Asia Business

BOJ to hold fire on receding pessimism over global outlook

23h00 The Bank of Japan is set to keep monetary policy steady and signal its cautious optimism over the global outlook on Tuesday, reinforcing market expectations that the rising cost of prolonged easing will keep. . .  Full story

Sudanese pound falls to record low on black market

18h11 Sudan's pound fell to a record low on the black market, traders said on Monday.. . .  Full story

Malaysia open to Davos talks with India amid palm oil spat

15h21 Malaysia's trade minister is open to meeting his Indian counterpart at the World Economic Forum gathering this week, his ministry said on Monday, after New Delhi said no such encounter was possible amid a. . .  Full story

Hedge funds sell oil as doubts about economy resurface: Kemp

14h26 Hedge funds turned heavy sellers of petroleum last week as the threat of conflict in the Middle East receded and was replaced by renewed concerns about the health of the global economy.. . .  Full story

Asia Distillates-Gasoil cash premiums edge lower, front-month spread widens

13h18 Asia's cash premiums for 10 ppm gasoil edged lower on Monday, hurt by weaker deals in the physical market, but the front-month spread for the transportation fuel widened its backwardation amid expectations for. . .  Full story

SE Asia Stocks-Philippines at lowest close in 3 mths on real estate, infra stocks

11h59 Philippine stocks dropped over 2% to their lowest close in over three months, hurt by losses in the real estate and infrastructure sectors, while banking shares dragged down the Thai index.. . .  Full story

Philippines sweetens rules on REITs with lower public float, tax perks

11h14 Philippine real estate investment trust (REIT) companies will be allowed to maintain control of their firms and enjoy tax breaks under revised government rules to attract fresh capital to sustain property market growth, authorities said. . .  Full story

Taiwan Dec export orders rebound, but 2019 fall worst in a decade

11h09 Taiwan's export orders in December rose for the first time in 14 months, boosted by a pick-up in global demand for electronics amid easing trade tensions between the United States and China.. . .  Full story

Hong Kong stocks fall ahead of Chinese New Year on weak sentiment

11h01 Hong Kong shares fell on Monday, led by consumer stocks, reflecting pessimism toward the local economy as the city's tourism industry reels under the impact of prolonged anti-government protests. ** Contributing to the sluggishness in. . .  Full story

Thai c.bank eases housing loan rules to help home buyers

10h46 Thailand's central bank has further relaxed mortgage lending rules to help home buyers, a deputy governor said on Monday, after tighter rules were imposed last year to rein in bad debt.. . .  Full story

China revises up GDP growth for 2014-2018, on track to double economy

10h03 China has revised up its economic growth by 0.1 percentage points each year between 2014 and 2018, the National Bureau of Statistics said, making it easier for Beijing to fulfil its goal of. . .  Full story

Indonesia unions hold protests over planned labour reform

09h47 Several thousand Indonesian workers held a rally on Monday outside parliament to protest against planned changes to labour laws as part of government reforms aimed at creating jobs and boosting investment in Southeast Asia's biggest. . .  Full story

China stocks end higher, tourism shares tumble as coronavirus spreads

09h39 China stocks closed higher on Monday following signs that the economy may be stabilizing, and as hopes rose for more stimulus measures to aid growth.. . .  Full story

Nikkei inches up to 15-month high, take-over bids energise constructors

09h06 Japanese shares edged higher to 15-month highs on Monday on strong U.S. housing data and investor optimism after last week's U.S.-China trade deal, with take-over bids boosting some in the construction and machine sector.. . .  Full story

JGBs slightly weaker, super-long yields at 2-month high

08h18 Prices of most Japanese government bonds (JGBs) fell on Monday, with yields on long-dated bonds rising to two-month highs after an auction of 20-year JGBs last week, while investors also awaited remarks from Bank. . .  Full story

Malaysia's c.bank seen standing pat, saving ammunition for later

08h13 Malaysia's central bank is expected to keep its benchmark interest rate unchanged at a policy review on Wednesday, a Reuters poll showed, saving its ammunition for use during a possible slowdown in economic growth later. . .  Full story

