Asean Morning News For April 25

The most comprehensive #Asean Morning News Roundup published

Asean Morning News For April 25
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Asean morning newsAsean Morning News

Compiled by AEC News Today    @aecnewstoday


US urges Asean to criticise N.Korea ‘strongly’
The United States is urging Asean to issue a statement strongly criticising North Korea during its leaders’ summit in Manila this week, according to Asean diplomats.
— Bangkok Post

Asean at 50: Slowly but surely
While most Metro Manilans look forward to a long weekend (five days for government employees and three days for those in the private sector) and security preparations are underway for the 30th ASEAN Summit, change is a word that is definitely not high on the agenda.
– The Philippine Star

ASEAN easing stance on China’s maritime encroachment
As leaders of Southeast Asian nations prepare to meet for an annual summit starting Wednesday, their collective stance against China’s territorial ambitions appears to have grown markedly softer, reflecting delicate balancing acts by countries vying for economic assistance from Beijing.
– Nikkei Asian Review

ASEAN summit offers Duterte a global stage
COMING OFF his topping TIME magazine’s 2017 poll of the world’s most influential people, President Rodrigo R. Duterte is expected to hog the regional limelight as he presides over the April 26-29 30th ASEAN Summit in Manila that culminates on Saturday, foreign policy experts said yesterday.
— BusinessWorld Online

ASEAN Cyber Challenge Exposed in New Interpol Probe
Anti-cybercrime operation offers yet more evidence of the scale of the problem in Southeast Asia.
— The Diplomat

12 ASEAN brands that have gone global
Jollibee, San Miguel Beer, Potato Corner – these are some familiar homegrown brands for Filipinos. But these proudly Pinoy brands are fast becoming known in Southeast Asia, with some even venturing beyond the region and bringing their products to the global market.
— Rappler

PIA-NCR brings “Landmarks of ASEAN Exhibit” to Trinoma
In an effort to help spread awareness on ASEAN, the Philippine Information Agency-National Capital Region (PIA-NCR) in partnership with the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) will conduct mall tours in Metro Manila.
— Philippine Information Agency

Australia’s Square Peg Capital to focus on consumer Internet plays in ASEAN
Australia’s Square Peg Capital, which recently raised an oversubscribed $180 million fund and currently manages approximately A$300 million in assets, has plans for Southeast Asia that concentrate on consumer Internet plays, given its recognition of the ASEAN technology ecosystem reaching an inflexion point as the regional economy matures.
— Deal Street Asia


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Cambodia morning newsCambodia Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat


HKL gets $15 million to grow MFI operations
Cambodian microlender Hattha Kaksekar Ltd (HKL) has secured a $15 million cash injection to expand its business operations from its parent company, Thailand’s Bank of Ayudhya, Hout Ieng Tong, president and CEO of HKL, confirmed yesterday.
The Phnom Penh Post

Krungsri pumps $15 million into Cambodian microfinance subsidiary
Krungsri (Bank of Ayudhya) has announced the capital injection of US$15 million (Bt515 million) into Hattha Kaksekar Limited (HKL), a wholly owned microfinance subsidiary in Cambodia.
– The Nation

NBC signs blockchain agreement
The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) has signed an agreement with a Japanese firm to develop a blockchain-based payment system that could potentially allow for the regulated usage of a cryptocurrency, which would eliminate the use of formal financial institutions to send and receive money.
— The Phnom Penh Post

Is Cambodia ready for SE Asia’s tallest building?
There is a desire to urbanise like other big cities in the region, but experts say time is not right for phnom penH to reach for the sky
– The Nation

MFIs seek ministry support
The Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) is planning to form a joint committee chaired by government officials and microfinance institutions (MFIs) to promote small loan disbursements as the new 18 percent loan interest rate cap takes effect, according to an announcement released by the government on Friday.
— The Phnom Penh Post

Citing Safety Protocols, Government to Send Maids to Hong Kong
Cambodia agreed to help Hong Kong meet its growing demand for domestic workers on Monday by signing off on a pilot program that could see the first group of 1,000 maids arrive in the region before year’s end.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

CNRP likened to Khmer Rouge by outlet
Pro-government media outlet Fresh News yesterday took a CNRP workshop with a US-based pro-democracy organisation as an opportunity to publish a scathing article likening the opposition to the murderous Khmer Rouge regime, a comparison dismissed as “absurd” by the opposition and scholars alike.
The Phnom Penh Post

Surrogate Babies Crossing Border a Concern, Ministry Says
Steps are needed to stop foreign parents from taking babies born to Cambodian surrogate mothers across the border without the required court orders and permissions, an Interior Ministry official said on Monday.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Few takers so far for surrogacy exit policy
Nearly three weeks after announcing a way for intended parents to exit the country with babies born to surrogate mothers, few applications appear to have been submitted to the courts to begin the process.
The Phnom Penh Post

More products seek GI status
The European Union is expected to include Kampong Speu palm sugar into its registry of protected geographical indicators (GI) products by July, with the government now hoping the increased demand and added value of Cambodian agricultural products would pave the way for Kampot salt to receive the same treatment.
The Phnom Penh Post

Startups discuss local challenges
Cambodian startups currently face several regulatory challenges in pursuing growth and profitability, according to three of the Kingdom’s most successful startup founders who shared their experiences over the weekend with the hope to inspire increased innovation and entrepreneurship.
The Phnom Penh Post

After Charges Dropped, Former Khmer Rouge Cadre Chaem to ‘Live in Peace’
Im Chaem is riding her bicycle along a dusty road with her grandson towards a cattle field where she and her grandson will feed the livestock before sundown.

