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Year of the Dragon May Burn Putin, Light Up For Pacino

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The Chinese Year of the Dragon begins Monday and a Taiwanese fortune teller predicts Vladimir Putin could lose large sums of money in the next 12 months. | AP

TAIPEI (Reuters) - The coming Year of the Dragon will bring actor Al Pacino good fortune, but Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin needs to watch out -- he may lose vast sums of money.

As Chinese communities around the globe prepared for Lunar New Year, which starts on Monday, a Taiwanese fortune teller predicted a mixed bag of luck for famous "dragon" people around the world.

"Putin was born in 1952 ... This year he has a negative Treasure Star, it means he could lose a lot of money," Chan Wei-chung said of the possible fortune of the Russian leader, who last month faced widespread protests over a disputed election.

"As a country's leader, it is possible that he will not get the money he should earn, or the money he earns in the end all needs to be spent out again," Chan added, using an ancient Chinese method that plots destiny from alignments of stars in 12 "palaces" at the time and date of birth.

For veteran actor Al Pacino, born in 1940, the year is brighter, particularly if he does good deeds.

"This card reads 'bright sunshine,' which means he could turn away trouble with good luck, because of his works of charity or the help he has done for others," Chan said, consulting a set of fortune-telling cards he designed himself.

"This is a very lucky sign, we are very happy for him."

Sandra Bullock, born in 1964, needs to watch out for manipulative people beside her, but may have a chance of conceiving, while Reese Witherspoon, born in 1976, may enjoy more work success despite suffering from stress.

Chan, whose advice is much sought after by Taiwan's glitterati, sees a magic year for British actor Rupert Grint, of Harry Potter fame, but only if he heeds his elders.

"This year he has helpful forces by his side ... unstoppable connections in the rise of fame. His money comes from elders this year, this includes any seniors, his agent or his company, who can all help him to earn more money," Chan said.

There are 12 animal signs of the Chinese Zodiac. Those born in 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976 and 1988 are all dragons.

(Reporting by Christine Lu; Editing by Elaine Lies and Ed Lane)

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