Monday, October 25, 2010

Australia Export Prices Surge, Underline Rate Risk

Australia's export prices have surged for a second straight quarter as Asian demand fuelled huge increases for iron ore and coal, showering the economy in cash and illustrating just why interest rates are heading higher.

The 7.8 percent increase in export prices for the third quarter came on top of a huge 16.1 percent rise the previous quarter. In all, prices were up 27.7 percent on year, boosting profits, investment, jobs and tax receipts.

This bonanza is the main reason the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has warned that interest rates will have to rise again to control inflation, perhaps as soon as next month.

"This is real money that's washing through the economy and giving nominal GDP growth in double-digits," said Su-Lin Ong, a senior economist at RBC Capital Markets.

"It's the sort of positive income shock that policy-makers ignore at their peril and it's why rates are likely to rise sooner rather than later."

The RBA has already hiked six times since October and the 4.5 percent cash rate is far above most other developed nations, some of which are considering easing policy further to support flagging domestic demand.

Much might depend on consumer price figures (CPI), due on Oct. 27. The central bank expects underlying inflation to run at an annual 2.5 to 2.75 percent in the third quarter, within its long-term target band of 2 to 3 percent.

Such an outcome could allow a further pause on rates in November, but to forward-looking policy makers the problem will be keeping prices tethered when they expect economic growth to accelerate to 4 percent over the next couple of years.

Minutes of the central bank's policy meeting this month showed board members were well aware of the challenge.

"Members concluded that interest rates would need to rise at some point if the economy evolved in line with the central scenario of a gradual tightening in resource utilization."

Export prices rise 7.8% q/q in the third quarter, from a 16.1% increase in the previous quarter
Export prices up 27.7% y/y in the same quarter, boosting profits, investment, jobs and tax receiptsThe only question was timing, with some feeling the rise of the Aussie dollar to 28-year highs was a form of tightening that offered space to wait a while before lifting rates.

Investors are pricing in around a 40 percent chance of a move to 4.75 percent at the next meeting on November 2, and a near 60 percent chance of a hike in December.

A rise to 5.0 percent is priced in for the next 12 months, though most analysts think that understates the risk.

Counting On Asia

Australia's good fortune owes much to demand from Asia, which now takes over 70 percent of its exports and is growing much faster than Europe or the United States. Just this week China reported annual growth of 9.6 percent for the third quarter.

Friday's data showed prices for metal ore exports climbed 70 percent in the year to September, while coal rose 34 percent, gold 19 percent and gas 56 percent.

In contrast, import prices rose a modest 0.7 percent in the quarter and were down 1.5 percent for the year.

As a result Australia's terms of trade, or the ratio of export prices to import prices, climbed around 30 percent in the year to September, the biggest rise in three decades.

The surge has reversed the country's perennial trade deficit, delivering a cumulative surplus of A$11.1 billion between April and August.

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American Express Profit Outpaces Forecasts

American Express reported quarterly earnings and sales that exceeded Wall Street expectations Thursday, sending shares higher.

American Express

The company said it earned 90 cents a share in the third quarter against 54 cents a share in the same period last year.

Revenue for the quarter was reported at $7.03 billion, versus $6.01 billion last year.

Stock analysts who follow American Express, a Dow component, had expected the company to earn 86 cents a share on sales of $6.79 billion, according to

Net income in the U.S. card services unit jumped to $595 million, while provisions for losses in the U.S. unit fell 68 percent, to $274 million.

The company said that consumers with American Express cards spent 14 percent more than they did a year ago, but loan demand remained weak.

"Things are relatively healthy," said Michael Holland of Holland & Co in New York, which owns American Express shares.

Investors "had been expecting a little bit better results (than the forecasts), and they produced it," he said.

Last week, American Express reported that its monthly delinquencies rose slightly in September, from 2.4 percent to 2.5 percent. However, the company still maintains the lowest level of monthly delinquencies among major U.S. lenders.

Charge-offs, the company said, fell to 4.7 percent from 5.5 percent in August.

U.S. regulators are increasingly scrutinizing processing networks, including American Express, which this month vowed to fight a government antitrust lawsuit that could cut into its long-term profits.

Chief Executive Kenneth Chenault said in the company's earnings announcement that American Express continued to improve its competitive position "against the backdrop of regulatory and legislative changes that are reshaping the industry."

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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Baidu Doubles Earnings, Grabs Google Share

Baidu, China's top search engine operator, more than doubled its quarterly net profit as an increase in paid click volume and new customer additions boosted revenue.

Receptionist at officeReceptionist at office

Baidu, which has grabbed market share from Google  since the latter's high-profile falling-out with Beijing this year, dominates over 70 percent of China's search market and is aggressively seeking other revenue streams by diversifying into e-commerce and online video.

It expects revenue for the fourth quarter to come in at $354.2 million to $364.7 million, ahead of the average analyst forecast for $348.5 million.

Third-quarter net income rose to $156.4 million, or 45 cents a share, from $72.2 million, or $2.07 per share, a year ago, before a 10-for-1 stock split. Analysts were expecting earnings of 41 cents per share.

Revenue surged to $337.2 million from $187.3 million a year ago. Analysts, on average, had expected revenue of $333.3 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Shares of Baidu , which closed at $102.48 in trade on the Nasdaq Thursday, were last up 3 percent in extended trading. Get after-hour quotes for Baidu here.

The stock climbed 2.5 percent during Thursday's regular session and has more than doubled since Google's troubles in China began in January.

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Companies Can't Rely on US for Profit Goals Anymore

Third-quarter earnings results could be producing a paradigm shift for US companies, in which multinationals fuel an economic recovery that strictly domestic companies cannot.

While the trend of US companies branching overseas is certainly nothing new, the extent to which emerging market demand could pull the country out of a recession is.

Developing economies such as the BRICs—Brazil, Russia, India and China—slumped during the global financial crisis, but appear to be back now that financing is available and the worst of the credit calamity has passed.

"We might go into a period of a decade where global growth is a driver of the world economy, and that's not necessarily a really bad thing for the United States," says Jordan Kimmel, market strategist at Boyar Asset Management in New York. "When we hear the consumer is dead, they're certainly not talking about the consumer in lots of Asia, lots of Latin America, wherever there's significant growth taking place."

One of the principal themes of the latest earnings season has been companies raising their forward guidance.

"The fact is we don't have to wait for the American consumer to come around if you're involved in companies that have involvement overseas," Kimmel says.

While the reliance on foreign demand to drive US-based company earnings might seem like a poor reflection of the American economy—indeed, Caterpillar shares actually fell Thursday despite the earnings beat—it's something to which investors may have to become accustomed.

"The ground-zero for global growth is no longer the US. It's starting to come from overseas, it's from emerging countries," says Michael Vogelzang, president and chief investment officer at Boston Advisors. "Those are the folks who are sustaining us through a bear market and are providing the opportunity for companies that are well-positioned to do better."

Vogelzang says there's a saying in his office that is part humorous and part true: "It's China's world. We're all just living in it."

"That will be more and more the way the world works," he says. "At the end of the day emerging market countries are much more fiscally conservative than we are. The West and the developed countries have this long path of worry about trying to pay off debt for the next decade. As a result you're going to see subpar growth from domestic areas and developed areas."

At the same time, those developing markets aren't being shy about investing in their growth.

Emerging market debt issuance has eclipsed its historical record this year, with $162.5 billion in high-yielding notes in the marketplace. That total includes $30.5 billion in September alone and $11.6 billion in just the past week, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research.

While that may sound a bit like a bubble is building much like what happened before the US housing market collapsed, companies are reaping the benefits of the growth.

"Emerging markets are definitely where demand is going to be in the next decade or two," says Keith Springer, president of Springer Financial Advisors in Sacramento, Calif. "The problem is these economies rely on the Western world for capital. Their economies are are not mature enough to withstand a big hit."

Springer sees US earnings driven as much by companies that have increased efficiency during the recession, and are learning how do to more with less while benefiting from the dearth of domestic competitors, particularly in the goods-producing industries.

But that may not be enough, he says, because the economy is relying too much on cheap money from the Federal Reserve that won't be there once interest rates are forced up.

"The government is not fixing the problem, going to the root of the problem, and adjusting. What they do is create bubble after bubble to get us through the next couple of years," Springer says. "What you need to do is let the economy reset to the level of demand rather than create artificial demand."

Yet for companies trying to maintaining bottom-line profits while managing some top-line growth, the current formula may have to do while current conditions prevail.

"Corporate America is doing substantially better than retail America. as a result, corporate earnings are ahead of Main Street," Vogelzang says. "It's the global reflation theme. The bigger companies that are tied to the emerging markets trades are doing the best."

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AIG's Asian Arm Raises $17.9 Billion in Hong Kong IPO

AIA, the Asian life insurance arm of American International Group, raised $17.85 billion by pricing its Hong Kong IPO at the top end an indicated range, sources with direct knowledge of the matter told on Friday, a deal that saw heavy demand from funds seeking a piece of one of the region's best known industry brands.

