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World News

Archaeology breakthrough: ‘Significant’ Genghis Khan discovery ends decades-old debate

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The location of a command post from where the first Great Khan staged his invasions has been the subject of lengthy debate among historians and archaeologists alike for decades. But, according to a new study from the Australian National University and the Mongolian Institute of Archaeology, researchers have found the 13th-century ruler’s “ordu” or base camp. Avraga, a Mongol Empire site located along the Avraga River in east-central Mongolia, was one of four outposts used to strengthen what would become the largest contiguous empire in history, according to the paper published in the peer-reviewed Archaeological Research in Asia.

Dr Li Narangoa, a historian at the Australian National University, said last week: “The historical documentation appears to indicate the one at Avraga was his main camp, probably for both spring and winter, so this research is significant because it provides the natural science-based proof for the findings of historians.

“This was the camp where Genghis Khan started his campaign against his southern neighbours and this work supports this, it’s a great contribution to historical research.”

Dr Jack Fenner, an archaeologist at the Australian National University, added: “Our research supports Avraga as Genghis Khan’s ordu, and while we still have no conclusive link to him, in my view, Avraga is more likely than not to have been his base camp.

“We also see evidence of religious or ceremonial functions at Avraga that we see extending into the Yuan Empire in China, which was part of the Mongol Empire’s southern expansion.”

Dr Fenner and his team used radiocarbon dating on animal bones and teeth unearthed at the archaeological site, which has been excavated for years by a joint Japanese and Mongolian team.

Japanese archaeologist Noriyuki Shiraishi suspected it was the site of Khan’s winter camp, and Dr Fenner said his research backs up the theory.

Speaking to ABC last week, Dr Fenner said: “The dating coincided very closely with Genghis Khan’s lifetime.”

But, radiocarbon results can be imprecise and Dr Fenner said the results alone could be off the mark by 15 to 20 years. so the team took multiple readings to reach their conclusion.

He added: ”What we did was take a series of radiocarbon dates from the same situation.

“Then we were able to use a statistical tool that allows us to project when the site as a whole – or at least the site is represented by our dates – was first occupied and then later abandoned.

“It’s not an exact science, but the overlap is such that it’s very likely that it was first occupied during his lifetime and was abandoned either after or within a couple of decades [of his death].”

Dr Fenner added there was more work to be done, as archaeologists are yet to unearth any artefact with a direct link to Genghis Khan at the site.

Some researchers have suggested the desire for millet, a staple of the Mongolian diet, was a key motivator behind the expansion of the Mongolian Empire, but the team’s analyses of livestock bones from Avraga do not support this.

Archaeologist Dr Joshua Wright, from the University of Aberdeen, said: ”The identification of Avraga with Genghis Khan has long been accepted and was in fact first proposed by Mongolian archaeologists in the mid-20th century.

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“What is most interesting to me about the paper is its focus on diet and herding practices in Medieval Mongolia.

“Herding is an important part of the modern and past economies of Mongolia and reconstructing the skills and choices of historical herders really gives us insight into daily lives of people in the past. 

“People who, in this case, lived and worked in proximity to the rulers of the Mongol empire.

“This paper provides another piece for a complex and developing puzzle and is a welcome contribution.”

Dr Fenner said Mongolians look to Genghis Khan’s legacy for his political organisation, like the way he promoted people based on merit rather than clan, and established a rule of law.

He added: “A lot of the world that we live in today was dramatically shaped by the development of the Mongol Empire.”

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Economy

PRESS DIGEST -Wall Street Journal – July 9

July 9 (Reuters) – The following are the top stories in the Wall Street Journal. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

– United Airlines Holdings Inc said it is exploring the possibility of shedding almost half its U.S. workforce, the first major domestic carrier to detail how deep the industry might have to retrench amid the pandemic-driven slump in passenger demand. on.wsj.com/3gzMNJU

– The U.S. Justice Department is examining whether scandal-plagued German payment company Wirecard AG played a critical role in an alleged $100 million bank-fraud conspiracy connected to an online marijuana marketplace, according to people familiar with the investigation. on.wsj.com/3gDxP5J

– Apparel brand Brooks Brothers, which is owned by Italian businessman Claudio Del Vecchio, filed for bankruptcy protection in Wilmington, Delaware, on Wednesday. on.wsj.com/2W0847A

– Facebook Inc and its detractors tried to win over advertisers on Wednesday, after a company-commissioned audit found continued problems with how the social-media giant polices hate speech and other problematic content on its platform. on.wsj.com/2ZPbNGh

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World News

Senior China diplomat urges "positive energy" in ties with United States

BEIJING (Reuters) – Senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi said on Thursday that China and U.S. relations face the most serious challenges since diplomatic ties were established in 1979 but the two countries can return to the right track.

