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ECONOMY SLUMPS IN TAIWAN FOR NINTH CONSECUTIVE MONTH

August 28, 2012

TAIPEI - Taiwan's economy continued to be affected by the global recession in July, Government indicators show. The composite index of monitoring indicators rose to 16 in July from 15 the previous month, according to data compiled by the Cabinet-level Council for Economic Planning and Development. The index has a scale of between nine and 45, with the lowest range - nine to 16 - represented by a blue light.

CHINA’S ICBC BECOMES WORLD’S FOURTH-LARGEST BANK

August 28, 2012

NEW YORK - Global Finance magazine in its annual listing of the world’s 50 biggest banks for 2012 (as measured by total assets) is reporting that the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China is now Number Four. There is relative stability among the largest banks in terms of he world in terms of the total value of their assets, the magazine says. Deutsche Bank has jumped from second to become the largest bank in the world, followed by HSBC and BNP Paribas. China again has six banks in top 50 - the largest group from any single country.

CHINA ALUMINIUM POSTS HUGE LOSS AS MARKET PRICES FALL

August 27, 2012

BEIJING - The Aluminum Corporation of China Limited (Chalco) has reported first half losses of RMB3.25 billion, in sharp contrast to the RMB413 million profit posted in the same period of 2011. The losses were incurred by falling market prices, rising costs of raw materials, and higher financial costs, according to Chalco, China’s largest aluminum producer (ATI).

 

 

ANZ BANK DOWNGRADES 2012 GROWTH FORECAST FOR VIETNAM

August 27, 2012

SINGAPORE – ANZ Bank has downgraded its 2012 growth forecast for Vietnam from 5.5% to 5.2% following the release of August performance data. Vietnam has reported that industrial production growth fell to 4.4% y/y from 6.1% in July as manufacturing growth dropped to growth of just 2.7% from 4.2% previously. Retail sales growth fell to 17.9% ytd, y/y from 18.7% ytd y/y the previous month. Initial estimates show export and import growth fell to 6.0% and 3.2% respectively y/y, from 9.3% and 16.9% in July.

CHINA EASES RULES ON FOREIGN STAKES IN JV SECURITIES

August 27, 2012

BEIJING - The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) has announced plans to raise the permitted cap for foreign holdings in joint venture securities firms from 33% to 49% in the latest of a series of moves designed to relax foreign ownership limits and to increase foreign direct investment. The regulator also plans to allow joint venture securities firms to apply for permission to expand their businesses two years after going into operation in China, down from five years (ATI).

HSBC BUILDS GLOBAL TRADE AND RECEIVABLES FINANCE TEAM

August 27, 2012

HONG KONG - HSBC has appointed Quang Buu Huynh as Head of Global Trade and Receivables Finance (GTRF), Asia Pacific (International) effective September l. Reporting into Simon Constantinides, Regional Head of GTRF Asia Pacific, Quang will focus on executing GTRF’s strategy and driving revenue in Brunei, Japan, South Korea, Mauritius, New Zealand, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and Thailand. www.hsbc.com (ATI).

 

 

SINGAPORE’S INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION FALLS FURTHER

August 24, 2012

SINGAPORE - Industrial production (IP) grew by just 1.9% in July, a much worse fall than expected – down from 8.0% in June. On a month-on-month basis, it contracted by 9.1%, compared to 4.2% expansion. ANZ Bank says the fall was once again driven mostly by the biomedical sector, particularly by the pharmaceutical industry. “This industry tends to have large contractions after huge upswings, and July was no different - a 28.4% month-on-month drop compared to June’s 45.1% surge,” ANZ says. Weakness in the broader range of productive sectors continued.

INDONESIA CHALLENGES EU ANTI-DUMPING MEASURES ON FATTY ALCOHOLS

August 24, 2012

JAKARTA - Indonesia has launched a complaint to the World Trade Organisation over EU anti-dumping measures on oleochemicals, or fatty alcohols. Oleochemical exports from Indonesia are almost all derived from palm oil. The European Commission passed a regulation in November 2011 to impose anti-dumping duties on certain fatty alcohols and their blends originating in India, Indonesia and Malaysia. It claimed that the three countries were exporting fatty alcohols at costs below production or the domestic sales price.