People arrive for the AIA group limited global offering in Hong Kong on October 6, 2010.

The pricing of the IPO puts an end to AIG's and failed to purchase AIA earlier this year.

The IPO will value AIA at $30.5 billion at top end and AIG will continue to hold 41.6 percent. AIG's stake will drop to 33 percent if it exercises the green-shoe option in full.

AIA sold 5.86 billion secondary shares at HK$19.68 each compared with a range of HK$18.38 to HK$19.68, the sources said. The company also exercised the upsize option to sell an additional 1.17 billion secondary shares, due to strong demand from investors.

Sources declined to be identified as AIG was yet to make the decision public. An AIA spokeswoman was not available for an immediate comment.

A poll released last week forecast AIG to sell shares at HK$19.14 each.

AIG will use the IPO proceeds to pay back part of the bail out package it received from the U.S. government during the 2008 financial crisis.

The IPO is on course to be the third-biggest ever globally, if AIG decides to exercise the green-shoe option.

AIA's trading debut is set for Oct. 29, under the symbol "1299".

AIA's unique position as the only listed life insurer with a wide foot print in the rapidly growing Asia Pacific region is a big draw for investors, fund managers said.

The company operates in 15 markets in Asia. Unlike many other foreign insurers, AIA has 100 percent ownership of its entities in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. AIA has more than 300,000 agents in Asia.

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Americans Growing More Pessimistic About Economy

The American dream appears increasingly elusive to the average citizen, with America Economic Survey finding continued high levels of pessimism in the nation’s outlook for incomes, home values and the future of the economy.

After trillions of dollars were put to work for monetary and fiscal stimulus, just 8 percent of the nation views the economy as excellent or good and 92 percent see it as fair or poor, little changed from a year ago.

But just 37 percent of the public believes the economy will improve in the next year, down five points from a year ago. Taken together, the combined percentage of Americans who are pessimistic about the economy now and for the next year is at the second highest for the three-year life of the  survey.

One doesn’t have to look far for the reasons for the prevailing pessimism. Just one in four Americans believe their wages will increase in the next year. Even fewer, one in five, believe their home price will rise.

Both figures are record lows for the survey. In March 2007, about half the public expected gains for both their home values and their wages.

The politics of pessimism weigh heavily on President Obama and the Democrats. The president’s approval rating on the economy remains stuck at 45 percent, with those who are pessimistic on the economy giving the president approval ratings in the low double digits.

Congressional Democrats can boast of approval from only 35 percent of the public, just a bit than higher than congressional Republicans, with a 31 percent rating.

But responses to a separate series of questions about who is to blame for the nation’s economic problems finds Congressional republicans low on the list, a good sign pollsters say for the GOP in the upcoming election.

Former President Bush is faulted by the 31 percent of the public for the current recession, far ahead of President Obama at 13 percent. Congressional Republicans are blamed by just 7 percent of the public for the recession.

The two presidents are closer on other issues. For example, 22 percent of the public blames Bush for the current level of unemployment, compared with 20 percent for President Obama.

While 39 percnt blame Bush and congressional Republicans for the deficit, 40 percent blame Obama and the congressional Democrats.

One of the most dramatic findings in the survey is a sharp turn in views on business regulation, an issue that finds President Obama at odds with a majority of the public. Nearly half of Americans now say that business is overregulated—up from 28 percent in other surveys conducted in 2009, and even higher than surveys that asked the question in the mid-1980s.

On many other economic issues, the survey finds Americans are deeply divided, with a slight edge that would appear to favor the GOP.

Just under half of the public wants to continue the tax cuts for the wealthy. 46 percent of the public says they should be ended.

Among the leading reasons to maintain the tax cuts, the survey finds the public is concerned about raising taxes in the current economic environment and the effects on small business.

Among those would want the tax cuts to end, the leading reason, cited by 26 percent, is that the money could be used for such programs as social security and education.

In second place, with 17 percent, is the response that “the wealthy do not pay their fair share in taxes.”

The Tea Party also sharply divides the public, but into three distinct camps: 31 percent say they agree with the party’s economic positions and 28 percent say they disagree.

Emotions are charged on both sides, with equal percentages saying they strongly agree and strongly disagree. But there’s a larger, third group: 41 percent of the public say they don’t have an opinion on the Tea Party or they are just not sure.

Finally, a majority of Americans do not believe this is a good time to invest in the stock market, about the same percentage as during the height of the financial crisis in 2008. Just 37 percent of the public say it’s a good time to invest.

The survey questioned 801 people and was conducted October 10-13. Complete results here.

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Look Ahead: G-20 Unlikely to End Talk of 'Currency Wars'

The falling dollar's strong grip on financial markets has inflated market expectations for the weekend G-20 finance ministers meeting in Korea, but the gathering is unlikely to end with little more than a few loose promises.

It will also not resolve the biggest issue on the table - the dispute between the U.S. and China on China's unwillingness to let its currency appreciate.

Analysts expect a statement from the finance ministers and central bankers, who meet Friday and Saturday ahead of the G-20 heads of state meeting in November. The group is also expected to tackle banking reform, but the drama in currency markets has overshadowed that part of the meeting.

Brian Dolan of said the ministers' statement Saturday is expected to say countries should avoid a round of competitive devaluations. "After the meeting is over, these individual countries will continue their efforts to manipulate their currencies," said Dolan.

The falling dollar has exacerbated the divide between the world's developed and emerging nations, which have seen their currencies rise in tandem with the dollar's decline. Brazil, for one, has attempted to stem the real's rise by taxing foreign investment. The dollar edged slightly higher Thursday against the euro, reversing an earlier move that took the euro over the $1.40 level. The dollar was also slightly higher against the yen.

"Ultimately everybody is united in wanting to see the Chinese allow their currencies to strengthen further. Obviously, it is undercutting their competitiveness in Asia with the Chinese maintaining the weak yuan. One of the reasons the currencies are appreciating is because the money can't go into China, so it's going on the path of the least resistance — into other emerging Asian economies. Brazil is the Latin American version of that," said Dolan. Brazil's finance minister Guido Mantega, who recently declared the world in a "currency war," is not attending the meeting.

During the past week, U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner has made more comments about the dollar than he's made in months. In a Wall Street Journal interview in Thursday's paper, Geithner said the major currencies (euro and yen) are "roughly in alignment now," and that the U.S. will pursue an approach that would encourage China and other countries to let their exchange rates appreciate. Geithner also said earlier in the week that theU.S. goal is not to devalue the dollar.

"He is basically saying the U.S. will not use the dollar like a weapon..We're going to use policy that's in our interest, but if the dollar falls so be it. We are not targeting the dollar, and the dollar does not need to fall against the major currencies. He seems to be targeting the problem towards China," said Marc Chandler, chief currency strategist with Brown Brothers Harriman. Chandler said Geithner, by commenting on the euro and yen, is also articulating a position for G-7 countries, who meet Friday ahead of the larger G-20 gathering.

"I think China resists them ganging up on them...I think it's sort of like Don Quixote going after the windmills. I don't think that's really where the problem is. I think it's a marginal factor," Chandler said of the Chinese currency. "The problem is they're a younger population than the U.S. and they're growing faster. Where they are in their development is they're basically saving a lot of money, and I think what they want to do is avoid some of the excesses."

Chinese officials have said their currency is not the problem, and that the U.S. needs to control its deficits. The U.S. contends that by keeping its currency low, China artificially cheapens prices for its good, crowding out others in world markets. Geithner also said the finance ministers are going to try to pursue efforts toward a "rebalance" of the world economy so it is less reliant on U.S. consumers for growth.

UBS senior economic adviser George Magnus believes China should move on its currency, and it should do so sooner rather than later because the adjustment will get increasingly difficult. "There has to be an almost Breton Woods kind of thing, acknowledging the global system is worth saving but not only the debtors have a responsibility to put their house in order, but that creditors have obligations too...I don't think its going to happen, at least not voluntarily," he said.

China this past week raised interest rates for the first time since the financial crisis began. "It's happened before and I think it was tactically astute for China to take the sting out of the issue, especially before big meetings like G-20, so it doesn't get attacked," said Magnus, the author of an upcoming book on China.

Chandler said there were market rumors that Geithner is seeking a very specific 3 percent move in the yuan before the November G-20 meeting, and that he is pushing for another 3 percent move between November and January. China recently has let its currency rise very slightly, but less than 3 percent, against the dollar since early September.

"There will be a statement this weekend. The communiqué will paper over some differences, but only the heads of state can engineer peace," said Chandler, adding more will be resolved at the November meeting.

Chandler said the dollar may actually be getting ready to break its downtrend, but that won't likely happen before the U.S. mid-term election Nov. 2 and the Fed's meeting Nov. 3, where it is expected to announce further easing. "The last four or five days was very choppy. I really thought the 1.40 level in the euro was going to be the top," said Chandler. The euro has made several recent runs to 1.40 but then backed away each time.

"Short-term momentum players, hedge funds have models that would still be selling the dollar, but it's getting close to New Year's eve at the party. I think we have two more weeks. I think this week showed us how hard the dollar can reverse," he said.

