ATI Newswire - Subscriber Only

JAPAN, INDONESIA KEEP INTEREST RATES ON HOLD

March 7, 2013

TOKYO – The central banks of both Japan and Indonesia have kept interest rates on hold. Bank of Japan has kept the size of its asset purchase programme at 101 trillion yen and the policy rate unchanged at 0-0.1%. It did, however, upgrade the outlook for the domestic economy, which it now says “has stopped weakening” as exports and industrial production appear to be stabilising.

CHINA ANNOUNCES FURTHER LIBERALISATION OF RQFII PILOT SCHEME

March 7, 2013

BEIJING - China has relaxed its RMB Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (RQFII) rules to further develop the offshore RMB market in Hong Kong. Under the new rules, the RQFII quota can be invested in a wider range of products. Hong Kong units of Chinese commercial banks, insurers, and other financial institutions that are registered and with major operations in Hong Kong will now be allowed to participate in the pilot programme. Previously, participants were restricted to Hong Kong units of Chinese fund management and securities companies.

TAIWAN MARKET EMBRACES RMB OFFERINGS

March 6, 2013

TAIPEI – Media reports indicate that offshore RMB (CNT) deposits among domestic banking units (DBU) of qualified Taiwanese banks have surpassed RMB 10 billion in the first month of CNT business, which kicked off on February 6. The size of the CNT market is much smaller than the CNH market (which was RMB 624 billion at the end of January), but the market’s growth momentum is impressive given that it took about 10 months for offshore RMB deposits in Hong Kong to surpass RMB 10 billion when the CNH market was launched in February 2004.

CHINA, JAPAN TO PROTECT ECONOMIC TIES, SAYS BANKING CHIEF

March 6, 2013

SYDNEY - Despite drumming rhetoric on both sides in their dispute over the Senkaku-Daioyu Islands, Japan and China have agreed to keep their differences out of economic activities, according to Hiroshi Watanabe, Chief Executive of Japan Bank of International Co-operation (JBIC). He says Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, and China’s President, Xi Jinping, are making efforts to improve relations.

FLINDERS SIGNS CHINESE STEEL MILLS ON PILBARA PROJECT

March 5, 2013

ADELAIDE - Flinders Mines Limited (“Flinders”) has executed binding, non-exclusive Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with four Chinese steel mills. The agreements will allow potential customers of the sinter fines product from the Pilbara Iron Ore Project to undertake technical and commercial evaluations of ore in order to assess its suitability for their iron-making operations. Flinders says it expects this will ultimately lead to Letters of Intent with a number of foundation customers.

CHINA’S 2013 MACRO TARGETS IN LINE WITH EXPECTATIONS

March 5, 2013

BEIJING – China’s key economic targets for 2013 are GDP growth of 7.5%, average inflation of 3.5%, M2 growth of 13.0%, and a fiscal deficit of 2.0% of GDP. The targets are broadly in line with market expectations. Of special significance is that the growth target is unchanged from last year, while the inflation and M2 targets have been lowered (from 4.0% and 14.0%, respectively).

CHINA BANKING INDICATORS STRONG, BUT PROFITS SET TO DECLINE

March 4, 2013

BEIJING - The China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) annual banking indicators show overall profit growth of 19% for the banking system, notwithstanding headwinds from the economic slowdown and narrowing interest margins. The indicators are for the overall banking system, consisting of both listed and non-listed banks - full-year financial results for the listed banks will be released at end-March.

SINGAPORE EMPLOYERS PLAN MORE HIRINGS IN PROFESSIONAL SECTOR

March 4, 2013

SINGAPORE - Employers across Singapore’s professional sectors remain reasonably confident about domestic business conditions and many plan to increase staff numbers during the first six months of the year, according to the H1 2013 Michael Page Singapore Employment Index. More than half of the employers (58%) responding to the survey, which takes a predictive six-month view and focusses on anticipated trends, reveal they expect business conditions to either be stable or to improve during the first six months of the year.

SIGNS OF STABILISATION IN AIR CARGO REFLECT GLOBAL LIFT: IATA

March 4, 2013

GENEVA – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) says global air freight demand statistics for January 2013 showing a stabilisation of air freight markets on the back of encouraging growth towards the end of 2012. Compared to the previous year, demand for air freight was apparently very strong, with a rise of 5.0%. However, the rise was from an exceptionally low base, caused by the timing of Chinese New Year, which occurred in February this year, skewing year-on-year comparisons as many Asian factories close (and last year the holiday period occurred in January).

UBS TIPPING 4.2% GROWTH FOR TAIWAN IN 2013 ON GLOBAL REBOUND

March 1, 2013

TAIPEI - UBS has raised its forecast for Taiwan's gross domestic product growth for 2013 to 4.2% from an earlier estimate of 3.7% on the back of a rebound in exports as global demand revives. UBS says in a research report that Taiwan's economy showed signs of a rebound in the fourth quarter of last year, posting higher-than-expected GDP growth of 3.72%, and that economic momentum is expected to continue. UBS also predicts that Taiwan's private consumption will grow by more than 2% in 2013 (ATI).

EMIRATES PLANS SECOND DAILY A-380 SERVICE FROM SYDNEY

February 26, 2013

SYDNEY - Emirates is to introduce a second daily A380 aircraft to its Sydney-Dubai route, upgrading the morning service from Sydney to Dubai from June 2. Upgrading Emirates flights EK414 and EK415 from the Boeing 777-300ER to the Airbus A380-800 will see an increase in capacity of ,1890 seats per week. Barry Brown, Emirates’ Vice President Australasia, sad that a second A380 service from Sdey complemented Emirates’ proposed plans for the partnership with Qantas.

GDP GROWTH FALL LEAVES ROOM FOR POLICY EASING IN INDIA

March 1, 2013

NEW DELHI - India’s real GDP growth slowed sharply in 4Q12 to 4.5% y/y, down from 5.3% in Q3 and its lowest growth since March 2009, as decelerating services growth and weak agriculture offset a pickup in industrial activity. The Q4 outturn brings India’s full year GDP growth to a decade-low 5.2% y/y in 2012. BBVA researchers say that while sequential consumption and investment indicators suggest a gradual recovery, waning fiscal support and a high trade deficit present downside risks to its 2013 growth projection of 6.5% y/y.

S&P AFFIRMS SRI LANKA RATINGS AT B+/B WITH OUTLOOK STABLE

March 1, 2013

SINGAPORE -Standard & Poor's has affirmed its 'B+' long-term and 'B' short-term sovereign credit ratings on Sri Lanka, and says the outlook remains stable. “We also affirmed the recovery rating at '4'. The transfer and convertibility (T&C) assessment is unchanged at 'B+'.” S&P says the ratings reflect its view of Sri Lanka's weak external liquidity - a moderately high and increasing net external liability position. “Additional rating constraints include the country's fundamental fiscal weaknesses, and the attendant high government debt and interest burdens.

US FIRMS IN CHINA REMAIN OPTOMISTIC DESPITE BUSINESS DECLINE

March 1, 2013

BEIJING - The American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Shanghai reports that 91% of companies in a survey are optimistic about their Chinese operations, despite business dropping for the second year in a row in 2012. Of the 420 companies surveyed, 73% of US companies in China said they were profitable last year, declining from 78% in 2011 and 79% the year before. Around 75% of companies did say, however, that they were planning to increase investments in China this year.

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