Daily Archives: Dec 28, 2012

Welcome to the new hub

Start-up airlines have revolutionised air travel in Ghana over the past 18 months. Fares on domestic routes have fallen by up to 75 per cent. Passenger numbers on the main route from the capital Accra to the second city Kumasi have increased fivefold.

Now, two of the new domestic carriers are hoping to spread their wings throughout west Africa, where economies are growing fast but the aviation networks remain so poor that some experts call it “the last frontier” of air travel

The Chinese government announced on Friday new laws which will require every internet user in China to register with service providers using their full name.

China already expends a great deal of effort restricting what its citizens can and cannot see while browsing online, but despite blocks on foreign websites and close monitoring of online activity, many websites, and in particular social media sites, have posed challenges to the authorities. 

At first glance, Friday’s stock market launch of Czerwona Torebka – a Polish shopping centre operator – was good news, with the stock jumping by more than 50 per cent on the Warsaw Stock Exchange.

But a closer looks reveals a more troubling story which shows some of the problems that have been besetting the WSE this year. 

Given the importance of manufactured exports to the Turkish economy and long term worries over the country’s trade imbalance and current account deficit, Turkey’s November trade figures released on Friday could be considered to be a something of a success.

After all a 24.8 per cent increase in exports and a 5.5 per cent narrowing of the trade gap from would be a welcome result for any European economy. For Turkey however, the devil is very much in the detail, with a number of seasonal and other factors making the rise in exports (from $11.08bn to $13.83bn) and the fall in the trade gap (from 7.57bn to $7.16bn) look more favourable than normal. 

So after a lull, the arguments kick off again on Friday in Argentina’s legal fight not to pay so-called “holdout” creditors, and their fight to force the country, finally, to cough up.

Argentina has until midnight New York time on Friday to file its brief to the New York Second Circuit Court of Appeals – and it will be hoping that the interested parties and “friends of the court” who have emerged in recent weeks – including holders of restructured bonds issued under non-New York jurisdictions, the US government, which could file an amicus brief on Friday too, and a local brokerage, Puente – will convince the judges that Judge Griesa’s order has got to go. 

Workers at a fish farm at Zabieniec, 19 December  2006 Polish Christmas traditions include all the usuals such as trees, presents and carols, but there is also a new one – growing protests about the treatment of carp, the main course of most Christmas Eve dinners.

Weeks before Christmas, animal rights groups started a national campaign trying to get people to change their habit of buying live carp. Millions of Poles tote the fatty bottom-dwelling fish home in plastic bags and then pop the fish into the bathtub, where it swims in circles before being killed on December 24.

 

* S Korea: current account record high

* Bondholders add twist to Argentina debt spat

* Lonmin chief executive steps down

* China tightens internet controls 

Friday’s picks from the beyondbrics team: Philippines – a laggard no more? Turbulent times ahead in the Middle East; trialing M-Pesa in India; why 2013 will be Asia’s year. Plus: Russia’s political leaders take to the skies. 

The biggest Indian IPO in two years got off to a fizzle in its trading debut on Friday, with shares in Bharti Infratel down around 13.5 per cent at 190 rupees at time of writing. The offer price was 220 rupees. 

* US budget impasse curbs Asian share gains

* S Korea data beats forecasts

* Mistry takes helm of Tata Group

* Brazil lowers reserve requirements

* Bharti Infratel stumbles on debut

* YPF announces price hike

* Markets: up