Investors downbeat in developed Asia: Manulife Financial

Investor confidence is lower across developed Asia than in emerging markets in the region, according to a new study by Manulife Financial.

People in developed Asia are not confident that now is the right time to invest, finds the insurer’s inaugural investor sentiment index (ISI), for which 3,500 individuals were interviewed across seven markets in the region.

Taiwan and Hong Kong scored -8 and -4 respectively, in contrast to the greater optimism felt in the emerging Asia markets of Indonesia and Malaysia, which scored 54 and 52 respectively. (A figure below zero indicates negative sentiment and above zero positive sentiment.)

Malaysia, for instance, expressed optimism on the back of strong economic performance, says Michael Dommermuth, president of Manulife Asset Management Asia. In the fourth quarter of 2012, the country’s economy grew 6.4% year-on-year and 5.3% quarter-on-quarter. For the full year, Malaysia grew 5.6% over 2011, he adds, and this performance helped to boost domestic equity, property and debt markets.

By contrast, the export-led market of Taiwan suffered last year on the back of a slow global economic recovery. In the fourth quarter, there was talk of a luxury tax on premium properties and a capital gains tax on securities that weighed on the market, notes Dommermuth…

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Luncheon Presentation by the Honorable James M. Flaherty, Minister of Finance, Canada: Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2013

Canada came through the recent financial crisis better than any other major advanced economy, with a relatively short and shallow recession and a fairly strong recovery and the country’s economy continues to perform relatively better with modest growth. The success of Canada’s Economic Action Plan is being recognized around the world as a pro-growth, pro-trade and pro-investment plan for other countries to follow. The IMF and the OECD both predict that Canada will remain among those G-7 countries with the fastest growth in 2013. The World Economic Forum has rated Canada’s financial sector as the most stable in the world, five years in a row, and also rated Canada’s banking system as the soundest globally and Standard & Poor’s has reaffirmed its AAA credit rating for Canada.

The Honorable James. M. Flaherty will speak on Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2013 in the context of the uncertain global economy and highlight Canada’s new initiatives that will drive jobs, growth and international trade.

Date:      Monday, March 25, 2013
Time:     12:15pm – 2:00pm
Venue:   Asia Society Hong Kong Center
                 9 Justice Drive, Admiralty, Hong Kong
Price:      Asia Society/ CanCham Members $450
                  Non-members $550

About James. M. Flaherty

James. M. Flaherty serves  as Canada’s Minister of Finance, and as such, is an ex-officio member of all Cabinet Committees. He is a Governor of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Mr. Flaherty was recently awarded Euromoney Magazine’s Finance Minster of the Year award, crediting him with enhancing Canada’s reputation for sound fiscal policy and overseeing a strong regulatory regime that has kept the financial sector out of chaos. He has also been described as a pillar in both the G-7 and the G-20. In 2010, Mr. Flaherty was chair of the G-7 Finance Ministers and chair of the annual Commonwealth Finance Ministers Meeting. He graduated from Princeton University and Osgoode Hall Law School. He was called to the Bar in Ontario and practiced law for more than 20 years before being elected to public office. Mr. Flaherty has also served as Deputy Premier, Attorney General and Minister of Labor.

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The BlackBerry Z10 is Awarded for High Design Quality in the “Red Dot Award: Product Design 2013”.

Waterloo, ON – The innovative power of BlackBerry impressed the 37-member jury of experts for the “red dot award: product design 2013”. Those who succeed in winning over the renowned experts in the field can decorate their product creation with the “red dot” and position themselves at an international level. The jury members were delighted to receive 4,662 entries in 19 different categories in this year’s competition. Only the best designs were able to win the enthusiasm of the jury, which is how the BlackBerry® Z10 smartphone received the red dot for its successful design creation.

The awards ceremony for the seal of quality that is recognised worldwide takes place on 1 July 2013 as part of the traditional red dot gala. The ceremony – held in Essen’s opera house, the impressive Aalto Theater – is always the final highlight of the “red dot award: product design” and over the past years has become established as a celebratory ceremony with international guests.  The BlackBerry Z10 will then be put on display during a four-week special exhibition in the red dot design museum…

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CSeries Aircraft Program Making Excellent Progress Towards First Flight

Bombardier Aerospace announced that the development of the CSeries aircraft is making excellent progress as the program readies to transition to the flight test phase in order to achieve first flight by the end of June 2013.

“We are very pleased with the progress being made on the CSeries aircraft program and we are excited to open our facility and publicly show the world the advances and key milestones we have achieved as we get ready for first flight,” said Mike Arcamone, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.

“The CSeries aircraft program is making solid progress, having met a number of key milestones over the last few months. We are delighted that Pratt & Whitney recently achieved Transport Canada type certification of its first PurePower Geared Turbofan™ engine, the PW1500G engine that will power the CSeries aircraft, and we are now focusing on three key areas that will lead to our safety-of-flight permit: static airframe testing, building of flight test vehicles and on-the-ground testing,” added Mr. Arcamone.

Media and financial analysts will have the opportunity to get a first-hand look at the first CSeries flight test vehicle (FTV1), Complete Integrated Aircraft Systems Test Area (CIASTA) and various technology displays following today’s program update at Bombardier’s CSeries final assembly facility in Mirabel, Québec...

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Chinese, Canadian FMs vow to enhance bilateral ties

Newly-appointed Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Canadian counterpart John Baird held a phone conversation Tuesday and the two sides agreed to advance the bilateral relations.

Baird said Canadian leaders are looking forward to establishing good working relations with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and the rest of the new Chinese leadership.

Congratulating Wang on his appointment, Baird also expressed the hope to conduct close communication and cooperation with his Chinese counterpart over Canada-China ties, trade cooperation as well as international and regional issues of common concern.

Wang said the Chinese and Canadian economies are complementary, with solid cooperation foundation and huge potential…

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Analysis: Uranium miners press Canada to change Cold War rules

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) – Two of the world’s biggest uranium miners, Rio Tinto PLC and Areva SA , are pressing Canada to change a Cold War era policy that curbs foreign ownership of uranium mines.

The campaign, backed by the Australian government, two Canadian provinces and Western Australia-based uranium producer Paladin Energy Ltd , could unlock some of the world’s highest-grade ore for development just as demand for the radioactive element looks to surge.

Unlike Australia, which has no restrictions on uranium-mine ownership, Canada restricts foreign companies from owning more than 49 percent of any uranium mine. There are no ownership restrictions on foreign participation in exploration.

“It’s such an absurd situation,” John Borshoff, managing director of Paladin, said in an interview. It’s “something that is an anachronism from the Cold War”.

Borshoff said the Australian government, Rio Tinto and Paladin are joining forces to lobby Ottawa, while the Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador are also pressing for change.

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