Asean Morning News For April 11

The most comprehensive #Asean Morning News Roundup published

Asean Morning News For April 11
Estimated Reading Time: 35 minutes |

Asean morning newsAsean Morning News

Compiled by AEC News Today    @aecnewstoday

 

Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University: Asean’s Best Under 50
When it comes to quality tertiary education Singapore’s title as the higher education centre of Asean can not be challenged, with Nanyang Technological University (NTU) ranked as the region’s best and the third best in the world in the Times Higher Education’s 2017 Young University Rankings.
— AEC News Today

ASEAN building consensus
Southeast Asian diplomats are confident that ASEAN will come to a consensus on the adoption of a region-wide instrument on migrant worker protection, but experts have argued that a bilateral approach is equally important in overcoming this cross-border conundrum.
— The Jakarta Post

DoF urges Asean to counter protectionism
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd said Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) member-economies, including the Philippines, should pursue strategies that would promote inclusive growth to counter the negative effects of emerging protectionist polices and a possible trade war between the United States and China.
— The Manila Times

ASEAN Managed Security Services Market, Forecast to 2020
This research study provides an analysis of the Asia-Pacific Managed Security Services (MSS) market.
— Yahoo Finance

Why ASEAN businesses are prone to data breaches
ASEAN businesses may be at risk of data breaches as more than 1 in 3 (35 percent) are using unapproved personal devices for work, according to the findings of a new VMware, Inc. Digital Workspace Study.
— Networks Asia

Thailand introduced to “China Report ASEAN” magazine
“China Report ASEAN” magazine has made its debut in Thailand in celebration of the 42nd anniversary of cordial relations between Thailand and China.
— Pattaya Mail

Brunei minister unveils new mosque in Phuket
Brunei’s Interior Minister visited Phuket to officially launch a new mosque at Saphan Ruam in Rassada yesterday.
– Phuket Gazette

 

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Cambodia morning newsCambodia Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat

 

Cambodia’s microfinance shakeup: in whose interest?
With Cambodia’s microfinance sector reeling from the central bank’s controversial decision to introduce an interest rate cap, Southeast Asia Globe investigates the repercussions
Southeast Asia Globe

MFIs predict lower earnings
With the interest rate cap of 18 percent in full force for all new and restructured microfinance loans after the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) issued a populist measure to curb high interest rates, microfinance institutions (MFIs) are starting to give predictions for lower profits this year as the new lending reality takes hold.
The Phnom Penh Post

Heat Stress ‘Dramatically’ Reduces Productivity, Study Finds
Research into the effects of heat stress on sugarcane workers in Kompong Cham province found that productivity was dramatically reduced as daytime temperatures soared, a troubling finding given Cambodia’s lagging labor efficiency and expected warming over the next 30 years due to climate change.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Cambodian police seek shoe-throwing critic of ruling party
Police in Cambodia are seeking to arrest a woman who was seen on a video clip on Facebook showing her throwing a shoe at a billboard of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party.
ABC News

Ministry, Cambodian Journalists Strengthen Links to China
Information Ministry officials and state-affiliated Cambodian journalists will receive training from and pay visits to their Chinese counterparts under a new agreement signed by the two countries on Monday.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Hun Sen Urges Philippine Investment for Ailing Rice Sector
Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Monday he had urged Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to invest more heavily in Cambodia’s rice sector, while also acknowledging the need to lower rice processing costs and find new export markets to boost the competitiveness of Cambodia’s most important crop.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

China, Cambodia sign deal on information cooperation
China and Cambodia signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on information cooperation here on Monday. The deal was inked between Cambodian Information Minister Khieu Kanharith and Jiang Jianguo, chief of China’s State Council Information Office.
Global Times

Leakers take on politicians’ Facebook ‘likes’
In the latest tit-for-tat round of leaks in Cambodian politics, two rival leakers each released remarkably similar images of emails yesterday purporting to show Prime Minister Hun Sen and his rival Sam Rainsy spending hundreds of thousands of dollars buying Facebook “likes”.
The Phnom Penh Post

Minister asks for help in drug fight
Interior Minister Sar Kheng has asked businesspeople to help fund Cambodia’s ongoing drug crackdown– including rehabilitation.
The Phnom Penh Post

Transparency International opens up to new members
The Cambodian arm of anti-corruption group Transparency International aims to get greater grassroots support for its work and turn itself into a “social movement” by opening up to individual and group memberships.
The Phnom Penh Post

Cambodia Raises Diplomatic Alarm with Seabee Decision
Cambodia’s decision to walk out on a contract with a U.S. military unit has set-off alarm bells within the diplomatic community and raised concerns that Prime Minister Hun Sen is prepared to sacrifice millions of dollars worth of humanitarian work to appease regional powers like Russia and China.
VOA

American Journalist Recalled Cambodian Refugees Escaping War in 1979
Greg Barron was a young American journalist among those who went to Thai-Cambodia border camps to capture the despair of Cambodian refugees escaping the Khmer Rouge atrocities in November, 1979.
VOA

