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ASEAN STOCK WATCH Asean Affairs 1 March 2013 

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As US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke suggested further monetary easing was on the way, economists warned that this could lead to higher inflation and dilute the value of China's foreign currency assets.

The warning came as China's monetary authorities are taking steps to prevent an asset bubble as economic growth picks up speed.

Bernanke told the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday that the Fed initiative in bond purchases is creating a stronger recovery at home and "mutually beneficial" results for other countries.

The U.S. economy grew slightly in the fourth quarter, reversing an earlier estimate showing contraction, and a drop in new claims for unemployment benefits last week added to a string of data that suggests the economy improved early this year.

Still, an even higher revision to GDP data was expected, and the jobless claims extended a trend baked into stock prices.

The low volume shows a lack of conviction from new buyers.

The efficiency of China's economy is slipping, with money flowing much slower between different sectors than in the past, according to analysts.

They said this is despite the fact that the nation has a considerable amount of social financing — an approach to managing money that delivers a social dividend and an economic return.

Liu Yuhui, director of the financial lab at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a government think tank, said although financing activities in the country appear to be rampant, most of the newly borrowed money is used to repay debts instead of forming revenue among companies.

"We can see that the ratio of money to gross domestic product has been increasing, which means the economy needs increasing capital to promote than previously."

Last year, social financing, which included bank and non-bank loans, bond issuance and stock sales, set a record high of nearly 16 trillion yuan ($2.54 trillion). The ratio of M2, a broad measure of money supply, against GDP stood at a record high of 188 percent at the end of last year.

Yesterday in Asia

Tokyo climbed 2.71 percent, or 305.39 points, to 11,559.36 as the yen sank on confirmation that Japan’s government had put forward Haruhiko Kuroda to take over at the Bank of Japan.

Kuroda, the current Asian Development Bank chief, is known as an advocate of a looser monetary policy to overcome slow growth, in line with the views of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The dollar bought 92.36 yen, compared with 92.16 yen in New York late Wednesday.

Sydney added 1.34 percent, or 67.5 points, to end at 5,104.1 and Seoul rose 1.12 percent, or 22.45 points, to 2,026.49.

Hong Kong shares advanced 1.96 percent, or 443.26 points, to 23,020.27 and Shanghai jumped 2.26 percent, or 52.37 points, to 2,365.59.

– Wellington jumped 1.02 percent, or 43.69 points, to 4,320.01.

Air New Zealand added 4.1 percent to NZ$1.40 and Auckland Airport was up 2.2 percent at NZ$2.83 while Telecom rose 2.1 percent to NZ$2.42.

– Manila closed 1.59 percent higher, adding 105.18 points to 6,721.45.

SM Investments rose 3.37 percent to 1,044 pesos while Bloomberry Resorts gained 2.64 percent to 14.78 pesos.

– Singapore rose 0.27 percent, or 8.83 points, to close at 3,269.95.

United Overseas Bank fell 0.63 percent to Sg$19.08 while Jardine Cycle and Carriage gained 0.86 percent to Sg$51.60.

– Bangkok added 1.55 percent, or 23.53 points, to 1,541.58.

– Telecoms company True Corporation jumped 3.88 percent to 6.70 baht, while supermarket operator Siam Makro rose 6.61 percent to 484 baht.

– Mumbai slid 1.52 percent, or 290.87 points, to 18,861.54 points.

Top commercial bank State Bank of India fell 5.8 percent to 2,085.4 while mobile phone firm Reliance Communications fell 11.8 percent to 61.1 rupees.

– Jakarta ended up 1.68 percent, or 79.37 points, at 4,795.79.

Telekomunikasi Indonesia rose 5.91 percent to 10,750 rupiah, miner Aneka Tambang climbed 0.78 percent to 1,290 rupiah, and paper maker Pabrik Kertas Tjiwi Kimia dropped 1.12 percent to 2,200 rupiah.

– Kuala Lumpur gained 0.83 percent, or 13.49 points, to close at 1,624.14.

British American Tobacco soared 4.7 percent to 61.00 ringgit while UMW Holdings rose 4.1 percent to end at 12.80 ringgit. Bumi Armada slipped 0.3 percent to 3.79 ringgit.

Shayne Heffernan Ph.D.
Economist/Hedge Fund Manager

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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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