03/02/2014 Asia Business Report


Live from Singapore, the essential business news as it breaks and a look ahead to the news that will shape the business day.

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been charged with the murder of her seven-week old boy. She was -- he


died a day after being taken to hospital.


Now for all the latest business news.


Thailand's collections are disrupted by protesters, leaving millions


unable to vote. Will this cost the country into political limbo. As


millions celebrate Chinese New Year, we take a look at the investment


projections. We start off with Thailand, which


held elections on Sunday, despite a boycott from the opposition party.


The election commission was unable to tally the result after


anti-government protesters forced hundreds of polling stations to shut


down. Affecting more than 6 million voters. A new date is expected to be


set to pass the ballot. Earlier I spoke with Tony Nash and asked if we


could see any resolution to the conflict. The good part is that


there was no violence. It was not extreme. We are not looking at the


military coup. What the opposition is hoping for is that the


Constitution Court comes into the election commission and the close


the vote invalid or that the corruption commission proceeds with


corruption allegations and prosecution against Yingluck


Sinawatra. With those options that you have put on the table, how will


investors perceive all of this? They will see things slow down for a


while. The best option that people have is that it is a waiting game.


They are hoping that protest fatigue sets in. As protest fatigue sets


in, that is the best friend. With more political gridlock, as you


say, will investors remain on the sidelines, or will they see this as


an opportunity to come in and look into the economy and investment


opportunities? It depends. There is a milestone that they need to see in


the next two weeks. If the corruption commission say that there


are going to persecute the government or Yingluck Sinawatra


this -- specifically, that milestone first. That is before major action


on investment takes place. The airline sector in India has seen


a jump in bookings after slashing FS. But it comes at a time when many


of the domestic carriers are running at massive losses.


Getting up for a holiday. This woman is searching for hotels in goal,


where she will be flying for a weekend with a friend. She had no


plans are going for a short break. Then she saw that airlines were


selling tickets at a huge discount. She could not resist. It was the


reason. I would love to go every month, but that is not feasible. If


you take a bus or a train, that wastes a time of travelling. The


tickets have become expensive. Domestic airlines had a sale


offering cheaper tickets for travel between February and April. Online


travel portals see that bookings on some routes struggled to in the same


period. But can Indian airlines afford to offer tickets at such low


prices? In 2013, the combined loss of all domestic Indian airlines was


over $1 billion. So why are they offering such huge discounts if they


are not making profits? Every year between January-March is the school


and university exam season. That means less people are flying. They


offering cheaper tickets, airlines hope that they can tempt passengers


and fill in more seats. India already has five national domestic


carriers. And several airline groups are planning to start flights in


India. While it has been growing every year, most Indian airlines are


still struggling to make money because of the lower fares, the high


taxes and operational costs. Globally, aviation has been a


notoriously difficult industry to make money. And squeezing every


dollar out of passengers helps the chances. But the recent ticket sales


and arrival of new airlines into the market means that India will no


doubt see more airfare battle is in 2014. -- battles.


Markets in China and Hong Kong remain shut down for the bigger New


Year celebrations. It is the year of the horse, according to the Chinese


zodiac. Many people will visit an expert to get one's fortune. I spoke


to an analyst about the animal index that predicts investment trends. We


looked at the Fortune shot of the year. It has a strong presence of


fire. We are expecting the market to go strong. So we are producing


markets galloping higher. Especially in the first half. It is going to be


big run. Which particular companies are going to do well? Sectors like


the wood and fire sectors. Companies in fashion, retail, soft commodities


and Internet technologies. Which particular companies will


underperform? From our perspective, the sector is going to struggle.


Companies in property, construction, resources, they should be more


cautious. And the report specifically predicts sins are they


not only turning on Japan's nuclear power stations, but eventually


confirming reports that the nation is pursuing nuclear weapons. How did


the index arrived at this conclusion? -- Shinzo Abe A. It is


particularly light-hearted predictions. We are predicting that


he is going to have a challenging year. It is a wealth of fire


element. Fire combined with the gang metal could indicate a new form of


energy. We are looking possibly at nuclear. But also from a


geopolitical position. Another common sight during the


Chinese beer are lion dance groups, which are believed to bless


businesses with good fortune. -- Chinese New Year. They are paid as


much as $4000 for their services. We caught up with a popular troupe in


Kuala Lumpur. The Chinese lion dance brings good


fortune to businesses. But over the years they have perfect it into


quite an arts. This is one of the top line dance trips in the country.


They are going to do some incredible acrobatics. Sitting next to me is


one of the lion heads. You can see his pants. A lot of people are very


excited and are drawn most specifically to watch this


particular performance. Are you excited? Yes. The lion dance is


amazing. I hope that I can get an orange. That will bring me good


luck. I would not eat it on the spot. The cost of living is going


up, Chinese New Year is like Christmas, people spend a lot of


money, have you noticed that at all? Somewhat. This year I am spending


less than the previous year. It is more towards family time rather than


spending money. How much less are you spending? 50%. Have businesses


held back on hiring dancing groups? Yes. Every month they cut the


budget. This particular performance lasted for about 15 minutes and it


cost over $1000. If that sounds like a lot of money, consider how many


people they attract just to watch this particular performance. This is


also seen as a blessing for all of the businesses in the shopping mall.


In this particular year where people are cutting back on spending,


businesses want as much luck and fortune as they can get.


In the Asian markets, stocks are struggling this Monday after reports


over the weekend showed that China's factory growth fell to a


low. That is for this edition of the Asia Business Report. The Super Bowl


is currently under way. More up next.


You are watching BBC News. Here are the headlines: The Oscar-winning


actor Philip Seymour Hoffman has been found


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