Edgewise

It was a doggone year
SINGAPORE (Feb 4): CLSA, for the 25th year running, has published its widely anticipated Lunar New Year predictions for the markets, which marry the art of fengshui with a keen observation of events and trends. For a brokerage founded by a group of business journalists, its predictions might not be entirely accurate, but it is nonetheless entertaining. Given how events are shaping up, however, ...
200-year-old advantage no longer applies
SINGAPORE (Jan 28): Jan 29 marks the date, two centuries ago, that British East India Company agent Thomas Stamford Raffles set foot in Singapore. But Raffles would probably not recognise the place at which he was said to have disembarked, surrounded as it is today by skyscrapers of glass and steel. Those buildings are, in some ways, measures of just how far Singapore has come in the two ...
Poor company culture increasingly recognised as causing poor performance
SINGAPORE (Jan 21): On Jan 16, David Solomon apologised to the Malaysian people for the role that Goldman Sachs’ former managing partner in Asia, Tim Leissner, played in the defrauding of the 1Malaysia Development Bhd fund. Solomon, the investment bank’s CEO, reiterated in an earnings call that Goldman had been given assurances by Leissner and Malaysian officials that turned out to be untrue. ...
Brace for big changes in 2019
The tumult we saw in 2018 is not going to let up in 2019. Political, technological and climate changes will create uncertainty. SINGAPORE (Dec 31): The biggest driver of change in the world now is undoubtedly the shifting relationship between China and the US. According to global consultancy Control Risks, what started as a trade conflict between the two countries has now morphed into a ...
2018 has set 2019 up for a bumpy ride
SINGAPORE (Dec 31): At the rate we are going, the year ahead is promising to be even more challenging than these last 364 days. There is doubt over the strength of the world’s top two economies. Major markets are in turmoil, after a decade-long bull run, and amid concerns that the US economy may not be able to handle the continued pace of interest rate hikes. We have experienced how, in this ...
Disruption is the impetus for inclusion
SINGAPORE (Dec 17): 2018 has been a year of disruption, though not just in terms of new technologies replacing traditional methods or innovative start-ups displacing outmoded business models. At one level, the financial markets have seen a good amount of ups and downs. By the middle of the year, 2018 was shaping up to be the most volatile year for global markets since 2008. Company share ...
Balancing profit and motive
SINGAPORE (Dec 10): On Dec 5, the UK government published a trove of internal Facebook emails and other documents that suggested the social media platform sought to trade users’ data with advertisers, or wield it for strategic advantage with third-party applications. Facebook has been under increasing scrutiny amid privacy concerns, and the backlash to the news was to be expected. In its ...
Of planes, ships and chendol
SINGAPORE (Dec 10): When CNN dubbed the Singapore version of chendol one of the top 50 desserts in the world this past week, Malaysians reacted with predictable outrage. And, the bitterness over the sweet dessert quickly proved to be an ill omen for bilateral relations between Malaysia and Singapore. Now, Malaysia wants to reclaim the management of airspace over south Johor, ...
Fintech boom is underway but stock market is wary
SINGAPORE (Nov 26): On Nov 22, loss-making circuit board manufacturer CPH said it was pivoting from its competition-ridden core business to financial technology via a reverse takeover (RTO) of alternative financing provider oCap in a deal worth $61.8 million. Under the terms of the deal, CPH will issue 5.15 billion new shares at 1.2 cents apiece. oCap is now held by an entity called Delphinium ...
Genocide can't be good for business
SINGAPORE (Nov 19): It was only three years ago, after the watershed elections in November 2015 that saw Aung San Suu Kyi transition from democracy icon under house arrest to Myanmar’s State Counsellor and de facto leader, that Myanmar began to emerge from years of economic isolation. In 2016, the US lifted some of its economic sanctions; in 2017, there were 3.44 million tourist arrivals into ...