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China's central government has pledged to slash 126 million yuan ($20.38 million) from its spending on public-funded vehicles, receptions and overseas trips this year, a move that experts said lives up to the new leadership's promise to be frugal.
Departments under the central government and organizations that receive public funds are planning to spend 7.97 billion yuan this year to buy and use cars, travel overseas and host meetings — collectively known as "the three public expenses" — the Ministry of Finance said on Thursday.
Spending on public receptions, which decreased 64 million yuan, or 4.3 percent year-on-year, will drop the most among the three.
Although laws require central government departments to release their budgets in 20 working days after authorities approve them, it is the first time that these departments included the three public expenses in the disclosure. Previously, the amount of public spending was usually withheld until July, when departments released their final figures from the previous year.
Experts said the budget cuts have echoed the pledge of the central leadership, which has made cutting red tape and reducing the number of ceremonies one of its priorities since its election.
Lotte Shopping Avenue in Jakarta is targeting to hit $100 million in retail sales by its third year amid immense buying power from middle class consumers, the director said on Thursday.
Suh Chang Suk, president director of Lotte Shopping Avenue, said Korean-based retail company Lotte Group had set its eyes on opening a mall in Indonesia for 10 years because of the country’s robust consumer sector.
“We have conducted research since 10 years ago. Indonesia has a big population, enormous natural resources and high potential compared to other countries. Indonesia has many qualifications in the retail sector,” he said on Thursday.
“We target in the first year we can get $6 million sales and it could be $100 million in the third year.”
The mall will target the upper middle class with retailers like Lotte Duty Free, Uniqlo, Hide Yamamoto and Korea-based Seri Salon.
Lotte Shopping Avenue will have its grand opening on June 22 in the Ciputra World Superblock in Kuningan, South Jakarta. With investment of up to $100 million, Indonesia’s Lotte Shopping Avenue is the first mall the company has opened in Southeast Asia.
Okezone.com reported that Lotte plans to invest up to $500 million in Indonesia by 2018. The investment will include five new malls in big cities like Jakarta, Surabaya and Medan.
Suh said the company will hire roughly 10,000 employees by 2018.
Lotte Shopping Avenue will occupy 77,000 square meters with seven floors of stores. The mall will also have WiFi and a concert hall.
The Stock Exchange of Thailand main index went up 8.23 points, or 0.54%, to close at 1,529.76 points at the end of trading session this afternoon. The trade value was 37.87 billion baht, with 6.76 billion shares traded.
The SET50 index ended at 1,008.83 points, up 5.10 points, or 0.51%, with a total trade value of 22.45 billion baht.
The SET100 index rose 11.53 points, or 0.51%, to stand at 2,256.75 points, with a total turnover of 27.67 billion baht.
The SETHD index went down 0.24 point, or 0.02%, to stand at 1,219.67 points, with total trade value of 7.76 billion baht.
The MAI index gained 4.44 points, or 0.95%, to close at 470.00 points, with total transaction value of 1.30 billion baht.
Top five most active values were as follows;
INTUCH stood at 84.00 baht, up 2.50 baht (3.07%)
ADVANC stood at 269.00 baht, up 10.00 baht (3.86%)
PTT stood at 314.00 baht, up 5.00 baht (1.62%)
PTTGC stood at 65.25 baht, down 1.25 baht (1.88%)
SCB (XD) stood at 170.00 baht, up 1.00 baht (0.59%)
Straits Times Index (STI) dipped 0.12 point to end at 3,291.46 as it tried to balance the positive cue from Wall Street's rally on Tuesday with recent weak economic data from China.
Overall volume traded was 2.34 billion shares, with 238 losers and 187 gainers.
Singapore Exchange rose 1.2% to S$7.79 after reporting its fiscal third-quarter net profit rose 25.6% on-year to S$97.7 million.
Hutchison Port Holdings Trust dropped 2.4% to US$0.82 following continued protests by workers at its Hong Kong port.
Among other plays on China, shopping mall operator CapitaMalls Asia shed 2.5% to S$1.95.
Bursa Malaysia Bhd earnings fell 5.9% to RM38.20mil in the first quarter ended March 31, 2013 from RM40.61mil a year ago mainly due to salary review and adjustments.
The stock exchange operator said on Thursday the review and adjustments were undertaken as part of its efforts to be a competitive employer in attracting and retaining good talent.
Its revenue was marginally higher at RM110.43mil compared with RM109.86mil a year ago. Operating expenses rose 5% to RM54.90mil. Earnings per share were 7.20 sen compared with 7.60 sen.
