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Archive for May 23rd, 2014

Ballymore to Establish Joint Venture for Major GBP2bn London Residential Development Portfolio

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LONDON, May 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Ballymore (“Ballymore” or “the Company”), the international property development and investment group responsible for many of London’s most high-profile residential developments, announces that it has appointed Lazard and CBRE to advise the Company on sourcing a partner to finance and develop three large-scale residential developments at waterside locations in Nine Elms, Canary Wharf and Leamouth in East London in a joint venture. Ballymore will act as Development Manager for the projects.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140520/687158-a )

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140520/687158-b )

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140520/687158-c )

The three schemes comprise Arrowhead Quay in Canary Wharf, Phase II of London City Island on the Leamouth Peninsula and Phase II of the hugely successful Embassy Gardens in Nine Elms. In total the developments have a gross development value of c.GBP2 billion and will deliver c.3,000 new residential units and 250,000 sq ft of commercial, leisure and office space, as detailed below:

Arrowhead Quay is a planned development of two towers of 50 and 55 stories directly adjacent to Canary Wharf, designed to meet the area’s growing demand for residential property. In addition to c. 990 residential units, this prime waterside development will also feature retail, leisure and cafe facilities and a new landscaped public plaza
London City Island Phase II is a unique island-style neighbourhood on the Leamouth Peninsula, in close proximity to Canary Wharf and strategically situated for rail, road and air links. The development has been designed to complement the neighbouring business district with a premium residential offering of c. 1,145 units. Phase I has already commenced
Embassy Gardens Phase II is situated next to the new US Embassy and Linear Park in Nine Elms, an area that has been described by the Mayor of London as “possibly the most important regeneration story in London and in the UK over the next 20 years.” Phase I of this development has set record sales rates in the area and Phase II is set to deliver c. 870 units being built alongside retail, leisure and office facilities

Sean Mulryan, CEO of Ballymore, commented: “This portfolio is one of the largest and most significant residential development opportunities to be offered in central London. The three projects are located in very different areas, offering diversity in both geography and price point. Furthermore, both Embassy Gardens and London City Island have achieved record-breaking phase I sales values which highlights the huge potential of these three developments, which are on course to be amongst the biggest success stories in our company’s history.”

About Ballymore

Ballymore Group is an international property investment and development company, focused on large-scale projects across Europe and has been a specialist in the London market for over twenty years.

Ballymore’s developments have distinguished it as a leader in urban regeneration with an eye for design and innovation, with expertise encompassing land, design, architecture, planning, property and estate management, marketing and finance. From its offices in London, Prague and Dublin, it continues to pioneer ever more ambitious mixed-use projects combining residential space, office, retail, hotels and leisure facilities.

Ballymore has executed many of the most high-profile and successful developments in London including Pan Peninsula and New Providence Wharf in Docklands, the restoration of Old Spitalfields Market in Spitalfields, St Johns in Westminister and High Point Village adjacent to the proposed new Crossrail Station in Hayes. A succession of high quality, market-leading residential developments have set new benchmarks for quality, sales rates and residential values in their individual markets.

Enquiries:

Ballymore Group:

Paul Keogh
Email: pkeogh@ballymoregroup.com

Powerscourt:

Rory Godson, Justin Griffiths, Ellie Sweeney
Tel +44(0)20-7250-1446
ballymore@powerscourt-group.com
Source: Ballymore Group

Written by asiafreshnews

May 23, 2014 at 11:47 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Coherus BioSciences Secures $55 million Series C Financing

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REDWOOD CITY, California, May 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Coherus BioSciences, Inc. (“Coherus”), a leading biologics platform company focused on biosimilars, announced today the closing of a Series C Preferred investment round raising $55 million. New investors KKR & Co. L.P. (“KKR”), Venrock, RA Capital Management, Rock Springs Capital and Fidelity Biosciences joined existing investors Sofinnova Ventures, Lilly Ventures and Vivo Capital in the transaction.

“We are very pleased to have the confidence and financial support of such an extraordinary group of health care investors,” said Denny Lanfear, President and CEO of Coherus. “Since its founding four years ago, Coherus has made excellent progress on its goals of moving biosimilar biologics into Phase 3 trials and onto the market. The capital resources provided by our investors will allow us to prosecute our development plans, optimize our partnering strategies and deliver essential therapeutics to patients faster.”

