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Cosmetics: Thai IP&IT court cracks down on copyright infringer

May 14, 2014

BANGKOK - In a surprising break from standard practice, the Central Intellectual Property and International Trade Court (IP&IT Court) has sentenced a recidivist infringer to imprisonment for offences under the Thai Trademark Act. Lawyers Baker & McKenzie say the case has attracted significant attention among IP rights holders, who have long criticised the customary practice of suspending imprisonment sentences against intellectual property offenders.

Consumer confidence in Indonesia improves in April

May 14, 2014

JAKARTA - The ANZ-Roy Morgan Indonesian Consumer Confidence index increased to 152.2 (up 1.6pts m/m) in April – and is now 3.4pts lower than it was a year ago in April 2013 (155.6). This month’s small rise was primarily driven by increasing confidence about the Indonesian economy over the next 12 months and an improving perception that it is now a good time to buy major household items. Political uncertainty is apparent in some components of the index.

More Asian clients registering for digital banking services

May 13, 2014

HONG KONG – Citibank says it now has 7.4 million clients across 14 markets in Asia who have signed up for digital banking services, including online, mobile phones and other digital channels. “Consumer preferences are changing and a generational shift in behaviour is driving consumers to new digital channels,” says Jonathan Larsen, Head of Consumer Banking for Citi in Asia Pacific.

Exit polls in India show Modi may not need other party support

May 13, 2014

NEW DELHI - With a projection of 272 seats on average for the BJP-led NDA Coalition, exit polls on Monday evening were pointing to the possibility of an even stronger Coalition government coming into power in India than in 2009, when the current government, the Congress-led UPA coalition won 262 seats, up from 218 in 2004). The number needed for a simple majority is 272.

Latest data shows time has come for rate cuts in China, says ANZ

May 13, 2014

HONG KONG – Data released by China today shows that industrial production rose 8.7% y/y in April, down slightly from 8.8% in March and lower than the  market consensus of 8.9%. Electricity production growth slowed further to 4.4% y/y, down from 6.2% in the prior month, while fixed asset investment moderated to 17.3% y/y in January-April, the lowest level since 2002, compared with 17.6% for Q1 2013.

Xi says China should adapt to new norm of growth

May 12, 2014

BEIJING - Comments by President Xi Jingping are being seen as another indication that Chinese leaders will avoid large-scale stimulus, preferring to stick to limited measures, such as tax breaks, a speeding up of infrastructure development and social housing investment to boost the economy. Xi said China should adapt to the new norm of its economic growth and be cool-minded amid a slowdown in the economy.

BBVA lowers its global growth forecasts for 2014, trims China outlook

May 9, 2014

HONG KONG – In its latest economic update, BBVA Bank says that while global growth should accelerate in 2014, downside risks are still present from QE tapering - and turmoil in emerging markets. “We have slightly lowered our global growth projections to 3.4% in 2014 and to 3.8% in 2015 on account of recent out-turns,” BBVA says.

S&P holds Thai ratings steady as court dismisses Prime Minister

May 8, 2014

SINGAPORE - Standard & Poor's has held its current sovereign credit ratings on Thailand (foreign currency BBB+/Stable/A-2; local currency A-/Stable/A-2; ASEAN scale axAA/axA-1) following the dismissal of caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra by Thailand's Constitutional Court on the charge of "abuse of power", saying that a possible conviction was part of a number of scenarios already incorporated into its ratings – “reflecting our expectations of protracted and potentially increasing political instability”.

S&P lifts sovereign ratings on the Philippines: Outlook stable

May 8, 2014

SINGAPORE - Standard & Poor's has raised its long-term sovereign credit ratings on the Philippines to 'BBB' from 'BBB-', and its short-term rating to 'A-2' from 'A-3', with the outlook stable. S&P also lifted its ASEAN regional scale rating for the Philippines to 'axA/axA-2', from 'axA-/axA-2', and its transfer and convertibility assessment to 'BBB+' from 'BBB'.

China puts further restrictions on foreign dairy imports

May 7, 2014

BEIJING – A new rule that took effect from May 1 requires foreign dairy companies to ensure that their products are consistent with China’s safety standards and registered with the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine. The measure is regarded as a fresh effort by the Government to further regulate China’s dairy market for better product quality.