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Singapore's Temasek reviews $275 mln FTX-related loss
  + stars: | 2022-11-30 | by ( ) www.reuters.com   time to read: +1 min
[1/3] A Temasek logo is seen at the annual Temasek Review in Singapore July 7, 2016. REUTERS/Edgar SuSINGAPORE, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong said on Wednesday that Temasek Holdings [RIC:RIC:TEM.UL] has initiated an internal review of its investment in the now-bankrupt FTX crypto exchange. Temasek had invested about $275 million in FTX, which it said it has decided to write down after the spectacular collapse of the exchange. The loss was "disappointing" and had caused reputational damage to Temasek, Wong said in parliament. "The fact that other leading global institutional investors like BlackRock and Sequoia Capital also invested in FTX does not mitigate this," he said.
[1/3] A Temasek logo is seen at the annual Temasek Review in Singapore July 7, 2016. But Singapore's leader-in-waiting told parliament the loss was "disappointing" and had caused reputational damage to Temasek. After pumping about $275 million into FTX, Temasek decided to write down the investment following the spectacular collapse of the exchange. The review will be conducted by an independent internal team reporting directly to the board and will not involve those who made the investment, Wong said. Wong told lawmakers the individual loss did not impact returns to Singapore's reserves, which are tied to long-term returns.
While the government's decision to repeal the colonial-era sodomy law was cheered as a symbolic victory for the gay community, many worry LGBT families will continue to suffer under public policies that favour heterosexual marriages and families. But influential conservative groups that strongly opposed lifting the gay sex ban make it politically uncomfortable for the ruling party to further change laws. An alliance of more than 80 Singaporean churches has decried repealing the gay sex ban as an "extremely regrettable decision" that "celebrates homosexuality". 'PUNISHING THE CHILD'LGBT families in Singapore now worry that further change will not come in time for them. The government did not respond to Reuters' questions about the rights of LGBT families and their children's residency and access to education.
The moves come as other parts of Asia, including Taiwan, Thailand and India are recognising more rights for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. The government has defended amending the constitution saying decisions on such issues should not be led by the courts. The changes do, however, leave room for a future parliament to expand the definition of marriage to include same-sex relationships. In Singapore, attitudes towards LGBT issues have shifted towards a more liberal stance in recent years especially among the young, though conservative attitudes remain among religious groups. Of those aged 18-25, about 42% accepted same-sex marriage in 2018, up from 17% just five years prior, according to a survey by the Institute of Policy Studies.
SINGAPORE, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Thousands of cosplayers and anime fans flocked to the annual Anime Festival Asia (AFA) in Singapore over the weekend, held for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began more than two years ago. Anime, a sub-culture originating from Japan, has continued to thrive and grow internationally in recent years despite the pandemic, largely due to its vast online presence and supportive participants. Although exact ticket sales will not be available until a later date, festival director Shawn Chin told Reuters that he expects the Singapore event to reach the same number, if not surpass it. Singapore eased most of its COVID-19 curbs this year, and had seen various international events returning to the city-state in recent months. Reporting by Lion Schellerer and Chen Lin in Singapore; Editing by Kim CoghillOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
SINGAPORE, Nov 26 (Reuters) - Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong received a top post in the ruling party on Saturday, cementing his position to become the city-state's next prime minister. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, secretary-general of the People’s Action Party (PAP), which has ruled the island nation since independence in 1965, announced this year that Wong, 49, would be his successor. Wong becomes deputy secretary-general, the party said in an announcement of new leadership positions. Lee, 70, is the son of Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore's independence leader and dominant figure for half a century. The younger Lee has said Wong would succeed him before or after the next general election, which is due in 2025.