The Fed is expected to announce Nov. 3 that it will restart a program to buy Treasury securities, an event highly anticipated by the markets. The steep decline in the dollar, and coinciding rise in risk assets, like stocks and commodities, was triggered when the Fed began discussing so-called quantitative easing in late August.

"The Chinese have a good way of putting it. All thunder, no rain," said Chandler, noting just the whiff of easing has helped encourage the intended result in markets. "The key figures (Fed Chairman Ben) Bernanke and (New York Fed President William) Dudley have made very clear about the need to have more easing. If they do not ease now, it will be more destabilizing for the market than if they do this quantitative easing."

What Else to Watch

Besides G-20, traders are watching earnings Friday. Just a few major reports are expected from Nestle, Honeywell, Verizon, Ingersoll-Rand,Exelon, Schlumberger and KeyCorp.

Traders are also watching to see if the Dow will make another run at its April closing high of 11,205. It hit that level Thursday before backing down. "It made it to 11,210 and tested those previous highs and then failed," said Dolan, adding the stock market's retreat coincided with the turn higher in the dollar.

The Dow finished 38 points higher at 11,146, and the S&P 500 was up 2 at 1180. Treasurys declined, and the yield on the 10-year rose to 2.534 percent.

Consumer discretionary stocks were the best performers, up 0.8, followed by industrials, both global growth plays. Defensive utilities and telecom were the worst performers. Financials were down 0.2 percent, and Bank of America was a biggest loser on worries it will have a bigger hit from mortgage liabilities and speculation there was a big seller in the stock.

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Major Networks' Sites Blocking GoogleTV





Those networks aren't blocking GoogleTV users from accessing full length shows through Amazon, which sells episodes, or other apps — they're just not giving access to them on the sites designed for the Internet.

Broadcast networks are understandably uneasy with the idea of eliminating consumers' need for a broadcast signal. After all, that broadcast distribution generates both ad revenue and retransmission fees from cable operators.

Based on conversations with sources close to this complex negotiation, the networks are holding back to figure out what the business model of Google TV can be for them.

The media giants aren't afraid of engaging with Google TV . But it's the broadcast piece that's still up in the air.

Whether or not these nets will eventually make their content available on the new platform depends on a number of things — whether or not there's an authentication model, or perhaps more ad revenue.

Here's Google TV's statement:

"We’re in the early phases of Google TV and already have strong partnerships with Best Buy, Logitech and Sony, among others. We are excited about the opportunities our new platform creates for both established media companies like Turner and HBO, and tens of thousands of content creators large and small.

"Google TV enables access to all the web content you already get today on your phone and PC, but it is ultimately the content owner's choice to restrict users from accessing their content on the platform. "

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Chinese Bank Chief Urges Push Overseas

The chairman of one of China’s biggest state lenders has called on the country’s financial sector to speed up its expansion overseas in a strong sign that Beijing is considering allowing banks to resume offshore mergers and acquisitions.

ShanghaiBank of China's chairman Xiao Gang calls on the country’s financial sector to speed up its expansion overseas.

Xiao Gang, of the Bank of China, said in an essay published on Thursday that the post-financial crisis environment provided excellent opportunities for expansion, calling this an “inevitable trend”.

“The financial institutions devastated by the global crisis still need time to recover,” Mr Xiao wrote. “[Chinese] banks that have the ability should hasten their pace in ‘going abroad’ and increase their international competitiveness.”

Renewed interest in acquiring overseas institutions would mark a sharp policy change in Beijing, which virtually banned offshore mergers and acquisitions by Chinese financial groups as the crisis broke.

Mr Xiao said the banks’ offshore expansion should include acquisitions, while continuing the emphasis on organic growth to follow Chinese corporate customers into overseas markets.

“China’s banking sector first formulated its international expansion strategy years ago but this process was slowed down after the financial crisis broke out,” said Guo Tianyong, director of the Chinese banking research centre at Central University of Finance and Economics. “The outbound expansion of the banks is inevitable.”

"[Chinese] banks that have the ability should hasten their pace in ‘going abroad’ and increase their international competitiveness."

Xiao Gang
Chairman, Bank of China

Chinese lenders such as Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank and Agricultural Bank of China are the largest in the world in terms of market capitalisation and have the biggest profits.

With backing from the Chinese government – their biggest shareholder – they are expected to play a more important role in global finance, especially as large Chinese state corporations – their biggest customers – continue to seek new markets.

But Beijing has told banks to avoid trying to break into western markets through big, politically sensitive deals and concentrate on developing regions.

Mr Xiao echoed this line, saying banks should focus expansion on fast-growing emerging markets such as Southeast Asia, the Middle East, South America, Eastern Europe and Africa, where “cultural acceptance is stronger” and the banks could enjoy a competitive advantage.

Separately, BoC vice-president Yue Yi was quoted by a local newspaper saying his bank planned to acquire lenders in countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, whose members include Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia.

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Japan's Top-Selling Fall Foods

Famous ProduceJapan is searching for new engines of economic growth as traditional exports like autos and electronics face increasing competition from Asian rivals.As part of that ambition, the government is hoping to double the amount of agricultural and other food exports over the next seven years.Find out what some of Japan's most famous fall produce are.Matsutake, kaki or gingko nut anyone?By Kaori EnjojiTokyo MatsutakeMatsutake in peak season in mid-October.One perfect stem before peak harvest can cost more than 10,000 yen. Imports from China and South Korean cost one-tenth.Uniquely-Named FruitsWith names like Aurora, Renaissance and Niagara, branding produce is part of the Japan’s national agenda to revive the rural economies where they are harvested.

Gingko TreesThe gingko leaf is a symbol of longevity in Japan and many Confucian cultures.

Gingko NutThe pale green gingko nut adds seasonal color to fall Japanese dishes -  often used sparingly as one nut can cost 20 yen.

Nashi PearsNashi, or Japanese pears, bear no resemblance in shape or taste to western pears.

sweet to savory, chestnuts crop up in many dishes between October and the end of New Year festivities.Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan, has its own distinct culinary traditions, including Tamba chestnuts.

Fruit Tomatoes“Fruit tomatoes” the size of golf balls command a premium for their high sugar content.

Kaki PersimmonKaki persimmons are now sometimes spotted in urban supermarkets around the world.


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Fed Could Ease in Smaller Increments: Bullard

St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard said Thursday he would back Fed purchases of Treasury securities in $100 billion increments meeting-by-meeting if the U.S. central bank decides monetary easing is necessary, but stressed no decision has been made.

James Bullard"I've only seen a weak economy continuing along. That's why I've said before this would be a bit of a tough call here,'' Bullard told reporters Thursday.

"No decisions have been made and no decisions will be made until we get to the November meeting,'' Bullard told reporters.

"If we do decide to go ahead with quantitative easing ... we could think in units of about $100 billion,'' he said.

"And then I think we could give forward guidance for the next meeting that would suggest how likely the committee thinks it is to continue these purchases,'' he added.

The Fed cut interest rates to near zero in December 2008 and followed that with purchases of $1.7 trillion of longer-term securities to pull the economy out of recession.

Although the downturn officially ended in June 2009, persistently high unemployment and anemic growth have pushed the Fed to consider further monetary easing, which most analysts expect at the Fed's next policy meeting on Nov. 2-3.

Bullard, a voter on the Fed's policy-setting panel this year, declined to say whether he has made up his mind about the need for further easing. However, he said that while the recovery has not been derailed by a shock, sluggish economic growth and a grim jobs market have changed little in recent months.

"I've only seen a weak economy continuing along. That's why I've said before this would be a bit of a tough call here,'' he said. "On the other hand I agree ... that we've only got this weak data, weak job growth, and so we're not that different from the position we were in during the summer.''

Bullard has positioned himself in the center among his colleagues between the most inflation-focused hawks and the doves who place greatest emphasis on reducing unemployment. He has expressed concern that the United States is at risk of slipping into a deflationary downward spiral.

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Slideshow: Oh, to Be Rich and in Your 20s. Or Teens

15 million people still unemployed in the U.S. and companies being tight on their spending, it’s easy to throw your hands up and say, “But nobody’s hiring!” The truth is, if no big corporation is hiring, YOU can hire you — Become an entrepreneur. Study different types of business and figure out a niche where you can make money. All it takes is an idea and the drive to take it to market. And if you think being a small-business owner can’t make you a lot of money, or can’t make you a lot of money fast, we’ve found a few people who may change your mind. They are the Young Millionaires — Not famous people like rap stars and NBA players, but everyday people who made their first million in their 20s — or their teens! They were busy making their first million while others their age were fetching coffee — or playing with their friends.

