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FASTER CHINA INTEREST RATE REFORMS MAY BE LINKED TO SHADOW FINANCING SURGE, SAYS S&P

July 22, 2013

SINGAPORE – Ratings agency Standard and Poor’s is suggesting that the surge in shadow financing may be behind a move by the People’s Bank of China to hasten interest rate reforms. The PBoC on Friday announced that it was giving up its role in guiding commercial bank ending rates, leaving control of commercial banks’ deposit rates as its main price-based policy instrument. S&P says that, if the central bank frees up deposit rates as well, it is likely to have to adopt a more conventional monetary policy framework by targeting a money market interest rate.

IS RISING FDI IN CHINA A SIGN OF IMPROVING OVERSEAS CONFIDENCE?

July 19, 2013

HONG KONG – Foreign Direct Investment inflow to China in June jumped by 20.1% on-year, the fifth straight month to show gains. For the second quarter, FDI inflows increased by 8.3% y/y, from 1.4% in Q1 and a fall of 3.7% in calendar 2012. FDI to the service sector (12.4% ytd y/y) has outperformed the manufacturing sector (down2.1% ytd y/y), a further sign of increasing services output as a share of GDP. Outward FDI (non-financial sector) also remains resilient, growing by 28.7% y/y ytd (vs. 12.6% in 2012).

CHINA DOMESTIC DEMAND CUSHIONS ITS LED MANUFACTURERS

July 19, 2013

TAIPEI - China's huge domestic market has provided a solution to the sharp decline in its light-emitting diode (LED) export orders, according to the market information advisory firm, LEDinside. It says some export-oriented LED companies in China have suffered an unprecedented downturn amid global economic uncertainties.
China's LED lighting fixture exports amounted to approximately US$5.8 billion in 2012, according to Chinese customs. Chinese domestic LED lighting demand will rise to US$10 billion and to US$22 billion by 2015 and 2020, respectively, LEDinside forecast (ATI).

EIU RESEARCH TIPS INFLATION RETURNING TO JAPAN THIS YEAR

July 18, 2013

LONDON – In an update of its Global Outlook forecast, the Economist Intelligence Unit is predicting 0.1 per cent inflation in Japan for 2013, moving to 1.7% in 2014, drifting to 1.6% in 2015, and to 1.4% in both 2016 and 2017. Inflation (at 1.4%) was last recorded in Japan in 2008, with deflation of 1.3% in 2009, 0.7% in 2010, and 0.3% in 2011, and a zero result in 2012. A key target of the Abe Government’s current economic policy is to encourage a return to inflation.

AUSTRALIAN BUSINESS CONFIDENCE FRAGILE AHEAD OF FEDERAL ELECTION

July 17, 2013

SYDNEY - There has been a sharp decline in business confidence amongst Australia’s mid-market organisations in the June quarter, according to the Commonwealth Bank Future Business Index. It shows that business confidence has fallen to a six-month low of 5.2, following two quarters of increases in confidence. The sharp decline in sentiment across mid-market businesses reflects a range of factors including the impact of policy and government uncertainty in the lead up to the Federal election, rising energy and fuel costs and increased wage pressures.

INDIA: RBI TIGHTENS LIQUIDITY TO PROTECT THE RUPEE

July 17, 2013

NEW DELHI - The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has taken the bold step of tightening interbank liquidity and raising the cost of shorting the Rupee (INR) in an effort to stem potentially destabilising INR weakness. The RBI has significantly limited banks’ access to funds at the policy repo rate of 7.25%. At the same time, it has raised the cost to banks of borrowing cash in excess of this limit by 200 basis points to 10.25%.

McDONALD’S TO OPEN FOR BUSINESS IN VIETNAM IN 2014

July 17, 2013

HO CHI MINH CITY – McDonald’s has appointed Henry Nguyen, a Vietnamese businessman and founder of Good Day Hospitality, as developmental licensee to build the McDonald’s brand in Vietnam. The first restaurant is planned to open in HCMC in early 2014. Vietnam will be one of more than 65 markets worldwide where the McDonald’s Development Licensee (DL) structure has been deployed.  wwwaboutmacdonalds.com (ATI).

