Pyongyang’s 1st Recreational Centre to Eat, Drink & be Merry

first_img RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR AvatarDaily NKQuestions or comments about this article? Contact us at [email protected] News News By Daily NK – 2007.07.02 8:08pm News Entire border patrol unit in North Hamgyong Province placed into quarantine following “paratyphoid” outbreak North Korea tries to accelerate building of walls and fences along border with Chinacenter_img Pyongyang’s 1st Recreational Centre to Eat, Drink & be Merry Facebook Twitter [imText1]On the banks opposite the Chongryukwan (a restaurant) in Pyongyang, a newly leisure centre “Sol Pong Centre” was opened on June 19th. A Chinese webpage to motivate North Korea-China trade advertizes Sol Pong Centre as, “The latest modernized restaurants, leisure and recreational centre has opened in Pyongyang.”According to the webpage, Sol Pong Centre offers a variety of services including restaurants, recreational activities, shopping, lounge area, communal bathing, swimming, gym, barber and hairdressers. Even the entrance to the 5 storey building including a basement, is a revolving door, a rarity in North Korea. There is a Korean barbeque restaurant and shops on the 1st floor, and other modern services on the 2nd floor including a barber, massage therapist, wedding hall and piano concert hall. This is the first time since the 80’s where a major service centre has opened in North Korea, The last centre “Changkwangwon” facilitated shops, restaurants and a wedding hall. The webpage features, “This centre was designed to match modern lifestyle and western fashion, and will completely satisfy your recreational lifestyle. It will provide you will a space to enjoy Pyongyang’s modernized foods and leisure.” North Korea media has not officially advertised the centre as yet. It is being introduced on Chinese investment websites and many speculate that this centre will be more for foreigners and Pyongyang’s top elite class.[imText2][imText3][imText4][imText5][imText6][imText7][imText8][imText9][imText10][imText11][imText12][imText13][imText14][imText15] SHARE News There are signs that North Korea is running into serious difficulties with its corn harvest last_img read more

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‘Loyalty gifts’ make for ‘loyalty race’ ahead of 7th Party Congress

first_img SHARE News US dollar and Chinese reminbi plummet against North Korean won once again ‘Loyalty gifts’ make for ‘loyalty race’ ahead of 7th Party Congress Facebook Twitter There are signs that North Korea is running into serious difficulties with its corn harvest Ahead of North Korea’s 7th Workers’ PartyCongress — the first gathering of its kind in over three decades — state-runenterprises and factories are busy gearing up to produce ‘loyalty gifts’ forthe leader, all the while working to churn out art pieces and sculptures thatwill decorate the venue as mandated by the state. This ‘creative task’ isadding to the burden of workers and families that have been roped into securingexpensive material for the projects, Daily NK has learned.“State-run enterprises on the provincial,city, county, and district levels have all been ordered to submit artwork andsculptures that will be used at the Congress, triggering a ‘loyalty race’ amongcompanies,” a source from South Pyongan Province told Daily NK in a telephoneconversation on December 9th. “In order to produce elaborate and extravagantpieces, as required by the state, firms must embellish their work with gold,silver, and jewels such as crystal and peridot.” Two additional sources, one in NorthPyongan Province and one in North Hamgyong Province, confirmed this news. This ‘creative task’ has prompted statefactories and companies to launch ‘gold production teams’ and ‘foreign currencyteams’ that are dispatched to different regions. The funds to buy in gold aresecured from ‘loyalty funds’ that have forcibly been collected from workers.“With this money, she said, “the companies send people to mines all acrossthe country to buy in gold, peridot, and other precious materials at highprices.” “State firms that are level three or higherare required to offer up at least one art piece along with 10kg of gold.Students have a 10kg requirement per person of ‘colored metals,” the sourceexplained. “For households that don’t have any ‘colored metals’, they must payin cash instead or buy some from a broker at the market at pricey deals.”   Students are busy trying to meet theirquotas for copper, aluminium, and other metals by collecting scrap material,and this is causing headaches not only for their parents but factory managersas well. At school, students face daily reviews on how much they havecollected, leading many to take in all copper items they have at home. Somepeople are even secretly taking apart equipment at factories to extract metals,causing problems for factory cadres.   The excessive collection has triggeredangry responses from people, and elderly members have likened the burdensometasks to those seen under Japan’s colonial rule, during which residents wereforced to give up household items such as brass tableware and utensils,according to the source.  News center_img AvatarChoi Song Min NewsEconomy RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR North Korea Market Price Update: June 8, 2021 (Rice and USD Exchange Rate Only) News By Choi Song Min – 2015.12.10 9:17am last_img read more