As part of the transaction, Ali Satvat, Director on KKR’s health care investing team, will join the Board of Directors of Coherus. “We are excited to support Denny and his experienced team on their growth initiatives to transform the biologics market,” said Mr. Satvat. “We believe that the Coherus platform is well-positioned to succeed given its product pipeline and strong scientific and technical capabilities.”

Since its inception, Coherus has raised over $220 million from equity and non-dilutive licensing fees and milestones.

About Coherus BioSciences, Inc.

Coherus is a leading biologics platform company focused on delivering high-quality biosimilar therapeutics that will expand patient access to life-changing medications worldwide. Headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area and founded by a group of biotech pioneers who helped build America’s first generation biotherapeutics industry, Coherus has developed a collaborative business model that leverages a strategic consortium of service providers aligned through ownership and shared incentives. Coherus’ global commercialization partnerships include top-tier biopharma companies in Europe, Asia, and Latin America.

Biosimilars are intended for use in place of existing, branded biologics to treat a range of chronic and often life-threatening diseases, with the potential to reduce costs and expand patient access. For additional information, please visit http://www.coherus.com.

Contact – Beth Jimison – bjimison@coherus.com +1-650-649-3526

Logo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120507/SF01448LOGO
Source: Coherus BioSciences, Inc.

Written by asiafreshnews

May 23, 2014 at 10:36 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

RS Components and Allied Electronics Open Order Books for Revolutionary New Red Pitaya Open-source Test and Measurement Platform

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Customers worldwide invited to place orders now to secure earliest availability of ground-breaking low-cost instrumentation platform

SINGAPORE, May 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — RS Components (RS) and Allied Electronics (Allied), the trading brands of Electrocomponents plc (LSE:ECM), the world’s leading high service distributor of electronics and maintenance products, have announced that they are inviting general orders for Red Pitaya, the pioneering single-board, open instrumentation and control platform that replaces many expensive laboratory and field instruments at a fraction of the price.

Red Pitaya board now available at RS Components
Red Pitaya board now available at RS Components

Red Pitaya board now available at RS Components
Red Pitaya board now available at RS Components
Customers across the globe who previously registered their interest on the Red Pitaya website, and who have been eagerly awaiting availability of the product, were given the opportunity to place a priority order with RS and Allied, which guarantees them delivery of a Red Pitaya board from the first limited production run in May 2014. All other orders are to be fulfilled in strict rotation by RS and Allied on a first-come first-served basis from the initial batch while stocks last, with lead times of up to twelve weeks for the next commercial production.

Red Pitaya is a groundbreaking test and measurement solution offering a unique, compact and low-cost ecosystem approach. It combines a Xilinx Zynq-based hardware platform with an open-source online repository of applications including a waveform generator, oscilloscope and spectrum analyser.

Based on the GNU/Linux operating system, Red Pitaya can be programmed at different levels using a variety of software interfaces, including: HDL, C/C++, and scripting languages. HTML-based web interfaces enable access to Red Pitaya’s functionality in most Web browsers from a smartphone, tablet or personal computer.

A standard set of open-source test and measurement applications is provided in a community open access library known as the Bazaar cloud marketplace. In addition, the Backyard repository hosts open-source development code and tools to enable further development, and to inspire collaboration within the engineering community.

“Red Pitaya has sparked a considerable amount of excitement among engineers in the test and measurement sector,” said Philip Dock, Global Head of Product & Supplier Management at RS. “No other instrumentation product on the market can offer such functionality and flexibility at a price that is affordable within even the smallest of budgets. We expect to see high demand for the product, so we are encouraging customers to place orders early to secure the fastest delivery.”

“When we launched the Red Pitaya project our vision was to enable everyone to start using technologies that yesterday were available only to advanced research laboratories and industry. Today we are excited about the response from our users and about the creativity of ideas they are proposing. This is the real power of Red Pitaya,” said Borut Baricevic, Red Pitaya Co-founder and Product Manager.

Red Pitaya is available to order exclusively through RS Components websites globally at http://www.rs-online.com/redpitaya.

