ATI Newswire - Subscriber Only

Taiwan stimulus to lift spending on construction projects

August 13, 2013

TAIPEI - The Taiwanese Government will increase its spending on public construction projects by 10% in 2014 to help stimulate economic growth, according to a budget plan unveiled on Monday. In 2014, Government expenditure will reach NT$1.9407 trillion, up NT$33.1 billion, or 1.7%, from this year. Revenue, meanwhile, is projected to decrease marginally by NT$2.5 billion, or 0.1%, to NT$1.7308 trillion. The NT$209.9 billion shortfall, along with NT$64 billion for principal repayment on debt, will be covered by new borrowing and the issuance of Government bonds (ATI).

Singapore lifts growth expectations, India sees trade deficit narrow

August 13, 2013

SINGAPORE – The Ministry of Trade and Industry has revised its 2013 full-year GDP growth forecast to 2½%-3½% from 1%-3% previously on expectations of improving external demand, following a surprise lift in GDP of 3.8% y/y for the second quarter, up from a preliminary reading of 3.7%. The better-than-expected outturn was due to an upward revision in services output.

Japan Q2 GDP weakens on slower investment spending

August 13, 2013

TOKYO - A weaker-than-expected GDP outturn for the second quarter has dented surging hopes of a quick recovery in Japan, and raised new questions about whether the Government will allow a planned consumption tax hike to go ahead as scheduled in 2014. Q2 GDP rose at an annualised rate of 2.6% s.a. (consensus: 3.8%), and the Q1 outturn was revised down to 3.8% (from a previous estimate of 4.1%). The outturn was influenced by a further contraction in capital spending.

China steps up third attempt to strengthen private enterprise sector

August 12, 2013

SINGAPORE -- China is stepping up its third major attempt to get private enterprise into a wider range of businesses, says ratings agency Standard & Poor's. “Several policy measures introduced this year appear to promote this objective,” S&P says in a new report. “Even as the Government continues to see a leading role for its State-owned entities (SOEs), it's clearly pushing for the private sector to increase in importance.” Says S&P credit analyst, Kim Eng Tan: "If the reformers prove to be 'third-time lucky,' then strong economic growth could continue to be a key sovereign rating support for the foreseeable future."

Samsung leads China smartphone market, Apple drops out of top five

August 12, 2013

BEIJING - Samsung led the Chinese smart phone market in the second quarter of 2013, taking up a share of 17.6%, while Apple saw its share drop to 4.8%. The share of domestic brands increased, with Chinese vendors including Lenovo, Yulong, ZTE and Huawei holding the first five spots while Xiaomi managed to occupy sixth place, overtaking Apple, which dropped to seventh spot.

Japan sentiment could weaken if reforms miss expectations: BBVA

August 10, 2013

HONG KONG – In its quarterly China/Asia Economic Outlook , BBVA Bank says risks to Asia’s broader outlook stem from slowing demand from China and financial volatility from QE tapering – and that in Japan, sentiment could weaken if implementation of structural reforms misses expectations. “Asian growth performance has been mixed,” BBVA says.

Citi China launches electronic RMB cross-border settlements

August 9, 2013

SHANGHAI - Citibank (China) says it is the first international bank to launch a paperless processing solution for RMB cross-border settlements following a series of measures aimed at simplifying the cross-border RMB settlement process announced by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) on July 10. Citi has connected its  electronic banking solution to the Balance of Payment Declaration (BOP) system operated by China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE).

Strong July activity indicators raise confidence that China growth is stabilising

August 9, 2013

HONG KONG - Following yesterday’s strong export/import figures, today’s release of monthly activity indicators for July provide additional evidence that growth is stabilising, says BBVA Bank.”In particular, industrial production rebounded to 9.7% y/y (consensus: 8.9%), fixed asset investment remained strong (20.1% vs. consensus: 20.0%), and retail sales held up (13.2% vs. consensus: 13.5%),” BBVA says.

Taiwan lifts trade, tourism sanctions on the Philippines

August 8, 2013

TAIPEI - The Taiwanese Government today lifted all 11 sanctions it had levied against the Philippines over the fatal shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman by Philippine coast guard officers in May. Taiwan’s
Foreign Affairs Minister, David Lin, made the announcement after meeting with Amadeo Perez Jr., Chairman of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office and envoy of Philippine President Benigno Aquino III.
The sanctions included a freeze on the hiring of Filipino workers in Taiwan and a travel alert for the Philippines (ATI).

Sino-US trade gap narrowed in June

August 8, 2013

BEIJING - United States’ exports to China, which have been growing in recent years, increased by 4.5% in June, narrowing the trade deficit between the world's two largest economies, according to US Commerce Department figures. They show that imports from China fell 2.2%, lowering the contentious US trade deficit with China to US$26.6 billion from US$27.9 billion in May. US-China trade dynamics were influenced by the appreciation of the yuan, increasing manufacturing costs, as well as the interbank cash crunch.

China’s official July trade data surprises on the upside

August 8, 2013

BEIJING - China’s trade growth rebounded in July, according to official figures, with exports gaining 5.1% y/y and imports surging 10.9%. ANZ Bank comments that, while the positive growth can be attributed to the low base last year, it believes an improvement in liquidity access in the aftermath of June’s cash crunch may have restored trading activities, resulting in the upside surprise.

A change of guard at the Reserve Bank of India

August 7, 2013

NEW DELHI – Dr Raghuram Rajan, currently India's Chief Economic Advisor, has been named as the next RBI governor to replace Dr Duvvuri Subbarao from September 4. Rajan has previously served as Professor of Finance at Booth School of Business - University of Chicago, the IMF and Federal Reserve Board. He will assume office at a time of pressing macro-economic challenges, with growth slowing and the rupee hitting new lows.

Excessive wages threaten Australia’s offshore oil, gas industry - Deloitte

August 7, 2013

SYDNEY – A new Deloitte Access Economics report into the economic pressures in Australia’s offshore oil and gas marine support sector has found increasing labour and operating costs, productivity issues and macro-economic challenges have significantly impacted the industry’s international competitiveness. The report provides critical economic context for the current round of enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA) negotiations that will set wages and conditions for vessels servicing Australia’s offshore resource industry for four years.

China set to loosen its one-child policy?

August 6, 2013

BEIJING - It is being widely reported by Chinese newsagencies that China’s “One Child Policy”, in place since 1978, may be loosened by end-2013 to help counter the ageing population problem. The reports indicate that if one parent is an only child, the couple will be allowed to have two children (currently, both parents must be only-children). China's working age population in 2012 fell for the first time, underscoring the disappearing "population dividend".

Indonesia’s second quarter GDP falls below 6 per cent

August 6, 2013

JAKARTA – Indonesia’s second quarter GDP has come in at a lower-than-expected 5.8% because of weaker private consumption and investment. This is the fourth consecutive quarter of slowing growth, after growth peaked at 6.4%% in the second quarter of 2012. BBVA Bank says the slowdown reflects the impact of uncertainty about the timing of an administered fuel price that took effect in June and subsequent inflation (8.6% y/y in July), increases in interest rates by Bank Indonesia (75 basis points in May and June), and weaker commodity prices.