SPH-owned Paragon's attempt to get free creative pitch from advertising agencies described as a 'farce' by key industry players

Mumbrella Asia, 22 Sep 2014
Paragon, which is owned by Singapore Press Holdings and located on the citystate’s shopping district of Orchard Road, sent out a creative tender for branding and promotions work that tasks agencies to send in ten pieces of creative by the middle of next month for no pitch fee.
The tender stipulates that Paragon, which houses luxury brand stores such as Gucci, Prada and Salvatore Ferragamo, “is not bound to accept the lowest tender, and the project may be awarded in whole or in part.” There will be no retainer fees for the winning agency.
One agency invited to pitch described the tender as a “farce” and will not be participating.
The agency’s boss, who wanted to remain anonymous, told Mumbrella: “I can’t imagine how any self-respecting agency would decide to do this pitch. It’s a farce.”
“The amount of work they demand for an unpaid pitch, a “shortlist” that reads like the 4As agency listing, and a miniscule budget on the back of a “we’re not unhappy with our current agency, we need to do this for audit purposes” statement – and an agency is supposed to want to do this?” Full story

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Singapore makes it easier for Chinese companies with dodgy corporate governance to list in SGX

Bloomberg, 21 Sep 2014
Singapore Exchange Ltd. (SGX) is forecasting an end to a two-year hiatus for Chinese listings after regulators made it easier for companies from Asia’s biggest economy to sell shares in the city-state.
After a flurry of Chinese companies known as the S-chips listed in Singapore in 2007, IPOs dried up as debt defaults and accounting scandals saw stocks from FerroChina Ltd. to Sino Techfibre Ltd. delisted or suspended.
SGX has been holding seminars across China to explain the new rules to state-owned enterprises and private companies, and has received enquiries from manufacturers, property developers and mining companies interested in a Singapore IPO, Wong said. Full story

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Singapore Overtaking Mumbai for India Futures With Longer Trading Hours, Influx of Cheaper South Asian Traders

Bloomberg, 21 Sep 2014
Singapore is overtaking Mumbai as the biggest market for Indian stock-index futures, a sign of foreign investors’ growing influence over equities in the world’s second-most populous nation.
The CHART OF THE DAY shows open interest, or the number of outstanding contracts, for CNX Nifty Index futures on the Singapore Exchange Ltd. climbed 55 percent during the past four years to about 345,000. That compares with a 60 percent decline for similar contracts traded on the National Stock Exchange of India Ltd., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Singapore is luring foreign investors with longer hours and lower trading costs, Kotak Institutional Equities said in a report this month. Full story

Heng Swee Keat admits Lee Kuan Yew's birthday photo was photoshopped to mask the mysterious "glare" on the background

Hardwarezone Forum, 19 Sep 2014

Education Minister Heng Swee Keat has responded to online queires about the “strange” photo of MR Lee Kuan Yew’s 91st birthday which he first uploaded this week.
The photo, pictured above, showed Mr Lee Kuan Yew and several of his close staf members celebrating his birthday but netizens were confused as to why the background was pitch black and there were lighter ‘halos’ around the people gathered around Mr Lee.
Many netizens had speculated that the photo was photoshopped and questioned why such a thing was necessary.
In response, Mr Heng explained that the strange photo was indeed digitally altered.
"This was a personal photograph taken with a simple camera. The photograph had some glare in the background. An amateur adjustment was made to remove the glare,” he explained. Link


PAP's two-time loser Desmond Choo abandons Hougang, joins Tampines GRC to seek back-door entry into Parliament

Hardwarezone Forum, 18 Sep 2014
SINGAPORE - The People's Action Party (PAP) candidate who twice lost in election bids in the Hougang single-seat ward appears unlikely to contest there for a third time.
This is because Mr Desmond Choo, 36, has been named as the second adviser to grassroots organisations in Tampines East, a ward in Tampines GRC, on Wednesday. Its MP is former National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan, 66.
His move as second adviser in Tampines East was announced in a People's Association (PA) statement on Thursday on the appointment of long-serving grassroots leader Goh Chee Koh, 69, as the new adviser in Hougang, succeeding Mr Choo.
Mr Goh, who served as a grassroots volunteer in Punggol for 40 years, including as Punggol Central Citizen's Consultative Committee chairman, took over in Hougang on Tuesday. Full story

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