About RS Components
RS Components and Allied Electronics are the trading brands of Electrocomponents plc, the world’s leading high service distributor of electronics and maintenance products. With operations in 32 countries, we offer around 500,000 products through the internet, catalogues and at trade counters to over one million customers, shipping around 44,000 parcels a day. Our products, sourced from 2,500 leading suppliers, include electronics, automation and control, test and measurement, electrical and mechanical components.
Electrocomponents is listed on the London Stock Exchange and in the last financial year ended 31 March 2013 had revenues of GBP1.24bn.
For more information, please visit the website at http://www.rs-components.com.
Further information is available via these links:
@RSElectronics; @alliedelec; @designsparkRS
RS Components on Linkedin
http://www.linkedin.com/company/rs-components
RS Components on Weibo
http://e.weibo.com/u/3206377000?type=0
Relevant Links:
Electrocomponents plc
http://www.electrocomponents.com
RS Components
http://www.rs-components.com
DesignSpark
http://www.designspark.com
RS Components
Tan Soo Chun
Public Relations Manager – Asia Pacific
Email: soochun.tan@rs-components.com
Telephone: +65-6391-5745
Edelman Public Relations (Singapore)
Yvette Yeo
Manager
Email: yvette.yeo@edelman.com
Telephone: +65-6347-2355
Source: RS Components
Related stocks: LSE:ECM

Written by asiafreshnews

May 23, 2014 at 5:12 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Asians Want To See Official Retirement Ages Rise — Manulife Survey

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Retirement age increases needed to mitigate impact of aging populations
Greatest public support in Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines; opposition in China
Official retirement ages rising in Asia, but some left behind amid region-wide growth

HONG KONG, 23 May 2014 — /PRNewswire/ — Official retirement ages across Asia are out-of-date and need to be raised say the majority of Asian investors, according to new research from Manulife.

Attitudes towards raising the official retirement age
The findings, taken from the Manulife Investor Sentiment Index* survey for the first quarter of 2014, show that just over half the Asian investors surveyed region-wide said they agreed with raising the retirement age, with a quarter disagreeing and the remainder undecided. Investors in Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines were most in favor of such a move, with two-thirds or more saying yes. About half of those in Hong Kong also agreed. Only in mainland China was there a clear majority (64 per cent) who disagreed with an increase.

Asians already recognize there’s a need to work beyond the normal retirement age in their respective locations, both to make ends meet and to enjoy a higher quality of life that comes with being actively engaged in the workplace and community. The survey shows 60 per cent of Asians expect to work either full- or part-time in retirement, with around 80 per cent viewing it as a way to stay connected and healthy, as well as a source of income. Those surveyed expect to work an average six years beyond the official retirement age of their country.

“The survey suggests Asian investors feel strongly that retirement ages have become outdated and should be raised,” said Robert A. Cook, President and CEO, Manulife Asia. “We’ve just seen the same sentiment in the Australian government’s decision to lift their official retirement age to 70 [from 65]. That’s a bold move, likely to be looked at closely by other governments in this region.”

China an outlier opposed to raising the retirement age

Official retirement ages in Asia range between 55 and 65 years of age, yet the majority work beyond those ages — with the exception of China, which again is the outlier. China is the only market in the region where the actual retirement age is below the official one. The Chinese surveyed said they expect to retire at 58 years of age, do post-retirement work for another 5 years before actually retiring at 63 — two years below China’s official retirement age.

Only in Japan do respondents say they will work for fewer years post-retirement (for 4 years up to age 66), while in Singapore respondents expect to work for longer than anywhere else (for 9 years up to age 70).

“A retirement age that was suitable in Asia 20 or 30 years ago is now likely to be obsolete. People can see that. They know too that they will need to work on after retiring, so they see merit in raising the retirement age to formalize the process,” said Mr. Cook.

In Indonesia, where there was the most enthusiasm (73 per cent of those surveyed) for such an upward adjustment, the official retirement age is 55. Indeed, the gap between the official and expected retirement age (67 years, including seven years post retirement work) is higher in Indonesia, at 12 years, than anywhere else in the region.

“Back in 1980, the somber reality was that an Indonesian retiring at 55 lived on average only a few years beyond their working life(Note 1),” said Donna Cotter, Head of Wealth Management for Manulife Financial in Asia. “But thanks to economic growth and development on an unprecedented scale, life expectancy has stretched to 71 years(Note 2). This also means one’s accumulated wealth needs to last much longer.”

Raising retirement ages not unprecedented

Raising the retirement age is far from unprecedented in Asia. In Singapore, the mandatory retirement age was raised to 62 from 60 in 1999, and employers now have to offer re-employment to 65. Taiwan lifted its retirement age to 65 from 60 in 2008. Most recently, in 2013, Malaysia raised its retirement age to 60 from 55.

“What may have seemed like a bold move by the Malaysian government is actually very forward-looking, anticipating the needs of its people,” Ms. Cotter continued. The survey shows 70 per cent support from Malaysia investors for increasing the retirement age further.

