SINGAPORE - Trade flows and Purchasing Managers' Indices in Asia-Pacific economies drifted higher in early 2017 amid low and stable inflation, according to S&P Global Ratings, which says Central banks across the region are keeping interest rates on hold for now on modest reflation, with a neutral bias in their monetary policy.
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WASHINGTON — Global trade growth has continued to be slow for a fifth consecutive year, with 2016 showing the weakest trade performance since the 2008-2009 global financial crisis. According to a new paper, preliminary data suggest that world merchandise trade grew by a little more than 1% in 2016 compared to 2% in 2015 and 2.7% in 2014.
Nevertheless, the growth of services trade continued to be relatively resilient, and recovered slightly following a decline in 2015, according to a new World Bank paper, Global Trade Watch: Trade Developments in 2016.
BEIJING - China’s exports of solar power equipment fell 10% to US$14 billion in 2016 from a year earlier, driven in part by continued friction with countries that have conducted anti-dumping measures against Chinese solar producers, an industry expert said. It is the first year-on-year drop the sector has seen since 2013.
KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia’s better-than-expected economic performance of 4.5% GDP in the fourth quarter of 2016 was largely due to stronger private consumption,” says ANZ Bank. “We had envisaged weaker consumer sentiment to constrain consumption,” it says.
HONG KONG - Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) will introduce its planned Renminbi (RMB) Currency Options on Monday, March 20. The US dollar-Offshore RMB (USD/CNH) Options will be the first currency options traded at HKEX.
SINGAPORE - With external demand likely to improve only modestly, the ability of banks in Asia to support domestic demand will remain a key issue for growth in the region, according to ANZ Bank in a review of credit dynamics in the region. The review says:
JAKARTA - CIMIC Group’s global mining services provider, Thiess, has secured a new contract with client Cakrawala Langit Sejahtera (CLS) and a contract extension that continues building on Thiess’ partnership with Bayan Resources Group.
HO CHI MINH CITY – Vietnam’s economy continues to be fuelled by a solid capital influx from both FDI and private sector. In the first month of 2017, it received pledged FDI of US$1.42 billion for newly-registered and supplemental capital (+6.6% YoY), while disbursed FDI reached US$ 850 million (+6.3% YoY).
HYDERABAD – Australia’s NSL Consolidated has won its first commercial purchase order for 4,000 tonnes of premium iron ore from its Phase Two wet benefaction plant, some 200km northeast of the State capital. NSL said discussions are ongoing with multiple customers.
SHENZHEN – The launch of Shenzhen’s first Innovation and Entrepreneurship International Competition is being seen as a bold move by Shenzhen authorities to attract more leading edge ideas and high-tech skills to a city that is already at the heart of China’s global success in new fields of technology.
JAKARTA – Ratings agency Moody's has revised Indonesia's Baa3 sovereign rating outlook to positive from stable citing Indonesia's reduced vulnerability to external shocks and improved track record of macroeconomic stability.
SINGAPORE - The decision last week by China to edge up the interbank rate by 10 basis points to 2.35% is a “very clear signal” by the Chinese central bank that it will introduce short-term rates as benchmarks for bank lending rates, according to Iris Pang, senior economist at Natixis. She told ATI that Chinese banks previously have used deposit and lending rates as their benchmark.
TOKYO – A briefing note from Nikko Asset Management says the cumulative positioning of investors in companies and asset classes that are deemed safe in a “lower for longer” environment is undergoing a significant test at present. “The scale and duration of changes to date suggest that more capitulation is likely if the policy measures being promised by President Trump are enacted,” it says.
~SINGAPORE - S&P Global Ratings today assigned its preliminary 'AAA' long-term foreign currency rating and 'cnAAA' long-term Greater China regional scale rating to the planned U.S. dollar-denominated one billion sukuk (trust certificates) by Hong Kong Sukuk 2017 Ltd. a special purpose vehicle incorporated in Hong Kong.
SINGAPORE - Slow economic growth and slow domestic consumption will weigh on Thai banks' asset quality and profitability this year, says ratings agency Standard and Poor’s.
MELBOURNE - Australia Post today announced an expanded relationship with the world’s biggest online retailer, Alibaba, to strengthen trade between Australian businesses and consumers across Southeast Asia.