Asean Morning News For March 20

Asean Morning News For March 20

Asean morning newsAsean Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @stmarisewudolu


Alibaba pumps US$2b into Lazada in aggressive Asean expansion
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd said it will invest an extra US$2 billion in Southeast Asian e-commerce firm Lazada Group, and tapped a top executive to run the business, as it takes on rivals such as tech titan Amazon in an aggressive expansion in the region.
— Malaysiakini

Most SE Asian companies plan divestments over next 24 months
There is a strong intention among Southeast Asian companies to divest parts of their businesses, with rapid technological developments putting pressure on them to change existing business models in order to remain competitive, according to a report released by consultancy firm EY on Monday.
Nikkei Asian Review (metered paywall)

Asean capital market regulators to drive regional connectivity
The Asean Capital Markets Forum (ACMF) has endorsed its Professional Mobility framework to facilitate cross-border movement of investment advisers and the publishing of research reports.
— New Straits Times

INTERPOL counter-terrorism training focuses on social media and criminal intelligence analysis
Criminal intelligence and the use of social media are the focus of INTERPOL in building the capacity of police in South and Southeast Asia to combat terrorism.
— Open Gov

SET, most SE Asia stocks slip ahead of Fed decision
The Stock Exchange of Thailand and most Southeast Asian stock markets edged lower on Monday, in line with broader Asia, as caution gripped investors ahead of the US Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting that starts on Tuesday.
— Bangkok Post

AirAsia in talks to set up Myanmar airline
Mr Tony Fernandes’ AirAsia is in talks with a potential partner to open an airline serving Myanmar, in a move that would help the low-cost carrier cover up to 95 per cent of the Southeast Asian travel market.
— Today Online

More companies in S-E Asia planning to divest: survey
SOUTH-EAST Asian firms’ divestment intentions have caught up to those of their global peers, according to the latest annual EY Global Corporate Divestment Study.
The Business Times 

Innovative solutions for tackling cybercrime recognised at inaugural ASEAN-Australia Codeathon
The winners of the inaugural ASEAN-Australia Codeathon which sought innovative solutions to combat cybercrime were announced on 16 March.
Open Gov 

Australia courts ASEAN amid human rights controversies
As the first-ever ASEAN-Australia Special Summit came to a close on Sunday, Malcolm Turnbull, Australia’s prime minister, triumphantly announced that participants had committed to building “a more secure and prosperous region”.
Al Jazeera

ASEAN’s Renewed Centrality And The Strategic Response To The Trump Trade Threat
US President Trump fired the first shots in what could become a global trade war this week with the imposition of 25 per cent tariffs on imports of steel and 10 per cent tariffs on aluminium.

Southeast Asia’s Trade War over Palm Oil
With the world preoccupied by the threat of a major trade war initiated by US President Donald Trump against much of the globe, the threat of a smaller one is emerging in Southeast Asia, where Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand are scrambling to deal with the effects of a Jan.
Asia Sentinel 

Increasing Affordability of Smartphones and Easy Accessibility to High-Speed Internet Driving ASEAN Smart Education and Learning Market
The smart education and learning market in the ASEAN region is rising due to government initiatives towards digitizing education, increasing use of smartphones and tablets, internet penetration and developed information and communication (ICT) infrastructure.
— CMFE News (media release) (blog)

Alibaba counters Amazon’s expansion in SE Asia
Only a week after U.S. e-commerce group revealed its intention to enter the Vietnamese market, Alibaba Group Holding has made a countermove to secure its own growth path in Southeast Asia’s burgeoning e-commerce industry.
— Nikkei Asian Review

ASEAN Summit wrap: living with neighbours, managing China’s alternative, and bridges to somewhere
Sitting in the largely lifeless media centre of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s $56-million grand diplomatic gambit, it was hard not to be struck by the irony of Australia’s earnest embrace of the ASEAN way, with its emphasis on consultation and non-intervention.
— Lowy Institute

Getting the most out of ASEAN is crucial for Australia
Malcolm Turnbull achieved a lot just by getting most ASEAN nation leaders to a special summit with Australia in Sydney.
— Financial Review

Pope’s appointments in India and ASEAN
Pope has appointed Bishop Peter Machado of Belgaum as Archbishop of Bangalore. He has also appointed Archbishop Piero Pioppo as Apostolic Nuncio to ASEAN.
— Vatican News

