Jumaat, 15 Julai 2011

The Star Online: World Updates

0 ulasan
Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: World Updates

Study shows forests have bigger role in slowing climate change

Posted: 15 Jul 2011 09:15 AM PDT

SINGAPORE, July 15 (Reuters) - The world's forests can play an even greater role in fighting climate change than previously thought, scientists say in the most comprehensive study yet on how much carbon dioxide forests absorb from the air.

Trees on the bank are reflected in the Yellowstone River in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, June 21, 2011. (REUTERS/Jim Urquhart)

The study may also boost a U.N.-backed programme that aims to create a global market in carbon credits from projects that protect tropical forests. If these forests are locking away more carbon than thought, such projects could become more valuable.

Trees need large amounts of planet-warming carbon dioxide (CO2) to grow, locking away the carbon in the trunks and roots.

But scientists have struggled to figure out exactly how much CO2 forests soak up in different parts of the world and a global total for how much is released when forests are cut down and burned.

The study released on Friday in the latest issue of the U.S. journal Science details for the first time the volumes of CO2 absorbed from the atmosphere by tropical, temperate and boreal forests. The researchers found that forests soak up more than 10 percent of carbon dioxide from human activities such as burning coal, even after taking into account all of the global emissions from deforestation.

"This analysis puts forests at even a higher level of importance in regulating atmospheric CO2," said Pep Canadell, one of the authors and head of the Global Carbon Project based at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization in Australia.

"If you shut them down, you're not only losing the carbon stock into the atmosphere, you're losing a very active sink which removes the carbon dioxide," he told Reuters from Canberra.

Canadell and an international research team combined data from forest inventories, models and satellites to construct a profile of forests as major regulators of atmospheric CO2.

Greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels and deforestation are rising rapidly, with growth being largely driven by surging coal, oil and gas consumption in big developing nations.

Emissions grew 5.8 percent last year to 33.16 billion tonnes, as countries rebounded from economic recession, a BP report said in June. China's emissions totalled 8.33 billion tonnes, up 10 percent from the year before.


The researchers found that in total, established forests and young regrowth forests in the tropics soaked up nearly 15 billion tonnes of CO2, or roughly half the emissions from industry, transport and other sources.

But the scientists calculated that deforestation emissions totalled 10.7 billion tonnes, underscoring that the more forests are preserved the more they can slow the pace of climate change.

A major surprise was the finding that young regrowth forests in the tropics were far better at soaking up carbon than thought, absorbing nearly 6 billion tonnes of CO2 -- about the annual greenhouse gas emissions of the United States.

"This is huge and the relevance for REDD is here you have a huge sink that is bigger than the established tropical forests," said Canadell, referring to the U.N.-backed scheme reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation.

REDD aims to reward poorer nations that preserve their carbon-rich rainforests with a market-based scheme in which carbon credits are given for every tonne of carbon locked away. Many REDD projects currently being developed focus on peat-swamp forests because these contain the most carbon.

Tropical regrowth forests could represent a new investment opportunity, Canadell said.

"Unfortunately, some countries have not looked on forest regrowth as a component of REDD, and so are missing a very important opportunity to gain even further climate benefits from the conservation of forests," he said.

(Editing by Ed Lane)

Copyright © 2011 Reuters

Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by USA Best Price.

Strauss-Kahn won't negotiate, says New York lawyer

Posted: 15 Jul 2011 09:15 AM PDT

PARIS (Reuters) - Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn will not plead guilty to minor charges or cut a deal in the sexual assault case against him in New York, his lawyer said in remarks published on Thursday.

Strauss-Kahn, who was the Socialist Party's leading candidate for the French 2012 presidential election, was arrested by New York police in mid-May on charges of attempting to rape a hotel maid.

Former IMF Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn listens to his lawyer William Taylor during a hearing at New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan, July 1, 2011. (REUTERS/Todd Heisler/Pool)

"We will not negotiate on any point and will not plead guilty to a misdemeanour charge in this case," William Taylor was quoted as saying in Le Figaro newspaper.

"The only acceptable conclusion to this (for the defence) is the complete dropping of all charges."

Strauss-Kahn has repeatedly denied the charges.

New York prosecutors and defence lawyers agreed on Monday to postpone the next court date to Aug 1 to give both sides more time to investigate.

Taylor said no decision was likely at that meeting.

"It's a routine appearance and the two sides will explain where their investigations stand," Taylor told Le Parisien newspaper. "The judge should say 'thank you and you can come back in three weeks or September.'"

(Reporting by John Irish; Editing by Elizabeth Fullerton)

Copyright © 2011 Reuters

Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by USA Best Price.

FACTBOX - Republicans who may take on Obama in 2012

Posted: 15 Jul 2011 09:15 AM PDT

July 14 (Reuters) - Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin says she will decide whether to join the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination in August or September, potentially adding her name to the list of contenders.

Here is a look at Republicans who could win the party nomination and face Democratic President Barack Obama in the general election.

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney speaks at the first New Hampshire debate of the 2012 campaign at St. Anselms College in Manchester, New Hampshire June 13, 2011. (REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)


Romney, 64, who lost the nomination to John McCain in 2008, leads many polls of potential Republican candidates and is viewed as the party's early front-runner.

He declared his candidacy on June 2 after spending months creating a network of supporters and wealthy donors, particularly in early voting states including New Hampshire. In May, he raised $10.25 million in Las Vegas in a single day.

Romney, who co-founded private equity firm Bain Capital, has pushed his business experience as a way to attack Obama's handling of the U.S. economy. His fortune has been estimated at up to $250 million. Critics say he cut jobs as a corporate raider.

A former Massachusetts governor, Romney is also known for righting the scandal-plagued 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City.

A vulnerability of his candidacy is the healthcare plan he helped develop in Massachusetts that became a model for the 2010 Obama healthcare law that conservatives want to scrap. Romney has defended the state law while attacking the federal version. He has said he would repeal Obama's plan.

A Mormon, Romney might struggle to win support from evangelical Christians.


Huntsman annoyed the White House by resigning in April as Obama's U.S. ambassador to China to consider whether to seek the Republican presidential nomination.

Huntsman, 51, entered the race on June 21 and, like Romney, has roots in Utah and is a Mormon. A former governor of Utah, Huntsman is a moderate, which may make it hard for him to win over conservatives who play a key role in the nominating process.

Huntsman's name recognition is low and his biggest immediate hurdle among Republican voters is his service to the Obama administration.