A Window Into the Inequality of Contemporary Cambodia
A country in which inequity in nearly every aspect of life leaves little hope for those who are not a part of, or do not have access to, the ruling CPP network and its system of privilege; where the Bar Association only admits 35 to 70 lawyers a year although hundreds graduate annually; where tens of thousands of workers are stranded in Phnom Penh, unable to secure the most menial job, and have no prospects if they were to return to their provinces.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Cambodia’s Homeless Dance to a Different Tune
Poverty rates in Cambodia remain stubbornly high, despite the country’s booming economy, and that is creating problems like homeless youth. However, young artists are hoping to change that through the spread of hip-hop music and a strict no-nonsense attitude.
VOA

Sok An Cabinet Chief to Become Lawmaker
Chea Vandeth, an advisor to the Council of Ministers under the late deputy prime minister Sok An, is slated to become a lawmaker following a parliamentary meeting on Friday last week.
VOA

Cambodia Border Officer Known For ‘Faking’ Accident Shoots Colleague
A border officer in Cambodia who made headlines last year for pretending to be hit by a car driven by an opposition activist is now being sought by police for shooting a colleague over the weekend, a spokesperson for the country’s Ministry of Interior said Monday.
Radio Free Asia

Cambodia’s Ruling Party to Take Legal Action Against Woman For Throwing Shoe
Cambodia’s ruling party will take legal action against a woman who threw a shoe at a party banner that was posted alongside photos of Prime Minister Hun Sen and a high-ranking parliamentary official, a Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) spokesman said Monday.
Radio Free Asia

 

Indonesia morning newsIndonesia Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee

 

Indonesia to remove some countries from free-visa list
The government is planning to remove some of the 169 countries on the free-visa list, as few tourists from those countries travel to Indonesia.
— The Jakarta Post

Indonesia’s millennials need help to join the creative economy
It is all but impossible to discuss Indonesia today without acknowledging the significance of the country’s increasingly rapid pace of change — evident in economic development, social and cultural areas, and in its young people, or so-called millennials.
— Asia Times

Indonesia – The World’s Second Largest Exporter of Thermal Coal
One of the big hopes for a revival of the U.S. coal industry since the election of President Donald Trump is increasing exports. Right on cue, it looks likely that more of the fuel will be shipped to foreign buyers.
— Netralnews

Bank Indonesia May Keep Key Rate at 4.75% throughout 2017
Bank Indonesia, the central bank of Indonesia, is expected to maintain its benchmark interest rate (the seven-day reverse repurchase rate, or reverse repo) at 4.75 percent in the remainder of 2017. Priasto Aji, economist at the Asian Development Bank (ADB), says Bank Indonesia may not need to adjust its key interest rate at all this year even though there is looming further monetary tightening in the USA.
— Indonesia Investments

US Construction Firm Turner to Strengthen Presence in Indonesia, Bullish on Local Market
United States-based construction services company Turner aims to strengthen its presence in Indonesia to tap opportunities presented by the country’s construction sector.
— Jakarta Globe

Emphasis on quality holding up Japan’s infrastructure aid
Japan prides itself on delivering products and services of the highest quality. But when it comes to foreign infrastructure aid, the country seems to be missing the mark.
— Nikkei Asian Review

Indonesia’s parliament allegedly embezzles over $170M from planned national ID program
Indonesia’s notoriously corrupt parliament is embroiled in scandal after two officials were arrested for their part in skimming more than $170M from the country’s digital ID card program.
— One World Identity

Sycamore Media secures $1.2m in seed funding from REAPRA
REAPRA Pte. Ltd., a business builder and venture capital (VC) firm, announced today it has invested $1.2 million (S$1.67 million) in Sycamore Media Holdings Pte. Ltd., a Singapore-based media startup that focuses on promoting entrepreneurship in Southeast Asia.
— Deal Street Asia

Indonesia supports Somalia with bags of rice
Indonesia will send 1,000 tons of rice to Somalia in a bid to help ease hunger problem in the African country, a top organizer of the aid said on Monday.
— News Ghana

Indonesia’s GDP Growth Curtailed by High Non-Performing Loan Ratio
Indonesian banks are expected to be cautious boosting credit disbursement in the next couple of quarters because the non-performing loan (NPL) ratio is currently high with the gross NPL ratio hovering above 3 percent since mid-2016, approximately the same level as it was in 2011 when Indonesia’s five-year economic slowdown commenced.
— Indonesia Investments

Pertamina to acquire more oil and gas blocks abroad
State-owned oil and gas company PT Pertamina is seeking to acquire more oil and gas blocks in the country and abroad to meet its production target set by the government.
— Antara News

Indonesia looks to find a new capital by year-end
Indonesia will finish evaluation of alternative cities that could serve as its new capital by year-end, according to a Today report.
— The Drum

Battle of the mascots: Sales reps for Oppo and Vivo smartphones clash violently during parade in Indonesia (VIDEO)
These smartphone sales reps in Indonesia are so… dedicated, to their jobs, that they’re apparently willing to throw punches against reps of a rival company.
— Coconuts Jakarta

Fed Chair Yellen says economy close to achieving Fed goals
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Monday that the central bank is close to achieving its goals on employment and inflation. Her remarks could be seen as providing support for gradual increases in interest rates.
— The Jakarta Post

Indonesia’s Pelindo III to manage 4 more ports
Indonesian state-owned port operator Pelindo III is set to take on four additional ports in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), following the government’s plan to transfer the management of the ports to a business entity, local reports said.
— Seatrade Maritime News

