HSBC offers 2.5-year fixed term bond fund to Singapore retail investors – The Business Times

HSBC Global Asset Management is offering a 2.5-year fixed term bond fund to Singapore retail investors.

The Global Corporate Fixed Term Bond 2022 aims to generate a monthly dividend and to return net assets upon the bond’s maturity in January 2022. The dividend is not guaranteed and may be paid out of capital, which will result in capital erosion and a reduction in net asset value, said HSBC.

It added that the final portfolio value will depend on the number of defaults and reinvestment rates over the life of the fund, and there is no guarantee of income and repayment of the principal amount invested initially.

According to HSBC, the fund is broadly diversified across investment grade and high yield bonds in developed markets and emerging markets, with a maximum of 30 per cent of its assets to be invested in non-investment grade bonds to achieve an average rating of BBB-.

It will have investments in North America, Europe and a “considerable weighting in Asia in terms of asset allocation”, as HSBC sees attractive opportunities to be expected across the region.

A robust default analysis process is in place to monitor the underlying securities and ensure credit risk is managed, the asset manager said.

Just like traditional bond funds, the fixed term bond fund will be managed by an investment team and has a lower minimum subscription threshold than individual bonds.

Singapore retail investors can subscribe for the bond fund until June 25. The fund will begin trading on the same day.

With a base currency in US dollars, the fund also offers share classes in Singapore dollar, yuan and Australian dollar. The minimum investment amount is US$1,000, S$1,000, 5,000 yuan and A$1,000 for the respective currencies.

For investors who wish to redeem the fund prior to the maturity date, swing pricing of up to 2 per cent of the redemption amount will apply to protect existing investors against transaction costs, said HSBC.

Puneet Chaddha, CEO and head of Southeast Asia, HSBC Global Asset Management, said HSBC offered this fund in response to strong investor demand for higher yield, and that it is the first time HSBC is extending fixed maturity bond funds to retail investors.

“The short tenor of this fund offers investors better predictability of potential income for the foreseeable future as typically shorter time to maturity can help to reduce impact of market volatility,” he added.

Man posed as a woman then used victims’ nude photos to extort $6000 – The New Paper

For nearly a month, sometimes on a daily basis, he would receive the same threat – pay up or his nude photo would be leaked on social media.

The 22-year-old Singaporean man had willingly sent the photo to Ramlan Abu, 24, thinking he was a woman.

Ramlan had posed as a woman advertising sexual services online.

Fearing for his reputation, the victim kept paying.

Ramlan used similar tactics on nine others, and would also pretend to be his own agent to cheat them.

Yesterday, he was sentenced to 61/2 years in prison and 10 strokes of the cane for extortion, cheating, and possessing methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.

In what the prosecution called an unprecedented case, Ramlan pleaded guilty to 14 charges, with 50 other related offences taken into consideration.

Between March and October last year, he received $6,000 from eight victims, who cannot be named due to a gag order.

Ramlan had a profile on a classifieds website, where he advertised sexual services under female names such as “Ellisha” or “Mariaa”. Men would send him a text message or call him on his mobile phone thinking they were contacting a woman, though some of the victims knew he was transsexual.

The 22-year-old victim had contacted Ramlan through WhatsApp on Sept 24, last year.

He sent the nude photo and Ramlan suggested a video call.

The victim agreed to pay Ramlan to see the latter perform a sex act, only realising Ramlan was a man when he saw his genitals.

Later that day, Ramlan sent the victim a Facebook post with photos showing the victim’s genitals and face, and told him he would not remove it unless he was paid $90. Ramlan continued to extort money from the man, who transferred more than $3,000 on 31 occasions.

Stressed, he finally made a police report on Oct 22.

Ramlan was arrested the next day.

In dealing with other victims, Ramlan would threaten to leak incriminating conversations or the victims’ personal information to make them pay up.

In mitigation, defence lawyer Koh Jian Ying said Ramlan needed money to pay his elderly mother’s medical expenses.

He was her sole caretaker and she had suffered a stroke in 2015, the lawyer said.

Mr Koh said Ramlan had no intention of releasing the victims’ identities, personal information, or photos, and at no point were they disseminated to the public.

But Deputy Public Prosecutor Zhou Yihong rejected Ramlan’s claim about his mother’s medical expenses, arguing he had spent the money for his personal use.

DPP Zhou said Ramlan’s extortion was persistent and egregious.

She urged the court to issue a strong deterrent message with a harsh imprisonment term.

Canadian PM Trudeau snubbed by China over request for talks about detained Canadians – The Straits Times

OTTAWA (AFP) – China ignored Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s personal request for dialogue to end a spiralling diplomatic row, his office revealed Wednesday (June 12).

Trudeau requested the call in January with Premier Li Keqiang so he could “personally advocate” for the immediate release of two Canadians detained a month earlier and for clemency in the case of another Canadian who would later be sentenced to death for drug trafficking, his spokeswoman Chantal Gagnon said in a statement.