Huntsman paints his knowledge of China, America's main global commercial rival and foreign lender, as a strength.


Palin, 47, the party's vice presidential nominee in 2008, has not said whether she will run but told an interviewer that she expects to make a decision in August or September.

She has star power and can afford to enter the race relatively late because of her broad name recognition.

Palin made herself a millionaire with two books, the TV show "Sarah Palin's Alaska" and paid speaking engagements.

A leading voice in the conservative Tea Party movement, Palin enhanced her influence by campaigning for its candidates in the 2010 congressional elections.

Palin is not a favourite of establishment Republicans who fear her low approval ratings with the broader electorate could doom the party in a general election matchup with Obama.

She remains vulnerable to public gaffes, most recently saying the American patriot Paul Revere "warned the British" not to mess with the colonists. Revere's famous ride was to warn colonial militias that the British were coming.


A leader of the Tea Party movement, Bachmann has joined the upper tier of candidates after a strong performance in the first major debate on June 13 in New Hampshire. She was only 1 point behind first-place Romney in a June 26 Iowa poll.

Bachmann, 55, is a former tax lawyer who is a conservative both fiscally and socially, and is strongly opposed to gay marriage and abortion.

In 2006, she became the first Republican woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Minnesota. Bachmann has been seen as someone who would benefit if Palin decided not to run, as the two are similar in politics and appeal to many of the same voters.

She is expected to do well at the caucus in Iowa, where she was born and where conservatives are strong. But she might struggle in primaries in New Hampshire and Florida.


The former Minnesota governor joined the national stage in 2008 when his name showed up on John McCain's short list to be the Republican vice presidential candidate.

"T-Paw" -- as he is known by supporters -- was a popular two-term governor in a swing state, giving him credibility as a Republican who can attract vital support from independents.

He won plaudits for eliminating a $4.3 billion state budget deficit without raising taxes. But critics say he used short-term patches to paper over budget holes and blame him for a multi-billion deficit that took shape after he left office.

Pawlenty, who stepped into the race in May, has been a staunch voice against abortion and human embryonic stem-cell research.

As a presidential hopeful, Pawlenty, 50, has tried to raise his national profile with Republican voters by promising "hard truths" about U.S. fiscal woes, yet offering generous tax cuts.

Critics say he lacks charisma, a concern undiminished by a debate performances in New Hampshire and South Carolina.


Leading members of Gingrich's campaign team resigned on June 9 in a blow to his 2012 election hopes. His campaign has sputtered from the beginning and the mass exodus could scare off would-be financial contributors and other supporters.

The former speaker of the House, 68, was the main architect of the 1994 Republican congressional election victory and author of the "Contract with America" political manifesto. Gingrich ended his 20-year congressional career after Republican losses in 1998 elections.

He has tried to ease concerns among the religious right about his personal life. Gingrich is married to his third wife, with whom he had an affair while married to his second wife.

After announcing his candidacy, Gingrich flew straight into trouble by criticizing a House Republican Medicare reform plan. He apologized after being criticized by fellow conservatives.

Then came revelations that Gingrich and his wife had a large credit line at Tiffany's. Gingrich then disappeared from the campaign trail and went on a Greek cruise with his wife.


Santorum, 53, once a leading Senate Republican, was badly defeated in his 2006 re-election bid.

A favourite of social conservatives, he made a name for himself a decade ago by opposing abortion rights and gay marriage while backing welfare reform. He has campaigned hard to enhance his profile in early voting states.


An anti-war Republican congressman from Texas who ran unsuccessfully for the party's 2008 nomination, libertarian Paul, 75, is known as "the intellectual godfather of the Tea Party."

His calls for steep cuts in the federal deficit and the size of government have moved to the mainstream of debate in Congress since last November when the fiscal conservative movement swept Republicans back into power in the House.

An obstetrician, Paul has also gained new prominence as chairman of a congressional panel that oversees the Federal Reserve, a system he wants to abolish.


A radio talk show host and former CEO of Godfather's Pizza, Cain, 65, was chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City's board of directors and has never been elected to political office.

(Reporting by David Morgan, Ros Krasny, Steve Holland, Alistair Bell, John Whitesides, Patricia Zengerle)

Copyright © 2011 Reuters

Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by USA Best Price.
Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Business

0 ulasan
Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: Business

Merger of equals

Posted: 15 Jul 2011 05:55 PM PDT

A QUIETLY put together deal, the proposed merger of local oil and gas service providers SapuraCrest Petroleum Bhd and Kencana Petroleum Bhd announced earlier this week has taken many by surprise.

Dubbed a "merger of equals", sources say the deal was done by way of a merger as opposed to one acquiring another so as to send out the right signal to the market.

"In the case of an acquisition, one will be known as the acquirer and the other an acquiree. This message trickles down to the staff and will impact the overall morale. But this deal signals the merger of true equals," sources close to the deal tell StarBizWeek.

Analysts and industry players say the timing for the merger is right given the Government's emphasis on the growth of the oil and gas sector as a national key economic area.

With a friendship exceeding three decades, Sapura Group president and chief executive officer Datuk Shahril Shamsuddin and Kencana's chief executive officer Datuk Mokhzani Mahathir are viewed as the most likely candidates to head the merger, driven by a consolidation in oil and gas (O&G) service providers. But still the biggest challenge is making the merger work.

The offer

Once SapuraCrest and Kencana merge, the new entity will become the country's largest O&G service provider by asset size at RM6bil and second by market capitalisation at RM10.88bil.

"This not only gives the financial muscle for the new entity to undertake larger and more complex projects in future, but the merged entity will have economies of scale," says a source close to the deal.

The proposed merger, valued at RM11.85bil, will see special-purpose vehicle Integral Key Sdn Bhd (IKSB) buy up the assets, liabilities and business undertakings of both companies, to be paid in cash and new shares in IKSB.

Mayban Ventures Sdn Bhd owns the SPV and the latter will be jointly advised on the corporate deal by Maybank Investment Bank Bhd and CIMB Investment Bank Bhd.

Although the name of the new merged entity has yet to be disclosed, sources indicate that it will likely be known as Sapura Kencana Petroleum Bhd.

CIMB Group deputy chief executive officer Datuk Charon Mokhzani told a media briefing on Monday that the SapuraCrest-Kencana merger using an SPV was akin to that of Synergy Drive Sdn Bhd's buyout offer in 2006. That Synergy Drive deal saw several plantation companies held by major shareholder Permodalan Nasional Bhd merge to create the world's largest publicly-traded oil palm company, now known as Sime Darby Bhd.