Bursa Malaysia said average daily trading value for securities market fell 13% to RM1.7bil while market capitalisation rose 9% to RM1.5 trillion.
"For the period under review, the derivatives market posted a commendable performance with an increase of 43% in trading revenue to RM18.4mil from RM12.9mil recorded in the same period last year," it said.
Bursa Malaysia said this was attributable to the higher open interest and contracts traded which saw the average daily contracts (ADC) increase by 46%, from 31,015 contracts to 45,188 contracts. "Bursa Malaysia's performance in the first quarter of 2013 was stronger that the performance of the preceding quarter (ended Dec 31, 2012).
"For the period under review, Bursa Malaysia registered a 7% increase in its profit after tax and minority interest, from RM35.8mil to RM38.2mil, on the back of an 8% increase in total operating revenue, from RM94.5mil to RM101.7mil," it said.
The Ramos family has finalized plans to list its flagship retailing, publishing and allied businesses through the backdoor of the local stock exchange using Vulcan Industrial and Mining Corp., which will be renamed National Book Store Retail Corp.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Thursday, Vulcan said its board had agreed to endorse during the stockholders meeting on May 29 an increase in capital, the subscription by National Bookstore Inc. to such capital hike, the spin-off of mining and oil-related assets and the change in the company’s primary purpose from mining to retail and relegation of mining and oil exploration as secondary purposes.
Under the proposed framework, National Book Store will acquire new shares in Vulcan at P1 per share out of the increase in authorized capital stock to P4 billion from P600 million. This will be done through the conversion to equity of its advances amounting to P363.94 million; and cash subscription of up to P3.036 billion.
Likewise approved as part of the agenda was the change in the name of the corporation to reflect the entry of National Book Store and the waiver of rights offer relative to the increase in capital via additional subscription by National Bookstore and assignees.
Apart from retailing, the board agreed to propose the inclusion among the new secondary purposes of the company wholesale, publishing, printing, manufacturing, distribution, contracting and other activities.
Yesterday in Asia
Tokyo fell 1.22 percent, or 162.82 points, to 13,220.07, Seoul shed 1.24 percent, or 23.78 points, to 1,900.06 and Sydney slipped 1.60 percent, or 80.2 points, to 4,924.4.
Hong Kong lost 0.26 percent, or 57.15 points, to end at 21,512.52 and Shanghai ended 0.17 percent, or 3.80 points, higher at 2,197.60.
– Singapore rose 0.15 percent, or 4.91 points, to close at 3,296.37.
Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. gained 0.28 percent to Sg$10.82 and Singapore Airlines climbed 0.65 percent to Sg$10.83.
– Taipei fell 0.23 percent, or 17.72 points, to 7,791.35.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. edged down 0.10 percent to Tw$99.9 while leading smartphone maker HTC rose 3.68 percent to Tw$282.0.
– Manila closed 0.10 percent higher, adding 7.22 points to 6,857.48.
LT Group rose 5.21 percent to 24.20 pesos while Megaworld Corp. ended up 4.32 percent at 4.10 pesos.
– Wellington closed 0.81 percent, or 36.16 points, down at 4,442.10.
Contact Energy was down 4.55 percent at NZ$8.44, Air New Zealand fell 1.03 percent to NZ$1.45 and Telstra was up 1.2 percent at NZ$2.49.
– Jakarta climbed 0.28 percent, or 13.99 points, to 5,012.64.
Car maker Astra International rose 1.31 percent to 7,750 rupiah, while cigarette maker Gudang Garam fell 2.55 percent to 51,650 rupiah.
– Bangkok added 0.54 percent, or 8.23 points, to 1,529.76.
Airports of Thailand rose 5.00 percent to 136.50 baht, while telecoms company Advanced Info Service gained 3.86 percent to 269 baht.
– Kuala Lumpur slipped 0.28 percent, or 4.71 points, to 1,706.26.
UEM Land Holdings fell 2.5 percent to 2.76 ringgit while Genting Malaysia lost 1.9 percent to close at 3.70. Bumi Armada rose 2.3 percent to 4.03 ringgit.
– Mumbai rose 1.52 percent, or 285.3 points, to 19,016.46.
Tata Motors added 3.98 percent to 282.3 rupees, while Bharti Airtel rose 4.65 percent to 299.45 rupees.
Shayne Heffernan Ph.D.
Economist/Hedge Fund Manager
Live Trading News
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