“Our appeal for clemency (in the drug case) was also made directly to senior Chinese officials,” she added.

The disclosure comes amid growing domestic calls for Trudeau to step up pressure on China to release the two Canadians, whom his government has said were arbitrarily detained.

Former diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor were detained after the December 1 arrest of a top Huawei executive, Meng Wanzhou, in Vancouver on a US warrant.

China has said it suspects Kovrig, who works for the International Crisis Group think tank, of espionage and alleged that Spavor provided him with intelligence.

But Trudeau retorted that the pair “had been detained for political reasons.”

Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said last month she also sought a meeting with her Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, to no avail.

The detentions have thrown relations between Ottawa and Beijing into crisis.

China has also blocked Canadian agricultural shipments worth billions of dollars.

In response, Ottawa has rallied a dozen countries to its side, including Britain, France, Germany and the United States, as well as the European Union, Nato and the G7.

Meng is living in a Vancouver mansion on bail awaiting an extradition hearing scheduled to start in early 2020.

Grab eyes Singapore banking licence, Transport News & Top Stories – The Straits Times

Ride-hailing firm Grab is said to be exploring a move into banking, as Singapore regulators consider allowing online-only banks.

Grab is said to be close to hiring a consultancy to advise it on its banking potential, and is gearing up to apply for a digital-only bank licence if the regulator opens up the sector.

The reports came from four sources who declined to be identified as they were not authorised to speak to the media.

Grab, South-east Asia’s most valuable start-up, declined comment.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) pointed to comments made last month when it said it was studying the potential for allowing “digital-only banks with non-bank parentage” into its market.

A potential entry by Grab – backed by Japan’s SoftBank Group – and others would mark the biggest shake-up in years for a market dominated by DBS Bank, OCBC Bank and United Overseas Bank.

The MAS could make a decision in the next couple of months, the sources said.

The interest from Grab underscores how Asia’s non-banking firms are keen to challenge traditional banks by leveraging their technology and user databases to offer financial services to retail customers and small businesses.

Securing a digital banking licence could help Grab benefit from its data on transport movements, payment transactions and consumer behaviour, the sources said.

Last year, Grab teamed up with Japan’s Credit Saison to provide loans in South-east Asia.

Global fintech players are among other groups expected to seek licences in Singapore, with some looking to form joint ventures, said two of the sources.

Consultants said a digital banking licence may also appeal to telco Singtel, which is expanding beyond its traditional services into areas such as mobile payments and cyber security.

“It is too premature to comment, but having ventured into mobile financial services, we are open to exploring the feasibility of such an opportunity should it arise,” a Singtel spokesman said.

In Hong Kong, affiliates of Alibaba and Xiaomi, and consortiums led by Standard Chartered and BOC Hong Kong Holdings were among those that won digital-only banking licences earlier this year.

“In Hong Kong, the guidelines were quite precise in terms of what applicants had to prove in order to get a licence, more so than in Europe,” said Mr Dan Jones, Asia-Pacific partner at consultancy Capco Digital.

“It will be interesting to see whether MAS goes down a similar route to Hong Kong… so that the only people who can apply are established companies, rather than literal start-ups.”

As in Hong Kong, online-only banks in Singapore are expected to launch by offering services such as savings accounts, personal loans and travel insurance.


Trust placed on teachers shouldn’t be ‘trivialised’: MOE on comments that sexually exploited boy was ‘lucky’ – CNA

SINGAPORE: The integrity of the teaching profession and the trust placed on teachers in all their interactions with students is a “serious matter” and “should never be trivialised”, said the Ministry of Education (MOE).

It said this in an emailed response to CNA when asked about comments made online about the case of a female secondary school teacher who was convicted on Monday (Jun 10) of sexually exploiting her 15-year-old male student.

The woman, now 29, was sentenced to jail for two years and nine months.

She had made the teenage boy perform sex acts on her and vice versa during a “staycation” in Geylang between Nov 28, 2016 and Dec 2, 2016.

READ: Female teacher who sexually exploited 15-year-old student during ‘staycation’ gets jail

The news generated many comments on social media and other online platforms, with some suggesting that the boy involved was “lucky” and others speculating about the appearance of the female teacher.

“I will be a proud dad if it happened to my son,” said one person commenting on CNA’s Facebook page. Another said: “We all want this kind of teacher, don’t we?”

A commentator on Hardware Zone asked: “How come not my teacher?”, while others on the forum expressed their “envy” and said the boy was a “lucky chap, lol”.

Such comments highlight the need for more public education, said Ms Corinna Lim, executive director of the Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE), who added that the online response may deter other victims in seeking help.

“Clearly, more public education is needed to combat widespread misunderstanding about the sexual abuse of children, such as the myth that men and boys always consent to sexual contact and that their sexual exploitation is not real or severe,” said Ms Lim in response to queries from CNA.

“Exploitation by authority figures is extremely harmful and must be taken seriously regardless of the genders of the parties involved,” she added.

“Joking comments that trivialise the experience may contribute to victims’ feelings of self-blame, confusion and fear of judgment, deterring others from making disclosures to seek help.”

