Wednesday, September 28, 2011

20110928 1601 Local & Global Market Related News.

The government has agreed to set a minimum retirement age for the private sector but  has yet to decide on a specific age, despite reports that it would be 60 years,  Human  Resource Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam said. He agreed with the unions and the  Malaysian Employers’ Federation (MEF) that the retirement age had to be raised as people  now lived longer and needed money for the remaining 20 to 30 years of their life.  
• He also said they would take all views into account before deciding on the most feasible  minimum retirement age, adding that the new Minimum Retirement for Private Sector Bill  could be tabled in the next Parliament session. (The Star)

Malaysia has maintained its third ranking in the 2011 Asian Sustainability Rating (ASR)  albeit registering a lower average score this year (39% vs. 42% in 2010). The inclusion of  new and poorly-performing companies held back Malaysia's score and was enough to  result in a decline in the average for the country.
• However, with Bursa Malaysia expected to launch the  Environment, Social and  Government (ESG) Index by end-2012, this average is likely to improve.  
• The ASR is a proprietary set of 100 sustainability indicators, covering disclosures on the  main elements of ESG risk, comprising 750 companies from 10 Asian countries selected  according to free float market capitalisiation.
• South Korean companies maintained its first position. Thailand ranked number two,  while India fell two notches to number four, followed by Taiwan, Singapore, China,  Indonesia, Hong Kong and the Philippines. (Bernama)

Trade between Vietnam and Malaysia is expected to hit US$6bn (RM18.9bn) by yearend (US$5bn or RM15.8bn in 2010), said Vu Van Canh, head trade counsellor at  Vietnam’s embassy in Kuala Lumpur. In 1H11, the trade number had hit more than  US$3bn (RM9.5bn). Crude oil, rice and steel products were Vietnam’s major exports to  Malaysia, while its main imports were petroleum products, computers, electronics and  spare parts. (BT)

U.S. home prices declined less than forecast in Jul from a year earlier, a sign bank delays  in processing foreclosures may have temporarily slowed the slump in real-estate values.  The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20  cities fell 4.1% yoy in Jul (-4.4% to  Jun), the group said. Economists projected a 4.4% decline. On a seasonally adjusted mom  basis, values were little changed in Jul, the same as in Jun. (Bloomberg)  

U.S. consumer confidence stagnated in Sep near a two-year low as the share of  households saying it was difficult to find a job climbed to the highest level in almost three  decades. The Conference Board’s sentiment index increased to 45.4 in Sep, from a 45.2  reading in Aug that was the lowest since Apr 09, when the economy was in a recession,  figures from the group showed. (Bloomberg)  

Apple looks set next week to unveil its much-awaited new iPhone, which analysts say will  have a bigger screen and work better with remote computing services. Apple on Tuesday  invited media to a "special event" called "Let's talk iPhone" on October 4 at its Cupertino,  California headquarters, an unusual location for a company that typically introduces major  products at larger venues in San Francisco. (Reuters)

China: Industrial profits rise 28.2% for January-to-August
Chinese industrial companies’ profits rose 28.2% in the first eight months of 2011 from a year earlier, aiding the expansion of the world’s second- biggest economy. Net income climbed to CNY3.2trn (USD500bn), the National Bureau of Statistics said. The rise compared with a 28.3% increase from January through July. Rising profits may help support investment and sustain growth as the world’s largest exporting nation faces weakening demand because of Europe’s debt crisis and a faltering US recovery. (Bloomberg)

Germany: Cuts fourth-quarter debt plan as tax receipts surge
Germany cut its fourth-quarter debt-sale plan, the second quarterly reduction this year, after tax receipts boosted government coffers and reduced Chancellor Angela Merkel’s net new borrowing needs. The government will cut gross borrowing in the last three months of this year by EUR16bn (USD21.6bn), a 24% reduction from the initial amount, to EUR52bn, the Federal Finance Agency said. The cuts mean that Merkel’s government trimmed EUR27bn in debt sales this year from its original plan to EUR275bn. (Bloomberg)

India’s  inflation rate remains above the level the central bank deems acceptable,  Governor Duvvuri Subbarao indicated, underscoring that pressure remains for monetary  tightening in Asia’s third-largest economy. “Inflation has been fairly stubborn,” Subbarao  said. “Above a threshold, you can’t accept high inflation to have higher growth,” he said,  adding that the price-rise limit is as much as 6% for the nation. (Bloomberg)  

South Korea’s  government plans to cut its  fiscal deficit next year as the European  sovereign debt crisis underscored the need for global policy makers to control their  borrowing. Total spending will rise 5.5% to KRW326.1tr (US$273bn), while tax revenue will  gain 9.5% to KRW344.1tr, the Ministry of Strategy and Finance said in its budget proposal  for 2012 released. The government’s deficit will  shrink to KRW14.3tr, or 1% of gross  domestic product in 2012, from KRW25tr, or 2% this year, according to its calculations.  (Bloomberg)  

Indonesia's central bank signaled on Tuesday it may cut interest rates as Europe's debt  crisis drives down the rupiah, stirs volatility in stock prices and takes a toll on Southeast  Asia's biggest economy. (Reuters)  

Chinese industrial profits rose 28.2% yoy in 8M11 (vs 28.3% in 7M11) to Rmb 3.2tr  (US$500bn). (Bloomberg)  

Vietnam’s government said it will limit credit growth to a maximum of 17% while cutting  money supply growth to no higher than 13% this year to curb inflation. (Bloomberg)  

India's infrastructure sector output grew 3.5% yoy in Aug (7.5% in Jul). The infrastructure  sector accounts for 37.9% of India's industrial output. (Reuters)  

Thailand, the world’s largest  rice exporter, cut its estimate for output from the main  harvest by 2.4% after floods damaged farmland, a state agency said. Production, which  accounts for about 70% of total output, may reach 24.5m tons, from an earlier estimate of  25.1m tons. Thailand’s government will spend THB7.2bn (US$232m) to assist farmers  affected by flooding. (Bloomberg)

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