Cambodian Opposition Leader Optimistic About Communal Elections
Cambodia’s opposition party leader told his supporters in a video speech posted online on Monday that upcoming communal elections will be better than the last ones thanks to a revamped National Election Committee that includes members from both the Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP).
Radio Free Asia

China-Cambodia cross-border capital services platform launched
The Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZSE)’s wholly owned subsidiary Shenzhen Securities Information Co., Ltd and the Bank of China Phnom Penh Branch jointly launched the China-Cambodia cross-border capital services platform and held its first road show event here on Monday.

Chinese Delegation’s Visit Signals Rising Interest in Cambodia
An association of Chinese real estate developers and construction firms has visited Cambodia to search for new investment opportunities, a change in tack that industry insiders see as a further sign of accelerating interest in the construction sector.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Hun Sen Inaugurates Bridge Connecting Kandal, Vietnam
Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday attended the opening of a $36.5 million bridge that links Cambodia’s National Road 21 in Kandal province to Vietnam’s An Giang province, boasting that the project would boost trade and cooperation between the two countries.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Senior Chinese official to visit Cambodia
Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi will visit Cambodia on Thursday and Friday and co-chair the fourth meeting of the China-Cambodia intergovernmental coordinating committee with Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Hor Nam Hong.

China’s Hong Kong to have first Cambodian domestic helpers
China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) is expected to have its first batch of Cambodian domestic helpers this September, thanks to relaxation of visa restrictions in order to promote human communications with countries along the Belt and Road Initiative.

Gold Jewelry Repatriated to Cambodia
The Cambodia Daily reports that ten gold artifacts were handed over to Cambodian authorities by a private collector in London.

A Treasure-Hunting Trip to Cambodia and Myanmar
In Myanmar and Cambodia—cousins in suffering and recovery—a renaissance of artistic craftsmanship is pushing out new signs of growth.
Condé Nast Traveler

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc leaves Hanoi for Cambodian tour
PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his spouse officially begin their official visit to the Kingdom of Cambodia from April 24-25 at the invitation of his Cambodian counterpart Samdech Techo Hun Sen.

Cambodian workers bound for Hong Kong in effort to meet demand for skilled domestic helpers
The first batch of 1,000 Cambodian domestic helpers will arrive in Hong Kong this autumn as part of the city’s latest efforts to meet its increasing demand for maids.
South China Morning Post

Adding value to Cambodian tourism
Cambodian Prime Minister, Hun Sen, says the festival known as Angkor Sangkranta should be organised across the country, next year, besides the current venue in Siem Reap.
– TTR Weekly


Indonesia morning newsIndonesia Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee


Chevron to Sell Assets of $10 billion Incl Geothermal Project in Indonesia
Chevron Corp is selling its three Bangladesh gas fields, worth an estimated $2 billion, to a Chinese consortium as the U.S. oil and gas group looks to shed non-core assets this year.
— Netral English

PLN to go nuclear if renewable energy goal flops
State electricity company PT PLN has revived Indonesia’s long held ambition to operate nuclear power plants after it officially floated the idea for the first time in its new business plan, which will guide the company’s operation until 2026.
— The Jakarta Post

Telkom Approves Dividend of Rp 136 Per Share, Appoints New Directors, Commissioner
Shareholders of state-controlled Telekomunikasi Indonesia, or Telkom, approved a final dividend payout of Rp 13.5 trillion ($1 billion), or Rp 136.74 per share.
— Jakarta Globe

World Bank, AIIB ink MoU to strengthen cooperation
World Bank Group president Jim Yong Kim and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) president Jin Liqun signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Sunday to strengthen cooperation and knowledge sharing between the institutions.
— The Jakarta Post

Indonesia: Poultry firm Charoen Pokphand to acquire local 7-Eleven operator
Publicly-listed Charoen Pokphand Indonesia has announced a plan to acquire the local operator of 7-Eleven convenience stores, Modern Sevel Indonesia, for Rp 1 trillion ($75 million).
— Deal Street Asia

Exclusive: Indonesian kebab chain Baba Rafi in talks to sell large stake
Indonesia-based Kebab Turki Baba Rafi (KTBR), that claims to be the world’s largest kebab chain, is in talks with potential investors to sell a large stake, three people close to the development told DEALSTREETASIA.
— Deal Street Asia

New Tech Offers Innovative Solutions To Indonesia’s Construction Industry
Indonesia construction companies, like their global peers, are beginning to adapt to new challenges brought on by climate change and to innovate how they conduct business.
— Malaysian Digest

Indonesian Stocks Expected to Rise on French Presidential Election
Asian shares rose on Tuesday morning (25/04), following the strong performance of Wall Street overnight, supported by easing concerns about the stability of the European Union (EU) after French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron is seen as the clear favorite in the presidential runoff. Macron, a pro-EU centrist, will face Marine Le Pen, an anti-EU nationalist, in the runoff.
— Indonesia Investments

Papua to enjoy improved flow of goods with ‘air-bridge’ program
The government is set to start its “air bridge” program this year to improve the flow of goods and reduce price disparities in Papua, the country’s easternmost province.
— The Jakarta Post

No deals yet in Malaysia, Indonesia for MPIC
Manuel V. Pangilinan-led Metro Pacific Investments Corp. said talks for its tollroad subsidiary to invest in expressways in Malaysia and Indonesia fell through.

