04 July 2006 03:37 [Source: ICIS news]
Lawmakers' income increases for first time in four years
Diet members' average income increased by Yen730,000 to Yen24.31m ($212,250) in 2005, while Foreign Minister Taro Aso emerged as the richest of four likely candidates for next prime minister, according to Asahi Shimbun calculations. The rise in average income was the first in four years, due to an average increase of Yen1.22m in salary and bonuses for lawmakers, according to Asahi Shimbun calculations based on a Diet report released on Monday.
Lawmakers, bureaucrats pushed companies for DFAA projects
Fourteen lawmakers and bureaucrats, including former Defense Agency chiefs, pushed certain companies for public works projects and land purchases of the scandal-ridden Defense Facilities Administration Agency (DFAA), an internal document showed. Nine of the individuals were involved in civil engineering, construction and other works of the agency's Sendai Defense Facilities Administration Bureau between April 1999 and June 2000. Eight of the projects were marked on the document as "successful."
Business & Industry
BOJ poised to lift rates from zero in summer
The Bank of Japan is expected to end its zero-interest-rate policy either later this month or in August as its closely watched Tankan quarterly survey indicated improving business sentiment. According to the June survey released on Monday, the diffusion index of the business outlook for manufacturers capitalized at Yen1bn or more was 21, up 1 point from the previous survey in March to mark the first improvement in two quarters.
Nissan, Renault tilt toward GM tie-up
A massive reorganization of the motor industry could result from a proposal by Kirk Kerkorian, billionaire investor and main shareholder in General Motors, that the stumbling ?xml:namespace>
Emergency response law 'will ensure accurate info'
The proposed new law on dealing with emergencies is not designed to prevent the truth being revealed, but to allow the timely release of accurate information, said a senior official yesterday. Under the law media outlets could face fines of up to CNY100,000 ($12,500) if they "report the development and handling of emergencies without authorization."
China now 4th largest economy - WB
Business & Industry
Energy list to encourage sustainable growth
In a drive to promote sustainable growth,
Government takes aim at banking problems
The government has announced fresh measures to curb irregularities in the banking sector, this time ordering branch chiefs to resign if major criminal cases occur on their watch. Banks have also been asked to set up an accountability system that allows bank executives and auditors to take responsibility for problems.
Taiwan News, Taiwan (online edition)
Chen vows to do a better job
President Chen Shui-bian delivered a public apology yesterday for not having performed better in his six years in office and failing to meet the expectations of many supporters. Chen pledged to do better in his remaining 22 months on the job. "I could have done a better job, but I did not," the president remarked at the Academia Sinica, where 183 academicians were attending a plenary meeting in the country's foremost research institution.
Lien-Ma ticket for 2008 vote unfeasible, says opposition
A pairing of former vice president Lien Chan and Kuomintang Chairman Ma Ying-jeou in the 2008 presidential campaign to "perpetuate localized political power" is unfeasible, opposition legislators said yesterday. The lawmakers were responding to an article published in the Chinese-language United Daily News yesterday, which reported that a group of unnamed pro-government opinion leaders and business tycoons had discussed with Lien the possibility of returning to politics and running for the presidency again, after failed bids in 2000 and 2004.
Business & Industry
No country may love tuna as much as
CPC says it is losing up to $62m a month from LNG sales
Chinese Petroleum Corp, Taiwan's state oil and gas company, said it's losing as much as NT$2bn ($62m) a month from its natural gas sales because of government price controls and soaring import costs. The company may have to borrow to cover losses on fuel sales, CPC Vice President Tsao Mihn said yesterday. Costs of importing liquefied natural gas jumped 32% in the first four months of 2006 from a year earlier, according to the island's energy bureau.
Tensions rise in East Sea
As the Korean government sent a survey ship to inspect the waters around the Dokdo islets late Sunday night, the Japanese government yesterday upped the ante, threatening to take "appropriate actions." Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi told reporters that
Roh shuffles 3 Cabinet ministers
In what appear to be measured steps for averting a lame-duck situation, the presidential office yesterday announced a Cabinet shake-up involving the replacement of three Cabinet ministers and the chief policy secretary of Cheong Wa Dae. As widely predicted, the seat of finance minister has been offered to Kwon O-kyu, President Roh Moo-hyun's right-hand man currently serving as the chief secretary on national policy. The 54-year-old is no newcomer at the Finance Ministry; prior to joining Cheong Wa Dae, he helped devise pivotal economic policies at the ministry.
