South East Asia

Date

The United States, Japan and South Korea are keen to invest in Indonesia’s Natuna Islands as President Joko Widodo steps up efforts to rebuff Chinese claims over the resource-rich waters in the South China Sea. The countries are interested in building fisheries processing and manufacturing industries in Natuna, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Pandjaitan, told reporters in Jakarta on Friday. Indonesia can mana…


Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) is planning various activities to attract more tourists into the country in conjunction with the Visit Malaysia 2020 (VM2020).   The airport operator yesterday kicked off its Chinese New Year (CNY) festive campaign with a theme inspired by a floating garden with the koi fish to bring luck and prosperity.     "We have sufficient allocations for our campaigns throughout this year not only for VM2…


Qatar Airways has announced a new route between Doha, Qatar, and Siem Reap with the scheduled service to commence in November this year The new Doha to Siem Reap route is the second flight that Qatar Airways operates in Cambodia, meaning the airline will have two liaisons, one linking Doha to Phnom Penh and the new one between Doha and Siem Reap. The route will initially be running five times per week according to the Cambodia Airports statement …


CBRE, a commercial real estate services and investment firm have stated that the trend of using mixed-use development building has been increasing in the Kingdom, because of the rising land prices in the city centre. In the Commercial Business District, the current average land price is $4,700 per square metres. CBRE has said the use of mixed developments can be a combination of retail space, office space and residential or sometimes a combinatio…


At least 7 firms have confirmed they will be listed on the local bourse this year, almost doubling the current companies listed at eight, according to the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX). Citing that it expects this rapid influx to draw more attention from the public to the country’s securities market. Of the seven firms, 4 will be equity- and 3 will be bond-insured, said CSX’s senior officials at a news conference on Cambodia Secu…


Local business Cambodian Natural Gas Co Ltd and Chinese firm CNOOC Gas Power Group Co Ltd teamed up in importing liquefied natural gas (LNG) to distribute within Cambodia’s market. The company’s officers said the cooperation is to import the LNG to supply  demand in the local market, as the company focuses on hotels and restaurants in the first-step plan. Pheng Sros Choronei, administration officer at Cambodia Natural Gas, said y…


Angkor Resources (Angkor) has entered into an Earn-In-Agreement with a Canadian investment firm that will see the mineral exploration company earning close to $5 million in exchange for giving up substantial interests in its Oyadao North Licence located in Cambodia’s northeast province of Ratanakiri. A media release from Angkor two days ago stated the agreement will give Hommy Oyadao up to 70 percent of participating interest in exchange fo…


Acleda Bank inked a partnership agreement with Wing (Cambodia) to launch the Fund Transfer and Payment Service Dr In Channy, president of Acleda Bank said he is delighted to be a strategic partner with the company. He said the partnership will enable the two companies to have a wider range of operational networks across the country to facilitate customer transfers and payment services faster, more conveniently and more securely.....


Tie-up holds potential to introduce more value-added services in the coming years as high technology takes over from hard cash As announced this week, Smart Axiata Co Ltd’s subsidiary SmartLuy will soon be merging with the country’s leading payment platform, Pi Pay Plc, according to a joint statement by both Smart and Pi Pay. The link is expected to strengthen Pi Pay’s operations with SmartLuy’s strong agent network and co…


OneSiam and ICONSIAM – two of Thailand’s world-class destinations and centres for the Kingdom’s retail and tourism – have together set aside over 100 million baht to prepare for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations in 2020. The goal is to encourage spending and boost the economy. Big events are being brought about for Thai shoppers and foreign visitors to experience the grandeur of the Chinese New Year festival in Th…


Indonesia will need to boost investment to ensure sustainable growth as household spending, currently the main driver of economic growth, is not expected to see any significant growth in the future, a senior economist has said. "Going forward, the challenge is to maintain economic growth and the key is investment," Standard Chartered economist Aldian Taloputra said at the bank's annual Global Research Briefing and Investor Forum in Jakarta..…


The Finance Ministry is planning to stimulate domestic investment this year by lavishing more tax reduction incentives on entrepreneurs. "We've yet to come up with final figures but it will be more than the incentives we have offered before," Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana said on Saturday, adding the cabinet will have a final say soon on how generous the tax deduction will be.....


