Thursday, April 30, 2009

Happy May Day Asia!

A look at some news hitting the presses as those of us in the America's bring our day to a close.

Taiwan’s Warmer China Ties May Speed Recovery From Record Slump

Taiwan’s closer ties with China may help its economy recover more quickly from a record slump, boosting confidence, investment and its ability to benefit from growth in the mainland...

“Taiwan is well-positioned to benefit from the improving cross-strait ties, especially with China expected to come back robustly from this economic crisis,” said Prakash Sakpal, an economist at ING Bank NV in Singapore. “Demand from China will be a good buffer.”


China Banks Surge to World’s Biggest May Be Too Good to Be True

Just when the world is beginning to appreciate China’s biggest banks, unencumbered by Wall Street assets of no discernible value and fortified by record first- quarter lending, some analysts say it’s too good to be true.

While Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., China Construction Bank Corp. and Bank of China Ltd., three of the world’s four largest banks by market value, led an increase in lending focused on investments in railways, roads and ports, similar state-directed loans caused bad debts to snowball in the 1990s. The resulting rescue cost $650 billion and took 10 years.

“We suspect some of the banks may have compromised their risk-management and risk-aversion attitude to meet targets and government expectations,” said Wen Chunling, a Beijing-based analyst at Fitch Ratings. “That will lead to a rebound in non- performing loans in the next few years.”


Asia Seeks Reserve Pool Completion Amid Growth Recovery Signs

Southeast Asian finance ministers and their counterparts from Japan, China and South Korea may complete discussions on a currency pool agreement this weekend amid signs the worst of the region’s economic crisis may be over.

Officials from 13 countries are gathering in Bali on May 3 to finalize each nation’s contribution to the $120 billion pool of foreign-exchange reserves that can be used to defend their currencies in times of financial turmoil. They will meet at the sidelines of the Asian Development Bank’s annual meeting on the Indonesian resort island.

“As recent as a few months ago, there were expectations that at least one country will need to tap the reserve pool for funds before this crisis is over,” said Vishnu Varathan, a regional economist at Forecast Singapore Pte. “With signs that the slowdown is easing and of stability in the financial arena, that seems unlikely now.”


Australia - Swan warns revenue write-off may be one of biggest

AUSTRALIA will register a revenue write-down in the Federal Budget of more than $115 billion due to the global financial crisis, Treasurer Wayne Swan says.

"Certainly, there's been a revenue write-down because of the global recession between the last Budget and February of about $115 billion,'' Mr Swan told reporters in Sydney.

Because of slowing growth, the global recession had become worse and there would be further revenue write-downs in next month's Budget, he said.