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Party Secretary Caught in Crystal Meth Scandal

first_img A Chosun Workers’ Party Central Committeesecretary affiliated with Musan Mine was dismissed after being caught with 1kgof “ice” [crystal methamphetamine, or “crystal meth”] and is undergoing intenseinvestigation by the State Security Department. His possession of the illicitdrugs came to light when two thieves, caught for breaking into a house shortlyafter burglarizing that of the secretary’s, revealed the information underduress during the investigation. “The Musan Mine Party secretary was hiding1kg of ‘ice,’” a source in North Hamkyung Province reported to Daily NK onFebruary 26th. “ Two burglars in their 30s discovered and then took offwith the drugs while ransacking the residence.”During an investigation by the Musan CountyMinistry of People’s Security unit, the two young men made a full confession abouttheir actions and what they found in the secretary’s home. As a result, thesecretary was dismissed from his position and has been sent to the StateSecurity Department unit in North Hamkyung Province for further interrogation. “There have been a number of high-ranking Partycadres implicated in drug trafficking recently. This practice continues toincrease because 1kg of ‘ice’ can rake in 100,000 RMB [in North Korea],” the source said. “If the kilo he had was passed on to a Chinese trader, the price would be around 300,000 RMB for the same quantity.”According to the source, the secretary’shigh-ranking status warrants a protracted investigation, and is likely toentrap not only those circulating the drugs but also those manufacturing it. “Given the fact that the secretary neithersold ice nor possessed it in large quantities, I think he would be sent to a reeducationcamp rather than a political prison camp,” he surmised. “While Kim JungEun did mandate the same penalization for drug traffickers and politicalprisoners, the former secretary will get off easier because he only had them inpossession but wasn’t caught selling them.” Kim Jong Eun initiated branches of the 1218Group, a unit tasked with rooting out drugs, under each provincial SSDunit, in December 2010 to try to curtail the drug problem; the subsequentcrackdowns carried out by the organization saw a number of high-ranking Partycadres, caught dealing drugs, summarily sent to languish in political prisoncamps.  However, the increase in possession and trafficking of drugsamong high-ranking Party cadres in recent years indicates the group is lacking in efficacy. Forexample, in early 2011, the wife of 9th Corps’ political division director wasapprehended in Chongjin Station with 2kg of “ice.” That same year, the directorof North Hamkyung Province’s SSD unit and the chief of the Chongam Districtprosecution office in Chongjin City were each caught with more than 5kg of the drug in their possession. The news has shocked residents, accordingto the source, who explained that the Party secretary was known for hisfrequent harangues equating dealing in drugs with treachery against the state.“And to think, a burglar was the one who shined light on his bald-facedlies–it’s hilarious,” he concluded.* This article was amended on February 28, 2015. It previously stated that the drug could fetch 300,000 RMB per gram in China. The price is per kilogram. Facebook Twitter North Korea Market Price Update: June 8, 2021 (Rice and USD Exchange Rate Only) US dollar and Chinese reminbi plummet against North Korean won once again AvatarChoi Song Min NewsEconomy News News center_img RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR By Choi Song Min – 2015.02.27 5:12pm SHARE Party Secretary Caught in Crystal Meth Scandal News Proposal to shift “general markets” to “specialized markets” finds little support among N. Korean leaderslast_img read more

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Gulf Coast pipeline reversal to lift oil prices, analysts say

