China's biggest Ponzi scheme
BEIJING • Two senior executives of a collapsed peer-to-peer lender were sentenced to life in prison over what has been called China's biggest Ponzi scheme, state media reported yesterday.
Ezubao reportedly swindled over 900,000 investors of US$7.6 billion (S$10.2 billion), mainly in 2014 and 2015. The brazenly luxurious lifestyles of top Ezubao bosses drew wide attention to the case. The firm fabricated most of the projects on its website and paid old debts with money from new investors.
Twenty-four other defendants were sentenced to jail terms ranging from three to 15 years and fined.
Forex rigging code may need tweaking
LONDON • A new global code to stamp out attempts at rigging the world's currency markets may need tweaking just months after it was published, a Bank of England (BOE) official said yesterday.
Central bankers and the forex industry published a voluntary code of conduct in May in response to banks being fined for rigging currency benchmarks.
BOE executive director for markets Chris Salmon said an aspect of the code's "last look" section may need changing. This refers to the ability for traders to reject a trade at the last minute.
Dubai home prices, rents 'to fall further'
DUBAI • Dubai residential property prices and rents are set to fall further as losses of high-paying jobs and dwindling household incomes push up vacancies across the city, according to Phidar Advisory, which specialises in real estate.
"The false start of early 2017 is over and the cracks are starting to show," Phidar managing director Jesse Downs wrote in a report yesterday. "Sales volumes of completed properties are at a six-year low and vacancies are rising across the city."
Prices of single-family homes, known locally as villas, slid 10.2 per cent on average in the past 12 months, while apartment values remained unchanged. Villa rents dropped 4.9 per cent while apartment leases fell 3.4 per cent during the period, Phidar said.