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ASEAN ANALYSIS

Asean Affairs  13  February 2011

WEEKLY SUMMARY

By  David Swartzentruber

 
AseanAffairs     13 February 2011

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These were the most important stories published by Asean Affairs during the week of February 5-February 11.

Bank Indonesia raises interest rate
After months of doing little, Bank Indonesia on Friday raised its benchmark interest rate by a quarter percentage point to 6.75 percent, citing growing inflationary pressures.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/indonesia_news/economy/bank_indonesia_raises_interest_rate

Indonesia could be left out of regional link
Stock exchanges in Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand want to set up trading links between their markets and hope to have cross-border dealing in all listed shares by the end of 2011.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/indonesia_news/capital_markets/indonesia_could_be_left_out_of_regional_link

Thailand may have April election
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva began his re-election campaign early on Friday. It has been speculated the premier will dissolve the House in April after parliament passes important legislation.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/thailand_news/politics/thailand_may_have_april_election

Free trade challenges Vietnam
The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is a double-edged sword as it brings both opportunities and challenges to Vietnamese exports, according to Vietnamese economic experts.
READ MORE:http://www.aseanaffairs.com/vietnam_news/trade/free_trade_challenges_vietnam

Malaysia remains a top offshoring destination
Malaysia continues to occupy the third leading position, after India and China, in the list of the world's leading offshoring destinations, according to global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney's latest Global Services Location Index (GSLI).
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/malaysia_news/labor/malaysia_remains_a_top_offshoring_destination

Indonesian banks climb in global rankings
A global survey has found five Indonesian lenders among the world's 500 most valuable banking brands, according to consultancy company Brand Finance.
READ MORE:http://www.aseanaffairs.com/indonesia_news/finance/indonesian_banks_climb_in_global_rankings

Ringgit Expected To Hit 3.00 Against US Dollar By Q1
The Malaysian ringgit, which touched a new 13-year high of 3.0345 in intra-day trade Monday, is expected to hit 3.00 against the dollar by the first quarter. There is speculation that Asian central banks may raise interest rates to curb inflationary pressure and the continued commercial demand for the local currency.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/malaysia_news/economy/ringgit_expected_to_hit_3_00_against_us_dollar_by_q1

Joint expansion discussed
Two Thai energy firms, PTT Exploration and Production Plc and Petronas Carigali, are discussing increasing gas production from a joint development area.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/thailand_news/energy/joint_expansion_discussed

Wal-Mart may enter Indonesia
Wal-Mart Stores may become a partner of retailer Matahari Putra Prima in developing its hypermarkets multiple sources said on Tuesday.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/indonesia_news/retail/wal_mart_may_enter_indonesia

More poor Philippine families
The impact of the global financial crisis and the natural disasters that struck the Philippines have resulted in more poor Filipino families, the government reported Tuesday.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/philippines_news/economy/more_poor_philippine_families

DTAC wants same deal as True Move
In the stormy field of Thai telecoms, equal opportunity for competing firms is the battleground as foreign firms feel they are not getting a fair deal.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/thailand_news/telecoms/dtac_wants_same_deal_as_true_move

Rushing to rubber
The upbeat rubber market has encouraged Thailand's CP Group to strengthen its rubber business with an investment infusion from Japan's Marubeni Corporation.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/thailand_news/agriculture/rushing_to_rubber

Malaysia's rapid transit takes shape
About 150 kilometers long and costing a whopping RM36.6 billion (US$12.2 billion), the Kuala Lumpur Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) without doubt is Malaysia's largest infrastructure project thus far. READ MORE:http://www.aseanaffairs.com/malaysia_news/transport/malaysia_s_rapid_transit_takes_shape

Philippine FDI surges
Foreign direct investments (FDI) to the country surged in November on the back of improved risk appetite for emerging Asia's assets, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said Thursday.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/philippines_news/investment/philippine_fdi_surges

New Vietnamese exchange rules may boost liquidity
The Vietnamese government plans to complete the legal framework governing the securities market, says Deputy Minister of Finance Tran Xuan Ha.
READ MORE: http://www.aseanaffairs.com/vietnam_news/capital_markets/new_vietnamese_exchange_rules_may_boost_liquidity

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• Women Shariah scholars see gender gap closing
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• Bursa Malaysia to revamp business rules
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ASEAN  ANALYSIS

This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs  
04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More

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