Malaysian company ships 10,000 M2M devices into Indonesia
Malaysian diversified technology company M3 Technologies (M3 Tech) has rolled out the first shipment of 10,000 machine to machine (M2M) devices.
— MIS Asia

Marathon Probe of Politicians to Test Graft Battle
A corruption investigation into dozens of politicians is a cause for concern in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy, but no other country has taken such a tough stance against graft over the past decade, Vice President Jusuf Kalla said.
— Jakarta Globe

Indonesia, Brazil Ink New Defense Pact
Indonesia and Brazil have signed a new defense agreement in a bit to expand the scope of their ties, the defense ministry in Jakarta said last week.
— The Diplomat

Indonesia calls EU palm oil fuel ban ‘discrimatory’, ‘protectionist’
An EU parliament resolution calling for a ban on the use of palm oil in biofuels is a “discrimative act” motivated by EU farming interests, the Indonesian government has said.
— Climate Home

Indonesia closing in on release of world’s first male pill
Much like the path of many courtships, Bambang Prajogo’s three-decade quest for a male contraceptive pill began with a frisson of excitement followed by years of problem solving.
— The Australian

Indonesia’s PLN signs deals for 45 MW of solar
State-owned utility PT PLN (Persero) signed agreements with six developers in late March to build PV projects throughout the Southeast Asian nation.
— PV magazine

Work begins on Indonesian airport rail link
THE president of Indonesia, Mr Joko Widodo, attended a ground-breaking ceremony on April 8 to mark the start of construction of a rail link in Central Java from Surakarta (also known as Solo and president Widodo’s birthplace) to Adi Sumarmo International Airport.
— International Railway Journal

Prison population jumped by 12,000 in two months
The number of prisoners being held in Indonesia increased by 12,000 within two months this year, raising concerns about unresolved prison overcrowding problems.
— The Jakarta Post

 

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Lao PDR morning newsLao PDR Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat

 

Intellectual Property Fair to Be Held on April 21
The Intellectual Property (IP) Fair 2017 will be held from April 21 to May 1 in Vientiane Capital, aiming to celebrate the 17th anniversary of World IP Day (April 26).
Lao News Agency

Over 20 Officials Learn Inter-Presentation Skills
Over 20 government officials attended a seminar on presentation skills on environmental concerns to build their confidence in using English to make presentations and proposals in international arenas.
Lao News Agency

New law offers incentives to attract investment
A newly-amended Investment Promotion Law has recently been promulgated, offering a variety of incentives to attract investment in both promoted sectors and hardship areas.
Vientiane Times

Bizarre twist at the Laos border
As tensions between Cambodia and Laos flared over an ongoing territorial dispute in February, Lao soldiers seized and imprisoned a Cambodian border policeman, Sing In, who said he was drinking wine at his Lao wife’s native village across the border.
The Phnom Penh Post

Helping Human Trafficking Survivors Reintegrate Across Mekong Countries
April 7 witnessed the launch of a new tool to support the reintegration of human trafficking survivors by NEXUS Institute, the United Nations Action for Cooperation Against Trafficking in Persons (UN-ACT) and World Vision.
Lao News Agency

Dozens of Rescuers Trained in Emergency Medical Services
Two days were scheduled for training rescue teams in emergency medical services with the support of the Emergency Medical Centre of Thailand.
Lao News Agency

Kyrgyzstan ratifies agreement with Laos on mutual visa exemptions for diplomatic passport holders
President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev on April 10 signed the ratification of the agreement between the Governments of Kyrgyzstan and Laos on the visa exemptions for diplomatic and official passport holders.
AKIpress (press release)

Vietnamese, Lao front agencies boost cooperation
During a meeting with LFNC Chairman Saysomphone Phomvihane in Vientiane on April 7 as part of activities in her visit to Laos, VFF Vice President Truong Thi Ngoc Anh highlighted close and effective cooperation between the two agencies in recent times.
VietNamNet Bridge

 

Malaysia morning news

Malaysia Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat

 

‘FIRE SALES’ AT PETRONAS TO RAISE CASH FOR NAJIB REGIME? OIL MAJORS EYE STAKE IN OFFSHORE SARAWAK GAS FIELD
Petroliam Nasional Bhd’s (Petronas) proposed sale of a stake in a gas field offshore Sarawak has attracted the attention of several oil majors, with bids expected in the next few weeks.
Malaysia Chronicle

BNM’s foreign reserves to remain stable, currently at US$95.4 billion
Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM)’s foreign reserves are likely to remain stable thanks to measures taken to develop the onshore forex market, and the country’s trade surplus position in the first half of the year, said
economists.
New Straits Times

SMEs now form 36% of M’sian economy: Domestic Trade Ministry
Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) comprised 36.3 per cent of the Malaysian economy in 2015, up from 29.6 per cent 10 years ago; and SME growth consistently outpaces the country’s overall GDP growth.
New Straits Times

Foreign funds slow down
Bursa Malaysia is seeing signs of a softening momentum after weeks of outperformance that saw it reaching its highest level in almost two years, largely due to foreign buyers.
The Star Online

UTM eyes top 50 in global rankings by 2020
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) is on track to realise its aspiration to be recognised as a world-class centre of academic and technological excellence.
Malay Mail Online