CHINA’S PROPERTY SECTOR BOTTOMING OUT?

August 23, 2012

BEIJING - China’s harsh property control measures since 2010 successfully reined in real estate prices, but recent prices in most of the cities tracked have risen again following two interest rate cuts in early June and July. ANZ Bank says it believes China’s property market has bottomed, but that the rebound is still in its early stage. Monthly increases are marginal, and prices are still declining yearly. The ANZ China Property Price Index shows that momentum has picked up as more cities experience consecutive months of price increases.

AUSTRALIA’S KEY ASIAN TRADING PARTNERS HURTING: EFIC

August 23, 2012

SYDNEY - Australia’s key Asian trading partners now appear to be feeling the effects of softening external demand caused by Europe’s contraction and tepid recovery in the US, according to the August issue World Risk Developments, published by Australia’s Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC). According to Dougal Crawford, EFIC Senior Economist, non-Japan Asia grew by around 5½% on year in the June quarter – well below trend and a noticeable slowing from the 7½% pace achieved in 2011. “Slowing exports are one factor behind the GDP slowdown”, observes Crawford.

SINGAPORE’S CPI INFLATION DROPS BELOW 5%

August 23, 2012

SINGAPORE - Headline inflation fell to 4.0% on-year in July, below 5% for the first time since February this year and below expectations of 4.5%. This was partly due to favourable base effects, which are likely to keep inflation closer to 4% for the rest of the year, says ANZ Bank. However, inflation rose 0.2% month-on-month, up from zero. Favourable base effects also fed through to housing and transport. Year-on-year inflation rates in both these components dropped 3.3% to 6.4% and 5.4%, respectively. However, accommodation costs (the main driver of housing) still increased 0.5% m/m.

INDIA EASES OFFSHORE BORROWING RULES

August 23, 2012

NEW DELHI – The Reserve Bank of India has eased overseas borrowing rules to allow easier access to cheap funding for low-cost housing projects. Foreign institutional investors are now permitted to invest up to USD5 billion in Rupee bonds, and the minimum maturity period of these bonds has been lowered to three years from seven years (ATI).

NEW CHINA EXPORT BUSINESS IN SHARPEST FALL SINCE MARCH 2009

August 23, 2012

HONG KONG – The HSBC Flash China Manufacturing PMI™ for August has come in at 47.8 (49.3 in July), a nine-month low. The Flash China Manufacturing Output Index was at 47.9 (50.9 in July), a five-month low. The HSBC PMI is the earliest available indicator of manufacturing sector operating conditions in China, with the estimate typically based on approximately 85%–90% of total PMI survey responses each month. The China Flash Manufacturing PMI showed both new orders and new export orders contracting at a faster rate, with both output and input prices declining at a faster rate.

VIETNAM WILL BE ‘CAUTIOUS’ ON FURTHER INTEREST CUTS

August 22, 2012

HANOI - Vietnam’s central bank will be “very cautious” with regard to additional interest rate cuts because it may increase inflation and currency instability, the bank;s Governor, Nguyen Van Binh, has told the National Assembly. He said the bank expects inflation to be at a level of 6-7% by year-end. He added that the central bank is waiting for the Prime Minister to approve measures to increase bank scrutiny that would limit non-performing loans (ATI).

CHINA ENERGY-SAVING TO TRIM COAL NEEDS BY 300 MILLION TONNES

August 22, 2012

BEIJING - China plans to invest RMB2.37 trillion in major energy-saving projects during the 12th Five-Year Plan period (2011-2015), according to a document released by the State Council. The projects are expected to save an equivalent of 300 million tonnes of coal through to 2015. In a previously unveiled blueprint for energy-saving programmes, Chinese authorities have established a goal of cutting energy consumption per RMB10,000 of GDP by 16% by 2015 compared with 2010, saving 670 million metric tonnes of coal equivalent.

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