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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   14 December 2012 

International investors favor status quo in power in Malaysia


The equities market and economic outlook in 2013 will be positive if the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition continued to remain in power, says investment bank JP Morgan.

There would be “some risk” if the Opposition were to take over the government, JP Morgan Securities (M) Sdn Bhd executive director of equity research Mak Hoy Kit opined yesterday.

He said the Barisan's Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), government infrastructure programmes and rail-related projects would kick off if the political status quo remains.

“We are now Neutral' on Malaysia because of the general election overhang. Investors will be worried if the Opposition wins. When there is uncertainty, investors typically act negatively,” he said.

JP Morgan is also positive on the construction sector, and sees this as a domestic growth opportunity with some 160 billion ringgit (US$52.38 billion) worth of rail projects up for grabs next year.

On the oil and gas sector, with Petronas committing to some 300 billion ringgit capital expenditure over the next five years, Mak is expecting to see more contract wins and an increase in earnings of the local oil and gas players.

Mak sees the ETP creating some 452,066 jobs by 2020, per capita income growing to $15,000 (45,000 ringgit) from $6,700 (20,000 ringgit) in 2009.

It was recently reported that Eastspring Investments Bhd Chief Investment Officer (Equities) Yvonne Tan Hong Yean cautioned that foreign funds might opt to stay out of Malaysia if there was a change in government. *US$1=3.05 ringgit

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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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