Ahad, 26 Januari 2014

The Star Online: Business

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The Star Online: Business

Saving a lot of money through careful small purchases

Posted: 26 Jan 2014 08:00 AM PST

ON my recent visit I noticed that my getting more-affluent relatives have been wasting their food. 

A wrongly made sandwich would be ignored and ended up in the bin.

Sometimes two of the same brand milk bottles are opened at the same time and then thrown out when expired.

Fruits which are a little shrivelled also went in the way of the regular trash. 

After a salad has been made, the leftover half a chunk of cabbage and three quarters of a bunch of parsley were also thrown out.

Probably 10% of the items in the refrigerator gets chucked out four times a year.

The air conditioner is left on when they go for a short jaunt out.

("It's too hot, I need the room to cool down sufficiently before I come home").

Other forms of wastage are leaking taps, washing clothes too often, over-stocking the pantry and purchasing groceries from a higher end supermarket.

And yet the parents complain about the lack of funds fortheir child's education.

I know these all seem insignificant because the wastage is only a little money. 

I am also guilty of this. Just yesterday Iwent to a restaurant and the bill came to RM30.80 for two people.What I wasted was one bowl of rice (RM1.50) and one pot of tea (RM5.00) which would have been enough with just one glass (RM1.50).

Perhaps the small money wasted every day can amount to something.

Take my example of wasting the RM5.

If we manage to not waste it every day and put that away in a 6% growth vehicle, what will happen?

This over a 17-year period will become RM50,000. It may not be a lot but it surely makes the situation of the lack of education fund less dire.

Watch out for small things, accumulated over time; they can become something significant.

Do not underestimate the value of a few small ringgit. It's worthwhile, especiallywith the recent price hikes that require us to relook into our financial habits.

Perhaps we should be more mindful of our small purchases so that we are able to make our money last longer.

Japan trade deficit hits record high in 2013

Posted: 26 Jan 2014 06:29 PM PST

TOKYO: Japan's trade deficit swelled to a record US$112bil in 2013, official data showed Monday, as the benefits of a cheap yen for exports were diluted by soaring post-Fukushima energy bills.

The shortfall of 11.47 trillion yen marked the biggest deficit since comparable data started in 1979, according to the finance ministry, with the December deficit alone doubling from a year earlier.

Japanese energy imports surged after the 2011 Fukushima crisis forced the shutdown of nuclear reactors that once supplied a third of the nation's power.

A sharp decline in the yen, which is good for exporters' profitability, also forced up the cost of importing pricey fossil fuels to plug the country's energy gap.

The yen has been under pressure since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who took office in late 2012, launched a policy blitz that meshed government spending with a huge programme of central bank monetary easing. The growth plan, dubbed Abenomics, is aimed at kickstarting the world's third-largest economy, which has been plagued by deflation for years.

The weak yen has boosted the bottom line at exporters such as Sony and Toyota, as the cheaper unit makes them more competitive overseas while also inflating repatriated profits.

Exports rose 9.5% last year to 69.79 trillion yen, their first increase in three years, backed by robust shipments of cars and electronics.

Shipments to China rose 9.7% as demand recovered following a consumer boycott on Japanese brands that was linked to a Tokyo-Beijing diplomatic row, which soured already testy relations between the Asian giants.

Exports to the key US and European markets also improved.

Japan has seen a mixed bag of data recently, but the government's efforts to boost the economy appear to be taking hold.

Growth in the first half of the year outstripped other G7 nations, although that pace slowed in the third quarter, while November inflation data suggested the Bank of Japan was getting closer to its goal of reaching sustained inflation of 2% within two years.

Last week, Japan's top central banker Haruhiko Kuroda said the BoJ's monetary easing blitz was winning the war on deflation as policymakers held off announcing any fresh measures to stimulate the economy.

The decision after a two-day policy meeting was widely expected, with analysts predicting the BoJ would launch an expansion of its asset-buying plan later this year to counter the effects of an April sales tax hike.

The tax rise, seen as crucial to bringing down Japan's eye-watering national debt, has stoked fears of a damaging slowdown in consumer demand – AFP. 

Won, ringgit, Philippine peso fall; baht steady

Posted: 26 Jan 2014 06:23 PM PST

The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against the dollar at 0130 GMT monday.

    Change on the day at 0130 GMT
  Currency    Latest bid   Previous day    Pct Move
  Japan yen       102.22         102.39       +0.17
  Sing dlr        1.2780         1.2786       +0.05
  Taiwan dlr      30.246         30.420       +0.58
  Korean won     1084.70        1080.40       -0.40
  Baht             32.87          32.88       +0.03
  Peso             45.42          45.31       -0.23
  Rupiah        12185.00       12175.00       -0.08
  Rupee            62.66          62.66       -0.00
  Ringgit         3.3435         3.3325       -0.33
  Yuan            6.0467         6.0488       +0.03
  Change so far in 2014
  Currency    Latest bid  End prev year    Pct Move
  Japan yen       102.22         105.28       +2.99
  Sing dlr        1.2780         1.2632       -1.16
  Taiwan dlr      30.246         29.950       -0.98
  Korean won     1084.70        1055.40       -2.70
  Baht             32.87          32.86       -0.03
  Peso             45.42          44.40       -2.25
  Rupiah        12185.00       12160.00       -0.21
  Rupee            62.66          61.80       -1.37
  Ringgit         3.3435         3.2755       -2.03
  Yuan            6.0467         6.0539       +0.12- Reuters

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