Click ahead to read their stories — What their idea was, how they turned it into a business and how they made their first million before they were 30. By Cindy Perman“How I Made My Millions.” by age 16 Business: Auto parts, fashion Jon Koon’s dad was a car fanatic. Young Jon would look through his dad’s magazines — the car magazines, that is — from Japan. He saw all these super sleek cars and said to himself: “How come no one does that here?” Jon, a Chinese-American in New York City, took the $5,000 he’d received in red envelopes for holidays over the years and bought parts from overseas suppliers, partnered with a local mechanic, and started souping up cars with high-end finishes, audio systems and engine work. The business took off and later became one of the main suppliers for the show “Pimp My Ride.” He could’ve been a victim of his own success: The idea spread like wildfire and today, there are at least 60 to 70 shops in New York City that pimp out rides. Instead, he saw the changing landscape and got into the manufacturing business, starting his own line of parts – some high end, and some appealing to that impulse under $10 crowd, like the spinning-wheel air freshener. His manufacturing move opened the door to fashion and today, he manufacturers fashion lines including Young Jeezy 8732, a partnership with platinum recording artist “Young Jeezy,” and a denim line with Italian designer Domenico Vacca. He made his first million by age 16 and today, TyKoon Enterprises is worth $80 million — its profits jumped 500 percent during the recession.

“How I Made My Millions.” by age 25 Business: Pool cleaning Stewart Vernon, of Macon, Georgia, was always entrepreneurial, running a door-to-door car-wash and detailing business when he was a teenager. When he graduated from college, he knew he wanted to start his own business and saw a need for better service in the pool-service business. So, he used the few thousand dollars he’d saved up in college and in 2001, bought truck and some chemicals. And, he spent a few weeks shadowing a local pool cleaner who was about to retire. To get customers, he went door-to-door. The first four years, the revenue of ASP Pool and Spadoubled every year, making him a millionaire by 25. Today, he’s franchised that business, teaching other entrepreneurs, not only about the pool-cleaning business, but about how to become a millionaire within five years. There are 56 franchises throughout the southeast and a couple of them are coming up on that five –year mark – and their first million. His advice? “No matter what job you’re taking, deliver your product and back it up with exceptional service. That is what will separate you.”

“How I Made My Millions.”by age 13 Business: Bottle-cap jewelry for kids Maddie Bradshaw of Dallas, Texas says her family has always been creative – and into recycling. When she was 10, she wanted to decorate her locker. So, her uncle, who had an old Coke machine, gave her 50 bottle caps. She painted them and put magnets on them, and even gave some to her friends, who loved them. She liked them so much she decided to turn them into necklaces so she could take them anywhere with her. With the help of mom, Diane, she withdrew $300 she had saved up from birthdays, Christmases and the tooth fairy, and went out to buy supplies. She took about 50 of the necklaces, called “Snap Caps,” to the local toy store, and they sold out in a few hours. She made her first million by age 13. Today, m3 girl designshas 40 employees and sells over 60,000 necklaces per month in over 2,500 stores. They also make Snap Cap hair bows and Snap Cap “Huggers” to decorate your Ugg boots.She’s at the ripe old age of 14 now and a freshman in high school. In her spare time, she wrote a book, “How to Make Millions,” which comes out Nov. 1, and is working on a new jewelry line, called “Spark of Life” that appeals to an older age group – teens. She thinks she might want to be an immigration lawyer, patent attorney or publicist when she grows up -- but admits she still has a few years to decide. Her advice? “Follow your passion. If you come up with an idea and you love it, chances are other people will, too.”

“How I Made My Millions.” by his mid-20s Business: disaster-recovery work Tad Agoglia (far right) was actually planning to be a priest, getting his masters in theology. His great grandfather had a mechanic shop in Brooklyn and he used to help out there. As it turns out, his desire to help people, combined with his experience working with his hands, would come together to make him a millionaire. He noticed that during clean-up after a major storm, the trucks just weren’t big enough to move the debris fast enough. So, he took $300,000 he’d saved from odd jobs in lawn-mowing, pumping gas, house painting and other odd jobs, and bought the supplies to build the monster truck of all monster trucks: It’s 120 cubic yards, 20 times the size of the average dump truck, but has a secret weapon: A giant crane on top so it’s self-loading. The service that Disaster Recovery Solutions provided to disaster-stricken cities was so in demand, he made his first million by the time he was in his mid-20s. Most of us would’ve stopped there but the caregiver in him was frustrated by the fact that he was brought in three months after the fact, and people were suffering in the meantime. So, he turned his business into a nonprofit, called First Response Team, and now, they do immediate relief efforts FOR FREE. They’ve become a nomadic crew, camping out where they think the next storm will hit, so they’re ready with what sounds like Iron Man-caliber cool stuff: Mega-generators that can power a Walmart, tiny cameras that can dig into rubble to look for survivors and hovercraft, boats that can fly over the ground.



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America's Scariest Jobs 2010

America’s Scariest JobsCertain careers can be scary for many reasons and touch upon a variety of phobias, from the fear of death to the fear of performing in front of large crowds. Although these careers may not be scary to the people who do them on a daily basis, the general public certainly would not feel the same way. To get a sense of the jobs that push the limit for fright,,a national job portal, identified the 10 scariest jobs of 2010. The list was produced by comparing phobia rankings associated with each job to see which ones would strike the most fear into the hearts of workers. 10. Comedian normally considered an entertaining and hilarious profession, one of the biggest hurdles to becoming a comedian is the fear involved with getting up on stage. Almost every stand-up comedy workshop teaches students how to deal with their fears of being unsuccessful, being unknown or performing in front of a large and potentially critical crowd. Most successful comedians manage to conquer their fears - or never have any fear to begin with - and confidence is basically required if you were to make comedy your profession. However, if you have Geliophobia (fear of laughter), Gelotophobia (fear of being laughed at) or Kakorrhaphiophobia (fear of failure) you may be overcome with fear even before the first punch line. 9. Cryonics Technician , Cryonics deals with the low-temperature preservation of humans and animals with the hope that yet-to-be-developed technology will be able to resuscitate them at some point in the future. First proposed in 1962, about 200 people have undergone the procedure, which in the U.S. can only be performed on humans after they have been pronounced legally dead. Cryonics technicians are responsible for handling the bodies of individuals who have been frozen or carrying out the Cryonics procedures on a newly deceased individual. Technicians, usually employed by non-profits or other foundations, also research the prospects of reanimation, conduct family casework and educate the public on Cryonics. If you have Necrophobia (fear of death or dead things), Pagophobia (fear of ice or frost) or Cryophobia (fear of extreme cold), this job would certainly chill you to the core. 8. Bush Pilot Photo: Harrison Shull | Aurora | Getty Images Being a pilot is already one of the deadliest jobs out there, but bush pilots have chosen one of the most dangerous ways to fly. Bush flying requires landing in remote, inhospitable regions of the world, often where runways or landing strips do not exist. Generally, bush pilots fly over the Canadian or Alaskan tundra, the Australian Outback or portions of Africa, using planes that are specially designed for landing in dense undergrowth or on water. There are numerous reasons why someone would be scared of being a bush pilot. The fear of flying and fear of heights (Aviophobia and Acrophobia) could easily scare people away from this job, but also the idea of flying in remote areas with little help of rescue if something goes wrong. 7. Pharmaceutical Trial Subject Some people may not think of this as an viable job, but there are people out there who make a good living as a pharmaceutical trial subject, although some of these subjects refer to the experience as making them a “human lab rat.”The job involves being subjected to research studies of pharmaceutical products and procedures that have yet to be approved by the FDA or other regulatory agencies. For those who listen astutely to drug commercials on TV, generally the side effects listed during the commercial have been experienced by a pharmaceutical trial subject. Experiencing severe side effects is always a possibility, and the prospect of these unknown effects, or even death, is enough to scare anyone. For all the risk (and fear) involved, long-term medical trials can pay in the range of $100-$300 per day and websites such as GPGPhave popped up to list available trials. If you have Trypanophobia (fear of needles) you may want to think twice about trying out this job. 6. CTS Decon Technician Getty ImagesCrime and Trauma Scene Decontamination technicians are faced with cleaning up potentially bio-hazardous situations, violent crime scenes or fatal accidents. Often dealing with the aftermath of a tragic situation or potentially hazardous materials, there are a range of reasons why someone would be scared of this job. Many CTS Decon services are called in to clean up the scene of a suicide or accidental death, which would conjure up a range of fears and uneasiness for most people. 5. Field Epidemiologist Epidemiology is the study of disease in populations with the intent to understand, cure, and prevent infectious disease as they occur. Field Epidemiology, the application of epidemiological methods in non-clinical settings, is generally more risky than working in a traditional medical setting. Often putting themselves in close proximity to communicable and little understood diseases, doctors working as field epidemiologists certainly put themselves at risk, which would scare anyone with Mysophobia (fear of germs, contamination or dirt) or Nosophobia (fear of contracting a disease). Although scary for some, the work of field epidemiologists directly serves the greater good, working to build data on diseases in order to treat the cause and prevent outbreaks, which can happen both in urban areas and in poverty-stricken countries. 4. Bomb Squad TechnicianImagesBomb squad technicians are tasked with controlling hazardous explosive devices - often in populated areas - and rendering them safe. Since even a small error could prove fatal and the job itself places workers in immediate danger, it’s no wonder that bomb squad technicians are among the scariest jobs in America. The profession was given center stage in the 2009 film "The Hurt Locker", but bomb squad technicians are not only confined to conflict zones. The LAPD, which employs 28 full-time bomb technicians on call 24 hours per day, responds to about 1,000 service calls each year, using special tools such as bomb suits, x-ray devices and bomb blankets. According to their website, approximately 22% of the calls they handle are live explosive devices, a scary prospect for even the most highly trained technicians. The closest major phobias are Nucleomitiphobia (fear of nuclear bombs) and Thanatophobia (fear of dying), although you would also expect most people to have a general fear of explosions. 3. Broadcast Tower Technician The job of Broadcast Tower Technician is far scarier than other high-flying jobs such as sky scraper window washers. Recently, when a video of a technician free climbing the top portion of a 1763 foot broadcast tower (30 feet taller than the Sears Tower) went viral online, many people got a taste of just how scary this job can be. Broadcast towers, the tallest of which is the KVLY-TV tower in North Dakota at 2,063 feet, require manual maintenance, and technicians must physically climb to the top of the tower. Often, the only safety mechanism is a harness that can be connected to the tower’s structure only when the technician is not ascending or descending. The main phobias associated with this job are Acrophobia (fear of heights) and Astraphobia (fear of thunder and lightning), which are real fears for Broadcast Tower Technicians.

