Asean Morning News Roundup February 10

Asean Morning News Roundup February 10
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The Asean Morning News Roundup presents a selection of reports on what you need to know from around the Asean Economic Community (AEC).


Cambodia morning newsCambodia Morning News

Compiled by Leakhena Khat    @leakhenakhat


Telcos called to pay debts
Frustrated with the lack of compliance, the government has given the Kingdom’s mobile operators an ultimatum: declare their company revenue shares and settle all outstanding debts owed to the government by the end of the month or face swift and severe punitive action.
The Phnom Penh Post 

Surrogacy to be legal
Authorities are preparing a draft law to make surrogacy legal with a range of protections for the women and babies involved.
Khmer Times

Malaria cases plunged in 2016
The number of malaria cases in Cambodia plummeted by more than 50 percent in 2016, compared to 2015, though experts and recent research findings suggest the emergence and spread of artemisinin-resistant malaria parasites in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) represents a “serious threat” in the elimination of the disease.
The Phnom Penh Post 

Commerce Ministry addresses exports, fees
Commerce Minister Pan Sorasak said yesterday the government will take action to boost the export of processed products and facilitate trade in the kingdom.
Khmer Times 

Government Delays New Studies on Dams Backed By Kith Meng
The Ministry of Industry, Mining and Energy (MIME) has yet to sign a memorandum of understanding with business mogul Kith Meng to undertake studies of three new hydropower dams, more than three months after the Council of Ministers gave it permission to do so.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Three Years On, Government, EU Still at Odds Over Sugar Evictions
Three years after starting work on a comprehensive compensation plan for thousands of families that accuse sugarcane plantation owners of stealing their land, the E.U. is urging the government to use independent experts to audit their claims in the face of persistent resistance from the prime minister.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)

Who Loses When Cambodia Cuts US Military Drills?
Last month, Cambodia suddenly cut its annual joint military exercise with the United States, which had already been in the planning stage and would have entered its eighth iteration this spring.
The Diplomat 

Cambodian flag ‘used by DPRK to move arms’
North Korea dodged international sanctions with the largest shipment of ammunition yet discovered in the communist nation’s sanctions history under the guise of Cambodia’s flag, according to Kyodo News.
The Phnom Penh Post 

Up in smoke: authorities burn 25,000 weed plants
More than 25,000 marijuana plants were destroyed in 73 different locations during a crackdown by Takeo province police on Wednesday and Thursday.
The Phnom Penh Post 

Three Kampot Police Officers Test Positive for Meth Use
Three police officers have been demoted after testing positive for methamphetamine as Kampot province began drug- testing officers on Thursday, with other provinces saying they had already started testing their police officers or have plans to do so.
The Cambodia Daily (paywall)


Indonesia morning newsIndonesia Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat


Local content requirement for cars to hit 90% by 2019: Industry Ministry
The Industry Ministry plans to raise the local content requirement for cars to 90 percent by 2019 from 60 percent at present to strengthen the national automotive industry and create more jobs.
The Jakarta Post

Government plans regulation for subsidized airfreight
The Transportation Ministry’s director general for air transportation, Suprasetyo, has said that the government is revising a presidential regulation on subsidized cargo so that it will also apply to airfreight. The regulation currently only applies to scheduled sea transportation.
The Jakarta Post

Indonesian commercial vehicles sales seen improving in 2017
Indonesia’s commercial vehicle sales will increase in 2017 thanks to the commodity market that began to improve in the fourth quarter of 2016, according to a top automotive industry leader.
Bangkok Post

Carsentro aims to tap used-car market potential in East Java, a burgeoning classified car advertisements site, has opened a Carmudi Sentra Otomotif (Carsentro) used-car dealership in Surabaya, East Java. Carmudi Global CEO Stefan Haubold said the move was based on the increase in car ownership in the province that stood at 120,000 cars per year.
The Jakarta Post

House questions subsidized loan program’s role in welfare
The government has defended its subsidized loan program from criticism raised by the House of Representatives amid expectations to reduce economic disparity between Java and other islands.
The Jakarta Post

Toyota sources plastic resin from Indonesia
PT Toyota Motor Manufacturing (TMMIN), the local arm of the Japanese carmaker, is sourcing polypropylene impact (PP) copolymer from the local market to produce plastic components for Vios and Yaris cars.
The Jakarta Post


Lao PDR morning newsLao PDR Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee


Laos makes strides in monitoring state affairs
Officials who carry out inspections need to be more competent so they can be relied upon to capably implement their political duties and ensure a successful outcome.
— Vientiane Times

Lao Telecom to Increase Investment for Improved Services and Market Growth
Lao Telecommunications Company (LTC) expects to see expansion of its network and telecommunications systems this year in an effort to improve services and gain new subscribers.
— The Laotian Times

