Riding the Silk Road
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Riding the Silk Road
Watching the Capital Flow from West to East
Curated by Tom Luongo
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Shenhua Begins Selling its Own Petrol - Peter Pham Presents: The Pursuit of Alpha in Asia

Shenhua Begins Selling its Own Petrol - Peter Pham Presents: The Pursuit of Alpha in Asia | Riding the Silk Road | Scoop.it

The Hong Kong based China Shenhua Energy Co. (OTCBB:$CSUAY), the world’s largest coal producer, revealed on Friday that it is planning to open its first petrol station in the country.

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Malaysian Water Politics Creating Shortages -AlphaVN.com

Malaysian Water Politics Creating Shortages -AlphaVN.com | Riding the Silk Road | Scoop.it

The latest twist is playing out in the state of Selangor, the largest state in Malaysia by population and whose defection to the opposition in 2008 caused a complete upheaval in the country’s political landscape. A recent report by Reuters holds that a political battle is in process over the state’s water supply in an effort to discredit the sitting government.

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Mapping population densities:

Mapping population densities: | Riding the Silk Road | Scoop.it

New kind of cartograms to map population densities on this planet from an article in the Telegraph. The cartograms use data from the Global Rural-Urban Mapping Project.

 


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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China, Singapore Wealth Funds Invest $1 bln in US LNG export plant-source | Reuters

China, Singapore Wealth Funds Invest $1 bln in US LNG export plant-source | Reuters | Riding the Silk Road | Scoop.it

* Cheniere has US nod to build first LNG export plant in ageneration* Blackstone early backer of Cheniere* New fracking technology generates cheap U.S. gas supply*


Cheniere will have the only LNG export terminal in the U.S. by 2016 if the current political climate in Congress does not change.  Congress has put a morotorium on any more LNG export terminals as they are scared someone other than them gets to actually burn fuel for a reasonable price.

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Asean still tops Japan’s list | Bangkok Post

Asean still tops Japan’s list | Bangkok Post | Riding the Silk Road | Scoop.it
“Asean is the most attractive destination in the eyes of Japanese investors at this time. More and more new players are showing interest in investing here,” says Setsuo Iuchi, the president of Jetro’s Bangkok office.


The strong Yen and the client-state attitude the U.S. has cultivated towards Japan has continued to push them further into the arms of their regional partners.  Take a mix of cheap labor, abundnant natural resources, an over-leveraged yet robust industrial economy add massive currency arbitrage and a strong central bank and you have a regional investment boom that has not been seen in decades.


Japan has spent literally hundreds of billions of dollars around ASEAN in the past two years and the pace will continue to accelerate.  Expect the return on investment to begin within 6-12 months and the Nikkei 225 to seriously outperform the S&P 500.  Stock and Flow.  The BoJ understands this, so does China.

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#Silver Jumps To Two Month Highs As #Oil Reverts | ZeroHedge

#Silver Jumps To Two Month Highs As #Oil Reverts | ZeroHedge | Riding the Silk Road | Scoop.it
Silver has popped almost 2% today - its biggest jump in 3 weeks - as it nears its 100DMA. So what? It's still down notably from its Q1 swing highs but two things stand out to us as intriguing.


Definitely a breakout on the chart.  Gold just put in a breakout on the hourly chart closing about $1619.35.  There's a high probability setup here for gold to take out $1633 before month's end.  Silver will follow on China rumors alone.


Via Graham Jervis
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Twitter / JamesGRickards: #CME Europe will now accept ...

#CME Europe will now accept #gold as collateral in all transactions http://t.co/7U4xqEqg. Doesn't that mean gold is like money? #Buffett
Aug 17 via web Favorite Retweet Reply

Instantly connect to what's most important to you. Follow your friends, experts, favorite celebrities, and breaking news.

 

Hal: Why yes, yes it does.

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And Singapore is monetizing it by allowing public trading of both gold and silver without transaction taxes beginning in October.  They want a kind of Asian Fix price for gold and silver that is more time relevant to Asian markets.  At least that's what they say.  Singapore has been very savvy and cagey about changing the rules of their capital markets this year.  They have made a number of these announcements to separate themselves from the cesspits of NY/London to increase the rate at which they attract capital.