Jakarta Election Result Spells Trouble for Jokowi and Indonesia
The heavy loss of incumbent Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama to former education minister Anies Baswedan signals rising intolerance and demonstrates the influence of hard-line Muslim groups in Indonesia, spelling trouble for President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and moderate Indonesians of all persuasions.
— The News Lens International

Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia Digital and Computed Radiography Market Report 2017
Research and Markets has announced the addition of the “Digital and Computed Radiography in Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia, Forecast to 2021” report to their offering.
— Business Wire

SC ruling on power tariffs to hit imported coal-based power generators
A recent Supreme Court ruling, setting aside an appellate tribunal order permitting Tata Power and Adani PowerBSE 1.83 % to raise electricity tariffs in tandem with increased input costs, will hit viability of all imported coal-based power generators, say experts.
— Economic Times

Indonesia Bourse Expected To Open In The Green
Ahead of Monday’s holiday for Isra Mikraj, the Indonesia stock market had moved higher in two of three trading days since the end of the two-day losing streak in which it had surrendered more than 55 points or 1 percent. The Jakarta Composite Index now rests just beneath the 5,665-point plateau, and the market is called higher again on Tuesday.
— Nasdaq

Indonesia inches closer to realizing port hub dream
Indonesia is inching closer to realizing its dream of making Tanjung Priok Port a major international transshipment hub and taking a slice of Singapore’s business pie.
— The Jakarta Post

Social Affairs Minister to Complete Social Aid Distribution in May
Social Affairs Minister Khofifah Indar Parawansa has set a target to complete the non-cash social aid distribution of the Family Hope Program, or PKH, next month.
— Jakarta Globe


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Lao PDR morning newsLao PDR Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat


Food safety first as national laboratory opens
Food security and control in the country has been boosted with the first official National Food Safety Laboratory opened on Monday in Vientiane.
Vientiane Times

ADB commits assistance to Laos’ development goals
Infrastructure development for transportation connectivity, telecommunications, along with the power, education and health sectors will all be the focus of Asian Development Bank (ADB) in its continuous assistance to Laos in upcoming years.
Vientiane Times

Freemasons donate to Blundell’s School pupils Laos campaign
Members and guests of the Blundell’s Masonic Lodge have held their first meeting in the Big School since it was founded in 1934.
Devon Live

DKSH Donates Medical Equipment to National Blood Centre
The DKSH Laos Company Limited donated two sets of tube sealers and 40 blood transfusion sets to the Lao National Blood Centre, worth over 47 million kip (USD 5,839).
Lao News Agency

Watches World International Opens New Store in Vientiane
The Watches World International Limited (WWIL) has opened its new shop in Vientiane Centre in Vientiane Capital on April 22 to offer better goods to Lao customers.
Lao News Agency

340 Transport Projects Invested in in Xayaboury Province
The past five years witnessed 340 basic transport development projects implemented in Xayaboury Province.
Lao News Agency

Three Lao Startups Accepted for the Mekong Innovative Startup Tourism (MIST) Startup Accelerator Program
The Mekong Business Initiative (MBI) and the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) have announced that three innovative tourism startups from the Lao PDR got accepted for the Mekong Innovative Startup Tourism (MIST) Startup Accelerator program.
The Laotian Times

Laos’ cabinet approves direction of seaport project, discusses work plan
Laos’ cabinet agreed last week to establish a private-state joint company to develop the Vung Ang project after Vietnam gave a green light to utilise the seaport in its central Ha Tinh province.
The Nation

Lao cabinet approves seaport project in Vietnam
The Lao cabinet has agreed to establish a private-state joint company to develop the Vung Ang project after Vietnam gave a green light to utilize the seaport in its central Ha Tinh province, local daily Vientiane Times reported Monday.

First Lao team to compete at Microsoft’s Imagine Cup
Team BUG5, a group of three young innovators, has earned the nomination to represent Laos in the South East Asian Regional Final Round of the 15th Microsoft’s Imagine Cup.
The Nation

Official: Inspection underway on reported import of human sperm
Health officials are investigating a report that human sperm has been imported into Laos, a senior government official has said.
Vientiane Times

China slowdown affects Phongsaly investment
Private sector investment in Phongsaly province in the far north of Laos has witnessed a slowdown since the economic setback in China driving down the prices of several products.
Vientiane Times

Huawei P10 and P10 Plus to be Available in Laos on Tuesday
Huawei Technologies (Lao) Sole Co., Ltd unveiled its latest smart phone models on April 22 — the P10 and P10 Plus — in the Lao market following a good sales record for the Huawei P9.
Lao News Agency