Singapore's Olam divides businesses into two units, eyes listings

07h27 Commodity trader Olam International said on Monday it is dividing its portfolio of diverse products into two new operating businesses, with an intention to potentially spin out each unit and list them separately.. . .  Full story

China stocks rise on signs of steadying economy, Hong Kong dips

07h24 China stocks rose on Monday on signs of a stabilizing domestic economy and increasing expectations of government stimulus to aid growth, while Hong Kong shares dipped.. . .  Full story

China confident of stabilising industrial growth in 2020

07h20 China is confident of maintaining steady industrial growth this year despite big pressures on the sector, underpinned by tax cuts and broad policy support, Minister of Industry and Information Technology Wei said on Monday.. . .  Full story

As China seeks to spark night economy, on-demand chauffeurs for drunk drivers see surge

07h20 It was freezing and the streets were slick as substitute driver Liu Pengfei bade farewell to his mother, wife and son before riding into Beijing on his tiny scooter.. . .  Full story

Chinese investors dump tourism stocks, chase drugmakers as coronavirus spreads

06h58 Chinese investors dumped tourism stocks and bought drugmakers and facial mask producers as coronavirus spread to more cities, raising concerns of its containment and clouding travel plans of millions of Chinese for the Lunar New. . .  Full story

Tokyo Steel to hold product prices steady for 4th straight month

06h47 Tokyo Steel Manufacturing Co Ltd said on Monday it would keep steel product prices unchanged for a fourth straight month in February, as it awaited confirmation that a recovery in steel markets would continue both. . .  Full story

Majority say BOJ's negative rate policy has not boosted economy, prices

06h05 The Bank of Japan's negative interest rate policy has had little positive impact on the economy and prices, over half of economists surveyed by Reuters said.. . .  Full story

China agriculture minister urges authorities to prevent recurrence of African swine fever

05h51 China's agriculture minister urged authorities to prevent a recurrence in African swine fever outbreaks, according to a statement on the ministry's website on Monday.. . .  Full story

Nikkei gains but market optimism tested by valuations

04h33 Japanese shares edged higher on Monday, due to strong U.S. housing data and investor optimism following last week's U.S.-China trade deal, though the market's valuations are getting stretched.. . .  Full story

China keeps lending benchmark LPR steady for second straight month in Jan

03h39 China kept its lending benchmark rate steady for the second month in a row on Monday, after the central bank left borrowing costs of medium-term loans unchanged earlier this month.. . .  Full story

Fanya indium stockpile sold to Kunming Rongke for $416 mln in China auction

03h09 A vast stockpile of the indium formerly held by China's Fanya Metal Exchange was sold on Saturday, in a second attempt, as Kunming Rongke New Materials bid around $416 million for the hoard.. . .  Full story

No pigging out on pork delicacies for China this Lunar New Year

01h00 For Xu, a mother and wife from central China, losing her family's entire pig herd to African swine fever almost meant not serving the cured pork, known as la rou, and dried sausage central. . .  Full story

Qatar to build solar power plant with Total and Marubeni

19/01 Qatar has signed an agreement with France's Total and Japan's Marubeni to build a solar power project with capacity of about 800 megawatts (MW), Qatar's energy minister said on Sunday.. . .  Full story

Libya summit calls for all parties to refrain from oil hostilities

19/01 A summit in Germany bringing together foreign powers backing rival camps in Libya has called for all parties to refrain from hostilities against oil facilities, a draft of the final communique showed on Sunday.. . .  Full story

U.N. envoy hopes for, but cannot predict, speedy reopening of Libya oil ports

18/01 The United Nations envoy to Libya said on Saturday he hoped but "could not predict" whether eastern oil ports shut ahead of a Berlin summit aimed at reaching a truce in Libya would be. . .  Full story

Quake strikes west of Abepura, Indonesia- USGS

18/01 A magnitude-six earthquake struck 141 km west of the Indonesian city of Abepura on Saturday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.. . .  Full story

U.N. Libya mission "deeply concerned" over disruption in oil production, urges restraint

18/01 The United Nations mission in Libya said on Saturday it was deeply concerned over efforts to disrupt oil production in the country and urged all sides to exercise restraint.. . .  Full story