SINGAPORE, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Singapore will extend work injury insurance and pension coverage to food delivery and ride-hailing workers under proposed legislative changes that it aims to implement as early as late 2024, the Manpower Ministry said. The new rules will affect about 73,000 workers who deliver food or drive passengers for companies such as Grab (GRAB.O) , Gojek (GOTO.JK), Deliveroo (ROO.L) and Delivery Hero's (DHER.DE) Foodpanda. Workers would gain coverage under the national pension system, which collects contributions from both workers and companies, and receive work injury insurance covering medical expenses, income loss, and lump sum compensation for permanent disability or death. Gig workers would not, however, be considered full-time employees entitled to paid leave and other benefits. Reporting by Chen Lin in Singapore; Editing by Xinghui Kok and Edmund KlamannOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Singapore October core inflation rises 5.1%, less than forecast
  + stars: | 2022-11-23 | by ( ) www.reuters.com   time to read: +1 min
The core inflation rate - the central bank's favoured price measure - rose to 5.1% in October on a year-on-year basis, compared with 5.3% in September. A Reuters poll of economists had forecast a 5.3% increase in October. The economists' forecast for October was 7.1%. The central bank had earlier said core inflation was likely to stay elevated at about 5% for the rest of 2022, and into the first half 2023. read moreReporting by Chen Lin in Singapore Editing by Ed DaviesOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
SINGAPORE, Nov 23 (Reuters) - Singapore on Wednesday forecast its economic growth would slow to between 0.5% and 2.5% in 2023 from about 3.5% this year amid global economic pressures that would hit demand for the city-state's outward-oriented industries like trade and finance. The ministry said gross domestic product (GDP) grew 4.1% year-on-year in the third quarter, below the 4.4% growth seen in the government's advance estimate. He said in 2023, GDP growth in most major global economies was expected to moderate further. Growth in the trade, finance and insurance sectors is expected to be hit by a slowdown in other major economies, Lim said of Singapore's 2023 outlook. Reporting by Chen Lin in Singapore; Editing by Jamie Freed and Kenneth MaxwellOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
[1/2] Former mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg speaks with participants prior to a meeting with Earthshot prize winners and finalists at the Glasgow Science Center during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain, November 2, 2021. Alastair Grant/Pool via REUTERS/File PhotoBEIJING, Nov 20 (Reuters) - Michael Bloomberg apologised last week at a business forum hosted by the news agency he founded for remarks by British former Prime Minister Boris Johnson criticising China as autocratic. "Some may have been insulted or offended last night by parts of the speaker’s remarks referencing certain countries and their duly elected leaders," Bloomberg said in remarks posted on Twitter. A spokesman for Bloomberg LP, which includes Bloomberg News and where Michael Bloomberg is the CEO, declined to comment to Reuters. Johnson, who stepped down as Britain's leader in September, had sharply criticised China's and Russia's political system and leaders in his Wednesday speech.
SINGAPORE, Nov 17 (Reuters) - The collapse of crypto exchange FTX has raised "very serious allegations that amount to potential fraud", Singapore's finance minister and deputy prime minister said on Thursday. FTX was one of the largest exchanges in the world but had a spectacular collapse in recent weeks and has filed for bankruptcy. A Reuters report found that at least $1 billion of client funds were missing at the failed crypto firm. FTX founder and former chief executive Sam Bankman-Fried has said he expanded the business too quickly and failed to notice red flags. Singapore is in the midst of tightening rules around retail investment in cryptocurrencies, such as not allowing exchanges to offer incentives for referrals.
Singapore PM hopes for consensus on key issues at G20
  + stars: | 2022-11-14 | by ( ) www.reuters.com   time to read: +1 min
SINGAPORE, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Monday he does not expect a breakthrough on any of the key issues at the G20 summit, but hope to reach consensus on most issues on the general direction to move forward. Lee said difficult issues at the summit include climate change, global economy, security, and the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. He added that the meeting between the Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden will probably be "more consequential" than anything they can settle in the G20 summit. Singapore is not a G20 member, but has been invited to participate in many past G20 summits and related meetings. Reporting by Chen Lin and Xinghui Kok in Singapore; Editing by Toby ChopraOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
The Indonesian navy has been trying to free the Djibouti-registered ship, Young Yong, which ran aground off Indonesia's Riau Islands on Oct. 26 near a gas pipeline. The Young Yong was among the vessels sanctioned. Capable of carrying 2 million barrels of crude oil, the stranded tanker is almost full, according to shipping data on Refinitiv Eikon. allows transactions to free sanctioned oil tanker, Young Yong, which has been stranded in Indonesian waters since Oct. 26CHALLENGESThere are operational challenges in refloating the ship like the risk of an oil spill and strong currents in the surrounding waters, said Jacob Hogendorp, managing partner of Global Salvage Consultancy. He added that part of the cargo onboard Young Yong would likely have to be transferred to another ship before refloating commences.
TOKYO, Nov 1 (Reuters) - Chinese fashion retailer Shein is to open its first permanent premises in Tokyo this month, the company said on Tuesday,aiming to bolster its online brand with a physical presence. Opening from Nov. 13 on Cat Street in the Harajuku fashion district, it will be the company's first such physical event space in the world, a Shein spokesperson told Reuters. Shoppers will be able to browse clothing at the storefront and scan QR codes that will allow them to make purchases online. The space may be modified to host fashion shows and designer events as needed, the spokesperson said. The Chinese retailer operated pop-up stores in Japan earlier this year, and in October opened a temporary location in the western metropolis of Osaka.
REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol/File PhotoSINGAPORE, Oct 27 (Reuters) - Southeast Asia's internet economy is expected to be worth $330 billion by 2025, though this a downgrade from a previous forecast due to economic uncertainty and more pressure on tech companies to make a profit, an industry report said on Thursday. "Amidst global macroeconomic headwinds, reduced disposable income, sky-rocketing prices, and lower product availability, there is tapering of demand from Southeast Asia consumers," the trio said in a joint release. The region of 11 countries is one of the world's fastest growing internet markets, due to a young population, widespread smartphone usage and urbanisation, and a growing middle class. All six countries are expected to post double-digit growth between now and 2025, with Vietnam having the fastest growing digital economy this year at 28%. "Universally investors generally expect deal activity to recover from 2024 onwards," said Fock Wai Hoong, Deputy Head of Technology & Consumer and Southeast Asia at Temasek.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has said it discourages the public from speculative trading in cryptocurrencies and has already brought in restrictions on advertising of cryptocurrency services in public places. All SCS issued in Singapore can be pegged only to the Singapore dollar or any Group of Ten (G10) currency, it said. Banks in Singapore will be allowed to issue SCS and no additional reserve backing and prudential requirements will apply, the statement said. It is unclear when the proposed measures might be brought in, but the public has been invited to give feedback by Dec.21. ($1 = 1.4160 Singapore dollars)Reporting by Chen Lin in Singapore Editing by Ed DaviesOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Singapore central bank tightens policy, Q3 GDP tops forecast
  + stars: | 2022-10-14 | by ( ) www.reuters.com   time to read: +3 min
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), at a scheduled policy meeting, said it will re-centre the mid-point of the exchange rate policy band known as the Nominal Effective Exchange Rate, or S$NEER. The Singapore dollar was up about 0.3% to S$1.1429 per U.S. dollar after the policy decision. The MAS manages monetary policy through exchange rate settings, rather than interest rates, as trade flows dwarf its economy. The core inflation rate — the central bank's favoured price measure - rose to 5.1% in August on a year-on-year basis. "Q3 GDP obviously benefitted from domestic and border restrictions being eased," said Song Seng Wun, an economist at CIMB Private Banking.
The Singapore government had downgrade its 2022 GDP growth forecast range to 3% to 4% from 3% to 5% in August, citing the weakening external demand outlook. Economists are watching to see whether Singapore's official inflation forecast would be revised when the central bank releases its monetary policy statement, which is also due on Friday. Sixteen economists forecast the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to tighten its policy, but are divided on how aggressive it will be and which of its settings will change. Economists, including Maybank's Chua, who expect MAS to tighten only via one lever largely cited the weak growth outlook. The MAS has tightened monetary policy four times in a row, with the latest in July in an out-of-cycle move.
Grab expects to break-even on adjusted EBIDTA by H2 2024 - CFO
  + stars: | 2022-09-27 | by ( ) www.reuters.com   time to read: +1 min
A Grab logo is pictured at the Money 20/20 Asia Fintech Trade Show in Singapore March 21, 2019. REUTERS/Anshuman DagaSINGAPORE, Sept 27 (Reuters) - Grab Holdings Ltd, Southeast Asia's biggest ride-hailing and food delivery firm, expects to break even on its adjusted EBIDTA by the second half of 2024 as it accelerates toward profitability, company officials said on Tuesday. Its group adjusted EBIDTA loss is expected to be $380 million for the second half of 2022, a 27% improvement compared with the first half of the year. "Our cash position is not something that we take for granted. Grab, which listed on the Nasdaq in December following a record $40 billion merger with a blank-check company, has been under investor pressure to stem losses from its decade-old business.
The core inflation rate — the central bank's favoured price measure - rose to 5.1% in August on a year-on-year basis. Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com RegisterHeadline inflation rose to 7.5%, beating economists' forecast of 7.2%. Singapore's central bank has tightened its monetary policy three times this year, twice in surprise moves in January and July. It typically publishes two scheduled monetary policy statements a year, in April and October. The MAS' core inflation forecast for this year is between 3% and 4%, while headline inflation is expected to be between 5% and 6%.
Wanted crypto developer Do Kwon is not in Singapore, police say
  + stars: | 2022-09-17 | by ( ) www.reuters.com   time to read: +1 min
SINGAPORE, Sept 17 (Reuters) - Singapore Police Force said on Saturday the wanted crypto developer Do Kwon, who is accused of fraud by investors following the collapse of his cryptocurrencies Luna and TerraUSD, is currently not in the city-state. Last week, a spokesperson for South Korean prosecutors said arrest warrants had been issued for six people, including Do Kwon, and that they were residing in Singapore. read moreThe arrest order came after months of investigation and amid public outrage in South Korea over the collapse. A statement from the Singapore police late on Saturday also said they would assist the South Korean police within the ambit of its domestic legislation and international obligations. Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com RegisterReporting by Chen Lin in Singapore; Editing by Alex Richardson and Clelia OzielOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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