Police to launch another major operation against Lao drug network
A POLICE operation will be launched soon to target and search locations around Thailand to smash a drug-trafficking network led by alleged kingpin Xaysana Keopimpha.
The Nation


Malaysia morning news

Malaysia Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat


Malaysia agrees to pay Abu Dhabi $1.2b towards 1MDB debt settlement
Malaysia reached an agreement to pay Abu Dhabi about $1.2 billion as settlement over the debt of embattled government fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd.
Deal Street Asia

CEO: Malaysia Airlines may become biggest turnaround in history
Peter Bellew, the chief executive officer of Malaysia Airlines, feels what he is doing with the airline is probably the greatest turnaround in business history.
Free Malaysia Today

What’s Behind The New China-Malaysia Defense Committee?
During his weekend visit to Beijing, Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein announced that a new high-level defense committee would be set up between Malaysia and China to boost cooperation.
— The Diplomat

1MDB and IPIC reach agreement over US dollar bonds
1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund, International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) have reached an agreement over arbitration proceedings involving two US dollar bonds amounting to US $3.5bil.
The Star Online

Malaysia has overcome economic challenges – King
Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V said the Malaysian Government had managed to overcome external pressures on the economy, especially in dealing with the ringgit’s depreciation, Bernama reported today.
The Edge Markets

Ringgit higher against US$ early Tuesday
The ringgit opened higher against the US dollar today as the greenback eased against the major currencies on the back of optimism on the euro following the first round result of French election.
The Star Online

Affin aims to seal AAGI deal by Aug 5
AFFIN Holdings Bhd expects to finalise the acquisition of an additional 16 per cent stake in AXA Affin General Insurance Bhd (AAGI) from Felda Marketing Services Sdn Bhd (FMS) before August 5.
New Straits Times

Despite Problems Facing Country, Malaysia Is Consolidating Its Position In Global Healthcare
Despite other problems facing the country, Malaysia is managing to consolidate its position at the forefront of global healthcare.
Frontera News

Majority of Malaysians want to own a home in next 6 months
More than half of Malaysians surveyed want to own a home within the next six months, according to the Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association Malaysia (Rehda).
The Star Online

KPJ Healthcare ‘neutral, Public Bank ‘buy’, Cocoaland ‘hold’, BAT ‘sell’
KPJ Healthcare Bhd’s proposed share split exercise is expected to improve the trading liquidity of the company and appeal to a wider base of public shareholders, according to PublicInvest Research.
The Star Online

Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia Digital and Computed Radiography Market Report 2017: 
Research and Markets has announced the addition of the “Digital and Computed Radiography in Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia, Forecast to 2021” report to their offering
Business Wire

Malaysia launches a special blueprint for Malaysian Indians
A specially-tailored blueprint has been launched by the Malaysian government to empower Indian community in Malaysia over the next ten years, The Star Online reported on Sunday.
Thai PBS

Sarawak govt proposes abolishment of cabotage policy
The Sarawak government has proposed to the federal government to abolish the cabotage policy which requires all goods to enter the state through Port Klang.
Malay Mail Online

Penang Umno: State govt’s proposal to hike water consumption surcharge will burden people
The proposal by the DAP-led Penang government to once again raise rates on domestic water consumption surcharge on the grounds of water conservation is not fair and will burden users, said the state Umno liaison committee chairman Datuk Seri Zainal Abidin Osman.
Malay Mail Online

Pilgrims to fly in style with Malaysia Airlines’ six Haj charter jets
Malaysia Airlines Bhd’s (MAB) chief executive Peter Bellew has revealed more details on the flag carrier’s plan to offer charter flights for Muslims to perform the Haj and Umrah pilgrimages in Saudi Arabia.
Malay Mail Online


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Myanmar morning newsMyanmar Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee


National Bank of Canada acquires 22% in Myanmar payments outfit ONGO
In a strategic investment, National Bank of Canada has acquired a 22 per cent stake in Myanmar’s mobile payments provider ONGO. The payments provider is backed by Ronoc Asia, a subsidiary of the Ronoc, an investment firm focusing on emerging markets.
— Deal Street Asia

World Bank to loan $100 million to Myanmar Financial Development Project
WORLD Bank and government representatives recently signed an agreement for a US$100 million (K134.9 billion) World Bank loan to the Myanmar Financial Development Project in mid-April.
— Myanmar Times

Too understaffed to test food on time, FDA grants manufacturing licenses anyway
The Food and Drug Administration Myanmar (FDA) is back at it again with another solution to its institutional shortcomings that puts the privileges of businesses above the safety of the public.
— Coconuts Yangon

20 hydropower projects planned to generate over 6,000 MW
The Ministry of Electricity and Energy has issued a statement saying that a total of 6,270 MW of electricity will be generated from 20 new hydropower projects. However, details about the projects including the locations were not released.
— Eleven

New Myanmar oil pipeline bolsters China’s energy security
The opening of an oil pipeline through Myanmar is a big step forward for China’s energy security, reducing the major importer’s reliance on shipments through waters where the U.S. exerts strong influence.
— Consult-Myanmar