The overall offer price for SapuraCrest is RM5.87bil, which works out to RM4.60 per share. The company will receive 15% of the offer price in cash, or some RM875mil, while the balance will be in new IKSB shares.

Meanwhile, the offer price for Kencana was some RM5.98bil, or RM3 per share. Its cash payment amounts to 16.2% of the offer price, or RM969mil, and the balance will be satisfied with new IKSB shares.

"The new shares and cash portion at a ratio of 85:15 respectively is being used to sweeten the deal for all shareholders," Maybank Investment Bank Bhd chief executive offer Tengku Datuk Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz says.

However, sources say the cash portion is to ensure that all shareholders view the merger as a good deal and will help incentivise other major shareholders in voting the deal through. Shareholders' approval amounting to 75% on both sides will be needed for the deal to proceed.

With both Shahril and Mokhzani on board for the merger, a key shareholder of Sapura is Norway-based Seadrill Ltd with a 23.6% stake while Kencana has Kumpulan Persaraan Wang with a 6.8% stake in it. Both Sapura and Kencana have a common shareholder the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) with a 10.1% stake and 7.8% stake respectively in the companies.

While the board is currently mulling over the deal and will decide on whether to approve the deal and bring it to vote by shareholders, sources say Seadrill is keen for the merger to happen as it will have a stake in an integrated O&G service provider that will derive earnings from both the domestic and international markets.

Market talk is rife that the SapuraCrest-Kencana merger was truly the brainchild of Shahril and Mokhzani, with both chiefs having secretly toiled away on getting this merger off the ground for several months. However, they are said to be forced to stay behind the scenes due to the highly sensitive nature of this deal involving several key shareholders.

Both chiefs were not present at the media briefing on Monday and have declined to comment on the deal, pending their respective boards' decision. The investment bankers have taken a lead on this deal and are seen as the forefront speakers of the deal.

Market observers say that Maybank's involvement is through its ties with Mokhzani, with the bank's more recent engagement with Kencana being its private placement, while CIMB was brought in through its dealing with Shahril's SapuraCrest.

While that may be, sources say the investment vehicles of Shahril and Mokhzani (Sapura Technology Bhd and Khasera Baru Sdn Bhd respectively) have an agreement in which their shareholding structure would not differ more than three to four per cent in the new merged entity. Based on the proposed merger, the shareholding difference between Sapura Technology and Khasera Baru is 3.8% (refer to shareholding structure chart).

Of the new IKSB shares being issued, SapuraCrest will get some 2.499 billion new shares in IKSB at an issue price of RM2 while Kencana will receive 2.505 billion new shares.

The deal is expected to be concluded within a six- to eight-month timeframe, with both companies to be de-listed upon completion of the exercise.

The new entity will subsequently be listed, taking on the listing status of either SapuraCrest or Kencana.

While the offer is valid until August 15, sources says the boards of directors of both companies may revert as quickly as next week with an answer.

Concerns on the deal?

A main concern among the analyst fraternity is who will lead the new merged entity -Shahril or Mokhzani.

"The key concern now is not the deal's merits but who will take the lead as there are staff on both sides and they would want their respective chiefs to head the new merged entity. You can't have two CEOs for day-to-day running and deciding on strategy," says a market observer.

While the proposed deal calls for a merger integration committee to be set up upon the offer acceptance by the boards, both Shahril and Mokhzani will co-chair the committee on its pre-merger governance and help accelerate integration after the merger.

Although there are indications that both Shahril and Mokhzani will likely steer the new entity together as joint-CEOs, it is a foregone conclusion that one will eventually take a back seat but still maintain a role in the company's overall operations.

Mergers being aborted as the parties involved are unable to agree on management control of the new merged entity is a valid concern, as seen with property companies IJM Land Bhd and Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd aborting their proposal to merge last December.

However, integration of both O&G companies may prove slightly easier as both are technical-oriented companies, say market observers.

While analysts say the offer price for both companies are acceptable, the respective boards will now be tasked to ensure that shareholders have received an attractive offer.

Thus, Kencana has appointed AmInvestment Bank Bhd as its adviser and Credit Suisse as its financial adviser for the offer while SapuraCrest has appointed RHB Investment Bank Bhd as its main adviser and is in the midst of considering either Goldman Sachs or Morgan Stanley.

"Directors of both companies need to have their own advisers so that they can advice the boards accordingly on the valuation of the deal and if the pricing is attractive," says a local research oil and gas analyst.

Tengku Zafrul says that the valuation was derived from market consensus of analysts' reports based on next year's forecasted numbers and at price earnings ratio of 18 times calendar year 2012.

Based on Bloomberg data, SapuraCrest is currently trading at a PE of 22.64 times while Kencana is trading at 25.21 times.

Sources close to the deal say since the deal can take-up to eight months, it is difficult to rule out the possibility of a revaluation of the deal should either companies win large contracts or make provisions in the coming months.

Another concern highlighted by analysts includes the new merged entity having RM1.84bil added to its books as borrowings as a result of the cash payment made to shareholders of both companies. The new merged entity will borrow this sum from its investment bankers to pay shareholders, which results in the present net cash position of both companies reversing to a net debt of RM1.62bil post merger.

Analysts did say that the overall borrowings of the merged entity will be manageable with its net debt to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation ratio of two times and a net gearing ratio of 0.2 times as O&G service providers tend to have high gearing due to the capital intensive nature of the sector.

Aside from this, the market is also abuzz that some sub-contractors may feel threatened that their livelihood is at risk with the proposed merger.

"Now that both SapuraCrest and Kencana will become an integrated O&G service provider, some sub-contractors may feel threatened that they will not be needed under the merger," says a source, adding that the merged entity will likely undertake a streamlining if its sub-contractors.

Come together, right now

The merger is aimed at creating a full-fledged O&G service provider with strong delivery capabilities across the value chain. The financial strength will also help support growth opportunities and act as a platform to strengthen presence globally.

Sources close to the company said that the gameplan was for the merged entity to derive some 50% of revenue in time to come from overseas jobs from some 15% currently.

Both players do operate in international waters presently, with SapuraCrest operating in Brunei and Indonesia while Kencana is in India and Australia.

"We believe that the proposed merger is timely in light of the investment cycle in the O&G sector, especially upstream activities," Tengku Zafrul says.

"Larger projects with increasing complexity are being anticipated, and integrated O&G service providers will be in a stronger position to provide superior delivery capabilities. Large jobs require scale, breadth of specialist skills, and financial strength to be successfully delivered."

