Asia's rich splurged on more than 8 million cars and made nearly 4 million leisure trips from July last year to June this year, spending 38.5 million nights in hotels, a survey released showed showed. \nThe global market research firm Synovate found there are almost 13 million big spenders in Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, India and Australia. \nTheir combined annual personal income is US$209.8 billion. \nThe survey tracked the spending patterns of the top 20 percent of income earners in each of the economies. The findings were published in The Straits Times. \n"In Tokyo, for instance, it is about upgrading -- about multiple ownership of high-end items," Steve Garton, Synovate Asia-Pacific's director, told The Straits Times. \n"In Hong Kong, some of these goods act as a status symbol." \nAs for Singapore's rich, they "are a practical lot," he said. \nThe wealthy there have a smaller budget compared with those in Hong Kong. Their average annual household income of US$53,400 is nearly half of Hong Kong's US$98,600 but higher than Malaysia's US$44,100 and Thailand's US$38,900. In addition, 9.5 percent of Singapore's rich said they intended to buy a car within the next year, compared with Thailand's 28.9 percent and Malaysia's 24.5 percent. \nMore than half of those surveyed in Hong Kong and Thailand own a flat-screen television, but less than 25 percent of the Singaporeans do.
The government’s business climate monitor last month remained “green” thanks to more working days, but consumer confidence retreated this month as the COVID-19 pandemic escalated, the National Development Council said yesterday. The healthy readings had much to do with the timing of the Lunar New Year, but still reflected the fast-evolving economic effects of the pandemic, NDC research director Wu Ming-huei (吳明蕙) told a media briefing in Taipei. “There is no room for optimism as the virus spreads quickly in Europe and the US, where self-isolation requirements are freezing demand for nonessential products and services,” Wu said. The development is worrying and much
Facebook Inc on Tuesday said that the COVID-19 outbreak was undercutting sales of the advertising that accounts for nearly all of its revenue, even as more users spend time on the social network during virus-related lockdowns. “We don’t monetize many of the services where we’re seeing increased engagement, and we’ve seen a weakening in our ads business in countries taking aggressive actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19,” the company said in a statement. Facebook shares fell about 1 percent after hours following an 8.7 percent rise in regular trade. The company said messaging across its platforms had increased more than 50 percent
The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday said it would consider easing regulations on life insurers’ real-estate investments to allow them to cut rents for tenants affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The commission might lower the minimum rate of return on insurers’ real-estate investments, which stands at 2.095 percent, FSC Chairman Wellington Koo (顧立雄) told a meeting of the legislature’s Finance Committee. Koo’s comment came after the Life Insurance Association suggested the FSC trim the minimum rate of return so insurers could cut rents to help affected tenants, such as restaurants, hotels, travel agencies and department stores. While the association suggested a cut of
Fitch Ratings Inc reduced its outlook on eight Taiwanese securities companies from “stable” to “negative” to reflect heightened uncertainty in the operating environment amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The companies are Oriental Securities Corp (亞東證券), Concord Securities Co (康和證券), Grand Fortune Securities Co Ltd (福邦證券), Shin Kong International Securities Co (新光證券), Ta Ching Securities Co (大慶證券), Tachan Securities Co (大展證券), Horizon Securities Corp (宏遠證券) and CL Securities Taiwan Co Ltd (台灣匯立證券). The revision mirrored heightened uncertainty and increasing pressure on their earnings and profitability amid potential proprietary trading losses, Fitch said. Downside risks have built up from increased capital market volatility, as well as