Malaysia seizes 18 rhino horns from Mozambique
Malaysian authorities said on Monday that they have seized 18 rhino horns believed to have been smuggled into the country from Mozambique.
Bangkok Post

Oil majors eye Petronas’ stake
Petroliam Nasional Bhd’s (Petronas) proposed sale of a stake in a gas field offshore Sarawak has attracted the attention of several oil majors, with bids expected in the next few weeks.
The Star Online

Prasarana to go into debt market again
Prasarana Malaysia Bhd president and group chief executive officer Datuk Seri Azmi Abdul Aziz said the group will be raising additional debt in a few weeks
to fund its ongoing projects.
The Star Online

HLIB Research turning more positive on Dayang
Hong Leong Investment Bank (HLIB) Research is turning more positive on Dayang as FY17 will be a stronger year for the company and it raised its target price from RM1.04 to RM1.42.
The Star Online

BNM reserves to remain stable: economists
Bank Negara Malaysia’s foreign reserves are likely to remain stable with the measures to develop the onshore forex market and the trade surplus position in the first half of the year, said economists.
New Straits Times

Cashless society can help curb corruption: PNB’s Wahid Omar
Immobilising large currency notes could help move Malaysia towards a crime-less and corruption-less society, said Permodalan Nasional Bhd group chairman Tan Sri Abdul Wahid Omar.
New Straits Times

MP urges Putrajaya action as Singapore bars lawyers from Malaysians on death row
The Malaysian government must intervene over Singapore’s refusal to let lawyers confer with two Malaysians sentenced to die there, said PKR MP N. Surendran.
Malay Mail Online

Felda signs Corruption Free Pledge
The Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) yesterday signed a Corruption Free Pledge (IBR) to ensure the agency is free from corruption.
Malay Mail Online

DPM: Don’t dispute efforts to improve Islamic legal system
Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has asked all parties not to dispute efforts to improve the legal system to uphold Islam.
Malay Mail Online

Petronas pitches $1b offshore gas project stake to Shell, ExxonMobil, PTTEP, others
Malaysia’s Petronas has pitched an estimated $1 billion stake in a prized upstream local gas project to potential bidders including Royal Dutch Shell, ExxonMobil Corp, Thailand’s PTT Exploration and Production and Japanese firms, sources familiar with the matter said.
Deal Street Asia

Malaysian firm’s station deemed security threat
The Foreign Ministry has confirmed that a landing station for a large underwater optic cable with 400 GB bandwidth owned by Sacofa, a Malaysian-based communications company, in Anambas, Riau Islands, violates international maritime law.
— The Jakarta Post

US slaps sanction on Malaysian terrorist
The United States Treasury has imposed a sanction on a Malaysian terrorist high on the local police’s wanted list, Muhammad Wanndy Mohamed Jedi.
The Straits Times

 

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Myanmar morning newsMyanmar Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee

 

China says accord reached at last with Myanmar on oil pipeline
The first tanker carrying oil to Myanmar for delivery to China was expected on April 8, however a Myanmar government official told Reuters the ship may not have the official go-ahead to enter Myanmar.
— The Indian Express

Forum Capital-backed SolarHome to invest $25m in Myanmar over five years
Southeast Asia-focussed SolarHome, a provider of solar energy for rural off-grid households, is looking at investing up to $25 million in Myanmar over the next five years, Phoo Pyae Pyae Soe, head of communications, said.
— Deal Street Asia

Myanmar total foreign investment reach US $70 billion this fiscal year
Myanmar has received 1,246 different types of foreign investments totaling to more than $70 billion between the 1988-1989 and 2016-2017 fiscal year, according to official statistics of Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA).
— Eleven

Rakhine State Chief Minister delivers natural disaster prevention aid in Buthidaung Township
A ceremony to deliver natural disaster prevention aid to the local populace was held in U Uttama Hall in Buthidaung Township, Maungtaw District in Rakhine State yesterday evening.
— Global New Light Of Myanmar

How This Myanmar Travel Company Went From $0 To $1.5M Revenue In A Year
When you think of Myanmar, you may not think of digital marketing. But the country is quickly going online. In fact, Myanmar has more than 39 million internet users, up from two million in 2014. Combine that with the country’s emerging tourism industry and you have a market bursting with opportunities for travel companies.
— Forbes

IFC to inject $15m equity into Myanmar’s Shwe Taung Cement project
International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private lending arm of the World Bank Group, is considering an equity injection of $15 million into a brownfield project of Shwe Taung Cement Company Limited(STC), part of a local conglomerate, Shwe Taung Group (STG), according to its disclosure. Shwe Taung Group has presence in real estate, retail, construction and financial service sectors.
— Deal Street Asia

Yangon Traffic to Get a Lift
Commuters in Yangon may well be frustrated with the lack of parking spaces in the city, but a new mechanised innovation from Japan might provide the first step in attempts the alleviate congestion.
— Consult-Myanmar

Myanmar designates 20 fields to promote investment
Myanmar’s efforts to promote investment will target 20 newly designated fields covering 192 types of businesses and services, using a law enacted in October that makes it easier for foreign companies to receive tax benefits.
— Nikkei Asian Review