China and the United States should jointly explore ways for peaceful coexistence and release more “positive energy,” State Councilor Wang, who is also foreign minister, said in a speech posted on his ministry’s website.

Washington and Beijing have been at loggerheads over the handling of the coronavirus outbreak, China’s actions in the former British colony of Hong Kong, a long-running trade dispute, and frictions over Taiwan and the South China Sea.

“Current U.S. policy towards China is based on strategic misjudgments which lack a factual basis, and is full of emotional outbursts and McCarthyist prejudice,” he said, referring to an anti-communist witch hunt inspired by a U.S. senator in the 1950s.

On Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the world should not permit China’s “bullying” to take place, highlighting the country’s territorial disputes with India, Vietnam, and Japan.

The two countries should not seek to change each other, said Wang. “China cannot and will not become another America,” he said, adding that a socialist system was suited to China and the choice of its people.

Wang said he hoped the United States would build a more objective understanding of China and formulate a more rational and pragmatic China policy.

More dialogue, separating out different issues and setting to one side the areas of greatest disagreement, and cooperation in fighting against the coronavirus pandemic would help put bilateral relations on the right track, said Wang.

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World News

Asia stocks grind higher as focus turns to earnings

SINGAPORE (REUTERS) – Asian equity markets ground higher on Thursday (July 9) as investors tried to look past gathering US-China tension and renewed coronavirus lockdowns to upcoming company earnings, hoping that global stimulus efforts will yield upbeat outlooks.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.6 per cent and touched a 20-week high as Chinese stocks extended their extraordinary rally.

The Shanghai Composite Index rose 1 per cent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.5 per cent and Japan’s Nikkei edged ahead by 0.2 per cent.

Singapore’s Straits Times Index was down 0.25 per cent at 11:40am Singapore time.

The Chinese yuan rose to a four-month high of 6.9872 per US dollar and the greenback sat near a one-month low against a basket of currencies .

China was hit first and so is emerging first from the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, fiscal stimulus, heavy government borrowing driving up bond yields, and a state-media editorial extolling strong fundamentals have stoked euphoria.

“The yuan has a perfect combination for a currency – relatively tight monetary policy; yield spreads moving in favour of the currency and equity prices also rising more than most,” said Deutsche Bank’s chief international strategist, Alan Ruskin.

“Even before we think of Covid-19 virus divergence indicators, there are enough money and related financial indicators consistent with a dollar/yuan below 7,” he said.

China’s blue-chip index rose for an eighth straight session in early trade on Thursday, gaining 0.6 per cent to touch a five-year high. The Shanghai Composite was up by the same margin and at its highest level since early 2018.

Both have added about 15 per cent this month, and the rally continued in spite of a more circumspect take in Chinese media, which carried a commentary reminding investors about the 2015 crash and suggesting a rational approach to risk-taking.

The mood lifted Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 1 per cent, though New Zealand’s benchmark fell nearly 2 per cent after a Rio Tinto plan to close an aluminium smelter hit energy stocks.

Restraint was more evident in other asset classes as investors kept a wary eye on surging coronavirus cases and increasing tension between China and its trading partners, while waiting for US jobs figures at 1230 GMT and next week’s earnings.

US stock futures eased 0.1 per cent, following another session of gains on Wall Street overnight. The yield on benchmark US 10-year Treasuries remained under pressure at 0.6562 per cent and gold sat above US$1,800 an ounce.

EARNINGS AHEAD

The US has posted its largest number of daily new infections since the outbreak began and global tensions are on the rise.

Five million Australians are under strict stay-at-home rules in the country’s second largest city of Melbourne.

And – as the West mulls over a tougher response to China’s crackdown in Hong Kong – China’s top diplomat said on Thursday that China-US relations face the most serious challenges since diplomatic ties were established.

That has investors hoping to hear some good news about the outlook when US earnings season begins next week.

“Earnings season is upon us, and we really want to see what it looks like,” said Jun Bei Liu, a portfolio manager at Australia’s Tribeca Investment Partners. The focus will be on the outlook as well as on understanding how deeply stimulus efforts have flowed through the real economy, she said.