CHINA GDP Q2 GROWTH SLOWS; GOVERNMENT RELUCTANT TO STIMULATE

July 15, 2013

HONG KONG - Second quarter GDP growth in China registered 7.5% y/y, continuing the gradual slowdown in place over the past four-to six-quarters. The out-turn brings growth for the first half of the year to 7.6% y/y, just above the official full-year target of 7.5%. China’s official news agency, Xinhua, over the weekend reiterated the 7.5% growth target after confusion over a reported quote by the Finance Minister on Friday suggesting the target may have been lowered.

S&P CONFIRMS AAA RATING AS TEMASEK UPSIZES GLOBAL NOTES TO US$15 BILLION

July 15, 2013

SINGAPORE - Standard & Poor's today affirmed its 'AAA' rating on the guaranteed global medium-term notes (MTN) programme of Temasek Financial (I) Limited. At the same time, it affirmed the 'AAA' rating on notes issued under the programme. Temasek Holdings (Private) Limited (Temasek; AAA/Stable/A-1+) unconditionally and irrevocably guarantees the programme. S&P says Temasek has increased the size of its MTN programme to US$15 billion from US$10 billion, and that, combined, about US$9.1 billion is outstanding under the programme.

REPORT SAYS ONE QUARTER OF PEARL RIVER DELTA SOIL IS POLLUTED

July 15, 2013

GUANGDONG - The Guangdong Land and Resources Bureau has reported that approximately 28% of soil in the Pearl River Delta is polluted by heavy metals. The Delta makes up 14% of the province and contains the urban centres of Guangzhou and Shenzhen. Much of the polluted soil was marked as Level III or worse, meaning it poses serious health hazards. Guangdong is the first province to release data on soil pollution, following a public outcry earlier this year when cadmium-tainted rice was discovered in Guangdong.

CHINA LIFTS TOURISM REVENUE BY 10.7% IN FIRST HALF

July 15, 2013

BEIJING - The National Tourism Administration has reported that the tourism industry raked in RMB1.4 trillion in revenue during the first six months of the year, up 10.7% on-year. Passenger air traffic totalled 170 million people in the first half, up 11% from a year ago, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China. The domestic travel and outbound travel markets both expanded, although the inbound travel market shrank slightly due to weak global economic recovery.

NAB SIGNS MoU WITH CHINA’S LARGEST AGRICULTURAL ENTERPRISE

July 12, 2013

MELBOURNE - National Australia Bank (NAB) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with China’s largest agricultural enterprise, the China National Agricultural Development Group Corporation (CNADC), under which it will help CNADC enhance its knowledge and understanding of international banking markets and debt capital markets. CNADC will have access to NAB’s financial services capabilities - ranging from acquisition funding, working capital facilities, term loans and trade finance, to wealth management and transaction banking.

BANK OF JAPAN TO STAY THE COURSE TO SLAY DEFLATION

July 12, 2013

TOKYO - As expected, the Bank of Japan is to maintain its aggressive monetary easing policy, saying the economy “is starting to recover moderately”. It is the first time the BoJ has made such a positive evaluation since 2011. Its aim is to end deflation, and it has adopted an inflation target of 2%. In April, the BoJ launched an aggressive monetary policy easing campaign to double the monetary base in two years, equivalent to US$700 billion per year.

BANK INDONESIA DELIVERS STRONG MESSAGE WITH RATE HIKE

July 11, 2013

JAKARTA - Bank Indonesia (BI) has delivered an upside surprise, raising rates by 50 basis points to 6.50%. Economists were expecting +25bps. BI also tightened loan-to-value ratio for some houses and apartments, effective from September, and banks have been banned from financing down payments for property (so prospective buyers must find other ways to finance a deposit). ANZ Bank says the aggressive stance of BI and its hawkish tone signal that the tightening cycle may extend beyond original forecasts.

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