Meanwhile, the merged entity will fulfil six Entry Point Projects pertaining to the Malaysia O&G sector, primarily rejuvenating existing fields through enhanced oil recovery, developing small fields through innovative solutions, intensifying exploration activities, attracting multi-national corporations to bring a sizeable share of their global operations to Malaysia, consolidating domestic fabricators, and developing engineering, procurement and installation capabilities.

OSK Research says in a report on the merger that both companies were keen as it would create a bigger entity as a more complete 1-stop solution provider for the O&G industry.

"Being bigger would enable the combined company to compete with its international O&G peers, especially in venturing beyond Malaysia, while being a 1-stop solution provider would tie in with Petronas' style of awarding contracts to a single contractor, which can better manage project costs, timelines and deliver quality," it said.

The research house adds that there are merger synergies for both companies - Kencana's strength lies in fabrication while SapuraCrest is good in installation of pipelines and facilities as well as provision of drilling services.

"Both companies have a strong asset base to support their businesses, with Kencana having a 172-acre fabrication yard in Lumut while SapuraCrest has some 5 workboats (including Sapura3000), as we understand it, and a few other offshore support vessels as well as five tender rigs," OSK Researh says.

Size is important in the O&G industry since it is a highly capital intensive business and a bigger entity will have a higher success rate when bidding for new contracts and increasing the chances of being picked as the main contractor, which commands better margins for work done compared to doing the same work as a sub-contractor.

However, sources say that the merger is expected to create revenue synergies as opposed to cost synergies.

"Because the companies complement each other so there is not much overlap, we don't expect much cost savings. But some streamlining can be expected in the front liners and middle office on both sides," he adds.

While layoffs can be expected typically in mergers, sources say that both companies are in need of engineers and will likely see the redeployment of management personnel to various units. The merged entity will see a staff strength of some 7,000 individuals.

On the surface, the proposed SapuraCrest-Kencana merger seems to have more merits than negatives. But the key challenges will truly arise when the integration of both companies begin to merge, but in the meantime, the market will be watching this new merger saga with keen eyes.

SAPCRES : [Stock Watch] [News]
KENCANA : [Stock Watch] [News]

Related Stories:
Will the rest jump on the bandwagon?
Size is there but still needs experience
Background facts
Marrying on the right financial footing

Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by USA Best Price.

Asean as an asset class

Posted: 15 Jul 2011 05:53 PM PDT

IN January 2007, the 10 member countries of Asean agreed to establish the Asean Economic Community (AEC) by 2015. However, few details have been revealed on the efforts to transform the association into an economically, and not just politically, significant bloc.

Essentially, the AEC is meant to allow the freer movement of goods, services, skilled labour and capital within South-East Asia. In other words, Asean is trying to set up a single market. We think this is necessary because if you look at this bloc as an asset class, it is a compelling investment opportunity. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), for one, considers South-East Asia "a region of strategic importance" to developed countries.

More soberingly, a single market is the only way Asean will be able to hold its own economically against the might of the United States, the European Union and, increasingly, China and India.

An idea like the AEC would once have been considered unthinkable, particularly in the wake of the 1997 Asian financial crisis, which erupted in Thailand, a founding member of Asean, and which sent shockwaves throughout Asia. But when the US credit bubble burst in late 2008 and set off another global financial crisis, Asean economies clawed their way back to a V-shaped recovery that underscored just how much the bloc had improved on its macroeconomic and financial policies since 1997.

Asean's attractiveness to investors grows when you consider that the region is relatively stable and, better yet, has a relatively young consumer base. So it has a lot going for it, including having major agricultural commodity producers; five financial centres in the Global Financial Centre Index (which measures the world's 75 top financial centres); a number of world-class companies with strong earnings growth; and, last but not least, a strong regulatory environment that is investor-friendly. It is also a hub for a wide range of merger and acquisition activities that offer investors many opportunities in frontier economies and markets.

For better balance, Asean has of course to, among others, improve on its fiscal policy framework to be in line with the medium-term policy goals of the national development plans of its respective members. We also appreciate that any move towards establishing a common Asean currency is radical and, frankly, decades away from being realised. The world, however, is likely to see Asean making continued efforts to link its bourses, liberalise intra-and inter-regional capital flows and permit banks in one member country operate in all, or at least most, other member countries.

To be sure, Asean has its work cut out for it in trying to bring about the AEC. For starters, it will have to scrutinise the finer details of listing rules in its members' bourses as well as legal requirements for companies that affect the investment strategies of regional fund managers. As an example, we reviewed recently treasury stocks and their uses in three Asean countries, namely Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. Our interest in this subject was piqued when an Indonesian public-listed company (PLC) transferred its treasury stocks to a Singapore nominee company to use those as currency for an acquisition. The very news of such a transfer was in itself unusual, to say the least.

That had us burrowing into precedents and reviewing the rules that regulate treasury stocks in Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia. We learnt that there are provisions that suspend the voting rights of those holding treasury stocks. This was a huge relief to us as these provisions are something positive because they favour good corporate governance and so are aligned with the general trend globally, which is either to eliminate treasury stocks altogether or not allow shareholders using treasury stocks to vote in support of management at annual general meetings.

In the process of discovering that, we also found some differences in the laws of the three jurisdictions, which are as follows:

● Singapore is far more flexible about how treasury stocks may be used, including allowing such stocks to be transferred as payment, or what the law calls consideration, for acquiring shares or assets of a company or person;

● Indonesia limits the period during which companies may hold treasury stocks. It also provides that rules on such stocks may be relaxed if the Indonesian market is in potential crisis; and

● Malaysia's approach to treasury stocks is plain vanilla, allowing companies merely to cancel, retain or re-sell such stocks as well as distribute the stocks as share dividends.

From an investor's perspective, Asean's market regulators need to go through such differences in member jurisdictions as soon as possible, so as to streamline the fiscal framework and smoothen market integration initiatives. It should do so by drawing up a clear road map with set milestones. This would show potential investors that Asean has a systematic approach to establishing a single market.

Conversely, investors and their fund managers would run for cover and red-flag Asean as an "avoid" region if they get wind of cases such as companies transferring treasury stock from one Asean country to another just for an acquisition.

From a listing perspective, potential market entrants may choose to list in jurisdictions that have far more flexible laws for dealing with complex corporate scenarios.

Asean's huge investment potential is often overlooked, which is a pity as it has all that it takes to be a real long-term winner in the emerging market scene. But it would certainly simplify trading across Asean markets for fund managers if the bloc's regulatory investment framework were more homogenous among its member countries.