JP Morgan, Citigroup and Wells Fargo report their results on Tuesday, and Microsoft and Netflix on Thursday.

Beyond the yuan, major currencies were mostly steady on Thursday, hanging on to overnight gains against the dollar. The Aussie held near the top of its recent range at US$0.6974 and the kiwi briefly made a one-month peak of US$0.6583.

Oil prices idled amid concerns about renewed US lockdowns. Brent crude futures was 0.1 per cent weaker at US$43.25 per barrel. US crude fell 0.3 per cent to US$40.79 per barrel.

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World News

Gold holds above US$1,800 level on coronavirus resurgence concerns

BENGALURU (REUTERS) – Gold held steady above the key US$1,800 per ounce level on Thursday (July 9) as worries over a resurgence in Covid-19 cases offset hopes of a swift global economic recovery.

Spot gold was little changed at US$1,808.44 per ounce by 2.43am GMT, after rising to its highest level since September 2011 at US$1,817.71 on Wednesday. US gold futures were flat at US$1,819.80.

Traders are seen a little exhausted after the metal cleared the US$1,800 level, “but no one seems eager to abandon this trade yet”, said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at broker Oanda.

“Gold is looking very bullish both in the short and long-term… It has enough catalysts to take it to record territory before the end of the year,” said Mr Moya.

Global coronavirus cases reached more than 12 million on Wednesday, with more than half a million dead.

Keeping alive worries over the economic fallout from the pandemic, US Federal Reserve officials on Wednesday suggested the recovery in the world’s largest economy may be stalling.

Meanwhile, Britain’s finance minister promised an additional US$38 billion to head off an unemployment crisis.

Stimulus tends to boost gold, which is viewed as a hedge against inflation and currency debasement.

Providing further support to gold, the dollar traded near multi-week lows.

Reflecting strong investor demand for the metal, holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.3 per cent to 1,182.11 tonnes on Wednesday.

Asian equities ground higher as investors tried to look past gathering Sino-US tension and renewed lockdowns to upcoming company earnings, hoping that global stimulus efforts will yield upbeat outlooks.

Boosting recovery bets, Japan’s core machinery orders rose 1.7 per cent in May from the previous month, versus a 5.4 per cent drop forecast.

Among other metals, palladium rose 0.5 per cent to US$1,926.33 per ounce, while platinum declined 0.3 per cent to US$840.95 and silver fell 0.6 per cent to US$18.66.

Read the latest on the Covid-19 situation in Singapore and beyond on our dedicated site here.

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Categories
Business

Asian stocks grind higher as focus turns to earnings

SINGAPORE/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Asian equity markets ground higher as investors tried to look past gathering Sino-U.S. tension and renewed coronavirus lockdowns to upcoming company earnings, hoping that global stimulus efforts will yield upbeat outlooks.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.6% and touched a 20-week high as Chinese stocks extended their extraordinary rally.

Japan’s Nikkei edged ahead by 0.2%.

The Chinese yuan rose to a four-month high of 6.9872 per dollar and the greenback sat near a one-month low against a basket of currencies. [FRX/]

China was hit first and so is emerging first from the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, fiscal stimulus, heavy government borrowing driving up bond yields, and a state-media editorial extolling strong fundamentals have stoked euphoria.

“The yuan has a perfect combination for a currency – relatively tight monetary policy; yield spreads moving in favour of the currency and equity prices also rising more than most,” said Deutsche Bank’s chief international strategist, Alan Ruskin.

“Even before we think of COVID-19 virus divergence indicators, there are enough money and related financial indicators consistent with a dollar/yuan below 7,” he said.

China’s blue-chip index rose for an eighth straight session in early trade on Thursday, gaining 0.6% to touch a five-year high. The Shanghai Composite was up by the same margin and at its highest level since early 2018.

Both have added about 15% this month, and the rally continued in spite of a more circumspect take in Chinese media, which carried a commentary reminding investors about the 2015 crash and suggesting a rational approach to risk-taking.

The mood lifted Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 1%, though New Zealand’s benchmark fell nearly 2% after a Rio Tinto plan to close an aluminium smelter hit energy stocks. [.AX]

Restraint was more evident in other asset classes as investors kept a wary eye on surging coronavirus cases and increasing tension between China and its trading partners, while waiting for U.S. jobs figures at 1230 GMT and next week’s earnings.