Bidding documents for withdrawn leaders’ cars available Monday
Bidding documents to auction luxury cars withdrawn from leaders, a significant move to cut lavish state spending on vehicles, will be available on Monday until February 20.
— Vientiane Times

Oudomxay calls for tourism investment
Oudomxay Tourism Office says about 100 tourist sites in the province await development in order to attract more tourists.
— TTR Weekly

Deputy Prime Minister visits northern provinces
Deputy Prime Minister, DrBounthongChitmany has visited the northern provinces to inspect various hydropower construction projects as well as advise local authorities on socio-economic development issues.
— Vientiane Times

Medics assess developments in internal medicine
Development partners along with the line Health Departments of each province under the Ministry of Health met yesterday in Vientiane to discuss the provision of better healthcare in the field of internal medicine.
— Vientiane Times


Malaysia morning newsMalaysia Morning News

Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu    @Estee


MACC seizes land lots, luxury car belonging to government agency director
The Selangor Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) today seized four land lots, a luxury vehicle, jewellery and luxury wrist watches belonging to a government agency director who was detained yesterday.
— Malay Mail Online

Outlook Of Medical Tourism Sector Expected To Be Positive
The outlook of Malaysia’s medical tourism industry is expected to be positive in the long term with the burgeoning demand for healthcare services, both domestic and international, coming from especially an increasingly affluent and ageing population, due to reasonable pricing.
— Bernama

Protests greet Malaysia aid ship for Myanmar’s Rohingya
Anti-Rohingya protesters gathered at a Yangon port on Thursday (Feb 9) to meet a Malaysian ship carrying aid for thousands of refugees from the persecuted Muslim minority fleeing a bloody military crackdown.
Channel NewsAsia

No more pig-bristle brush raids; PAS to sue Husam; Hadi trains gun on Dr M
Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Minister Hamzah Zainudin instructed an end to raids on shops suspected of selling pig-bristle brushes to allow time for shop owners to properly label the products.
— Bernama

6 bodies found after boat capsizes off Malaysia: Official
The bodies of six passengers believed to be from a boat which capsized in rough seas off Malaysia have been found, a coast guard official said Thursday (Feb 9).
Channel NewsAsia

Thousands celebrate Hindu Thaipusam festival in Malaysia
Hindus gathered in temples across Malaysia on Thursday (Feb 9) to celebrate the annual Thaipusam festival, with many piercing their bodies with hooks and skewers to showcase devotion to the deity Lord Murugan.
Channel NewsAsia

PM: Chinese education here to stay
Vernacular schools are part of Malaysia’s education system and will not be removed, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib said today.
— Malay Mail Online

#ImNotAshamed: Malaysian psychologist out to beat mental illness stigma
In Malaysia, mental illness is frequently taboo. Despite the unwillingness to confront or address this, however, its prevalence is rising.
— Malay Mail Online

Najib committed to continue Adenan’s policy on state-federal matters
Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said he will continue the policy of the late Tan Sri Adenan Satem, the fifth Chief Minister of Sarawak, who had wanted to review the constitutional ties between the state and the federal government, based on what rightfully belonged to the people of Sarawak.
— Malay Mail Online


Myanmar morning newsMyanmar Morning News

Compiled by Vat Vin    @vin_vat


Protests greet Malaysia aid ship for Myanmar’s Rohingya
Anti-Rohingya protesters gathered at a Yangon port on Thursday (Feb 9) to meet a Malaysian ship carrying aid for thousands of refugees from the persecuted Muslim minority fleeing a bloody military crackdown.
— Channel NewsAsia

Myanmar Digest: SMI to sell Shiseido products; Junction City hotel by end 2017
Singapore-listed Singapore Myanmar Investco Limited has signed an agreement to be an exclusive distributor of Shiseido products in Myanmar. Local Shwe Taung group plans to complete its five-star Pan Pacific Hotel by the end of 2017, developed as part of the Junction City project.

Government cuts down foreign debt
Foreign debt was reduced to US$540 million during the first nine months of the NLD-led government, according to a Ministry of Planning and Finance presentation to the Hluttaw.
Myanmar Times

Hluttaw calls for higher taxes as oil, gas revenues decline
As oil and gas revenues are expected to decline, the government is urged to increase taxes from other industries in order to reach original tax targets for the year, the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Public Accounts Joint Committee presented in their review on February 8.
Myanmar Times

Individual trading hits Ks9.9bn
As of January 20, individual trading at border trade zones reached Ks9.9 billion this fiscal year with exports making up less than 10 per cent of the total, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

India set to hand Sittwe port back to Myanmar
INDIA WILL hand control of Sittwe port back to Myanmar’s Rakhine State government in the second week of March, India’s ambassador to Myanmar Vikram Misri said.


