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HK’s Mass Transit Rail recovery dented by spike In COVID-19 cases: S&P

July 15, 2020

HONG KONG  -- S&P Global Ratings said today that the sudden increase in COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong, leading the Government to re-introduce strict social distancing measures, may reduce local transportation traffic, pressuring the stand-alone credit profile of Hong Kong's Mass Transit Rail Corporation (MTRC), and threatening the recovery of the metro system operator's passenger traffic,  already battered by the COVID-19 outbreak and social unrest.

Singapore’s Q2 GDP slumps, but recovery under way, says ANZ

July 14, 2020

SINGAPORE- Advance Q2 GDP estimates show the Singapore economy contracting by 12.6% y/y, sending the country into its deepest recession on record, but ina research note, ANZ Bank says that as large as the slump in economic activity was in Q2, it also marked the low point. "We expect growth to return to positive in Q3 on a sequential q/q basis," ANZ says.

Hong Kong Government accuses Australia of “political agenda” in response to Beijing’s security clampdown

July 10, 2020

HONG KONG - The Hong Kong SAR Government has issued a statement accusing Australia of allowing what it terms a "political agenda" to "override legal co-operation in criminal matters" by suspending "the agreement on surrender of fugitive offenders".

"Obviously such unilateral action will not be helpful to the fight against international crime," the statement says.

China raises flood response to second-highest level

July 13, 2020

BEIJING - China's Ministry of Water Resources (MWR) on Sunday raised its emergency response alert for flood control to Level II, the second-highest in the response system, as heavy downpours continued to lash vast stretches of the country.

The State newsagency, Xinhua, said that, since July 4, alert-triggering floods had been observed in 212 rivers nationwide, among which 19 topped previous water level records, according to the MWR.

China’s Weibo to heavily restrict external links

July 13, 2020

BEIJING - Weibo, one of China's biggest social media outlets, has said it will start to block user links to all but a select number of websites within weeks "in an effort to fight fraud", according to TechNode, one of China's leading high-tech media groups.

Technode quoted Weibo as saying it made the decision because the free service is heavily abused by scammers, as well as pornography and gambling sites.

S&P revises Malaysia Outlook to Negative; 'A-/A-2' Foreign Currency, 'A/A-1' Local Currency Ratings affirmed

June 26, 2020

KUALA LUMPUR -- The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, combined with depressed oil prices and fiscal stimulus, will weaken the Malaysian Government's debt position for the next few years, according to Standard & Poor's, which is revising its outlook on Malaysia to negative. This reflects additional downside risk to the Government's fiscal metrics, owing to the weak global economic climate and heightened policy uncertainty, S&P says.