Australia, Asean agree to start regional infrastructure cooperation Newburgh Gazette
The summit concluded with the issuance of the Sydney Declaration, in which Canberra and Asean agreed that the centrality of Asean was a concept that Australia fully adopted.
— Newburgh Gazette

Cambodia morning newsCambodia Morning News

Compiled by Sreypov Men    @MenSreypov


Cambodia-China’s Hong Kong Trade Volume Reaches 1.2 Bln USD In 2017
Trade volume between Cambodia and China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) was valued at 1.2 billion U.S. dollars in 2017, an average increase of 3.1 percent a year since 2013, a HKSAR’s top economic official said Monday.
— UrduPoint

GMS Countries Sign New Deal, Boost Transport Connectivity
Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) countries reached an agreement last week on the implementation of the cross-border transport facilitation agreement (CBTA), which, starting June 1, will enable the issuance of regional road transport permits and temporary admission documents for commercial vehicles.
— B2B

Phnom Penh Post ‘facing closure’ after huge tax bill
Cambodia’s last bastion of independent daily news, The Phnom Penh Post, is facing closure after being hit with a huge tax bill, making it the latest casualty in a government crackdown on the media, sources close to the newspaper say.
— UCA News

See here for more of today’s Cambodia Morning News


Indonesia morning newsIndonesia Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @stmarisewudolu


Indonesia sells 8.44 trillion rupiah in retail sukuk -finance ministry
The Indonesian government on Monday sold 8.44 trillion rupiah ($613.19 million) of Islamic bonds to local retail investors to help finance its budget, the Finance Ministry’s financing and risk management office said.
— Reuters

BPK: Freeport Indonesia Causes State Loss of IDR185 Trillion
The Indonesia Supreme Audit Board (BPK) reports that Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) has caused state losses of IDR185 trillion due to mining waste disposal.
— Netral News

Indonesia plans to import 9 mil barrels of gasoline in Apr, flat from Mar: traders
Indonesia’s state-owned Pertamina plans to import around 9 million barrels of gasoline in April, unchanged from the estimate for March, based on a survey of market participants last week.
— S&P Global Platts

See here for more of today’s Indonesia Morning News


Lao PDR morning newsLao PDR Morning News

Compiled by Leakhena Khat    @leakhenakhat


Govt to step up community awareness of UXO risk 
The National Regulatory Authority (NRA) for the UXO/Mine Action sector plans to continue to remove and destroy unexploded ordnance (UXO) while also providing more education to affected communities about the risks involved in living with UXO.
— Vientiane Times

Protecting Lao workers’ rights, interests ‘important’: Chinese ambassador 
The Chinese Embassy to Laos attaches great importance to protecting the rights and interests of Lao nationals working for Chinese companies, China’s Ambassador to Laos Wang Wentian told the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare last week.
— Vientiane Times 

Lao stock market eyes more firms listed
Lao Securities Commission, in charge of making the rules governing the Lao Securities Exchange, announced in its 2016-2025 Strategic Plan that it would help more companies to list on the Lao stock market.
— Xinhua Net 

See here for more of today’s Lao Morning News

Malaysia morning newsMalaysia Morning News

Compiled by Sreypov Men    @MenSreypov


US$1 billion bridging loan for Petronas Chemicals
Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd has executed a bridging loan agreement of US$1 billion (RM3.9 billion) with external lenders comprising local and international banks, being one of the conditions for the divestment of its 50% stake in PRPC Polymers Sdn Bhd to Saudi Arabian Oil Co (Saudi Aramco).
— The Sun Daily

Infrastructure, refinancing to drive capital raising in Malaysia
THE Malaysian capital market grew 12.6% to 3.2 trillion ringgit (US$816.33 billion) in 2017 with the total capital raised amounting to 146.6 billion ringgit driven by better economic fundamentals and a recovery in corporate earnings.
— The Assert

Finance Ministry studying proposal to tax tech giants
The Ministry of Finance is conducting a detailed study on the proposed taxation on giant technology companies and social media such as Google and Facebook.
— The Borneo Post

See here for more of today’s Malaysia Morning News


Myanmar morning newsMyanmar Morning News

Compiled by Leakhena Khat    @leakhenakhat


Malcolm Turnbull encourages Aung San Suu Kyi to resettle Rohingya
Malcolm Turnbull has encouraged Aung San Suu Kyi to resettle displaced Rohingya but Amnesty International has criticised Australia for adopting a “softly softly” approach on the humanitarian crisis during the Myanmar leader’s visit.
— The Guardian

Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi cancels Lowy Institute lecture
Her appearance, which was being hosted by the Lowy Institute, was set to be Ms Suu Kyi’s only public speaking arrangement while in Australia for the ASEAN summit.