“Governments in Asia have been under pressure to review their overall retirement schemes to adjust for changing demographic and retirement trends, whether that be raising the retirement age or helping to fund retirement,” said Ms. Cotter. “In turn, investors are also becoming more aware they too need to make adjustments – and work longer to enhance their savings plans.”

The aversion China investors have to an increase in the retirement age is at odds with the rest of the region, and possibly reflects their confidence in the state to provide support. More than a fifth of their retirement income, higher than anywhere else in the region, is expected to come from the state pension, while their savings account for just under a fifth, the lowest in the region.

“It’s worth noting that there’s perhaps greater reliance on state support in China. For example, over 90 per cent of those surveyed expect to rely on public health services in retirement, more than anywhere else in the region,” said Ms. Cotter. “Maybe it’s the legacy of state support in work and life that’s having an influence, particularly for those working in state-owned organizations.”

For more information from the Manulife Investor Sentiment Index in Asia, please visit http://www.manulife-asia.com.

Notes:

World Bank
World Bank

Written by asiafreshnews

May 23, 2014 at 2:07 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Asia Investor Sentiment Buoyed by Equities and Mutual Funds — Manulife Survey

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HONG KONG, May 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ —

Rising optimism seen in Malaysia, Indonesia and China
Hong Kong and Taiwan sentiment also improves, but still in negative territory
Drivers include China stimulus, Indonesia election fever, pre-tax consumption in Malaysia
Family, friends and colleagues the main influence on investor decisions
Investor sentiment across Asia rose in the first quarter of 2014, buoyed by equities and mutual funds, along with a rise in optimism among investors in Malaysia, Indonesia and China, according to new research from Manulife.

The Manulife Investor Sentiment Index* for the region rose from the fourth quarter of 2013 (+2 to 24), driven mostly by sharply higher sentiment towards equities (+7 to 16) and mutual funds (+13 to 21). The improved sentiment in these sectors offset modest declines in attitudes towards property.

The higher sentiment was driven upward mostly by China, Indonesia and a surge in investment optimism in Malaysia. In Malaysia, investor sentiment rose on stronger economic growth and the belief that market conditions are improving. Investors there share the top spot with the Philippines as the region’s most positive.

Investors in Hong Kong and Taiwan remained negative — but there was an improvement on the previous quarter, with Hong Kong at -11 (+2) and Taiwan at -6 (+5). In only three markets did sentiment fall: Japan, the Philippines and Singapore, albeit in each case remaining positive.

“There’s generally a lag between economic developments and retail investor attitudes, so improved sentiment on equities is in part due to significant gains on equity markets and economic growth in the US and Eurozone,” explained Ronald Chan, Head of Equities, Asia, for Manulife Asset Management. “Looking ahead, we are optimistic on Asian equities for the remainder of 2014. Valuations are attractive and economic fundamentals point to an improving trend in many regional markets.”

China Stimulus, Indonesia Election Fever Support Sentiment

Commenting on China, Mr. Chan noted the rise in sentiment towards equities despite heightened concern over the economy. “We believe sentiment was bolstered by the rapid implementation of a ‘mini-stimulus’ program in the first quarter on 2014 and by the government’s continued commitment to economic reform and higher quality long-term growth. Sentiment could continue to rise going forward, as the Chinese government recently called for banks to accelerate the issuance of mortgages,” he said.

“Policy effect is also playing a role in Indonesia where, regardless of outcome, the upcoming election is sparking optimism over the potential for reform, thereby creating fresh investment opportunities,” said Mr. Chan.

In Malaysia, investor optimism was reflected by a rise in sentiment towards mutual funds (+16 to 54) and equities (+9 to 39). Unlike in other parts of the region, sentiment towards property also rose sharply (+10 to 62).

“Small- and mid-cap equities have driven gains in Malaysia and we see this continuing through the second half of 2014 based on robust consumption as businesses stock up ahead of the goods and services tax implementation planned for early 2015,” said Mr. Chan.

Only in Malaysia was there a discernible increase in equities as a percentage of investors’ total asset portfolios (from 9 per cent to 12 per cent) from the previous quarter. It nudged up slightly in other markets, such as Hong Kong, mainland China, Taiwan and Singapore, but these moves were marginal. This is despite the fact that two-thirds of Asian investors say they review their investment portfolios every six months, with a quarter of them doing it every three months.

Family and Friends are the Main Influence on Investment Decisions

The research looked at levels of financial literacy, where investors go to for advice and the key influences on their investment decision making.

