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Weekly summary
These were the top stories in Asean this week:

By David Swartzentruber
AseanAffairs   10 July 2010

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• Thailand and Vietnam rice hit by drought
Thailand and Vietnam, the world's two largest rice exporters, face severe drought conditions that threaten to severely undermine this year's crops and global supplies, Asia Times reports.

• Singapore casino opens
Marina Bay Sands, Singapore's second casino resort and already a US$5.7 billion urban icon, opened last week, according to Asia Times.

News 6 July 2010

• Mitsubishi in Thailand expansion
Mitsubishi Motors Corporation has announced a plan to invest 15 billion baht in a new eco-car manufacturing plant in Chon Buri, scheduled for completion over the next two years.

• Banpu eyes takeover of Australia's Centennial
Banpu Plc, Asean's biggest coal producer, is preparing to take over Australia's Centennial Coal in a deal worth A$2 billion (54.47 billion baht), the biggest overseas deal by a Thai company, the Bangkok Post reports.

• Philippines fiscal gap scares investor
FINANCIAL market pundits warned that a wider fiscal gap risks scaring off investors, and prodded the Aquino administration to reconsider its vow not to raise taxes.

News 7 July 2010

• Swiss help Indonesia’s SMEs
President of the Swiss Confederation Doris Leuthard signed an agreement in Indonesia on Tuesday to improve the quality, productivity and working conditions of Indonesia’s small and medium businesses.

• UN attacks dropout rate in Philippines
The United Nations (UN) has dared the Aquino administration to come up with a breakthrough Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Plan that will address high dropout rates and extreme poverty in the country, two of the goals that Manila is not on track to achieve the 2015 deadline, the Manila Times reports.

• Western foods threaten Asean health
The growing popularity of western junk food is fuelling a diabetes boom across Southeast Asia, Australian researchers warned on Wednesday, as reported by AFP news service.

News 8 July 2010

• Thai energy firm aims for top 100
PTT Plc, Thailand's largest energy firm, plans to double its revenue to 4.5 trillion baht by 2020 in order to achieve a top-100 ranking in the global Fortune 500, says chief executive and president Prasert Bunsumpun.

• Temasek reaches new high
The value of Temasek Holdings portfolio climbed 43 percent to a new record high of S$186 billion in the 12 months to March this year, beating the previous high of S$185 billion set in 2008. Temasek is the investment vehicle of the Singapore government.

• India invests in Malaysia
Indian conglomerates are keen on Malaysia and more than RM2 billion of investments from two companies are on the cards this year, says Malaysia's investment agency.

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