Asian shares slip after G20, Fed angst

TOKYO: Asian stocks retreated on Monday after a weekend meeting of G20 policymakers ended with no new coordinated action to spur global growth and as solid US data revived expectation of the Federal Reserve further raising rates before year-end.MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dipped 0.4 percent and appeared likely to post its second consecutive month of losses, with a 1.0 percent drop so far this month.

Japan’s Nikkei gained 0.4 percent largely on the overnight fall in the yen, though it looks set to log its third monthly fall in a row with decline of 7.2 percent so far.

Mainland Chinese shares fell sharply with the bluechip CSI 300 Index briefly hitting a 15-month low.

Disappointing earnings results released over the weekend, the lack of concrete measures from the group of 20 economies and political implications from the latest cyberspace crackdown by Beijing were all cited as a culprit.

G20 finance ministers and central bankers agreed to use “all policy tools – monetary, fiscal and structural – individually and collectively” to reach the group’s economic goals, citing a series of risks to world growth.

“The G20 communique basically says 1) the world is not as bad a place as markets think; and 2) if it gets worse we will use fiscal, monetary and structural policy aggressively to fix it,” Steven Englander, global head of G10 FX Strategy at CitiFX, said in a note to clients.”In baseball parlance, they were aiming for a single in terms of restoring confidence and they probably achieved it,” he added.

While some market players say the statement could mildly underpin market sentiment, the lack of any concrete action – especially on fiscal stimulus as some had speculated – was seen as a disappointment.

A pledge in the statement to “consult closely” on foreign exchange markets was also seen by some market players as hindering a few countries from adopting flexible policy actions.

On the other hand, fresh US economic data published on Friday revived expectations of Federal Reserve rate increases, helping to lift US bond yields and the dollar.

Consumer spending rose solidly in January and underlying inflation picked up by the most in four years. Gross domestic product growth in the fourth quarter was revised higher, to a 1.0 percent annual rate

“The US economy doesn’t look too bad after all. So some people seem to start thinking that the Fed’s rate hike could be back on the agenda,” said Bart Wakabayashi, head of forex at State Street.The figures prompted Federal funds rate futures to price in a more than 50 percent chance of one rate hike by the end of year, compared to almost zero percent chance in mid-February.

The two-year US Treasuries yield also hit a four-week high of 0.817 percent on Friday and last stood at 0.797 percent versus its Feb 11 low of 0.582 percent.

The greenback’s yield allure helped lift the dollar’s index against a basket of six major currencies to a three-week high of 98.26 on Friday. It last stood at 98.13.

As the dollar gained, the euro fetched $1.0920, having slipped to a three-week low of $1.0912 on Friday. In early Asia on Monday, it traded at $1.0931, flat on the day.

The yen also slipped to one-week low of 114 to the dollar on Friday but bounced back 0.5 percent on Monday to 113.41.

Still, with gains of 6.8 percent in February, the yen remains the best performing major currency this month as concerns over slowing global growth fanned buying in safe-haven assets.

In contrast, fears of “Brexit” offered traders a good excuse to sell the British pound, which fell to a seven-year low of $1.3841.Although the British government managed to get G20 to agree to include a warning against “Brexit” in the statement, that appeared to have limited impact. The British currency is down 2.7 percent on month.

Equally under pressure was the South Korean won, which fell to 5-1/2-year lows, shedding 3.4 percent this month, on worries about growth prospects in China and tensions with North Korea, despite suspected intervention by Seoul to stem the currency’s fall.

Elsewhere, the oil markets maintain their firmness as short-sellers have reduced their positions following major oil producing countries’ decision to freeze output earlier this month.

While the measure is unlikely to solve the persistent supply glut in the market, it was seen as a first step for further cooperation in the future.

International Brent futures climbed 1.1 percent from their last close to $35.49 per barrel, 2.2 percent above its levels at the end of January.


Top Ten Dividend

The Stocks with excellent track record either minimizing the risk or balancing the risk with maximize performance are the top ten for 2012. Several buyers are looking for the long-term increment instead of short-term while the companies with strong growth are willing to take a level of risk as underlying investments for buyers.

The following are Top Ten Dividend Stocks list for year 2015.

1)The revenues worth of 28 billion USD$ earnings with $7.05 per share, The tech stock APPL (Apple) the marker of the world iPhone and IPad seen potential grow of 38% between the margin of 35% to 42%. The company failing short for this year. But it expected to grow with attractive return of average 20 to 30 percent per year in future. Due to its momentum sales in China, Singapore and Taiwan, Apple is trying to boost up it earning for investor.

2)The Oracle group, the revenues worth of 150 billion USD$ earnings with current rate at $52.76 per share. This tech stock (ORCL) is a leading supplier of database and it management system in information technology sector. The Oracle group is trying to gain up its momentum sales in hardware supply with Sun Microsystem while investor can expect to return from the average of 15 to 20 percent per year.

3)Due to economy crisis, Visa (V) seen to target it momentum grow in Europe and India. While, investor can expected up to 27% return per year. The company by itself is a well-known brand, the global payment processor and license financial institution. The firm is act as an authorized seller for the commercial banking sector and retails sector.