2. Miner Miners are tasked with extracting ore or minerals from the earth, which requires work in an often dangerous subterranean environment. With the recent rescue of 33 Chilean miners and several highly publicized fatal mine collapses and explosions, it’s no mystery why miners have a scary job. The use of underground explosives, heavy machinery and the prospect of poor ventilation in some mines give potential workers numerous reasons to fear. Claustrophobia (the fear of small spaces), Achluophobia (fear of darkness) and Mysophobia (fear of germs or dirt) are all fears associated with the mining profession. 1. Forensic Entomologist Forensic entomology uses the study of insect and arthropod biology to criminal investigations, from death investigations to detecting drugs and poisons. Forensic entomologists can also be called in for “urban entomology,” where pest infestations are the basis of litigation, or the scale of pesticide treatments can be understood. “It’s no surprise that Forensic Entomologist came out on top,” says Tony Lee, publisher, “Forensic Entomologists carve up cadavers in search of crime scene clues, but with a unique twist – their specialty is not the bodies themselves, but the insects living inside the bodies. Forensic Entomologists can determine the time or place a crime occurred based on the type of beetles, flies or maggots living inside the victim.” Phobias include Necrophobia (fear of dead bodies), Entomophobia (fear of insects) and Hemophobia (fear of blood). Forensic entomologists get the top spot as scariest job, not for the danger associated with the profession, but for the intense, creepy-crawly nature of the work that would surely scare off most people.

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Men and Women Split on Obama, Tea Party, Economy

The old saying is that men are from Mars and women are from Venus.

Politically, female respondents were gentler on the Obama administration and more critical of Republican responses to the White House.

And the two genders are definitely split on the issue of regulation. Among the men surveyed, 56 percent think business is over-regulated. That's compared to just 41 percent of women.

The contrast is even greater when the issue of the political Tea Party is discussed. A major component of the Tea Party platform is reducing the size, scope and power of the federal government.

According to the survey, 38 percent of men support the Tea Party's economic policies, while the number was 25 percent for women. It should be noted, however, that 41 percent of respondents did not register an opinion on the Tea Party.

It's not surprising, based on the previous data, that more women than men are in favor of allowing tax cuts to expire for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans. In fact, nearly half of all women in the survey supported the expiration of tax cuts from households making more than $250,000 a year.

Finally, when it comes to investing, perhaps it's not that men are from Mars and women from Venus. It's more like men are from the bull market camp, while women have a closer affinity to the bears.

Of all the women surveyed, 57 percent think it's a "bad" time to invest—much higher than the guys. When the question was put the other way, only 30 percent of women consider it a "good" time to put some money to work.

And when asked whether they would use a pay raise to invest in the markets, nearly twice as many men said they'd be inclined to get more involved in the markets as women.

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Congress distances itself from Suresh Kalmadi

The controversy surrounding the Commonwealth Games seems to be unending. After Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi have snubbed CWG Organising Committee chief Suresh Kalmadi, it is the turn of Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit to point fingers at Kalmadi.

Sheila Dikshit on Saturday said the "suspicion" of corruption in the Commonwealth Games is on the Organising Committee headed by Suresh Kalmadi and welcomed the "instantaneous" probe ordered by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh which would clear the "cobwebs".

Suresh Kalmadi on his part welcomed the probe and said that he and his team had delivered a the Games successfully.

Significantly, Kalmadi hinted that the Shunglu committee in his probe must cover all aspects, implying that it is not just Organising Committee (OC) but others too who must be under the scanner.

Government sources have pointed out that everyone will have to answer questions and offer explanation while the probe is on. Shunglu committee will concentrate on the alleged irregularities of the OC, while agencies will look into it and even audit revenue and expenditure of the DDA, NDMC, MCD, urban development ministry and the Delhi government. This audit will be on the basis of further investigation.

Home Minister P Chidambaram said, ?That the government will have to fast track the probe and audit is pushed by the fact that the BJP is insisting on a complete probe. While Kalmadi is the focus, others should also be investigated.?

BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said, "All aspects in total must be thoroughly investigated."

True to Congress culture, the distancing of Suresh Kalmadi has already begun within his party but the OC chairman can take consolation from the fact that he may not be the only one who may end up being punished.

Dikshit said the corruption could have taken place in the activities undertaken by the Organising Committee to which the Central government had given loans to the tune of Rs. 1,600 crore.

She was of the view that Kalmadi, who is the target of attack over the mess that was witnessed in run up to the Games, had failed to "win confidence" of people.

"We feel relieved and happy (at the successful Games). But what is disturbing is the corruption charges. They are very disturbing," Dikshit said in an interaction with journalists.

"The fact that the Prime Minister has taken almost an instantaneous decision to order probe into the whole thing and have the picture ready by January, that I think is very heartening," she said.

The Prime Minister set up a high-level committee headed by former CAG V K Shunglu to probe the organising of the CWG, a day after the mega-sporting event got over.

Dikshit, who answered a range of questions on CWG preparations and the controversies surrounding it, underlined that the allegations of corruption are "not going to be pushed under the carpet".

She said the "real corruption seems to be with regard to the money given as loans (to the OC)".

Noting that infrastructure development was the government's job, the Chief Minister said the Centre had given "a number of loans (to OC) and that is where the real corruption is. There may have also been (corruption) in some government departments. I am not ruling that out."

Referring to probe ordered by the Prime Minister, she said, "I think only this committee which has been set up will be able to clear the cobwebs. At the moment the suspicion is very much on the OC."

When pointed out that Kalmadi was jeered at the opening and closing ceremonies of the CWG, Dikshit said, "I think unfortunately, Suresh was not able to win confidence...they cheered to me because I am the face they see."
Asked whether Delhi government will conduct a probe into corruption charges involving CWG-related projects undertaken by it, she said there are no such plans so far but it may be done if the Comptroller and Auditor General asks.
She, however, said the Delhi government would not be able to investigate itself as "there will not be credibility (of the government probing itself)".

On the allegations of "filthy and unlivable" living conditions at the Games Village ahead of the event, she said the builder Emmar-MGF, DDA and Organising Committee have to "share" responsibility for it.

"Emmar-MGF built the Village and handed it over to the DDA which in turn handed it over to the Organising Committee... These are the three agencies who were responsible for it," she noted.

After the unlivable conditions at the Village came to light, the Delhi government was given the charge, about a week ahead of the Games, of cleaning it up and getting it ready in time.

Dikshit questioned the rationale of taking over the Village from the builder by DDA "when one has found most of its basements were flooded with water".
She asked, "How do you take over from a builder when the railings of the balcony are not there? How do you take over from the builder when the lifts are not functioning? Why did DDA do that and then if DDA had done it, why did the OC take it over in the condition it was?"

The chief minister refused to comment when asked about Lt Governor Tejender Khanna writing to the prime minister to protest against Dikshit taking credit for getting the Games Village ready.

"I will rather not comment on this because you know it is something he (LG) did. I really have no comments to offer and everybody has the right to write to the prime minister, President or any one," she said.

Asked whether Delhi is ready to host Olympics, she said, "We have the confidence today. We can bid... Whether we can get it or not is a different matter. I think the world also has the confidence that we can do it despite the fact that we got very very poor publicity."

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Correction likely to continue: Vasudeo

Technical Analyst, Hitendra Vasudeo:

Signs of a correction were seen in the last two weeks without any significant dent in the benchmark indices. The fall from the weekly high to close at the lower level of the week confirms that the correction mode for the near-term is in existence. The correction can get sideways but the nature of movement is likely to be corrective in nature. Our expectation as headlined last week was for a correction before a new high is attained. The last headline was totally in keeping with the actual market movement witnessed last week. On western technicals a strong weekly downward bar reversal is seen.

