ATI Newswire - Subscriber Only

TAIWAN DOWNGRADES BIRD FLU TRAVEL WARNINGS ON CHINA

June 1, 2013

TAIPEI - Taiwan has downgraded the level of travel warning issued for several Chinese provinces and municipalities, except Beijing, from today, due to an easing of the spread of bird flu.The Mainland Affairs Council said the travel warning level for Shanghai and provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui, Henan, Shandong, Jaingxi, Fujian and Hunan will be adjusted from yellow to gray, which suggests visitors to these areas should remain cautious during their trip, given the recent outbreak of H7N9 bird flu virus.

CHINA OPERATING CONDITIONS DETERIORATE FOR FIRST TIME SINCE OCTOBER

June 3, 2013

HONG KONG - After adjusting for seasonal factors, the HSBC Purchasing Managers’ Index – a composite indicator designed to provide a single-figure snapshot of operating conditions in the manufacturing economy – posted at 49.2 in May, down from 50.4 in April. This signalled the first deterioration in operating conditions in seven months. HSBC says that despite operating conditions worsening, manufacturing output rose for the seventh month in a row during May, albeit marginally.

CHINA’S OFFICIAL PMI FOR MAY SURPRISES BY A LARGE MARGIN

June 1, 2013

BEIJING – China’s official Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) has beat market expectations and improved in May, inconsistent with other indicators and anecdotal reports on China’s manufacturing sector. Historically, the month of May reports a lower PMI by 2.7points on average, even after seasonal adjustment. Considering this, the increase in May over April this year could be even stronger than it appears, according to a research report by ANZ Bank. But while the data may ease some concerns of rapid deterioration of the Chinese economy, the impact may be short-lived, ANZ says.

THAILAND CUTS RATES, FOLLOWING INDIA, AUSTRALIA, SOUTH KOREA

May 30, 2013

BANGKOK - The Bank of Thailand has delivered a 25basis points rate cut), joining other regional central banks that have eased over the past month to support growth (India) and reduce currency appreciation pressures (Australia and South Korea). The Thai baht weakened again on the news (along with other regional currencies), continuing a reversal of its previous strength that had been induced by strong capital inflows (the baht is now up by 1.3% against the USD on the year, compared to 6.3% at is multi-year peak in mid-April).

AIR FREIGHT GROWTH STABILISES, BUT REMAINS FEEBLE, SAYS IATA

May 30, 2013

CAPE TOWN – Air cargo figures released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) – always a reliable indicator of economic activity - show modest growth of 1.4% for April compared to April 2012. IATA says the small increase helps offset a 2.6% decline recorded in March, but it continues an 18-month trend of basically no growth in the cargo markets. “We saw a brief rally in cargo markets at the end of 2012, but that has clearly stalled, said Tony Tyler, IATA Director General and CEO.

US GOES TO TOP IN WORLD COMPETITIVENESS SURVEY, HK DROPS TO THIRD

May 30, 2013

LAUSANNE -The United States has regained top spot in world competitive ness rankings for 2013, thanks to a rebounding financial sector, an abundance of technological innovation and successful companies, In rankings just published for 60 economies by IMD, a global business school based in Switzerland, says Abenomics seems to be working for Japan, which moves from 27th to 24th spot. China moves up from 23rd to 21st, but Hong Kong drops from top of the pile to third. Prof.

USAID, P&G SIGN MoU TO HELP WOMEN, CHILDREN IN BURMA

May 30, 2013

WASHINGTON – The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has signed an MoU with Procter & Gamble (P&G) to help protect the lives of women and children in Burma. USAID and P&G will seek to develop a multi-year, multi-programme Global Development Alliance that will invest at least US$2 million over the first two years to provide access to 200 million litres of clean drinking water, promote better hygiene behaviour, and build capability linked to improvements in delivery of Maternal and Child Health (MCH) services.

NEW OBLIGATIONS FOR BUSINESS IN CHINA’S NEW CONSUMER PROTECTION LAW

May 29, 2013

HONG KONG - China is finally about to amend its law for the protection of consumers, almost 20 years after it was first promulgated in October 1993. On  April 28 this year, the National People’s Congress Standing Committee published a draft amended law  for comments by May 31, and this law is expected to be promulgated later this year, after two more rounds of Standing Committee discussion. In a Client Alert issued today, lawyers Baker & McKenzie say the draft of the law strengthens protection of consumers’ rights and imposes more obligations on businesses.

BEIJING, NEW DELHI TO CONFRONT BORDER TENSION ISSUES

May 24, 2013

NEW DELHI – Just weeks after a military stand-off between China and India in the Himalays, leaders of India and China have agreed to study new ways to ease tensions along their ill-defined border. Chinese Premier, Li Keqiang, on his first foreign trip since taking office, met with India’s Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, in New Delhi  to offer a "handshake across the Himalayas" . Li said the world's most populous nations could become a new engine for the global economy if they could avoid such irritants.

US DOLLAR TO SOAR IN CURRENCY WAR, SAYS HSBC

May 24, 2013

HONG KONG – In a Global Research report released today, HSBC has predicted continued strength in the US dollar, and has revised its year-end forecasts for a number of currencies, putting the Australian dollar at 90 US cents (previous forecast 0.95), the Euro at 1.24 (previously 1.35), Sterling at 1.45 (previously 1.48), the NZ dollar at 0.78 (previously 0.74) and the Canadian dollar at 1.09 (previously 0.95). “We believe we have entered a USD bull environment,” HSBC says.

THAILAND’S GDP GROWTH DROPS TO 5.3% FOR FIRST QUARTER

May 23, 2013

BANGKOK - Thailand’s headline GDP growth for the first quarter fell well short of consensus at 5.3% year-on-year. Domestic demand disappointed, although credit growth and car sales should prevent a further material weakening of domestic demand going forward, says ANZ, adding that this will perhaps be the key to Thailand’s near-term monetary policy outlook. ANZ expects domestic demand to continue to underpin Thailand’s growth over the balance of 2013. “Domestic credit grew at average of 15.6% y/y in Q1, while automobile purchases continued to expand.

CHINA RAILWAY CORP. ISSUING RMB20 BILLION IN FIVE-YEAR BONDS

May 23, 2013

BEIJING - China Railway Corp., the business division of China’s former Ministry for Railways, has begun to issue bonds worth RMB20 billion in five-year notes to finance railway investments through private investment. The corporation faces large debts inherited from the dissolved Ministry. It remains unclear, however, how proprietary rights and financial settlements for joint-venture trunk railway lines will be defined, a lingering uncertainty for investors.

CHINA MANUFACTURING INDEX SLIPS BACK INTO NEGATIVE TERRITORY

May 23, 2013

HONG KONG – The HSBC Flash China Manufacturing PMI™ for May has come in at 49.6, down from 50.4 in April – putting it at a seven-month low. The Flash China Manufacturing Output Index was down marginally, to 51.0 (51.1 in April), a three-month low. Data for the Survey, collected between May 13 and May 21,  showed manufacturing output increasing, but at a slower rate, with new orders actually decreasing. New export orders also decreased, although at a slower rate, but employment fell, at a faster rate.

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