U.S. stock futures eased 0.1%, following another session of gains on Wall Street overnight. The yield on benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasuries remained under pressure at 0.6562% and gold sat above $1,800 an ounce.

EARNINGS AHEAD

The U.S. has posted its largest number of daily new infections since the outbreak began and global tensions are on the rise.

Five million Australians are under strict stay-at-home rules in the country’s second largest city of Melbourne.

And – as the West mulls a tougher response to China’s crackdown in Hong Kong – China’s top diplomat said on Thursday that China-U.S. relations face the most serious challenges since diplomatic ties were established.

That has investors hoping to hear some good news about the outlook when U.S. earnings season begins next week.

“Earnings season is upon us, and we really want to see what it looks like,” said Jun Bei Liu, a portfolio manager at Australia’s Tribeca Investment Partners. The focus will be on the outlook as well as on understanding how deeply stimulus efforts have flowed through the real economy, she said.

J.P. Morgan, Citigroup and Wells Fargo report their results on Tuesday, and Microsoft and Netflix on Thursday.

Beyond the yuan, major currencies were mostly steady on Thursday, hanging on to overnight gains against the dollar. The Aussie held near the top of its recent range at $0.6974 and the kiwi briefly made a one-month peak of $0.6583.

Oil prices idled amid concerns about renewed U.S. lockdowns. Brent crude futures was 0.1% weaker at $43.25 per barrel. U.S. crude fell 0.3% to $40.79 per barrel. [O/R]

Graphic: Asian stock markets here

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World News

Princess Beatrice heartbreak: Bea opens up about ‘incredibly touching’ encounter

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Princess Beatrice, 31, and Princess Eugenie, 30, reunited virtually last week for a cause close to both their hearts. While the sisters have been spending lockdown apart they came together in their roles as honorary patrons of the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Beatrice and Eugenie presented this year’s Teenage Cancer Trust Award ceremony via Zoom where they were joined by the winners and the charities Chief Executive.

The royals were both moved by the stories they heard from a frontline cancer nurse, fundraisers and young people living with cancer on the call.

They announced the awards for all seven winners and thanked them for their exceptional work.

Following the call, Beatrice shared her emotional reaction with the charity.

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Princess Beatrice said: “I came away with such a feeling of hope and inspiration and also the amazing work that the team at Teenage Cancer Trust has delivered for them It was a remarkable conversation and the bravery all witnessed on that call is incredibly touching.”

During the Zoom call, Eugenie revealed how her and Beatrice’s connection to the Teenage Cancer Trust stems from their mother Sarah Ferguson.

Eugenie said: “Beatrice and I have grown up with Teenage Cancer Trust.”

“We have been inspired by our mother, who is an Honorary Patron of this incredible charity, and support it in what is its – and my – 30th year.

“We’ve shared many experiences along the way and people like these worthy award winners truly inspire us.”

She added: “It has been a real honour for Beatrice and I to present these awards to such dedicated, kind and inspiring individuals.

“Hearing what it has been like working on the frontline, the personal stories that drive fundraising and how inspirational young people have campaigned in the face of adversity – and all during a global pandemic – will stay with us forever.”

Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank spent lockdown at the Royal Lodge with Eugenie’s parents Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew.

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Eugenie and Jack had their own traumatic coronavirus experience as Jack’s father was treated for the illness for several weeks in intensive care.

Eugenie’s father-in-law George Brooksbank, 71, has since recovered and thanked the NHS for saving his life.

Following his recovery, Mr Brooksbank told the Telegraph: “The point I really want to get across is that I think the NHS is absolutely magnificent.

“The way I was treated was incredible.

“Nothing was too much trouble and at no point did I get a sense of a shortage of doctors or nurses or any impression that the service was in any way overwhelmed. I certainly owe them my life.”

Among this year’s Teenage Cancer Trust winners was frontline nurse Nicky Pettitt who spoke to Eugenie about her experience working during the pandemic.

During the Zoom call, Nicky said: “I think as a cancer nurse you are used to having difficult and complex conversations, so the skillset is there and that becomes very transferable.

“It was a very humbling experience really. We didn’t realise the impact we would have both for the patient’s family at home and for being that lifeline.

“I think everyone needs a medal in the NHS. Working in hospital with sick people is one thing and I think we manage that well, but then you can go home and that can be a safe space.

