Sunday, September 28, 2014

An Elegy to Indonesian Democracy


South Korean banks allowed to invest in Chinese bonds


India, Vietnam and $100 Million in Defense Credit


Pictures of Hong Kong Unrest

Democracy in Hong Kong

Hong Kong Protests - Live Feed

Japanese Volcano Kills 30 Hikers

Japan - 30 hikers feared dead on erupting... by awesomeness3221

Andy Murray Wins Shenzhen Final

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Korea's Shipbuilding Industry Crisis: 15 Trillion Won Evaporated This Year

A shipyard located in China.
A shipyard located in China.4 SEPTEMBER 2014
The aggregate market value of Korean shipbuilders, which are struggling in the middle of the recent decline in the number of new orders, has decreased by close to 15 trillion won (US$14.4 billion) in 2014 alone.
According to the Korea Exchange, the stock prices of the four major Korean shipbuilders – Hyundai Heavy Industries, Samsung Heavy Industries, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, and Hyundai Mipo Dockyard – have dropped by an average of 35.9 percent between Jan. 1 and Sept. 22 this year.
The price plummeted by 44.4 percent, from 253,500 won (US$243) to 141,000 won (US$135), for Hyundai Heavy Industries. The decrements reached 36.2 percent for Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, 33.5 percent for Samsung Heavy Industries, and 29.5 percent for Hyundai Mipo Dockyard. During the period, their combined market capitalization dropped from 38.2903 trillion won (US$36.7900 billion) to 23.3255 trillion won (US$22.4116 billion).
Under the circumstances, foreign investors are continuing to dispose of their shares in these companies. According to financial information provider FnGuide, Samsung Heavy Industries and Hyundai Heavy Industries ranked first and fourth on this year’s foreign investor net selling list, respectively. The net selling value amounted to 674.5 billion won (US$648.6 million) and 462.1 billion won (US$444.3 million) each.
Morgan Stanley’s recent report shows that the order backlog has continued to recover for Chinese and Japanese shipbuilders during the past year while their Korean rivals are still in stagnation. The backlog increased by 26 percent for Chinese and 17 percent for Japanese companies in August but remained still for Korean shipbuilders.
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India Becomes First Asian Country to Successfully Reach Mars


Korea’s Suicide Rate Increased Last Year; More than Twice OECD Average

Sculptures such as this one have been installed on Mapo Bridge in Seoul to remind people of their loved ones and discourage suicide. The sculptures are accompanied by signs, CCTV cameras, and suicide hotline phones on the bridge.
Sculptures such as this one have been installed on Mapo Bridge in Seoul to remind people of their loved ones and discourage suicide. The sculptures are accompanied by signs, CCTV cameras, and suicide hotline phones on the bridge.
It has been found that 39.5 Koreans killed themselves per day on average last year. In particular, suicide was the leading cause of death for those in their teens to 30s.
Specifically, a total of 14,427 Koreans committed suicide in 2013 and the number increased by 267, or 1.9 percent, from a year earlier.
The suicide death rate per 100,000 persons increased from 28.1 to 28.5, too. For reference, the average suicide rate was 12.1 persons for OECD member countries during the same period, which means that Korea’s suicide rate is more than twice the OECD average.
The male suicide rate jumped 4.2 percent year-on-year to 39.8 persons, whereas that of females decreased by 4.2 percent to 17.3. By age group, the rate went up for those in their 30s (3.8 percent), 40s (6.1 percent), and 50s (7.9 percent).
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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Moscow Exchange ready to start Hong Kong dollar-ruble trade

MOSCOW, September 23. /ITAR-TASS/. The Moscow Exchange is ready to launch trading of the Hong Kong dollar-Russian ruble currency pair, the bourse said in a statement Tuesday after a meeting of the currency exchange committee.
The Moscow Exchange will conduct spot and swap deals, a spokesperson said, adding that a final decision on the instrument’s launch has not yet been made.
The committee has also recommended the Moscow Exchange to organize trading of the yuan-ruble pair jointly with the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

Japanese Space Elevator Up And Running By 2050

By North Asia correspondent Matthew Carney
PHOTO: The space elevator will transport people and cargo at a fraction of the cost of Earth-based rockets.(Obayashi Corporation)
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Once the realm of science fiction, a Japanese company has announced they will have a space elevator up and running by the year 2050.
If successful it would revolutionise space travel and potentially transform the global economy.
The Japanese construction giant Obayashi says they will build a space elevator that will reach 96,000 kilometres into space.
Robotic cars powered by magnetic linear motors will carry people and cargo to a newly-built space station, at a fraction of the cost of rockets. It will take seven days to get there.
The company said the fantasy can now become a reality because of the development of carbon nanotechnology.
"The tensile strength is almost a hundred times stronger than steel cable so it's possible," Mr Yoji Ishikawa, a research and development manager at Obayashi, said.

