News Brief: "The Happs" Singapore job cuts, US recovery, Aussie finance sector slapped
January 8, 2015
This is what entrepreneurs, small business and startups need to know in our world wrap up today!
Singapore: "Whats happening in Singapore?"
USA: "Obama says economic resurgence is real"
Australia: "Financial planning industry in Australia under pressure"
"Whats happening in Singapore?" (Asia)
Singapore has long been a stable center for the financial services sector in recent times but even it cannot escape the woes of major financial institutions. In a memo released Wednesday Standard Chartered Bank announced 4,000 jobs would be axed with several hundred located in the small South East Asian city state. The jobs cuts come at a time as the fall in the value of the euro could threaten Singapore exports especially where those exporters (many of whom are medium sized business operators) haven't already begun pricing their products in US Dollars. The message on that front is clear that if you price in local currency you will be affected.
While the long term threat of job cuts and the pull back in the euro will have minimal longer term impacs on Singapore the real challenge comes as cities such as Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur begin pitching to not only investors but companies to establish a full time head quarters presence instead of Singapore. One EntreHub member from the United States who has been scouting for a regional sales office went with Jakarta over Singapore just last week tell our staff writers that "when all was said and done Jakarta was more appealing because of the cost of doing business with more competitive labor markets and therefore lower start-up and establishment costs. The only concern we had was the repatriation of funds but we have managed to get over that."
More than 70% of foreign start-ups in Malaysia and Indonesia were came from the small and medium sized business sector.
"Obama says economic resurgence is real" (USA)
As the President begins to wage battle against the republicans over the state of Obama care (the name given to recent health reforms) he told a crowd at Ford's Michigan Assembly plant Wednesday "The auto industry has proved that any comeback is possible," - The President was referring to the state of the industry in 2008/9 when billions of dollars in bail-outs were required and where the trickle down impacts to small business and supply chains saw hundreds go to the wall. It has been recently that Detroit has managed to convince the Federal court that it can now exit bankruptcy.
The President is right. The economy has shown signs of consistent recovery with the latest release of data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis showing that 3rd quarter GDP for 2014 sat at 5% up .4% from the 2nd quarter. New trade data released Wednesday also showed that the trade deficit had shrunk to less than $40 billion and first reports coming from the retail sector for the busy Christmas period are showing slight rises. Wage growth us up and unemployment is down.
Obama's take to auto workers? "The point is, we're moving," Obama said. "America's resurgence is real."
Small business confidence is also up with several EntreHub members in the motor city saying they are seeing more people walking in the doors and spending money. Dave Childs, an EntreHub member from Grand Rapids (Michigan) and who operates a small services business, had more sales in his pipeline than he had when he ended 2013.
"Financial planning industry in Australia under pressure" (Australia)
In an industry permeated by a hundreds of small business operators Australia's corporate watch dog has slapped down a major industry operator. Guardian Financial Services has had conditions imposed on its license to operate in the sector after it was discovered that there were serious short comings in the way potential advisers are employed - which has a flow on impact to the quality of advice given to consumers.
Guardian is not alone with the industry now clearly under the spotlight after a report in October released by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission found that more than a third of advice given to consumers actually failed to comply with the law. This is in addition to the way that the Commonwealth Bank of Australia has had to confront allegations of its poor performance after being hauled before Australia's Senate to provide a please explain on why so many people had been defrauded as a result of bad financial advice.
A debate is raging in the sector after successive governments have attempted reforms under the specter of what many believe to be an unfair commissions structure (or the framework through which many advisers receive their main source of income).
In recent years the industry has experienced a significant amount of growth and is largely dominated by a top level group brands supported by adviser networks that are largely owned and operated by small business people.
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