The Trade Remedies Authority of Việt Nam on Friday announced that India has initiated an anti-dumping investigation concerning imports of viscose spun yarn originating in or exported from three countries, including Việt Nam, China and Indonesia. According to the notice of the India Ministry of Commerce and Industry’s Department of Commerce issued on Tuesday, the investigation was based on a complaint filed by the Indian Manmade Yar…


HCM CITY  Vietjet on Thursday commenced its latest international route connecting Da Lat – the famous tourist destination in Vietam’s Central Highlands and Seoul – the capital city of South Korea, in a move to expand its network to Northeast Asia.  The airline offers four return flights weekly on the newest route. The flight departs from Da Lat at 5.10pm and arrives in 11.55pm (local time)…


    Date: 21 January 2020, Tuesday   Time: 4:00pm – 6:00pm   Venue: 32 Carpenter Street, Singapore 059911   Presented by SGInnovate   Partnered with Cambridge Quantum Computing and Centre for Quantum Technologies   As companies strive for or have (possibly) already achieved quantum supremacy, the global quantum technologies scene is set to be even more disruptive as we move into 2020. On the international…


Philippine exporters are seen to gain more opportunities in 2020 on the back of strong support and commitment from both the government and the private sectors. This as the latest Philippine exports of goods and services grew by 5.1 percent year-on-year (YOY) to $25.0 billion in the third quarter of 2019 based on the Balance of Payment Manual 6 (BPM6) data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). The 2019 third-quarter export growth performance…


A delegation composed of 24 Philippine companies is taking part in one of the world’s biggest trade shows for food and hospitality in United Arab Emirates next month. The Philippines’ participation  in these trade events will allow the country to get a bigger share in the growing halal market. The export promotions arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said Philippine firms engaged in halal and organic food sectors ar…


SUN LIFE OF Canada (Philippines), Inc. has hit its customer target one year ahead of its initial plan and is now looking at deepening its relationships with its existing client base for the next few years. “We achieved our target five million clients last December 2019, one year ahead of schedule. So Sun Life Philippines has more than five million clients as of today,” Sun Life Philippines Chief Executive Officer and Country Head Bene…


The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is optimistic the country would be able to achieve an “A” credit rating within the next two years as the government continues to push for more structural reforms and the development of infrastructure. In a press briefing, BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said getting an A credit rating upgrade within two years would be an achievable feat for the Philippines. “With additional structural reform me…


Now that Washington and Beijing have a phase one trade deal, Mastercard could be a beneficiary in China These are good times for Mastercard, and they could get better. The "technology company", as the world's No. 2 credit card and payment processing firm likes to style itself, is slated to report another stellar year in two weeks' time, after three fine quarters last year.....


Online retailer Fashion Interactive has been issued an order by the State Courts to cease unfair trade practices, after it was found to have misled customers into signing up for a recurring subscription on its shoe shopping website myglamorous.sg.  In a media release on Friday (Jan 17), the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) said it applied to the State Courts on Nov 28 to obtain an injunction against Fashion Interactive…


MALAYSIA’S sovereign fund and Telenor ASA have revived talks on a potential deal involving Axiata Group Bhd, people familiar with the matter said, just four months after the carriers scrapped negotiations on a broader merger of their Asian operations. Khazanah Nasional Bhd and Telenor are in the early stages of exploring several possible scenarios including Telenor buying part of the wealth fund’s stake in Axiata, the people said, who…


Central Retail Corporation (CRC), the retail arm of Central Group and the country's biggest mall operator, has vowed to continue investing heavily this year, even as an attempt to operate Tesco's stores in Thailand and Malaysia has not materialised. Yol Phokasub, the company's chief executive, said CRC will press on with investments this year, with an emphasis on the booming Vietnam market, regardless of what happens with Tesco.....