Casinos and Japan’s Gambling Addiction


China jails prominent Uighur academic Ilham Tohti for life

BBC News - China jails prominent Uighur academic Ilham Tohti for life
Ilham Tohti, a university academic, has spoken out on the government's policies towards the Muslim Uighur minority in the restive region of Xinjiang.
Correspondents say China is taking a tougher line on those deemed "separatists" amid rising Xinjiang-linked violence.
Amnesty International has called the verdict "deplorable".
Tohti, who denies the charges against him, has been detained since January. The EU, US and the United Nations have all called for his release.

Mongolias Poorest Turn Garbage into Gold

Mongolia’s Poorest Turn Garbage into Gold

Monday, September 22, 2014

South Korea: Still Stonewalling About the Sewol

The Sewol, a South Korean passenger-cargo ferry that was carrying 476 people—including a group of high school students on a field trip to Jeju Island—capsized on April 16, 2014, and sank to the bottom of the sea off Korea’s southern coast.
The Korean Coast Guard rescued most of the crew, including the captain, and some of the passengers. Before the Coast Guard or the Navy arrived on the scene, fishing boats and commercial vessels saved other passengers who happened to be on the deck or escaped soon after the capsizing. The rest were, unfortunately, trapped inside and sank together with the ferry. 294 were later found dead, and 10 are still “missing” almost 5 months after their disappearance.
The ship’s sinking may seem an unfortunate accident, and the passengers’ deaths its tragic ending. Once the surface is scratched, however, a more complicated picture emerges.
The Sewol sank under the weight of the neoliberal state that diminished its role in safety regulation and oversight. Its passengers drowned to death because the state relegated the rescue operation to a private salvage firm and prioritized its own interests over those of the passengers. But when victims’ families demanded the truth, the strong state reared its menacing head by deploying its force to silence them and mobilizing its resources to hide its responsibility.
The Korean state’s deregulation and dereliction combined to create the perfect storm that sent the Sewol and its passengers to the bottom of the sea. The state’s intimidation has suggested that a cover-up is under way to obscure the state’s responsibility, contrary to President Park Geun-Hye’s public promise to get to the bottom of the accident.
The Weight of the Diminishing State

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S&P Raises Credit Rating of Korea to A+ Positive

S&P adjusted the national credit rating of Korea from A+ Stable to A+ Positive on Sept. 19.
According to the Ministry of Strategy & Finance, S&P mentioned favorable policy environments, high fiscal soundness, and improved foreign debt structure as reasons for the upward adjustment. Korea has shown solid growth during the past five years based on export diversification and improved export competitiveness. In addition, it recorded increasing exports, despite the appreciation of the won, that has been consistent for three years.
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Korea to Achieve 6% Economic Growth Rate Next Year

The Prime Minister and Minister of Strategy & Finance said on Sept. 19 that he would achieve a 6 percent growth rate next year in order to record a positive fiscal balance in the long term. The Deputy Prime Minister, who is staying in Australia for the G20 Financial Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting, added that Korea’s real growth rate would reach at least 4 percent in 2015 through some recovery in the third quarter of this year, although the percentage was 0.5 percent in Q2, 2014.
“Though the government debt-to-GDP ratio is estimated at 35.7 percent for next year, it is still just one-third of the OECD average,” he explained, continuing, “The role of finance is to stimulate the economy when economic conditions are bad.” He also stressed that the size of total household liabilities is not a major problem, if the ability for repayment is sufficient, despite his expansionary monetary policy that may have the side effect of increasing household debt.
In the meantime, he had interviews with Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal in Australia on Sept. 21. “The Korean government is moving ahead with an aggressive fiscal policy, worth 41 trillion won [US$39 billion] in size, and the policy stance will continue to next year, which means a balance between fiscal and monetary matters,” he replied to the question about the necessity of an additional key rate cut. He continued, “The Bank of Korea will make a prudent decision based on its consensus with the fiscal authorities.” The remark can be interpreted as asking the central bank to additionally cut the key rate.
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Friday, September 19, 2014

Greater Tumen Initiative: Korea, China, Russia, Mongolia to Create Economic Cooperation Organization in Northeast Asia

Export-import banks of Korea, China, Russia, and Mongolia signed an agreement to establish Northeast Asian Export-Import Banks Council on Sept. 18 in Yanji, China.
Export-import banks of Korea, China, Russia, and Mongolia signed an agreement to establish Northeast Asian Export-Import Banks Council on Sept. 18 in Yanji, China.
Korea, China, Russia, and Mongolia have agreed to form an international organization for economic cooperation within the region of Northeast Asia. Accordingly, at the next summit to be held in Korea, the international organization establishment agreement will be signed.
The Ministry of Strategy and Finance announced on Sept. 18 that participating countries of the Greater Tumen Initiative (GTI) agreed to transform GTI into an international organization to initiate economic cooperation in Northeast Asia by 2016. This summit was held in Yanji, China on Sept. 17.
These four countries agreed to develop transportation in land and sea routes, facilitate the trading among Northeast Asian countries, solve the power transmission problems and analyze the business feasibility of coal extracted synthetic natural gas supply through a joint statement.
On this day, an inaugural assembly of ‘Northeast Asian Export-Import Banks Council’ in which export-import banks of four countries participated was held to adopt a basic agreement on cooperation among the banks for joint project explorations and supportive loans.
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Unification of Korea to Create US$200 Billion of Economic Effects for Surrounding Nations


Tidal Power: 1.8 Trillion Won Garolim Tidal Power Project on Verge of Suspension


The small finger of land on the middle right of the picture is where I have been living for the last 5 months.

