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Jan 15, 2012

Financial and Forex Info News | The Australian Business Briefing Update: Leighton ups profit guidance

Leighton ups profit guidance
Robb M. Stewart LEIGHTON has lifted its half-year profit guidance, citing improved earnings from operations in Australia and Asia.
Job ads fall points to pressure
Geoffrey Rogow THE number of job advertisements in Australian newspapers and on the internet fell in December, ahead of key data this week.
Inflation rise unlikely to halt RBA
Geoffrey Rogow THE Reserve Bank is forecast to cut rates at its next meeting despite a sharp uptick in consumer prices in December.
Shares fall on fresh Europe fears
Sarah Turner SHARES fall after Standard & Poor's downgrades nine eurozone countries and after talks between Greece and its creditors break down.
Banks to undergo IMF stress tests
Enda Curran AUSTRALIA'S banks will undergo a new stress test conducted by the IMF to probe the resilience of the local financial system.
Greek debt talks resume this week
Alkman Granitsas GREECE will resume talks with creditors this week on its debt restructuring, with an aim to reach a deal by February 23.
Apple navigates China's perils
Jessica E Vascellaro and Owen Fletcher APPLE is increasingly finding itself pinched between the promise and perils of doing business in China.
UK must embrace Asia: Chancellor
Anushka Asthana and Kathryn Hopkins London will become an offshore trading centre for the yuan, Britain's Chancellor George Osbourne will announce.
Financial Markets
Shares fall on fresh Europe fears
Sarah Turner SHARES fall after Standard & Poor's downgrades nine eurozone countries and after talks between Greece and its creditors break down.
Shares fall after S&P downgrade
Dollar weaker on rating cuts
Financial Markets Coverage
Mining & Energy
Leighton ups profit guidance
Robb M. Stewart LEIGHTON has lifted its half-year profit guidance, citing improved earnings from operations in Australia and Asia.
Linc in talks with investor
Macquarie sees US gas opportunity
More Mining & Energy

Caixin Online- MarketWatch: China pension funds closer to stock investing - MarketWatch

By Lan Fang 

BEIJING ( Caixin Online ) — China’s struggling securities market is getting a psychological shot in the arm on rising expectations that pension funds may soon provide hundreds of billions of yuan in new investment cash.
Since his appointment in late October, China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) Chairman Guo Shuqing has mentioned several times that he wants to widen securities market access for pension and housing provident funds.
Chen Liang, director of fund oversight at the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MHRSS), said a consensus could be reached soon among key parties involved in pension fund investment talks.
 About Caixin
Caixin is a Beijing-based media group dedicated to providing high-quality and authoritative financial and business news and information through periodicals, online and TV/video programs.
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Various government authorities including the CSRC, MHRSS and the National Development and Reform Commission have been discussing since late last year broad issues such as investment target qualifications, government policies, fund operations, market oversight and legal responsibilities, Chen said. They’ve also discussed opening the stock market to housing provident funds, which companies manage for employees’ future housing purchases.
A “breakthrough development” that would let urban pension funds — government-run social security funds for most workers in China’s cities — buy and sell stock was recently reached, said Ji Ning, deputy head of the Employment and Income Distribution Department at the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
Discussions are likewise continuing over whether private insurance schemes for rural workers, few of whom are eligible for social security, will be allowed to follow suit.
Neither securities regulators nor fund managers have set a possible timetable for unleashing the full power of pension funds on the nation’s stock exchanges. For now, the government limits market access to certain social security and annuity funds, which can invest up to 40% of their assets in securities.
As of the end of 2010, the nation’s urban pension funds controlled a cumulative 1.5 trillion yuan ($238 billion), including 857 billion yuan managed by the National Social Security Fund Council. The rural insurance plan, an option for farm workers and other self-employed launched in 2009, held 42.3 billion yuan.

Two sides

Supporters and skeptics of pension fund stock investing are among those participating in the ongoing negotiations. The former include government officials, who say funds would help stabilize the nation’s securities markets, which weakened in 2011. Doubters include State Council members, who call stock investing too risky for public funds earmarked for retirees. 

These and related disagreements have brewed for years while, according to reports, some pension-linked insurance funds have gone ahead and invested in stocks. 

The State Council’s official position is that any change in pension investment policy should put safety first. The cabinet wants strict supervision of stock trading by pension funds, for example, and has called for tighter laws and regulations before regulators broaden investment channels.
For officials at MHRSS and NDRC, however, a main sticking point has been a disagreement over which government agency would actually invest pensioners’ money.
Caixin has learned MHRSS, NDRC and other agencies have reached a basic consensus on most pension-securities issues. For example, they’ve agreed individual accounts and a trust model should be used for all stock investing.
A hard landing for the Chinese economy Mark Faber, Editor and Publisher of The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report in Hong Kong, talks to Barron's Michael Santoli at the 2012 Barron's Roundtable conference about the consequences of a coming economic slowdown in China.

Smartcompany News and Analysis: The 10 best gadgets of CES, Rupert Murdoch’s Twitter lessons, Pratt mistress loses case, Financial planners fight Govt reforms

smart company logo image

Today on SmartCompany, we look at the lessons from Rupert Murdoch’s latest controversial Twitter comments, find out why tourism operators are no fans of the Fair Work Act and take a look at the legal win for Melbourne packaging family, the Pratts.

And in Entrepreneur Watch, SmartCompany editor James Thomson says 2012 could be the year that decides whether Gerry Harvey stays in the billionaires' club – but even if his stocks fall, you’ve got to admire his attitude.

Information Technology
The 10 best gadgets of CES 2012
Another Consumer Electronics Show has come and gone. And just like every other year, we're left with a slew of gadgets to wade through and enjoy. BY PATRICK STAFFORD.
12 gadgets

12 rich list members to watch in 2012
What will 2012 bring for these 12 billionaire entrepreneurs? BY JAMES THOMSON.
12 rich list members to watch in 2012

Aunty B
Should I promote my homegrown talent?
My preference? Grow your own and where needs be, spend a lot of time searching out the right people from large companies who understand scalability.
Aunty B

Sue Barrett
Smart business and sales leaders know that clarity, leadership and accountability are the cornerstones of any business. So what can we learn from them?
Sue Barrett

The Futurist
Colin Benjamin
Smart companies will use this year to reach beyond their current customer base by consolidating the personal and professional growth of the people within it.
Colin Benjamin

Enterprise Leadership
Dennis Roberts
When talking about goal setting there are two time perspectives that matter – where you are now (current reality) and where you want to get to (future vision).
Dennis Roberts

Entrepreneur Watch
James Thomson
This year could decide how long he’ll stay a member.
James Thomson