To defuse palm row, Davos diplomacy likely between India, Malaysia

18/01 Trade ministers from India and Malaysia are likely to meet on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos next week amid a palm oil spat between the two countries, a. . .  Full story

Eastern Libya halts more than half the country's oil output

18/01 Eastern Libya ports controlled by commander Khalifa Haftar, who is trying to seize the capital Tripoli, are shutting down oil exports, slashing national crude output by more than half and ramping up tensions ahead of. . .  Full story

Eastern Libyan protesters enter Zueitina oil port, announce its closure

17/01 Protesters in eastern Libya entered the Zueitina oil terminal on Friday and announced its closure in response to calls by tribal leaders, a port engineer and witnesses told Reuters.. . .  Full story

Davos diplomacy likely between India, Malaysia amid palm row- official

17/01 Trade ministers from India and Malaysia are likely to meet on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos next week amid a palm oil spat between the two countries, a. . .  Full story

Asia Gold-China sees brisk festive purchases; Indian demand tame

17/01 Physical gold purchases gathered steam ahead of the Lunar New Year celebrations in China and Singapore, while demand in India dwindled this week, encouraging retailers to offer more discounts.. . .  Full story

Indonesia to tackle investment red tape with job creation bill

17/01 Indonesia's government plans to submit a bill to parliament on Monday designed to replace dozens of overlapping laws viewed as a barrier to investment, a senior official said on Friday.. . .  Full story

Chinese cities get creative in steadying cooling property markets

17/01 Property agent Yuan Bin thought he must have misheard when news broke on Nov. 11 - China's equivalent of Black Friday - that the Shenzhen government was cancelling a capital gains tax on some. . .  Full story

Malaysia increases February export tax for crude palm oil to 6%

17/01 Malaysia has raised its export tax for crude palm oil to 6% for February, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board said on Friday, citing the national customs department.. . .  Full story

Myanmar president hails 'historic' visit as China's Xi arrives to fanfare

17/01 Chinese President Xi Jinping flew into Myanmar on Friday for two days of talks to shore up massive infrastructure projects in the Southeast Asian nation isolated by the West over its treatment of the. . .  Full story

Indonesian minister says SoftBank offering to invest up to $40 bln in new capital

17/01 SoftBank has offered to invest up to $40 billion in the new capital city Indonesia plans to build on Borneo island, a minister said on Friday, though the Japanese tech conglomerate said no figure. . .  Full story

Japan's Shikoku Electric says to delay nuclear reactor restart after court order

17/01 Japanese utility Shikoku Electric Power Co said on Friday it had been ordered by a Hiroshima court to suspend operations of its only operable nuclear reactor, the No.3 unit at its Ikata plant in. . .  Full story

Asia Distillates-Jet fuel cash premiums rise, cracks hover near multi-month low

17/01 Asia's cash premiums for jet fuel rose on Friday, due to a slight uptick in buying interest for physical cargoes, while refining margins for the aviation fuel lingered close to their lowest levels. . .  Full story

SE Asia Stocks-Gain as solid China data fuels risk appetite; Philippines up

17/01 Southeast Asian stock markets climbed on Friday, with Philippine shares leading the pack, as encouraging data from China whipped up risk appetite. China, Southeast Asia's largest trading partner, grew by. . .  Full story

World Bank cuts Thailand 2020 GDP growth outlook to 2.7%

17/01 The World Bank on Friday cut its estimate for Thailand's economic growth to 2.7% this year, but that is faster than last year's pace as private consumption recovers and investment increases due to the. . .  Full story

China cbank curbs rates on structured deposits to coax banks to lower lending rates-sources

17/01 China's central bank has moved to curb interest rates on high-yield structured deposits, three sources familiar with matter told Reuters, as regulators seek to guide the country's borrowing costs lower by reducing banks' funding costs.. . .  Full story

Chinese property firm Country Garden plans mass production of construction robots

17/01 China's largest property developer by sales Country Garden is planning to start mass production of construction robots next year to cut costs and raise efficiency, it said on Friday.. . .  Full story

Malaysia sets February export tax for crude palm oil at 6%

17/01 Malaysia has raised its export tax for crude palm oil to 6% for February, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board said on Friday, citing the national customs department.. . .  Full story

