Wednesday, October 12, 2011

20111012 0953 Local & Global Economic Related News.

Malaysia: Production rises on manufacturing, electricity output
Malaysia’s industrial production rose in August as manufacturing and electricity output climbed, a rebound that may be short-lived as a weakening global economy curbs demand for goods. Production at factories, utilities and mines gained 3% from a year earlier after falling a revised 0.5% in July, the statistics department said. That compares with the median estimate for a 0.4% increase in a Bloomberg News survey of 16 economists. (Bloomberg)

Industrial production rose 3% yoy in Aug (-0.5% in Jul), due to the increases  in manufacturing (+4.8%) and electricity sectors (+1.4%). However, the mining  production fell by 1.4%. On a mom basis, the factory output increased 2.6%  (-0.5% in Jul). In Jan-Aug 11, it recorded a 0.6% growth. Economists had  projected the industrial production would decline by 0.3% yoy in Aug.  (Department of Statistics, BT)

The manufacturing sales rose 10.8% yoy to RM49.8bn (+9.5% in Jul). On a  mom basis, the sales value increased by 0.2% (+0.5% in Jul).  In Jan-Aug 11, it  recorded a growth of 10.6% to RM390.2bn. Total employees engaged in the manufacturing sector rose 2.7% yoy to  1m persons (+3.5% in Jul). Salaries & wages paid in Aug soared by 5.4% to RM2.3bn (+9.5% to  RM2.4bn in Jul).  Average salaries & wages paid per employee increased by 2.6% yoy to  RM2,288 (+5.8% to RM2,348 in Jul). Productivity rose by 7.9% yoy to RM49,175 (+6.1% to RM48,707 in Jul).  (Department of Statistics)

The Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry has assured that the supply  of rice in the country remains stable amid massive flooding in Thailand. Its  minister, Datuk Seri Noh Omar has urged the public not to resort to panic  buying  or speculation as the flood situation had not affected Malaysia  drastically.  There was enough stock of rice in the country as the next future contract  for 307,000 tonnes of rice per year from Thailand had been signed and  the government had been steadily stockpiling rice.  "We have already got half the supply while the rest is safely kept in  Bangkok, which is not affected by floods, and will be bring it in soon,"  he noted. (Bernama)

All applications for the  Treasury housing loans have to be made online,  effective 1 Jan next year, the Treasury Housing Loan Division secretary, Datuk  Shuib Md Yusop said. The Housing Loan Division (BPP), he said, had been  given three months to shift to the online system. BPP, he said, received almost  3,000 loan applications every month, including about 300 from Sabah.  (Bernama)

Malaysia will exchange documents for  three major deals at the  8th  China-Asean Expo (CAEXPO 2011) in Nanning, China, from 21 to 26 Oct.  Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) CEO Dr Wong  Lai Sum said the ceremony will be held at the Malaysia Pavilion where 132  Malaysian companies, 16 government agencies and three associations will have  their booths. Wong said that in terms of product sales at this year's exhibition,  Matrade's estimate was RM100m. (Bernama)

The government has urged the  private sector to be brave in participating in  venture capital and drive Malaysia into a knowledge-based high-income  economy. Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin said venture  capital is important in encouraging innovation, new technology and ideas, that  can contribute to a knowledge-based economy. Last year, the amount of venture  capital in Malaysia was worth RM6bn with 51.4% of the funding coming from  government. The industry is expected to grow by 16% annually. (Bernama)

The government is confident of achieving its targeted 4.7%  budget deficit in  2012 on the back of prudent management of the country’s fiscal account, said  Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin. He said the  government very rarely exceeded the targeted deficit in the past. He added that  as long as Malaysia does not overspend, the deficit target is attainable.  (Financial Daily) 

Japan's  current account surplus shrank 64.3% yoy in Aug, the sixth  straight monthly fall as higher energy import costs overshadowed a  small gain  in exports, data showed. The surplus in the current account stood at ¥407.5bn  (US$5.3bn) in Aug before seasonal adjustment, finance ministry data showed.  Economists expected a ¥446.9bn surplus. (AFP)

Japan saw a  trade deficit of ¥694.7bn in Aug, from a surplus of ¥170.6bn a  year earlier. Exports rose 4.0% yoy in Aug, but imports jumped 22.4%. (AFP)

Japanese consumer confidence was 38.6 in Sep, up from 37.0 in Aug. A  reading below 50 suggests consumer pessimism. (Reuters)

European Union and  International Monetary Fund officials indicated  Greece will get an €8bn (US$11bn) loan next month under a €110bn bailout, as  European leaders move to reopen talks on a new package that may mean deeper  writedowns on Greek debt. (Bloomberg)

European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet said Europe’s debt  crisis now threatens the region’s financial system as officials race to put  together a new plan to end the turmoil. ―Sovereign stress has moved from  smaller economies to some of the larger countries. The crisis is systemic and  must be tackled decisively.‖ (Bloomberg)

Indonesia’s central bank unexpectedly cut its benchmark  interest rate by  25bps to 6.5%. Economists expected no change. (Bloomberg)

Indonesia's domestic car sales rose 62.4% yoy in Sep. Domestic car sales  volumes reached 79,835 units from 49,147 units in Sep last year, when sales  were the lowest in 2010, according to data from Indonesia's Automotive  Manufacturers Association. (Reuters)