Business & Industry
Unions move to industry-wide structure
Labour unions of the nation's major automakers said last week they will go under a single industrial union for more leverage in bargaining and strike situations, drawing mixed reactions from labour and management circles. As the labour unions of companies in other industrial sectors are likely to follow suit, the transition to industrial unionism is expected to mark a new era for the country's labour-management relations.
Trust key to asset management
Recent regulatory reform as well as enhanced monitoring and corporate governance should be a solid driving force of the nation's asset management industry. Still, a historical lack of trust in institutions and investors linger on in the marketplace, said Evan Hale, president of Fidelity Investments Asset Management. "There's still some way to go but every month, every quarter and every year, good progress has been made," said Hale who took the helm of Fidelity's
Reliance Retail kick-off from AP
Reliance Industries’ organised retail foray - under Reliance Retail, a wholly owned subsidiary - will kick off with a food and beverage store in
Rs500bn ride on Metro
Metro rail could soon become an industry of over Rs500bn if all the projects for which the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has submitted detailed project reports to various states are implemented. The amount is as much as the government had earmarked for its high-profile Golden Quadrilateral highway project when it was launched in 1998. All told, DMRC has ten Metro projects in the pipeline. Apart from
Companies & Industry
Wockhardt bets big on Farex turnaround
A Rs2.5bn brand a few years back, Farex has now slipped to less than Rs100m. So a few eyebrows were raised when Wockhardt announced the acquisition of the cereal-based infant food brand last week for an undisclosed amount. In any case, the category has not been growing and, to add to its woes, the government banned advertisement of baby foods from January 2004. But Wockhardt, which is already the market leader in the Indian nutrition market with a 15% share, says it has a few plans up its sleeve to reposition the brand.
Auto majors see a she-change in SUVs
Women are storming another male bastion . Sports utility vehicles, originally developed as a rugged mens only vehicle, now want to have a lasting affair with the modern woman. Leading SUV makers like Mahindra & Mahindra, makers of Scorpio, and General Motors, makers of Tavera have already started wooing women customers by adding softer features like smoother gear shifts, suspension, buttons and consoles.
S'pore home prices gain pace in Q2
The latest official flash estimates show the housing market continued to recover in the second quarter of this year, with bigger price increases posted for private homes and Housing & Development Board resale flats in Q2 than in Q1. The Urban Redevelopment Authority's price index for private homes rose 1.6% in Q2 from Q1, after a 1.5% quarter-on-quarter gain in Q1.
New board to list firms' revenues a boost for Islamic banking
Investors here, including Muslims, may soon be able to buy or sell ownership of part of the revenue of a company through an exchange planned by a newly set-up Singapore firm called Sinipco Pte Ltd. Sinipco, set up by veteran lawyer Arfat Selvam and international financier Arthur Lipper III, have acquired the intellectual property for a 'fair revenue participation contracts and exchange'.
SGX futures and options volume hits record high
A record 3.9m futures and options contracts were traded on the Singapore Exchange (SGX) in June, as the rollercoaster ride in regional stock markets spurred traders to use more sophisticated instruments to make and hedge their bets. The previous record was 3.7m contracts, in June 2003.
Share offerings in
Political approach a means to solve unrest
The Royal Thai Army will focus on political approaches in expediting state strategies to tackle the ongoing violent unrest in the country's deep South. Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Army Gen Sonthi Boonyaratkalin was quoted as saying here on Monday that he would rely on political tactics, rather than military actions, in implementing state strategies to quell the spate of unrest in the country's three troubled southern border provinces of Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani.
EC digs in on 15 Oct election date
The Election Commission of Thailand (EC) will not discuss with the caretaker government on a possible postponement of the country's next general election initially set for 15 Oct, EC Secretary General Pol. Maj-Gen Ekkachai Varunprapa said here on Monday. Gen Ekkachai conceded that he is worried that should such major political parties as the ruling Thai Rak Thai (TRT) Party and the former main opposition Democrat Party be ordered dissolved by the Constitutional Court, it would cause adverse political effects, particularly after a Royal decree officially designating the new general election date is issued.
Business & Industry
Rush for pawned TVs to watch World Cup
World Cup fever is proving a boon to pawnshops, Kasikorn Research Centre said yesterday. Many people who earlier pawned their televisions are buying them back so they can watch the tournament in
Inflation falls to 5.9%, easing woes
Consumer prices in June rose 5.9% from the year before, a slight decline from the 6.2% year-on-year growth posted the previous month, the Commerce Ministry announced yesterday. Signs of easing inflation helped push the Stock Exchange of Thailand up nearly 1% yesterday on investors' hopes that further interest-rate increases would be unnecessary to curb inflation.
For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.
Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.
|ICIS news FREE TRIAL|
|Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index|