Southeast Asia

Signs of end to tech slump offer hope to Asia’s economies

(Aug 2): The worst may soon be over for an electronics slump that has dogged Asia’s export-driven economies.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. economists said a rebound in technology exports is overdue, citing gradual improvement in South Korean trade and evidence the memory-chip cycle is reaching its low point.

While South Korean semiconductor shipments plunged 28% by value in July, they rose 15% by volume. The nation’s inventories of semiconductors fell a second straight month in June, a sign that orders are picking up.

Political flashpoints could hurt Southeast Asia

SINGAPORE (July 22): With major elections in India, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines over, talks resuming between North Korea and the US, President Donald Trump calling off a military strike against Iran at the last minute, and China and the US negotiating again on their trade disputes, it might seem that political risks are contained. But this is a complacent view. As we outline below, there are too many political hot spots around the world where there are rising risks of some kind of dislocation that will affect Southeast Asia.

Political flashpoints could hurt Southeast Asia

SINGAPORE (July 22): With major elections in India, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines over, talks resuming between North Korea and the US, President Donald Trump calling off a military strike against Iran at the last minute, and China and the US negotiating again on their trade disputes, it might seem that political risks are contained. But this is a complacent view. As we outline below, there are too many political hot spots around the world where there are rising risks of some kind of dislocation that will affect Southeast Asia.

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China raises security warning on ships plying Malacca Strait

(July 4): China raised the security level for its vessels heading through the Strait of Malacca, a key Asian trade route and major oil choke point.

The transport ministry advised Chinese-flagged ships to take heightened security steps and increased its security warning to level three, according to a copy of a July 2 notice posted on a website affiliated with the ministry.

Singapore considers cut to growth forecast as trade war hits exports

(June 27): Singapore's central bank is reviewing its 1.5-2.5% economic growth forecast for this year and isn't ruling out off-cycle monetary easing as the US-China trade war roils the export-dependent economy, its chief Ravi Menon said on Thursday.

Singapore's economy is expected to grow at its slowest pace in a decade this year, and some are predicting a recession in 2020, with the high-tech manufacturing hub more vulnerable to the trade war than others in Southeast Asia.

China no match for Japan in Southeast Asia infrastructure race

(June 24): Japan is still winning the Southeast Asia infrastructure race against China, with pending projects worth almost one and a half times its rival, according to the latest data from Fitch Solutions.

Japanese-backed projects in the region’s six biggest economies -- Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam -- are valued at US$367 billion ($497 billion), the figures show. China’s tally is US$255 billion.

Southeast Asian leaders to meet in shadow of Trump's trade war

(June 21): The leaders of Southeast Asia’s economies are set to gather in Thailand this weekend as the shadow of President Donald Trump’s trade war keeps the region on edge.

The summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations comes two weeks after Group of 20 finance ministers faced similar challenges: wobbling demand and bleeding business and investor sentiment as the US and China feud. The weakening electronics cycle is particularly bad news for Asian exporters.

DBS Foundation opens submissions for 2019 Social Enterprise Grant

SINGAPORE (June 19): DBS Foundation has launched the 2019 cycle of the DBS Foundation Social Enterprise Grant - which has helped more than 100 social enterprises (SEs) from countries such as Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Taiwan achieve their goals for a more sustainable world.

These SEs have deployed social innovations across the region in areas such as healthcare, social inclusion, environment protection, waste management, food sustainability, as well as employment and income generation for the marginalised.

Export growth expected to remain under pressure across Asia: Oxford Economics

SINGAPORE (Mar 29): A weakening trend in Chinese import demand and slower global trade will continue to weigh heavily on exports across Asia, according to Oxford Economics.

“We expect exports to remain under pressure this year from weak Chinese demand and slower global trade, as well as the slowdown in the ICT (information and communications technology) cycle,” the group says in a report on Friday.

It notes that nominal export growth fell 3.8% y-o-y in the first two months of the year, which was primarily driven by a sharp fall in North Asian exports.

Singapore's 2019 GDP growth forecast to moderate to 2.4% on external headwinds

SINGAPORE (Mar 18): The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) is expecting Singapore’s GDP growth to moderate to 2.4% in 2019 from 3.2% in the previous year, against the backdrop of a more challenging environment for exports and the manufacturing sector.

This is according to the institute’s latest Economic Insight: South-East Asia report, which is produced by Oxford Economics, the institute’s partner and economic forecaster.

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