Taking on fraud

TOKYO: Japan aims to increase fines for accounting fraud, insider trading and other violations of securities laws following a series of high-profile scandals, a news report said. The Financial Services Agency will submit a bill to Parliament next year to bring fines closer to levels imposed in the United States, according to a report in Japan’s largest business newspaper, The Nikkei. Critics say the current fines, set by the FSA based on individual cases, are too small to deter companies from illegal activity. —AP

Oil bonanza muted

PHNOM PENH: Two years after discovering oil off its coast, uncertainty clouds Cambodia’s petroleum sector, with analysts saying it is impossible to gauge the extent of the country’s fuel deposits or their impact on one of the world’s poorest economies. Predictions of vast new wealth are now being reconsidered, with some international institutions already drastically scaling back previous estimates of a billion barrels of oil. — AFP

Denso in China

TOKYO: Japanese auto-parts maker Denso will produce eco-friendly fuel-injection equipment for diesel engines in China to meet growing demand for cleaner vehicles there, a report said Sunday. Denso Corp. would set up a subsidiary in Changzhou, eastern Jiangsu province, and build a plant to produce the equipment, possibly in 2009, the leading Japanese business daily Nikkei said. The company’s investment in the plant was estimated at five billion yen (41 million dollars), the daily said. — AFP

PAF gets members

KATHMANDU: Government has appointed five board members for the Poverty Alleviation Fund (PAF). A cabinet meeting recently has appointed Dr Arju Deuba, Dr Bal Gopal Baidhya, Dr Duman Thapa, Khalil Miya and Shree Krishna Upadhaya as members of the board. The 12 member PAF Board includes prime minister as the chair, vice-chairman, secretary National Planning Commission, chairperson of Federation of District Development Committee, Federation of Village Development Committee, National Women’s Commission, National Dalit Commission, and five persons (including a women), appointed by the government.— HNS

Britain halts aid

FREETOWN: Sierra Leone loses money due to endemic corruption ‘from the President’s office to cleaner’ Britain is about to freeze a GBP15m payment to Sierra Leone amid evidenceof endemic corruption that has seen millions of pounds in aid line pockets of dishonest officials while ordinary people struggle in conditions of poverty that have reached catastrophic levels.— The Observer