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Diabetes may have reached ‘alert’ level in China

September 6, 2013

WASHINGTON - Diabetes in China may have reached "an alert level", according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. It says nearly 12% of adults reportedly have diabetes, while about 50% are at risk of developing the disease  - which means up to 113.9 million adults are diabetic and another 493.4 million are estimated to be pre-diabetic,. Prevalence of diabetes has reached 11.6% of adults, surpassing the 2007 rate of 9.7%, with only 30% of diabetics are aware of their condition, according to the Journal.

Commodity prices to hold at high levels, says HSBC

September 6, 2013

SYDNEY - Despite China’s slowdown, commodity prices have been broadly steady over the past year, and are still more than 120% above their 1990s average, according to a new report by HSBC Australia. “Rising supply suggests further modest declines in commodity prices are likely in coming years, but we still expect them to stay well above their 1980s and 1990s levels,” HSBC says.

Chinese, Japanese lenders top list of largest Asia-Pacific banks by assets

September 5, 2013

BEIJING - China- and Japan-based institutions account for more than two-thirds of the 25 largest banks by pro forma assets in the Asia-Pacific region, according to US-based SNC Financial. Beijing-based Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. takes the title of largest bank in the region with total assets of US$2.953 trillion at March 31. The bank also recently topped the list of largest banks in the region by market cap.

Taiwan to hold world lead in semi-conductor spending

September 4, 2013

TAIPEI - Taiwan will hold its leading position in equipment expenditure for semiconductor manufacturing in 2013 despite a contraction in the global market, according to global industry group SEMI. Led by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp. (TSMC), the world's largest contract chip maker, Taiwan is expected to invest US$10.43 billion in semiconductor equipment this year, up 9.4% from US$9.53 billion in 2012, said SEMI, the global industry association serving the manufacturing supply chain for the micro- and nano-electronics industries.

China’s GDP growth for 2012 revised down to 7.7% from 7.8%

September 4, 2013

BEIJING – China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has revised 2012 GDP growth down by 0.1% to 7.7% for a total of RMB 51.89 trillion, 38 billion less than previous calculations. Output growth in secondary industries was 0.2% lower than the previous figure. The NBS reduced the output value of the wholesale and retail sector by RMB85.2 billion and raised the value of the financial sector by RMB12.2 billion.

India Q2 GDP disappoints at 4.4% y/y, slowest in more than four years

September 3, 2013

NEW DELHI - Adding to the dismal mood amid slowing growth and currency depreciation,  India’s GDP growth has slowed to a disappointing 4.4% y/y in the second wuarter from 4.8% in 1Q13, weighed by a contraction in investment and a pullback in private consumption, offsetting higher public spending.  The GDP outturn is the slowest since Q1 2009.

Indonesia announces record trade deficit for July

September 3, 2013

JAKARTA - Inflation was better than expected, but any sense of relief dissipated when Indonesia announced a very large trade deficit. With the market so focussed on deficits, reaction in currency markets was, not surprisingly, negative. Indonesia’s July trade deficit was the largest on record at USD2.31 billion, widening from a deficit of US$857 million in June. Exports were weaker and imports much stronger than expected.

China the key market for international Australian SMEs: HSBC

September 2, 2013

SYDNEY - China is set to overtake the US as the key overseas trading partner for the Australian SME sector, with the majority importing from China rather than exporting to it, according to a survey by HSBC Australia. With China’s middle class expected to reach more than a billion people by 2030, HSBC says Australian SMEs should consider the consumer market opportunities in China rather than just seeing China purely as a manufacturing hub.

AMP Capital enters China funds management with China Life JV

September 2, 2013

HONG KONG – Australia’s AMP Capital is to establish a funds management company in China with China Life Asset Management Company, a subsidiary of China Life Insurance (Group) Company, China's largest insurance group, institutional investor and corporate pension manager. China Life AMP Asset Management Company Limited will offer retail and institutional investors in China access to leading investment solutions initially in domestic listed equities and fixed income.

Japan inflation and activity indicators are moving in the right direction

August 31, 2013

TOKYO - In a positive sign that deflation is ending, Japanese CPI inflation picked up in line with expectations to 0.7% y/y in July, its highest rate since end-2008, although still well short of the official 2% target. In addition, after a dip in June, July activity indicators picked up, providing further evidence that expansionary monetary and fiscal policies are working in the right direction.

China’s official PMI suggests that growth momentum has accelerated

August 31, 2013

BEIJING - China’s August official Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) has risen for a second consecutive month to 51.0, up from July’s 50.3, indicating that growth momentum has accelerated thanks to faster implementation of the fiscal programme and “mini stimulus” initiated by the new Government. ANZ Bank says its calculations show that 58% of China’s full-year budget will be spent in the second half.

China court issues first preliminary injunction in trade secrets case

August 30, 2013

SHANGHAI - The Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court - before a trial on the merits of the case - has issued a preliminary injunction order against a former employee of the Chinese subsidiary of a US-based pharmaceutical company. Lawyers Baker & McKenzie say the injunction restrains him from disclosing, using, or allowing others to use certain documents containing trade secrets that he downloaded from the company’s database without authorisation. In addition, the court issued an asset preservation order to freeze the ex-employee’s real property and bank account pending the trial.

Bank Indonesia lifts interest rates to stem currency depreciation

August 29, 2013

JAKARTA - Amid further downward currency pressures, Indonesia’s central bank has lifted interest rates by 50 basis points to 7%, the highest level since June 2009. The move comes exactly two weeks after BI kept rates on hold at its regular scheduled policy meeting on August 15. BI has now lifted rates by a cumulative 125 basis points since June in response to both a surge in inflation (8.6% y/y in July) from an administered fuel price increase on June 24, and currency pressures.

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