Hong Kong stocks log 7th weekly gain on China data, trade deal

17/01 Hong Kong stocks rose on Friday and posted their seventh straight weekly gain, as investors cheered signs of economic recovery on the mainland as well as the signing of a Sino-U.S. trade deal earlier. . .  Full story

Foreigners net sellers of Japanese stocks for second straight week

17/01 Foreign investors were net sellers of Japanese equities in the week ended Jan. 10, as tensions escalated after the U.S. killing of an Iranian general, trimming demand for risky assets.. . .  Full story

China appoints new officials at state power firms

17/01 China has appointed a new chairman at State Grid, the power firm said on Friday, as well as officials at two more state utilities, following its vow to further rein in benchmark prices of. . .  Full story

Taiwan Q4 GDP growth seen steady on easing Sino-U.S. trade tensions

17/01 Taiwan's economy is forecast to have maintained relatively steady growth in the fourth quarter as the island benefited from a rebound in demand for electronic gadgets thanks to fading concerns over the U.S.-China trade. . .  Full story

China stocks snap 6-week winning streak after expected trade deal

17/01 China stocks inched higher on Friday amid more signs of resilience in the world's second-largest economy, though they posted modest weekly losses as trader pocketed gains following a rally underpinned by optimism around a Sino-U.S.. . .  Full story

China markets split on outcome of LPR lending benchmark in January

17/01 China's financial markets are nearly evenly divided over whether the benchmark lending rate will be lowered or kept steady next Monday, a survey of participants showed, after the central bank kept rates on medium-term loans. . .  Full story

China posts weakest growth in 29 years as trade war bites, but ends 2019 on better note

17/01 China's economic growth cooled to its weakest in nearly 30 years in 2019 amid a bruising trade war with the United States, and more stimulus is expected this year as Beijing tries to boost. . .  Full story

Nikkei closes at 1-month high as hopes of global demand boost exporters

17/01 Japan's benchmark share index on Friday marked its highest close in a month, after touching a 15-month peak earlier in the session, as hopes for a rebound in global demand and a softer yen. . .  Full story

China to curb farming near rivers in push to reverse water pollution - official

17/01 China will impose more curbs on agriculture and widen restrictions on industrial development in the next five years in a bid to protect scarce, already contaminated water supplies from further pollution, a government official said. . .  Full story

China stocks firm after GDP data, Hong Kong flat

17/01 China stocks rose on Friday, as investors cheered more signs of resilience in the world's second-largest economy, with risk appetite also getting a boost from the signing of the Sino-U.S. trade deal.. . .  Full story

JGBs supported by cloudy domestic outlook

17/01 Japanese government bond prices found support on Friday from familiar fears that the economy will stay stuck in the slow lane, even amid recent signs of a global recovery.. . .  Full story

China's annual aluminium output slips for first time in decade

17/01 China's annual aluminium production fell for the first time in 10 years in 2019, official data showed on Friday, hit by softer demand amid the Sino-U.S. trade row and large-scale smelter outages.. . .  Full story

China's 2019 pork output plunges to 16-year low as disease culls herd

17/01 China's 2019 pork output plunged to a 16-year low, official data showed on Friday, as the fatal hog disease African swine fever killed millions of pigs in the world's top producer.. . .  Full story

Nikkei hits 15-month high as global demand hopes boost exporters

17/01 Japan's benchmark share index rose to its highest in 15 months on Friday, as hopes for rebounding global demand and a softer yen drove broad-based gains.. . .  Full story

China's 2019 property investment solid, but first sales drop in 5 yrs dents outlook

17/01 China's property investment hit a two-year low in December even as it grew at a solid pace in 2019, adding to recent signs of a slackening in the sector and suggested Beijing might need. . .  Full story

China's 2019 and Dec crude oil runs hit record highs

17/01 China's crude oil throughput rose to a record high in 2019 following the start-up of two mega-refineries, official data showed on Friday, with December posting the highest daily run-rate on record.. . .  Full story

Japan sees smaller budget surplus as govt grapples with mountain of debt

17/01 Japan kept the timing for balancing the primary budget unchanged on Friday but expects to see a much smaller excess than previously thought when it hits a budget surplus, underlining the government's struggle to. . .  Full story