Energy sector outlook turns positive Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Related news Keywords Energy stocks “I think it’s very well established that more transportation capacity has to be added out of Cushing to prevent stockpiles of crude oil and price discounting for Canadian crude,” he said in an interview. Enbridge (TSX:ENB) and its partner, Enterprise Product Partners, plan to reverse the flow of the northbound Gulf-to-Cushing Seaway pipeline as early as next year, helping to relieve some of the glut at the massive storage hub. Scotiabank commodities specialist Patricia Mohr also said the increased access to the lucrative Gulf market will help buoy West Texas Intermediate prices. “I think that, plus a number of other developments, probably will cause me to move the oil price forecast up. For next year I’m going to have WTI averaging at least US$95 and I may move it up further,” Mohr. Mohr said that WTI is not as good a benchmark for crudes produced in Canada and the United States as it used to be. Synthetic crude produced by oilsands companies like Suncor Inc. (TSX:SU), for instance, has tracked higher. “However if WTI goes up, it’s a positive development,” she said. “Forces are moving in the right direction.” Crude prices are linked to what consumers pay at the pump, since products like gasoline and diesel are derived from oil. But the NEB’s Rankin said the ultimate impact of higher WTI on consumers’ pocketbooks isn’t as clearcut as one might think. “There’s two separate markets. The petroleum product markets are linked to the crude oil markets, but at the same time the prices that are charged for petroleum products are not necessarily strictly governed by the crude oil input costs,” he said. U.S. Midwest refineries use WTI crude, so lately they’ve been able to buy their feedstock for cheap. However, the fuels they produce are linked more closely to higher world oil prices, meaning they’ve been enjoying hefty profit margins for the past several months. A rise in WTI would squeeze their bottom line. Meanwhile, many refineries that serve major population centres in Canada and the United States — especially those near coastal waters — buy crude at world prices, specifically North Sea Brent. So a shift in WTI won’t change much for them. WTI surged past US$100 per barrels for the first time since July on Wednesday, when Enbridge and Enterprise announced their Seaway plan. But jitters over the European debt crisis pulled crude below US$97 a barrel on Friday. While the pipeline news will have an impact, Rankin said economic news will dictate much of how crude prices behave next year. “We’ve seen rapid swings in oil prices based on news from the European Union or economic data in the U.S.,” he said “You’ve got geopolitical events in the Middle East particularly, and that moves markets very quickly as well.” One year after price collapse, expectations are high for oil company earnings Lauren Krugel Climate tide turns against oil companies: Moody’s Crude oil prices are likely to get a lift in 2012 as more oil starts flowing from the Cushing, Okla., storage hub to Gulf Coast refiners, analysts said Friday. National Energy Board analyst Christian Rankin said West Texas Intermediate crude — the main North American benchmark — may hit the upper end of the regulator’s forecasted range of US$85 to US$95 a barrel. read more

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Plain language rewrite continues at IIROC

Share this article and your comments with peers on social media The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada has proposed its latest set of amendments designed to re-write its rulebook in plain language. This latest set of proposed amendments, published today for a 90-day comment period, encompasses what IIROC calls “clean up” amendments, which aims to capture rule provisions that were not otherwise accounted for in one of the previously published tranches of amendments. So far, seven tranches of the proposed plain language rulebook have been published, with amendments dealing with the market integrity rules and the enforcement rules to be drafted separately and published at a later date. James Langton Companies Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada In its notice, IIROC indicates that its staff conducted an overall review of the current rulebook to ensure that all existing rules are either included as part of the plain language rules; or repealed. And, in the course of that review, they identified several issues that needed to be cleaned up, including: definitions that they’ve decided to move to another section of the rulebook; provisions to be inserted; and, some provisions that had been missed inadvertently. Most of these so-called clean up amendments are not significant, however, IIROC has marked three of the proposed amendments as substantive. Among them, a proposed plain language rule will state that a dealer must not pay any commission fees, or other fees in connection with payments received from a client or issuer, to any person other than a registered rep or investment rep. IIROC says that many of the non-substantive amendments consist of simply adding definitions within the current rulebook. Facebook LinkedIn Twitter read more

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Canadian execs have mergers in mind: survey

IE Staff While Canadian corporate executives are in a more confident frame of mind, particularly compared to the rest of the world, they are still fundamentally cautious. Persistent market volatility, austerity measures, the Eurozone crisis and potential slowing of growth in emerging markets have continued to fuel conservatism. “The findings indicate that most Canadian executives feel the Eurozone crisis has had a negative impact on their business,” says Ianni. “A lot of the caution we’re seeing from these executives stems from the fact that they do business with other less stable economies; but they still believe there are deal opportunities, especially in emerging markets.” However, with most of the ingredients now in place for a favourable M&A environment in Canada — plentiful cash reserves, adequate credit availability and rising economic confidence — deal opportunities are increasing, and the quality of potential targets continues to improve. As for acquisitions outside of their local marketplace, Canadian respondents’ top investment destinations include the United States, China, Hong Kong, Singapore and India. They identify financial services, life sciences (including healthcare), consumer products, oil and gas, and technology as the most active in acquisitions. Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Keywords Mergers and acquisitions 31% of Canadian businesses are looking to divest, up from 23% in October 2011 80% believe the number of deal opportunities is increasing, and more than three-quarters believe the likelihood of closing deals is greater than it was six months ago. 75% view credit availability as stable or improving. 72% believe the Eurozone crisis has affected their business. Record M&A activity in Q1, Crosbie & Co. says Facebook LinkedIn Twitter BMO asset management sale is on strategy: Moody’s Global M&A sets Q1 record, Refinitiv says Related news While still cautious, Canadian executives are hungry for M&A, with 48% expecting to pursue an acquisition in the next 12 months, according to findings from a recent Ernst & Young survey. That’s up from 32% in April 2011. That surge of confidence bucks the global stats, showing only 31% of respondents around the world, and 34% of U.S. respondents, expected to do the same. These figures dropped from 41% and 34%, respectively, in October 2011. “In Canada, confidence in the local economy has more than doubled,” says Tony Ianni, a partner in Ernst & Young’s transaction advisory services practice. “While there is still volatility and corporate executives are still cautious, their outlook is more positive than many global respondents who operate in a more challenging environment.” According to the survey: read more

