Singapore has retained its crown for the eighth consecutive year as the world’s most competitive nation when it comes to registering a business, according to a Bloomberg report on the World Bank rankings.
Neighbouring Malaysia entered the top ten for the first time, going to sixth from last year’s position at 12.
Other nations in the top five were Hong Kong, New Zealand, the U.S. and Denmark, unchanged from a year ago. China slid five spots to 96th, while the U.K. dropped to 10th from seventh.
Wage growth in the Lion City will be strong as the labour market continues to tighten, leading to more intense adjustments for businesses over the next few years, said the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) in its Macroeconomic Review October 2013 issue, and reported by the Business Times.
Labour supply continues to be constrained on several fronts. This means wage growth will be strong, including in the high wage sectors, which have thus far seen wage growth at or below trend.
Bloomberg reports that Mizuho Financial Group President Yasuhiro Sato will give up six months of pay for failing to stop loans made to criminal groups as Japan’s third-biggest bank awaits further penalties from regulators.
Takashi Tsukamoto will also forgo six months’ compensation and will give up his role as chairman of Mizuho Bank Ltd. while keeping the post at the parent company, the Tokyo-based bank said yesterday. A total of 52 other current and former executives will also be penalised, the lender said.
The total amount loaned to criminal groups came to about $2 million.
The Business Times reports that Malaysia’s graduates struggle to enter the world’s second largest Islamic banking industry, which has US$124 billion in assets because employers are selective about qualifications.
Malaysia has an estimated 50 course providers and 18 universities offering Islamic finance degrees, and the largest academic output globally. And while its Islamic banking industry’s output in monetary terms is growing about 20% annually, employment in it is expanding at less than half that rate, even though 22,400 jobs are needed to support the growth, according to the country’s central bank.
ANZ Bank chief executive Mike Smith has defended the bank’s aggressive push into Asia, insisting it is the best way to exploit the region’s economic rise, according to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald.
After the bank reported AU$6.5 billion full year profit today, market analysts continued to debate the merits of its goal to make 25-30% of its profits from outside of Australia and New Zealand by 2017.