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

Vietnam's coffee trade slows as buyers bet on bigger discounts

Coffee trading is slowing in Vietnam, the top robusta producer, on expectations that a larger harvest and changes to the London futures contract next year will give buyers bigger discounts.Roasters and traders are delaying purchases on bets that a bigger crop currently being gathered will push prices lower, according to traders attending the Asia International Coffee Conference in Ho Chi Minh City last week.

15 December 2017

Bank Indonesia decision guide: On hold now, but 2018 is open

As central banks around the globe get ready to pull the trigger on interest rates, Southeast Asia’s biggest economy is in no rush to do the same.After reducing interest rates eight times since the beginning of last year, most recently in August and September, it’s unclear how Bank Indonesia will proceed next year: economists are split on whether policy makers will hike, keep rates unchanged or ease some more.“Strong growth and higher inflation, coupled with continued Fed rate hikes, should pu

14 December 2017

Gadfly: Bitcoin options are what we need to tame this beast

The seminal financial event of this year, the current decade, and possibly our generation is here: Futures trading in bitcoin has begun.But the derivative that would really damp the current crypto frenzy and make digital tokens a speculator-friendly – if not investment-worthy – commodity, currency, tulip, or whatever, isn't futures. It's options.It's hard to see how even existing futures trading rules can deal with something as volatile as bitcoin.Cboe Global Markets Inc.

12 December 2017

Singapore piracy prompts Hollywood lobby for crackdown

Singapore, which prides itself on being a haven for law and order, is being called a haven for pirating copyrighted programming by entertainment titans such as Walt Disney, HBO, the National Basketball Association and the English Premier League.Viewers in the city-state buy legitimate set-top boxes that also allow unauthorised streaming of thousands of movies, TV shows and live sporting events, said the Coalition Against Piracy. Its 21 members, including divisions of Sony Corp.

4 December 2017

Economic integration, the ASEAN way

Regional integration will be one of the top priorities for Singapore as it assumes the chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2018.Singapore's ASEAN 2018 chairmanship aspirationsThe term “integration” is often thrown around in ASEAN summits and meetings – peppered into speeches made by ASEAN leaders. However, “integration” itself, while easily used to demonstrate an aspiration for a greater regional cohesiveness, is not an easy feat to achieve.

28 November 2017

Myanmar luring investment despite refugee crisis

As the U.S. and Europe grow increasingly outraged over the Rohingya refugee crisis in Myanmar, Asian businesses are continuing to invest.Bangkok-based construction company TTCL Pcl is one of the latest examples, targeting the first half of next year to complete a funding plan and shareholder structure for a planned three billion dollar coal-fired power plant in Kayin state bordering Thailand. The U.S.

28 November 2017

Thai economy expected to grow this quarter

Thailand’s economic growth could once again exceed 4 percent this quarter with a subsidy for the poor boosting consumption, a senior finance official said.“They spent almost 100 percent” of the money, said Suwit Rojanavanich, director-general for the Finance Ministry’s fiscal policy office, referring to 10 million low-income earners who started receiving as much as 300 baht (9 dollars) a month in October.The program is very successful and along with state spending and investment will boost gr

24 November 2017

ASEAN's commitment to empowering women

The 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Meetings held in Manila from November 10-14, saw a number of economic deliverables being achieved such as the completion of the Focused and Strategic Action Agenda on Investment, the adoption of the ASEAN Seamless Trade Facilitation Indicators and the development of the ASEAN Inclusive Business Framework amongst others.Another pressing issue at the summit was the subject of women’s economic empowerment in the region.

17 November 2017

Lao makes its mark on the Mekong river

The Lao government has recently announced plans to launch a new port checkpoint located along the Mekong River in Thailand, early next year. The port, known as the Ban Mom port,will be situated in Ton Pheung, Bokeo province – 17 km North of Chiang Rai’s Chiang Saen district in Thailand. The development and operation of the port for the next 40 years has been contracted to a Thai firm.

11 November 2017

Still no deal for nations looking to save TPP

Pacific nations are yet to agree on how to salvage a blockbuster trade pact after days of talks in Vietnam, with Australia confident of an outcome but Canada warning it wants a good deal over a fast one.Trade ministers meeting on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit are due to present their proposal on the future of the Trans-Pacific Partnership to leaders on Friday.

10 November 2017

TPP-11 confident of salvaging trade deal

A blockbuster Pacific trade pact thrown into doubt by Donald Trump could be salvaged by suspending parts of the deal in order to get the 11 remaining nations to sign on, according to Malaysian Trade Minister Mustapa Mohamed.Speaking in Vietnam ahead of a meeting of Asia-Pacific leaders, including the US president, Mustapa said there was fresh momentum to save the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a deal that would have spanned 40 percent of the global economy.

8 November 2017