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Singapore Tightens Policy In a Surprise Move

This is a transcript of top stories presented by China's CCTV Business Channel as produced by CNBC Asia Pacific.

Good evening, I'm Saijal Patel from CNBC and you're watching “Asia Market Daily”.

Asian markets have extended yesterday's rally - buoyed by gains from resource stocks on the back of stronger commodity prices.

Japan's Nikkei jumped almost 2 percent - while in South Korea, the KOSPI gained 1.25 percent.

The Taiex also finished firmer, up 1.3 percent

Down in Singapore, the city-state's currency hit a record high versus the U.S. dollar earlier today, after the Monetary Authority of Singapore tightened policy slightly - widening the band for the 1st time in 9 years.

It followed the release of 3rd quarter GDP figures, which showed economic growth rose 10.3 percent over the previous year.

But it was down almost 20 percent over the previous quarter.

The government though still expects the economy to grow by between 13 to 15 percent this year.

In other news, The Bank of Korea chief has hit back at comments by Japan's finance minister, Yoshihiko Noda about Won intervention - saying it's inappropriate for Japan to talk about another country's forex policy.

The criticism came as the central bank kept its interest rate on hold at 2.25 percent, for a third straight month - amid concerns about the global economy and the rising Won.

Meantime, South Korea's Kimchi crisis is pushing up cabbage prices in China - after Seoul dropped tariffs on imports of the vegetable from the mainland.

According to Chinese media, prices for cabbage have surged 12 percent in the past few days.

Staying on China. The country's currency remains in focus - ahead of a U.S. Treasury report - due out tomorrow - which is widely tipped to label China a currency manipulator.

CNBC's Chloe Cho has spoken exclusively with Nobel prize winning economist, Paul Krugman about the contentious issue.

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Cho: Should china continue to take the brunt of criticism if the U.S. dollar continues to weaken?

Krugman: Yeah, It's a very different big difference between pursuing a policy of monetary expansion which happens to lead to a depreciation of your currency because the other players are not matching it, versus following a policy of deliberately undervaluing your currency using massive foreign exchange intervention. Now China is behaving badly in a way that, remember china is actually tightening policy, so the U.S. is boosting monetary policy with the side consequences of a weaker dollar, China is actually pursuing policy tightening to offset the inflationary impacts of an artificially weak renminbi so no comparison, china is really the bad guy in this.

Cho: What is the fair value of the renminbi?

Krugman: We don't know that, that's the, the right way to judge is not the value of the renminbi which goes wherever it goes, but the scale of the intervention. As long as China is continuing to buy foreign currencies at the rate it has been buying, then we know that the thing is artificially undervalued. So I don't look for a numerical target for the exchange rate, I look for what are they doing, how much intervention is keeping the thing low.

Meantime, China and India are leading the way, when it comes to internet growth in Asia.

According to research by McKinsey , the two countries are forecast to add 700 million internet users by 2015.

But not all of Asia is at the same stage of development.

CNBC's Sri Jegarajah is at the National ICT Conference, hosted by Malaysia's Multimedia Development Corporation.

He spoke with Hugh Mason, director of technology incubator firm, JFDI.Asia - about why Asia has not yet produced a Google or a silicon valley equivalent.

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Mason: I think you need four things for an ecosystem take off. You need people, at all sorts of levels to be role models for everybody to be successful. You need places where people come together, sometimes real places, sometimes places on line. You need professionals, venture capitalists, bankers, lawyers, that sort of thing. And finally you need the right policy and I don't' just mean government policy, I mean policy inside people's heads.

Jegarajah: If you were to put your finger on it, and identify them, what would be the most compelling digital media start ups out there?

Mason: I would say anything that comes out of a very real need in people's lives. I sit through a lot of business plan presentations by enthusiastic people. I love their enthusiasm, but they're often doing what I would call, me too products. They're doing stuff that is very similar to something they've already seen, perhaps a game on a mobile phone something like that. That's ok but for example, living here in Asia I notice people spend their money in different ways. A lot of people in Asia have domestic help in a way that they don't in west, and I see opportunity to build services and products around that kind of thing.

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Still in the tech space, Microsoft is getting personal - with its Bing search engine to incorporate user data from Facebook - to provide more relevant search results.

CNBC's Jon Fortt has the details.

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Microsoft announcing today that it's Bing search engine is going to be enhanced through a relationship with Facebook. Now when you do a search you'll get to see what your friends like, what they recommend, as it applies to any of a number of topics. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerman was on hand for the announcement, talking about why he likes to work with companies like Microsoft at this stage in Facebook's development.

(SOT) Mark Zuckerman, CEO, Facebook:

"Focused on now, is working with companies who we think are really scrappy, who are underdogs to incentivise, to really go deep and try to do something innovative that other companies aren't doing."

Now with this partnership, Microsoft's Bing has relationships with, not only with Yahoo, one of the largest media sites and content sites on the web, but also with Facebook, the largest social networking site on the web. And really the largest site on the web overall. Now this is not exclusive to Microsoft, this Bing tie up uses instant personalization, which is the feature that Facebook rolled out just a couple of months ago. There were some privacy concerns over that but Microsoft has made it opt in through Bing, so they think that this will not only expand on Bing, but Facebook is saying that they expect to see it across search on the web eventually. Microsoft however has a head start with this relationship with Facebook. It'll be interesting to see how it gets implemented. For CNBC Asia, I'm Jon Fortt.

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From Bing to bling, a group of Asian investors is moving in on a foreclosed property parcel in Beverly Hills, which lies on the famous corner of Wilshire and Santa Monica.

CNBC's Jane Wells has the story.

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It's a well known property with a famous zipcode, an 8-acre parcel in Beverly Hills 90210 which used to house a famous department store. It went into foreclosure, like so many places in California. But it was just bought for a staggering price by a surprising group of investors.

(SOT) Daniel Yiu, Joint Treasure Senior Advisor:

"It's one of a kind."

Daniel Yiu is a senior advisor to joint treasure, a small consortium of wealthy Hong Kong investors, plus one from Singapore, which bought the Beverly hills property for 148 million dollars, 70 percent less than the previous owners paid.

It's the most high profile new investment from Asia in U.S. real estate at a time when many regular Chinese investors have been going on house hunting tours in California. Yiu doesn't expect property values here to recover soon.

(SOT) Daniel Yiu, Joint Treasure Senior Advisor:

"We look into the future and we want to build not the time the market is picking up. We want to build a little bit advanced, before they pick up."

The buyers plan to put in as much as $700 million to turn this into a luxury town home development. Selling first to locals, but also to potential buyers in Asia attracted to the Beverly Hills name.

Jane Wells, CNBC business news, Beverly Hills.

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Thanks for watching Asia Market Daily.

I'm Saijal Patel from CNBC, good night.

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