Government considering Afghanistan, Myanmar’s proposal to boost pharma exports
India is examining a proposal from Afghanistan to help set up a manufacturing base for pharmaceutical products, along with another proposal from Myanmar to supply generic drugs, as part of its efforts to shore up declining exports.
— Economic Times

Myanmar Military Won’t Accept Revision of Peace Agreement: Deputy Commander-in-Chief
Myanmar’s powerful military will not accept any revisions or amendments to a nationwide cease-fire agreement it signed in October 2015 with eight ethnic armed groups in order to accommodate remaining militias that have refused to sign or have been excluded from the pact, the country’s deputy commander-in-chief of the armed forces said Monday.
— Radio Free Asia

Myanmar tours website acquires UK technology
AS TOUR OPERATORS in Myanmar are eyeing to partner with foreign firms to serve their clients better,, the nation’s leading hotels and tours services website, has acquired, a London-based start-up specialising in building reservations platforms for the hotel and airline industry, for US$ 600,000.
— The Nation

Yangon Region Hluttaw reviews YBS bus system
In the Yangon Region Hluttaw meeting on 24 April, 26 Hluttaw representatives discussed the YBS bus system currently in place.
— Global New Light Of Myanmar

Ayeyawady farmers remain to repay over Ks286billion of loan debt to MADB
Myanma Agricultural Development Bank (MADB) reminded farmers from Ayeyawady Region that, they have over Ks286billion of loan debt to repay.
— Global New Light Of Myanmar

Government’s emergency water supply ready for 500 villages nationwide
In case of water shortage this summer, the government has set aside emergency water supply for 500 villages around Myanmar.
— Myanmar Times

Mandalay property prices in ruins after taxes raised
While the current property market in Mandalay city can be described as slowly picking, real estate agents feel that the new property tax, assessment and appraisal rates in the sector are stifling expansion.
— Myanmar Times

Myanmar designates 20 fields to promote investment
Myanmar’s efforts to promote investment will target 20 newly designated fields covering 192 types of businesses and services, using a law enacted in October that makes it easier for foreign companies to receive tax benefits.
— Consult-Myanmar

Ministries hold press conference on performances in one year
A press conference on performance during the one-year term of the incumbent government was held yesterday at 1 p.m at meeting hall of the Ministry of Information in Nay Pyi Taw.
— Global New Light Of Myanmar

Judge dismisses second defamation case against Myanmar Now editor
Kyauktada Township judge Than Naing Htwe has dismissed one of two defamation cases against Myanmar Now editor Swe Win.
— Coconuts Yangon

Asian Art Gallery Brings First Contemporary Art Show from Myanmar to Boston: Burma Rising
Asian Art Gallery is bringing the first contemporary art show from Myanmar to Boston—Burma Rising—from April 30 to May 14, 2017. The show will be held at the Asian Art Gallery facility in Chelmsford, MA.
— India New England

Myanmar e-commerce leader pushes for expansion
THOUGH a large percentage of Myanmar’s 53-million population still prefer going out to shop, more than half a million people visit, the nation’s leading e-commerce platform, for online shopping on a monthly basis, said its chief.
— The Nation


Philippines morning newsPhilippines Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee


Duterte sued at ICC for alleged involvement in mass killings
A criminal case has been filed against President Rodrigo Duterte before the International Criminal Court at The Hague, Netherlands, for his alleged involvement in extra-judicial killings when he was mayor of Davao City and, now, as the president of the Philippines, The Manila Times Online reported on Tuesday.
— Thai PBS

Tourist arrivals up 10.5% in the Philippines, despite — or due to — anti-drugs war
Despite “a war on drugs” that reportedly claimed the lives of over 7,000 people in less than a year, the Philippines is still growing in popularity as a holiday destination, the Undersecretary of Tourism, Benito Bengzon, has said.
— Gulf News

US, Philippines scale back next month’s military drills; no more ‘war games’
About 5,000 American and Philippine troops will hold humanitarian exercises next month instead of annual war games, scaling back military drills in response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s disdain for their longstanding defence alliance.
— Channel NewsAsia

First Gen raises $500M from debt
LOPEZ-LED First Gen Corp., through wholly-owned subsidiary First Gas Power Corp., signed on Monday a $500 million, 7-year term loan facility with six banks to refinance and manage its debt.
— The Manila Times

Release P139 million for retired gov’t lawyers, DOJ asks DBM
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II has asked the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to release immediately the P139 million for retired lawyers of the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO).
— Manila Bulletin

Nippon Fruehauf invests P3.7-B in Bulacan plant expansion
JAPAN’S number one tailgate lift manufacturer and seller, Nippon Fruehauf Co. Ltd., is investing P3.7 billion for the plant expansion of its local licensed builder, Centro Manufacturing Corporation, in Marilao, Bulacan, a top trade official said on Monday.
— The Manila Times

Ecija bus crash victims get P4.6M in assistance
Cash assistance totaling P4.6 million was given last weekend to families of passengers who were killed or hurt when their bus fell 40 meters into a ravine at Carranglan town in Nueva Ecija province on April 18.

