February 1, 2009
Red-shirts rally anew to topple government
envoy’s visit offers little hope for Myanmar
Manufacturers downbeat over outlook
BIDV bank to cut dong lending rates from Feb 1
Singapore: Chartered Semi posts Q4 loss, plans layoffs
February 2, 2009
• Global crunch to hit Asian car markets in
• Philippine F&B company reports 25% rise
in net income
• Singapore minister: Reserves not for welfare
• Asian airlines trim down for expected hard
• Myanmar democracy leader seen leaving home for UN envoy talks
February 3, 2009
• Indonesia tourist arrivals miss 2008 target
• Thai parent mulls listing Laos power unit
• Philippine banks’ NPLs drops to 3.78%
• Malaysia local rating outlook turns negative
• Vietnam to trim rates further
February 4, 2009
• Canadian bank doubles stake in Thai bank
• Singapore Tourism:
Arrivals decline but revenue up in 2008
• Myanmar democracy leader shuns junta’s minister
• Thai PM sets out on investment roadshow to Japan
• Malaysia: Govt urged to review race policy
• Indonesia expects 2% rise in gas output
February 5, 2009
• Asean Summit:
Thailand to beef up security at summit venue
• Thailand: Rohingya migrants to be sent
• Singapore hotel offers ‘pay-what-you-
• Indonesia: Rate cuts to lift growth, more
likely to follow
• Toyota leasing unit in Thailand plans
bond sale late Feb
• Thai PM in Japan:
‘Country is back on track’
• Indonesia seeks eyes swap deal with Japan
• Malaysia's Sime plas water project, rice venture
• Thai GM unit looks to state support
• Philippines inflation at 10 month low in
February 24, 2009
• Thailand: Pro-Thaksin red-shirts rally
ahead of Asean Summit
• Malaysia to ease investment
• Indonesia plans more bonds to boost
• Asean plans electronic stock
link in 2010
• Philippines expects 4% growth
February 20, 2009
• Vietnam reports $400m in trade surplus
• Singapore reviews financial
regulations to reduce risks
• Cost overruns threaten casino projects
• Japanese brewer in 1bn deal with
Philippines’ San Miguel
• Malaysia: Opposition accuses govt of
• Australia, Indonesia to press forward
with free trade pact
• Clinton in Indonesia, promoting ties
with Muslim world
February 19, 2009
• Clinton in
Jakarta to seek new strategic partnership
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
touched down in Jakarta amid tight security Wednesday, bringing a mission to
seek a stronger partnership with the world's most populous Muslim country,
reported Kyodo news agency.
• Four bidders
vie for AIG's Philippine assets
US insurer American International
Group has shortlisted four potential buyers for its Philippine life insurance
business, sources familiar with the negotiations said on Wednesday.
unemployment could trigger unrest - ILO
Asian nations could become vulnerable
to social unrest as millions lose their jobs because of the global economic
crisis, the International Labour Organisation was quoted by Reuters as saying
• Thai top
mobile operator sees steep decline in 2009 profit
Thailand's top mobile phone operator,
Advanced Info Service Plc, reported a 92 percent fall in quarterly earnings on
Wednesday due to weak consumer confidence and a goodwill write-off for a
subsidiary's network, reported Reuters.
• Thailand to
inject $54bn into the economy
Thailand's economic ministers agreed
Wednesday to spend 1.9 trillion baht ($54.28 billion) over four years to try
and stimulate an economy hit by global and domestic upheaval, the premier said.
February 18, 2009
• Malaysian bank denies being in talks with
Malaysia's top lender, Maybank, said it was not in talks to
buy a Dubai investor's stake in Bank Islam, a deal that would have created the
largest sharia bank in the Asia-Pacific region.
• IMF sees sharp
downturn in Philippines economy
Growth in the Philippines is set to slow sharply this year
as the economy faces "strong head winds" from falling global demand
and a drop in remittances from Filipinos working abroad, Reuters quoted the
International Monetary Fund as saying Tuesday.
• Thai power firm to
invest $31m in wind farm project
Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding RATC.BK,
Thailand's largest private power producer, plans to invest 1.11 billion baht
($31.50 million) in a wind power project in the north of the country.
• Asean welcomes appointment of Canadian
Secretary-General of the Association of Southeast Asian
Nations (ASEAN), Surin Pitsuwan, said on Feb. 16 that Asean welcomed Canada’s
appointment of John T. Holmes as its first ambassador to the organisation.
