is having an effect. What’s in the spotlight now? C...
Singapore could see more than 15,000 COVID-19 cases a day as Omicron wave hits: Health ministry
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Singapore could see more than 15,000 COVID-19 cases a day as Omicron wave hits: Health ministry

SINGAPORE: Singapore will likely see a “significant wave” of COVID-19 soon, with the more infectious Omicron variant now causing at least 70 per cent of daily cases, said co-chair of the multi-ministry task force Gan Kim Yong on Friday (Jan 21). “But in reality, the proportion is likely to be higher, perhaps close to 90 per cent or more. Omicron has clearly dominated over Delta variant in Singapore,” Mr Gan said at a press conference. “Given that the Omicron variant is more infectious, it is likely that we will soon see a significant wave.” The Ministry of Health (MOH) said it expects the number of cases to rise sharply. “Cases could double every two to three days and could reach 10,000 to 15,000, or even more, cases per day,” the ministry said in a media release. Most of the Omicron ...