SINGAPORE - China has not introduced another large stimulus programme this year, despite growing economic tensions, but it remains an option if conditions sharply deteriorate, according to ratings agency Standard & Poor’s. "The Government retains significant capacity to support economic growth, if needed, partly because of China's sizable financial assets," says S&P credit analyst, Kim Eng Tan. S&P says the Government may be prepared to pump money into the economy if the currently stable unemployment rate rises steeply.
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HONG KONG – The Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEx) will introduce renminbi (RMB) currency futures on September 17. The US Dollar vs Renminbi (Hong Kong) or USD/CNH* Futures contract will be the world’s first deliverable RMB Currency Futures. HKeX says USD/CNH Futures will require delivery of USD by the seller and payment of the Final Settlement Value in RMB by the buyer at maturity. The futures will be quoted in RMB per USD (for example, RMB 6.2486 per USD) and margined in RMB, with the trading and settlement fees charged in RMB.
NEW DELHI - Based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the inflation rate in June has been revised downwards to 9.93% from the provisional estimate of 10.02%, according to Government data. Vegetable prices showed the biggest price increase, up 27.33%, followed by edible oils at 17.37% and pulses and by-products at 12.49% in July, on an on-year basis. Prices of eggs, fish and meat shot up 11.11%, while non-alcoholic beverages were up 9.26%. According to the revised data, the inflation rates for rural and urban areas were 9.65% and 10.44% in June.
TAIPEI - The Taiwan Government is hoping to attract more foreign companies to set up regional headquarters in its bid to position Taiwan as an Asia-Pacific regional hub. The number of regional headquarters in Taiwan is expected to double from the current 150 to 300 within three years as more foreign companies expand their presence in the country. "Most existing regional headquarters are seen as being of the 'manufacturing-type,' engaging in high-end manufacturing in Taiwan and managing operations for the Asia-Pacific region," Economics Minister Shih Yen-shiang said.
SINGAPORE – In an assessment of Indonesia’s budget proposals for 2013, ANZ says there is a priority on infrastructure spending. “This is evident from the rollout of more than 100 projects (since May 2011) to expand and accelerate infrastructure development across the country, in line with the Government’s medium-term development plan,” ANZ says. “Alongside that 15% increase in investment outlays, a gradual pickup in spending of previously budgeted capital expenditure is also helping.
SINGAPORE - To further expand its business operations in the global market, Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd. Is to establish a new manufacturing site in the Vietnam Singapore Industrial Park at Hai Phong. Construction will begin in December 2012 and operation will start in November 2013. Total investment will be some 9 billion yen. The facility will mainly manufacture products such as digital color multifunction devices and small light-emitting diode (LED) printers, with a manufacturing capacity around two million units per year.
JAKARTA – In an update of its Country Report on Indonesia, credit insurer Atradius again points to a need for what it calls ‘significant structural reforms’ to improve the business environment. There is no political consensus for reforms, Atradius says. “President Yudhoyono´s power remains unchallenged, but his six-party coalition will continue to lack decisiveness.
TAIPEI - Free trade talks between Taiwan and Singapore are going smoothly, Economics Minister Shih Yen-shiang said, adding that both sides "have reached a common consensus on most of the chapters and articles." Bilateral talks on the Agreement between Singapore and the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu on Economic Partnership, better known as the ASTEP, have been proceeding smoothly, Shih told reporters, but declined to give further details.
BEIJING - Profits of China’s State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) have continued to drop in 2012 amid global economic headwinds, new data shows. For the first half of 2012 they fell 13.2% on-year to RMB1.2 trillion, according to the Ministry of Finance. On a monthly basis, SOEs' combined profits in July dropped 11.6% from June, the Ministry said. For the January-July period, the tobacco, power and car industries saw big gains, while the chemicals, nonferrous metals, transportation, petrochemical and construction materials industries experienced steep declines.
BEIJING – China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has lowered its coal output targets for the country's top three producing regions. It wants to ease an oversupply built up by the economic slowdown, which has weakened prices. The NDRC has set the national total coal output for 2012 at 3.65 billion tons, an increase of 3.7% from a year earlier, but an 8.7% drop on last year's growth rate at the same stage.
LONDON – in its latest Global Outlook Report, The Economist Intelligence Unit has cut its 2012 growth forecast for India for a second month, to 6.1% from 6.5%. “India's monsoon rains, which are critical to agricultural output, are nearly 20% below long-term levels and consumer spending is suffering. High inflation and steep deficits leave little room for stimulus. We have also reduced our 2013 forecast,” the EIU says. “China's economy continues to weaken, with the industrial sector growing by just over 9% in July - the worst showing in three years,” it says.
BEIJING – China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) says it has entered a third round of talks with North Korea on working plans to develop two economic zones on the North Korean side of the border. MOFCOM said the two sides will follow the principle of "government-guided, enterprise-based, market-oriented, mutually beneficial" co-operation in developing the economic zones. One is in Rason, near the tripartite border with Russia, and the other on the Hwangumpyong and Wihwa Islands in the Yalu River, adjacent to Dandong, Liaoning and the North Korean border town of Sinuiju.
SHANGHAI - About 200 local companies will participate in a pilot carbon-trading programme in Shanghai when it starts next year, as part of efforts to clean up the environment with a market-based approach rather than prescriptive command and control regulation. Shanghai is one of seven provinces and municipalities chosen by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) in November to set up carbon trade markets in a trial programme from 2013 to 2015.
PARIS – A new ICC-Ifo World Economic Survey reveals declining optimism over global economic recovery as fear continues to spread about the unsolved debt crisis in Europe. The Survey, which received responses from 1,079 experts in 123 countries, saw the world economic climate indicator fell to 85.1 in Q3 2012 after two successive increases. The results are significantly below the long-term average of 96.7 (1996-2011) for the Survey, conducted by the Munich-based Ifo Institute for Economic Research and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).
HONG KONG – China’s inward FDI contracted by -8.7% y/y in July, following June’s decline of -6.9% y/y. Slowing FDI inflows may be a sign of lagging investor confidence in the economy’s growth outlook, as well as a reflection of the weak global environment which has been causing firms to scale back their expansion plans, according to BBVA Bank.
HONG KONG - Better-than-expected unemployment outturns reported by two of the region’s more open economies – Korea and Hong Kong – underscore the region’s relative resilience. Despite slowing economic growth, Korea’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 3.1% in July (consensus: 3.3%) from 3.2% in June, on strong growth in self-employed workers. BBVA Bank says the out-turn was a welcome sign for Korea, where the labour market has tightened (unemployment has fallen from 3.7% in February) even as the participation rate has increased (to 62.2% in July, from 60.0% in February).