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||Asean Affairs 28 March 2013
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Premier Li Keqiang pledged on Wednesday that quick action will be taken in economic and social reforms in the first year following the national leadership transition in March.
Li said at an executive meeting of the State Council that a general plan for the reform of public finance and taxation, and a medium- to long-term program for urbanization should be completed as soon as possible.
But details of the reform efforts were not revealed in the cabinet communiqué.
Economists cite disparity between the government's social commitments and tax income. They also point to the imbalance between the fiscal ambitions of local governments and their revenue constraints.
In The USA
The Dow and the S&P 500 ended slightly lower on Wednesday after early losses spurred by worries about the possible implications of Cyprus's bailout for other euro zone lenders.
Inflows into stocks and bonds helped the Indonesian rupiah recover to 9,730 to the dollar, after it had earlier struck 9,747 per dollar, its weakest since Feb. 1, according to Thomson Reuters data.
The country raised 7.65 trillion rupiah of government bonds at a debt auction, slightly more than a target of Rp 7 trillion, a finance ministry official said.
Indonesia's benchmark share index extended gains to hit an all time high at 4,928.10 by midday on Wednesday after the House of Representatives approved Finance Minister Agus Martowardojo's proposed switch to become the next head of the central bank.
The Jakarta Composite Index gained 1.77 percent, or 85.58 points, from Tuesday's close, with the finance sector sub-index up 1.93 percent, while Jakarta's blue chip index rose 1.37 percent.
Lenders Bank Mandiri and Bank Central Asia gained more than 3.5 percent to Rp 9,850 and Rp 11,050 rupiah, respectively.
The peso strengthened back to the 40-to-a-dollar territory on Wednesday as the euphoria over the upgrade in the Philippines’ credit rating to investments status superseded concerns over the unfavorable situation in the euro zone.
The significant appreciation of the peso came following the release of a report that international credit rating firm Fitch Ratings raised the credit rating of the Philippines from BB+ to BBB-, or from one notch below investment grade to the minimum investment grade.
Reversing the previous day’s weakening to the 41 level, the peso inched up to close at its intraday high of 40.8 against the US dollar on Wednesday, up by 27 centavos from the previous day’s finish of 41.07:$1.
As the Philippine government bagged a much-coveted investment grade rating from Fitch Ratings, the main-share Philippine Stock Exchange index rallied by 182.35 points or 2.74 percent towards its best ever finish of 6,847.47 on Wednesday. A new intra-day peak was also hit at 6,873.89 close to the end of the session.
This marked the 24th record finish for the index this year. The local stock market, which is now on its fifth year of upswing, has gained a total of 1,034.74 or 17.8 percent at the end of the first quarter.
The day’s biggest index gainers were MWC (+6.1 percent), ALI (+5.48 percent), SMIC (+5.29 percent), Meralco (+4.75 percent), Jollibee (+4.74 percent), URC (+4.44 percent), PLDT (+4.18 percent), BPI (+3.48 percent), SM Prime (+3.35 percent) and Megaworld (+3.18 percent).
Among the few index stocks that lagged the market on Wednesday were EDC (-2.56 percent) and Globe Telecom (-1.64 percent).
The Stock Exchange of Thailand main index went up 16.84 points, or 1.09%, to close at 1,560.87 points at the end of trading session this afternoon. The trade value was 67.50 billion baht, with 14.19 billion shares traded.
The SET50 index ended at 1,025.96 points, up 9.97 points, or 0.98%, with a total trade value of 27.77 billion baht.
The SET100 index rose 23.33 points, or 1.02%, to stand at 2,300.86 points, with a total turnover of 40.90 billion baht.
The SETHD index went up 21.17 points, or 1.70%, to stand at 1,268.89 points, with total trade value of 10.66 billion baht.
The MAI index gained 11.77 points, or 2.51%, to close at 480.92 points, with total transaction value of 2.63 billion baht.
Top five most active values were as follows;
MLINK stood at 5.20 baht, up 0.94 baht (22.07%)
TIPCO stood at 13.10 baht, up 3.00 baht (29.70%)
INTUCH stood at 80.25 baht, up 1.75 baht (2.23%)
BLAND stood at 2.04 baht, up 0.09 baht (4.62%)
KTB stood at 25.50 baht, up 0.25 baht (0.99%)
The STI gained 24.5 points to 3,313.03 on a volume of 3.07 billion shares.
There were 290 gainers against 183 declines by the end of the session.
Among actives, Thai Beverage rose one cent to 62.5 cents while Genting Singapore gained half a cent to S$1.505.
Commodity counters were also higher with Noble rising 2.5 cents to S$1.21 and Wilmar adding 4 cents to S$3.51.
The ringgit closed slightly lower against the US dollar today on a lack of buying interest in the local unit, dealers said.
The ringgit had been on a sustained uptrend over the past four trading days.
At the close, the FBM KLCI was up 14.74 points or 0.89% to 1,667.57. Turnover was 989.97 million shares valued at RM2.24bil. There were 418 gainers, 270 losers and 336 counters unchanged.
At Bursa Malaysia, CIMB Group led the charge as investors picked up the banking stock, sending it up 33 sen to RM7.69 and pushing the KLCI up a hefty 5.66 points. Maybank rose 10 sen to RM9.39 and Public Bank 12 sen to RM16.22.
Genting Malaysia rose 15 sen to RM3.60 and Genting Bhd nine sen to RM9.99 while among the Petronas related counters, PetGas added 28 sen to RM19.18 and PetChem three sen to RM6.39.
Among the consumer stocks, BAT rose 82 sen to RM62.28 but Dutch Lady fell 24 sen to RM47.42 and F&N 18 sen lower at RM18.42.
Crude palm oil for third-month futures rose RM14 to RM2,451. United Plantations rose 30 sen to RM27.80 while KLK and IOI Corp were flat at RM20.70 and RM4.66. SOP fell 10 sen to RM5.53.
Shayne Heffernan Ph.D.
Economist/Hedge Fund Manager
Live Trading News
Heffernan Capital Management
Chinese Society of Economists
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Linda Johnson, Business Development Director - Private Client Group, Heffernan Capital Management
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