Shireen Muhiudeen is managing director of Corston-Smith Asset Management in Malaysia, a fund management company that makes investment decisions based on corporate governance.

Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by USA Best Price.


Posted: 15 Jul 2011 05:01 PM PDT

Practically Radical

Author: William C. Taylor

Publisher: HarpersCollins

BUSINESS people everywhere are engaging in a dramatic "rethink" of how they lead, work and get results. How do you break new ground when there is so much pressure to do things the same way as everyone else? This book offers radical ideas and practical ways to help fix what's wrong, launch new initiatives with the best chance to succeed, and rethink the logic of leadership itself. Some of the companies researched for this book include IBM, Zappos, Swatch and Interpol.

Value: The Four Cornerstones of Corporate Finance

Authors: Tim Koller, Richard Dobbs and Bill Huyett

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

PARTNERS from management consulting firm of McKinsey & Company describe the basic principles of value creation and their relevance. The four areas are the value of a business, conserving that value, performance and stock market expectations and management strategy.

The Copywriting Sourcebook

Author: Andy Maslen

Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

THIS book helps readers to write a copy and provide real world examples. It also shows shortcuts to write a copy, and explains how a professional copywriter goes about his work.

The author has two other titles, Write to Sell and 100 Great Copywriting.

Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by USA Best Price.
Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Sports

0 ulasan
Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: Sports

Kiwis incensed over England's black shirts

Posted: 15 Jul 2011 06:34 PM PDT

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key has described the England rugby team as "a bunch of wannabes" after it announced it would play at least one game in an all-black strip at the World Cup in New Zealand later this year.

England's decision has incensed New Zealand rugby fans who see it as a deliberate attempt to mimic the all-black strip worn by its national teams since 1874. The New Zealand rugby team has been known as the All Blacks since 1905.

England's Rugby Football Union said England will abandon its traditional white shirts for the Sept. 10 pool meeting with Argentina, adding that its New Zealand counterpart had confirmed it has no problem with the switch.

But Key led a chorus of protests, saying "there's only one team that wears black with pride and that's the All Blacks."

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw played down the England decision on Saturday, though many former players expressed disappointment at what they saw as an attack on a New Zealand tradition.

World Cup-winning All Black Michael Jones described England's move as "psychological warfare." But McCaw said he was relatively unconcerned, even if it meant New Zealand might have to change from its all-black uniform if it plays England in the final.

England plans to switch back to white for its remaining pool games but could break out the black again later in the tournament. The alternative shirt replaces the current gray jersey.

"If it comes down to what color you wear determines how you play, then we've got trouble," he said. "That's the attitude we've got to have. What will be, will be. It would be nice to be in black, but if we're not, well, you just get on with it."

Keith Quinn, New Zealand's longest-serving rugby commentator, said England was "thumbing their noses at a New Zealand tradition."

"Of all the colors of the rainbow, why would they choose the color of the host nation?" he said.

New Zealand rugby fans took to social networking sites to express their anger at the color change, warning the England team they face a hostile reception in New Zealand if they wear black.

A Facebook group called "Get Our Gear Off" was quickly established and contained the warning "if they try and steal our gear, they will not be welcome in New Zealand."

Group members posted photographs of the 1905 "Original" All Blacks, saying "these guys are turning in their graves." Other group members told England to revert to their traditional white jerseys and "take their flag back." The British Union Jack features on one corner of the New Zealand flag.

New Zealand has been forced at previous World Cups to change its jerseys to avoid perceived color clashes with other teams. At the 2007 World Cup New Zealand lost a coin toss prior to its quarterfinal against France, was forced to change to a silver strip and went on to lose 20-18, its worst-ever World Cup performance.

New Zealand Rugby Union chief executive Steve Tew moved to reassure fans, saying England had told him of the color change "as a courtesy" and assured him they would not force the All Blacks to wear white if the teams met at the World Cup.

Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by USA Best Price.

US Beach players await word on Olympic qualifying

Posted: 15 Jul 2011 06:32 PM PDT

NEW YORK: To get onto the sand in Athens and Beijing, where they won two Olympic beach volleyball gold medals without ever losing a set, Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor played in tournaments from Thailand to Switzerland, from Berlin to Brazil.

Their path to the 2012 Games in London is turning out to be even more circuitous.

A year and a fortnight before the opening ceremonies, American beach volleyball players are still waiting for the U.S. and international governing bodies to agree on a system to decide who goes to London.

"It's really hard to swallow that it's not set in stone," Walsh said in a telephone interview this spring before she headed out for the international tour opener. "It's a huge problem, for sure. Having uncertainty for something that's so profoundly important adds a whole layer of stress right now and we don't need that."

Beach volleyball made its Olympic debut in Atlanta in 1996, and the two-person American teams were chosen at a trials. For the three games since then, the athletes have been selected based on points they accumulated on the international tour.

After Beijing, though, the International Volleyball Federation gave USA Volleyball the right to control its qualifying process for 2012. It was a change that top U.S. players had wanted when their domestic tour was running, because they wanted to enhance the AVP's stature.

But when the AVP went bankrupt last summer, the trials became another flashpoint in a long-simmering feud between the players and a national governing body they say is disconnected from their needs. Now the top Americans — including May-Treanor, Walsh, and the men's winners in Beijing, Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser — are pushing USA Volleyball to keep the international points system rather than use something untried so late in the four-year cycle.

"There should be a system in place as soon as that last Olympics was over, or last year, so athletes don't have to worry about what they've been working for for so long," May-Treanor said. "I understand what they're trying to do with the Olympic trials. But if Plan A didn't work, which it didn't, why mess with something that hasn't been broken, that has given us a lot of success. ... In no other sport does that happen."

May-Treanor and Walsh worried this spring that they were entering the traditional qualifying period without knowing how the process would work. Three months later, there is still no official word on how U.S. Olympians will be chosen.

"More than anything, it's too late. We're too far down the road," said Casey Jennings, Walsh's husband and a pro who is also trying to qualify for London. "We've discussed with them that we would try to find out a new style of trials for 2016. It's not perfect right now, but it's a lot better than what they're trying."

A USOC spokesman said the holdup is at the international governing body. A spokesman for the FIVB declined to comment, referring requests to the national governing body. A spokeswoman for USA Volleyball said this week they had nothing new to report, and the organization's beach managing director, Dave Williams, did not respond to requests for comment.