• Chevron sets date to decide on Indonesia
deepwater gas project
Chevron Corp will decide whether to move to the final
design of the deepwater Kutai Basin natural gas project off Indonesia's East
Kalimantan province by year-end, the US major oil firm was quoted by Reuters as
February 17, 2009
• Thailand: Car sales to decline 40% in
Vehicle sales in Thailand in 2009 are projected to drop 40
per cent due to the current economic slump, and it will take between one to two
years before they recover, a top Toyota executive was quoted by Thai News
Agency as saying.
• Clinton launches first overseas trip to
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton launched her Asia
tour in Japan Monday calling US-Pacific ties "indispensable" for
curbing problems like climate change, the global financial crisis and nuclear weapons,
• Philippines: Remittances seen slowing
down amid global crisis
The inflow of remittances from overseas Filipino workers is
expected to slow down this year as many will lose their jobs due to the global
economic crisis, officials said.
• Vietnam to urge Japan to resume
Vietnam's Planning and Investment Minister Vo Hong Phuc
plans to visit Japan later this month to urge the Japanese government to resume
government loans to Vietnam, Kyodo news agency quoted Vietnamese government
sources as saying Monday.
• Global slump forces Singapore
Airlines to cut fleet
Singapore Airlines said Monday it will cut 17 percent of
its fleet and is exploring other cost-saving measures amid a global economic
slump which has hit travel and cargo demand.
• Singapore refiner to shut crude
Singapore Refining Co (SRC) will take a 135,000 barrels per
day (bpd) crude unit offline from mid-March to mid-May for regular maintenance,
Reuters quoted industry sources as saying Monday.
• Philippines: Brewery eyes $300m backstop
The Philippines' San Miguel Brewery is considering $300
million in backstop debt funding to help buy the domestic beer brands and real
estate assets from its parent firm, Reuters quoted a group executive as saying
February 16, 2009
• Vietnam: Global slump
seen denting FDI inflow
Pledges of foreign direct investment (FDI) in
Vietnam may drop to $20 billion this year, less than a third of last year's
record $64 billion, due to the global economic slump, an online newspaper
quoted a state planner as saying.
• Singapore: Sovereign
fund losses won't drain reserves
Singapore's reserves will not be depleted by the
losses suffered by its two sovereign wealth funds, Temasek and the Government
of Singapore Investment Corp (GIC), Reuters quoted a government minister as
saying in remarks published on Sunday.
• Indonesia: Non-oil
exports likely to decline 20-30%
Indonesia's trade minister said on Saturday export volumes
for non-oil and gas are set to fall 20-30 percent this year from 2008 as global
trade slows, dealing a blow to Southeast Asia's biggest economy in an election
year, reported Reuters.
• Malaysia’s Sime says no
cost overruns at Qatar project
Malaysian plantations to autos conglomerate Sime Darby
denied that an oil and gas engineering project in Qatar had been hit by 800
million Malaysian ringgit ($222.1 million) of cost overruns, reported Reuters
• Indonesia's Niaga bank
sees loan growth slowing down
The head of PT Bank CIMB Niaga said Indonesia's
sixth-largest bank has not been as badly hit as its peers by the financial
turmoil, but expects a sharp slowdown in loan growth in 2009 the economy slows.
• UN official in Myanmar
to assess human rights situation
A United Nations independent expert on human
rights arrived in Myanmar Saturday for a six-day visit, UN and Burmese
February 15, 2009
• Thailand to ask Vietnam to help stabilise
Thailand's Deputy Commerce Minister Alongkorn Ponlaboot is
scheduled to leave for Vietnam on Sunday for a three-day visit to find ways to
keep rice prices stabilised.
• Singapore flag-carrier suspend Vancouver
Singapore Airlines (SIA) has announced that it will suspend
indefinitely, its three-times-weekly service between Singapore and Vancouver
via Seoul, reported Channel News Asia.
• Thai PM denies admitting authorities’
abuse of Rohingyas
Thailand's Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Friday
dismissed a foreign media report he admitted Thai authorities had towed
Rohingya migrants out to sea.
• Clinton’s Visit to Asia:
US to deepen bonds with Asia
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledged Friday to
deepen US bonds with Asia in order to tackle the global economic crisis and
climate change as well as prevent nuclear proliferation.
• Indonesia, Japan sign gas sales
Indonesia and Japan have agreed on the gas sales extension
for 10 years, the Jakarta Post reported on Saturday.