Myanmar considers law that could restrict work of UN, INGOs
Myanmar government, struggling to handle accusations of ethnic cleansing over its treatment of Rohingyas, is contemplating new legislation that would seek greater oversight of the work of international non-governmental organizations, including the United Nations, prompting concerns of a crackdown on their activities, The Washington Post reports.
— Dhaka Tribune 

See here for more of today’s Myanmar Morning News


Philippines morning newsPhilippines Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @stmarisewudolu


Philand to Union Bank: Pay P18M in damages
CITING a final ruling by the Supreme Court, Philand Property Corp. said that Union Bank of the Philippines must pay P17.8 million in damages over a case involving misappropriation by a former accountant of the developer.
— The Manila Times

Philippines to issue $230m panda bond, in a first for SE Asia 
The Philippines said it will issue an inaugural 1.46 billion yuan ($230 million) three-year “panda“ bond in the onshore Chinese market on Tuesday.
— Deal Street Asia

Senate Oks bill instituting single official ID for all citizens, foreign residents
The 24-member Senate passed on third and final reading today a bill seeking to harmonize, integrate and interconnect “countless and redundant” government identification cards (IDs) with a national identification system.
— Manila Bulletin

See here for more of today’s Philippines Morning News

Singapore morning newsSingapore Morning News

Compiled by Leakhena Khat   @leakhenakhat


MAS fines StanChart Singapore S$5.2m for anti-money laundering, terrorism financing breaches
Standard Chartered Bank, Singapore Branch (SCBS) has been fined S$5.2 million and Standard Chartered Trust (Singapore) Limited (SCTS) has been fined S$1.2 million for breaches of the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism requirements.
— Channel NewsAsia

Alibaba to invest another $2b in Lazada, replaces CEO
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. will invest another $2 billion in Southeast Asian e-commerce platform Lazada and install one of its most senior executives to run the business, it announced on Monday.
 Deal Street Asia 

90k employers in Singapore to receive more than S$800m under WCS
By end of this month (31 March 2018), over 90,000 employers in Singapore will receive more than S$800 million in payouts under the Wage Credit Scheme (WCS).
— Human Resources Online

See here for more of today’s Singapore Morning News


Thailand morning newsThailand Morning News

Compiled by John Le Fevre    @photo_journ


ADB finances 25MW biomass power plant in Thailand
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Gulf Chana Green Company (Chana Green) have reached financial close for a loan of up to THB1.109bn ($35m) for the development of a biomass power plant in Thailand.

Loan guarantee firm sets Bt500bn target under new fiveyear plan 
Thai Credit Guarantee Corporation (TCGC)’s fiveyear plan for 2018-22 is to lift its outstanding loan guarantees to Bt500 billion, covering 450,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) nationwide, senior executive vice president Wichet Warakul said recently.
— The Nation

Thai beaches to face strict rules to undo damage of tourism
THE Thai government is planning to adopt drastic measures against increasing environmental damage caused by tourism on three popular islands in southern Thailand.

See here for more of today’s Thailand Morning News


Vietnam morning newsVietnam Morning News

Compiled by Sreypov Men    @MenSreypov


Catfish sector plans $2b export target in 2018
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has targeted to earn US$2 billion from catfish exports this year, accounting for 31.5 per cent of the fishery industry’s total export value.
— Bizhub

Vietnamese firm to build chicken processing factory for export
The CP Vietnam Corporation, based in the southern province of Binh Phuoc, plans to invest in a project to raise and process 100 million chickens per year for export.
— VietnamPlus

Vietnam’s fruits, vegetables entering strict markets
Vietnamese fruits and vegetables are drawing significant interests from strict markets like the Unites States, Japan and Australia, opening opportunities for the products to sharply increase exports.
— The Hanoi Times

See here for more of today’s Vietnam Morning News

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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