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Web-only Exclusives
November 30, 2000

From Our Correspondent: Hirohito and the War
A conversation with biographer Herbert Bix

From Our Correspondent: A Rough Road Ahead
Bad news for the Philippines - and some others

From Our Correspondent: Making Enemies
Indonesia needs friends. So why is it picking fights?

Asiaweek Time Asia Now Asiaweek

MARCH 31, 2000 VOL. 26 NO. 12

 
  ALSO IN ASIAWEEK

COVER: Seismic Changes
Can president-elect Chen Shui-bian meet the historic challenges posed by a changing Taiwan - and by China?
The Challenge: Now comes the hard part
Reality Check: Beijing will have to deal with the new Taiwan
Profile: Chen's split personality

Editorial: Taiwan and China have reason aplenty to make peace
Editorial: Asia needs new policies to combat prostitution

THE NATIONS
South Asia: Clinton to India and Pakistan - Start Talking
'Limited War': Don't let the term fool you
Philippines: Sister Christine vs. Estrada - yet another scandal
Extended Interview: Salamat Hashim calls for independence
Myanmar: Behind the secret "Chilston" meetings
Inside Story: Asia's "Insiders" - four people who have blown the whistle on wrongdoing
Viewpoint: A Malaysian race for Islamization?

ARTS & SCIENCES
People: Sumo's big brother calls it quits
Heritage: The struggle to save Penang's old George Town
Art: Digital works blur the line between tech and expression
Books: Why healthcare was so bad in Suharto's Indonesia
Health: Noni - The craze over a smelly green fruit
Newsmakers: Thai "List of Shame" riles the privileged

TECHNOLOGY
Games: Microsoft's X-factor
Computing: IBM's Deep Blue man is now into e-commerce
Cutting Edge: An e-book horror story

BUSINESS
Bankruptcy: The court-ordered restructuring of TPI suggests Thailand is coming to grips with deadbeat borrowers
Room to Improve: Inadequate laws in Indonesia and Korea
No Hype: Can Singapore's Pacific Internet regain investor favor?
Renong: The Malaysian conglomerate sells off key assets
Business Buzz: A deal to lift Singapore's spirits

Investing: How rising U.S. interest rates will affect Asia

Down, But Definitely Not Out
SIA and Air NZ -- A deal to lift Singapore's spirits

By ASSIF SHAMEEN


Real pros snap back after a drubbing. Expect Singapore to do the same after getting beaten by Hong Kong's Pacific Century CyberWorks in the battle for control of Cable and Wireless HKT. So where will the spark come from to re-ignite the island republic's sense of pride?

Several deals are cooking, but if you want to talk about not staying down for the count, watch Singapore Airlines and its efforts to buy part of Air New Zealand. No matter how many times the deal has been written off, it just keeps coming back. A March 15 press conference to announce an agreement never materialized. But on March 21, Air NZ notified the Australian stock exchange that talks between Brierley Investments, which owns 47% of the airline, and SIA were continuing. Australia and New Zealand are among SIA's most lucrative markets and account for 17% or so of its total airline revenues. For years now, SIA has sought to buy into an Australian or New Zealand carrier, or both, without much success. Eight years ago, SIA failed to buy a 25% stake in Qantas, Australia's dominant carrier. It lost the bid to British Airways, which now runs Qantas.

Two other government-linked companies are making moves, too. DBS Bank, Singapore's biggest, has reportedly been talking to Standard Chartered Bank of Britain for weeks. Standard Chartered, based and listed in London, does 80% of its business in Asia and has been acquiring troubled banks in the region in the aftermath of the Crisis. Both Stanchart and DBS are on the short list to acquire London-based and Australian-owned Grindlays Bank, which has a huge retail presence on the Indian subcontinent and in West Asia. And SingTel, still bruised from its HKT battle, is negotiating with another part of the Cable & Wireless empire. SingTel is also eyeing Sydney-based Optus, the second-largest telco in Australia. Optus also has a big Internet presence and runs Australia's pay-TV network, OptusVision, which is running a distant second to Rupert Murdoch's Foxtel in numbers of viewers.

This edition's table of contents | Asiaweek home

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TIME:

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Bandwidth Boom: Racing to wire - how underseas cable systems may yet fall short

TAIWAN: Party intrigues add to Chen Shui-bian's woes

JAPAN: Japan's ruling party crushes a rebel at a cost

SINGAPORE: Singaporeans need to have more babies. But success breeds selfishness


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