Just wait until the OTC derivative clearing rules go into effect.  There is a bit of a battle going on between Singapore and Hong Kong to be the financial center for SE Asia. 


Via Hal
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Tom Luongo's comment, August 18, 2012 8:32 AM
Yeah, Hal, and as I'm sure you remember, Singapore is beginning tariff-free physical gold and silver trading, publicly cleared as well, in October.

So, it's now money in Europe and soon SE Asia. But, Bernanke thinks it's just a tradition.
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Presenting The Shocking Source Of US Treasury Demand In The Past Year | ZeroHedge

Presenting The Shocking Source Of US Treasury Demand In The Past Year | ZeroHedge | Riding the Silk Road | Scoop.it

Fascinating piece from Tyler Durden. Here's the beginning of his article on ZeroHedge. Click through for the rest and the graphs:

 

"When one thinks US Treasurys, and demand thereof, two entities pop into mind: the Federal Reserve, which over the past 3 years has been the biggest institutional buyer of US paper, and China, which is the largest foreign holder of US TSYs. Yet over the past year something curious happened: when it comes to setting marginal demand for US Treasurys, it was neither the Fed, whose sterilized Operation Twist has kept its holdings of US Tsys relatively flat, nor China, which has actually been a major seller of US paper, that has been the dominant source of marginal demand for Uncle Sam's never to be repaid obligations. Japan.

 

"That's right, as the chart below shows using TIC data, even as China was quietly selling its paper (and that accounts for UK holdings, aka Chinese offshore operations) in the beginning of the year, taking its total from over $1.3 trillion to $1.15 trillion in December, where it has stayed without moving at all in 2012 as China entered a buyer's strike mode, it was Japan who quickly stepped in to fill the void. And what a void it has filled. According to TIC data, Japanese holdings of US paper have soared from $882 billion in June 2011 to a whopping $1119 billion a year later. In the process the spread between Chinese and Japanese holdings of US TSYs has collapsed from $430 billion to a tiny $43 billion and at this rate Japan will overtake China as the top foreign holder of US paper within 3-4 months! ..."


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Singapore: Highest GDP per Capita in the World

Singapore: Highest GDP per Capita in the World | Riding the Silk Road | Scoop.it
Singapore topped the charts for highest GDP per capita in 2010 at close to SGD $70,000 (USD $56,532), according to a study.
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These are the Silk Roads of the 21st Century - Pipeline Map

These are the Silk Roads of the 21st Century - Pipeline Map | Riding the Silk Road | Scoop.it

This is a map of the oil pipelines that cross Asia.  I found this through the NoAgendaPodcast run by Adam Curry and John Dvorak.  Looking at this might begin to give you a real idea of just what and why U.S. Foreign Policy is doing in the region. 


The conflict in Syria and the sanctions against iran have everything to do with who gets to transport the Natural Gas and Oil coming out of this region. 


My question is the following.  With the reports of sectarian violence in Myanmar beginning to reach Western ears (I've been seeing a slew of articles daily on this in my news crawls) is this yet another moment where the U.S. is trying to stoke the fires of internal strife in order to block China from gaining a much-needed oil and gas port in the Bay of Bengal?


The Kyaukpyu to Kunming pipeline is due to be completed late next year.  This is why the U.S. lifted sanctions against Myanmar and immediately began pouring money and resources into a country that we couldn't care less about for 60 years.  Our sanctions against them have had the effect of keeping Myanmar in the dark ages of a drug-running military junta. 



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The “New” Migration To Gold And Silver

The “New” Migration To Gold And Silver | Riding the Silk Road | Scoop.it

by Byron King:

 

"Yesterday I gave you a brief history of gold, and why I think the metal may be higher. Today let’s round out our discussion with the importance of holding physical metal!

 

"In fact, over the past few years investors have been flocking to gold and silver.

