Ahad, 4 Mei 2014

The Star Online: Business

Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: Business

Ho Hup climbs to RM1.67 after exit from PN17

Posted: 04 May 2014 07:28 PM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: Shares of Ho Hup Construction Company rose to a high of RM1.67 on Monday after it regularised its financial condition.

At 10.10am, it was down one sen to RM1.59. There were 8.39 million shares done at prices ranging from RM1.57 to RM1.67.

Ho Hup had regularised its financial condition and level of operations and no longer triggered the Practice Note 17 classification.

China's half-year reform report: slow, safe and steady

Posted: 04 May 2014 07:14 PM PDT

REUTERS: Six months into China's grand economic makeover, Beijing is playing it safe, choosing gradual progress on many fronts over game-changing, riskier reforms such as removing all controls over bank interest rates.

Yet taken together, the incremental steps promise to reach enough critical mass to sustain reform momentum and help the world's second-largest economy shift down fairly smoothly after decades of red-hot investment-fuelled growth.

It's the 21st century version of Deng Xiaoping's "crossing the river by touching the stones" strategy of cautious economic experimentation in the 1970s and 1980s.

The caution is still there; the difference today is that China is crossing the river in many spots at once and the water is probably deeper.

Economists say there is no substitute for fundamental changes if China is to succeed in its transformation from bureaucrat-run, pollution-spewing industrial powerhouse to a more balanced, market-driven economy.

However, reforms such as freeing up bank interest rates or dismantling state monopolies will cause much short-term pain, and provide gains only in the long-term. With the economy expected to grow by 7.3% this year, the slowest in 24 years and close to the level Beijing believes is needed to preserve financial and social stability, those reforms will have to wait.

"We are doing easier ones first and leaving the difficult reforms for later," said Xu Hongcai, senior economist at China Centre for International Economic Exchanges, an influential think-tank in Beijing.

But Xu and others are encouraged by the progress so far and the consistency President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang have shown in pushing for a greater role for markets across the economy.

"The leadership is committed to reforms, there is no doubt about that," said Lu Feng, vice dean of National School of Development at Peking University and a government policy advisor.

Since November, when Communist Party leaders adopted a reform blueprint for the rest of the decade, no week has passed without new initiatives in areas ranging from the environment, resource pricing to capital flows and financial regulation.

"We have indeed seen in the last four or five months a steady accumulation of steps in key areas," said Louis Kuijs, chief China economist at Royal Bank of Scotland in Hong Kong and a former World Bank economist in Beijing.

Financial market liberalisation is a good example.

Freeing up of lending rates last July and the doubling of the yuan trading band in March got most airtime, but they were accompanied by many other steps making it easier to move capital within China and across its borders.


Just over the past two months, regulators eased curbs on foreign investments in Chinese stocks, allowed cross-border share investment between China and Hong Kong, eased approvals for overseas acquisitions and domestic mergers and takeovers.

However, a deposit insurance scheme expected to pave the way to removal of curbs on deposit rates has been slow in coming and it is clear that a free-floating yuan and opening up of China's capital account are still years away.

But changes made so far have already had the effect of allowing more balanced capital flows.

The scaling back of central government's administrative approval powers and simplified business registration are also expected to bring not yet easily measurable, but tangible economic benefits.

For example, the easing of capital registration rules on March 1 brought a 46% surge in that month alone in the number of newly registered firms over a year earlier.

Gradual removal of distortions in pricing of resources such as gas, and services like rail transport and healthcare, is another area where Beijing has been making progress, though many of those steps, taken in isolation, would have little impact.

While those could be seen as low-hanging fruit, the vigour with which many local authorities have been experimenting with mixed ownership of state-firms or new management incentives qualifies as one of positive surprises.

Provinces have also shown similar resolve in launching new pilot schemes and special economic zones. It is too early to tell how much impact they may have, but the direction is clear: towards more opening up, more competition, more markets, more smart technologies, and cleaner technologies.


The thorniest decisions, such as stripping big state firms of an implicit government guarantee or opening sectors such as banking to competition, still lie ahead.

Also, little has happened with mooted reforms to China's residence registration system and land property rights needed to boost the nation's urban population, among Beijing's strategic priorities.

Economists also expect slow progress with the promised revamp of how revenues, spending and responsibilities are split between Beijing and local governments, made tricky by high levels of local debt and the need for new sources of tax revenue.

Beijing's top leaders have themselves warned that resistance from those affected by change such as powerful managers of state firms or provincial officials will only get stronger.

They say the reforms are entering "deep waters."

Yet, the overall verdict six months after the reform blueprint was announced is that so far, despite the economic slowdown and signs of financial strains highlighted by China's first domestic bond defaults, Beijing has not strayed from the course.

Royal Bank of Scotland's Kuijs says steps taken by Beijing in the past two months to prop up the economy such as fast-tracking spending on some rail lines and debate whether more stimulus might be needed could leave an impression that reforms have taken a back seat.

"But then if you look at the accumulation of steps on the reform side, you realise that the reform process is still going on." – Reuters

Portugal to end EU-IMF bailout with clean break

Posted: 04 May 2014 07:02 PM PDT

LISBON: Portugal decided to make a clean break from its EU-IMF bailout on Sunday, following in the footsteps of Ireland by forgoing a credit line as it prepares a full return to the credit markets.

The decision, made during an evening cabinet meeting, came after the country passed the final bailout audit by EU-IMF experts on Friday, thereby closing out the essential part of its €78bil three-year rescue.

"The government decided that we will exit our rescue programme without resorting to any precautionary programme," Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho said during a television broadcast following the meeting surrounded by his ministers.

The decision was the "best for the interests of Portugal" after the country "regained its credibility", he added.

It was applauded by the European Commission, which said it would "support the government and the Portuguese people".

Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, said the decision meant "Portugal is now able to complete the consolidation of public finances".

Portugal is now set to emerge from the bailout on May 17, and is expected to try to finance itself on bond markets without a so-called safety net, becoming the second stricken eurozone country to do so after Ireland.

Portugal made the decision while still enacting the latest round of severe measures to keep its public finances within targets laid down by the International Monetary Fund, European Union and European Central Bank.

Rafts of reforms tied to rescue loans pushed the country into recession and the people into severe hardship, with cuts in pay, pensions and public services.

The auditors, who began their last audit of progress on reforms on April 22, finished their work late on Thursday after marathon negotiations.

Their approval of the national accounts and progress opens the way for the release of the last payment of €2.6bil of the total rescue package of €78bil (US$108bil) extended in May 2011.

By following the example set by Ireland, Portugal will now proceed to issue bonds without having the back-up of a precautionary line of credit.

The strategy decided Sunday comes before a eurozone finance minister meeting in Brussels on Monday, where the Portuguese minister will present the government's financing plans.

Passos Coelho said the government had enough funding reserves to protect itself from at least a year of financial turbulence. – AFP

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

0 ulasan:

Catat Ulasan


The Star Online

Copyright 2010 All Rights Reserved