Economy

Sing dollar too strong: DBS currency strategist

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THE Singapore dollar (SGD) is too strong as the greenback continues to struggle and is becoming oversold, said Philip Wee, DBS Bank senior currency strategist. Year to date, the SGD has gained over 6 per cent against the US dollar (USD), and with the Thai baht are the two strongest South-east Asian currencies. SIOW LI SEN The Business Times The SGD stood at 1.3597 on Wednesday, slightly off its year high of 1.3553 on July 31. USD/SGD came under heavy ... Read More »

Brexit: Race to host EU agencies relocated from London

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EU countries have until midnight to submit bids to provide a new home for two agencies that will be relocated from the UK after Brexit. BBC The European Banking Authority (EBA) and European Medicines Agency (EMA), based in Canary Wharf in London, employ just over 1,000 staff between them. The banking and medicines agencies are seen as the first spoils of Brexit by the 27 remaining members of the EU. About 20 countries are expected to enter the bidding process. ... Read More »

Chinese spy ships: The devil in the detail

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Recent posts in The Interpreter (by Iain Henry, Euan Graham and James Goldrick) have commented on the presence of a Chinese intelligence-gathering ship off the Queensland Coast during Exercise Talisman Sabre. Sam Bateman The Interpreter All these posts are broadly correct – the incident suggested Chinese hypocrisy with its objections to foreign military activities in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ), specifically its objections to American surveillance and intelligence-collection in its EEZ. However, we need to be careful in making assessments ... Read More »

Australians waste $70m a year on unused gift cards

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When I was a teenager, I loved getting gift vouchers and using them in the sales. I usually spent them in either the winter sales soon after my birthday or the summer sales after Christmas. Caitlin Fitzsimmons Brisbane Times I didn’t have much money so each voucher was carefully stored in my wallet and avidly spent. There was no way I’d let a single dollar go to waste. I would’ve been astonished to hear that Australians in 2017 waste $70 ... Read More »

Analysis: Time to ditch your interest only loan as big banks continue rate hikes

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With banks increasing rates for interest-only (IO) loans, it’s definitely a good idea to consider switching to principal and interest (P&I) loans. Vanessa De Groot Domain When you took out your IO loan it probably made financial sense because of affordability. It likely enabled you to manage the mortgage repayments and your other living costs, and perhaps you could even afford to borrow more to buy a more expensive property. That’s because the regular repayments for IO loans are significantly ... Read More »

Government adviser urges review of farmers’ tax-breaks

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Tax breaks for UK farmers should be reviewed, the head of a group advising the environment secretary has said. BBC Economist Dieter Helm said the current system of taxpayer-funded support was extremely wasteful and the industry suffered from “subsidy addiction”. Prof Helm said the exemption of farmland and buildings was used to avoid inheritance tax. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said his ideas were not under Government adviser urges… Read More »

Sri Lanka signs Hambantota port deal with China

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Billion-dollar agreement reached despite trade union opposition and protests over security fears, including from India. Al Jazeera and news agencies<imgheight=”1″width=”1″style=”display:none”src=”https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=968100353246427&ev=PageView&noscript=1″/> Sri Lanka has signed a $1.12bn agreement with a state-run Chinese firm to operate a port in the southeast of the country, despite security concerns and protests from trade unions. According to the long-delayed deal reached in the capital Colombo on Saturday, Sri Lanka Ports Authority agreed to sellΒ a 70 percent stake in the Hambantota port to China Merchants Ports ... Read More »

How Long Can China Ignore Its Growing Debt Pile?

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Beijing has been reluctant to tackle reforms to politically sensitive state-owned enterprises, fearing the potential for popular discontent. Anthony Fensom The National Interest Quarter after quarter, China’s gross domestic product numbers keep coming in nearly perfectly on Beijing’s forecasts. The trouble for the world’s second-biggest economy, however, is that its debt keeps on rising while necessary reforms take a back seat to the… According to China’s National Bureau of Statistics, GDP expanded by 6.9 percent in the second quarter from ... Read More »

Central Asia’s Silk Road Rivalries

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China and Russia’s separate visions for Central Asia could transform the region’s political and economic landscape as well as relations between the two Eurasian giants. Crisis Group To the smaller, embryonic Central Asian nation states, the new geopolitical realities could offer both economic prosperity as well as worsening instability and conflict. Executive Summary Two new regional initiatives potentially could transform Central Asia’s political landscape. China’s Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB), launched by President Xi Jinping in 2013, offers multi-billion dollar ... Read More »

Central Asia’s Silk Road Rivalries

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Russia’s and China’s separate visions for Central Asia could transform the region’s political and economic landscape as well as relations between the two Eurasian giants. ICG To the smaller, embryonic Central Asian nation states, the new geopolitical realities could offer both economic prosperity as well as worsening instability and conflict. Executive Summary Two new regional initiatives potentially could transform Central Asia’s political landscape. China’s Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB), launched by President Xi Jinping in 2013, offers multi-billion dollar investments ... Read More »

UK watchdog to require banks to publish data on service

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[LONDON] Banks in Britain will have to publish data every quarter from next year to show the quality of service they provide to customers to try to boost competition, the… SPH Performance based on set criteria should be measured every three months from April 2018, and published on a bank’s website within six weeks of the end of the quarter, the… First publication is expected in mid-August 2018, with issues such as the… UK watchdog to… Read More »

IMF downgrades UK and US growth forecasts

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The UK and US economies will expand more slowly in 2017 than previously predicted, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). BBC It said “weaker-than-expected activity” in the first three months of the year meant the UK would grow by 1.7%, compared with an earlier 2% forecast. The IMF also revised down its US growth forecast from 2.3% to 2.1%. However, its overall global economic predictions – of 3.5% growth in 2017 and… IMF downgrades UK… Read More »

Australian dollar stung by RBA’s interest

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The Australian dollar slid back below US79¢ on Friday after Reserve Bank deputy governor Guy Debelle said there was no automatic reason for rates to rise after a recent outbreak of hawkishness by global… Eryk Bagshaw with Reuters and Bloomberg The Canberra Times The Australian dollar dropped about half a cent to US78.77¢ following the comments, having touched a high of US79.92¢ earlier in the week. “Just as the policy rate in Australia did not need to decline to the very ... Read More »

US calls for smaller deficits in new NAFTA talks

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The US government says trade deficits and market access will top the agenda as it renegotiated trade terms with Mexico and Canada. BBC US President Donald Trump has described the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as a “disaster” and ordered fresh talks earlier this year. The objectives have been released in advance of the start of meetings with Canada and Mexico next month. Economists have warned that reaching the goals might be… US calls for… Read More »

Circular economy isn’t a magical fix for our environmental woes

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Solving our ecological crises means diluting the power of global corporations – not propping them up Micha Narberhaus and Joséphine von Mitschke-Collande The Guardian The circular economy’s June jamboree in Finland, attended by around 1,500 experts and policymakers, showed just how much momentum the concept has gained in… Little wonder. The circular economy model – which aims to use closed-loop production to keep resources in play for as long as possible – is presented as a pragmatic, win-win solution; an ... Read More »

The brain drain and youth depression taking over Greece

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As Greece’s financial struggle from the crash continues to worsen, Theresa May warns that failure to tackle the UK’s deficit could see it spiral into a ‘Greek-style… Chloe Farand Independent Chloe Farand meets the young and old Greeks who are worse affected by the lack of jobs and cut to… “Many people in this village live off a plot of land in the winter because there just aren’t any jobs here,” says a mother of… The situation in Greece is worse now than it has ever… The ... Read More »