 

"What’s going on? It’s a worldwide trend. There’s a money migration going on. And I mean BIG money is migrating. It’s like those herds of zebras or wildebeests or gazelles in Africa. When they migrate, the earth shakes and the ground is just a moving kaleidoscope of hides and footprints. The dust clouds blow high into the sky.

 

"Yes, the world economy might be in a recession. People across the world are worried about their job and security for their family. But other people with big bucks are scooping up gold and silver. Those buyers are looking for investment safety, they want to protect and grow their wealth.

 

"Moneyed investors don’t trust ..."


I have to quibble thoug with the idea that the E.C.B. doesn't have all of the gold in all of the vaults of the central banks that make up the Euro-zone.  I'm with Jim Rickards on this, the EU has more than 10,000 tons of gold, which if the Euro or the US Dollar fails will place that group in the driver's seat to dictate how the next monetary system is built. 


I still think this ends with IMF SDR's, I dont' believe for a second that there is some fundamental rift between the US/IMF and the EU/BIS.  I think that view is naive and silly.  The real question is the BRICS vs. the US/IMF/EU/BIS, who wins that grudge match.  Europe may eventually side with them, but don't think for a second that they are not all part of the same club.  And in the immortal words of George Carlin...


"We ain't in it!"



Via Hal
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Hal's comment, August 15, 2012 10:23 AM
You're welcome.
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Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and a 7” gap that needs to be filled | wpcentral | Windows Phone News, Forums, and Reviews

Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and a 7” gap that needs to be filled | wpcentral | Windows Phone News, Forums, and Reviews | Riding the Silk Road | Scoop.it
WP8 7inch mockup tablet idea For a long time, Windows Phone users have speculated about the possibility of a Tablet based on the OS.


A long winded piece about Windows phone, Windows 8 and all of the architecture.  But the end result is that if Nokia is not working on a WP8-based 7" tablet right now they are even dumber than the harshest of their critics have accused them of being. 


The 7" tablet form factor/price combination with built-in telephony from Nokia is a hands-down killer piece of hardware that would legitimize Win Phone 8 nearly overnight and kickstart the integration of Microsoft's merger of the living room with the computer nook and the mobile user and do so in such a way that it would be hardware vendor non-specific unlike Google.


So, you can still buy PCs from HP, Dell, or build one yourself (if you're like me), an Xbox from Microsoft and a laptop from Lenovo.  Try that with Android unless the vendor is Samsung. 

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Vietnam banks frantic buying lifts Gold

Analysts said commercial banks are boosting their gold purchase to prepare for the November 25 deadline repayment of gold deposits.

 

"HANOI(BullionStreet): As the November 25 deadline of repayment on gold deposits approaches fast, commercial banks in Vietnam are boosting their gold purchases.

 

"The frantic buying by banks have taken the domestic prices to climb and further extend difference between domestic and global prices.

 

"As demand exceeded supply, local gold prices continued to rise yesterday to VND47.8 million per tael, roughly VND3 million higher than the world price according to the Vietcombank's rate which yesterday rose VND20 against the previous day to VND20,870 per dollar. ..."


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Petrodollars: Opening the door at Singapore’s exchange for upstream companies « Platts

Petrodollars: Opening the door at Singapore’s exchange for upstream companies « Platts | Riding the Silk Road | Scoop.it

“Singapore is an oil hub, an offshore center, and we have the largest rig builder in the world [Keppel Corp.] listed on SGX,” said Wong.

Said analyst Low Pei Han with OCBC Investment Research: “Energy has always been an important theme for investors and since the SGX already has [rig builders], vessel builders and charterers for the offshore support sector as well as equipment and service providers, it makes sense to attract companies in the E&P sector.”

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China, Vietnam Widen Road Links

China, Vietnam Widen Road Links | Riding the Silk Road | Scoop.it
An agreement between the two countries sets the stage for a broad Mekong trade network.

 

Allowing freer commerical travel between the two countries is a great move to help ease some of the tensions brewing in the South China Sea.  With the SKRL nearing completion as we move closer to the AEC free-trade zone, the issues over oil production in the SCS sill have to recede. 