Indonesia's domestic motorcycle sales, rose 50.6% yoy to 721,764 units in  Sep, according to data from Indonesia's Motorcycle Industry Association (AISI).  (Reuters)

Foreign direct investment (FDI) in China rose 15.6% yoy to US$14.03bn in  Sep. FDI increased 17.4% in 2010 to US$105.7bn. (AFP)

Thailand’s Cabinet approved a proposal to reduce the corporate tax rate to  23%, Deputy Finance Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom said. (Bloomberg)

Thailand may set aside THB80bn (US$2.6bn) to help the country recover from  recent flooding. Thailand’s government maintained its  budget deficit and  spending targets for the fiscal year started 1 Oct, and asked state agencies to  set aside 10% of their investment and operating budgets to aid the economy.  (Bloomberg)

In the Philippines, loan growth net of reverse repurchase (RRP) deals was  1.4% mom in Aug (1.4% in Jul) and 19.8% yoy (19.1% in Jul). (Reuters)

Thailand will need to cut its forecast for economic growth this year because  of the  impact of nationwide flooding, Thai Prime Minister Yingluck  Shinawatra said, without giving any figures. Flooding in Ayutthaya province has  caused as much as THB60bn of damage to the Rojana Industrial Park, Yingluck  said. (Bloomberg)

Thailand’s government maintained its  budget deficit and spending targets  for the fiscal year started Oct. 1, and asked state agencies to set aside money to  help the economy recover from nationwide floods. State agencies have been  asked to set aside 10% of their investment and operating budgets to help aid the  economy once the floods subside. (Bloomberg)

Indonesia/Philippine: Asia girds for risks with Indonesia rate cut, Philippine package
Asian policy makers are bolstering efforts to protect their economies from weakening global growth, as Indonesia unexpectedly cut interest rates and the Philippines prepares to unveil a stimulus plan this week. Bank Indonesia lowered its reference rate by a quarter of a percentage point to 6.5% yesterday, defying the predictions of all 15 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. Philippine President Benigno Aquino is due to announce details of a PHP72.1bn (USD1.7bn) spending package today, while Singapore’s central bank is forecast by economists to say this week that it will slow or end its currency appreciation. Emerging-market nations have turned from fighting inflation to supporting growth as a struggling US recovery and deepening European crisis threaten the global economy. Brazil, Turkey, Russia and Pakistan have cut borrowing costs in 2011, while Asian countries have refrained from further rate increases in recent weeks. (Bloomberg)

ECB: said to oppose German push to alter July 21 rescue accord
The European Central Bank opposes Germany’s push to rewrite the euro area’s 12 week-old-rescue plan as leaders prepare the ground for a potential Greek default, a central bank official said. ECB policy makers inserted a line into last week’s monthly policy statement that was aimed at Germany’s push to impose bigger haircuts on European banks, the official said under condition of anonymity. The sentence, read out by President Jean-Claude Trichet at a press conference in Berlin, urges “all euro area governments to fully implement all aspects” of the 21 July summit agreement. German and French leaders are moving beyond the July accord, which targets bank losses of 21% on Greek debt, amid rising pressure to stem a crisis that threatens the world economy. Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Nicolas Sarkozy yesterday pledged to provide a blueprint for recapitalizing European banks that would help them survive any Greek default. (Bloomberg)

US: Senate blocks Obama’s USD447bn plan to boost job creation
Opponents of President Barack Obama’s USD447bn jobs plan had enough votes to block the measure in the Senate, with at least one Democrat joining Republicans to derail his prime proposal to help turn around the struggling economy. The tally on the test vote wasn’t completed by early evening as the roll call remained open for a senator who was on her way back to Washington to vote. There were more than 40 votes against permitting debate on the measure, effectively shelving it. The broad plan includes cuts in payroll taxes for workers and employers and provides new funding for roads, bridges and other infrastructure. (Bloomberg)

US: Panel proposes criteria for systemically risky firms
The US Financial Stability Oversight Council approved the draft of a rule setting standards for leverage and debt that will help the panel determine which non-bank financial firms require Federal Reserve scrutiny. Regulators will evaluate companies with more than USD50bn in assets if they meet any one or more of the following thresholds, the council said: A 15-to-1 leverage ratio; USD3.5bn in derivatives liabilities; USD20bn of outstanding loans borrowed and bonds issued; USD30bn in gross notional credit-default swaps outstanding; or a 10% ratio of short-term debt to assets. The council, headed by Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, approved the criteria to help identify firms that may be systemically important. Firms that meet those thresholds aren’t necessarily designated for Fed supervision. The proposal is open to a 60-day public comment period and can be changed. (Bloomberg)

US: Employment index declines for second straight month
A measure of job prospects in the US fell in September for a second month, indicating the labor market will struggle to improve through year-end. The Conference Board’s Employment Trends Index declined 0.4%, the most in five months, to 100.95 from the prior month’s revised reading of 101.37, the New York-based private research group said. The measure was up 4.4% from September 2010. Figures follow a Labor Department report last week that showed payrolls rose by a more-than-forecast 103,000 workers in September while the unemployment rate held at 9.1%. Even faster job growth may be needed to reduce the jobless rate, keep consumers spending and boost the economy. (Bloomberg)

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