China Q4 GDP grows 6.0%, in line with expectations and hovering near 30-year low

17/01 China's economy grew 6.0% in the fourth quarter of 2019 from a year earlier, official data showed on Friday, in line with expectations and unchanged from the previous quarter's pace.. . .  Full story

Singapore Dec exports snap 9-month losing streak, but concerns remain

17/01 Singapore's exports rebounded in December after nine months of contraction, confounding expectations for a fall, partly boosted by a sharp rise in pharmaceutical shipments.. . .  Full story

Asia Rice-Thai rates climb to near 2-year high as drought persists

17/01 Thai rice export prices scaled a more than 20-month peak this week as a persistent drought heightened supply concerns, while improved demand from African countries drove an uptick in rates for the Indian variety.. . .  Full story

Japan firms take few steps to brace for increasing floods

17/01 Japanese companies have contingency plans for the floods that increasingly drench this island nation, but most have done little to fortify facilities, relying instead on insurance and securing alternative supply sources, a Reuters poll found.. . .  Full story

Japan firms join global calls to ditch coal-fired power

17/01 Japanese companies overwhelmingly feel Japan should shift away from its dependence on coal for power generation even though a third of firms say this would harm their business, a Reuters poll found, further evidence. . .  Full story

Many Japan firms not prepared for floods; back global call against coal-fired power

17/01 Most Japanese firms have business continuity plans to cope with natural disasters but many have not yet taken direct steps against floods, a Reuters poll showed. The poll also found most Japanese companies. . .  Full story

Egypt's central bank keeps overnight interest rates steady

16/01 Egypt's central bank left its overnight interest rates unchanged on Thursday, unexpectedly halting an easing cycle that began in August.. . .  Full story

Thailand's PTT plans multi-billion-dollar capex over next five years

16/01 State-owned Thai energy group PTT Pcl plans a multi-billion dollar capital spending spree over the next five years, it said on Thursday, that will include expanding in liquefied natural gas and investing in oil. . .  Full story

Malaysia bets on diplomacy, not retaliation, to tackle India palm curbs

16/01 Malaysia does not want to escalate a palm oil spat with India by talking of any retaliation for now, two government sources said on Thursday, after the prime minister's media adviser called for tighter regulations. . .  Full story

Renault, Nissan share 'real desire' to make alliance work - chairman

16/01 Renault Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard said on Thursday there was a "real desire" within the top ranks of both companies for its alliance with Nissan to succeed, dismissing suggestions the partnership was on the rocks.. . .  Full story

Indonesia takes action to help state insurers

16/01 Indonesia will appoint state financial firm PT Bahana Pembinaan Usaha Indonesia as a holding company for state insurers to improve their finances, a deputy minister said on Thursday, as the government puts together a rescue. . .  Full story

India's import curbs deal big blow to Malaysian palm oil

16/01 India's move to restrict palm oil imports from Malaysia will create a huge challenge for the world's second biggest producer of the edible oil as India has been its top market for the past. . .  Full story

Asia Distillates-Gasoil cash premiums slip amid weaker trades

16/01 Asia's cash premiums for 10 ppm gasoil fell to their lowest in 1-1/2 months on Thursday, hurt by a couple of weaker deals in the physical market. Cash premiums. . .  Full story

Greek gas utility DEPA says wins case over supply deal with Turkey's BOTAS

16/01 Greece's state-controlled gas utility DEPA, earmarked for privatisation this year, has won a legal case over a supply deal with Turkish state energy company BOTAS, DEPA said on Thursday.. . .  Full story

Indonesia president sees sovereign fund raising at least $20 bln

16/01 Indonesian President Joko Widodo said on Thursday that a planned sovereign wealth fund to finance infrastructure projects in Southeast Asia's biggest economy will raise at least $20 billion once established.. . .  Full story

SE Asia Stocks-Most rise after Sino-U.S. trade deal; Thailand leads gains

16/01 Most Southeast Asian markets rose on Thursday, with Thailand leading the pack, as risk sentiment improved after the United States and China signed an interim trade deal to diffuse their 18-month-long dispute.. . .  Full story

