Martin Lee @ Sg
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2009 in Review

Another year has passed us by and it’s time to recap some major events that has happened both locally and globally in the past year.

1) Barack Obama gets inaugurated in January as the 44th president of the United States in the middle of one of the worse financial crisis in the world. He goes on to win the Nobel peace price in October.

2) Temasek Holdings announces in February that its CEO, Ho Ching, will step down and replaced by Charles ‘Chip’ Goodyear. This appointment was subsequently cancelled in July. Temasek also issued Singapore dollar denominated bonds for the first time.

world in review 20093) Global stock markets bottomed in March and went on a massive recovery rally for the rest of the year. Sentiment improved significantly with investors no longer pricing in “depression” levels for risk assets.

4) Gold started the year at less than US$900/oz and went on to hit an all time high of over US$1200 in December. The price of crude oil also went from US$40+ at the start of the year to US$70+ at the end.

5) Pandemic flu starts in Mexico and proceeds to spread rapidly throughout the world. Thankfully, the effects were not as lethal as feared and a vaccine was soon developed and deployed.

6) Demand for HDB units and limited supply in the later part of the year saw sellers demanding high levels of cash over valuation. As new HDB prices are related to existing resale prices, an upward spiral in prices resulted.

7) Two of Dubai’s state owned companies indicated in November that they might have to delay payments on their debt obligations. The contagion spread to other countries with concerns with Greece.

8) The mastermind of the biggest ponzi scam in the world, Bernie Madoff was convicted and sentenced to 150 years imprisonment in June.

9) CapitalMalls Asia, the largest IPO in Singapore in 16 years, raised $2.8 billion and was up over 8% on its offer price on the first day in November.

10) Singapore hosts the 21-member Asia-Pacific-Economic Cooperation summit for the first time in November and US president Barack Obama arrives in Singapore to join the summit.

When you look back at 2009, what other events come to your mind?

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