Budget is B5.9bn higher than for previous fiscal year Some 8.9 billion baht available from the budget integration will be allocated to support grassroots economic development in fiscal 2021. Rachada Dhnadirek, a deputy government spokeswoman, said a panel on the integration of the fiscal 2021 budget chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Jurin Laksanawisit yesterday approved the allocation, which is 5.9 billion baht higher than for the previous fiscal …


Central Retail Corporation Plc (CRC), Thailand's largest retailer and the retail arm of Central Group, has set its initial public offering (IPO) price range at 40 to 43 baht per share, which will possibly become the country's biggest-ever fund-raising deal worth up to 72.7 billion baht. The IPO price range suggests CRC's market capitalisation will be between 67.6 billion and 72.7 billion baht. Thailand's biggest IPO to date was the BTS Rail Mass …


The government’s decree on non-cash payment, once promulgated, will pave the way for mobile money to develop in Vietnam The Minister of Information and Communication (MIC), Nguyen Manh Hung, recently said Vietnam once had the opportunity to become one of the first countries to employ mobile money in payment, but it was missed because of slow licensing. Speaking at a banking conference held earlier this month, the Minister stated t…


Preparation for 5G infrastructure, mobile number portability and the removal of ‘trash’ sim-cards were the most noteworthy events in 2019 The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) published a press release that highlighted IT-related growth in Vietnam last year. The preparation for 5G infrastructure, the mobile number portability policy, and the removal of ‘trash’ sim-cards were the most note…


Thailand's government is working closely with the private sector in Thailand and overseas to increase research and human resource development Thailand’s government has merged four separate government departments into a new Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovations, which aims to work closely with the private sector in Thailand and overseas to increase research and human resource development.....


The new feature will focus on transactional banking services to boost convenience and fee income for the bank A local bank in Thailand plans to add an advisory feature to the Bualuang m-Banking mobile app in March 2020 as a means to generate fee income from the digital platform. The new feature, covering mutual funds and bancassurance, will focus on transactional banking services to provide more convenience for customers and generate hi…


Digitisation is seen as a way to spread banking services more widely as well as boost competition Thailand is laying the foundations for standalone digital banks as it strives to catch up with other Asian markets, according to the governor of its central bank. It was noted that, currently, Thailand is working to build the ecosystems in place in places like Singapore or Hong Kong. Three key pillars are needed to build digital banks: data from non-…


Total digital payments in Malaysia are expected to grow 10.8% annually, reaching about $17 billion by 2023 The Malaysian government launched a program on 15 January 2020 handing a total of RM450 million to nearly half of its citizens, the government said, in a drive to increase digital transactions that will be a big boost for e-wallet companies. The money will be distributed through a Southeast Asian e-wallet operator which is also a Singapore-b…


The RM100 million allocation will incentivise Malaysia’s micro SMEs towards sustainable growth and greentech initiatives A local bank recently launched its renewable energy financing for micro and small SMEs in Malaysia, as part of its RM15-billion SME allocation for 2019 – 2020 and its sustainability commitment. The programme was launched at CIMB’s The Cooler Earth Sustainability Summit and was witnessed by the Minister of Ener…


The initiative's aim is to prepare Malaysia’s SMEs for the trillion-dollar global e-commerce market A foundation under a major local bank, in partnership with Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and its knowledge partner, launched CIMB SHINE – Empowering SMEs (CIMB SHINE), a platform for start-ups, entrepreneurs and SMEs to equip them with the right knowledge in finance, 4IR and e-commerce.....


Supporting the local animation industry will enable the growth of Malaysia’s digital economy The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) will continue to support local companies that have excelled in producing animated films of a global standard. The MDEC’s CEO stated that continued support was not only to enable local companies to emerge as global champions but also to advance the animation industry which contributes to the count…


Indonesian and Chinese companies have signed a US$695 million contract to construct the Mempawah alumina refinery in West Kalimantan, as Indonesia moves to add value to its mineral products and create a domestic mining industry value chain. Indonesian state-owned construction firm Pembangunan Perumahan (PP) and China Aluminum International Engineering Corporation Limited (CHALIECO) signed the contract on Jan. 11 in Beijing with the smelter’…


President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has called for reform in the country's financial services companies to improve the public’s trust following cases that rocked the country’s insurance industry. He said on Thursday that the industry was in need of reform to improve regulations, supervision and capital, especially for the nonbanking financial services industry, which consists of insurance, multifinance and pension fund business…


The Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry formally introduced Indonesia’s five super-priority tourism destinations to 43 international journalists attending the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2020 in Brunei Darussalam on Thursday. The ministry said it expected the effort would spread the word and further information about the destinations, dubbed the new Balis, to more audiences in the world. This is the first time Indonesia introduced the five destin…


Top tire manufacturers in Indonesia plan to expand their sales networks this year, confident a strengthened economy will lead to improved automotive sales . Hankook Tire Sales Indonesia, owned by South Korean tire producer Hankook Tire, will expand its retail distribution network and launch new SUV-related products to increase its market share to double-digits in 2020 from 8 percent last year, president director Yonsoo Sh…


Computer viruses caused estimated losses of VNĐ20.9 trillion (US$902 million) to Vietnamese users last year, much higher than the VNĐ14.9 trillion reported in 2018, reported Bkav Technology Group. The group's report focused on cyber security last year and forecasts for 2020. The proliferation of computers infected with data encryption malware and advanced persistent threat (APT) malware were the main cause of these huge losses. T…


Though Tet (Lunar New Year) is approaching with rising capital demands, the liquidity of the banking system is abundant, helping interest rates in the inter-bank market drop sharply, industry insiders said Though Tet (Lunar New Year) is approaching with rising capital demands, the liquidity of the banking system is abundant, helping interest rates in the inter-bank market drop sharply, industry insiders said.According to …


According to a survey announced by many consultancies, the Hanoi real estate market in the last months of 2019 and the beginning of 2020 shows upbeat prospects, with a blooming apartment segment Apartment price slightly increase According to a survey from CBRE Vietnam, in the fourth quarter of 2019, the Hanoi apartment market saw many positive changes, with apartment prices increasing steadily in all segments, with the average price recorded at $…


Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has signed a directive to promote the development of digital enterprises in Việt Nam with a target of developing 100,000 tech firms by 2030. Digital transformation is creating new development spaces – digital economy, digital society and e-government – based on rapid expansion of digital technologies such as artificial intelligence, Big Data, machine learning, deep learning, block …


A leader of Ho Chi Minh City on January 17 expressed his hope that the World Bank (WB) will assist Vietnam’s southern economic hub to build an international financial centre A leader of Ho Chi Minh City on January 17 expressed his hope that the World Bank (WB) will assist Vietnam’s southern economic hub to build an international financial centre.At an event to unveil the WB’s Vietnam Development Report 2…


JOLLIBEE Foods Corp. (JFC) raised $600 million from a landmark sale of perpetual securities in its offshore capital market debut, restocking its chest after buying the company behind US specialty chain Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (CBTL). It was the first time for the Philippine fast-food giant to issue perpetual bonds and the first time to tap offshore capital markets since it was listed in 1993. “This issuance is one of the first by an Asia…


Locators in ecozones in the Calabarzon (Cavite-Laguna-Batangas-Rizal-Quezon) area currently enjoying income tax holidays would be allowed to extend the period of their ITH commensurate to the number of days their operations are affected by the Taal Volcano eruption, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) said. In a press briefing yesterday, PEZA director general Charito Plaza said the agency would adjust the running time of the ITH for loc…


Exporters are encouraged to employ new technologies to produce internationally competitive products and services, and help grow Philippine exports deemed the linchpin of economic growth in the country. Trade Undersecretary Abdulgani Macatoman said access to information in the digital era dramatically improves the lives of billions of people in the world through increasingly powerful computing devices and network, digital services and mobile devic…


DAMAGE from the eruption of Taal Volcano has reached P3 billion, with the fishery sector suffering the most devastation, the Agriculture department said on Friday. Thousands of people have left their homes after the volcano spewed a column of ash 14 kilometers into the air on Sunday. The ashfall reached as far as cities near the capital, forcing financial markets to suspend trading and the Manila airport to close. Taal Volcano, one of the world&r…


 New Asian Development Bank (ADB) president Masatsugu Asakawa assumed office yesterday, becoming the 10th president of the Manila-based multilat­eral bank since its establishment in 1966. Asakawa succeeds Takehiko Nakao who stepped down on Jan. 16. “I am honored to assume the role of ADB president and to begin working in close cooperation with our 68 member countries. ADB has been a trusted part­ner of the region for more than …