Crude palm oil seen capped at 3,300 ringgit for next 6 mths - analyst Fry

16/01 Benchmark palm oil prices will not rise above 3,300 ringgit per tonne in the first half of 2020 and the commodity's recent rally has eliminated its competitive edge over rival edible oils, a top. . .  Full story

S&P sees more Chinese defaults in 2020 as maturities loom

16/01 More Chinese companies will default on bond payments in 2020 as they face a wall of maturities, higher financing costs for weak issuers and a government less inclined to bail them out, rating agency. . .  Full story

Business investment into Singapore surges to seven-year high

16/01 Business investment commitments into Singapore jumped nearly 40% last year to a seven-year high, far more than expected as some key sectors bet on rising demand, a government agency said.. . .  Full story

Room is limited for further RRR cuts in China - c.bank official

16/01 China's reserve requirement ratio (RRR) is at appropriate level and there is limited room for further cuts, a central bank official said on Thursday.. . .  Full story

China's outstanding total social financing up 10.7% y/y at end-Dec

16/01 China's outstanding total social financing (TSF) was 251.31 trillion yuan ($36.5 trillion) at the end of December, up 10.7% from a year earlier, the central bank said on Thursday.. . .  Full story

Tokyo shares tread water after U.S.-China trade deal; machinery makers lag

16/01 Japanese shares were little changed on Thursday after the United States and China signed an interim deal to defuse their 18-month long trade war, with factory automation machinery makers under pressure on soft industry data.. . .  Full story

Shorter-dated JGB yields fall in line with global peers; trade subdued

16/01 Yields on shorter maturity Japanese government bond (JGB) edged lower on Thursday, tracking overnight moves in U.S. Treasuries and UK gilts, as investors looked past an initial trade deal between the world's two largest economies.. . .  Full story

Thailand's 2020 rice exports forecast to fall to lowest in seven years

16/01 Thailand's rice exports in 2020 are forecast to drop to their lowest in seven year, the country's rice exporters group said on Thursday, as the strong baht reduces the competitiveness against other shippers.. . .  Full story

Rising sea levels threaten sovereign credit ratings - Moody's

16/01 Economic shocks stemming from rising sea levels pose a long-term risk to the sovereign credit ratings of dozens of countries which have large areas at risk of submersion, including Vietnam, Egypt, Suriname and the. . .  Full story

BOJ to keep policy steady, raise growth outlook as risks subside

16/01 The Bank of Japan is expected to keep monetary policy steady next week and nudge up its economic growth forecast, as the U.S.-China trade deal and de-escalation in Middle East tensions take some pressure. . .  Full story

China's ZTE plans $1.7 bln A-share sale to fund 5G R&D

16/01 ZTE Corp said it was looking to raise 11.51 billion yuan ($1.7 billion) from a private placement of A shares, and that it plans to use the proceeds for research and development (R&D) of. . .  Full story

Tokyo shares steady after U.S.-China trade deal; machinery makers lag

16/01 Japanese shares were little changed on Thursday after the United States and China signed an interim deal to defuse their 18-month long trade war, with factory automation machinery makers under pressure on soft data.. . .  Full story

Japan posts record machinery orders growth in Nov in boost to economy

16/01 Japan's core machinery orders posted record monthly growth in November, in a bright sign for business spending which has helped sustain a fragile recovery in the world's third-largest economy.. . .  Full story

China's economy estimated to have grown more than 6% in 2019-Vice Premier Liu He

16/01 China's 2019 gross domestic product is estimated to have grown more than 6%, and data for January indicates a better-than-expected economic outlook, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He said on Wednesday.. . .  Full story

China's 2019 winter pollution gains offset by worsening in other regions - study

16/01 Smog-prone regions near Beijing and Shanghai posted big improvements in air quality in late 2019, but pollution in other parts of China worsened as dirty industries were relocated rather than shut down, researchers said on. . .  Full story

Japan manufacturers remain gloomy - Reuters Tankan

16/01 Japanese manufacturers remained in a pessimistic mood in January as Sino-U.S. trade frictions and sluggish global demand weighed on the export-reliant economy, the Reuters Tankan survey showed.. . .  Full story