4)Buffet won’t going to buy it but 100 billion USD$ worth of revenues earnings with current rate at $28 per share (Facebook) for investor is already listed in IPO. The social media playground seen well-known among teenagers and businesses. But some analyst seen it is mathematically impossible to grow in crucial financial time. Most of the investor can expect 5 to 10% per year as a kick start while they can balancing the risk in social media market.

5)This little auto company Ford’s (NYSE: F) is the choice for the 5th place for investor. The potential revenues of earnings with 1.65% dividend yield will bring little attraction to investor. Over the past year, this American car company is doing well due to it disciplinary and profitable leader, until today it is still selling at cheap price to investor.

6)Today, people are still drinking coffee. Yet this is true. Nestle (NSRGY.PK) the organic growth with flexible performance, the strongest growth in food industry will bring fourteen time earnings for future while the investor can expected to buy Nestle at $107 per share.

7)The American still drinking soup despite the worst economy crisis. Campbell Soup (CPB) is selling it shares at 31 USD$ per share. The bottom line at 15x earnings since 2008 for investor.

8)Even Japan hit worst crisis due to Fukushima meal down, Tokyo electric power co inc (9501:Tokyo) is still strong in the market. Living environment and lifestyle related sector, (9501:Tokyo) can expected to grow back 10 to 15%, expected to be next year.

9)When the green comes, choose the China. Yingli Green Energy (YGE) the revenues worth of 703 million USD$ earnings at $13.59 per share. The company is offering Solar Cells, modules and solar integration system while investor can expect 11% per year from Yingli.

10)The American Solar Technologies company, Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: ASTI) starting it business in largest area of solar industry. The company is expected to grow in China and there will be a hug jump in energy sector next year while investor can expect to grow 60 to 77% per year.


China credit rating outlook cut to negative over debt concer

The ratings agency Moody’s is raising a red flag about the Chinese government’s growing debt levels. Moody’s cut the outlook on China’s credit ratings from stable to negative on Wednesday, pointing to worries about the government’s potential debt burden, the huge sums of money flowing out of the country and Chinese officials’ ability to push through reforms.

The negative outlook means the agency could downgrade China’s credit rating in the medium term.But for now, Moody’s said it was keeping China at the current rating of Aa3, the fourth highest on its scale, because it thinks Beijing still has time to deal with some of the challenges. The agency’s warning highlighted some key concerns about the world’s second largest economy.

Chinese government debt is rising relative to the size of the economy, and policymakers are encouraging banks to dish out more loans to try to offset slowing growth.Related: China’s factories are still losing steam
The worry, Moody’s says, is that the central government in Beijing could end up on the hook not just for its own debts, but for those of regional and local authorities, major banks and huge state-owned enterprises.
Meanwhile, Beijing’s foreign currency war chest is gradually decreasing as it uses the funds to prop up the value of its currency, the yuan, at a time when record amounts of money have been pouring out of the country.
Moody’s said China’s foreign exchange reserves “remain ample.” But it warned that their decline highlights the risk of a downward spiral in which pressure on the yuan and dwindling confidence in the Chinese government’s ability to manage the situation could drive even more money out of the economy.Some analysts have expressed concern that China could eventually be forced to allow another steep devaluation of the yuan that could set off turmoil in global markets. Chinese officials have insisted they won’t let that happen.

Related: China plans to cut 1.8 million coal and steel jobs

But those officials are facing the daunting task of guiding the vast economy through a period of tremendous change.
China is posting its slowest growth in a quarter century as policymakers are trying to shift away from its reliance on exports and debt-fueled investment. They have also said they want to let their currency trade more freely and to reduce restrictions on the financial sector. But those efforts have been hit by volatile markets, including the country’s spectacular stock crash last summer.Analysts have also expressed doubts that Chinese officials will put important reforms — like overhauling the country’s sprawling state-owned enterprises — ahead of achieving the government’s annual growth target. “Incomplete implementation or partial reversals of some reforms risk undermining the credibility of policymakers,” Moody’s said, warning that “there is considerably uncertainty about policy priorities.


China’s top economic planner: ‘hard landing’ impossible

BEIJING — China’s top economic planning official on Sunday said it is impossible that the Chinese economy would have a “hard landing” — or a sharp slowdown after a period of robust growth — and offered assurances that it would continue to contribute to global growth, not hinder it.

Xu Shaoshi, director of the National Development and Reform Commission, said at a news conference that China’s economy has inner flexibility and abilities to resist risks.
“I can say, China’s economy will absolutely not have a hard landing,” Xu said. “The so-called predictions for a hard landing will definitely come to nothing. Please rest assured, this possibility does not exist.”
Last year, China’s growth slowed to a 25-year low of 6.9 percent — but Xu said that this was still one of the fastest expansion rates in the world. On Saturday, Premier Li Keqiang said in a report to the annual National People’s Congress that authorities set a growth target of 6.5 to 7 percent for this year.

In his remarks at a news conference on the congress’ sidelines, Xu said China would remain stable despite sustained turbulence in the global economy.
“We are completely capable of running China’s economy within a reasonable range,” Xu said. “We are fully confident about the prospects for development.””Our contribution to the global economy is very obvious,” he added. “We are still a major engine for the growth of the world economy.”