Last week, the BSE Sensex opened at 20291.59, attained a high of 20854.55 and fell to a low of 20090.18 before it finally closed at 20125.05 and thereby showed a net fall of 125 points on a week-to-week basis.

Candlestick Check Up

(a) Daily Chart

In the last 10 trading days, we had 3 white (positive) candles and 7 black (negative) candles, which suggest that the correction is likely to be on and that the bears are trying to wrest control as the market had rallied in the last few weeks. In the last 50 trading days, we had 26 white (positive) candles and 24 black (negative) candles, which is balanced at this point. As far as the extreme near term is concerned, the for sideways movement is for a retracement/correction of the last corresponding rise.

(b) Weekly Chart

In the last 10 weeks, we have 7 white positive candles and 3 black negative candles, which shows that the bulls are still in control. In the last 50 weeks, the bull domination is visible with 33 white positive candles and only 17 black negative candle.

The message from the candlestick check-up is that the extreme near term sideways to correction move cannot be ruled out. The weekly candle has the long upper shadow and its closing is below the previous week?s close. This definite bearish behaviour significantly occurred at the high point of this rally.

Weekly Support will be at 2000-19800. Resistance will be at 20264-20438-20854.

The retracement of the rise from 17819 to 29854 is placed at 19692-19332-18973. None of these retracements are likely to be tested before making further attempts to move higher.

The Broad Market

The candlestick movement in the last 2 weeks in BSE Mid Cap index is not encouraging, which straight away suggests that profit booking is being witnessed. Traders and investors need to book profits before getting into new positions. Resistance will be at 8500-8650, which seems unlikely to be crossed before a correction.

On a back-to-back week, we have a shooting star candlestick pattern that suggests near term exhaustion in the BSE Small Cap index. Resistance will be at 10900. The BSE Small Cap looked better during the week but profit booking pressure reduced its gains. BSE Small Cap can accelerate up, if the resistance of 10900 is crossed. In that case it can race towards 11800.


Correction possibility remains before making further attempts to move higher.

Strategy for the week

Hold long positions broadly with a stop loss of 19800. Traders can book profit on rise towards 21206.

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Friday, October 22, 2010

APEC nations aim to boost agricultural productivity

Asia Pacific nations agreed on Sunday to boost the region's agricultural productivity through technology transfer and information sharing as climate change and a fall in arable land threaten future food supplies.

The 21-member countries of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) also called for "responsible" agricultural investment as rising acquisition of farmland in developing countries by other nations to ensure their own food supplies is causing friction with local people.

"Climate change will affect agricultural products a lot around the world in the foreseeable future," Phillip J Glyde, deputy secretary, department of agriculture fisheries and forestry of Australia, told a news conference.

He said Australia enjoyed a good harvest this year, but "the real challenge will be at the next twenty, thirty or fifty years to feed more people with less water, less land and climate constraint environment".

Thai Agriculture Minister Theera Wongsamut said the country, a big rice exporter, was going to adjust its irrigation systems after heavy rainfall due to the La Nina weather phenomenon caused serious disruption in some parts of the country.

The world needs to produce 70% more to feed the projected global population in 2050, and 90% of the growth in crop production needs to come from higher yields and more efficient use of land due in part to limited arable land, Michihiko Kano, Japan's agricultural minister said.

The APEC nations adopted 62 action plans aimed at sharing technology and information mainly through websites and workshops.

"Land grabbing" is one of lingering effects of a spike in food prices in 2007 and 2008, when food importing countries with land and water constraints such as the Gulf States increased investments in farmland abroad.

Countries with large populations and food security concerns, such as China, South Korea and India, were seeking opportunities to produce food overseas, the International Food Policy Research Institute said.

China and South Korea are among the APEC members, along with the United States, Russia, Canada, Australia and other Southeast Asian countries.

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Yen strength prompts Toyota to consider new Mexico plant

Toyota Motor Corp is considering building its second car plant in Mexico to boost local output due to the yen's strength, the Asahi newspaper reported on Saturday.

The yen's rise to a 15-year high against the dollar is threatening the competitiveness of Japanese exports and prompting manufacturers to consider shifting more output outside Japan.

Toyota, which makes pickup trucks mainly for the US market in Mexico, plans to produce compact cars for North America at the new factory from around 2013, the paper said, without citing sources.

The carmaker now exports compact cars to the region from Japan, but strength in the yen is pressuring its profits, the Asahi said. The paper also said Toyota will respond to growing demand for low-cost compact cars in Mexico with the new plant.

Toyota is also considering halting exports from Japan of the Collora sedan from around 2013 due to the strong yen, Japanese media reported earlier the week. provide you the 99% sure shot stock market tips so that you can trade positively in stock market .

Two years on, credit rallies, and it`s no bubble

Bond investors' increasing appetite for risk, which has triggered a wave of cheap finance for companies, appears sustainable because it is driven by a shortage of supply and credible alternatives.

Near-zero interest rates and quantitative easing have opened the floodgates to allow cash to flow to banks and corporations at lower cost -- policymakers' key objective.

The past month saw Australia's Santos sell a deeply subordinated perpetual bond, effectively equity capital, paying 8.25%.

But for Santos the cost falls to just 6% because debt is tax deductible, compared to the 12% it would have cost to raise true share capital.

Against a backdrop of bond deals that are reminiscent of the great bull credit market that ended in 2007, it is unsurprising that some are unsettled by unconventional monetary policies.

This week, new vice chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve Janet Yellen said in her first speech it was possible for low interest rates to contribute to financial bubbles.

But one key element has been stripped out -- leverage. And credit bubble theorists have little supporting evidence of asset inflation in the real economy.

"There are differences between now and 2006. Back then, corporate leverage was increasing, and external leverage was used to maximise returns, in the form of structured credit vehicles," said Goldman Sachs strategist Alberto Gallo.

"Now, credit quality is improving, and demand comes from un-levered investors."

Furthermore, unlike the pre-crunch era when the credit bubble boosted economic growth and financial assets, now both private and public sectors are delevering, cutting systemic risk.

Strategists at Citi expect European banks' asset/equity ratios to fall to around 23 in 2010 from a peak of 29 at the end 2007.

Riskier bonds boom

Investment-grade bluechips, who have amassed massive cash piles, are no longer borrowing in the bond market at a rate that can satisfy investor appetite.

By the third quarter, their volumes fell 7.5% compared with the same period in 2009.

And even when they do issue they can do so with record low coupons, with Microsoft paying just 0.75 percent for a three year bond in September.

This has created a technical imbalance, prompting fixed income fund managers to cast their eyes elsewhere in a search for investments.

The benign backdrop and low yields helps explain the boom in riskier bonds such as the corporate hybrid for Santos, and also sub-investment grade and ultra-long dated deals.

Pimco's co-chief investment officer Bill Gross noted on the bond fund's website that investors are "faced with 2.5% yielding bonds and stocks staring into new normal real (economic) growth rates of 2% or less."

Investor concerns about sovereign default and fears of a double-dip recession have roiled stockmarkets this year.

"The volatility in equities is what a lot of investors are concerned about -- they want a little bit of risk with manageable volatility," says Sarang Kulkarni, a European credit fund manager at Schroder Investment Management.

Bonds are sought after precisely because the macro outlook is fragile, with the long-term prognosis of the euro zone's periphery far from healthy.

"There is a lot of demand for fixed income because we're in a low growth and low rate environment," says Goldman's Gallo.

He argues that many investors are comfortable, given low inflation and defaults, and that historically corporate bonds perform well when economic growth is between zero and 2 percent.

And yet purchasing investment-grade bonds currently offers thin returns of roughly 3.5% in dollars and 3.1% in the euro zone, a sharp drop from October 2007 when the yield was 5.96 and 5.12% respectively.

"Are they really overvalued? Maybe, compared to historical norms, but they seem to be reasonably well priced given the outlook for inflation and growth. Most corporates will continue in shoring up their balance sheets," said Kulkarni.

He said that much of the gains made by bonds have been down to the strong performance in underlying government bonds.

Both Kulkarni and Gallo argue that it will be hard for investment-grade bonds to see double-digit returns in 2011 as has been seen in the previous two years.

Barclays Capital's Euro aggregated corporate index (investment grade) has returned 7.24% year-to-date, compared with 15.7% in 2009. The corresponding high-yield index has returned 16.55% this year, even if it is down from 76.1% in 2009.

Against this backdrop the boom in riskier bonds such as sub-investment grade, corporate hybrids and ultra-long dated deals makes a lot of sense.

Mexico's fresh 100-year bond, which yields just 6.1%, was another which highlighted the fact that the risk versus reward trade-off is skewed in borrowers' favour.

Sub investment grade issuers, in particular, have benefited from investors' search for yield. But investors' willingness to lend is by no means indiscriminate, as it was before the buggle burst, when every credit could find a price.

Now weak banks and sovereigns, such as Greece and Ireland, in the euro zone cannot find buyers, and even high grade companies have found demand wanting if spread is lacking. provide you the 99% sure shot stock market tips for trading in share market  .