• Human Rights Abuses:
Myanmar’s opposition calls on UN to take action
Aung San Suu Kyi's opposition party urged the United
Nations on Saturday to take action against human rights abuses in
military-ruled Myanmar, voicing hope and frustration over the visit of another
February 14, 2009
• Asean+3 to raise swap arrangement to
Finance ministers from 13 Asian countries will discuss
expanding a currency swap scheme to $120 billion at a meeting in Thailand next
• Myanmar junta extends deputy opposition
Myanmar's military government on Friday extended the house
arrest of the deputy leader of Aung San Suu Kyi's pro-democracy party, despite
recent calls from the United Nations for the release of political prisoners,
reported The Associated Press.
• Indonesia's Telkom mulls taking stake in
Indonesia's largest telecommunications firm, PT
Telekomunikasi Indonesia Tbk, said on Friday it was considering buying a stake
in state-owned Telecommunication Company of Iran (TCI).
• Malaysian: April
by-elections a test for government
Malaysia's coalition government faces two critical
by-elections in April which the opposition Friday said would be a
"referendum" on Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak's leadership.
• Philippine: Economy
to grow 3.7% in 2009
The Philippine economy is expected to grow at least 3.7
percent this year, the lower end of the government's forecast, with other
sectors and slowing inflation offseting weak exports as the global downturn
deepens, Reuters quoted a senior government official as saying Friday.
February 13, 2009
• Indonesia: State oil firm urged to build new refineries
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono urged on Thursday
state oil firm Pertamina to build new refineries to cut imports of oil
• Investment Prospects:
Vietnam ranked third in Japanese business survey
Vietnam is ranked third in a list of countries showing promise for
Japanese foreign direct investment (FDI) success in the medium term, according
to a survey conducted by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC).
• Malaysia: Najib to assume premiership on
Malaysia's deputy premier Najib Razak will take over as
Prime Minister from Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on March 31, Reuters quoted an
influential news website as reporting Wednesday.
• Global lender plans loan
boost for Philippines
The World Bank is planning to boost loans to the
Philippines by up to $1 billion a year from 2009 until 2012 despite banning
several firms which the banks said rigged bidding for a roads project, Reuters
quoted a top government official as saying Thursday.
Communications to spend $430m to boost infrastructure
Indian telecoms firm Tata Communications is
investing $430 million in an Asian Internet data centre and cable system, AFP
quoted the firm as saying Thursday.
February 12, 2009
• Malaysia to cut power tariffs by 3.7%
Malaysia is to cut electricity prices by an average of 3.7 percent
from March 1 as the economy of the Southeast Asian country struggles to boost
its competitiveness and fend off a possible recession.
• Philippine flag-carrier sees loss on fuel
Philippine Airlines expects to post a net loss for the fiscal year
ending March 31 on costly fuel hedges and high fuel prices.
• Singapore Tourism:
Fewer tourists, revenues seen in 2009
Singapore sees a gloomy year ahead for tourism, with visitor
arrivals expected to fall as much as 10 percent and revenues to plunge by
nearly 20 percent in 2009.
• Thailand Telecoms: TAC plans to boost
cash flow in slowing market
Thai mobile phone company Total Access Communication Plc aims to
generate more cash flow this year when the overall mobile phone market would
grow at a slower pace.
• Vietnam: Tax payment date extended for 5 months
Vietnam has deferred the payment of income tax, including tax due
from local and foreign stock investors, for five months until the end of May,
postponing an extension of taxation that should have taken effect in January.
• Rohingya issue on agenda at Asean, UNHCR meetings
Thailand is willing to discuss the issue of the Rohingya migrants
in top regional meetings this month and next.
• Financing problems seen hitting Indonesia
Indonesia's efforts to tackle power shortages by increasing
its electricity generating capacity may face delays because of problems with
financing, Reuters quoted the head of the state-owned electricity firm as
• SingTel’s earnings under pressure from
Singapore Telecommunications, touted as a defensive stock
in volatile markets, faces new challenges in its overseas businesses that
account for 70 percent of earnings.
• Malaysia ready to review race policy
Malaysia is ready to review and gradually liberalise its
race-based economic policies to promote new investment, Reuters quoted the
country's influential trade minister as saying.
• Philippines plans new tack on power plant
The Philippines plans to negotiate the sale of a
600-megawatt coal-fired power plant after a unit of French utility Suez
(LYOE.PA) backed out of a deal to buy the facility, a top privatisation
official was quoted by Reuters as saying Tuesday.
• Thai mobile operator still
seeking to offer 3G iPhone
Advanced Info Service (AIS) , Thailand's largest mobile
phone operator, is still exploring ways to offer Apple Inc's 3G iPhone in the
Thai market, even though initial talks ended without agreement, an executive
was quoted as telling Reuters.
• Vietnam aims stability in
Vietnam's central bank said on Tuesday it would work to
keep foreign exchange rates stable this year as part of efforts to prevent an
economic slowdown, reported Reuters.
