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Asean Affairs  29 May 2011


By  David Swartzemtruber

AseanAffairs     29 May 2011

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These were the most significant stories published by Asean Affairs during the week of May 21-May 27.

New Singapore cabinet leaders for eco-city
Cabinet reshuffle will see a completely new slate of leaders taking charge of the Tianjin Eco-City, with many of the key people stepping down and others being transferred to different portfolios.

Hot money continues Philippine surge
Transactions in foreign portfolio investments in the first week of May has already surged by more than a third, reflecting investors’ improved risk appetite for emerging assets.

Malaysia aims to be regional auto hub
Having a larger automotive total industry volume (TIV) can help boost Malaysia's competitiveness and steer the country to become a regional manufacturing hub, said Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI) chief executive officer Madani Sahari.

Mangroves restored on Krabi Island Krabi
Island in Thailand has long been a popular tourist destination, but now the southern province is becoming known for something more creative-using its low-profile islands in a carbon capture and storage project.

Yuan to become third reserve currency
The Chinese yuan looks set to become the third most popular currency for settling trades in the next six months, according to an HSBC trade confidence survey.

Philippines posts record fiscal surplus
The Philippines posted a record budget surplus last month, the highest in more than two decades, after it failed to meet its expenditure program for the period. Data from the Bureau of the Treasury showed Monday the national government posted a P26.26 billion (US$605 million) surplus in April, a record high for the last 25 years or more.

P&G plans to Invest US$100 million in Indonesia
Procter & Gamble Co (P&G) (PG.N) will invest US$100 million in the oleochemical sector in Indonesia, the country's industry minister MS Hidayat said on Monday.

Kasikorn expands in China
Kasikorn Bank plans to further expand in China despite stronger regulations by the mainland's central bank to prevent the economy from overheating.

Work halted on Vietnamese port
Construction of the Van Phong International Port in Vietnam’s southern central province of Khanh Hoa has been suspended for one year with no indication of a resumption date.

Vietnamese trade deficit continues to rise
The Vietnamese trade deficit increased to US$6.6 billion in the first five months this year compared to $5.4 billion in the same period of last year due to higher import value, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

More 3G users in Asia
Qualcomm Inc. expects 3G subscriptions in Southeast Asia to increase substantially in the next two years, but added emerging markets still have significant room to expand their wireless networks.

Indian coal miner seeks Indo stake
Coal India, the world's largest coal miner, is in advanced talks to buy up to a 40 percent stake in Indonesia's Golden Energy Mines in a deal valued at between $750 million and $1 billion, three sources with direct knowledge said on Thursday.

Bangchak invests in solar
Thailand’s Bangchak Petroleum Plc plans to spend about 50 billion baht (US$1.64 billion) to increase its solar power capacity by four times to 500 megawatts.

Rice crisis could reappear
Repeating the 2008 rice crisis that led to riots in the developing world cannot be ruled out as the cost of other agricultural goods surge, the International Rice Research Institute has warned. READ MORE:

Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr

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• Indian coal miner seeks Indo stake
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• Philippines' inflation may be peaking

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• Bank of America sees Asian inflation


• Lloyd’s increases insurance push in Malaysia


• Wells Fargo analyst on euro


• Obama’s visit to Asia


ASEAN NEWS UPDATES      Updated: 04 January 2011

 • Women Shariah scholars see gender gap closing
• Bank Indonesia may hold key rate as inflation hits 7 percent

• Bursa Malaysia to revamp business rules
• Private property prices hit new high in Singapore
• Bangkok moves on mass transport
• Thai retailers are upbeat
• Rice exports likely to decline
• Vietnamese PM projects 10-year socioeconomic plan


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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