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Standard Chartered rating unchanged for now: Moody’s

Share this article and your comments with peers on social media James Langton Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Related news Moody’s said Tuesday that it would view any limitation on Standard Chartered’s U.S. dollar clearing activities, which directly supports its global commercial and trade-finance franchise, as credit negative. The potential closure of Standard Chartered’s New York branch would have broader implications, in particular in terms of the firm’s reputation, it adds. “The DFS has given no indication of the scale of potential fines, if any, in this case. However, from a ratings perspective, they are likely to be less significant than the franchise and control considerations,” Moody’s says, noting that Standard Chartered has a strong liquidity profile. The rating agency says that it will closely monitor developments in the case; and notes that concerted actions by regulators that indicate serious concerns over the control environment at the bank, or which meaningfully curtail its core business activities would have negative rating implications; as would regulatory actions that inflict a sustained negative impact on the bank’s franchise, in particular a material loss of deposit funding. Moody’s also notes that this case again “highlights the difficulty of large banks in assuring tight controls within their wholesale banking operations Global group targets international tax evasion scheme Scheer promises help for homebuyers Keywords Money laundering Regulatory accusations against Standard Chartered Bank aren’t affecting its credit rating, but Moody’s Investors Service says that it will be monitoring the case. Earlier this week, the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS), which regulates Standard Chartered in New York alleged that the bank systematically sought to evade regulatory requirements relating to transactions for Iranian clients while the country was under sanctions. It is requiring the bank, which denies the allegations, to explain its conduct at a meeting later this month. Budget must address climate change, CPA Canada says read more

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FSA nets biggest haul yet from insider trading crackdown‎

Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Related news FINRA bans analyst for insider trading A former investment banker and his wife, who were convicted and sentenced to prison time for insider trading, have now also been ordered to pay back all of their trading profits — even money they weren’t convicted of obtaining illegally, British regulators said Monday. The UK’s Financial Services Authority (FSA), which brought the insider dealing case against former investment banker, Christian Littlewood, and his wife, Angie Littlewood, announced that Southwark Crown Court made confiscation orders of £1,534,000 ($2.4 million) against the couple. They were each ordered to pay £767,000 ($1.2 million). Keywords Insider tradingCompanies Financial Services Authority SEC alleges man sold insider trading tips on dark web Back in October 2010, Christian Littlewood, a former senior investment banker, his wife, and a family friend, Helmy Omar Sa’aid, pled guilty to eight counts of insider dealing related to trading in a number of different London Stock Exchange and AIM listed shares between 2000 and 2008. Littlewood was sentenced to three years and four months in custody; his wife was sentenced to 12 months, but that sentence was suspended for two years; and, Sa’aid was sentenced to two years. The Littlewoods were also banned from securities markets. Their initial conviction found they made a total profit of £590,000 from their insider dealing, however the confiscation regime allows the court to assume that the proceeds of other trading that took place within the same period represent the proceeds of crime. Including a previous order of £640,000 against Sa’aid, the total amount confiscated in this case now totals £2,174,000. The confiscation order will be paid out of assets that were frozen by the court at the time of their arrest. If for any reason the sums are not paid within six months, the Littlewoods will be liable to serve an extra three years in prison. “Insider dealers are motivated by greed and a belief that they can make easy money at the expense of others. A key part of our strategy is to ensure that those who are convicted of insider dealing do not keep their ill-gotten gains,” said Tracey McDermott, director of enforcement and financial crime. “As a result of their actions the Littlewoods have not only received custodial sentences and seen their reputations and future careers destroyed they have also paid a sum in confiscation significantly greater than the profit from the indicted trading alone.” The Littlewoods were also ordered to pay a costs order of £33,000 each to the FSA. ASIC ready to make deals with devils Share this article and your comments with peers on social media James Langton read more

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Q4 surge redeems 2012 Canadian IPO market: survey