Xu said Beijing is taking steps to reduce overcapacity in production. China will cut steel production by 100 million to 150 million tons over five years and another 500 million tons in coal production in three to five years.
Beijing has set aside funds to help resettle workers affected by the reductions, and Xu said there would not be any spike in unemployment. At least 1.5 million workers — and possibly millions more — are due to be let go by state-run coal mines and steel mills, while the People’s Liberation Army is shaving 300,000 jobs.

Meanwhile, the government is under pressure to find white collar jobs for the record 7.7 million students graduating from China’s colleges and universities this year.


Why India snubbed Facebook’s free Internet offer

Mark Zuckerberg’s ambitious mission to provide free Internet access to rural India was rejected by the people it was intended to help long before the country’s regulators banned it earlier this month.

Around the country, farmers, labourers and office workers scorned Facebook’s offer. Called Free Basics, it provided only limited access to the Internet through a suite of websites and services that, unsurprisingly, included Facebook. They felt the limited service didn’t follow the open nature of the Internet, where all sites and online destinations should be equally accessible, so they organized real-world protests and an online Save The Internet campaign, with the message that Zuckerberg’s efforts weren’t welcome.

You might think people would jump at the opportunity to access Facebook for free, especially since more than a billion people use the social network every day. But it’s that hitch — that they can’t access everything else — which is precisely the problem, said Sunil Abraham, the executive director of the Centre for Internet and Society India. “Even if somebody spends 90 percent of their time on Facebook, that 10 percent is equally as important.”Indian regulators sided with popular opinion and cut off Free Basics in the world’s second-most populous country on February 8. The ruling by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) forbids all zero-rating plans, meaning anyone offering customers free access to only a limited set of services of sites are banned. It was championed as a victory for Net neutrality, the principle that everyone should have equal access to all content on the Internet.

The decision was undoubtedly a blow for Facebook, which says it wants to connect the billions of have-nots around the world to the Internet through the program. While more than half the world’s online population uses Facebook each month, the company’s efforts to connect with the developing world — with Free Basics also being available in over 30 other countries, such as Kenya and Iraq — could be a boon for business.”[The Internet] must remain neutral for everyone, individuals and businesses alike. Everyone must have equal access to it,” said Rajesh Sawhney, a Mumbai-based tech entrepreneur, in support of TRAI’s decision to reject Free Basics. He believes the zero-rating scheme can be misused by telcos and other companies to create divisive ecosystems, where certain brands or companies are included and others aren’t.

The package wasn’t without its supporters though, with some being disappointed with the government’s intervention in the marketplace.

“It is generally assumed that there is something sinister behind violations of Net neutrality…but that is not always true,” says software engineer Shashank Mehra. “ISPs trying to match consumer demand isn’t something sinister, it is a market process.”

The social media giant further defends itself by pointing out that Free Basics is open to any and all developers, including competitors Twitter and Google, as long as they meet the program’s technical standards. This evidently wasn’t enough to convince much of India.Facebook disputes claims that its interest in India is commercial, saying its efforts are humanitarian. In speeches over the past few months, Zuckerberg has painted Internet access as a tool for global good. “The research has shown on this that for every 10 people who get access to the internet, about one person gets a new job, and about one person gets lifted out of poverty,” he said at a Townhall Q&A in Delhi last October. “Connecting things in India is one of the most important things we can do in the world.”

Zuckerberg appears to have taken the loss in stride. During a keynote address at the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona earlier this week, he admitted to being disappointed by the ruling, but added, “We are going to focus on different programs [in India]…we want to work with all the operators there.” A Facebook spokesperson said the company “will continue our efforts to eliminate barriers and give the unconnected an easier path to the Internet and the opportunity it brings.”

Those ideals could certainly help in India, where around 68 percent of its population — about 880 million people — live in rural conditions or poverty. The promise of free access to health, education, local and national news through an Internet connection could potentially improve quality of live. So what’s the problem?The service providers would also be granting free Facebook.

Peggy Wolff, a volunteer coordinator at education NGO Isha Vidhya, says Facebook is just the latest in a long line of international companies hoping to crack rural India, where the bulk of the country’s poor live.

While admitting that low cost or free Internet is imperative in rural areas, that “smart villages” are needed to help ease the human burden on India’s increasingly overcrowded cities, she says, “Free basics is just a bit suspicious to most people. There’s just too much vested interest.””The big question.” Sawhney says, “is how do we give fast and free Internet to a large section of society in India?”

There are alternatives. United States-based Jana, for instance, developed an Android app called mCent that allows its growing userbase of 30 million to earn data by downloading and using certain apps or watching advertisements from sponsors. Unlike Free Basics, that data can be expended on any online destination.

Jana’s CEO Nathan Eagle, like Zuckerberg, says his mission is to bring Internet connectivity to the next billion people. “Today, Internet connectivity in emerging markets is much more an issue of affordability, rather than access,” he explains. “1.3 billion people in emerging markets now have Android phones…it’s the cost of data that is prohibitive.”