China should support Myanmar in smuggling crackdown, ecological assistance
As a major export market for Myanmar’s jade, China should ramp up efforts to crack down on smuggling as the over-exploitation of Myanmar’s jade mines harms the environment.
— Global Times

K19 billion excess taxes collected
Mandalay’s tax revenue in the last budget year exceeded the collection of the year before by almost K20 billion, thanks to increased awareness among taxpayers.
— Myanmar Times

Vice President U Myint Swe attends the 5th regular meeting with Myanmar entrepreneurs
Vice President U Myint Swe attended the 5th regular meeting with Myanmar entrepreneurs at the meeting hall of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) in Lanmadaw Township, Yangon yesterday.
— Global New Light Of Myanmar

Yangon govt drafts master plan for power supply in industrial zones
Nilar Kyaw, Yangon Region Minister for Electricity, Industry and Transportation said the region’s government is drafting a master plan for full power supply in industrial zones.
— Eleven

Between the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and the People’s Republic of China
At the invitation of President Xi Jingping of the People’s Republic of China, President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar U Htin Kyaw and wife Daw Su Su Lwin paid a State Visit to China from 6 to 11 April. During the visit, President U Htin Kyaw held talks with President Xi Jinping and met with Premier Li Keqiang of the State Council and Chairman Zhang Dejiang of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress separately.
— Global New Light Of Myanmar

INTERPOL issues Red Notice for Ko Ni assassination suspect Aung Win Khaing
The International Criminal Police Organization, or INTERPOL, has officially issued a Red Notice for Aung Win Khaing, the alleged organizer behind the murder of NLD legal advisor Ko Ni in January.
— Coconuts Yangon

 

Philippines morning newsPhilippines Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee

 

PNP confirms terror threat
Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald de la Rosa confirmed on Monday the existence of a terror threat in Central Visayas but he gave assurances that security forces are prepared to deal with it.
— The Manila Times

Duterte firm: No weapons in WPS
President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday gave assurances that the Philippines will not install weapons on islands that it will occupy on the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
— The Manila Times

World Bank keeps 2017 outlook, cuts 2018 forecast for Philippines
The World Bank on Tuesday retained its 2017 growth projection for the Philippines, but revised downward its projection for 2018.
— ABS-CBN

Peso regains more ground at P49 level vs dollar
The peso hovered at the P49 per dollar level on Tuesday, boosted by foreign fund inflows and as the greenback weakened ahead of a speech by US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.
— ABS-CBN

BoI-registered projects jump by 67% in Q1
THE Board of Investments (BoI) on Monday said registered projects totaled 122 in the first quarter of the year, up 67 percent from 72 a year earlier.
— The Manila Times

Gov’t gets high score on fight against crime, but low on poverty
While the Duterte administration got a high approval scores in fighting criminality, it got low ratings on economic issues deemed urgent by Filipinos, a recent Pulse Asia survey showed.
— Inquirer.net

January bares good start for FDIs
FOREIGN direct investments (FDI) to the Philippines grew more than a tenth annually in January, the central bank reported yesterday, noting that lending by firms abroad to support operations and expansion of their local units had more than doubled.
— BusinessWorld Online

PH defers Holy Week expedition to Benham Rise
State scientists have postponed a planned expedition to Benham Rise this Holy Week due to a looming weather disturbance, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol announced Tuesday.
— ABS-CBN

Auto groups cite ‘record’ Q1 increase
VEHICLE sales grew by more than a fifth year on year last quarter, local car and truck manufacturers said in a statement on Monday that cited “another record increase.”
— BusinessWorld Online

Filipinos in Syria ordered to return to Philippines
The Department of Foreign Affairs has raised alert level 4 over Syria, requiring all Filipino workers to return to the Philippines due to worsening situation there.
— Phil Star

Duterte vows to bring home OFWS pardoned in Middle East
President Duterte on Monday vowed to fly home overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who had been pardoned in different countries in the Middle East as he embarked on his first trip to the Gulf states.
— Inquirer.net

PSE index extends gains to hit six-month high
THE MAIN INDEX breached the 7,600 mark on Monday for the first time in six months, as the market continued its upward rally with developments abroad calming down.
— BusinessWorld Online

Capital raising at record high in Q1 of 2017
apital raised at The Philippine Stock Exchange, Inc. (PSE) was at a record high of P67.04 billion in the first quarter of 2017.
— Manila Bulletin

Higher fuel prices for Lenten travelers
Oil companies implemented a significant price increase on petroleum products this Holy Week amid pressures in the international oil market.
— Phil Star

Philippines committed to human rights
In response to your article (Dismay over Liam Fox’s claim of shared values with Duterte’s brutal regime, 4 April), like the UK, the Philippines is a strong democracy with a very active and engaged civil society keen on participative and transparent governance.
— The Guardian

SC to deploy judges-at-large
Soon, the rather derogatory term “at-large” will no longer be limited to wanted persons or fugitives, but will also be attached to judges, in light of the scarcity of magistrates manning local courts nationwide.
— Phil Star

Tropical cyclone forming in Mindanao
Amid summer, the state weather bureau is monitoring the possible formation and entry of a tropical cyclone east of Mindanao later this week.
— Inquirer.net