The findings showed a correlation between higher levels of financial literacy and a greater breadth of investment experience across asset classes. By comparison, how long someone has been investing seems to have little impact on their financial literacy(Note 1).

However, regardless of time spent investing or their breadth of experience, investors say they are influenced most by family, friends and colleagues in their investment decisions. The research shows reluctance by investors to seek outside counsel for investment planning. Most, particularly those in the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Japan, say they feel they don’t need outside help and are happy to manage their investments alone.

“It’s natural that people should turn to family and friends for financial advice, but they don’t necessarily have the right skills or expertise,” said Robert A. Cook, President and CEO, Manulife Asia. “If you were ill, you’d visit the doctor. Investors should seek professional advice in the same way. Also, taking a disciplined and thoughtful approach is the best way investors can achieve investment performance.”

For more information on the Manulife Investor Sentiment Index in Asia, please visit http://www.manulife-asia.com.

Note:

Based in part on questions drawn from the National Financial Capability Study in the United States.
*About Manulife Investor Sentiment Index in Asia
Manulife’s Investor Sentiment Index in Asia is a quarterly, proprietary survey measuring and tracking investors’ views across eight markets in the region on their attitudes towards key asset classes and related issues.
The Manulife ISI is based on 500 online interviews in each market of Hong Kong, mainland China, Taiwan, Japan, and Singapore; in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines it is conducted face-to-face. Respondents are middle class to affluent investors, aged 25 years and above who are the primary decision maker of financial matters in the household and currently have investment products.
The Manulife ISI is a long-established research series in North America. The Manulife ISI has been measuring investor sentiment in Canada for the past 14 years, and extended this to its John Hancock operation in the U.S. in 2011. Asset classes taken into Manulife ISI Asia calculations are stocks/equities, real estate (primary residence and other investment properties), mutual funds/unit trusts, fixed income investment and cash.
About Manulife
Manulife is a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. Clients look to Manulife for strong, reliable, trustworthy and forward-thinking solutions for their most significant financial decisions. Our international network of employees, agents and distribution partners offers financial protection and wealth management products and services to millions of clients. We also provide asset management services to institutional customers. Funds under management by Manulife and its subsidiaries were approximately C$635 billion (US$574 billion) as at March 31, 2014. Our group of companies operates as Manulife in Canada and Asia and primarily as John Hancock in the United States.
Manulife Financial Corporation trades as ‘MFC’ on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under ‘945’ on the SEHK. Manulife can be found on the Internet at manulife.com. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as ‘MFC’ on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under ‘945’ on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at manulife.com.
About Manulife Asset Management
Manulife Asset Management is the global asset management arm of Manulife Financial, providing comprehensive asset management solutions for institutional investors and investment funds in key markets around the world. This investment expertise extends across a broad range of public, private, and alternative asset classes, as well as asset allocation solutions. As at March 31, 2014, assets under management for Manulife Asset Management were C$298 billion (US$269 billion).
Manulife Asset Management’s public markets units have investment expertise across a broad range of asset classes including public equity and fixed income, and asset allocation strategies. Offices with full investment capabilities are located in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Philippines. In addition, Manulife Asset Management has a joint venture asset management business in China, Manulife TEDA. The public markets units of Manulife Asset Management also provide investment management services to affiliates’ retail clients through product offerings of Manulife and John Hancock. John Hancock Asset Management and Declaration Management and Research are units of Manulife Asset Management. Additional information about Manulife Asset Management may be found at ManulifeAM.com.
Media Contact:
David Norris Queenie Yuen
+852-2202-1749 +852-2510-5097
david_norris@manulife.com queenie_hy_yuen@manulife.com
Source: Manulife

Written by asiafreshnews

May 23, 2014 at 12:23 pm

Posted in All releases

Deteriorating Health the No.1 Retirement Concern for Singapore Investors — Manulife Survey

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Nearly three quarters say deteriorating health is their number one retirement concern
Almost three quarters say they will rely on public medical services in retirement, even though most plan to retain personal health insurance
Healthcare expected to be second-highest retirement expense
Rising health costs not being adequately factored in
Investor sentiment remains positive
SINGAPORE, May 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Deteriorating health in old age is the number one concern for Singapore investors, with the challenge of affording the associated healthcare costs being number two, according to new research from Manulife.

