BANGKOK - Thailand's strong external profile, modest Government debt position, and track record of orthodox fiscal and monetary policies continue to support its credit rating, but Standard & Poor’s says these strengths contrast with a less certain political backdrop.
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SINGAPORE – A report released today by global cybersecurity specialist ESET suggests that cybersecurity incidents and risks will grow further in 2018, with an increasing pattern of sophistication. The report focusses on ransomware, attacks on critical infrastructure, malware, combating criminal activity, and cyber threats posed to electoral campaigns and data privacy.
BEIJING - China’s top banking regulator has laid out measures to grant greater access to the banking sector for foreign players. Foreign banks will have more access to the yuan-denominated retail banking and bond business, and face lower barriers to investing in domestic institutions.
HO CHI MINH CITY – Foreign direct investment (FDI) into Vietnam continued to increase as registered FDI – newly-registered capital, additional funds, and share purchases - reached US$33.09 billion in November, a surge of 82.8% YoY. Disbursed FDI amounted to US$16 billion, up 11.9% YoY, Vietnam Assete Management (VAM) reports.
BEIJING - The China-initiated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank has announced a US$250 million loan for a natural gas project in Beijing to support the ongoing process of coal-to-gas conversion and to improve air quality in the Chinese capital city and its neighbouring region.
Scheduled for completion in 2021, the project will help reduce China's coal use by about 650,000 metric tonnes annually by connecting about 216,750 households in 510 rural villages to the natural gas distribution network, the Beijing-based multilateral financial institution said in a statement.
HONG KONG – In an assessment of the year ahead, global asset manager Natixis says Asian economies will remain strong thanks to improved global demand, recovery of GDP in India and ASEAN, and solid expansion in China. Inflation is expected to accelerate, but central banks will respond only shyly to higher nominal growth rates.
KUALA LUMPUR - USG Boral plans to expand production in Vietnam, with a US$20 million investment in a plant at Hiep Phuoc Industrial Zone, Ho Chi Minh City to meet growing demand for high-quality plasterboards.
CHICAGO - Global market research company Euromonitor International has released new retailing industry data highlighting the evolution and reinvention of international retail, ranking the top-three new retail concepts across grocery, non-grocery, non-store and digital channels. Internet retailing is the fastest- growing global channel through 2022 at 73% to become a larger channel than traditional grocery retail. Within internet retailing, the food and drink category is expected to see fastest growth at 80%.
In a letter to the 2017 Fortune Global Forum, which opened in Guangzhou yesterday, Chinese President Xi Jinping said China would develop China’s open economy to a higher level, promote the Belt and Road Initiative, and push for a new pattern of all-round opening.
SINGAPORE - Growth in Asia in 2017 was powered by the recovery in exports. ANZ Bank expects them to hold up in 2018 – and to feed through into domestic demand.
HO CHI MINH CITY – Vietnam has released ois first draft submission for the amendment of tax laws which may significantly impact the operation of cross-border IT service providers who have users in Vietnam, according to the global law firm Baker McKenzie.
It a research report, BM says Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance has stated that e-commerce activities and transactions are growing rapidly in Vietnam, but the current tax administration regime is unable to manage this type of business adequately and accurately for the following reasons:
WASHINGTON - The United States has announced that it will support the European Union at the WTO and decline to recognise China as a market economy. The announcement added that the U.S. will continue to adopt the "non-market country" approach in its anti-dumping investigations, further straining its trade relationship with China.
A China report in Caixin said the United States added that “the evidence is overwhelming that WTO members have not surrendered their longstanding rights … to reject prices or costs that are not determined under market economy conditions.”
NEW DELHI - The Indian economy accelerated to 6.3% YoY in Q3 2017 from 5.7% in Q2,with investment finally picking up to 4.7% YoY, probably due to capital goods. However, private consumption remained subdued and even decelerated to 6.5% YoY, likely due to the lingering impact of the GST reform.
GENEVA – IATA data shows demand for global air freight measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTKs), rose 5.9% in October compared to a year earlier. This was a slowdown from 9.2% annual growth recorded in September, but still exceeded average annual growth of 3.2% over the past decade.
BEIJING – China’s Ministry of Finance announced on its website yesterday that the average tariff for 187 products, ranging from baby diapers to ski equipment, will be slashed to 7.7% from 17.3%. The change will be effective from December 1.
SINGAPORE - Singapore’s Q3 GDP growth has been revised higher from its initial advanced reading. Sequential growth was revised to 8.8% q/q SAAR (from 6.3%), taking y/y growth to 5.2% (from 4.6%). Because of this, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) has upgraded its GDP growth forecast to 3-3.5% for 2017 (from 2-3% previously). For 2018, MTI is forecasting GDP growth of 1.5-3.5%.