Market cues: NSE FO Open Int up by Rs 6098cr

Market cues:

Results today: L&T, Essar Oil, HDFC, Sesa Goa

Coal India IPO
Issue of 63.1 crore shrs at Rs 225-245 per share

Mkts to have a 15-min pre-open call auction

NSE F&O Open Int was up by Rs 6,098 crore at Rs 1.78 lakh crore

As per provisional data of October 15, FIIs were net sellers of Rs 113 crore; DIIs were net sellers of Rs 1053 crore in cash markets. FIIs were net sellers of Rs 179 crore in F&O.

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FIFA to investigate report of World Cup voteselling

World soccer's governing body FIFA said on Sunday it would investigate a newspaper report that two members of its executive committee had offered to sell their votes in the contest to host the 2018 World Cup.

FIFA will decide on December 2 in Zurich which countries will host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. The choices will be made by the 24-strong executive committee

"FIFA has already requested to receive all of the information and documents related to this matter , and is awaiting to receive this material," FIFA said in a statement.

"In any case, FIFA will immediately analyse the material available and only once this analysis has concluded will FIFA be able to decide on any potential next steps.

"In the meantime, FIFA is not in a position to provide any further comments on this matter."

England and Russia are bidding for the 2018 finals along with joint bids from Spain/Portugal and Belgium/Netherlands.

The candidates for 2022 are the United States, Japan, South Korea, Qatar and Australia.

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China govt researcher sees GDP up 9% in 2011: Xinhua

China's gross domestic product is likely to rise about 9% in 2011, showing a slow-down from an estimated growth of 10% this year, a senior researcher at a government think tank said in remarks published on Sunday.

Liu Shijin, a deputy director of the Development Research Centre under the State Council, the cabinet, said China's economy would slow to a moderate pace in the coming three to five years, citing challenges from rising labour costs, excess liquidity and difficulty in finding a new source of growth.

China's economy grew 10.3 percent in the second quarter of this year after a rise of 11.9 percent in the first quarter, in what the government described as an expected moderation resulting from targeted structural adjustment.

But Liu sounded an optimistic note on the slowing pace of economic growth.

"Actually, we don't have to be too worried about an economy with moderate expansion," the official Xinhua News Agency quoted him as saying at a forum.

"Because the current economic growth is too high for China."

Liu warned that the easing monetary policy taken by the Federal Reserve would further weigh down the dollar and put pressure on other non-dollar currencies, including the yuan, to appreciate in the future.

Rich economies are introducing a fresh round of quantitative easing, fuelling speculation that rampant liquidity could be channelled to emerging markets.

He added that China's economic stimulus package also injected excessive liquidity into the market, pushing up prices of commodities, equities and other land-related assets or resources.

China's exports and investments would be much better in 2011 than this year, but the growth rate of consumption would pull back slightly from this year's boom, Liu added.

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

ECB`s Trichet says global economy needs rebalancing

There is wide general agreement on the need to rebalance the global economy but difficulties remain with the pace of action, European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet said on Sunday.

"There is a large level of consensus at the global level on the strategies you need to have," he said in a speech at a conference in the Italian town of Rimini.

He said mature economies with big deficits needed to make savings while emerging economies with big surpluses realised they needed to stimulate domestic demand.

"This rebalancing is necessary otherwise we would pave the way for future problems but that being said, the pace of the rebalancing is the real problem," he said.

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India`s growth to moderate next fiscal year: Survey

India's economic growth is on track to accelerate in 2010/11 on the back of monsoon rains but expectations for growth in the following year have moderated slightly, a quarterly Reuters poll shows.

Analysts raised their expectations for how far the Reserve Bank will lift rates in the fiscal year to the end of March 2011, reflecting signs that demand pressures, especially for consumer durables, are building in Asia's third-biggest economy.

A survey of 21 economists produced a median forecast that the economy would grow 8.4% in the year ending March

2011, unchanged from a similar poll conducted in July and up from growth in 2009/10 of 7.4%.

They projected growth of 8.3% in 2011/12, slightly below 8.5% forecast in July.

"Rising cost pressures and global uncertainties are likely to have a sobering impact on India's growth momentum," said Rupa Rege Nitsure, chief economist at Bank of Baroda.

Wholesale price inflation is forecast at 8.3% at the end of 2010/11, similar to current levels, before moderating to

5.7% the following year. This compares with 8.6% and 5.5%, respectively, in the previous poll.

The Reserve Bank expects WPI inflation to ease to 6% in March 2011.

The cut in forecasts for inflation at the end of the fiscal year reflect the view that a healthy monsoon will bring down food prices, which have a big influence on the headline index.

However, rising demand for consumer durables, such as cars, will need sterner action from the central bank than previously forecast because of the risk that these price pressures can filter more broadly through the economy.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has raised its short-term lending rate by a total of 125 basis points in five moves in

2010 to 6%, but is seen to be nearing the end of its current tightening cycle.

The poll forecast that the RBI would raise the repo rate, at which it lends to banks, by another 50 basis points to 6.50% by the end of March 2011.

Just one more 25 basis point hike is expected in the following fiscal year.

The rupee is forecast to be around current levels at the end of December, but is seen appreciating by about 1.2% between now and the end of March. It is up 4.3% so far in 2010 after having climbed 4.7% in 2009.

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FO cues: Futures Open Int down Rs 236 crore

F&O cues:

Futures Open Int down Rs 236 crore

Options Open Int up Rs 6334 crore

Nifty Futures add 3 lakh shares in Open Int

Nifty Futures at 30-point premium

Nifty Open Int PCR at 1.28 versus 1.35

Nifty Puts add 33 lakh shares in Open Int

Nifty Calls add 62 lakh shares in Open Int

Nifty 6000 Put adds 14.8 lakh shares in Open Int

Nifty 5900 Put adds 5.8 lakh shares in Open Int

Nifty 6200 Put sheds 9 lakh shares in Open Int

Nifty 6100 Call adds 23 lakh shares in Open Int

Nifty 6200 Call adds 18 lakh shares in Open Int

Stock Futures add 2.6 cr shares in Open Int

FIIs in F&O on October 15

Net sell Rs 526 crore in Nifty Futures

Net buy Rs 1039 crore in Nifty Options

Net sell Rs 663 crore in Stock Futures

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Asia trading mixed; Nikkei up, Seoul Composite down

At 7: 36 am (IST), Asian  stock market were trading mixed. China's Shanghai Composite was up 0.96% or 28.53 points at 2,999.69.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 0.27% or 64.51 points at 23,693.12.

Japan's Nikkei added 0.60% or 56.84 points at 9,557.09.

Singapore's Straits Times was up 0.35% or 11.07 points at 3,215.34.

South Korea's Seoul Composite was down 0.36% or 6.87 points at 1,895.42.

Taiwan's Taiwan Weighted fell 0.99% or 81.51 points at 8,123.79.

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IOC hikes petrol price by 72 paise a litre

Oil major Indian Oil Corporation hiked its petrol prices by 72 paise a litre effective from 16 October. Petrol in Delhi will now cost Rs 52.55 a litre and the rate in other cities too would go up depending on the local taxes levied.

The government of India had, in June, deregulated petrol prices; thereby allowing state oil marketing companies to decide their own petrol pricing based on their cost of production.

This has been the second petrol price hike since June 2010.

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Yen strength prompts Toyota to consider new Mexico plant

Toyota Motor Corp is considering building its second car plant in Mexico to boost local output due to the yen's strength, the Asahi newspaper reported on Saturday.

The yen's rise to a 15-year high against the dollar is threatening the competitiveness of Japanese exports and prompting manufacturers to consider shifting more output outside Japan.

Toyota, which makes pickup trucks mainly for the US market in Mexico, plans to produce compact cars for North America at the new factory from around 2013, the paper said, without citing sources.

The carmaker now exports compact cars to the region from Japan, but strength in the yen is pressuring its profits, the Asahi said. The paper also said Toyota will respond to growing demand for low-cost compact cars in Mexico with the new plant.

Toyota is also considering halting exports from Japan of the Collora sedan from around 2013 due to the strong yen, Japanese media reported earlier the week. provide you the 99% sure shot stock market tips so that you can trade positively in stock market .

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

AIA sets IPO price range,may offer upto 8.08bn shrs

AIA Group Ltd, which is aiming to raise up to USD 20.5 billion through a Hong Kong listing, said it had set an IPO price range of HK$18.38-19.68 per share.

It said the base offering would comprise of 5.86 billion shares and that upto 8.08 billion shares, including the greenshoe upsized option, may be offered.

"With the global offering, AIA will become the only independant, listed life insurance group exclusively focused on the Asian growth opportunity -- the first of its kind in the life insurance sector," a statement from AIA said quoting CEO Mark Tucker.