PHL explores paths to modern defense
THE previous administration has endowed the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) with more than P65 billion worth of equipment, and allowed the AFP to make a giant leap from its decrepit and vintage assets. However, the country’s modernization spending still pales
in comparison with its military neighbors in Southeast Asia.
— Business Mirror

T-bill rates mixed during yesterday’s auction
Treasury bill rates showed mixed results during yesterday’s auction as traders are still on the lookout for more catalysts in the market, the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) said yesterday.
— The Philippines Star

Philippines: Army says killed 36 Islamic State-linked militants in three days
PHILIPPINE security forces killed about 36 Islamic State-linked militants in a three-day air and ground assault on a southern island, and captured the rebels’ base, an army general said on Monday.
— Asian Correspondent

Philippines: SM Investments picks 62.21% in MyTown dormitory brand owner PULS
SM Investments Corp (SMIC) has taken 62.21 per cent controlling stake in Philippines Urban Living Solutions Inc (PULS), the operator of dormitory buildings under the MyTown brand.
— Deal Street Asia

Artificial intelligence reinventing banking in PH
Artificial intelligence (AI) – or as some call robotics – will become an alternative way for banks and even brokerage firms here to interact with their customers soon.
— Rappler

Is Philippines offering Beijing an olive branch over South China Sea?
The Philippines will seek to manage tensions over the disputed South China Sea at the upcoming Asean summit, after years of tough rhetoric with Beijing over the issue.
— South China Morning Post

DoF cites tax amnesty prerequisites
THE GOVERNMENT is biding its time in its plan to offer amnesty to tax delinquents until it lays firm groundwork for an effective program, the head of the Department of Finance (DoF) said.
— BusinessWorld Online

PH, US to hold 33rd Balikatan exercises
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and United States (US) forces will hold the 33rd iteration of Balikatan exercises in several locations in Luzon and Visayas on May 8 to 19, 2017, the US Embassy in Manila announced on Monday.
— Manila Bulletin

DOJ files charges vs RCBC branch manager, Philrem owners on $81-M Bangladesh Bank heist
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed before the Makati City regional trial court (RTC) money laundering charges against a former branch manager of Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) and the owners of remittance firm Philrem Service Corporation in connection with the $81 million stolen last year from the Bangladesh Bank.
— Manila Bulletin

Lawmaker: e-passport project illegally subcontracted
Rep. Aniceto “John” Bertiz 3rd of ACTS OFW Party List described as “dubious” a firm to which the Department of Foreign Affairs’ (DFA) P8 billion e-passport project was sub-contracted.
— The Manila Times

Shares open higher on French election relief
Share prices opened higher on Tuesday, as world markets welcomed the results of the French election.

Victims of property crimes up in Q1 — SWS
The number of Filipinos who fell victim to property crimes went up in the first quarter of 2017 from the previous quarter despite the government’s intensified law enforcement efforts, a recent survey by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) showed.
— The Philippines Star

Measly loot of P1,000 prompts robbers to shoot LBC workers
Two robbers who were irked by their measly loot shot and wounded two employees of a payment and remittance center in Marikina City on Sunday afternoon.


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Singapore morning newsSingapore Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee


Singapore: SeedPlus reaches final close of first fund at $17.9m
Singapore-based SeedPlus Fund I has reached its final close – surpassing the targeted S$25 million ($17.9 million) – with backing from Cisco Investments, the investment arm of Cisco Systems Inc., and Eight Roads Ventures, the proprietary investment arm of Fidelity International Limited.
— Deal Street Asia

AEM’s Q1 profit surges to S$4.1m
MAINBOARD-LISTED AEM Holdings saw a 17-fold jump in its net profit from a year ago to S$4.1 million in the first quarter of 2017, the company said in a Singapore Exchange filing on Tuesday.
— The Business Times

Public-private partnerships to spur local manufacturing
Research in the manufacturing industry was a bright spot last year, with more than half of the projects undertaken by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) related to the sector.
— The Straits Times

Consumer prices in Singapore rise for fourth straight month in March
Consumer prices rose for the fourth consecutive month in March, again mainly led by the increase in private road transport costs.
— Today Online

Government portals among 9,000 regional servers hit by malware: Interpol
A cybersecurity operation run out of the Interpol Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI) here has uncovered some 9,000 malware-laden servers and compromised websites in the Asean region, including government portals.
— The Newpaper

Singapore shares open marginally up on Tuesday
SINGAPORE shares opened higher on Tuesday with the benchmark Straits Times Index up 1.66 points, or 0.05 per cent, to 3,145.69 at 9.03am.
— The Business Times

Singapore aims to build more efficiently using new technology
Singapore hopes to multiply the number of buildings it will churn out using more efficient techniques requiring fewer workers.
— The Newpaper

Singapore developing 2 new digital platforms for maritime sector
TWO new platforms are being developed to help ensure Singapore’s maritime sector is ready for digital transformation.
— The Business Times

Prime also looking to grab SMRT’s taxi business
Ride-hailing app provider Grab’s offer to buy SMRT’s taxi business has sparked the interest of at least one other bidder which is looking to enlarge its presence in Singapore’s burgeoning cab industry.
— The Newpaper

