UPDATE 1-Sri Lanka presidential nominee Rajapaksa would restore relations with China -adviser

UPDATE 1-Sri Lanka presidential nominee Rajapaksa would restore relations with China -adviserSri Lankan presidential nominee Gotabaya Rajapaksa would "restore relations" with the country's top lender China if he wins the Nov. 16 vote and met with a senior Chinese official this week, according to an adviser and his spokesman. China and Sri Lanka's already strained relations took a further blow on Monday when President Maithripala Sirisena alleged corruption at a Chinese company contracted to build the Lotus Tower, South Asia's tallest tower. A Sri Lankan parliamentary panel said it would investigate.



Singapore luxury apartment sales hit 11-year high, driven by Chinese demand

Singapore luxury apartment sales hit 11-year high, driven by Chinese demandSales of Singapore apartments worth at least S$10 million ($7.3 million) have hit an 11-year high, fueled by increased demand from Chinese millionaires seeking safe-haven assets, say property consultants OrangeTee & Tie. Investors have long viewed Singapore as an island of stability that attracts the super-rich from its less developed Southeast Asian neighbors, as well as multimillionaires from mainland China. Sales of such apartments also exceeded the numbers racked up for each full year from 2011 to 2018, the consultants' analysis of transaction data shows.



Asian shares advance, India's Sensex up 5.4% on tax cut news

Asian shares advance, India's Sensex up 5.4% on tax cut newsAsian shares advanced Friday and India's benchmark jumped 5.4% after the government announced plans to cut corporate taxes. Japan's Nikkei 225 index gained 0.2% to 22,079.09 and the Shanghai Composite index rose 0.2% to 3,004.95. The Sensex in Mumbai advanced to 38,033.28, its highest level since July, after the Finance Ministry announced a slew of tax concessions that brought the effective corporate tax rate to just over 25% from 30%.



Hi-tech mapping has good intentions for land rights but can backfire

Hi-tech mapping has good intentions for land rights but can backfireNew technologies used to map areas in developing nations for granting titles and aiding development could be misused to further marginalise vulnerable people, analysts and land experts warned on Friday. From Kenya to the Philippines, authorities are using satellite imagery, drones, GPS navigation systems and artificial intelligence to map customary lands, fix boundaries, and modernise land records to verify ownership and issue titles. "There are many benefits to using technology, but we can get distracted by how cool the technology is, and not talk enough about what could go wrong," she said on the sidelines of a housing forum in Bangkok.



UK's Thomas Cook hunts for $250 million to fend off collapse

UK's Thomas Cook hunts for $250 million to fend off collapseBritain's Thomas Cook said its banks had ordered the company to find an additional 200 million pounds ($251 million) of funding in order to guarantee the survival of the world's oldest holiday company. Thomas Cook agreed the key terms of a 900 million pound ($1.1 billion) recapitalization plan in a deal with Chinese shareholder Fosun <1992.HK> last month, but on Thursday a source said that lenders were demanding another 200 million pounds in underwritten funds to maintain their support. A source close to the discussions said on Thursday that Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) had hit Thomas Cook with a last minute demand for the extra funding, adding that the situation "was becoming more critical".





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