The research, part of the Manulife Investor Sentiment Index (MISI) survey* for the first quarter of 2014, shows the grim reality of ageing and worsening health in retirement preys on the minds of Singapore investors more than anywhere else in the region. Unaffordable healthcare costs are their next big worry, followed by the inability to maintain their current standard of living.

Fig.1 Primary risks or concerns in retirement for Singapore investors
Fig.1 Primary risks or concerns in retirement for Singapore investors
While three quarters of Singapore investors consider themselves to be fairly healthy, on average they expect recurring long-term healthcare expenses to set in from about the age of 59. But the research also shows that Singaporeans recognize the health issues ahead and are taking steps in order to be prepared.

Three in five investors have a personal health or medical insurance plan, and of these two thirds say the insurance is enough to meet their current needs. Two thirds of respondents say they will purchase, renew or maintain their personal health insurance during retirement. However, the findings also show that a further 17 per cent wish they could but believe it won’t be possible. They say that either their policy will not be renewable after a certain age or that there is no insurance policy available to cater for their needs.

“We see in the survey findings that as people get older, they realize they tend to be healthier than they originally thought, so the impact of higher health expenses is delayed, say from late ’50s to mid ’60s. That said, however, it’s a reality that those higher costs will kick-in — that’s inevitable. So it’s important to be prepared,” said Ms. Annette King, President and CEO of Manulife Singapore.

Reliance on state healthcare as costs rise

Almost three quarters (72 per cent) of investors expect that their medical needs during retirement will be taken care of by public medical services. This reliance is particularly strong among those closer to retirement — respondents below the age of 35 expect a higher reliance on private healthcare.

However, despite the widespread expectation of support from the public sector, Singapore investors anticipate that during retirement, healthcare and medical expenses will account for 13 per cent of their monthly expenses, second only to household expenses and daily necessities (19 per cent). At present, healthcare expenses account for 10 per cent of investors’ monthly income.

“Singaporeans recognize that healthcare costs will rise as they get older but they are misguided if they think that healthcare costs will account for a similar slice of the household budget in retirement as it does now,” said Ms. King. “During the past ten years, per capita healthcare expenditure in Singapore has risen by 15 per cent a year on average(Note 1) plus they aren’t factoring in the possibility of being hit with costly chronic diseases like cancer or heart disease.”

In Singapore, one out of every three deaths is a result of heart disease or stroke(Note 2). Meanwhile, the number of people diagnosed with cancer has risen 15 per cent in the five years to the end of 2012 when it reached over 12,000 cases(Note 3). Healthcare costs in Singapore, meanwhile, have risen faster than inflation in recent years; up about 40 per cent since 2000, compared to just over 25 per cent for consumer prices(Note 4). Total healthcare costs in the Asia-Pacific region have been projected to grow at over 8 per cent a year through to 2020(Note 5).

Perhaps unaware of or downplaying the size of the hole healthcare costs will leave in their wallets, Singapore investors are generally optimistic about being able to afford a comfortable retirement. Although more than four in ten expect their spending level to increase over the course of their retirement, 59 per cent of Singapore investors think they will be able to maintain their current living standard during that time.

Investors remain optimistic about retirement and investment

Just as Singaporeans are sanguine about retirement, they take a similar view towards investing in general. Investor sentiment in Singapore was +11 in the first quarter, flat from a year earlier and down slightly from the previous quarter. The figure was below the regional average of 24, but well above the sentiment readings for Taiwan and Hong Kong, both of which were in negative territory.

Amy Low, Head of Singapore Equities with Manulife Asset Management, explains: “Singaporean investor sentiment towards equities showed quarter-on-quarter improvement from +16 to +19. This comes despite a year of relative volatility on the Straits Times Index due in large part to investment outflows from the region alongside the US Federal Reserve’s Quantitative Easing taper.”

“While the potential for further outflows remains a risk factor, we agree with this relatively optimistic investor outlook. Singapore is highly integrated with the global economy and local companies should benefit from continued global economic growth in 2014. We see the opportunity to drive positive returns based on careful selection of local stocks with stable earnings outlooks and strong franchises that are trading at attractive valuations. In this category we are particularly constructive on selective exposure to offshore/marine and commodity stocks.”

For more findings and related information from the Manulife Investor Sentiment Index in Asia, please visit http://www.manulife-asia.com.