Players who have been briefed on the proposals say one plan is to hold a trials in June. Numerous Olympic contenders — including all four gold medalists from Beijing — expressed doubts, questioning how participants would be picked and whether a team at the top of the international rankings would really be left home.

"We don't even know what ball's going to be used," Walsh said. "There's a lot of question marks that make me not confident."

Players also are concerned about being pressured to play in the AVP's successor tour, the Jose Cuervo Pro Beach Volleyball Series, which has yet to hold an event. The tour has three tournaments scheduled this summer, with plans to expand to as many as seven in 2012; one proposal would require athletes to appear in at least two to be eligible for the trials.

The players also worry that a trials could favor teams that haven't been tested against the top foreign competition they would be facing in London.

"We want to win medals. Nobody's trying to be selfish on our end," Jennings said. "Our sport is designed to know how to play against other teams. ... My hope — and I pray at night — is that it will be the same way that it was for Beijing."

Most disappointing, Walsh said, is that players are told to consider the games a four-year commitment, but their governing bodies, they say, are putting together a plan at the last minute.

"You're setting yourself up so that when the qualifying starts you're in the best position possible," Walsh said. "For this to be happening in the fourth quarter is really unfortunate."

For now, the top teams are spending all of their time on the international tour. Even if it doesn't help them qualify, it will prepare them for the competition they would face in London.

That's what Walsh and May-Treanor did before Athens and Beijing, and it worked pretty well.

"We want to qualify like we've always qualified," May-Treanor said. "We want to go out there and win every tournament."

Latest sports news from AP-Wire

Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by USA Best Price.

Matteson, McNeill tied for Viking Classic lead

Posted: 15 Jul 2011 06:30 PM PDT

MADISON, Mississippi (AP) — For nearly four hours, Troy Matteson tried to think of ways to kill time in the clubhouse as thunderstorms rolled across Annandale Golf Club.

He watched a little television. Swapped stories with other golfers. Counted the minutes as they slowly ticked off the clock.

Turns out it was worth the wait.

Matteson birdied his final three holes of the day after the lengthy delay, taking advantage of Annandale's forgiving fairways and greens to share the Viking Classic lead with George McNeill.

Matteson finished his round but McNeill was on No. 18 when the final delay was called at about 6:30 p.m. local time due to lightning in the area. The day featured nearly six hours of delays as soaking thunderstorms rolled through central Mississippi on a steamy summer afternoon.

PGA Tour officials said Annandale has received more than four inches of rain since Monday.

That didn't stop Matteson. The 31-year-old with two Tour victories was 12 under after firing his second straight 6-under 66.

"It's kind of weird — I usually don't play that well coming off a rain delay like that," Matteson said. "Somehow the greens are standing up to the rain. They're soft but they're very smooth. These are some of the best Bermuda greens we play all season and they've stayed very consistent with their speed."

McNeill, a 35-year-old who has one PGA Tour win, was 7 under through 17 holes and will resume play Saturday on the 18th fairway.

The start was delayed two hours after a heavy round of overnight thunderstorms dumped more than an inch of rain at Annandale. Play began just after 9 a.m., but another heavy round of storms hit the course at about 2 p.m., sending spectators scrambling and leaving puddles on the fairways.

Play started again 5:40 p.m., but about an hour later more lightning sent the players to the clubhouse for good. The second round resumes at 7 a.m. Saturday. Tour officials still hope to finish the tournament Sunday.

The Viking Classic was canceled in 2009 for the only time in its 45-year history after more than 20 inches of rain rendered the course unplayable.

Scores were low for the second straight day. Players were allowed to lift, clean and place balls in the fairway and the soft greens made for prime scoring conditions. The projected cut is at 3 under and 107 players had a score of par of better.

Matteson expects low scores to continue throughout the weekend.

"It's perfect conditions for us," he said. "This is what guys putt best on. This is kind of a putting contest with everything being so soft right now. Obviously, that could change if things firm up a little, but I don't know if that's going to happen."

Blake Adams had the day's best round with a 62, making nine birdies, one eagle and one bogey to spring from seven strokes back to just two behind McNeill and Matteson.

Kevin Kisner and 51-year-old Tom Pernice Jr. were tied one shot off the lead.

Tim Petrovic, Bobby Gates, Brendon de Jonge, Peter Lonard, Sunghoon Kang and John Mallinger started the second round in a tie for the lead after shooting an opening 65. Only Gates played his full second round Friday, shooting 3 under to fall two shots back.

Latest sports news from AP-Wire

Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by USA Best Price.
Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Lifestyle: Bookshelf

0 ulasan
Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: Lifestyle: Bookshelf

The red mist

Posted: 15 Jul 2011 05:03 AM PDT

An Epic Swindle: 44 Months With A Pair Of Cowboys is important as the first record of the shameful original American invasion of Liverpool FC.

The Liverpool Way is the fabled philosophy that directed the club to their sorry state in the last decade and into the soiled hands of Tom Hicks and George Gillett. As such, it is only appropriate that mythological Liverpool Way underlines Brian Reade's An Epic Swindle: 44 Months with A Pair of Cowboys.

Reade is easily familiar to the prodigious Liverpool reader or cyber supporter: the Daily Mirror correspondent is a rabid Red as his 43 Years With The Same Bird: A Liverpudlian Love Affair autobiography clearly expounds. Reade's 2008 work begins with a preamble on his Bill Shankly interview, purportedly for his high school magazine, and ends with the formation of the Spirit of Shankly.

An Epic Swindle takes the story forward and fills in the gaps between the period before Hicks and Gillett, with no little help from former chairman David Moores and chief executive Rick Parry. It follows how the American owners persistently swung a wrecking ball into Anfield in the last three years and the events that led to their expulsion last October. It is clear that none of the main characters in the drama have had their reputations strengthened at the end of this bad episode.

The antagonists overwhelm the protagonists – be they past and present players, board directors or shareholders – as Reade sets out to find out who should shoulder the blame for Liverpool FC. Eventually the villains, with the exceptions of Hicks and Gillett, are shown their benevolent side in an incomprehensible attempt to lobby sympathy, especially for Moores and Parry.

Apart from Hicks and Gillett, these are the two individuals principally at fault for authoring the darkest chapter in Liverpool's history and they deserve none of the compassion that Reade strives to assign. While the author explores the pitiful business operations at the club – overseas supporters of the club know now why the online order procedure never worked – he omits to mention the poor financial acumen of Parry in finding the best deals for the club.