“But coronavirus has invaded every corner of everybody’s life and so there is a balance that is quite hard to achieve. I am so proud of the west midlands team that has managed to do that and keep the young people at the heart of everything.”

Chief Executive of Teenage Cancer Trust Kate Collins said: “These awards have been created to recognise the fantastic contributions and achievements of people right across the Teenage Cancer Trust community, and in particular, we wanted to shine a spotlight on the contributions of those who stepped up during the Coronavirus crisis.

“We are nothing without the support of everyone who makes our work possible. Whether that be our staff working within the NHS to support young people, our fundraisers, our patrons and our corporate partners.

“All the amazing nominees and winners are part of the glue that keep the charity together and because of them, we are able to support thousands of young people with cancer right across the UK.”

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World News

China's producer prices extend declines amid sluggish demand

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s factory gate prices fell for the fifth consecutive month in June but at a slower-than-expected pace, with persistent deflation in the industrial sector highlighting the lasting economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The producer price index (PPI) in June fell 3.0% from a year earlier, China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said in a statement on Thursday, compared with a 3.2% fall tipped by a Reuters poll of analysts and a 3.7% decline in May.

But in a sign of modest improvement in the manufacturing sector, PPI rose 0.4% from the previous month, turning around from a 0.4% decline in May.

Chinese officials have said the economy is recovering from the sharp contraction in the January-March quarter when the coronavirus outbreak in the mainland reached its peak and crippled large parts of the economy.

The pandemic, which has infected more than 12 million and killed about 546,000 globally, has sunk world demand and sent many economies into deflation as factories and retailers shut their doors. [nL8N2EF5NQ]

An official survey on the manufacturing sector last week showed that activity expanded at a quicker clip, as Beijing’s success in drastically reducing the number of new coronavirus infections has allowed it to reopen the economy in a welcome boost to business and domestic consumption.

But export orders have continued to contract, reflecting the widespread global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many Chinese manufacturers are grappling with falling profits and have been forced to let workers go to cut costs.

NBS data also showed on Thursday that the consumer prices rose 2.5% from a year earlier, in line with forecasts in a Reuters poll and slightly faster from 2.4% growth in May.

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World News

Seattle man who ploughed through protesters charged with homicide

A lawyer for defendant Dawit Kelete says there was ‘nothing political’ about the ‘horrible, horrible accident’.

Prosecutors in Washington state on Wednesday filed three felony charges against the man who hit two protesters with his car, killing one, while driving on a Seattle highway that was closed for Black Lives Matter demonstrations.

The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged Dawit Kelete, 27, with vehicular homicide, vehicular assault and reckless driving. He is scheduled to be arraigned on July 22 and remains in custody on $1.2m bail.

Kelete drove around vehicles that were parked on the Interstate 5 highway to protect the protesters, hitting two people at about 1:40am on Saturday, according to the Washington State Patrol.

A protester in Seattle was killed and another is in ICU after a car rammed through anti-racism protesters. A suspect is in custody without bail.

Summer Taylor was 24 and worked at a veterinarian clinic. Colleagues said they were “there since day one standing up for Black lives.” pic.twitter.com/qQuREiAWxD

Summer Taylor, a 24-year-old veterinary clinic worker, suffered critical injuries and died on Saturday night. Diaz Love, 32, from Portland, Oregon, was sent to hospital in a serious condition. Prosecutors said Love suffered multiple leg and arm fractures and internal injuries and remains in hospital.

In a note posted on Facebook late Sunday, Love reported being “alive and stable”.

“In a lot of pain. I cannot believe Summer was murdered,” the post said. “If they thought this murder would make us back down, they are very wrong. Very wrong.”

Kelete’s lawyer, John Henry Browne, said his client, who is Black, did not intentionally hit the protesters. He said the crash was a “horrible, horrible accident”.

‘Nothing political’

“There’s absolutely nothing political about this case whatsoever,” Browne told The Associated Press news agency. “My client is in tears. He’s very remorseful. He feels tremendous guilt.”

Kelete is originally from Eritrea, in northeastern Africa, and is a United States citizen, Browne said. He lives with his parents in Seattle, and they are very religious, he said.

A message seeking comment from Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County said they have no comment on the charges.

Kelete was the owner of the Jaguar XJL and was alone in the car, according to the state patrol.

