Belle Gibson gained fame in Australia after she claimed to have beaten cancer using Ayurvedic medicine, oxygen therapy and a gluten and refined sugar- free diet rather than medical intervention. She launched a successful app and cookbook, but later admitted the diagnosis was made up. Consumer Affairs Victoria is aiming to prosecute Ms Gibson for allegedly breaking Australian consumer law. The regulator said it had conducted an in-depth investigation of Ms Gibson’s activities and had applied to Australia’s Federal Court for leave to pursue legal action. Ms Gibson’s publisher, Penguin Australia, has already agreed to pay A$30,000 ($22,200; £15,300) to the Victorian Consumer Law Fund as a penalty for releasing The Whole Pantry, which was not fact checked.
N Korea leader praises nuclear tests
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has opened a rare party congress by praising his country’s nuclear achievements. Appearing before thousands of delegates, he said: “Unprecedented results have been accomplished.” This year saw the country announced its fourth nuclear weapon test and that it sent a rocket into space.
Hong Kong residential property could fall 20% by 2018 as Fed hikes rates, Goldman Sachs says
Hong Kong’s residential property prices may remain stubbornly high for now, but one big headwind could send prices down as much as 20 per cent over the next two years, Goldman Sachs said. Goldman cited a number of factors contributing to the holding pattern. Firstly, government cooling measures were unlikely to be loosened any time soon. Those are likely to keep a lid on buyers’ demand. The bank said it expected interest rates to remain relatively low for a while. That’s set to support prices, which would also dampen demand.
China urges objectivity as Trump becomes GOP nominee
With Donald Trump close to clinching the Republican nomination in the U.S. presidential elections, China is urging Americans to be “rational and objective” in viewing the relationship between the two countries. “It is worth pointing out that mutual benefit and win-win results are defining features of economic cooperation and trade between China and the U.S., and meet the common interests of both,” China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Hong Lei, said in a regular press briefing on Wednesday. “We hope the U.S. people from all walks of life would view bilateral relations from a reasonable and objective perspective,” he added.
Australia central bank slashes inflation forecasts, lowers outlook for
Australia’s central bank slashed its inflation forecasts on Friday and warned that the outlook for wages and price pressures were a key uncertainty, suggesting the door was open to another cut in interest rates. In its 66-page quarterly report, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) gave no explicit guidance that it will ease again as it maintained its growth projections for a gradual strengthening through mid-2018. On Tuesday, the RBA cut its cash rate by 25 basis points to an all time low of 1.75 percent.
Gucci apology to Hong Kong funeral shops over paper fakes warning
Italian luxury goods maker Gucci has apologised for sending warning letters to Hong Kong shops selling paper versions of its products as offerings to the dead. A letter sent by Gucci’s Chinese parent company Kering said they trusted the shops were not trying to infringe on Gucci’s trademark. “We regret any misunderstandings that may have been caused and sincerely apologise to anyone we may have offended through our action,” the letter said. The company had “utmost respect” for the funeral rites, it said.
A tale of two companies: Matching up Alibaba vs. Amazon
Chinese e-commerce site Alibaba beat sales estimates with 39 percent growth year-over-year for the quarter ending in March, the company said Thursday. The company’s explosive growth showed no signs of slowing despite the overall slowdown in China’s economy. Still, the company is down nearly 3 percent for the year and off 0.7 percent for the past 12 months. Compare that with Alibaba’s American rival (and in some ways counterpart), Amazon. The Seattle-based company is up 57 percent over the past year. Each is its country’s biggest e-commerce company, but the similarities pretty much end there. They’re fundamentally different business models operating in very different economies. Alibaba sells ads; Amazon sells stuff.
Australia clears AB Inbev’s $100 billion SABMiller buyout plan
Australia’s antitrust regulator on Thursday cleared beer giant Anheuser Busch Inbev’s planned $100 billion takeover of rival SABMiller, saying the deal would not adversely affect the domestic market. “The ACCC considers that the proposed acquisition is unlikely to result in higher beer prices for consumers,” Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) Chairman Rod Sims said in a statement. The deal would not hurt competition in Australia because AB Inbev sold its beers in Australia only via distributors, “has only a limited direct company presence in Australia and does not brew beer here,” the ACCC said.
Google challenges Apple in India with credit card alternative
With China’s technology wall getting higher, the two most valuable U.S. companies— Apple and Alphabet—are counting on speedier growth in the world’s second-most populated country. Apple said last week that iPhone sales in India surged 56 percent from a year earlier, even as those in Greater China dropped and global revenue fell for the first time in 13 years. Now Google, whose core business is blocked in China, has signed its first carrier billing deal in India, allowing smartphone users to buy apps, digital books and games and have the items charged to their phone bill. Android users who are customers of India’s Idea Cellular can purchase apps without a credit card or bank account. It’s a big deal for Google, because India’s smartphone population is expanding by 20 percent a year, while only about 2 percent of residents have payment cards, according to MasterCard.
Sony just posted a 666% rise in profi t as its turnaround plan takes hold
Japanese electronics giant Sony posted a 666.5 percent rise in pretax profit for its full fiscal year on Thursday, helped by cost cutting in its smartphone business and the continued popularity of the Play- Station 4. Income before taxes for the year ending March 31 came in at 304.5 billion yen ($2.81 billion), a big rise from the 39.7 billion yen recorded during the same period last year. Operating profit rose 329.2 percent to 294.2 billion yen, its largest figure since fiscal 2007, according to Reuters.
Guess how many people pay taxes in India
Only about 1 per cent of India’s population paid tax on their earnings in the year 2013, according to the country’s income tax data, published for the first time in 16 years. The report further states that a total of 28.7 million individuals filed income tax returns, of which 16.2 million did not pay any tax, leaving only about 12.5 million tax-paying individuals, which is just about 1 percent of the 1.23 billion population of India in the year 2013.
Family businesses play a big role in development of Asian emerging markets
Family businesses in many of Asia’s emerging markets (EMs) have long spearheaded economic development by being better providers of public goods than local governments. It’s a system that has benefited both businesses and the local population, but certain inherent dangers means it’s not always the optimum solution for turning EMs into developed markets. Asian EMs have traditionally lacked elements vital to a well-functioning economy; infrastructure, power, access to finance, business customer protection, transparency and good governance are just a few. When these elements are missing, it creates “institutional voids,” a term coined by Harvard University professors Tarun Khanna and Krishna Palepu in 1997 that refers to a country’s undeveloped market ecosystem. Institutions responsible for creating and maintaining the ecosystem, namely governments, don’t always function as expected, so private-sector players frequently step in, according to Khanna’s and Palepu’s theory. By providing solutions that local institutions cannot, these private players create profitable business empires. “These entrepreneurs are public spirited because they must fill the institutional voids, that is, compensate for the inadequacies in their environment… Virtually all well-run large entities in Asia do this,” Khanna told CNBC. Family-run businesses, in particular, are at the forefront of this phenomenon, Khanna added, pointing to the Philippines’ Ayala Corporation as a prime example.