Tao Dao Man

The Tao of North Korea

The Tao of North Korea

North Korea and South Korea are more alike than this famous satellite photo would have you believe. (Photo: NASA / Flickr)
You’ve seen those nighttime satellite pictures of the Korean peninsula. The northern half is dark, while the southern half is a thousand points of light. You might think: hat’s off to those thrifty North Koreans who are helping save the planet by conserving electricity!
But of course, that’s not the message you’re supposed to take away with you. The nighttime map is supposed to be a visual representation of what we intuitively feel to be the political, economic, and social reality of this divided land. The people of North Korea live a benighted existence in a totalitarian environment, where the entire population experiences the “lights out” of a labor camp or a detention facility. The people of South Korea, meanwhile, are just like us, staying up all night to eat, drink, dance, and party. The North is Gulag style, while the South is Gangnam Style.
The reality of the Korean peninsula is, of course, vastly more complicated than these either-or contrasts. Stop thinking of the peninsula as two completely distinct halves, with barbed wire running down the middle. At the very least, think of Korea as the Taoist yin-yang symbol: two cupped apostrophes, one black and one white and each containing a dot of the other’s color. There’s a little yin in yang and a little yang in yin.
Yin and Yang

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56 Percent of Chinese Say Environment More Important Than Growth


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Taiwan Is Not Overly Dependent on China


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Project Mausam: India's Answer to China's 'Maritime Silk Road'


HSBC Korea makes yuan push

Martin Tricaud, president and chief executive of HSBC Korea, listens to questions from reporters at a press conference at the Lotte Hotel in central Seoul, Wednesday. The topic was the bank’s offshore yuan business plans. / Courtesy of HSBC Korea

By Choi Kyong-ae

HSBC, a London-based financial group, is making a strong push to gain a bigger share in Korea’s burgeoning won-yuan direct exchange market.

On Wednesday, the chief of the British company held a press conference in Seoul for the first time in five years as it sees direct trading between the Korean won and the Chinese yuan a new growth engine.

“We believe that given its geographical proximity with China, and the importance of its economic and trade links with China, Korea can become one of the most successful renminbi (RMB) centers in Asia and globally,” Martin Tricaud, president and chief executive for HSBC Korea, told reporters.

In July, Korea and China signed an agreement to promote greater use of the yuan, or RMB, as the Chinese currency is increasingly being used in cross-border transactions with China.

China has been Korea’s biggest trading partner since 2004 and accounted for one-fourth of the latter’s exports in 2013. Korea posted a trade surplus of $62.8 billion from trades with China last year. Economists expect a stable inflow of yuan into Korea as the Chinese economy has big growth potential.

RMB deposits in Korea’s banking sector now reach around 123 billion yuan, 20 percent of the country’s overall foreign currency reserves, according to the Bank of Korea.

Also supporting the RMB deposits, China and Korea are in negotiations on the free-trade agreement. The bilateral deal, if signed, would push up RMB payments further, economists said.

As part of efforts to “do more and better” in Korea, Tricaud said HSBC will not only make stronger ties with local companies and financial companies but also to develop the offshore yuan business.

He said HSBC’s global networks will help Korean corporate customers particularly when they expand into overseas markets. “The 21st century will be the century of the RMB,” following the era of the dollar in the 20th century.

But Justin Chan, co-head of HSBC’s Asia-Pacific Markets, warned of challenges regarding the offshore yuan business.

 “There is a lot of more volatility in terms of the Korean won versus the yuan compared to the Korean won versus the dollar. And therefore we need tools in the spot or forward markets to manage the risks in the foreign exchange side,” Chan said.

Under the July agreement, Korea also obtained an 80 billion yuan ($13 billion) quota for domestic investors to buy securities in China under the Renminbi Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (RQFII) program.

Under the agreement, the Bank of Communication was designated as a yuan clearing bank in Seoul and sales of yuan-denominated debts in Seoul became available. HSBC expects yuan-denominated debts will likely to be sold within this year. 
From Here

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

In South Korea, real business gets done in brothels and karaoke joints


Chinese Banks in Korea Becoming Monetary “Black Holes” through Yuan Deposits

China Provides $81.4 Billion in Liquidity to Five Banks

60 Seconds On The Japanese Economy

60 seconds on the Japanese economy by FinancialTimes

What draws Modi to China By M K Bhadrakumar

Korean Research Team Develops Tech to Mass Produce Hydrogen

Quentin Willson refuels the Hyundai ix35 fuel cell car with hydrogen fuel at Nottingham University on Sept. 14, 2012. (Photo by Bexi81 via Wikimedia Commons)
Quentin Willson refuels the Hyundai ix35 fuel cell car with hydrogen fuel at Nottingham University on Sept. 14, 2012. (Photo by Bexi81 via Wikimedia Commons)
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