Reade does not explore why Parry signed off that pathetic shirt sponsorship with Carlsberg days before the Americans took control of the club in February 2007. Chris Bascombe, then writing for the Liverpool Echo, trumpeted it as "a massive improvement on the disappointing £5mil over two years which was agreed (with Carlsberg) in 2004." In May 2006, Tottenham Hotspur, without a single European Cup Final to their name never mind a colossal global fan base, sealed a four-year agreement with Mansion that was worth £8.5mil per-season.

Two points need to be observed here. That sloppy act was the probably the start of the war between Hicks and Parry, whom he never rated as an executive, and the local media's terrible reading of the entire takeover and its subsequent repercussions. Reade admits as much – that the duty to care was neglected by the journalists too – and was one of the compelling reasons that resulted in the supporters' rejection of the "occasional heroic of journalists" and the move to take the fight to the cyberspace.

The club's followers, unlike the media and the people entrusted to protect their interests in the board, refused to let the leverage buyout raiders ride roughshod over the board's country bumpkins. And their battle to expel the co-owners from Anfield – reminiscent of the city's anti-Thatcher strikes in the mid-1980s and the unity that was engendered by the Hillsborough tragedy – makes up the inspiring highpoints of An Epic Swindle.

The book would have been greatly enhanced with a recapture of this era, as there are similarities that cannot be missed. The isolation of Liverpool by the establishment; the apathy of the national media toward the their cause and the glorious rise of the refuseniks would have been vividly coloured with a helpful background of the Liverpool people.

An Epic Swindle had too much ground to cover to present a wide-angle picture and, judging by the slapdash editing that is characterised by recurring phrases and the need to include such peculiar interview nuggets as Benitez's claim of "money going missing in the game and people being on the take … when they were so well-paid," the book had a tight deadline that had to be met.

In the end, both writer and editor, if there was one, barely stumbled over the finishing line.

The chapters that illustrate the fight back, last gasps of the shameful rule of Hicks and Gillett and the emotional abyss that makes up the aftermath are written with the fervour of a club loyalist. Once we look past this, however, we will value it for its arrival as the first important record of the original American invasion of Anfield.

·Kinokuniya KLCC is offering 20% off An Epic Swindle: 44 Months with A Pair of Cowboys and selected Liverpool FC-related books from now until July 31.

Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by USA Best Price.

Text to win

Posted: 15 Jul 2011 05:01 AM PDT

DID you know you can vote via SMS in the Popular-The Star Readers' Choice Awards?

In this fourth instalment of the only local literary award that rewards local authors as well as participating readers, registering your vote is as easy as texting from your phone.

Choose your top three books from the lists below; that is, your top three fiction and top three non-fiction titles. If you are one of 100 readers whose ranking matches the overall vote, you will receive a RM50 gift voucher as well as a one-year-free-membership Popular card. And your favourite authors will be rewarded, too, with cash, trophies and certificates of recognition.

If you haven't read all the books, check The Star Online's (thestar.com.my) 365-day archive for the introduction of this year's fiction and non-fiction nominees. You can also go to popular.com.my to find out more about the books. And if you want to buy them, you can get a 20% discount on the 20 titles at any Popular or Harris bookstore until Oct 2, 2011.

To vote via your phone, note that RCAF is the SMS code for fiction and RCAN is the code for non-fiction. Once you've decided on your choice, type RCAFNRICCODESSLOGAN (not more than 120 characters) and send to 36600. For non-fiction, type RCAN, followed by the rest.

Here's an example of what your text message should look like: RCAF 123456011234 ABC Reading enriches the mind, heart and soul and can bring people, families and nations together. (Note that each SMS will cost RM0.30; terms and conditions apply.)

Apart from SMS voting, you can also vote online at thestar.com.my (keep refreshing your screen until you see the ad for the contest). Also, look out for entry forms in Star2 On Sunday's Reads pages that you can mail in.

Entry forms are also available at all Popular and Harris bookstores nationwide and can be downloaded from popular.com.my and bookfestmalaysia.com.

The deadline for entries is July 17, 2011.

Fiction (SMS code: RCAF)

1.       Rojak: Bite-Sized Stories by Amir Muhammad (SMS code: A)

2.       Madness Aboard! by Yvonne Lee (SMS code: B)

3.       The Rice Mother by Rani Manicka (SMS code: C)

4.       Kebaya Tales by Lee Su Kim (SMS code: D)

5.       Orang Asli Animal Tales by Lim Boo Liat (SMS code: E)

6.       The Embrace Of Harlots by David T. K. Wong (SMS code: F)

7.       A Bit Of Earth by Lim Suchen (SMS code: G)

8.       Inspector Singh Investigates: A Bali Conspiracy Most Foul by Shamini Flint (SMS code: H)

9.       Sweet Offerings by Chan Ling Yap (SMS code: I)

10.       Under The Sun by O Thiam Chin (SMS code: J)

Non-fiction (SMS code: RCAN)

1.       Lim Lian Geok: Soul Of The Malaysian Chinese by Dr Kua Kia Soong (SMS code: A)

2.       Moving Forward: Malays For The 21st Century by Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad (SMS code: B)

3.       The Man From Borneo: An Autobiography by Brother Michael Jacques (SMS code: C)

4.       From Poor Migrant To Millionaire by Chan King Nui (SMS code: D)

5.       Islam In Malaysia: Perceptions And Facts by Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin (SMS code: E)

6.       Katz Tales: Living Under The Velvet Paw by Ellen Whyte (SMS code: F)

7.       Behind That Shiny Resume by Jasmine Yow (SMS code: G)

8.       Syed Hussein Alatas: The Life In The Writing by Masturah Alatas (SMS code: H)

9.       The Quran And I by Anas Zubedy (SMS code: I)

10.       Footprints In The Paddy Fields by Tina Kisil (SMS code: J)

Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by USA Best Price.

Double treat for Potter fans

Posted: 15 Jul 2011 04:59 AM PDT

Have your fill of the Harry Potter saga in the latest issue of Galaxie, which comes with a two-page cover too.

IT is hard to believe but the popular Harry Potter series has come to an end. After 10 years, the franchise culminates with the release of Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2.

Daniel Radcliffe, the actor who plays the wizard with the thunder-bolt scar on his forehead, is forever grateful to the franchise for making him one of the most recognisable actors in the world – not to mention one of the richest young stars in England.

Galaxie was invited to meet Radcliffe for the final time (in the Harry Potter capacity at least) in London to talk about the final instalment of the Harry Potter series of films, which is based on the second half of the seventh book by J.K. Rowling.