Philippines morning newsPhilippines Morning News

Compiled by Jose Rodriguez Senas    @15Souter


Palace, Cabinet stop mine closures, suspension orders
Malacañang has put on hold the closure and suspension orders on 28 mines issued by Environment Secretary Gina Lopez purportedly to give way to due process.
Philippine Star

UN envoy: Philippines drug slaughter slowing
A United Nations human rights investigator said in Bangkok Thursday there are signs of mounting opposition within the Philippines to President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.
Bangkok Post

BSP raises inflation forecasts for 2017, 2018
Inflation this year and next year are expected to pick up faster than earlier expected due to higher oil prices as well as a weaker peso, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas officials said Thursday.
Philippine Daily Inquirer

200 suspected NPA attack town, abduct 3, destroy heavy equipment
An estimated force of 200 suspected New People’s Army (NPA) have attacked a private home in Talakag, Bukidnon, abducting the owner and two government personnel, including one police officer, Thursday morning.
Update Philippines

Lenders book record 2016 profit
PHILIPPINE BANKS booked a record profit in 2016 on the back of higher deposits and loans, alongside a lower share of soured debts from a year ago, according to latest central bank data.
BusinessWorld Online

Staggered payments for power rate hike
Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) is proposing to stagger the implementation of the expected power rate hike following the Malampaya shutdown over a period of three months to minimize the burden on consumers.
Philippine Star

Philippines: Ayala backs US ePharmacy startup Wellbridge Health
Diversified Philippine conglomerate Ayala Corp has invested an undisclosed sum in Wellbridge Health Inc, an early-stage US-based startup that provides care management solutions to help people reduce unnecessary hospitalizations.
Deal Street Asia

Globe, PayPal tie up
Globe Telecom Inc. and digital payments provider PayPal have forged a partnership to enable freelancers and businesses to easily withdraw funds.
Philippine Star

Sandiganbayan affirms hold order on Iranian investor
The Sandiganbayan has affirmed its decision barring an Iranian investor facing criminal cases from leaving the country despite his claim of a medical emergency.
Philippine Star


Singapore morning newsSingapore Morning News

Compiled by Jose Rodriguez Senas    @15Souter


CFE report maps out blueprint for Singapore’s future: What you need to know
After a year of deliberations, the Committee on the Future Economy has unveiled its report on how Singapore can be reshaped for the future. Channel NewsAsia looks at what the recommendations mean for the average Singaporean worker, local businesses and the broader economy.
Channel NewsAsia

Singapore stocks hits 15-month high on strong corporate earnings
Singapore shares hit a 15-month high on Thursday, bouncing back  from the previous session’s losses, on the back of strong corporate earnings and as oil prices steadied.
The Star Online

Singapore one of 11 countries with top debt rating, lowest number in 13 years: Fitch
The number of countries with a top-notch sovereign credit rating fell to the lowest level in 13 years last year, the international rating agency Fitch said on Thursday.

Singapore Telecom hires three banks for broadband unit IPO
Singapore Telecommunications Ltd., the city-state’s largest phone company, said it has hired three banks as it prepares for an initial public offering to divest more than 75 percent of its wholly-owned fiber broadband network unit NetLink Trust.
Deal Street Asia

GIC, others discussing acquisition of stake in Spain’s Telxius
A consortium that includes Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund (SWF) GIC and private equity (PE) majors  KKR, CVC and Ardian are discussing the the acquisition of a 49 per cent stake in Telxius, the telecom masts subsidiary of Spanish telecommunications firm Telefonica.
Deal Street Asia


Thailand morning newsThailand Morning News

Compiled by John Le Fevre    @photo-journ


Justice Ministry pushes for US, UK help in Rolls-Royce case
THE JUSTICE Ministry will request that the Office of the Attorney-General (OAG) seek bilateral cooperation with its counterparts in the UK and the US regarding a criminal investigation into the Rolls-Royce bribery cases involving officials of Thai Airways International (THAI) and PTT plc.
– The Nation

Growth in credit at seven-year low in 2016
THE TOTAL value of credit extended in Thailand last year edged up 2 per cent, the lowest in seven years, reflecting the slow economic expansion, the Bank of Thailand has reported. In 2015, the country’s credit expansion was 4.3 per cent.
– The Nation

FMCG sales growth sinks in 2016
THAI shoppers remain cautious in their purchases of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), with sales-growth rates last year hitting the lowest point in a decade, according to Kantar Worldpanel.
– The Nation

Political TV talk show suspended for criticizing the judiciary and military
The broadcasting regulatory authority based the suspension on a January 23 episode titled “Conflict because of Judicial [Not] Review” that presented a news analysis which “led to disunity in Thai Society by not airing complete facts.”
– Prachatai

