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ASEAN ANALYSIS  8 September 2010

Investment in Asean blossoms

By David Swartzentruber
AseanAffairs   8 September 2010

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As the recovery of the United States economy is tepid and the Chinese economy slows down so as not to overheat, Asean countries are experiencing large capital inflows.

Here’s a survey:

In Thailand, the Federation of Capital Market organizations warned the bank of Thailand not to curd direct foreign direct investment inflows but to let the capital market’s mechanisms function. The organization also expected the Stock Exchange of Thailand to touch the 1,000 level by the end of the year.

In Cambodia, the Chief Economist of the World Bank Justin Yifu Lin praised Cambodia’s economic development and recommended that the government improve financial systems to ensure medium-sized banks can focus lending on small and medium-sized enterprises. The World Bank estimates that gross domestic product will rise 4.4 percent this year.

In the Philippines, the stock market hit a 34-month high. A leading bank, Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co.,said in a research note that the peso is expected to maintain strength against the dollar as sentiment on global growth has improved from previous weeks.

THE Philippine central bank said an increase in foreign direct investment (FDI) would accompany the faster economic growth forecast by the government. “There’s a lag in getting FDI numbers, so it should not be compared to hot money. But, with the improvement in confidence, generally after the election, the continued global economic recovery and the sustained macroeconomic stability in the Philippines, I think we should see an increase in FDI,” Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Gov. Amando Tetangco Jr. said.

In Indonesia, as the Idul Fitri holiday nears, the Bank of Indonesia announced the circulation of cash as of last Thursday surged significantly to Rp 302 trillion (US$33 billion). The huge figure means that the circulation of money has increased by Rp 22 trillion within three weeks, the bank spokesman Difi A. Johansyah said Monday as quoted by

In Malaysia, The FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index is also poised for a breakout after it “drifted net-sideways” below the 1,332 to 1,524 range since 1994, CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets technical analysts wrote in a report.

Hopefully, the lessons of the 1997 Asian fiscal crisis won’t be lost as these economies surge ahead.

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