Diversity in offerings, exchanges highlights Canada’s Q3 IPO market After a very slow start to the year, the strong fourth quarter leaves 2012 with a total of 62 IPOs on all exchanges, delivering $1.8 billion in new equity for the year. There were 61 IPOs on Canadian exchanges in all of 2011 for a total of $2 billion. The fourth quarter of 2012 was notable for the diversity of new issues as well as for the size of the total proceeds, says Dean Braunsteiner, PwC national IPO services leader. “We’re used to the mining sector playing an important role in the Canadian IPO market, but the miners shared the spotlight in the last quarter with the consumer products, retail, energy and real estate sectors,” explains Braunsteiner. “The results of the last quarter not only speak to the pent-up demand for equity capital, they are a testament to the underlying strength of the larger Canadian economy.” “We went from a disappointing start to a reasonable outcome in 12 months,” says Braunsteiner. Braunsteiner points to the fourth quarter of 2012 – the strongest quarter since the second quarter of 2011 – and the backlog of IPOs still in the pipeline as the foundation for a good start to 2013. “We’ve seen a lot of IPOs in the development stage, across numerous sectors,” he reports. Despite the optimism at the close of 2012 it’s not all clear sailing, Braunsteiner cautions. “The usual caveats still apply. Issues left unresolved by the ‘fiscal cliff’ negotiations in the U.S. will continue to hang over that market, and we are far from a resolution of the debt crisis in Europe. Caution is still the watchword,” he adds. Only 12 new issues made it to the TSX in 2012 for a total of $1.7 billion, the PwC survey showed. In 2011, 15 IPOs debuted on the TSX with a value of just less than $1.8 billion. The TSX Venture hosted 44 IPOs in 2012 with proceeds totaling $107 million, compared to 45 new issues worth $214 million in 2011. The $365 million IPO of retailer Hudson’s Bay Company in the fourth quarter was the largest of the year. The $301 million raised by mining company Ivanplats Limited was the second largest and the biggest new offering of the year from the minerals sector, also in the fourth quarter. Argent Energy Trust raised $212 million in the third quarter, the largest IPO from the energy sector. PwC has conducted its survey of the IPO market in Canada for more than 10 years. The reports are issued on a quarterly basis. IE Staff Related news Keywords Share offerings TSX streamlines corporate takeovers A $1.3 billion surge of new equity issues in the fourth quarter helped turn around the 2012 Canadian IPO market and raises hopes for growth in 2013, the annual survey of Canadian equity markets by PwC has revealed. Nine new issues on the TSX in the last three months of 2012 helped power the final quarter of the year to a total of $1.3 billion in new equity, according to the PwC survey. There were 23 IPOs on all Canadian exchanges during the period, compared to 10 new issues worth just $52 million in the last quarter of 2011. Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Canada’s IPO market topped $2B in 2018 Facebook LinkedIn Twitter read more

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Economy rallies in North America: report

Leading indicators signal steady rebound: OECD Economy lost 68,000 jobs in May Household debt-to-income ratio fell in first quarter: Statscan IE Staff Related news “Differences in ideology are sidetracking U.S. policy makers from negotiating a compromise on the deficit, which industry reports suggest will significantly slow economic growth and damage confidence in the U.S. economy,” said Daniel Theriault, chief investment strategist, BMO Harris Private Banking. “But behind the scenes, both sides are working towards an agreement that will likely emerge over the next three to six months and further stimulate the economy.” U.S. Employment grew by 157,000 new jobs in January, and manufacturing and non-manufacturing business activity was strong. The economic picture is less positive across the pond. Europe returned to uncertainty in the wake of the anti-austerity Italian election results, Britain’s loss of its triple-A credit rating and troubling events in Spain, the report states. “This volatile market environment will likely continue until governments in Europe start to focus on measures that will reduce debt and bolster growth,” said Theriault. In Canada, companies in the mining and construction sectors have been reluctant to spend in the last few months, the report states. This has stalled the pace of business, and caused investors to grow wary. The materials sector dragged down overall economic performance, an indication that a full export recovery is still in the early stages, the report notes. “Canada’s export sector relies heavily on robust economies in the U.S. and China, neither of which has hit their stride yet,” said Theriault. Favourable Canadian economic growth signs were also noted in the report, including the fact that the S&P/TSX equity index delivered respectable returns for February – 1.08%, continuing the momentum from January. Keywords Economic indicators The North American economy experienced positive growth in February despite ongoing uncertainty in Europe and China, reveals a report released Wednesday by BMO Harris Private Banking’ The report notes the U.S. economy continues to improve, despite the inability of U.S. politicians to avert sequestration, leading to the U.S. Treasury to withhold US$85 billion needed to run federal agencies. Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Facebook LinkedIn Twitter read more

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