Notes:

World Health Organization National Health Expenditure Database
Singapore Ministry of Health
National Cancer Centre Singapore
CEIC Data
Swiss Re, “Health Protection Gap in the Asia-Pacific”
*About Manulife Investor Sentiment Index in Asia
Manulife’s Investor Sentiment Index in Asia is a quarterly, proprietary survey measuring and tracking investors’ views across eight markets in the region on their attitudes towards key asset classes and related issues.
The Manulife ISI is based on 500 online interviews in each market of Hong Kong, mainland China, Taiwan, Japan, and Singapore; in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines it is conducted face-to-face. Respondents are middle class to affluent investors, aged 25 years and above who are the primary decision maker of financial matters in the household and currently have investment products.
The Manulife ISI is a long-established research series in North America. The Manulife ISI has been measuring investor sentiment in Canada for the past 14 years, and extended this to its John Hancock operation in the U.S. in 2011. Asset classes taken into Manulife ISI Asia calculations are stocks/equities, real estate (primary residence and other investment properties), mutual funds/unit trusts, fixed income investment and cash.
About Manulife
Manulife is a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. Clients look to Manulife for strong, reliable, trustworthy and forward-thinking solutions for their most significant financial decisions. Our international network of employees, agents and distribution partners offers financial protection and wealth management products and services to millions of clients. We also provide asset management services to institutional customers. Funds under management by Manulife and its subsidiaries were approximately C$635 billion (US$574 billion) as at March 31, 2014. Our group of companies operates as Manulife in Canada and Asia and primarily as John Hancock in the United States.
Manulife Financial Corporation trades as ‘MFC’ on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under ‘945’ on the SEHK. Manulife can be found on the Internet at manulife.com.
About Manulife Asset Management
Manulife Asset Management is the global asset management arm of Manulife Financial, providing comprehensive asset management solutions for institutional investors and investment funds in key markets around the world. This investment expertise extends across a broad range of public, private, and alternative asset classes, as well as asset allocation solutions. As at March 31, 2014, assets under management for Manulife Asset Management were C$298 billion (US$269 billion).
Manulife Asset Management’s public markets units have investment expertise across a broad range of asset classes including public equity and fixed income, and asset allocation strategies. Offices with full investment capabilities are located in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Philippines. In addition, Manulife Asset Management has a joint venture asset management business in China, Manulife TEDA. The public markets units of Manulife Asset Management also provide investment management services to affiliates’ retail clients through product offerings of Manulife and John Hancock. John Hancock Asset Management and Declaration Management and Research are units of Manulife Asset Management. Additional information about Manulife Asset Management may be found at ManulifeAM.com.
Media Contact:
Cindy Cheng Shakun Raj
Manulife (Singapore) Pte Ltd Manulife (Singapore) Pte Ltd
+65-6833-8162 +65-6833-8120
cindy_cheng_AC@manulife.com shakun_raj@manulife.com
Source: Manulife

Written by asiafreshnews

May 23, 2014 at 11:37 am

Posted in All releases

60,000 Crewmembers Onboard 3,200 Vessels Installed with CrewCommCenter Gets Daily Access to World Cup Updates

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– SMSGlobal provides daily World Cup coverage for free to all its customers –

http://www.smsglobal.net

HONG KONG, May 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — SMSGlobal, the leading global provider of crew communication solutions, today reminded ship managers that its CrewCommCenter satellite communications software will provide daily coverage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

The competition runs from 12 June — 13 July, and SMSGlobal will provide a roundup of news — match reports, tables and results through its CrewCommCenter Announcements feature.

“We are proud to provide free coverage of this major sporting event as a part of the CrewCommCenter application,” said SMSGlobal’s Managing Director Jan Andre’ Heggem.

“The CrewCommCenter is earning widespread praise from operators who are dedicated to enabling seafarers to communicate onboard in the same manner as they do ashore, but within the framework and allowances set forth by the ship owner. It’s addressing both the needs of the crewmembers and the management preferences for simplified administration and cost control.”

More than 270 fleets representing 3,200 vessels world-wide are equipped with SMSGlobal’s CrewCommCenter system.

The launch of Se@MeNow in 2014 further cemented CrewCommCenter as the market leading crew communications solution that merges each sector’s divergent concerns into a single platform.