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Overdrive: Roadtest of the multipurpose Tata Aria

Here's a slice of what's lined up on Tata

{1} Sirish Chandran tests the Tata Aria: We Indians love sport utility vehicle (SUVs) maybe it?s the size or the sheer brut bulling power, whatever, we love SUVs and we buy Scorpio and Safari in really large numbers. We Indian also like to travel in large numbers that why Multi Utility Vehicle (MUVs) and multi purpose vehicle (MPVs) do so well. But what Tata Motors believes is that there is a growing segment of people who wants both the desirability of an SUV with the practicality of an MPV and that?s why we have the Tata Aria, the most expensive Tata Motors? product in the country today.

{2} Sandeep Srikanth brings us first drive of the Skoda Fabia: Volkswagen has been hogging the headlines with its new launches the Polo and the Vento but it?s now the turn of the sister brand Skoda to steal some of its limelight. 2009 was a great year with a launch of the updated Laura and the Superb and now it?s the turn of the Fabia. Sandeep Srikanth finds out what is new. 

{3} Honda City on a drive to discover: Honda?s cars have always had a certain aspirational value in India but with the German invasion well underway and the Volkswagen Vento going head to head with its champion the time certainly are changing. The drive to discover then was a chance to spend sometime with one of India?s most iconic cars and reassess its strengths and weakness.   

For more please watch the accompanying videos. provide you the 99% sure shot  stock market tips so that you can trade positively in share market .

IPL a great property, will last through crisis: Nita Ambani

Be it Modi?s fund forgery or Board of Control for Cricket in India?s (BCCI) various warnings, nothing is going to deter the spirit of Indian Premier League?s (IPL) teams. The team owners are confident to sail past through the crisis and once again get back the glorious day.

Nita Ambani, wife of billionaire industrialist Mukesh Ambani and co-owner of IPL Mumbai Indians said that IPL is a great property and will last through this crisis,

In a euphoric mood, she said, ?We have enjoyed the whole IPL challenge. Mumbai Indians have helped discover domestic talent.? provide you the 99% sure shot stock market tips  for trading in stock market .

Excl: Harvard\'s Tarun Khanna on how to win in emerging mkts

He is a management thinker. Tarun Khanna is Jorge Paulo Lemana Professor at Harvard Business School, where he has studied, and has worked with multinational companies and investors in emerging markets worldwide. He has served as the head of several courses on strategy, corporate governance, and international business targeted to MBA students and senior executives at Harvard. He serves on the board of India's largest microfinance company, SKS Microfinance.

Khanna recently wrote a book, 'Billions of Entrepreneurs: How China and India Are Reshaping Their Futures and Yours'. But we are here to talk about his latest book which he has written in collaboration with Krishna Palepu, 'Winning in Emerging Markets'.

In an exclusive interview with President and Director of Editorial, Senthil Chengalvarayan, Khanna redefines emerging markets and speaks about the challenges posed by institutional voids and how to manage them.

Below is a verbatim transcript of the interview. Also watch the accompanying video.

Q: When you talk about emerging markets (EMs), who is this book written for? Is it people, for anybody wanting to enter in any EM or are there some EMs more equal than others that you are looking at in this book?

A: All of the above and some more. It is meant to speak to anybody who has an interest in understanding what is going on in the EMs around the world and to provide a conceptual map, so they can begin to understand their way around the opportunities and pitfalls in these EMs.

Q: It?s a very large universe - when I read through the book, I find tables that seem to lump and this is no disrespect to some of the countries, a Korea, a Brazil, a China and India in the same basket as say a Nigeria or a Pakistan. So it's a very broad basket?

A: And I would make it even broader. I would put in United States in that also. The reason is that ultimately we are defining an EM simply and I hope powerfully as a situation where buyers and sellers have trouble coming together. And those situations as you saw with the recent subprime meltdown and the mortgage fiasco in the US could happen in developed economies also.

By and large they tend to happen more in the developing economies, the poorer countries which happen to be the faster growing countries today. But there is nothing conceptually axiomatic about that, it doesn?t have to happen in poor countries.

We hope that the part of the framework is in pointing out commonalities across different situations that people may not think are common as well as in identifying idiosyncrasies that are unique to different markets, so that people who start with the framework will have a very concrete Monday morning action plan to say, these are some of the things that I must address if I want to be active and successful in this place.

Q: So when you lumped in the US with this, so you are looking at an EM is somewhere where as you have mentioned later where an institution fails. But what is more important, is it the size of the market, is it growth opportunity?

A: None of the first set. In fact the starting point for this book was when my colleague Krishna and I realized that a lot of the existing definition of EMs were almost tautological. In other words people said that EM is simply one that is poor or fast growing or corrupt or you pick your adjective you wish to use.

Those are fine as descriptions of EMs but they don?t really tell you what the defining characteristic is. They don?t tell you what to do, what the action implication is of a particular situation being emerging or of emerging market A being emerging in a different way from emerging market B.

So the defining characteristic for us is simply the failure of buyers and sellers to either find each other, to have the information of where the others are, or the failure of buyers and sellers to consummate a transaction with each other because they are worried about the sanctity of the contracts, they worry that the other party isn't trustworthy, things of that nature. That is the defining characteristic

Q: You have mentioned that all EMs feature institutional voids and you go on to define three institutional voids that you think are important, that is the absent or unreliable sources of market information, an uncertain regulatory environment and an inefficient judicial system. Is any of this more important than the other?

A: Again it depends according to different countries. For instance the information about financial transactions, information about the credit worthiness, about borrowers and about potential issuers of equity breaks down.

In Korea, even though we think of Korea as being a relatively developed country and a member of the OECD now, whereas the same information is very prevalent in a place like Chile or in urban India. So that particular institutional void is more severe in Korea than in other parts. If you take something different it would be more severe in other places.

So that?s I hope the part of the framework is to say that start with identifying what are the strengths and weaknesses that are idiosyncratic to a particular country and build your plan according to those situations.

Q: Which of these three are the easiest to handle or to deal with?

A: I think it's very hard to say that A is harder than B. The severity of these voids varies from place to place. What's more, it varies according to the nature of the opportunity that?s in place relative to the mechanisms that have emerged to deal with the opportunity. That gap is an issue.

That?s why any time you see a quantum leap in the availability or the opportunity to do something, think about the internet that came around in force in the late 90s or in the early part of the last decade. It was a situation where there were suddenly lots of opportunity for people to get together in a way they hadn?t before and make a business.

But we hadn't figured out how to exactly bring them together, how to make sure that there weren?t scams and frauds going on. So for a period of time while those rules and systems and informal norms were emerging, they were institutional voids. They were voids in how buyers and sellers came together.

Then it took people like all these established names now Amazon, eBay and so on to establishe those norms, as well as regulatory authorities to emerge and say these are the regulations that are needed in place. Now those voids are much less present. That cycle repeats itself anytime there is a big quantum leap itself.

Q: Coming to India, which is the biggest void in India?

A: I have been thinking a lot about this. If I had to pick I will pick two though I would have trouble ranking them. One is the absence of risk capital which is endemically deficient in many developing countries.

Q: Despite a very well regulated capital market?

A: We are not even close. So the capital market is well regulated in spaces. In risk capital, angel finance is starting to become prevalent but still has a long way to go.

Q: And what causing that absence? Is it regulatory, is it legal?

A: It?s missing in most places around the word. So Silicon Valley, Tel Aviv, perhaps Bangalore, perhaps part of Shenzhen area. These are the exceptions and there are a couple of other exceptions.

Q: Are you distinguishing between Indian investor and private equity or both?

A: I think private equity is much more prevalent than angel investing or risk capital. Risk capital is genuinely - some guy comes up to me and says I have a great idea, give me some money and let me bank on it. So nobody is willing to put that cap to that risk because there is no mechanism in place to adjudicate whether this is a good person to allocate money to, whether he or she has been through the ring, to have his idea validated etc.

Q: Could it also be because the angel investor perhaps finds equal returns in a slightly less risky business like private equity? You can get in India at a slightly more mature level and still make your money?

A: That?s potentially part of it. I don?t think we have any good data to answer that question precisely. My guess is though it?s basically people would be willing to put ? there is a lot of capital available in India as you know, it is sitting in large stashes with a set of individuals or set of types of individuals.

Fortunately we have moved away from a situation where it was all under the mattress. So at least it is getting deployed in productive capital formation. But we still haven?t gotten to the point where it is backing untapped human capital which is the one resource that we have in spades, which brings me to this second big institutional void which is how do we get the 400 million people that are locked outside our economic mainstream and have them bridge the gap to come into the mainstream economy. That?s a big set of institutional voids.

Q: Being averse to risk capital is also because the lack of information?

A: Huge part of it.

Q: So are you glad or at least heartened by the fact that the company that you are associated with - SKS Microfinance - has finally gone in and launched an IPO in the sense maybe bringing that thing back into the mainstream?

A: That?s one form of economic inclusion that Vikram Akula and his team of people - no credit to me - has brought into the economic mainstream by enabling productive livelihoods and I think they have done spectacular social service on that front.

There are some newer efforts. There is a company that we are just creating right now called Aspiring Minds which is explicitly in the business of telling companies why should you hire only from ten places, why not 20,000, and it is basically lowering information barriers to getting people into this.

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