Philippines likely to resume direct flights to India in 2018
Philippines is likely to resume direct air services to India by next year with at least one of the three carriers from the Southeast Asian nation mulling to launch flights in the worlds third largest domestic market.
— India Today

140 more immigration officers deployed to NAIA
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has deployed 140 additional officers to augment the undermanned immigration counters at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to process the travel documents of arriving and departing passengers.
— Phil Star

PH womens football team qualify for Asian Cup
The Philippines reached the AFC Womens Asian Cup for the first time in 15 years after salvaging a 1-1 draw against Bahrain on Monday night at Pamir Stadium in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
— Inquirer.net

 

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Singapore morning newsSingapore Morning News

Compiled by Leakhena Khat    @leakhenakhat

 

Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University: Asean’s Best Under 50
When it comes to quality tertiary education Singapore’s title as the higher education centre of Asean can not be challenged, with Nanyang Technological University (NTU) ranked as the region’s best and the third best in the world in the Times Higher Education’s 2017 Young University Rankings.
— AEC News Today

Singapore to introduce driverless buses by 2020
Singapore will carry out trial for driverless public buses following the signing of a partnership agreement between the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and ST Kinetics, LTA announced on Monday.
News Ghana 

Insurance is most-searched financial product in S’pore: Google
Eight out of the top 10 financial searches in Singapore over the last year were about insurance policies ranging from health and business to housing and cars, revealed Google on Monday.
Today Online 

World Bank targets Singapore retail investors
The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, or World Bank, is exploring a potential issue of retail bonds in Singapore to boost interest in sustainable development bonds and tap the affluent population.
Malaya

ComfortDelGro hopes to woo riders with flat-fare rates
ComfortDelGro started offering its flat taxi-fare option yesterday, which costs slightly less in general compared with metered trips or those booked on ride-hailing apps, whether during off-peak hours in the afternoon or the evening peak period.
Today Online 

Panasonic relocates global business unit HQ from Japan to Singapore
Panasonic has recently launched its refrigeration compressor business unit (RCBU) on 7 April 2017. Speaking at the opening ceremony, minister for manpower Lim Swee Say elaborated on how the Singapore operation will be transformed in three ways:
Human Resource Online 

$30m waterfront theatre to seat 550 at Esplanade
A $30 million waterfront theatre is slated to open at the Esplanade – Theatres On The Bay by 2021. The 550-seat venue will give arts groups much-needed space to stage new work and attract more audiences.
The Straits Times 

New research uncovers concerns for fintech adoption in HK and Singapore
Hyperfinance, the international law firm’s flagship research programme, investigates what large banks and asset managers need to do to succeed in accelerating their digital innovation and overcome the challenges they face.
Hubbis 

Sycamore Media secures $1.2m in seed funding from REAPRA
REAPRA Pte. Ltd., a business builder and venture capital (VC) firm, announced today it has invested $1.2 million (S$1.67 million) in Sycamore Media Holdings Pte. Ltd., a Singapore-based media startup that focuses on promoting entrepreneurship in Southeast Asia.
Deal Street Asia 

INFINITI launches Smart Mobility Programme in Singapore
INFINITI Motor Company has launched the Singapore edition of INFINITY LAB in partnership with venture capital firm Nest.
Singapore Business Review 

HNA Group’s S$1.4b offer for CWT may transcend logistics
CHINESE conglomerate HNA Group’s S$1.4 billion privatisation offer for Singapore-listed CWT Limited will likely help the aviation giant grow its presence in the logistics industry in South-east Asia and globally, but the deal was about more than that, analysts said on Monday.
The Business Times 

Stocks pressured, safe assets up on rising geopolitical risks
Global stock markets were pressured on Tuesday as rising tensions in the Middle East and political uncertainty in Europe kept investors on edge, underpinning safe assets such as the yen, gold and Treasuries.
Reuters 

Rotary Engineering secures two projects worth over US$120m
Mainboard-listed Rotary Engineering and its subsidiaries has secured two projects worth more than US$120 million (S$168.7 million) in Dubai and Thailand to supply engineering, procurement, construction (EPC) and maintenance services for tank storage projects.
The Straits Times 

London and Singapore remain world’s top fintech hubs
Fintech has become a truly global phenomenon, with hubs popping up in cities around the world, although established players such as London and Singapore continue to be the top centres, according to a report by Deloitte.
Finextra 

Jet Aviation Adds Hangar In Singapore, Considers China Locations
Jet Aviation is expanding its Asia-Pacific maintenance base in Singapore with a third hangar at Seletar Aerospace Park. When completed late this year the 3,850 square meter building, which can hold two Boeing Business Jets or five Gulfstream G650s, will boost Jet’s hangar capacity there to 11,650 square meters.
Aviation Week 

Singapore SMEs going places
SINGAPORE’s small and medium enterprises are going places, and popping up in glitzy shopping centres in the region’s capital cities.
The Business Times 

Real estate agents turn to Uber-like tech to stay afloat
As the number of estate agencies and agents in Singapore shrinks, many are turning to technology to help beat the property downturn blues.
Singapore Business Review 

New NTUC scheme offers more benefits to SME staff
Employees of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) can now enjoy the same suite of welfare benefits available to union members — except for workplace protection — after the labour movement rolled out a new scheme yesterday to raise the well-being of SME workers.
Today Online 