A security camera on the REI building captured Kelete’s car driving the wrong way up the Stewart Street I-5 exit ramp, past numerous warning signs that said “Wrong Way”, according to the charging document. Since it was an exit ramp, “a driver must make a deliberate and sharp right U-turn in order to drive southbound on I-5”, the document said.

Kelete was travelling at highway speeds when he first noticed the demonstrators, the document said.

Protests closed road

The protesters screamed and scattered as the car approached. A graphic video shows the vehicle approaching at high speed. The car appeared to swerve slightly as it came towards two people still in the road and slid sideways as it hit the two protesters, throwing them into the air. The driver slowed and turned on his hazard lights just after impact.

“The defendant stopped several hundred yards from the scene,” prosecutors said. “He was approached by witnesses who yelled at him to exit the vehicle. After the witness began hitting and pushing his vehicle, the defendant drove away at a high speed,” prosecutors said.

Kelete was followed by one of the protesters, who was able to stop his car by driving in front of him until state troopers arrived. Kelete agreed to take a field sobriety test for drugs and alcohol. The tests showed he was not impaired, the state patrol said.

“The driver was reserved and appeared sullen throughout his time in custody,” Trooper James McGuire wrote in the arrest report. “At one point he asked if the injured pedestrians were OK.”

Seattle has been the site of prolonged unrest following the May police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, which sparked nationwide protests.

The state patrol closed a section of I-5 for 19 days in a row because of the protesters, troopers said. Going forward, officials said they would not allow protesters to enter I-5 and would arrest any pedestrians found on the highway.

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Categories
Business

Kenneth Lai promoted to OCBC's head of global treasury

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) – Banking veteran Kenneth Lai was named OCBC’s new head of global treasury effective on Oct 1, in an internal appointment that is part of the bank’s leadership renewal.

He will be reporting directly to OCBC’s group chief executive officer Samuel Tsien, and will also be appointed as a member of the bank’s management committee.

Mr Lai will be taking over from Lam Kun Kin, senior executive vice-president and head of global treasury, who is retiring after 33 years in the financial industry.

Having joined OCBC in 2012 as head of international treasury, Mr Lai managed all international treasury centres under OCBC Bank.

Under his watch, he had “significantly expanded and strengthened the bank’s international treasury operations, product and market coverage, as well as earnings contribution”, according to a statement by OCBC.

After the acquisition of Hong Kong’s Wing Hang Bank in 2014 to become OCBC Wing Hang Bank, Mr Lai also helped to transform the two treasury platforms in Hong Kong into a hub covering North Asia.

Since 2015, he has also been responsible for the bank’s asset and liability management globally, strengthening its liquidity deployment and funding centralisation.

Prior to OCBC, his 30-year career spanned different geographies in Asia and different functions across trading, sales and asset liability management.

He last worked for Ta Chong Bank in Taiwan, where he was appointed as head of financial markets by the Carlyle Group to help revamp its investment buyout.

Between 2001 and 2008, he held several key appointments with ABN AMRO Bank in Singapore, including Asia head of local markets FX and Asia head of institutional sales, as well as its head of global markets Malaysia based in Kuala Lumpur. He started his career at Banker Trust Company and has also worked for other financial institutions including Merrill Lynch and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.

On the appointment, Mr Tsien noted that Mr Lai is “no stranger to OCBC”, whose “strong leadership and business acumen have enabled him to significantly expand and strengthen the operations”. This has increased the earnings contribution of all overseas treasury centres, he pointed out.

Mr Lai’s additional role in asset liability management has also enhanced the bank’s liquidity management capabilities and funding optimisation, he said.

Mr Tsien added: “Ken’s latest appointment is another testimony of how we actively manage ahead for succession planning where we review regularly our mid to senior-level management bench strength on a forward-looking basis.”

He also thanked the outgoing Mr Lam for his contributions over the past 13 years. Mr Lam had joined OCBC in 2007 as executive vice-president and head of global treasury, and then appointed senior executive vice-president in 2011. In addition to global treasury, Mr Lam oversaw the Bank’s Global Investment Banking from 2012 to February 2020.

“Not only has Kun Kin enhanced the business models which have expanded our regional diversification and strengthened our customer engagement, he has built a strong work culture in the trading room that promotes prudent risk taking and control,” said Mr Tsien. “He has also invested in a robust infrastructure centred on active utilisation of technology. We greatly appreciate Kun Kin’s dedication and leadership in building our business franchise and wish him well in his retirement.”

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