The Week In Numbers – Sinking Yen

The yen weakened to a seven-year low after Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called a snap election to strengthen his mandate for more economic stimulus. The Japanese currency sank to 118 yen against the US dollar, as the country slipped into recession following two consecutive quarters of negative growth. The depressed yen could bode well for exporters. It could also help to drive up inflation, which despite monetary easing by the central bank, has showed signs of coming off the boil recently.

All eyes have been on the Shanghai and Hong Kong stock exchanges following a link that would allow investors to trade shares listed in the two financial centres. However, there might be Chinese investing opportunities closer to home. According to the Singapore Exchange, there are nine China state-owned firms listed here in Singapore. They include Tianjin Zhongxin Pharmaceutical (SGX: T14), Cosco Singapore (SGX: F83) and GMG Global (SGX: 5IM).

Plans to float Trans-Cab came to an abrupt end after the taxi operator discovered that its insurer had jacked up its premiums by S$1.83m. Instead of ploughing ahead with the IPO, Trans-Cab decided to mothball its flotation The sum of money was small when compared to the company’s bottom-line profits. However, the Trans-Cab reckoned that it could not practically inform every investor before the flotation deadline.

Pay rises in Singapore are expected to hit 5.2% next year, according to human resources experts. It is reckoned that the bulk of the wage hike could come from a 4.5% merit rise. Consultant HBRS added that the labour market in Singapore is “extremely tight” but employers are reluctant to give more merit increases. The pay rise in Singapore pales in comparison to India, where wages are expected to climb 11.8%.

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