Credit quality of Singapore firms largely unchanged over the past year: SCCB
THE credit quality of Singapore firms has remained largely unchanged over the past year, the Singapore Commercial Credit Bureau (SCCB) said on Tuesday.
— The Business Times

IPG mediabrands launches Ansible in Singapore
Ansible Singapore will be driven by Yi Liang Lim who will report to Jacob Teo, head of digital for IPG Mediabrands Singapore. Teo leads a team of digital specialists who have worked with companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Cerebos, Cathay Pacific, Tourism Australia, Sony Pictures, ExxonMobil and PCCW and more.
— Marketing Interactive

Singapore serves up feast of pan-regional Chinese cinema
In a country where the staple cinematic diet is mainstream blockbusters, the Singapore Chinese Film Festival is slowly establishing itself as a refreshing alternative by offering cinema-goers bold, experimental and thought-provoking Chinese-themed films.
— Asia Times

New Singapore offensive against money laundering, terrorism financing
The Singapore authorities and government bodies are going on the offensive against money laundering and terrorism financing with a new partnership.
— The Straits Times

Construction projects using new technologies to quadruple by 2020
If construction projects in Singapore continue to remain manpower-intensive, plans in the pipeline, including more flats, hospitals and MRT lines, could be hindered, warned National Development Minister Lawrence Wong yesterday.
— Today Online

Commercial vehicle prices set to tumble
Commercial vehicle prices are set to tumble due to a six-time increase in the Certificate of Entitlement (COE) supply for vans, trucks and buses.
— The Newpaper


Thailand morning newsThailand Morning News

Compiled by John Le Fevre    @photo_journ


Bestlin seeks to block new NGV bus bids
Bestlin Group has called on the government to halt plans for new bidding to procure 489 new natural gas vehicle (NGV) buses, saying a legal dispute between the firm and the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) has not been finalised.
– Bangkok Post

Export surge keeps growth target in reach
A SURGE in exports last month pushed up the value of first-quarter shipments by 4.9 per cent to $56.46 billion from the year before for the best performance in four years, fuelled by multi-year highs in trade volumes with China and India.
– The Nation

Arms factory deal edges closer
A plan to build a production and maintenance facility for Chinese weapons in Thailand is expected to be finalised by July, according to Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon.
– Bangkok Post

New incentives spur boom in film earnings
THAILAND earned over Bt900 million from international film productions in the first quarter of 2017, thanks to a new set of production incentives offered to movie producers, according to the Department of Tourism.
– The Nation

Ministry of Commerce: Higher electricity price will not lead to more expensive goods
The Ministry of Commerce has confirmed that the prices of most consumer products have been stable and an increase in electricity price will affect the retail prices of products by less than 1%.

Out of control’ OTT services draw scrutiny
Streaming video-on-demand services from over-the-top (OTT) operators are set to be regulated by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) after operating freely for years.
– Bangkok Post

Department of Provincial Administration Lays Out Guidelines against Corruption
The Department of Provincial Administration has laid out guidelines for its officials at all levels in order to help them deal effectively with corruption, which is regarded as one of the biggest threats to the well-being of various communities.
– The Government Public Relations Department

Senior officials linked to blackmail, forced prostitution of teenager in Mae Hong Son
A CHAT with a police friend about young, part-time prostitutes turned into a nightmare for one mother after she found that one of the girls available for sex was her own daughter, who later revealed how she had been lured into taking drugs, blackmailed and coerced into the flesh trade.
– The Nation

Cabinet endorses Navy’s plan to purchase one Chinese submarine
The cabinet last week approved the Navy’s plan to purchase one Yuan-class submarine from China estimated at 13.5 billion baht under government-to-government agreement.
– Thai PBS

Submarine buy wins ‘secret’ nod
The military-led cabinet has secretly approved the controversial procurement of a Chinese submarine costing 13.5 billion baht.
– Bangkok Post

Thailand Completes Second Airline Recertification
Thai aviation authorities have completed the recertification of Thai AirAsia (TAA), although most of Thailand’s airlines are still waiting to go through this process. TAA is just the second airline to be recertified, and the first LCC. Thailand is required to issue new operating authorization to all carriers, due to ICAO findings of inadequate regulatory oversight.
– Aviation Week

Thailand gears up to be ‘the energy hub for Asia’
Mr. Areepong Bhoocha-Oom, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Energy of Thailand launched today the ‘Future Energy Asia Exhibition & Conference’ as a major initiative towards securing the path to Thailand’s Energy 4.0.
– Oilfield Technology

Top brass members must sit in national strategy panel: Gen Prawit
Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan on Monday defended the need of the presence of 5-6 commanders of the armed forces in the national strategy panel.
– Thai PBS

Commerce Ministry promotes more exports to Indonesia
The Commerce Minister has suggested that Thai business operators look into opportunities to export more goods to Indonesia, in order to expand trade between the two nations.

Bosch Thailand plans to introduce more auto-product lines
Robert Bosch Thailand has announced plans to expand its automotive-product lines from 10 currently, with a focus on developing e-commerce platforms and strengthening the network of Bosch Car Service workshops.
– The Nation

Rise of the robot fund manager
AVA Advisory, a Thai-owned fintech startup, plans the commercial launch of its first robotic adviser app for the financial sector in Singapore in the fourth quarter, aiming to create an entirely new breed of smart wealth and investment management activity.
– Bangkok Post

GSB low-interest loan program slow going
The Government Savings Bank (GSB) has indicated that its low-interest loan program has extended credit to only 10% of applicants, held up by insufficient documentation from applicants as well as the long Songkran holiday.