 

My gut says that once China has a way to get easier access to Middle Eastern oil (pipelines across Myanmar) then they will back off of the SCS a bit and work on building trade with the 10 ASEAN nations and Japan. 

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Malaysia-Japan trade continues to strengthen: Jetro

Malaysia-Japan trade continues to strengthen: Jetro | Riding the Silk Road | Scoop.it

Japan External Trade Organisation (Jetro) (Kuala Lumpur) Managing Director Joji Ikeshita said the trend will be supported by Japan's current fundamentals, following last year's devastating earthquake and tsunami.


"We are still in the recovery period with a lot of re-construction projects now, and hence, much material and energy resources need to be imported," he told Bernama.


He said Japan had increased its liquefied natural gas (LNG) import from Malaysia to about 34 per cent last year.


This, he added, had also contributed to the trade surplus with Malaysia in 2011.


"The trend has now changed. Before 2007, Malaysia's bilateral trade with Japan was at a deficit, with the country experiencing a boom in the manufacturing sector, resulting in more equipment and machinery being imported from us.

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Trader: Malaysia's planned mercantile exchange should prioritise physical delivery ... of Gold.

Trader: Malaysia's planned mercantile exchange should prioritise physical delivery ... of Gold. | Riding the Silk Road | Scoop.it

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s planned mercantile exchange should give priority to physical delivery as a mode of settlement over cash as genuine investors want to receive the actual product, said a veteran futures trader.


And by Physical Delivery he means physical delivery of Gold.  Good article that uncovers a lot of the problems facing Malays who wish to invest in gold but there is not a good infrastructure in place to protect them from fraud. 


There is a reference to Singapore's moribund mercantile exchange in the article as well.  There are two reasons for this.

  1. There exists no current incentive to trade physical gold in Singapore. 
  2. Lack of demand is keeping local physical supplies low.

This is changing. Large vaults are being built. There is an ETF that stores locally, but is illiquid with huge bid/ask spreads and taxes on gold/silver transactions will be lifted in October. Local refiners will be given tax breaks as well. singapore wants to be the gold trading hub of Southeast Asia.


As the volume of trading on the COMEX drops trading will move to other venues.  It is the way of things and capital will flow to where it is treated best. It would be good to see a proliferation of futures exchanges trading gold and silver and break the control of The Fed and their cronies at the New York Banks.

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Here Is The Chart That Explains Why Rates Are Rising In The US | ZeroHedge

Here Is The Chart That Explains Why Rates Are Rising In The US | ZeroHedge | Riding the Silk Road | Scoop.it
The easy answer is - well, its those dumb money 'safe' investors finally rotating from bonds to stocks; but what about fund flows provides any evidence for that reality.

Via Graham Jervis
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High-speed rail network to link Asean countries - The Nation

High-speed rail network to link Asean countries - The Nation | Riding the Silk Road | Scoop.it
High-speed rail network to link Asean countries The Nation Pansak Vinyarat, chairman of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's advisory board, has taken up the task of spearheading the government's bid...


This announced plan of Thailand's is in addition to the rest of ASEAN's plan to link up the mainland of the Greater Mekong Sub-Region.  The planned routes to Nong Khai on the Laos/Thai border is extremely important to opening up the center of the region.  There is a lot of activity in that area of the world to the south and west of Vietienne, the Laotian capital, which will have a major rail spur running to Hanoi in the north of Vietnam.


The line connecting Hat Yai to Bangkok will open up transport between Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia as well as Singpore while feeding goods from the newly-refunded port project at Dawei, Myanmar.  If that project fails to come to fruitition (a $50 billion port in the middle of nowhere) Thailand is prepared to go with a different overland route at the thinnest part of the peninsula to cut ocean travel around Malaysia and the Malaccan Straits down significantly.