• Indonesia: Bad loans up 35% to $1.24bn in
A soaring loan default in some economic sectors has raised
questions over the severity of the impact of the global economic crisis on
Indonesia, reported local daily The Jakarta Post Tuesday.
• Singapore to spend S$90m to revive
The Singapore Tourism Board will roll out a S$90m
initiative to stimulate demand in the tourism sector, reported the city state’s
news agency Channel News Asia.
• Singapore mobile operator reports decline
in Q3 profit
SingTel, Southeast Asia's largest phone firm, said it was
on the lookout for acquisitions even as it posted a 16 percent drop in
quarterly profits on a strong Singapore dollar that pinched overseas earnings,
• Vietnam: Tax payment date extended for 5 months
Vietnam's An Binh Bank, 15 percent owned by Malaysia's top
lender Maybank, said its 2008 gross profit fell 70 percent, hit by securities
and foreign exchange trading losses .
• Business Outsourcing:
Philippine companies reap $6bn in 2008, up 26%
Call-centres and other outsourcing companies in
the Philippines earned $6.06 billion in 2008, a 26 percent increase over 2007,
AFP quoted the industry association as saying Monday.
• Malaysia: Second stimulus plan to focus on policy changes
Malaysia's government will focus on policy changes
in its second stimulus package instead of increased spending as it tries to
steer the economy away from a widely anticipated recession in the next six
months, Reuters quoted The Edge financial daily as reporting Tuesday.
• Defections hit Malaysia opposition
Malaysia's opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim faced calls to
quit on Sunday after losing control of a key state to the ruling party when
four of his state legislators defected.
• Philippine central bank sees money supply
Philippine money supply growth is expected to hit 13 to 14
percent this year, aided by interest rate cuts and continued growth in remittances
from Filipinos working overseas, Reuters quoted a senior central bank official
• Thai PM: No shortfall in reserves
Thailand's prime minister on Sunday defended his economic
stimulus package and insisted that plans to borrow money from abroad did not
signal a shortfall in the kingdom's reserves.
• Japan-Malaysia venture to manufacture
Imai Aero-Equipment Mfg.Ltd. (IAC), Japan's largest
subcontractor in manufacturing of aircraft components and equipments today
entered into a joint venture with Malaysian company Cubic Electronics Sdn Bhd
(CESB) to set up their RM100 million aero manufacturing plant in Melaka,
• Indonesia Presidential Elections:
Yudhoyono yet to reveal running mate
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has declined
to announce his running mate for the upcoming presidential election, sparking
speculation that he wants to keep his options open rather than limiting himself
to Vice President and Golkar Chairman Jusuf Kalla, reported local daily The
• Malaysia to cut power tariffs starting
Malaysia's government will cut electricity tariffs for
households and industry by 7 to 10 percent beginning March 1.
• Japan to help fund Thailand’s mass
transit rail system
The Japanese government has given the green light on
providing 63 billion yen to Thailand to help finance constructing a mass
transit rail system.
• Philippine canned tuna firm sees revenue
boost from new markets
Philippine listed seafood manufacturer Alliance Tuna
International Inc expects to register $ 72 million in revenues this year as
sales are seen to be boosted by its entry into new markets as well as
additional production from its Indonesian cannery.
• Apec Summit:
Singapore to resist protectionism, promotes cooperatioon
Singapore will push forward the Asia Pacific Economic
Cooperation (Apec) agenda by promoting economic cooperation in the region and
• Global lender urges action on stimulus,
The roll-out of stimulus packages and the clean-up of banks
must be accelerated, the head of the International Monetary Fund said Saturday,
urging action to avert "a repeat of the Great Depression".
Singapore PM's wife to step down as Temasek’s CEO
The wife of Singapore's
prime minister will step down after five years as chief executive of Temasek
Holdings, one of the world's largest sovereign wealth funds.
• Thai PM: No funding for GM, individual firms
Thailand's premier said
on Friday that the government has no plans to give funding to General Motors.
Indonesia: No postponement for global bond issue
minister said the government would go ahead with a global bond issue, reported
• Malaysia: State ‘power grab’
triggers opposition protests
clashed with police Friday in northern Malaysia's Perak state in an attempt to
halt the swearing in ceremony of a new government under the ruling National
Front (BN) coalition, which wrested control of the state from the opposition.
Philippines: Reserves at $39.6bn in Jan
The Philippine's gross
international reserves climbed to a record $39.6 billion at the end of January,
due largely to inflows from a sovereign bond issue and power privatisation