13 billion baht cuts to sicken Thailand’s universal healthcare
On 6 February 2017, the board of the National Health Security Office (NHSO) met to review issues in its projected budget for 2018. The NHSO is the public organization responsible for administering accessible healthcare for all Thai citizens.
– Prachatai

THAI searches for a president
Thai Airways International’s search for a new president resulted in a short list of nine candidates, who are now under consideration, according to a statement by the airline’s board of directors, Wednesday.
– TTR Weekly

Chinese investors help fuel demand for housing sector in tourist areas
DEMAND FOR residential properties in tourist destinations – especially Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Khao Yai – is still growing strongly, driven in particular by Chinese nationals buying a second home or investing for rental income, property experts say.
– The Nation

Thai property developer Sansiri, SCB jointly launch Siri Venture
Thai listed property developer Sansiri Pcl and Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) have jointly form Siri Venture to invest in property-related startups and research and development, according to local media’s reports.
– Deal Street Asia

Tight supply could drive Bangkok office rents 5-9% higher this year, says CBRE
LIMITED NEW office supply in Bangkok is expected to drive up rental prices by between 5 per cent and 9 per cent this year, according to a survey by CB Richard Ellis (Thailand).
– The Nation

Automakers hope to see gradual recovery in 2017
With auto sales in Thailand declining by 3.9 per cent to 768,788 units in 2016, automakers are hoping for gradual recovery this year, thanks to several positive factors.
– The Nation

Phuket, Chiang Mai in queue for light rail
The government has vowed to kick-start light rail projects in Phuket and Chiang Mai this year as part of a push for local economic development.
– Bangkok Post

Island of trash drifts to Prachuap Khiri Khan
The large amount of garbage spotted in the seas off Chumphon province by a trawler a week ago has drifted up to Prachuap Khiri Khan, about 100 kilometres from where it was first found, the Royal Thai Navy said on Thursday.
– Bangkok Post

Construction of new royal crematorium goes forward
PREPARATIONS for the construction of the royal crematorium for the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej at Sanam Luang is progressing well with the crematorium’s base already built, while the designs of royal chariots and the six enamelled, gem-studded Royal Urns have also been initially approved.
– The Nation

Most elephants in Thailand registered for DNA checks
More than 3,440 domesticated elephants – or almost 99 percent of the animals’ total documented population in the Thailand – have been registered for DNA checks to verify their identifies and origins.
– The Nation


Vietnam morning newsVietnam Morning News

Compiled by John Le Fevre    @photo-journ


Vietnam speaks up after Chinese banks branch out on seized island
‘…any move conducted by foreign countries in the area without Vietnam’s permission is illegal.’
– VnExpress

IFC plans $57m quasi-equity investment in VPBank
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private lending arm under the umbrella of the World Bank Group, is contemplating a $57 million quasi-equity investment into Vietnam-based VPBank, several months after it lent a $50 million support in the form of syndicated loan to the commercial bank.
– Deal Street Asia

On the Heels of ASEAN Tariff Reduction, Vietnam Car Imports Double
A month into 2017, Vietnam has already imported two times more new cars than it did in the same period last year.
– Saigoneer

January brings $300 million in foreign investment to Vietnam’s real estate market
As foreign investors swoop into the market, home ownership remains out of reach for large swaths of Vietnam’s cities
– VnExpress

Vietnam to Become Cashless Society by 2020
Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue recently greenlit an ambitious policy that encourages Vietnamese to drop cash in favor of electronic payment methods.
– Saigoneer

HN to collect VND10 trillion from auctioning land
The capital city plans to collect VND10 trillion (US$444.5 million) from auctioning land use rights this year.
– Viet Nam News biz hub

First Hanoi Metro Line to Begin Trial Run in October
After nearly a decade of planning and construction, Hanoi’s first metro line will begin trial operations in October.
– Saigoneer

Tien Giang promotes industrial parks
The Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang has devised numerous measures to fully explore local industrial parks (IPs) and industrial clusters (ICs).
– Viet Nam News biz hub

Quảng Ngãi expects $530 million in 2017 budget revenue
The central province of Quang Ngai expects to collect a total of VND12.1 trillion (US$530 million) in State budget revenue this year, the provincial People’s Committee said.
– Viet Nam News biz hub

Ho Chi Minh City resorts to motorbike barriers on sidewalks
Officials hope bars will protect tourists, students and other pedestrians from reckless motorists.
– VnExpress

PM to meet business community in March
The second meeting between Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and the Vietnamese business community is due at the end of March in Ha Noi.
– Viet Nam News biz hub



The Asean Morning News Roundup is compiled by the editorial team at AEC News Today and published before 11am M-F.




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