He let us in on a juicy gossip – when filming wrapped up for Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 – Radcliffe pocketed two pairs of Harry Potter's famous glasses – one from the last movie, and the other, from the first movie.

"They seem tiny now," Radcliffe reminisced about the glasses he wore a decade ago in Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone.

But the 22-year-old actor knows that he will take away more than just movie memorabilia from his stint in the Harry Potter franchise. He is happy to have worked with some of the best actors the British film industry has to offer – from Maggie Smith (Professor McGonagall) to Ralph Fiennes (Lord Voldemort) – as well as made lifetime friendships with co-stars Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) and Emma Watson (Hermione Granger).

The final day of shooting was a tad hard on Radcliffe. "It was a very emotional day," he remembered. "Not because I was thinking, 'Oh God, what am I going to do now?' but more about how much I am going to miss the experience."

He also knows the end of the Harry Potter series will hit hard on the million of fans who have followed the adventures of the boy wizard.

"I know it is going to be odd for people when Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 winds up, so I do feel their pain in advance for them," the affable actor said.

He assured fans that the Potter's final journey is one not to be missed.

"I felt the pressure of making this film more than I have ever had on the other films because it is the last one. We definitely recognised the responsibility to the fans to make it right."

Read Galaxie's exclusive cover story on Harry Potter, featuring special photo shoot of cast members – Radcliffe, Grint, Watson and Tom Felton (who plays bad boy Draco Malfoy).

To celebrate the end of a magical era that is Harry Potter, Galaxie presents a special collector's edition two-page cover inside the magazine.

Apart from wizards, Galaxie's July 17-31 issue, out on newsstands now, also features interviews with David Archuleta, who is scheduled to perform in a concert in Kuala Lumpur on July 26, as well as Cory Monteith and Leighton Meester who can be seen in the comedy Monte Carlo.

Homegrown talent Yuna took some time off her busy schedule to talk about her collaboration with Pharrell Williams and how she's getting used to people staring at her all the time in public.

On the gossip front, find out if Edison Chen is the reason behind the break-up between Cecilia Cheung and Nicholas Tse; why Selena Gomez refuses to don on bikinis and why some filmmakers are furious with Aishwarya Rai's pregnancy!

Voted Entertainment Magazine of the year, Galaxie is published fortnightly by The Star Publications (M) Bhd.

For a daily dose of gossip and entertainment news, head to www.galaxieblog.com.my or follow us on Twitter (@galaxiemag) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/GalaxieMagazine). Gordon Kho

Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by USA Best Price.
Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Nation

0 ulasan
Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: Nation

M’sia wants regional squad created to put out haze-causing fires

Posted: 15 Jul 2011 05:18 AM PDT

Published: Friday July 15, 2011 MYT 8:19:00 PM

SERDANG: Malaysia is pushing for a quick-response regional squad to fight fires that trigger transboundary haze, said Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Douglas Uggah Embas.

The "rapid firefighting force" would be able to move speedily within Asean countries, he said.

"But how soon it can be done depends on the understanding and preparation of all countries," he told reporters after launching the ministry's biennial sports meet at Universiti Putra Malaysia Friday.

Uggah also said the matter would be discussed in an Asean ministerial steering committee next month.

Meanwhile, the Air Pollutant Index (API) readings as of 5pm on Friday showed the air quality had deteriorated to unhealthy levels in Cheras and Sri Manjung in Perak.

Twenty-four areas were rated to have moderate air quality while another 24 areas were rated healthy.

Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by USA Best Price.

Look east for investment opportunities, Najib tells Europeans

Posted: 15 Jul 2011 05:13 AM PDT

LONDON: European investors have been urged to go east as Malaysia is among the top ten most competitive countries in the world.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak invited British companies to come and see for themselves how Government programmes and policies are transforming Malaysia day by day.

"Experience our fast-growing infrastructure, our vibrant economy and our progressive modern outlook," he said when addressing a Global Investment Forum at the prestigious Claridges Hotel in London Friday.

He said this growth was achieved by working with the private sector to find new niche areas, sources of growth and ways of gaining a competitive advantage.

"Open, transparent, and even-handed economic stewardship has always been our hallmark in Malaysia.

"We are moderate not just because it's right but because it works and provides a clear path to economic growth," said Najib who is on a four-day official visit to Britain.

He added that Malaysia's progress had been built on the bedrock of political, social and economic moderation.

"As income levels in Asia rise, people's demand for goods will stretch increasingly beyond their nation's borders.

"An increase in living standards in the East not only doesn't cause the West to fall or falter, it helps it rise yet higher," he said,

Najib said the New Economic Model would expand the role of the private sector and make Malaysia an even more attractive proposition for global investors.

"It will cut red tape and enhance investment incentives, increase competition and improve the business environment.

"It will also rebalance the roles of the public and private sectors because in the modern world it is no longer good to say "the government knows the best".

Najib said those investors who were truly global in their outlook would reap the biggest reward because "the sun may set in the west and rise in the east but it's always daylight somewhere in the world."

"Today, a car assembled in Dagenham is designed in Denmark, powered by an engine from Tokyo and fitted with tyres from Kuala Lumpur.

"National economic interest is becoming more and more about collective interest and this is why Malaysia has rejected the outdated notion of "taking sides" in international trade and relations.

"We have opted instead for a new multilateralism that works both for Malaysia and for our partners overseas," said Najib.

Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by USA Best Price.

11 govt reserve land to be developed nationwide

Posted: 15 Jul 2011 03:50 AM PDT

Published: Friday July 15, 2011 MYT 6:51:00 PM

KUALA LUMPUR: Government reserve land at 11 locations nationwide will be developed through a collaboration between the Defence Ministry and Greencity Development Sdn Bhd.

An agreement to that effect was signed Friday by Deputy Defence Minister Datuk Dr.Abdul Latiff Ahmad, on behalf of the Defence Ministry, and Green City chief executive officer, Mohamad Khairuddin Taha.

Speaking to reporters later, Abdul Latiff said that under the agreement, the land, covering 30 hectares, would be leased to the company for 30 years for development, including for building of petrol stations, integrated vehicle service centres and other automobile-related activities.

"This is a good collaboration to avoid the land from being left idle and will also provide the government with RM7mil in revenue a year for 30 years," he added.

Abdul Latiff said implementation of the projects would also provide employment opportunities for army retirees.

"We will ensure 35% of the jobs created from these projects is given to army retirees," he added. - Bernama

Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by USA Best Price.
Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online

Copyright 2010 All Rights Reserved