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Malaysia Growth Withstands Risks as Najib Boosts Spending - Businessweek

Malaysia Growth Withstands Risks as Najib Boosts Spending - Businessweek | Riding the Silk Road | Scoop.it
Business RecorderMalaysia Growth Withstands Risks as Najib Boosts SpendingBusinessweekMalaysia's economic expansion unexpectedly accelerated as construction and consumption climbed, easing pressure on the central bank to join its Asian counterparts...
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Asia Times Online :: A disconcerting silence in Cambodia

Asia Times Online. The Asia News Hub providing the latest news and analysis regarding economics, events and trends in business, economy and politics throughout Asia.


Fascinating structural look at the lack of printed literary scene in Cambodia.  A thriving internet presence and eventaul low-end smartphone penetration, even just 3G, would be amazing for this country.

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Articles: Standard Chartered Bank and Iran. Yawn? - More Like Israeli Propaganda

Articles: Standard Chartered Bank and Iran. Yawn? - More Like Israeli Propaganda | Riding the Silk Road | Scoop.it

Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons capability in defiance of the U.N. It threatens America's ally Israel both directly and with financial and military support to Hamas and Hezb'allah. Iran also has the second-highest (to China) capital punishment rate in the world, including dozens of public hangings; homosexual behavior and adultery (based on men's testimony alone) is punishable by death; women are subject to assault by "modesty police"; demonstrators have been shot in the streets (the image of Nehda Sultan should emerge from your memory bank here); and the bloody regime of Bashar Assad receives Iran's open and adamant financial, political, and military support.


The West is supposed to stand in opposition to all those things.


 This screed of epic cluelessness was penned by Shoshan Bryen.  Here's her one-line Bio not four paragraphs after the one posted above, without a hint of irony.


Shoshana Bryen is senior director at The Jewish Policy Center. She was previously senior director for security policy at JINSA and author of JINSA Reports from 1995-2011.


Like the Israelis are the great bastions of human rights and care-takers of a free society, I mean when they aren't running schildren over with bulldozers and such.


Iran's nuclear program exists as a deterrent from the U.S. fully meddling in their oil and gas affairs.  If they ever get a weapon (and since they have allies in Russia and China who have nukes why aren't they giving them to Iran?) it will be to purge their country of the CIA and the Mossad, allowing them to build pipelines that do not pad the prodigious bottom of Hillary Clinton.


All of this money laundering stuff is pre-electioneering posturing by NY politicians playing to their Democrat base.  That's why Barclay's and HSBC and now Standard Chartered are being asked to grovel, while JPMorgan and the Facebook boiler room Morgan-Stanley are allowed to skate.





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Indonesia to Sell $1.75 Billion in Yen and US Dollar Sukuk | The Jakarta Globe

Indonesia to Sell $1.75 Billion in Yen and US Dollar Sukuk | The Jakarta Globe | Riding the Silk Road | Scoop.it
Indonesia plans to raise the equivalent of almost $2 billion in combined yen- and dollar-denominated Islamic bonds later this year as part of its efforts to plug a widening budget deficit.


This is yet another indication of how important the strong Yen is in building a bridge between Japan and the rest of ASEAN as we move deeper into this decade and they move deeper into being an integrated community.  $750 million in funding for Indonesia's government to support the growth of more than 1000 Japanese companies already doing business there. 


This is a country of 240 million people on the verge of an explosion in economic growth which can very quickly help Japan forestall their day of reckoning. 



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Maslaysia Exim Bank To Fund Infrastructure Projects In Asean

Ahead of the Asian Economic Community in 2015, there are a number of basic infrastructure projects that need to be completed, among them ae road/rail/port upgrades.  the region is growing rich enough that it is not nearly as dependent on investment from the first world of the West as it was previously.  Vietnam is investing heavily in Cambodia, for instance.  Here is another example of that. 


Malaysia using its relatively vast pool of capital to invest in Myanmar is an important step in promoting not only growth for growth's sake but for creating a tighter knit ASEAN as things progress.  China's influence in both Cambodia nad Myanmar is extensive and the issues surrounding the South China Sea are creating rifts within ASEAN.


I would be shocked if it wasn't Petronas, Malaysia's Oil and Gas giant, that is looking to expand their investment next door, seeing as their needs for energy are becoming acute.

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