Are ASEAN banks ignoring climate change?

ASEAN banks are not doing enough to tackle climate change and environmental degradation. Largely unaware of the climate-related risks embedded in their portfolios, most of them do not have a strategy to manage these risks.Despite being home to some of the world’s largest deforestation hotspots such as the Greater Mekong, Sumatra and Borneo, only nine percent of regional banks in a recent study were found to have no deforestation policies – putting their reputations on the line by ass

13 September 2019

Myanmar army's 'business empire' fuels atrocities

Tougher sanctions are needed against Myanmar's wealthy and powerful military as its web of economic interests has generated a fortune that helps fund atrocities, United Nations (UN) investigators said Monday.They urged the international community to sever links with the armed forces' dizzying economic holdings – that they said dwarf those of any other civilian company in Myanmar.Cutting ties will "impair (the army's) ability to carry out military operations without oversig

6 August 2019

A hotbed for fintech activities

The millennial generation of Southeast Asia comprises of half of the region’s 644 million population. The region’s high internet penetration and growing middle class is driving the adoption of digital financial services.

11 July 2019

Bank Indonesia's governor wasting no time on rate hikes

Indonesia’s new central bank governor is putting his stamp of authority on his role, calling an unscheduled policy meeting for Wednesday and setting the stage for a second interest rate increase in two weeks to stem a rout in the currency.A day after Governor Perry Warjiyo was sworn into office, Bank Indonesia announced that the monetary policy board will meet this week, about a month before its next regular monthly scheduled one.

28 May 2018

The future of cryptocurrency in ASEAN

For the past year, the term “cryptocurrency” has been bandied about by people in the tech and banking industries, usually with admiration from the former and some scepticism from the latter. More startups in the region are beginning to contemplate integrating cryptocurrencies into their respective business models. Fintech firms too could especially benefit from introducing cryptocurrency into their operations.

24 May 2018

Foreign banks attracted to the Philippines

The Philippines is fast becoming a hub for foreign banks looking to expand and establish their presence in Southeast Asia. A steady banking system coupled with an educated citizenry are some of the factors drawing international financial institutions to its shores. The presence of these foreign banks mostly comes in the form of representative offices that are particularly focused on marketing. These offices are important in drawing investment into the country.

22 May 2018

Warburg-backed bank sets new record in $922 million Vietnam IPO

Techcombank, the Vietnamese lender backed by Warburg Pincus, is setting a fresh record with its initial public offering.The bank and some existing investors are set to raise about 21 trillion dong ($922 million) in the deal, which would become the country’s biggest-ever initial equity offering, people with knowledge of the matter said Monday.

24 April 2018

Asian banks' loan strength should alarm Western rivals: Gadfly

For international banks, Asia is becoming an increasingly uncomfortable place.Already facing pressure from regulators in their home countries to conserve capital and stay away from risk, they're now having to cope with a newly sophisticated breed of Asian lender.Due to a boom in domestic and cross-border loans, bank advances in the region outside of Japan reached $26 trillion in June, up from $7.8 trillion a decade ago.

6 April 2018

Banks in Thailand are embracing blockchain

Previously seen as a disruptor to traditional banking methods, blockchain technology is now being adopted by banks in Thailand. In an unprecedented move last week, 14 banks came together and jointly launched the Thailand Blockchain Community Initiative.Apart from the 14 commercial banks, the Thailand Blockchain Community Initiative will also involve seven corporations and state enterprises.

22 March 2018

China tells banks to limit any risk from entrusted loan business

China took another step to clamp down on leverage in the financial system, ordering banks to ensure they aren’t exposed to risks from their entrusted loan business.Banks can only act as intermediaries when arranging entrusted loans, and must not provide guarantees or get involved in decision-making, according to new rules posted in a statement on the China Banking Regulatory Commission’s website over the weekend.The entrusted loan business, which normally involves companies providing finance

8 January 2018