Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Asia News Wire

India's central bank cuts key rates by 25 basis points -- ChannelNewsAsia

MUMBAI: India's central bank on Tuesday lowered two key short-term interest rates by 25 basis points each, in an effort to arrest a slowdown in Asia's third largest economy.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) lowered the repo – the rate at which it lends to commercial banks – to a record low of 4.75 per cent, from a peak of 9.0 per cent seen last year.

It also announced a cut in the reverse repo – the rate at which it borrows from banks – to 3.25 per cent.

"The major challenge at this stage is to support drivers for demand, to enable the economy to return to a high growth path," RBI governor D. Subbarao said in the annual policy statement for the year to March 2010.

Hong Kong's composite interest rate fell to 0.29 percent at the end of March from 0.33 percent at the end of February, the Monetary Authority of Hong Kong said on Tuesday.


China to launch more stimulus investment in Q2 --
China Securities Journal (CSJ)

The Chinese central government is expected to launch its third batch of stimulus investments in large domestic projects in the second quarter to further boost its economy, according to the China Securities Journal Tuesday, citing an unidentified source.

The central government has so far cashed in a combined 230 billion yuan (33.8 billion U.S. dollars) for its 4-trillion-yuan stimulus package announced last November to bolster the slowing economy, 100 billion yuan in the fourth quarter and 130 billion yuan in the first quarter.

The newspaper said the new money would continue to be poured in projects that could benefit people's livelihood, such as health and education sectors, big infrastructure projects, and housing for low-income earners. Previous investments were dedicated to similar purposes.

An official of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) confirmed the new investment, but said the exact amount was not decided yet. He spoke to Xinhua Tuesday morning on condition of anonymity.