Much to gain for S’pore to invest more in Vietnam
Vietnam has grown exponentially in the past decade, and continues to be one of the region’s fastest-growing markets.
Today Online 

Famous Thai night market gets Singapore twist
Shelve those travel plans for now as Artbox Thailand, a famous creative market in Bangkok, will be popping up in Singapore from April 14 to 16 and April 21 to 23, 3pm to 11pm.
The New Paper 

 

Thailand morning newsThailand Morning News

Compiled by John Le Fevre    @photo_journ

 

Airbus plans repair site in Thailand
Airbus looks to open an aircraft maintenance yard in eastern Thailand, hoping to capture rising demand as low-cost carriers sharply increase the number of planes flying in Asia.
Nikkei Asian Review

NSRA panel firm on media licensing system
MEDIA PERSONNEL are to be licensed and failure to register will result in penalties of up to two years in jail or a fine of up to Bt60,000, the media reform committee decided yesterday.
The Nation

Thai exporters urged to prepare for US trade sanctions
Representatives from manufacturing, trade and banking sectors discussed on Monday the trade issues with the United States after the US government reviews trade policy with 16 countries which have trade surplus with the US.
The Nation

Export options grow as bird flu infects global poultry products trade
Bird flu outbreaks in parts of Asia, Europe, and now the US, are creating some optimistic sales prospects for Australian exports in the competitive poultry products market.
Queensland Country Life

Businesses seek action to check rise of baht
Business leaders are urging the government to take action over the Thai baht’s appreciation before it hurts Thai exports.
Bangkok Post

Steady Start Tipped For Thai Stock Market
The Thai stock market has finished lower in two of three trading days since the end of the two-day winning streak in which it had picked up almost 10 points of 0.6 percent. The Stock Exchange of Thailand now rests just above the 1,580-point plateau, and the market figures to hold steady in that neighborhood again on Tuesday.
Nasdaq 

His Majesty grants Bt40 million to help southern flood victims
His Majesty the King has granted to the government Bt40 million from the proceeds of the sale of greeting cards drawn by him and a diary designed by him to help flood victims in southern provinces.
The Nation 

Top Thai business group worried about Trump’s trade policy
Thailand’s top business group expressed concern about the impact of changes in US trade policy under president Donald Trump on the big South-East Asian exporter.
The Star Online

Businesses hiring 1,700 students for school break
More than 1,700 students can spend their school break earning a wage and gaining experience in a program arranged by the government’s Employment Department.
– Phuket Gazette

Emergency patients forced to pay for ‘free’ care
MORE THAN half of the 912 patients who sought the government’s much-advertised free emergency medical help between April 1 and 9 found themselves labelled “unqualified” at hospitals.
The Nation

How are Filipino farmers faring versus Thai farmers?
Poverty in the Philippines is persistently high. This affects consumer markets, investments, and social peace. In 2015, the official poverty incidence was 21.6%. The estimated rural poverty was 30% of that total, and urban poverty 11%.
BusinessWorld

Lotte Duty Free set for first-half opening in Bangkok at spectacular Show DC complex
Lotte Duty Free says it is on course for a first-half opening of its Bangkok downtown store at the spectacular new Show DC complex, after overcoming protracted challenges in arranging airport pick-up rights.
The Moodie Davitt Report

Thailand to showcase Unique Thai Local Experiences to WTTC Global Summit delegates
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) will be hosting cultural and rustic trips for delegates attending The World Travel and Tourism Global Summit 2017 and their partners.
Travel Daily News

Brunei minister unveils new mosque in Phuket
Brunei’s Interior Minister visited Phuket to officially launch a new mosque at Saphan Ruam in Rassada yesterday.
– Phuket Gazette

Thai Union targets 15% revenue rise, launches new frozen brand
Thai Union Group is targeting a 15% rise in revenue to THB 150 billion ($4.32bn) in 2017. It has set aside a budget of no more than THB 25bn for new investments and mergers and acquisitions this year – depending on business opportunities – as it consolidates last year’s moves, said Rittirong Boonmechote, president of the company’s global frozen and related products unit, at the launch of the company’s new frozen-food brand Qfresh.
– Undercurrent News

Who botched the Ukraine tank deal?
As China fills gaps in Thailand’s military arsenal, it would be nice to know who requisitioned the dud bomb detectors, the airship and those other tanks.
The Nation

New retirement plan? Luxury Thai visa packs now US$20,000
The Elite Ultimate Privilege Membership, as it’s officially known, might be the most luxurious visa in the world. For US$60,000, plus a US$600 annual fee, you can get a renewable 5 year multiple entry visa to Thailand, for up to 20 years, with extendable 1-year length of stay per entry.
Finder

Rotary Engineering secures two projects worth over US$120m
Mainboard-listed Rotary Engineering and its subsidiaries has secured two projects worth more than US$120 million (S$168.7 million) in Dubai and Thailand to supply engineering, procurement, construction (EPC) and maintenance services for tank storage projects.
The Straits Times

Thailand Advertises Residency to Affluent Chinese Citizens
The Government of Thailand has appointed a global citizenship and residence advisory firm to promote the country’s residence visa program, Thailand Elite. One of the targets of the promotion will be affluent Chinese migrants.
Macau Daily Times 