Anusorn to be warned for knocking on the head of a waiter with his knuckles
The National Reform Steering Assembly (NRSA) has found an assemblyman guilty of “not serious” breach of ethical conduct for using his knuckles to knock on the head of a waiter and decided to serve him a warning.
– Thai PBS

Toyota considers landmark local outlay
Leading Japanese carmaker Toyota Motor Corporation is about to make its biggest investment in Thailand to upgrade its compact car development and production centre for exports.
– Bangkok Post

Deputy chief of an army prison charged in conscript’s death
Deputy commandant of the military prison in Surat Thani denied all the charges lodged against him by the police in connection with the death of a conscript held in custody in the prison.
– Thai PBS


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Vietnam morning newsVietnam Morning News

Compiled by John Le Fevre    @photo_journ


VN corporate profit falls 60 percent in 2010-2015
According to Pham Dinh Thuy, Director of the Office’s Industrial Statistics Department, the global development crisis has taken a toll on the operation of Vietnamese firms, despite numerous tax incentives offered by the Government.

Corporate governance ignored in VN
Firms should attach importance to corporate governance to improve their competitiveness and develop sustainably, experts said.
– Viet Nam News

11 VN tourism start-ups qualify for MIST project
ELEVEN innovative tourism start-ups from Vietnam have qualified for the Mekong Innovative Startup Tourism (MIST) Startup Accelerator programme.
– The Nation

Private investors in infrastructure suffer disadvantages
The figure is similar to recent estimates by the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) that Vietnam needs $480 billion more for infrastructure projects, including 11 power plants with total capacity of 13,200 MW and 1,380 kilometers of highway.

Vietnam’s top listed bank BIDV looking for steady profit in 2017
The Hanoi-based bank forecasts lending this year to rise by 16 percent, below the 18-percent annual increase in 2016.

Vietnam’s public debt ceiling set at 65% of GDP for 2016-2018
The objective was set at a medium-term debt management programme for 2016-2018 recently approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

Singaporean enterprises keen on Hai Phong investment seminar
An ASEAN market seminar “Capturing business opportunities in Vietnam’s third largest city: Haiphong” has taken in Singapore recently, attracting more than 80 participants, mostly Singaporean businesses coming from diverse industries.
– Hanoitimes

Logistics key for aviation sector
Việt Nam’s aviation sector must use advanced technologies such as e-commerce for its management, operations and business as it is a trend in global aviation transport, experts said in HCM City.
– Viet Nam News

Vietnam’s bank seeks $700 mln via stake sale to foreign investor – report
Saigon Commercial Bank expects further talks with two potential investors from China and Indonesia as it plans to sell more than half of the bank at par value.

Masan Group sets ambitious $2.19 billion sales target
Masan Group Corporation has set itself a target of increasing sales and net profits by 15-20 per cent to over VNĐ50 trillion (US$2.19 billion) and VNĐ3.2-3.4 trillion this year.
– Viet Nam News

Vina Kraft’s second paper plant becomes operational
Vina Kraft Co. Ltd on April 24 inaugurated its second paper and packing factory in the My Phuoc Industrial Park 3, Ben Cat town, the southern province of Binh Duong.
– VietnamPlus

Vietnam, South Korea foster strategic partnership
The two sides will take the occasion to discuss bilateral cooperation between the two nations, the two NAs, and international and regional issues of common interest.

Inspectors find nearly $2 bln involved in economic-related violations
More than 4.19 trillion VND (184.4 million USD) of the sum was uncovered in the banking sector. That excludes nearly 91.32 trillion VND (4 billion USD) involved in violations of the State’s regulations on lending, debt classification and credit risk provisions.

Auto-tech solutions make numerous profits for FPT Software
FPT Software expects to earn 200 million USD through the sale of automotive technology solutions and employ 8,000 people by 2020, the company said.
– Hanoitimes

Vietcombank, Indovina Bank pledge $64m for HCM City ring road
Vietcombank and Indovina Bank have signed an agreement with Van Phu Bac Ai JSC to provide VND1.46 trillion (US$64.32 million) to finance construction of a section of HCM City’s Ring Road No 2.
– Viet Nam News bizhub

Construction sites worsen air pollution in Hanoi
According to the Hanoi Construction Department, there are more than 1,000 construction sites, large and small, under execution in Hanoi. It is estimated that more than 10,000 square meters of road are excavated every month for projects to upgrade technical infrastructure.

Saigon is sinking: Land subsidence an alarming issue in southern Vietnam – expert
Ho Chi Minh City has been sinking for decades, posing a serious risk to the local economy and livelihoods, experts warned.


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Asean Morning News is the most comprehensive selection of reports on what you need to know from around the Asean Economic Community (AEC) published. All articles are hand curated by the team at AEC News Today. It is published M-F by AEC News Today: Governance, not government; policies not politics.




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