CrewCommCenter provides the seafarer convenient, affordable, private communications with their loved ones and friends, enabling them to send and receive E-mails and SMS, read ship manager announcements and news from home, converse through low data instant messaging, and browse the Internet.
While the crew enjoys all these features, CrewCommCenter also strongly addresses the ship owners concerns:
Limits are set for sending and receiving messages, Internet access and low data social- media chat, thus usage is controlled;
Fixed monthly charges for each module, thus cost is predictable;
Access restrictions, content control, whitelisting or blacklisting, thus security is guaranteed;
Simple, industry standard protocols and interfaces for system management and remote configurations, thus ease of maintenance and administration is guaranteed;
Finally, CrewCommCenter is a software-based solution thus no need for costly capital outlays for additional hardware.
About SMSGlobal Ltd.
SMSGlobal was founded in 2003 when the company introduced the first universal 2-way SMS text messaging and crew E-mail service for seafarers.
SMSGlobal has established offices in Hong Kong & Philippines and works hand in hand with over 800 telecom operators world-wide integrating various state-of-the-art technologies.
For more information:
http://www.smsglobal.net
andreheggem@smsglobal.net
Source: SMSGlobal Ltd

Written by asiafreshnews

May 23, 2014 at 11:09 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Truphone World Paves Way for Business to be More Productive in 66 Countries

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SYDNEY, May 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Truphone, the mobile network operator without country borders, today announced Truphone World, which will give Australian businesses peace of mind as they move across the world’s major business hubs. Truphone customers can now use their mobile devices in 66 countries in exactly the same way as they do at home — with high speed data, high quality calling, and best in class customer service.[1] This move promises to transform the way businesses use mobile phones internationally.

At the core of this group of 66 nations is an area of eight key countries called the Truphone Zone.[2] Here, users can get up to eight international numbers on a single SIM card, so their contacts can reach them on a local number and at local rates, wherever they are in the world.

Truphone World extends the financial benefits of the Truphone Zone to cover an additional 58 countries[3] (66 countries in total). This region accounts for over 70%[4] of all international travel routes — including Europe and key business destinations in North America, South America, Asia and Oceania.

Anticipating the increased demand for international data usage that Truphone World will bring, Truphone is also launching a number of substantially bigger and more competitive bundles, increasing the benefit of the only shareable international data plans in the marketplace. The new bundles come with a variety of allowances including the world’s first half a terabyte international plan.

Steve Robertson, Chief Executive Officer of Truphone, said: “Our unique global mobile network connects people across international borders in a way which no one else can match. We bring businesses closer to their international contacts and give them an unparalleled global service experience. Today, we’re going a step further to help make our customers more productive in 66 countries.”

“Last year, data usage increased five-fold in some places, and the internet has opened up a new dimension to global trade. The urgent need of businesses is there right now. Truphone World will enable businesses to use their mobile devices around the major business centres of the world in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Oceania.”

Alex Blinko, Managing Director for Truphone Australia, agrees: “Truphone World is a game-changer for Australian businesses which have been significantly hampered by traditional approaches and pricing for international mobile communications.”

“With almost three in five Australian businesses sending employees abroad on a quarterly basis, and over 40% of these businesses identifying roaming charges as a challenge for their business and their employees[5], Truphone World brings about an end to the uncertainty of international communications, enabling businesses to be productive globally.”

James Tagg, Chief Technology Officer, said: “This tiny piece of technology — [The Truphone SIM], smaller than my thumbnail, is at the heart of a unique high performance network that covers half the world.”

“Mobile phones should work in the same way as the internet regardless of international borders.” He continued, “Truphone World could fundamentally change the way businesses behave internationally.”

Truphone serves a wide range of customers including start-ups and FTSE 100 companies, as well as major brands such as Harley Davidson, and five of the eight largest banks in the world. The company was shortlisted earlier this year for “Best Enterprise Mobile Service,” by the GSMA, the industry body for mobile operators worldwide.

For further information on Truphone World, please see: http://www.truphone.com

+61-2-8999-4206 | business.au@truphone.com

[1] Truphone Net Promoter Score, a measure of customer advocacy, is at 70%, the highest in the mobile industry

[2] Truphone eight Zone Countries/Regions are: Australia, Hong Kong, the UK, the US, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, and Poland

[3] The additional 58 Truphone World countries are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, French Guiana, Greece, Guadeloupe, Guernsey, Hungary, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Martinique, Monaco, Portugal, Reunion Island, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Vatican City, Mayotte, Albania, Andorra, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Montenegro, Norway, San Marino, Serbia, Switzerland, China, Singapore, New Zealand, Japan, Russia, Ukraine, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Belarus, Argentina and Turkey.

[4] According to UNWTO international travel statistics, 2012

[5] Based on independent research commissioned by Truphone and conducted by CoreData in February 2014

SOURCE: Truphone

Written by asiafreshnews

May 23, 2014 at 10:29 am

Posted in Uncategorized