Echoing that, Institute of Mental Health (IMH) senior clinical psychologist Kenny Liew said being abused by a person in a position of trust can cause a variety of emotional and psychological problems regardless of gender.

“Some may develop psychological difficulties and direct it towards themselves,” he added. 

Mr Liew said they may become withdrawn, depressed or ashamed and inferior, and also experience “fears and anxieties towards certain people or situations and may actively avoid them”.

The person suffering the abuse may isolate themselves socially and find it difficult to trust others, said Mr Liew.

This is more so for minors who are abused.

READ: Children to get more protection against sexual predators in Criminal Law Reform Bill

“Trust in others and sense of self is developed and influenced by our early experiences. When a person in a position of trust, who is supposed to care and protect us abuses us instead, this breaks our trust in others,” he said.

“These children may experience fear and confusion. They may be ambivalent and uncertain about who they can depend on to support them.”

Mr Thomas Wong, divisional director of HR solutions and capabilities at MOE said “there are systems in place for students to inform school management if they encounter situations which make them feel unsafe”. 

The ministry “will not hesitate to take disciplinary action against those who fail to adhere to our standards of conduct and discipline, including dismissal from service”, he stressed.

​​​​​​​The Sexual Assault Care Centre can be reached at 6779-0282 and from Mondays to Fridays, 10am to 10pm.

iKON’s B.I leaves group following allegations of drug use – AsiaOne

Following allegations of drug use by South Korean media, iKON’s leader B.I shocked fans on Wednesday (June 12) with the sudden announcement that he’s withdrawing from the K-pop group.

In his Instagram post, he also apologised to his fans and the other members of the band.

Media outlet Dispatch reported that B.I, also known as Kim Han Bin, had attempted to purchase marijuana and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) sometime in 2016.

The publication also claimed that police did not call him in for investigations although they were aware of his actions.

In addition, Dispatch released chat transcripts dated April 2016 that purportedly showed the singer’s conversations with a drug dealer, known only as ‘A’.

Dispatch claimed that B.I told A about his marijuana use and tried to purchase 1,500,000 won (S$1,730) worth of LSD. His reason for wanting to try the hallucinogenic drug? Because he wanted to “become a genius”.

iKON is signed under YG Entertainment, which has been rocked by several drug scandals in the past. G-Dragon of BigBang was caught smoking marijuana in 2011 while fellow BigBang member T.O.P was involved in a marijuana scandal in 2017.

Allkpop reported that a YG Entertainment official had earlier denied B.I’s drug use allegations in a phone interview with ‘Dispatch’ on June 12, saying that the agency carried out tests on all artists every two months and that he had tested negative for drug use.


Following reports of B.I’s alleged drug use, iKON’s fans took to Twitter to express their shock and sorrow.


B.I is currently part of the lineup of two variety shows – SBS’ Law of the Jungle Thailand and JTBC’s Grand Buda-Guest. Representatives for both programmes have confirmed that his appearance will be removed from the shows.

YG Entertainment has confirmed that B.I will leave iKON. His contract with the company will also be terminated. 

The company said in their statement, “We bow our heads and apologise for disappointing everyone with our artist Kim Han Bin’s problem.

“Kim Han Bin is feeling heavy responsibility due to the impact of this matter. Taking the matter seriously, he has decided to leave the team and terminate his exclusive contract.”

“YG has become keenly aware of our responsibility for managing our agency artists.”

“Once again we sincerely apologise for causing concern.”

Google just revealed the Pixel 4 months earlier than expected – Yahoo News

In a shocking turn of events, Google shared the first image of its next smartphone on Wednesday, confirming many of the leaks that have been spreading around the internet over the last few weeks. If Google sticks to the same release schedule it had for the Pixel 3, then the Pixel 4 won’t officially launch until October, which makes this an incredibly early reveal. But there’s no denying that it will get people talking.

If you’ve been keeping up with the countless leaks in recent weeks, the product shot shared by Google shouldn’t do much to surprise you. As expected, Google is scrapping the old multi-colored back panel in favor of one solid sheet of what we assume is glass. We also see the rear camera housing, which appears to contain two cameras (the first time a Pixel has had more than one rear camera), and at least two other sensors.

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It’s worth noting that the phone in the photo above (and in the tweet below) looks virtually identical to the renders that OnLeaks and Pricebaba shared earlier this week. Those renders also included a look at the front of the phone, which, based on Google’s official image, we can’t help but assume are accurate as well.

In an era where everyone is prone to massive leaks, even the likes of Apple, Samsung, and Google, it’s interesting to see a company try to ride the wave rather than fight back. OnePlus has had some success by joining in on the fun of early feature reveals and hints at designs, and now Google will try to replicate that success.

If you want to see the phone in one piece, rather than split in half, this tweet from Roland Quandt should help:

BGR Top Deals:

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Fire breaks out at Warren Country Club’s al fresco restaurant, no one hurt – The Straits Times

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