Thailand peace process dead on arrival
In the wake of an upsurge of attacks across Thailand’s three volatile southernmost border provinces, the region’s foremost Malay-Muslim separatist faction, the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN), has issued a rare communiqué that brushes aside peace talks currently underway and calls for a revamped negotiation process overseen by an impartial mediator and international witnesses.
Asia Times 

 

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Vietnam morning newsVietnam Morning News

Compiled by Leakhena Khat    @leakhenakhat

 

Vietnam seeks preferential Trump treatment
While the Southeast Asian nation seems a likely target for new US trade sanctions, recent revelations indicate a special deal could be on the cards.
Southeast Asia 

‘Alarming’ executions in Vietnam: Amnesty
Secrecy around executions continues to plague some Southeast Asian countries, with newly released figures showing the “disturbing” use of the death penalty in Vietnam, Amnesty International says.
News 

Vietnam’s economy to grow at 6.5 percent in 2017: ADB
Vietnam’s economy will grow at 6.5 percent in 2017 and expand to 6.7 percent in 2018, according to the Asian Development Bank (ADB)’s “Asian Development Outlook 2017” report.
Vietnam Plus 

WHO called on to help Việt Nam improve public health care
Vice Chairwoman of the National Assembly Tòng Thị Phóng has proposed that the World Health Organisation (WHO) work closely with the Vietnamese Government in efforts to curb diseases and increase the quality of public health care.
Viet Nam News 

Apple sends ‘ultimatum’ to Vietnamese mobile stores over trademark infringement
A number of mobile phone stores in Vietnam have been warned for using Apple’s logo and other registered trademarks without the U.S. tech company’s permission.
Tuoi Tre News 

VN’s internet speed picks up after cable repairs
Repairs to the cable were completed on April 6, and the pending work was done on Saturday, the Viet Nam Post and Telecommunications Corporation (VNPT), which uses the Asia-America Gateway, said.
VietNamNet Bridge 

Japan’s Teijin planning $18m air bag fabric plant in Vietnam
Teijin will build a Vietnamese factory for air bag fabric as soon as late 2018 as more emerging economies mandate the safety feature in automobiles.
Nikkei Asian Review 

Vietnam lifts India’s groundnut exports
Exports of groundnuts have jumped by over a third on robust demand from countries such as Vietnam and Indonesia and a bigger domestic crop.
The Hindu BusinessLine 

Much to gain for S’pore to invest more in Vietnam
Vietnam has grown exponentially in the past decade, and continues to be one of the region’s fastest-growing markets.
Today Online

Sand exported unethically from Vietnam ends up in Singapore
Earlier this year, two journalists from Vietnamese online news site Tuoi Tre News went into a vigorous investigation on the sand trade between Vietnam and Singapore which was reported in a 3-part series of articles.
Mothership

Vietnam’s rice price out of sync with rest of world
The rice price in the Mekong Delta has increased in the last couple of weeks, which has resulted in higher export prices.
VietNamNet Bridge 

Grab Vietnam asks premier for help as taxi app rejected by Da Nang
With the central Vietnamese city of Da Nang consistently saying no to Grab, an app-based taxi service, a representative of the Singapore startup has sought help from Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
Tuoi Tre News 

50 percent MLM companies report losses in Vietnam
Vietnam Competition Authority under the Ministry of Industry and Trade reported low efficiency in operation of multi-level marketing (MLM) companies with profit after tax averaging 2.2 percent and over 50 percent of them posting losses in 2016.
Saigon 

Unemployment insurance payment to be reduced
The Vietnamese government decided to reduce the unemployment insurance payment from 1 percent to 0.5 percent of laborers’ wage.
Saigon 

Prime Minister meets WHO leader in Hà Nội
Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Margaret Chan suggested Việt Nam work more with the WHO in preventive medicine to prevent diseases and accidents at her meeting with Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc in Hà Nội yesterday.
Viet Nam News

Speed up electronic toll collection: Transport Minister
Transport Minister Trương Quang Nghị has ordered haste on the installation of electronic toll collection (ETC) equipment in toll stations on major highways.
Viet Nam News 

ADB: Agriculture reform vital for Vietnam to lift growth
A transformation of Viet Nam’s agriculture sector is vital for lifting growth and enabling Viet Nam to graduate to upper-middle-income status, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said in a new flagship report launched today.
Hanoi Times 

Vietnam Airlines sells cheap air tickets as aviation market heats up
Vietnam Airlines, the nation’s flag air carrier, has decided to join hands with Jetstar Pacific to market cheap air tickets priced from VND11,000 to VND1 million for both domestic and international routes.
VietNamNet Bridge 

Taiwan tourist arrivals to Vietnam jump 22 percent year-on-year
More than 3 million foreign tourists visited Vietnam in the first three months of 2017, a 29 percent increase from a year earlier, while tourists from Taiwan increased 22.4 percent, according to Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.
Taiwan News 

 

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Asean Morning News is the most comprehensive selection of reports on what you need to know from around the Asean Economic Community (AEC) published. All articles are hand curated by the team at AEC News Today. It is published M-F by AEC News Today: Governance, not government; policies not politics.

 

 

 

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